While some of us were glad to see 2017 kick the bucket, Ecommerce experienced a banner year, the industry growing and thriving on the fat of the virtual land. More and more consumers became converts, which can only bode well for Ecommerce in 2018 and beyond. So now that we’re into 2018 a bit, it’s a good time to take a look back at your online business stats over the past year and evaluate what went well and what you’ll want to make adjustments to in the future. Take some hints from the trends of 2017 and keep these five resolutions in mind for increased success in 2018.
If you haven’t done so already, create a checklist of items that need to be taken care of throughout the year and keep it updated. Create a template that you can add to each year if necessary as your business grows. At the beginning of each year, go over the list and mark important dates or deadlines on the calendar so you don’t miss out on anything.
Sometimes overlooking little things can cause big problems, such as renewing your domain name or licenses annually. Taking the time to go over the list will prevent a lapse in service or business during the year. Don’t forget that each year’s checklist will look different, so pay attention to trends when you update.
A few items to keep in mind while creating your 2018 checklist:
Regardless of your business type, it’s important not to forget what it feels like to be a customer. When setting up and optimizing your online business, be sure to step into the customer’s position and think as they would think; this will help with the functionality of the site or even the products and services you offer. Keep in mind that the customer is always looking for something better, and when you strive to provide that, you stay ahead of the curve. Ask for feedback and listen to it; think of what you look for as a customer and what you think needs improvement.
Stats are showing an increasing number of Cyber Monday shoppers converting to mobile-only, up 10% from 2016’s numbers. No longer are consumers simply researching on mobile sites; more of them are going all the way. Mobile purchases made up 33% of total revenue for 2017’s Cyber Monday, indicating that the trend will only continue to rise. If your site is not mobile-friendly, consumers will find another that is—so don’t be left in the virtual dust this year.
While one downside to an online business is the fact that it makes it easier for people to abandon their shopping carts, use it to your advantage rather than thinking of the deserters as a lost cause. Instead of focusing marketing efforts on new customers, spend your budget on retargeting pixels to retain those who would otherwise abandon. Not only is it less expensive to advertise to retarget lists, it will gain you more business from those on the fence in the short term, allowing you to focus on attracting new customers in the long term.
If it doesn’t already, part of your marketing strategy for 2018 should include User Generated Content (UGC). UGC not only ties consumers with your brand, it connects to social media and advertising, generating interest and response. A whopping 90 percent of consumers have said that UGC affects their purchasing decisions; many customers are even willing to wait longer and pay more for a product that integrates UGC. The ideas for UGC are limitless, so get creative and spark interest while advertising and building your brand.
No one can deny that social media is continuing to explode, with over 800 million users on just Instagram alone. To overlook social media as a form of marketing as well as a vehicle for Ecommerce is to overlook a significant opportunity. Chances are you’ve already got a social media profile for your business, so why not make it easier on customers and incorporate payment systems?
When it comes to Ecommerce, trends are constantly changing and upgrading—and your business should be too. What better time than the beginning of the year to take stock of your situation and make some business resolutions? We’ve given you five to start with; add your own to the list and don’t forget to check back on it periodically over the year to see how you’re doing. You want your business to keep growing, so be willing to expand your opportunities with the trends to ensure increased visibility and traffic.
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