The past two years have seen multiple twists and turns, many of which have favored online sellers. While High Street shops have spluttered, eCommerce has flourished. The pace of change has been significant in this time, too, and it is more vital than ever to be on top of your sales strategy. Here we offer some essential tips that you might want to action this year.
Retention is everything
Winning new customers in a competitive market is going to be challenging. Therefore, any customer you do successfully win needs to come with a high lifetime value. For this reason, the subscription model works to get regular payment from a customer and so a regular interest in your products. Online food sales companies are leading the way with this model, with companies such as Gusto providing recipes that come together as meals.
Identify seasonal trends
Setting up and establishing an online shop is tough, and it is tempting to settle into your site structure and inventory. However, you need to change with the seasons to be continually relevant to your clients.
First, separating stock for winter and summer requirements is a basic step to take. Identify those products in your inventory to push to the fore at these different points in the year.
A more detailed strategy will look to use the different holiday seasons throughout the year. Christmas is a given, but have you thought about Easter, Halloween and Valentine’s Day.
Look at historical data in your sector to see what is popular at a given point in the year and make this central in your email marketing and on your store’s landing page.
Research changing consumer psychology
Insight into what motivates your customers, goals, needs, and targets is essential for growing your customer base. The last two years of the pandemic have changed people’s drivers and behaviors. Consequently, you need to know them well to understand what should be in your inventory and how you drive the customer through to conversion. There are plenty of expert opinions online to guide your understanding, though you might also want to run some customer surveys and user testing of your own.
One value that you ought to connect with is sustainability. Customers are now looking to choose brands based on values, so ensure yours align with your target market and you write content to support these.
Counter cost of living concerns
2022 has seen a significant rise in the cost of living. Petrol and heating prices are going through the roof, and the supermarket shopping basket is costing more. There is a squeeze on their finances added to the job insecurity created by the last two years for your consumer.
Making it easier to make the buying decision is essential in 2022. For instance, make the cost of delivery more transparent upfront. When the consumer puts an item in the basket and moves through to purchase, the additional postage and packing could be enough to abandon the cart. When spending money is a worry, another cost on top is a challenge to the buyer.
Second, you may want to work with sites that offer interest-free credit payments. The bigger eCommerce sites have moved to install payments through such sites, and it can make buying in tough times that much easier.
Finally, and most powerfully, you may want to offer samples to help with the buying decision. Taking the risk out of the purchase is going to ease the way to the buy button. Also, reducing the number of times the customer has to make the buying decision by offering subscriptions. One of the best examples of this subscription model is Huel, which offers a person’s complete diet delivered at the start of each week. It is the ultimate in convenience and reduces the decision-making for the buyer.
In 2022, you will need to work hard to be your sector’s most visible eCommerce store.
The rise in popularity of online shopping over trips to the mall is a good news story. However, it has resulted in a much more competitive landscape. While people are looking to buy from you, they are also tempted by a hundred or thousand other available outlets at the tap of a finger.
The first strategy to employ is SEO. While relying on internet searches for your customers is a minor strategy, it is undoubtedly worth increasing your place on the search engine results page.
Second, your digital storefront needs to offer an exceptional customer experience. Experts estimate that you have 8 seconds on your customer’s attention before clicking off your site. If your site is slow to load, this time is reduced to less than 2 seconds. Consequently, you need to make constant iterations to the landing page for your store, seeking out customer feedback to drive improvements.
Listening to your customers in 2022 is your primary goal, and it will help you understand how you can be found.
Different ways to pay
You need to minimize the clicks when it comes to making a payment. The better chance of conversation, any opportunity you can take to include different ways to pay. For instance, having Apple Pay on your site allows the buyer to decide with a single click. Equally, choosing to have a system like PayPal available means the buyer doesn’t have to put in the 16-digit number, etc., on their card. It is another important way to speed up the spending of money and so avoid an abandoned cart.
A significant reason for abandoned cards also relates to postage costs, especially in a post-Brexit world. Therefore, highlighting the postage costs and where possible making these free will substantially increase your conversion rates.
Easier and easier
Much of your strategy in 2022 will be about easing the flow through your sales funnel. Capturing the eager buyer and making it as simple as possible to convert the sale has always been important, but never more so in such a competitive landscape.
Laura McLoughlin is a Digital PR based in Armagh, Northern Ireland. She has previous experience as a website editor and journalist, and currently works with Chorus Commerce.
Online sales strategy stock photo by PopTika/Shutterstock