Competition for eyeballs, clicks, traffic, customer capture and ultimately the sale is endless and forever shifting. Beyond the structure of a site in terms of the shop front and product display, there is a daily habit to indulge. In this blog, we offer our top 10 e-commerce hacks to beat the competition.
Check out the competition to see what deals they are running? How they might have restructured a page to enhance the sales funnel? Find the new products and services they might be pushing. What new partnerships and relationships have they started? This constant checking, refining and improving process keeps you informed, present and alive to the challenge.
So how can you be the one all the competition is checking on? Here are our top 10 e-commerce hacks to beat the competition.
Make a fuss over your best customers, they are the key to your community and the ones who will shout about independently.
Top 10 e-commerce hacks to beat the competition
- Keywords. When people search for products and services, they are using words which activate certain results initially. Hopefully to help discover your website. Other keywords will activate other parts of your site’s content, focusing on a different part of the sales funnel. This is customer acquisition and sale, so it’s best to focus on keywords that are driving these sales. ‘Sale’, ‘comparing price’, ‘premium’, ‘the best place to buy in this area’.
- Study the competition. Search them and see why they rank higher in search than you do. Look at them from a chronological perspective. There will be companies much further ahead in the business cycle, say one year, and companies only three months ahead, so you should set some targets based on that.
- Retain visitors. It is widely known that a large percentage of visitors are one-time visitors who rarely revisit if at all. So find sticky ways to keep them or their info (one-off offers, newsletter sign-up), or use some clever tracking tech to follow and remind them.
- Risky content. Newspapers do it but the key to placing content that might be considered a risk is to make it authentic and of value.
- Video. This is the most popular form of consumed content, but it has to be good or unique or funny, ideally all three. And not too long.
- Giveaways. The most obvious form of providing perceived value is to give something of value away and get everyone interested. Obtaining their details is your win, a way to build a database and have longer-term opportunities to sell other products.
- Community growth. Building data to send newsletters and offers is all part of building a community. More often than not this community will drive itself with the right incentive. Giving people reasons to refer others to your service or products, i.e. in return for heavily discounted or even free goods, will drive action and sign-ups.
- Simplifying check out. Having a lengthy form-filling experience while you are trying to quickly purchase a product from an online store ends up with two results. Either the sale goes south completely, or the sales happen but that customer will be unlikely to return. Have as few boxes to fill as possible. Keep the questions to a minimum and follow up with confirmation emails quickly and efficiently.
- Best customers. Make a fuss over your best customers, they are the key to your community and the ones who will shout about independently. Send them some surprise messages and offers periodically or something really special.
- Personalise the experience. This may not always be possible. But when it is, through newsletters, for example, make sure you tailor the content as much as possible. They may not react straight away but after several regular hits of this, they will bring your store into their habitual way of shopping.
Of course, there are more than these top 10 e-commerce hacks to beat the competition, but they’re a guide to getting started.