We all know that in order to have a successful and profitable eCommerce store, your site needs to be user friendly, optimized for mobile and contain high-quality content. However, we have recently noticed there are a few important features that many eCommerce stores are NOT implementing yet are just as important! The following features are simple to apply, will add more value to your business and basically come down to knowing your customer inside and out.

Advanced Payment Options - Shop Now. Enjoy Now. Pay Later

Stats: Mac Makeup customers are spending 14% more on their purchases.
          Black Milk Clothing sales with Afterpay have been 30% higher.

In 2018, most eComm stores offer secure payment options and accept most major credit cards. But does YOUR store offer buy-now-pay-later options such as Afterpay, Openpay and ZipMoney?

These buy-now-pay-later options operate similarly to a lay-by system - customers make regular interest-free installments until the product/service is paid off. The main difference being that they receive the product/service up front!

These buy-now-pay-later payment options not only benefit consumers but also eComm owners like yourself by:

  • Zero fraud or credit risk as these platforms assume all end-customer non-payment risk for every single transaction
  • Converting customers that would have otherwise abandoned cart
  • Increased basket size and repeat purchase rates

A great example of a company who uses a buy-now-pay-later payment option is Culture Kings, one of the first brands in Australia to jump on the Afterpay train. With a younger, fashion-conscious demographic who work part-time and don’t have the resources to buy a lot of clothes in one go, Afterpay was the perfect website addition to increase sales. By allowing their customers to receive their purchases straight away while paying them off incrementally over 4 payments, Culture Kings was able to reach their key demographics with regular repeat purchasers.

Adding Value
Stats: Based on a survey of Millennial and Generation Z shoppers, 63% will not commit to a brand that does not offer loyalty benefits.

In the current discounting economy, consumers expect extra value as a ‘reward’ for purchasing from a particular brand. This could be in the form of free shipping, discounts, and special offers. The truth of the matter is, relying on discounts to make a sale eats into profit margins. This is why it is important to understand your Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) because there is no point offering free express shipping if it works out to be more than your profit margin (but more on this later).

Discounting can also negatively affect the ‘premium’ image of a brand. This is why many large eComm brands are now moving away from offering discounts and free shipping and are instead offering exclusive branded products or loyalty programs that REWARD customers for spending more.

Free Shipping = 20% of CLV
Small exclusive gift = 2% of CLV
Happy customer = Priceless

Some great examples of how companies can offer extra value include:

  • Small ‘freebie’ gifts for people that spend over a certain amount
  • Limited release products to create a feel of exclusivity
  • Loyalty programs that reward regular customers
  • Membership programs that give members access to exclusive content, early access to sales and new product launches

Regular EDM (Electronic Direct Mail)
Stats: The Return on Investment (ROI) of email marketing is 3,800% (Direct Marketing Association).
          Cart abandon email reminders have a 40% open rate and a 20% click-through rate.

With the rise of social media and search engine marketing, the power of email marketing is often forgotten. However, creating an effective EDM strategy is much more than uploading an email list and sending them a generic ‘sales’ email. Some great ideas for email content include:

  • Newsletters that provide your audience with new products, blog articles and new exclusive offers
  • Special occasion emails for birthdays, holidays, and other personal events
  • Abandoned cart reminders to encourage customers to complete a purchase
  • Reward loyal customers with exclusive discountsRe-engage customers who have not purchased in a while
  • Generate feedback testimonials from happy customers
  • Re-market to customers that have taken a certain action (eg. Customer clicks on ‘Women’s fashion’ and then receives a ‘Women’s New Arrivals’ email.)

Setting up an effective automated email campaign with user-friendly platforms such as Autopilot or Mailchimp is an easy way to drive traffic and sales AND build relationships with current and potential customers.

Utilizing Search / Related Items
Stats: 59% of web visitors frequently use the internal search option on a website

If you’ve ever been to an online store and struggled to find the ‘search’ option, you’ll know how frustrating it is.  The search option is not only an essential tool for navigating a site, it also presents a great opportunity to create a good experience for visitors and increases the likelihood of conversion!  This is because people who use the search function already know what they are looking for and are therefore in the late stage of buying mode.

Having a good internal search function not only keeps people from searching on Google (where your competitors are), it also provides an opportunity to suggest similar or related products if your store doesn’t stock the product that was searched for. A good example of this is Culture Kings (again!) - although they don’t stock Yeezys when you search for ‘Yeezy’ on their site you are shown a selection other similar Adidas sneakers.

A good way to see if your search is working is to put yourself in your customer’s shoes and go through the internal search process on your site.

Good Returns / Shipping Policy
Stats: 91% of people consider a store’s return policy was important when making a purchase decision

And finally, there is nothing worse than getting to the end of the customer journey, only to find out that there are hidden shipping fees or that it costs nearly as much to return the product as it did to buy it.  

This again comes down to understanding your customer lifetime value and whether you decide to implement a free shipping, flat rate shipping or variable shipping strategy. Companies such as ASOS employ a combination of these strategies whereby if you spend over $40 you receive free standard shipping or if you are a premier customer you get free express shipping. They also provide a reusable postage bag so if customers want to return an item they just have to drop their unwanted items at the Post Office at no extra cost.

If you need anymore insights on how to take your eCommerce store to the next level - book in for your free 45 minute strategy today!

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