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In a Covid-19 world, online shopping is on the rise. In Rewind’s Elevating Your Ecommerce Business During the Global Pandemic, it was reported that between March and April 2020 alone, ecommerce sales rose to an average of 65%. As well, transaction volumes were up 74% in March compared to March 2019.
Online shoppers may be buying more online but they aren’t impulsive. 81% of shoppers conduct online research before purchasing a product. What does this mean? Building long-term relationships with consumers is critical to establishing trust with new customers and more importantly, turning them in repeat clients.
Repeat clients are cheaper to bring back and they spend more. According to Invesp, it costs five times as much to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one. An existing customer is 50% more likely to try new products and spend 31% more than a new customer.
So retaining customers and building brand loyalty will not only save money, but can actually increase sales revenue. You don’t need to look far for the power of brand loyalty. BGR reports that 90.5% of current iPhone users plan to stick with Apple the next time they purchase a new phone. Likewise, a total of 86% of Samsung users plan to buy a Samsung as their next smartphone.
So how do you build up brand loyalty and long-term relationships? Communication, communication, communication. An app like Privy, for example, is already helping 500,000 ecommerce brands communicate with their consumer bases through onsite messaging and email marketing.
One of the main things to communicate is whether or not your store is able to fulfil orders at this time. Tell consumers if your store is open, what products are available and what aren’t, and the safety precautions taken while handling orders. Also, communicate whether there will be a delay in shipping the order to them.
Try your best to keep messaging short, sweet, and simple. The average consumer has an eight-second attention span. People don’t want to read long-winded messages right off the bat. Use blogs, newsletters, and email campaigns to share urgent, sensitive, or longer messages. If you’re unable to fulfil orders, explain the challenges you’re facing and your company’s long-term goals. Promoting your company’s brand, values, and challenges will allow you to re-engage with potential consumers when supplies return.
Another way to forge brand loyalty is to promote the brand’s consciousness. What are you doing to create a positive change in society? Are you donating to specific charities? Or planting trees for every item purchased? Are you using recycled and eco-friendly materials for production and shipping?
According to Forbes, 88% of consumers want brands to help them improve their environmental and social footprint. Over one-third of conscious consumers are willing to pay 25% more for sustainable products. Half of digital consumers say that environmental concerns impact their purchasing decisions. The takeaway here; consumers are more likely to buy from brands they feel reflect their social and ethical values.
All these tips are just the start. There are more ways to increase brand loyalty and retain consumers than communicating brand values, challenges, and goals. Learn more about establishing long-lasting consumer relationships in Rewind’s ebook, Elevating Your Ecommerce Business During the Global Pandemic.
It’s a harsh reality. Ecommerce businesses are typically run by small teams. People are wearing two, three, maybe even five hats. And they can tell you there’s not enough time in the day, to cross everything off an infinite “to-do” list. f However hiring more people to ease the burden, is often a dream in this harsh reality. So here is an underused solution. Take advantage of the resources and apps that exist to automate the repetitive tasks and busy work. Even a few minutes here and there, can save a huge amount of time. Here are the chores your team shouldn’t be doing manually:
1. Syncing your catalogs across sales platforms.
When you sell on Amazon, Shopify, and Facebook (or others), manually loading your catalogs into each system is not only a time-suck, it means your inventory on most of your platforms will never be reconciled in real time. Instead, use one of the many apps out there to sync your inventory between one or all of the available platforms:
- Bytestand syncs Shopify and BigCommerce stores with their Amazon stores.
- Adyogi can sync all the major eCommerce platforms like Magento and Shopify with Google to make run ads easily.
- Accounthook syncs Shopify stores with Facebook.
2. Emailing when an order has been delayed
Shipping delays are universally disliked and generally will cost you a customer. Companies have typically had to either hand-audit shipments to see what’s been delayed and then reach out with an apology or simply deal with it when the customer brings the complaint to them. There are plenty of ways to audit your shipments digitally, but also skip having a human send out an apology when an order is delayed. Depending on your tech stack, if your order tracking system is integrated with your marketing automation system, you can both monitor shipments and send an email from a workflow within your marketing automation tool. If not, Shopify stores can use a general automation app, Mesa, to set up a workflow that audits shipments for delays and triggers an email when a delay is found.
3. Reordering when an order isn’t delivered in time.
Shipping perishable goods has become quite common these days. Unfortunately, it’s not terribly uncommon for even minor shipping delays to cause products to go bad. Again, learning about this issue either requires customers to volunteer information about their poor experience or having someone regularly comb through your shipped orders. There are a few ways you can automate this customer service task, depending on the tech you have. Some tracking systems can be set up to flag orders when they’ve been in transit for a certain amount of time. You can then have someone go through and manually reorder these shipments and send an apology. Shopify stores can completely automate the process by, again, using Mesa to monitor shipments, trigger an apology email in your preferred system, and then re-order the item(s).
4. Running retargeting ads.
Retargeting ads have a crazy good return-on-investment (ROI); often 200+%., But they can be quite the time suck between building the audience and then creating a dynamic product ad (which also requires your catalogues to be synced). There are more than a few systems that can automate your retargeting ads, so you can rake in the ROI with very little effort. A few options include Shoelace, Rontar, and AdScale.
Shipping multiple consecutive orders from the same person in one package.
Ever have a customer place an order and then three hours later place another order? This is fairly common if you offer free shipping with no limit or have an excellent post-sale upsell experience. Most companies, including large ones (looking at you, Sephora), then ship out two packages to the customer, wasting shipping and packaging costs and adding more trash into the world. There’s a better alternative, though: have a system flag multiple unfulfilled orders from the same customer. Some fulfillment systems, like ShipMonk, can even auto-merge such orders. Take Your Time Back These five tasks can end up saving your team a huge amount of time and money. With all the technology available these days, it’s not just big companies who can afford to automate busy work.
It can happen to anyone. One minute you’re transferring data on your ecommerce site, and the next moment all your product images are gone. In fact, according to the 2020 Data Protection Survey Report, 25% of respondents have lost essential data at some point. Out of those respondents, eight percent never recovered from this loss.
Online stores have a lot of valuable data and content that can be lost. From the survey, a total of 23.25% of respondents lost products and images. The visual experience is the driving force behind an ecommerce store. So it’s little wonder that 94% of businesses surveyed believe products and images are the most critical aspects of a store. One respondent said, “Products would end up missing from the website, which would hamper sales, and also create huge manual workaround.”
If a customer cannot see a product, they probably won’t buy it. According to Shopify, 33.16% of consumers want to see multiple photos of a product, and around 60% want to have a 360º view of it.
Working our way down the above graph, 8.12% of respondents had lost orders and 5.90% had lost customer information. A total of 88% of those surveyed said customers and orders are the most critical pieces of data to protect. It makes sense. Losing orders and customers negatively impacts sales.
In particular, one surveyed company said, “Depending on what data is lost, e.g. order data would mean direct loss of sales, other data loss could create unforeseen work and maybe loss of sales and customers.”
Pages (81%), themes (77%), and menu navigation (76%) are the next three main components the survey respondents believe are the most critical to protect. Of those surveyed, 7.01% lost pages, 6.64% lost themes, and 4.08% lost menu navigation. All of these components are integral for the user experience of the site. If customers cannot fully navigate a site, they will not be able to see and buy products. Around 91% of respondents said that losing data would result in time and labour being wasted on rebuilding the website.
“If we were to lose products, there would be revenue loss. If we lost theme files, our site would be broken and would lead to a significant loss of revenue. If we lost menu navigation, our customers would not be able to find our products efficiently and there would also be revenue loss,” – response from When The Store Goes Down: 2020 Data Protection Survey
There are many ways data can be compromised or deleted from an ecommerce store. It can be as innocuous as entering a snippet of broken code in a routine update. That’s what happened to Crossrope. When the store’s theme was being updated, the update prevented customers from adding products to their cart. While Crossrope had a theme backup they could turn to, it was a month outdated. All theme updates since that backup had been lost. The entire restoration process took 24 hours, and it cost the company sales opportunities.
What Crossrope didn’t know at the time was that their platform, BigCommerce, didn’t have a recent backup of their store. Ecommerce companies like BigCommerce and Shopify aren’t responsible for backing up individual account data. That’s the responsibility of the merchant. Around 70% of respondents to the 2020 Data Protection Survey Report are small businesses with under five employees. Ecommerce drives between 76% to 100% of their sales. With such small teams, companies often don’t have the resources to spend countless hours restoring lost data.
To find out more about the most commonly lost store sections, and other online risks ecommerce businesses face, the full 2020 Data Protection Survey Report can be downloaded for free.
“I feel much more confident building our online store knowing that if I mess up, we’re good. We’ve got that backup.”
Julia Friesen, Ecommerce Product Manager, Knix
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