As we ring in the New Year, IOS decided to take a look at how online sellers can to take their business up by a couple of notches. All experts and reports agree that ecommerce in India is only going to grow. So what are the key things that online store owners can do? Let us find out.
Spend more time and resources in identifying the roadblocks that are standing in the way of a sale. Figure out what is preventing buyers from finalising the sale (for example abandoned carts), and see what are the best ways to overcome them.
James Gurd suggests that sellers also work on the total User Experience (UX) of the store so that there is more customer engagement. He also says that retailers would do well to collect solid data by way of surveys and feedback forms to pinpoint the specific causes for specific roadblocks.
To ensure that a user has a good experience, keep the store’s interface simple. All categories should be easy to find, but there shouldn’t be unnecessary clutter. The navigation should be limited to three or four steps. Don’t flood the site with too much of text or graphic. Keep the checkout process simple.
Understand your customers.
Listen to them, figure out what they want, and give it to them. This has to be a continuous process. Engage constantly with your customers. It is also important to frequently review the store and service procedures to ensure that it is kept in shape.
- Thank your customers with a reward or loyalty program. It can be anything from freebies on purchases, extra discounts, or referral bonuses that will encourage buyers to spend more, and invite others to shop as well.
Everybody has been crying themselves hoarse about the importance of mobile. IOS has spoken about how mobile is a huge potential several times. We also did a small piece on mobile trends for 2016. Concentrate on making your app or mobile site user friendly and convenient.
Invest in your employees.
Do not underestimate the strength of your staff. The industry is booming, and jumping ship is not going to be a problem for anyone in the ecommerce industry. Apart from the regular benefits like PF, Insurance, health benefits and the regular paid leave, think of what incentives you can provide to keep your employees happy and content.
Office parties and team outings are some tried and tested methods of keeping the staff engaged.
Set specific goals for each department.
Identify the weak points in every department such as sales and marketing, logistics, procurement, and customer relations, and work on improving these weaknesses.
What are the trends that you can look forward to in 2016?
Some of the interesting things that will influence ecommerce include:
- Flash sales will pick up pace. However, companies will have to equip themselves to face the tsunami of shoppers. No point in offering sales and being unable to back it up with sufficient infrastructure, or it might go the Big Billion way.
- A more robust delivery system will prevail. Companies will attempt to outdo each other with their speed in delivering orders. Experts feel that delivery in an hour will be the new trend.
- Everybody will have to enter the mobile arena. This can be either in the form of an app or a mobile website. The point is, you can’t beat them, so you need to join them. Every ecommerce retailer will need to have a mobile presence to stay in the competition.
- Aimee Millwood of Yotpo observes that direct marketing (emails or calls) will score over social media marketing. As this graphic (data courtesy Yotpo) suggests, majority of traffic is coming in directly, followed by those who come through search.
Millwood advises etailers not to neglect their social channels, but continue to engage their customers through Facebook and Twitter.
- She also underlines the importance of analytics in ecommerce. Analytics and optimization will play a key role in ecommerce to compete with rivals. Millwood points out that India is tops the list of folks searching for data on Google.
We hope that Indian online sellers can greet 2016 armed with all the info we have presented. May 2016 bring good sales, more customers and prosperity!