Getting the Most Out of Your Q4 Ecommerce Strategy
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In the past, merchants who manage both brick-and-mortar and online stores have often looked at their businesses as separate siloed operations, each serving customers who prefer one channel over the other. Today, shoppers increasingly expect a seamless experience, using whichever channel is the most convenient.
Increasingly, customers mingle their online and offline shopping. The recent report Shopper First Retailing by Publicis. Sapient found some 71% of shoppers now use their mobile devices while they are in stores – up from 62% in 2017.
It makes sense that companies with extremely strong omnichannel customer engagement retain more of their customers. Make sure your shopping experiences support each other by integrating these features:
The Shopper First Retailing report found 87% of shoppers begin their hunt on digital channels, up from 71% a year ago. For many items, the shopping experience begins with customers gathering information about a product before looking at specific pricing. That’s easy online, but sometimes trickier on shop floors.
Nothing is more irritating to a shopper than making a choice and finding out the product isn’t available. Transparency is key. Let them see what’s available and where.
Customer acquisition is expensive, so you want to do everything you can to encourage customers to buy from you again, both in store and online. Shopper First Retailing compared how shoppers first bought an item – and how they made repeat orders. When it comes to an initial purchase, customers are more likely to buy in retail stores than online marketplaces – by 50% to 34%. But for repeat purchases of the same item, the number switches from 31% for retail to 47% for online. How can you make it easy for customers to buy from you online – or pick up a repeat purchase in the store?
A flexible return policy positively shouts Good Customer Service Spoken Here. For omnichannel retailers, it means letting customers get the product back to you in the method most convenient for them – regardless of how they made the initial purchase.
Customers don’t like discontinuity and confusion. Running different price promotions online and in the stores encourages them to comparison shop with competitors.
Registries aren’t just for brides these days. Let customers set up wish lists for any occasion – new baby, graduation, special birthday, anniversary, new home, or holiday.
Looking for guidance on creating your perfect online store? Contact a Miva Solutions Architect today.
Elisa Williams is a journalist and communications strategist who combines storytelling with solid research and analysis. A contributing author to the Miva Blog, Elisa has written for a wide array of consumer, business and technology publications, including Newsweek, Real Simple, Computer Life and Inc. Her marketing and content development work includes supporting technology companies that specialize in ecommerce, financial services and big data.
Miva offers a flexible and adaptable ecommerce platform that evolves with businesses and allows them to drive sales, maximize average order value, cut overhead costs, and increase revenue. Miva has been helping businesses realize their ecommerce potential for over 20 years and empowering retail, wholesale, and direct-to-consumer sellers across all industries to transform their business through ecommerce.