The world of ecommerce is growing at about 15 percent per year, but only makes up about 15 percent of all retail in the United States. That means there’s a long runway for ecommerce to become even bigger than it is now. Despite these numbers, entering the ecommerce game isn’t a free pass to making money. Here’s what competitive ecommerce companies are doing differently than the rest.
A lot of people have heard the term “niche” thrown around when talking about ecommerce. But based on how many online stores out there try to sell a random assortment of items, it’s clear not everyone takes this concept seriously.
Understanding and developing a niche is undoubtedly one of the most important parts of creating a successful ecommerce store. Going head-to-head against ecommerce giants like Amazon or Walmart is not the way to win. So, you need to try a different approach.
Developing a niche is all about finding a certain line of products that appeals to a targeted group of people and leaning into that will all your resources. The best ecommerce store owners will have some underlying passion and knowledge about their exact niche, too.
They Flawlessly Brand
Consider your niche the foundation of your ecommerce store. Your products are the things on the digital shelves. And the façade—what draws people in—is all about branding.
Building a successful brand is particularly important for ecommerce companies because there’s a high level of competition, and there’s often no physical space to introduce people to your products.
Branding begins with understanding your ideal customer profiles. These are the theoretical people who are most likely to shop at your online store. Create your brand around what these people value, and you’ll be more likely to attract and retain them as customers.
They Take Data Seriously
Data isn’t just something you look at when you want to pat yourself on the back after selling a lot of goods. Analytics is the lifeblood of any successful ecommerce venture. One way ecommerce analytics optimizes business outcomes is by helping decision makers closely track key performance indicators (KPIs), or those metrics most indicative of how you’re doing at a glance.
But ecommerce has some different uses for analytics than brick-and-mortar outfits. This is due to the fact their enterprise is primarily run through a website and social media. It’s essential to understand what’s driving people through the sales funnel to conversions, what’s leading to higher checkout rates, and how to retarget people who abandon their carts.
Real-time analytics can also be highly useful to ecommerce businesses since values can be reflected in data as users interact with the site and purchase goods. Using a platform such as ThoughtSpot to run search- and artificial intelligence-driven analytics can help ecommerce businesses gain that competitive edge.
They Consider Customer Experience
A business is nothing without loyal customers to purchase its products. Ecommerce businesses need to find ways to make customers want to come back and buy from them again. This means designing with the customer experience in mind.
Usability is one of the most essential aspects to customer experience. People should be able to easily navigate your site and find the things they’re looking for. Without a seamless interface, people will get frustrated and shop on a different site.
Customers also expect increasingly personalized experiences at every turn. This means ecommerce retailers need ways to deliver tailored service based on individual customers’ wants, needs and behaviors.
They Find Ways to Engage and Retain Customers
Boosting customer engagement means motivating people to come back to your store time and time again. It’s no secret that high customer acquisition cost is one of the biggest issues faced by online retailers. This is why it’s essential to create loyal customers by engaging with them through email, social media, and other channels.
It’s also wise to find ways to show appreciation to the people who shop with you the most. This can come in the form of perks for repeat customers, early bird sales, and a loyalty program. Whatever the route, successful ecommerce companies know it’s crucial to satisfy their top buyers in these ways.
Ecommerce is a growing industry. But that doesn’t mean success is a guarantee. It’s essential to know the things that make a great ecommerce business—and implement them—to compete.