There’s never a shortage of tips and advice – e-commerce hacks – on improving e-commerce sales. And while some are indeed valuable, others are just outdated suggestions that produce little to no results. And with every year introducing a new wave of marketing trends and technological advances, it becomes obvious how adaptability plays a crucial role in keeping businesses afloat.
In this post, we’re offering the latest emerging trends within the field of e-commerce that every forward-thinking marketer should be aware of.
1. Create and identify your ideal buyer persona.
A buyer persona lets you create a marketing strategy that resonates more with your target customer, as opposed to generic marketing tactics that can hit or miss.
The beauty of creating these personas is that you end up with a better understanding of what customers need. From there, it becomes easier to create a uniformed language pattern or identify communication channels to reach your ideal audience.
Tips on creating buyer personas:
- Try using avatar generators like Avatar Maker to create a visual representation of different buyer personas. You can create as many personas as your business needs.
- Try surveying existing customers and find out the following information:
- Demographic – such as age, gender, and location.
- Pain points – find out what challenges they’re facing related to your business.
- Preferences – get to know their interests or find out what they would have liked improved on your e-commerce website.
2. Use ‘knolling’ for more visual appeal.
Many e-commerce websites now put the spotlight on high-quality photography to catch an audience’s attention. This isn’t surprising considering how people are largely affected by visual stimuli. Most Facebook product advertising focuses on highlighting images to increase click-through-rate.
One popular approach used in the fashion industry that is used in e-commerce businesses is a product photography technique called ‘knolling.’
As Creative Market describes it, knolling is arranging products at 90-degree angles from each other and taking the shots from overhead, creating a symmetrical effect that’s visually appealing.
3. Adapt minimalism in menu navigation.
There are generally two schools of thought in website design: less is more, and more is more.
But the more is more mantra is going out of style, as customers feel too overwhelmed with the plethora of options. Instead, try to keep your product categories as narrowly structured as possible. Don’t over-clutter your menu. Try to provide higher-level categories that gradually introduces the lower-level classifications.
If you own a small e-commerce store, your best bet to offer a clutter-free navigation menu may be to choose from a selection of free WordPress blog themes that focuses on minimalist design.
4. Optimize for mobile users.
If you aren’t already aware, mobile shopping is predicted to be the future of e-commerce. But this prediction isn’t anything new. It’s been a trending topic since way back in 2014.
Just consider the following statistics:
- 52.2% of all global online traffic comes from mobile phones. (Source: Statista)
- In the US, smartphone and tablet users account for 57% of all online traffic. (Source: BrightEdge)
- 69% of users admit they’re more likely to buy from businesses with better mobile experience for addressing their questions and concerns (Source: BrightEdge)
5. Promote brand stories and not just products.
Storytelling is another of our favorite e-commerce hacks. Depending on the type of e-commerce site you own, it may work to your advantage to create an engaging story that increases the emotional appeal of your brand.
The effectiveness of this approach lies in how well you can evoke emotions that can potentially create advocates for your business. The values or ethical principles upheld by your company is likely to attract like-minded customers who are happy to share your products with friends and family.
6. Invest in cybersecurity.
One of the common types of cybercrime is payment fraud. And considering how most smaller e-commerce websites can have multiple vulnerable areas, investing in cybersecurity is more important than ever.
Outside of financial implications, a breach in network and data can be damaging to your brand’s reputation. This can quickly lead to the abandonment of loyal customers who fear some form of compromise.
Examples of cybersecurity threats for e-commerce websites:
- Data phishing — phishing attacks target login credentials and credit card information, usually from social engineering, which deceives users through email, text, or instant messaging.
(Example of a phishing email which is typically marked as spam.)
- Price manipulation — this isn’t something most e-commerce store owners know, but it is possible for an intruder to install lower prices into URLs and get away with the data.
- Malicious code threats — this includes everything from viruses that can corrupt files to trojan horses that attack users’ devices after convincing them to download something from the site.
- Ransomware — imagine having your computer locked by a cyber attacker who won’t release your device until you’ve paid a set amount of cash. If you’re not careful setting up cybersecurity for your website, this may become a problem for your customers, which is guaranteed to hurt your reputation almost irreparably.
Running an e-commerce website is already a challenging feat. But it’s undoubtedly a venture that can reap huge profits if managed well. And equipped with the six tips shared above, any modern e-commerce store owner should have no trouble seeing a significant boost in sales, while at the same time increasing brand awareness.
What is important to remember is to consider the nature of your e-commerce store, see how it differs from the rest, and test out the different e-commerce hacks to see which works best for your specific business. After all, no business is ever the same, and that includes in the field of e-commerce.