Simple tips for using technology to broaden your business focus and enhance ecommerce conversions
It’s noticeable when business owners are more driven by conversions rather than looking into the needs of consumers. Unfortunately, when businesses are too focused on increasing conversions and forget to keep an eye on the person with the wallet, the bottom line eventually takes a hit. If the customer feels ignored, there’s little-to-no chance a business owner will see conversion rates escalate and profits increase with any marked sustainability.
From url’s to customer service, every aspect of an online business should be built around the needs of the customers—where they want to shop, what they want to buy, on what device they prefer to browse, and what are their options for returns and shipping. If your services do not match up to their expectations, buyers will move on to the next option. Because, in ecommerce, you have less time to reach your target audience effectively and guide them through the sales funnel, technology is key. The following tips explain how technology, data management, and the willingness widen your focus from conversions to the entire sales funnel can enhance those all-important conversions.6 Ways automation can improve your #ecommerce sales funnel @ProProfs @Webgility Click To Tweet
1. Streamline the Back End When a single set of order data is automated throughout your entire system on the back end using accounting as your system of record, the whole business benefits. Based on a rate of $20/hour of data entry at 1,000 orders per month, you can save up to 90% on your bookkeeping costs. But that’s just the beginning. Automation also eliminates costly errors, either typos, overselling inventory, sales tax compliance, or even revenue forecasting. When your fees and expenses are automated, you can instantly reconcile your accounts and always know where your money is—or isn’t.
Automation also makes strategic insights possible, by bringing sellers out of the darkness of data management and into the light of growing a business. When your accounting is clean, it’s possible to analyze what you spend on fees, expenses, and shipping costs and tweak your profit margins either from a high level or one data point at a time. By using an automation tool that integrates with both the customer-facing part of the business as well as back-end operations—marketing, stores, marketplaces, accounting, inventory, and shipping—you can spend time on what really matters, selling products you’re passionate about or using your passion for selling to move more products.
2. Find Your Ideal Customer Before you approach better conversions as a goal, have a close look at what happens before a customer places an order, or the sales funnel. The sales funnel represents the behavior of customers on your website as they come closer to making a purchase. Because not all leads become customers, a sales funnel is wider at the top. The bottom of your funnel gathers your customers, while prospects are located in the middle. Data on your leads, prospects, and customers and what they do before they buy is crucial to improving sales. With information from your sales funnel in hand, you can create your ideal customer.
This profile should contain as many target demographics as you can gather. It should contain the movements of your ideal customer on your website, and give hints about why they want your product. Gathering customer information automatically is a crucial part of the process, otherwise you’re spending all of your time moving information from one system to another. An automation tool that creates a detailed customer database will help you quickly organize customer information, analyze where your highest value customers live and what they want, help you keep track of their lifetime sales value, and know how often they revisit your website.
3. Attract Your Audience Once you become familiar with the characteristics of your target audience, you’ll be able to create a perfect environment for them. But you’ll also need to work on bringing them there as leads. Lead generation isn’t a one-time deal; it’s a process that needs repeating in cycles to keep conversions always on the rise.
An effective way to attract a wide audience is to make your business visible on social media, advertising, and on a blog. Share the expertise you provide is a particular way to get in the spotlight. Users are hungry for information – if your blog becomes a source of valuable content, you can be confident that Google will award it with decent ranking. By targeting your marketing efforts with content, you’ll be able to reach your ideal customers. But all that content creation is a full-time job by itself. By automating your blog and social media outreach on a scheduler—leveraging the days and times your customers are most likely to buy—you can set aside some time every week to set up your content and schedule push messages.
4. Upsell and Cross-Sell With upselling and cross-selling only, you’ll see a nice difference in your monthly numbers. But in order for this to work, your sales agents need to know what to recommend to your website visitors—and to the customers in your physical store, if you have one. This is why integrating an automated customer relationship management (CRM) system is a good idea.
With CRM, you can put together an archive of detailed information about each one of your leads, prospects, or customers. Not only will this information be of major assistance when it comes to upselling and cross-selling, but it will also take your market research one step further. Once you get familiar with the demand of your target audience, you can perfect your catalog, inventory, and sales channels to correspond to that data.
5. Email Marketing In order to reach a higher number of website visitors, email can be very fruitful. For your email campaign to work out, the contents of each email need to be highly personalized with a rules-based automation tool—using that customer database you’ve been working on. For starters, your leads or dormant customers will feel appreciated if you show that you know them on a first-name basis and reach out regularly (but not too often) with newsletters, promos, and helpful blog content.
Even better, if your emails contain products or services that you already know a customer of yours has shown interest in, then your chances of making a conversion will significantly grow. With just a bit of effort, email marketing automation can have a great impact on your bottom line with minimal effort on your part.
6. Live Chat Considering that the number of online shoppers increases every day, you need to find a way to increase the quality of their online experience. This is why it’s worth exploring the advantages of a live chat integration. This piece of software can be multifunctional, providing you with the means of enhancing your customer relationships and enabling real-time communication to better set expectations and learn more about what your customers want.
Because of live support chat, you’ll be able to communicate with all visitors who are faced with a dilemma. When you’re able to provide the information your leads and prospects find necessary in real time, you’ll be able to increase the number of your conversions significantly.
As you can see, increasing your customer base isn’t a challenging process in particular. All that’s required is consistency, a more streamlined process, and the right tech tools to free up time in your day. Strategically utilized automation can have a positive effect on both your sales funnel and conversions.
Robin Singh is a Technical Support Executive and knowledge base tools expert at ProProfs.