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Tips for tackling ecommerce in 2017

Over the course of last year, ecommerce was worth £133 billion to the UK economy – a 16% year-on-year rise that was due in part to a 47% jump in the number of transactions carried out via smartphone. 

With experts predicting ecommerce sales will jump by another 14% this year, failure to make the most of your online and mobile sales channels soon could see you missing out on a hefty slice of potential profit. With that in mind, we asked Jigsaw24’s ecommerce manager, Craig, to share some of his top tips.

Optimise your website for mobile use

“Last December saw a 47% year-on-year increase in the number of people doing their Christmas shopping on their smartphone, so having a responsive website that can recognise when a user is on their phone and present them with a mobile-friendly view is important. Nobody wants to have to click on extra links to be taken to the right version of the site, or be prompted to click out of their browser to download your app, which won’t have their browsing history in. Similarly, you need to make sure that any email comms you send out are optimised for mobile viewing in order to ensure maximum engagement.”

A/B test your checkout pages

“People are quick to A/B test subject lines, landing pages and content on their outbound comms, but often overlook their checkout pages. If you’re seeing a lot of dropped baskets (ie customers who start the purchasing process, but leave your site without confirming a purchase), try A/B testing the pages they encounter along the way to see which one is tripping people up.”

Get your logistics team on board

“The key to getting good word of mouth online, as in life, is to consistently deliver what you’ve promised. Yes, it feels good to write ‘free next day delivery’ in large letters on your checkout page, but if you can’t actually do it, all you’re going to do is disappoint people and lose repeat custom. Before launching a new offer or pushing a particular capability, put your heads together with your logistics crew and work out what’s feasible. By a similar token, you’ll need to brief your salespeople when you launch online or social-only offers, so that they don’t muddy the water or offer conflicting pricing.”

Know when to automate and when to personalise

“People are talking a lot about personalisation at the moment because, as we’ve previously reported, it can lead to increases in sales of up to 31%. Emails, welcome screens and offers that are directed at a single user can all increase engagement and promote brand loyalty, but while creating that content is worthwhile, it does take a little longer than producing your standard issue content.

“Happily, though, not everything has to be personalised, and you can automate or pre-schedule run rate tasks to save time. One area where this can be particularly effective is in social media. Obviously you need to have a real person keeping an eye on your accounts to respond to queries, follow up complaints and jump in with reactive marketing where appropriate, but a good scheduling tool will let you pre-plan updates ahead of time and automate their delivery and cross-channel sharing. Try scheduling posts for similar audiences at a range of times and measuring the response you get, so you can gauge when in the day it’s best to target those customers.”

 Use the right tools for the job

“The market leader in ecommerce analytics monitoring is obviously Google Analytics, and I recommend anyone looking at their ecommerce performance use it. However, in order to check that your traffic is being monitored correctly, it’s always best to take a look at your site through a second system, too – we like Clicky for this.

“If you want an at a glance overview of how different page elements are performing, heat maps are always good (and go down well in meetings, where no one wants to look at graphs). Hotjar and Crazy Egg are both popular here. I also like Screaming Frog for content audits.”

Not sure what you’re measuring?

If you want to see whether ecommerce platforms are helping your business grow, the KPI you want to be measuring is your cost per customer acquisition (CAC, for all you acronym collectors). This is the total spend on these channels over time, divided by the number of new customers you gain over the same period – ad spend divided by customers is a common shortcut to get to this number, but to get a truly accurate picture you need to factor in time, effort and internal systems costs as well.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that this is a distinct measurement from cost per action (ie how much you have to spend to close a deal), which is your total spend on ecommerce over time divided by the total number of transactions in that period from new and returning customers.

Where does Matrix come into this?

A valid question, given that it’s not a social media engine, or an analytics tool or any of the other things Craig mentioned. What it is, however, is a great way to speed up your core marketing activities so that you’re free to pay closer attention to new channels. As well as speeding up catalogue production for customers like Next, Boden, Christie’s Auction House and Bauer, MatrixCMS also allows you to automate the updating and management of your ecommerce platform, and can even be used to customise channels for different market segments, distributors and suppliers.

You can use it to convert print-ready images and assets into web-ready ones, and to enter data once and use it across all channels in a consistent and efficient way. This will not only enable you to get your products to market faster, but also improve the efficiency of your processes and ultimately reduce costs or increase capacity.

To find out more about MatrixCMS at an online demo, pop your details in the form here.

Want to know more? Call 0161 804 1850 or email info@matrixcms.com. To keep up with all the latest news and blogs, follow us on Twitter @matrixtweets or ‘like’ us on Facebook.

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