This is a guest post from our partner, Ve Interactive:
Last year, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported that in Q1, a notoriously slow time for retailers, online retail sales grew 14.5 percent. Clearly the eCommerce industry is still on a tremendous growth path; however, even a booming industry still experiences its own unique pain points. To help you avoid these potential potholes, we have put together a list of common eCommerce challenges and solutions to help you increase your conversions.
What are the eCommerce Challenges?
1. Lack of Quality Traffic
Say what you will about display advertising, but there’s a reason advertisers spent $545 billion on paid media in 2014. It works – when done right. By optimizing campaigns, you can generate quality traffic – and yes, conversions.
Display advertising done right will feed your sales funnel, but only when display ads to the right users at the right time. That’s why it’s important to target users who are most likely to buy. Audience segmentation allows you to display hyper-targeted ads to the most qualified eyes.
2. High Bounce Rate
After all the work that goes into driving quality traffic to your site, does it seem like they leave within the first seconds of arriving on your site? That’s not surprising. Half of the users driven to your site will bounce without looking at more than your landing page.
Engage these users with tools designed to assist in finding products they are looking for. Make it an intuitive process by giving the same search options as Google – recommending other products/offerings and refining search terms – directly on your landing page. The faster they can find what they’re looking for, the less time they have to change their minds.
3. Cart Abandonment
Business Insider reports that $4 trillion worth of merchandise will be abandoned in online shopping carts this year. Every eCommerce site is different, and there are endless reasons why people abandon their carts. While you have little control over things like your customer’s Internet connection or the fact that their mom called right before they pressed the checkout button, there are many onsite things that you can control to avoid these eCommerce challenges.
If a user does attempt to abandon your site before purchasing, connect with that visitor in real-time by engaging them with targeted messaging. Remind them of what they are interested in, and why they were on your site in the first place. Build loyalty by offering incentives to potential customers who are right at the conversion finish line. You can also give customers the option to save their current cart and have it sent to their inbox. The customer experience is evolving as users are now treating shopping carts as wish lists. They may be looking to buy, just not right now.
4. Slow Site Performance
It’ll come as no surprise that eCommerce sites experience an ebb and flow of traffic throughout the year. While it’s great to know that customers are flocking to your site, you must be prepared for this influx of visitors and avoid losing customers due to technical issues.
Invest in a larger server or cloud hosting service to help you better deal with spikes in traffic. In the most extreme of occasions, you can allow the maximum number of customers onto your site that allow it to function properly. The other traffic is then blocked so customers browsing your site already will enjoy a positive experience while the others are aware they must wait.
5. Cutthroat Competitive Offers
Competition for online customers is tough – especially when it seems like every site offers free shipping. It’s a delicate balance between matching the best offers on the market without cannibalizing your profits.
Mirror existing incentives when engaging your customers. Get creative and present what you already offer in new ways, whether it’s through a banner ad or an email campaign. Do you already offer free, expedited shipping on orders over fifty dollars? Include that as a special offer in your remarketing emails.
As you can see, no part of the customer journey is immune to pain points. By taking time to address your eCommerce challenges, from targeting a customer with a relevant display advertising to optimizing the payment process, you can stand out even further from your competitors and increase your conversions.
Want more tips? Register for Ve Interactive’s webinar, Making a Date with Your Data, on Wed, Feb 10 at 1p.m. EST. With a Valentine’s Day twist, we’ll discuss ways you can strengthen your relationship with your data to better connect with customers and increase conversions.
About Ve Interactive
Ve is a multi award-winning technology company offering a suite of apps across one platform, which help online businesses successfully drive new traffic, reduce bounce rate, increase customer engagement and minimize website abandonment. The company supports over 10,000 domestic and multi-national online businesses and retailers in the delivery of real-time marketing communications at key points within their customers’ journeys. Tracking billions of transactions daily, Ve’s comprehensive data set provides unparalleled insights into customer activity, while driving each app to deliver highly-targeted content to customers based on their purchasing activity and profile. Founded in 2009, Ve works across 26 languages and within 47 territories. Headquartered in London, the company has 34 offices worldwide. Ve North America, established in 2011, has headquarters in Boston and offices located in New York City, Santa Barbara Toronto, and Tempe, Arizona. www.veinteractive.com