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January 22

3 Steps for E-Commerce Success

As seen in The Daily Memphian.

Since 2009, e-commerce sales in the U.S. have more than tripled, from almost $35 million to nearly $131 million. It’s no wonder e-commerce stores are becoming more common-place. Unfortunately, the task of creating a store easily overshadows the creation of a sales strategy. Even a simple strategy is better than a missing strategy. If you’re tasked with creating an online store, consider the following three critical areas for success.

Email automation. Though it’s a new year and technology continues to advance, email marketing maintains its grip as one of the top three most powerful B2B and B2C behav-ioral marketing tools. Successful online stores harness that power to emphasize their brand and encourage consumer retention by sending automated messages to con-sumers as they interact with the online store. New store email subscribers typically re-ceive a welcome email that connects them to the brand and encourages a repeat web-store visit. Another common automated email is the order confirmation. Though easy to write off as a simple receipt, the average open rate for this automated email in 2018 was nearly 70 percent. Effective stores find a way to connect with consumers be-yond the email itself, encouraging a return web-store visit.

Shopper data. You might have already guessed that shopper data is exactly how stores transform marketing tools like email receipts into critical brand touchpoints. Gain insights into consumer demographics – such as which pages (and products) yield higher conversion rates – and even track the success of digital campaigns with tools like Google Analytics and social-media pixels. Unfortunately, because there is so much to do when creating an online store, it’s easy to forget these valuable analytics tools, but stores that install them early often find themselves ahead of competitors that don’t.

Remarketing. There are three types of shoppers every e-commerce store faces: 1) pro-spective “window” shoppers, 2) current shoppers, and 3) past shoppers. There are levels to these archetypes, such as brand-new vs. brand-loyal shoppers, but ultimately no matter their level, these shoppers may not take the desired action – such as a repeat purchase. You will want to remarket your message to those shoppers. Depending on the shopper data being tracked, it’s easy to set up a PPC (pay per click) or email cam-paign that targets abandoned cart shoppers, or even those that simply visited your store without committing to a purchase. More than just an additional opportunity to close a sale, effective web stores understand that remarketing is about building brand recognition.

These three seemingly simple areas have everything to do with the strategy of your e-commerce store, and they’re sorely lacking or completely forgotten by new e-commerce stores that rely on WYSWIG’s and setup wizards to guide them through the design of their online store. Though they sometimes require a great deal of thought and foresight, the time investment will more than pay off.

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