One thing I have learned from successful ecommerce site owners is that no one gets success overnight and no one fails overnight. My profession has blessed me with many opportunities to surround myself and learn from a lot of successful ecommerce site owners. While their methods to run a business may vary, there are 7 unique habits that I feel are common among successful ecommerce site owners.
These 7 Popular Habits are that successful ecommerce site owners:
- Maintain Marketing Calendar
- Obsessed with customer experience and customer retention
- Build Brand Name through Storytelling
- Are Passionate about Metrics
- Love to Experiment and Test
- Seek Customer feedback
- Create value for customers
Let’s jump in and get going!
1. Maintain Marketing Calendar
eCommerce store owners closely guard and religiously follow their marketing calendar. Marketing calendars help them to keep up with the necessary marketing campaigns throughout the year with the intention to make strategically projected profits.
As an eCommerce store would you like to miss an opportunity to promote your products during the Black Friday sale, Diwali sale, and other annual events? I’m sure your answer is a big NO.
Marketing calendars help ecommerce store owners keep up with the essential marketing campaigns. This calendar contains a variety of sales, promotions, timelines, and busy seasons.
To make it simpler let me share the list of benefits of having a marketing calendar:
- It helps you set business goals and stay on track with annual marketing.
- It allows you to compare year-on-year performances and results of your ecommerce store to create better benchmarks for the future.
- It keeps you updated about the upcoming events in advance so that you are not always running to meet a deadline.
- It provides step-by-step guidelines that your employees can follow and implement.
- If you have a lot of products in your ecommerce store, a marketing calendar helps you to organize, outline, and schedule them for marketing at the right time.
- If targeted properly, a marketing calendar can lead to some big profit campaigns.
2. Obsessed with customer experience and customer retention:
Give customers a great experience and they will buy more!!
Providing an excellent eCommerce customer experience is a necessity these days. Successful ecommerce store owners know that customer experience can bring more value to your business than branding. Research from PwC states that 73% of all online buyers point to customer experience as an important factor in their purchasing decisions.
A great customer experience can turn your casual website visitors into loyal customers that spread the good word about your ecommerce business. According to HBR, increasing the customer retention rate by 5% increases profits by at least 25%.
Unlike physical store owners, ecommerce store owners cannot directly interact with their customers. So they need to make sure that their ecommerce web development company designs a website with a seamless experience.
Here are a few things an ecommerce store must have to create a lasting impression that can retain customers for a long time:
- A fast website: A study by Portent states that a load time of 0-4 second is best for conversion rates. Conversion rates drop by an average of 4.42% with each additional second.
- A good-looking and user-friendly website: A study by Invespcro shows improving website navigation and looks increases conversion rate by 18.5%.
- A secure and seamless checkout process: A secure payment gateway and hassle-free checkout process are must-haves, considering the fact that the average cart abandonment rate is 69.82%.
- A no-hassle return policy: UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper, a 2016 study showed that 51% of customers prefer eCommerce stores with a hassle-free returns policy.
- A fast, easy-to-access, and Omni-channel customer support: As per the Microsoft State Of Global Customer Service Report, 48% of consumers expect customer service to respond within 24 hours and 56% of consumers stopped shopping due to poor customer service.
- And many other things.
In other words, an ecommerce owner should ensure that he or she is teamed up with competent ecommerce development services and customer support staff that provide quality and are equivalently passionate to provide each customer the best shopping experience.
3. Build Brand Name through Storytelling:
Storytelling has become the ecommerce owner’s weapon of choice to build a brand name. Why I say this is because humans love stories. Stories inspire and can influence the way customers interact and perceive a brand.
In real life, we tell stories and give examples to convince each other. The same work approach works in the advertisement world. Why does it work because stories build strong relationships and can influence emotionally. One study found that 63% of customers remembered the sales pitch that had a story attached to it.
The biggest example of storytelling is Nike’s ‘Just Do It ‘campaign. Given below is Nike’s first dedicated women’s campaign that appeared in 1991 and linked women playing sports as its story-line.
Another example of storytelling is Stavanger foto, a Norwegian retailer of photo equipment. Since 2015 they have sent Christmas cards using creative employee photos. You can read the story about the photo behind each card. Check out their photo below and I’m pretty sure you won’t forget it easily.
4. Passionate about Metrics:
Top ecommerce site owners can harness metrics to make informed decisions. This does not mean that you start using every metric at your disposal. The key is to find the metrics that bring in the biggest impact on your ecommerce website.
Once you know your metrics, they will tell you everything you need to know about your ecommerce store’s performance, from the number of sales (daily, weekly, or monthly), to the average value of all items bought at any given time.
To make it simple for you, here is a list of the 10 most important ecommerce metrics you must track and optimize to skyrocket your ecommerce site:
- Cost per acquisition (CPA): It measures the aggregate cost to acquire one paying customer on a campaign or channel level.
- Average sales (on a daily and monthly basis): It is the average number of products that are sold each day, calculated by dividing the total number that was sold in a particular period by the number of days in that period.
- Average order value (AOV): It is the average money customers spend when they purchase from your website.
- Sales Conversion rate: It is the number of conversions divided by the total number of visitors. It measures the effectiveness of your sales team at converting leads into new customers.
- Refund Rate: It is calculated as the percentage of the total transactions that were refunded during a period of time.
- Shopping cart abandonment rate: It is the percentage of online customers who add items to an ecommerce shopping cart but abandon it before completing the purchase. It indicates the rate of interested potential customers who leave without buying anything compared to the total number of shopping carts created.
- Website Traffic: It refers to the count of web users who visit a website. Web traffic is measured in terms of visits, sometimes called “sessions,” and is a common way to measure an ecommerce store’s effectiveness at attracting an audience.
- Customer lifetime value (CLV): It is the total amount of money a customer is expected to spend in your business, or on your products, during their lifetime
- The Repeat purchase rate: It is the proportion of customers that have shopped more than once with your company
Revenue per visitor (RPV): It is a measurement of the amount of money generated each time a customer visits your ecommerce website.
5. Love to Experiment:
Websites are highly contextual and finding the pulse of your customer is the name of the game. All successful ecommerce site owners are a perfectionist from time to time they test different parts of their website to improve conversions and generate more sales.
“You’ve got to experiment to figure out what works.”– Andrew Weil
Make sure that your ecommerce web development company or your in-house web development team is always in experimentation mode to improve the website and find what attracts your customer.
One of the best ways to improve your website is A/B Testing or split testing. It is a test to compare 2 or more versions of a webpage to see which version makes more profit. This testing can include many things like:
- Different templates of a product web page to find which one has more acceptance.
- Wide range of prices to see which brings the most profit.
- Different templates of the category web page to find which one is user-friendly.
- Different templates of the checkout page to see which one is seamless for the customer and has more conversion rate.
- Different kinds of home page setup and so on.
Besides this, you can experiment with things like Up-selling, before and after-sale marketing, testimonials, Social sharing buttons, alternate support options, and so on, depending upon the needs of your customer. Remember it is like research and development to improve your business.
The result of all these experiments can be monitored and presented to you by your eCommerce development services or your in-house web development team using tools like Google Analytics, Sales reports, customer reviews, etc.
6. Seek Customer feedback:
Seasoned ecommerce store owners know the importance of customer feedback. For them, it is a guiding resource for the growth of their company. Be it good or bad, feedback makes it easier to adjust and adapt to the customer needs and over a period of time, it benefits the company.
Customer feedback gives us an insight into what is going through our customer mind. When we match customer feedback data, we get a much clearer picture of what is going on.
Customer feedback data allows us to judge our own business from the customer’s perspective. This not only helps us fix problems but also identifies good practices that your organization can adapt to win customer loyalty and make profits.
There are many ways one can get customer feedback. Given below are the 5 best ways we feel are good to get consistent and high-quality customer feedback:
- Reach out directly
- Feedback boxes
- Usability Tests
- User activity
Remember not to overdo anything while creating a survey for your customers. Just follow a few simple best practices given below to ensure that your customer shares proper feedback.
- Ask only those questions that are relevant to your goals.
- Create consistent rating scales.
- Ask thoughtful and open-ended questions.
- Avoid leading or loaded questions.
7. Create value for customers:
Here is a Secret!! An experienced ecommerce owner is always obsessed with making customers’ lives better. Do you know why?? Because the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60%-70% when compared to the new ones which are only 5%-20%.
A business can achieve a much higher ROI by focusing more on increasing customer lifetime value (CLV) than acquiring new customers. This does not mean that one should forget about new customer acquisitions that are also important.
If valued properly a business can win the loyalty of an existing customer. This not only helps the business earn more but also converts the customer into a brand promotor.
The benefits of creating and measuring customer value include:
- It Increases your marketing ROI because you do not have to spend on acquisition.
- It allows you to create better sales forecasts and plan ahead of time.
- It keeps you alert regarding product acceptance and customer satisfaction.
Here are some proven ways to inspire your customers and add value to their lives:
- Offer A Memorable Customer Experience: 43% of consumers are ready to pay more for a product or service if it offers a better experience.
- Create A Customer Loyalty Program: Offering discounts, Point programs, Tiered programs, Paid programs, and Partner programs are a great way to keep providing value to your customer and keep them engaged with your ecommerce site.
- Engage Customer With Email Marketing: The ROI for email marketing can reach as high as 4400%. Customers love to receive engaging emails, especially the ones that include discounts and offers.
- Well thought Upselling: To add value to the customers’ recent purchase, carefully promote different products and accessories that complement the recent purchase. Remember do not overdo upselling it can backfire.
As I said in the beginning, no one gets success overnight and no one fails overnight. My objective in sharing my experience is to help you understand the best practices followed by successful ecommerce Site Owners. Incorporating these seven time-tested and highly effective habits will help you grow your eCommerce business to the next level.