Five Steps to Build E-Commerce Sales: How to Link Engagement to Revenue

(By Brian Rigney)

1) Make everything e-commerce-enabled.

Make buying easy. The consumer is somewhere along the scale between browse and buy. At any point on a site, the consumer should be able to simply click and buy. Images, lookbooks, catalogs, reviews—anything that has your products on it—should feature a “buy now” option that sends the product straight to the cart or even opens a transactional quick-view immediately.

2) Make checkout simple.

The main barrier to any e-commerce sale across any device is the checkout, which is where most consumers drop out. Even if there are items in the consumer’s shopping cart, sites lose on average 68% at checkout, equating to $4 trillion in lost revenue.
To jump this hurdle, make the process of buying easy. No one wants to waste time entering lengthy card numbers and other details. In addition, commitment issues arise when the time comes to hit the Pay Now or Checkout buttons. Even a simple language change can help; “Buy Now” or, even better, “I Want It!” can decrease abandonment.

3) Work with showrooming.

Timely offers are a huge driver of conversions, and they’re something you can deliver using mobile location data and physical context. As showrooming continues to become a standard way to shop, use real-time offers, along with real-time stock updates, to make the purchase journey more of a service.

4) Inspire customers.

As the path to purchase becomes richer with features that help the user along their journey, buying becomes a service. People are busy and don’t have time to weigh multiple options and make snap decisions. The creation of rich digital experiences can help them do that, however.
Enabling them to “shop the look” with content sliders that show a few key items and recommendations about what goes well with those items is a huge benefit to consumers and makes them more likely to buy—and buy more than perhaps they had previously considered buying.

5) Analyze and optimize.

All online businesses should use tools to measure and analyze their digital experiences. Selecting the right metrics is crucial:

• Time spent: The first 10 seconds are critical. How does that figure drop away after 20 seconds or more?
• Actions: How the user behavior changes on the site: the clicks, scrolls, and mouse movements that people perform on or around an experience in a specified period of time.
• Devices: What devices are consumers using? Are those experiences optimized on those particular devices? Is your brand using responsive design?
• Reactions: To gain insight and head off any negative user reactions, use social listening tools for gauging those reactions.

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