Online communities and the way they purchase are constantly evolving. Ecommerce brands need to keep up with these changing demands if they want to remain. If you have been running your ecommerce store for a while, you might have been using some techniques for a little longer than you should.
Maybe conversions have gone stale, or perhaps your audience isn’t engaging on social media. Or worse, news outlets are picking up on your stagnation. But all of these seemingly problematic signs are actually opportunities in disguise. While we don’t advise ripping out current tactics that are working, here are some common approaches that are evolving or being phased out completely to adapt to changing consumer preferences.
1. An Outdated Checkout Experience
When someone is trying to buy something from your website, they expect the process to be as easy as possible. Small things such as additional clicks, poorly created landing pages, or small text that is nearly impossible to decipher on a mobile device are all core factors to consider when updating your checkout experience.
Reducing friction in the shopping cart helps to lower cart abandonment, and also leaves a trustworthy and modern impression on your customer. The bottom line: reducing friction has a direct impact on sales, as customers are more likely to complete the checkout process when they don’t need to repeat actions or offer extraneous information.
Remember the goal of your shopping cart is to convert to a sale, not drive the customer to your blog or inspiration galleries. So keep the page design clean and simple, with clear calls-to-action. If you’re looking for general conversion tips, you’ll want to read all about the do’s and don’ts of building a high converting landing page.
2. Unoriginal and Uninspiring Content
When it comes to explaining and showing the use of a product, customers expect to glean a lot more information than a simple description. Best-in-class Ecommerce brands are going above and beyond to provide the best information available to the site visitor in the form of rich user-generated content.
User-generated content can come in the form of images, videos, or text ratings and reviews. In fact, combine all three for the ultimate conversion experience for your customers.
Using UGC helps you create an original and authentic connection with your audience. Plus, it can show off the products in new organic ways that can help boost sales as well. At Jambu Shoes, they use Pixlee to help convey a real-life view of their products.
“To be able to display the shoes on the foot in a more organic environment with social proof helps give our customers context they’re looking for, and Pixlee really helps with that”
– Mary Grace Seamans, Marketing Manager
3. No Mission Transparency
Previously, offering the lowest price for a product was all a brand needed to excel in the market. With Amazon and other huge marketplace players, brands need to go beyond the bottom line if they’re hoping to compete. One way brands can compete is by being mission-driven and transparent in their supply chains. 80% of younger generations say making the world a better place is a top priority, which means brands have a huge opportunity to appeal to new customers through their values.
Whether your brand donates product to a charity, a percentage of sales towards a shared mission, or unites a community around shared values, they need to connect on an emotional level to remain favorable to their audience. HYLETE, an athletic apparel brand does an exceptional job of uniting their community around shared values while offering exceptional visibility into the sourcing of their raw materials.
4. Ignoring Customer Demands
The old adage goes ‘the customer is always right’, and that has never been truer than in recent years. Community-driven marketing and customer-driven feedback have become an integral part of not only marketing but merchandising decisions as well for Ecommerce companies. Take Glossier for example. Glossier began as a blog and through the growth and interest of their community became one of the most successful direct-to-consumer brands out there.
Even if you can’t shift your entire marketing focus to be community-driven, you can still take a page out of the Glossier playbook to succeed.
Other customer demands should be a high priority as well. Customer support is a very important part of making sure that your customers stay happy with the services you provide them with, from the moment they start becoming interested in your brand, to finally making a purchase and even the time after that process, when they can be a great source of promoting your products to their own peers.
5. Not Taking an Omnichannel Approach
Having an online presence alone might not be enough for the future of brands. Whether it’s a pop-up store or an opportunity to sell through a larger more established retailer, ecommerce brands need to look beyond social and digital channels to truly reach their audience, once it makes sense for the brand. The most important thing to consider is testing new channels that your audience might be gravitating towards. When choosing which channels to market through, brands should consider how to reach their audience at the right time, in the right place, with the right message.
Estelle Liotard is a seasoned content writer and a blogger, with years of experience in different fields of marketing. She is a content editor at Trust My Paper and loves every second of it. Her passion is teaching people how to overcome digital marketing obstacles and help businesses communicate their messages to their customers.