10 Tactics to Improve Your Online Business Tomorrow: Lessons from Catalyst 2017
Tuesday, March 14, 2017Lauren Macdonald
We sat in on a lot of great sessions this year at Catalyst and wanted to share our newly acquired knowledge with you all.
ChannelAdvisor’s panel offered up these 10 tactics to improve your online business tomorrow, and we couldn’t agree with them more!
1. Evaluate Data Quality
If you’re not already tracking and analyzing data from your online business, you better start soon. There’s so much you can learn about your business from data that’s already right in front of you if you know where to look to find it. Start simple with a tool like Google Analytics.
2. Make Mobile Enhancements
Mobile is the future and to honest, the future is already upon us. Nowadays it’s not enough to design your website for desktop and simply make it responsive for mobile. You should actually be thinking mobile FIRST, since that is where most people are shopping today. Make sure your store is user-friendly on mobile devices and the checkout process is simple and efficient.
We actually recently wrote a blog on improving your mobile checkout process
, if you’d like to learn more.
3. Create a Social Plan
Social media is about more than just brand awareness today. It’s now about promoted and sponsored advertising, and about shopping directly on social media websites. Do your research and look into the options you have for selling on social media, like Facebook. And, if you’re not sure how to make sponsored and promoted ads profitable for your business, start small, look at your metrics, determine your goals, and adjust your campaigns accordingly.
4. Leverage Audiences
One Channel Advisor panelist said leveraging audiences should be the key focus for online businesses. Use the tools that are available out there to know and understand your target demographic, see who’s been on your website in the past few days, understand who is buying your products and where they’re finding your website, etc.
5. Launch Marketplace Advertising
“At this point,” says one ChannelAdvisor panelist, “marketplace advertising programs are non-negotiable.” You can’t rely solely on organic search anymore, or your products will get lost in the massive amount of options consumers have available to them. You need your products to show up on the first page of a marketplace in order to sell, and marketplace advertising is the way to get them there.
6. Implement Query Driven Shopping
Query driven shopping gives you the ability to bid on product groups as opposed to keywords. This can be helpful when it comes to spending efficiently on your ads, based on the search query itself.
7. Understand the Consumer Journey
You need to be where your buyer is looking. To do this, be present on marketplaces. 55% of product searches start on Amazon, so if your products are not there, you’re already behind. Take a look at your current customers and understand the journey they went on from searching for a product, all the way to placing their order and receiving their product.
8. Explore Fulfillment Options
There’s so many options out there nowadays for fulfillment (seller fulfilled, seller fulfilled prime, fulfillment by Amazon, etc.). You should look at your competition and ask yourself, “Do they ship products to their customers faster than I do?” If the answer is yes, find out how the fulfill and consider your options. Maybe you need to add additional fulfillment centres in other geographical locations. Regardless of what you choose, you should be able to achieve 2-day shipping, as nowadays that is what the consumer expects.
If you’re having trouble achieving 2-day shipping, integration between your online store and accounting package could help speed up your process.
9. Stay Competitive
One suggestion from the ChannelAdvisor panelist? Try searching for your own products and see if you can find them easily. If you can’t see them, nobody else can either. Another suggestion? Don’t just be reactive based on what your competition is doing. Experiment, especially with digital marketing and sponsored ads, and get ahead of the competition early.
10. Make Data Driven Decisions
Make informed decisions about your business based on facts. Use A/B testing, experiment with advertising and social media campaigns, learn and draw conclusions and measure your success. Stop what isn’t working and always be on the lookout for strategies that will improve your business.
If the data is drawing you to the conclusion that you can no longer keep up with the number of orders you’re receiving each month, consider integration as a way to automate your business process.
Any other questions?