4 Ways to Supercharge Your E-Commerce Business Strategy
When it comes to ramping up your online sales, you may think the answer is to drive more customers with more advertising, more links, or flashier web site design. You’re probably getting thousands of visitors now, but the trick is how to convert them and raise profits. Here are four ways to supercharge your e-commerce business strategy.
1. Order Fulfillment
Getting customers to place an order is the goal, but the real challenge is shipping what they want so that it arrives on time and intact without eating up your profit margin. You’ve got to juggle inventory, packing and shipping materials, labels, invoices, and freight services efficiently and accurately. This is a labor-intensive process that can be a lot for companies of any size to manage with speed and precision.
Order fulfillment software or services can be just the answer for smaller companies who don’t have the personnel or the space. The right software can automate many of your fulfillment tasks, including inventory management, updating invoices, tracking packages, issuing shipping notices, returns, and even cost forecasting. A dedicated fulfillment company can do all this for you for a fee, and even handle the physical product, so that you can focus on sales.
2. Search Functions
Most sites have some sort of search feature, but it’s usually disappointing. Here are some improvements to look for:
- Auto-complete is a great innovation that should be included in the search functionality. It not only makes typing simpler, but as the user enters text, it can suggest products they never thought of. Some search bars can even be loaded with images that appear as users type.
- Make it easier to find. A little text box off to the side isn’t as inviting as a larger search bar that’s prominently displayed at the top of the page. Make it a different color from the background, and add “SEARCH” as the default text instead of a little button.
- Quick View isn’t really a search function, but provides something similar. This will show a popup with additional information when the user clicks on a link. Visitors will appreciate how much time and effort it saves.
Make sure your search function is as helpful for the end user as possible to ensure easy navigation on your website.
Not everyone will bother to use search boxes. Consumers today have less patience when it comes to product browsing. Your offerings should be set up in categories and sub-categories that are clearly defined and logical. For instance, “Women’s Outerwear” might lead to separate categories such as jackets, boots, hats, gloves, and so forth, instead of having multiple top categories.
But everything should be organized so that it’s reachable in three or four clicks, and no more. You could also try dynamic cross-categorizing as a means of cross-selling; for instance, clicking on a winter jacket could bring up links to scarves and gloves.
4. Product Sourcing
There’s a lot of profit to be made by staying on top of consumer trends. This means identifying hot new products and finding sources that will provide these goods at a cost that still allows you to profit. Whether your niche is electronics, clothing, computing, or pet products, you need to come up with products that consumers are looking for to maximize your revenue.
Finding and integrating products with your site can be a time-consuming effort, especially if you plan on doing it on a continual basis. Fortunately, there are now product sourcing services that can make this much faster and easier as the future of product sourcing seems to change regularly.
The best strategy to supercharge your e-commerce store should align with your business and branding concepts. But your priorities should be finding engaging new ways to build your products and features, reduce costs, and improve customer satisfaction.