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With online retail sales now making up 13 percent of all retail spend in the UK, it’s never been more important to get running an online store right. The hard work doesn’t end at launch – once your products are out there, you’ll need to focus on retention and finding new customers, and which tools will help you to do it. Get your new and improved eCommerce strategy under way with our 10 top tips for growing your business.
1. Make sure your customer data is accurate
Having correct details for customers is essential for anyone selling online – right from the point a consumer first gives you their details. With address finder services such as Royal Mail’s AddressNow Capture – which finds and validates UK address data at the point of capture to eliminate mistakes caused by manual entry – you can feel confident that all products and marketing materials sent out will go to the right address. This will help to prevent missed deliveries and reduce the pressure on your customer support team. It’ll also mean you don’t have to clean up your database at a later stage.
2. Give great customer service
Your business wouldn’t be anywhere without your buyers, so make sure your customer service is on point. Actively seek feedback from customers and respond to email or social media requests – this will show you’re interested in what they have to say, making them more likely to recommend you.
3. Provide easy-to-use online forms and checkouts
Improve conversion rates by saving your customers’ time when they’re conducting a postcode search. If someone can’t find their address quickly when paying or registering their details, they could abandon their shopping basket, losing you a valuable sale. Use tools such as AddressNow Capture so customers can find a postcode easily, leading to fewer abandoned baskets and more sign-up forms.
4. Regularly update your social media
According to ecommerce platform Magento, ‘Avoiding social media simply isn’t an option if you want to compete online.’ Having a social media presence, fully backed up by a social strategy, is a must for online sellers. Update your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages regularly to showcase your latest products and offers, share engaging and entertaining content drawing people to your brand, or notify your followers of any brand news.
5. Get on mobile
In 2015, mobile commerce grew by 42 percent, making it the fastest growing retail segment. Stay ahead of the game by making sure your ecommerce store is fully optimised for mobile – this means having a mobile-friendly version of your site that’s easy to navigate and improving the functionality so it can adapt to whichever device it’s being used on. You may also want to launch a dedicated app to make the shopping process simpler for customers.
6. Share your brand values with customers
So that customers recognise your brand as an authority and can see that you’re credible, create a dedicated area on your site that tells your brand story and values. This could take the form of an About page, a Testimonials section or FAQs. Give your online shop a clear identity and make sure you get across what makes you stand out.
7. Be organised with deliveries
Get goods to customers on time and without charging them too much, if at all – free shipping is the main incentive for spending more with a retailer for nine in ten consumers. You should also use AddressNow Capture to make sure all address data is accurate – this will reduce the risk of missed deliveries and help customers to find an address quickly and easily.
8. Build a relationship with customers
Don’t let communication with your buyers drop off after they make a purchase. Use email and direct marketing to build a relationship with them, earn their trust and make sure you’re front of mind for any future purchases.
9. Use SEO to attract new buyers
Grow your customer base by raising the profile of your online store. You can do this through search engine optimisation, so your online store ranks higher in Google. Use keyword research tools to find out which keyword sequences your target audience is searching for, and optimise on-site content (including product descriptions and meta descriptions) to reflect these.
10. Regularly test your site
A well-designed, user-friendly online store will drive the most conversions. To find out what messaging, layout and pricing options work best, monitor the performance of your site through A/B testing, allowing you to test engagement levels on two different versions of the same page.