Author: Ralph Tkatchuk / Source: Entrepreneur
The growth of the ecommerce industry remains strong. In the U.S., the industry grew by 15.6 percent to $394.86 billion last year, with ecommerce comprising 42 percent of all retail growth. Consumers have also now shifted to mobile. Mobile ecommerce poses another set of challenges to success which leaves online merchants little choice but to continue adapting. Merchants must be able to leverage the new developments in ecommerce technologies in order to secure an advantage.
Ecommerce startups may find themselves in quite an interesting position. On one hand, they can readily implement cutting edge or mobile-first strategies since they don’t have any legacy issues to deal with. On the other, they also need to enhance their infrastructure with these new technologies. Barebones shopping cart sites and apps just don’t quite cut it anymore.
Here are six ways startups can make their stores stand out.
1. Marketing automation
Even with a good catalog of products, ecommerce startups can’t just expect customers to just turn up and buy. Successful ecommerce efforts are always aided by strong marketing efforts. Ecommerce marketing helps to attract and convert customers, upsell and cross-sell, and generate repeat sales.
Due to the volume of customers companies have to reach, doing marketing tasks such as sending newsletters and following up on abandoned carts can be a tedious process. Marketing automation can be used to streamline these tasks. Automation services can be configured to send out customized offers or newsletters via email or as push notifications on mobile. These can even be sent out at an optimal time based on a user’s past behavior so that messages land at the top of their inboxes. Moreover, effective timing can lead to increased email response times. Reminders can also be triggered if customers leave items in the online shopping carts.
2. Advanced analytics
Gone are the days when analytics meant simply tracking a website’s daily visits and how long each visit lasted. For ecommerce, advanced analytics offers means to accurately track each customer’s journey. Trackers can now determine traffic sources and gather data on each click made in the store. These data can be compiled and analyzed in order to generate insights on customer behavior and product and site performance.
Analytics tools can be configured to sync data from multiple sources and trigger actions such as notifications. These can even be integrated with automated marketing services as part of rule-based campaigns. Analytics could also be used to track internal team’s performance to see how quickly orders get fulfilled. Timely decisions and changes can then be made while…
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