Our team of Ecommerce experts outline effective strategies for increasing and optimising your sales!
Every time an internet user lands on your site they leave a wealth of information that you can then use to develop your business. Big Data is a buzzword that has been bandied about for some time now and seems to have a multitude of definitions, in an attempt to clarify, Forbes wrote an article, 12 definitions of Big Data: What's Yours?! We'll break it down to this; the various forms of data collected by your company that can be analysed to help you better understand your customer and give you valuable insight into improving your business. By using Big Data, you can respond to customer expectations effectively, create stronger customer relationships and don't forget that gaining a loyal customer costs 4 to 5 times less than acquiring a new one (Forrester Research).
Which data should you be collecting to improve your profit margins? How can you analyse this data to increase your sales and multiply your customer base? Our experts deliver 3 tips for using Big Data to your advantage and that of your business and clients! Sounds good? Read on . .
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND:
1. Analysing the data you collect automatically from your site enables you to know your clients better and therefore, better meet their needs 2. 73% of clients prefer using sites that personalise their experience, making it more relevant (Digital Trends) 3. Gaining a loyal customer costs 4 to 5 times less than acquiring a new one (Forrester Research) 4. 48% of clients spend more when their buying experience is personalised across different channels (mybuys.com) 5. Email is the best form of marketing to generate traffic (Email Marketing Attitude) : segment your client base to create more targeted mails 6. To increase your profitability, opt for Business Management Software (Sage) that synchronises with your online store
3 tactics for developing sales by getting to know your customer better!
A successful online store needs a good cross-channel strategy to increase sales opportunities whilst maintaining a strong and personalised customer service strategy. 73% of consumers surveyed said they prefer do business with retailers who use personal information to make their shopping experience more relevant according to a Digital Trends study. Eshoppers appreciate the 'personal touch!' People taking part in the survey said they liked to be recognised on sites they'd already visited and receiving offers that were tailored to their tastes, interests and past buys.
A mybuys.com survey showed that 48% of consumers said they would spend more when their shopping experience was personalised across channels. Follow our advice and give yourself the opportunity to turn more of your site visitors into loyal customers.
Using your Estore's Data
The key stats from your dashboard
Which products grab your site visitors attention? Which are the products they actually buy? Take a closer look at your dashboard stats to answer these questions and prioritise your catalogue accordingly.
Head to your Site> Statistics Dashboard tab in your back office and look at your most visited item pages and the items most added to cart.
Often a product is frequently viewed but doesn't make sales. In this instance, you need to ask yourself whether you're competitively priced? If not how can you reduce your margins or find new suppliers? Have you provided enough information in the product description? Pay attention to the little details that may be a deal decider, plenty of good quality photos taken from a variety of angles. Is the item out of stock? Make sure you hide your out of stock items or make it very clear that you are waiting for stock, give an idea of the wait and the chance to pre-order.
One particular product is a high performer? Give this product some extra attention on your site so you can sell even greater numbers! Put it in prime place, highlight it's customer reviews, offer a discount on the product when bought in a bundle or pack to increase your average cart value and introduce your customers your other products.
Philippe Thoër, Oxatis Etailer, Balkit site manager:
"With Actinic’s analytics tools we are able to quickly measure our sales performance and take action if necessary. These statistics enable us to constantly consider new trends, test them and analyse them. Thanks to this feature we were able to quickly notice that one of our products made up a significant portion of our sales and we immediately decided to offer the same product in different colours."
Google Analytics is a vital source of information for discovering more about your clients: geographic location, age, sex, etc. You will also find out which channel has led your visitors to your site; Google, Facebook, price comparison sites, marketplaces or links from other sites.
To make the most of this information ensure that you create a free account with Google then copy and paste le code you're given into the specific field in your back office (Site >Properties by Language).
For more information on stat analysis, read our expert advice: 5 KPIs for boosting your site performance for practical advice on: - increasing your conversion rate - increasing your average cart value - reduce your returns rate - lower your acquisition costs - increase the number of repeat buys
Leverage your cross-channel marketing strategy
Marketplaces and price comparison sites
Thanks to the Actinic SmartFeeds app, you can export your catalogue onto price comparison sites and marketplaces, creating a real opportunity to increase your sales figures
From your back office (Marketing > SmartFeeds > Export Statistics), analyse the profitability of each product and each channel to improve your performance.
"Nearly 10% of our turnover comes from orders placed via Google Shopping and Le Guide. It’s very easy to export our catalogue to a variety of price comparison sites. With the help of the analytical tools in the Actinic back office we’ve been able to identify the most profitable products and create new sales." Frédéric Bonnac, graindecafe.com site manager whose monthly turnover has reached 15,000€.
Email and Newsletters
Email is still the top marketing tool for generating traffic, followed by SMS, according to a study by Email Marketing Attitude.
To get a maximum return on investment from email, segment your customer base using the RFM tool. RFM lets you automatically classify your customers by the following criteria; Recency (when the customer last placed an order), Frequency (the number of purchases made over a certain period) and Monetary value (the total value of purchases made over a certain period).
This data will help you better target your audience and increase the efficiency of your marketing actions. You can offer bespoke deals to specific clients or via specific channels, from the homepage to emails and SMS. To use the RFM tool go to the Marketing tab in your back office.
Create different user categories (Marketing tab) in order to better target your mails. Organising your customer base is essential. You can define the category of user in regard to your customer base, B2B, bargain hunters, low price frequent buyers, regular buyers, etc.
"We send out two, bi-monthly, newsletters to maintain customer engagement: one focuses on B2B, the other B2C. Whichever the target, almost half of our recipients read our messages and click through to our site. This helps us to identify their interests and then send them reminders with suggestions and relevant promotions to trigger sales. Using the RFM tool makes us even more specific in targeting our loyal customers, which has increased our campaign open rate by 20%!" Éric Silici - SportsOutdoorShop
The data you receive from your email and newsletter campaigns can also be analysed thanks to SmartFocus, the email solution that's integrated into the Actinic back office.
SmartFocus promises unbeatable delivery and advanced statistics, here are some of the stats you should be focusing on:
> Open rate: how many people opened your email. You can delve further into this stat by looking at unique opens (people who opened your email once) and total opens (includes the people who opened your email more than once). For an acquisition campaign the average is around 10%, depending on the quality of your prospect list. For campaigns aimed at improving customer loyalty the average is around 30% (emailing.com).
The open rate depends on the subject line, which should make people want to find out more. Expedia, the travel agent, ran some email personalisation tests, here were their results; first, they began sending emails from a real consultant in their travel agent network -- i.e., from "Cathy Cruiser" rather than the from the generic Expedia CruiseShipCenters email address. Their open rate increased by 5.5%, they had a 23% higher click through rate and they found that people were less likely to unsubscribe or flag their mails as spam. Next they personalised the subject line with the recipients first name, "Dave, Your 7 Day Alaskan Cruise Awaits" and their open rates increased by 10%! Personalisation is key and Big Data will help you find the right balance.
> Click through rate: the number of people who click on the links in your newsletter or email. It's important stat to make sure that you're providing your customers with something that interests them! An acceptable rate is between 8% and 15% (Mailchimp). Thanks to the SmartFocus reports in your back office you'll receive a precise and visually orientated review of your email campaigns. You'll see the click rate on each section of your news; titles, images, price, links etc. An excellent tool for finding our which subjects your customers are interested in so you can better target your future campaigns.
> Unsubscribes: this might not be the happiest stat but it's important to keep track of! The norm is between 0.2 and 0.8% (Mailjet 2013). If you unsubscribe rate is higher than you need to have another look at how you're segmenting your base. Keep an eye on the bounces too, these indicate the emails that couldn't reach their recipients, their inbox is full, the address isn't correct, sometimes it can be an obvious error, typo etc that you can rectify, if not we suggest that after the third bounce you remove them from your contact base.
For tips on creating more effective email campaigns read our Expert Advice on email optimisation.
"With the advanced analytics options, we can evaluate our performance and optimise our marketing actions: highlighting certain products, adjusting our promotional offers, email and SMS campaigns and our loyalty and referral programs." Emilie Desportes - Candle Store
Develop your customer base
Encourage people to sign up for your newsletter
To increase your mailing list you need to make it easy for people to subscribe. There are two ways you can do this from your back office: Galleries > WebBlocks > Newsletter. Then you can use drag and drop to put the inscription tool where it suits you and your site visitors can see it.
It's often a good idea to offer newsletter sign up when someone has placed an order. You could also personalise the message that's automatically generated when an order is confirmed. A financial incentive never goes amiss either - 5% off your next order when you sign up to our newsletter, or something along those lines will certainly help motivate!
"Our growth is largely due to a systematic expansion of our user base - we now have more than 35,000 contacts, to whom we send weekly offers and tips. Two days after sending out our email campaigns we reach 1,500 hits a day and receive 15% more orders!" Géraldine Pichard - Epilation Expert
You can easily create competitions and use them to increase your contact base. Use the SmartSkins drag and drop editor to create a competition, we suggest using the contact form template (Galleries > WebBlock) which lets you: - add text and images to advertise your competition - ask questions - add a text field for email addresses (obligatory to participate in the competition) - add a tick box for newsletter subscription (also obligatory to participate in the competition)
Have you also thought about writing a blog to highlight your expertise, showcase your new products, improve your SEO and create another channel for reaching your clients? Well if you haven't already, we've just given you enough reasons! With the Actinic solution the blog feature comes with your subscription and your readers can leave comments, once they've provided an email address so that you can respond and add another contact to your customer base! This is another opportunity for you to run a competition, asking your customers to participate by leaving a comment (and therefore their email!). To gain even more visibility, don't forget to share your competition on Facebook. You can also export some or all of your catalogue onto Facebook, for free, with just one click, thanks to the My Social Store Facebook Application!
"We recently created our Facebook page and using the Actinic Social Store app we were able to publish our entire product catalogue. We also use Twitter and our blog to share customer reviews, new arrivals and sales. This way we’re able to stay in constant contact with our customers and followers. With this strategy traffic to our site increased by 30% in a year, with over 750,000 page views in 2013." Jean-Philippe Thoër - Balkit
Do you use business management software? You can also use the data collected from your ERP (Enterprise resource planning) to increase your profit margins. The Actinic solution has automated administration processes, centralised stock and orders, in real time, giving you more time to develop your business, whilst staying efficient and thorough. Actinic's integration with ERP, is fast (real time), effective and provides a wealth of well presented information that makes running your business ever easier.
"Actinic has developed an application that can be linked to its back office enabling bulk transfers of key data, such as orders, stock, product details and images and customer details. This is a real asset which saves a lot of time and therefore money for SMBs!" Eric Raybaudi – Net-gestion
You have all the information you need to start putting your Ecommerce Big Data to good use, benefiting your sales and customer relationships - Over to you!