Digital commerce offers businesses a huge opportunity for growth—that is, if they're able to successfully leverage their digital commerce strategies.
But what steps should a business interested in e-commerce take to create a strong digital commerce strategy? Read on to learn more.
Determine Your Unique Selling Proposition
According to Entrepreneur, a unique selling proposition is "the factor or consideration presented by a seller as the reason that one product or service is different from and better than that of the competition." The SaaS market grows more crowded every year— SaaS company growth increased by nearly 5% between 2015 and 2016— so it's more imporant than ever to determine what sets your product or service apart from the rest.
While it might sound like a good idea to generalize your services in order to attract a wider audience, you'd be better off specializing. Decide what makes your particular service unique, and you'll become known for that trait rather than getting lost in the shuffle.
Offer A Superior E-Commerce Experience
E-commerce takes place entirely online, and the state of your business's website is key to the customer experience. Here are three factors that impact how consumers shop.
Navigation— An e-commerce website should be simple for a consumer to navigate. If it's not, the customer could become confused or irritated and exit from the site altogether. Every step of the buyer's process should be carefully vetted to ensure that it's free of friction. Another important consideration is your site's navigability on a mobile device. According to Smart Insights, since 2015, people spend more time consuming digital media via their mobile devices than on their desktop or laptop computer. Failure to tap into this growing audience is a quick way to become obsolete.
Integration— An effective e-commerce site should be integrated with the whole suite of back-end enterprise systems. The storefront, billing and payment, and purchase fulfillment options must work together seamlessly with the customer relationship management (CRM) software. The customer should never be aware of the machinations that occur behind the scenes, and if there are glitches between the different aspects of the buyer's process, it could cause a lack of confidence.
Personalization— Customers appreciate having their needs anticipated, and when a business can offer information and products that match their needs, it's likely that they'll have a loyal customer for years to come. Personalizing a customer's experience ranges from the relatively simple to the complicated. Utilizing cookies and IP tracking, your visitor's location will be shown. If you hope to make the personalization more sophisticated, personalization technologies utilize real-time analytics and rules engines to pair customer CRM data with current marketing offers and product characteristics.
Implement a Content Marketing Strategy
More sites are recognizing the power of excellent content, and e-commerce sites are not exempt from the phenomenon.Unfortunately, keywords and meta tags will get them only so far. As search engine algorithms, especially Google's. require high-quality, relevant content, e-commerce sites are being forced to reassess their content strategy in order rank in searches. With that in mind, consider establishing your business as a credible source of education and information as well as a provider of goods and services.
When a customer views your company as a trustworthy advisor, they're more likely to make a purchase from your organization when they're ready to buy. Guiding a customer step-by-step through each stage of their decision-making process will not only give them the information they search, but elevate your status within your industry.
Earn Customer Trust
It's much more difficult to establish trust as an e-commerce business, as there's no opportunity for face-to-face contact. Instead, online businesses have to adopt other tactics to show their customers that their organization can be trusted with sensitive personal information. Offering helpful and pertinent information is one way to build trust within your customer base, but that's not necessarily going to ensure that your customer will be ready to share their payment information.
Data breaches can be incredibly damaging to a business. A study by Semafone determined that 87% of those surveyed would not do business with a company who experienced a data breach, exposing customer credit or debit card information. Not only do you have to build a high level of trust, but your customer must also have a low level of perceived risk. Utilizing a highly reputable payment portal, prominently displaying honest reviews (positive and negative) from previous customers, and easily accessible customer service can all lend an air of credibility to your site.
Implementing a successful digital commerce strategy can be complex and time-consuming. When done right, digital commerce offers tremendous opportunities for business growth.
FastSpring is a full-stack solution to building and maintaining successful e-commerce web-based strategies. Through covering customer acquisition, payment processing, back office work, and a wide range of other processes, FastSpring is an invaluable partner in the growth of your business.