Improving the effectivness of your ecommerce – some ideas to consider – part II

Look for new opportunities

We all tend to access web sites that we are interested in, to check out the item or items of interest and then possibly place an order. Think about which other items the customer placing the order are most likely to be interested in based on your experience. Besides cross selling like this they may also be the chance to invite them to consider a better option of the item that they are already looking at – e.g. this could be a model that you have available with extra features such as more capacity, or with a longer battery operating time etc. These cross sell and up sell generally have a higher price than the standard which should mean more profit for you from the sale – everyone wins as the customer gets a new and/or a better item and you have more loot for it.

Keep up with your ecommerce platform

We use a number of the well known ecommerce platforms for our customers and have built up a lot of knowledge of many of them – they all have their own quirks to manage, handle and dispatch their orders, and suppliers. Most of the platforms are continually developing their service and this can provide a tangible and quick way to implement additional features which can show benefits to your business at very low cost.
Having found the platform that you like these improvements and enhancements are likely to be presented in a familiar way and format which can save hours of having to learn the ins and outs of something completely new which is a major plus.

Use the data that you have

Every visit to your site and every purchase is giving you a tailor made parcel of intelligence which is focussed on your business. At the basic level visits and purchases give you the opportunity (with permission) to build up your own list for future marketing.

A good quality offer at the right time can bring great results.

As you list grow there is a great deal of value in spending time in looking at what those lists can tell you – answers to questions that you have and possibly flag some new areas for your business which could be there and just waiting to be discovered.

Your customers are also your research team

Collate and consider what your customers are saying about your site, range and service. However you engage they are a direct line to the latest situation that your business is in.
Feedback both good and bad is very useful with any bad stuff picked up at an early stage gives you the opportunity to respond how you wish and to and take action to improve the customer experience.
Handled well a bad situation can be turned around quickly and can sometimes even made positive.

Be prepared to change or not to change

Business is changing faster than ever and keeping up can be a challenge. It all depends on what type of business you are in but making sure you are aware of what is happening is important so that you are in the best position to make informed choices that are in line with your goals and budget. From our own experience the time scale that we expect money that we spend to show a return in now measured in months not years.
It is strange that often a new person taking on a role starts changing things in a very short period of time – sometimes they have lots of new things to introduce or maybe just they feel under pressure to show a ‘result’ – sometimes not making changes in a situation is the best option allowing a more considered, reasoned and generally more effective result.

Document the plan

Keep details of your plan. At the base level this is a good discipline as it ensures that relevant areas are considered, amended as needed and where relevant agreed – writing the plan itself is an important and useful element. We always try to keep it specific to the business question in mind and we have found including the numbers to be a good idea. Whatever the plan there is no way of getting around the numbers as they give a quick way of measuring how well the plan is progressing in the real world.

Review and amend as nothing stays the same

If you haven’t read it – read Part I