Is Amazon stealing business from your eCommerce site? With Amazon dominating the market, it may seem like an impossible task to win customers over the e-commerce giant. Even though Amazon is capturing around 40% of online retail sales in the US, it’s possible to have your online shoppers prefer your site over Amazon’s.
In this article, we will explore 5 proven strategies that will help you differentiate your brand, connect with customers on a deeper level, ultimately win their loyalty, and learn how to compete with Amazon. From leveraging social media and influencer marketing to providing exceptional customer service and offering personalized shopping experiences, these strategies will empower you to carve out your own space in the online marketplace, and prevent Amazon from cannibalizing all of your site’s sales.
What makes your products or services special? What unique benefits do you offer that your competitors don’t and that the big retailers can’t communicate? It’s crazy how often brands do this poorly, but clearly defining and communicating your brand's unique selling points will help you stand out in a sea of competitors.
Amazon isn’t capable of connecting with customers on as deep a level as an individual eCommerce business. They speak to the masses by offering: 1) Everything, 2) Ease-of-use, and 3) Fast and cheap shipping. An individual company can’t offer all of these things, but they can speak in more detail to a customer’s specific needs and emotions with their value prop. E-commerce companies can use this as an advantage to create stronger bonds with their audience.
It's crucial to craft a compelling brand story that resonates with your target audience. Your brand story should communicate your values, mission, and the problem you solve for your customers. By creating an emotional connection through storytelling, you can build trust and loyalty, making the emotional cost of switching higher for customers to just go find your products on Amazon.
Remember, differentiation is not just about product features; it's also about creating a memorable brand experience. From your website design and packaging to your customer service and follow-up, every touchpoint should reflect your unique brand identity. By consistently delivering a remarkable experience, you can build a strong brand reputation that sets you apart from Amazon's standardized approach.
There is no way in Hades you’re going to be able to offer more products than Amazon, or ship consistently faster. However, you can beat them where there are opportunities to personally interact with your audience. Again, focus on doing what Amazon doesn’t, can’t, or won’t.
Start by investing in excellent customer service with a personal touch. Train your customer support team to be knowledgeable, friendly, and responsive. Encourage them to go above and beyond to solve customer issues and exceed expectations.
Surprising a customer with how exceptional your customer experience is can create brand advocates for your company. By providing personalized assistance and prompt resolutions, you can build customer loyalty and word-of-mouth referrals.
If staffing a large customer service team doesn’t make sense financially for your business, then the number of automated AI solutions are increasing and getting better by the day. Check out FlixCX, HiOperator, or Zowie if this sounds like this may be a better fit for you.
Consider offering unique services that Amazon may not provide. For example, you could offer FREE gift wrapping (Amazon charges for it, and I wouldn’t consider it anything special), personalized product recommendations based on their input, or a concierge service for high-value customers.
Companies that are killing this will start by gathering a small amount of information from their visitors, then turn those answers into curated recommendations. Go the extra mile and create a memorable experience that keeps customers coming back to you instead of seeking out your product on Amazon.
Lastly, consider offering convenient and flexible shipping options. While Amazon may have fast shipping, you can maintain the status quo and at least not give up too much ground by offering free same-day or next-day delivery for local customers. Alternatively, you could offer free shipping with no minimum order value, making it easier for customers to shop with you.
Are you already on an eCommerce platform and thinking about switching to a different one? Maybe you have a custom site, and want to switch to a Shopify theme to make your site more streamlined.
We’ve seen a lot of eCommerce companies make the mistake of switching to Shopify or another platform and seeing their conversion rates plummet. Switching is generally a good decision, but don’t lose sight of why your current site is working. And, don’t simply switch for the sake of a prettier design.
There are several things you should keep in mind when choosing which eCommerce store platform is best for your business. In this article, we’ll unveil the secrets to choosing the best ecommerce store platform for your online business. We’re here to simplify the process and help you make an informed decision. From analyzing your business needs to evaluating features and pricing, we will guide you through every step of the way and help you with eCommerce conversion rate optimization to avoid the major pitfalls that lead to conversion rate crashes.
Every eCommerce platform does the same one thing: helps you sell your products or services online. They’ve streamlined the process to make building your website, adding products, and taking payments easy for owners. However, deciding which one you choose can significantly impact your success.
To ensure you make the best choice, there are several factors you should consider. Think about your business goals and objectives. What kinds of products do you sell, or plan on selling (i.e. physical products, digital goods, or both)? Do you have plans to scale your business in the future?
Next, how much money can you afford to spend and how much time you have available to dedicated to this project. There are ways to bootstrap with all of these platforms, but money and time will typically be inversely proportional. Every platform has options for both big and small companies and allow for scaling small budgets.
Lastly, consider the level of technical expertise you and your team possess. Some platforms are more user-friendly and require minimal technical knowledge, while others offer greater customization but may require more technical skills. Most offer no code, or “drag and drop” type web builders. These are typically pretty easy to use, but don’t be surprised if there is a learning curve before you’re comfortable.
When evaluating different ecommerce store platforms, it's important to compare features, functionality, and ease of use.
Let's explore some of the most popular platforms in the market to help you make an informed decision.
Shopify is the largest and most well-known eCommerce platform. If you’ve purchased anything online, then there’s a good chance you’ve used a Shopify store.
Shopify has a lot of appeal because of it’s user-friendly interface, customizable templates, robust inventory management, order fulfillment capabilities, extensive app store, and seamless integrations. It works with multiple payments gateways, making it easy for customers to make payments. Overall, it’s options are great for both small business and international retailers.
This will sound counterintuitive, but it’s ease-of-use and endless apps and customizations are its biggest downside. Store owners start managing the user-experience and look of their site on their own, and adding app after app thinking it will help boost conversions. What you’re typically left with is a really slow site, and hodge-podge of elements that lead to a confusing and convoluted user experience.
WooCommerce is a popular ecommerce platform that operates as a plugin for WordPress. With WooCommerce, you’re still going to get a lot of flexibility and customization options to meet your needs. There’s also an extensive WordPress plug-in ecosystem that will allow for additional functionality. If you’re operating internationally, or plan to, then WooCommerce will allow you to accept payments in multiple currencies and grow your global footprint.
Keep in mind, that WooCommerce does require some more technical knowledge than other platforms to set up and maintain, so it may not be the best choice if you’re planning building and managing the site yourself.
WooCommerce would likely make the most sense for stores who already have their sites built in WordPress and are working close with a development team, or have one in house managing their website needs.
BigCommerce is another robust ecommerce platform that has something to offer for both big and small companies making it similar to Shopify and WooCommerce. It provides a user-friendly interface, a variety of customizable templates, robust SEO features, and integrates with popular payment gateways.
BigCommerce’s biggest asset is its built-in analytics and reporting platform. A lot of Shopify users have to familiarize themselves with Google Analytics or other tools. This isn’t to say that Shopify doesn’t have built in analytics, but having an in house analytics that can provide more granular insights is a major advantage when it comes to growth and scaling your business.
Last but not least is Magento. Magento is popular for a lot of the reasons that the previous platforms in our list are. It offers a wide range of features and customization options, provides advanced inventory management, and a variety of marketing and promotional tools.
However, Magento is similar to WooCommerce in the sense it does require more technical expertise to set up and maintain. With that in mind, it may be more suitable for larger businesses or those with a dedicated development team.
Also, now that it us under the Adobe umbrella, I expect it to continue to look like a better option for Enterprise level companies. I’m willing to be proven wrong, but that’s my hunch.
It's not enough to just drive traffic to your website. You need to convert those clicks into actual sales and leads. That's where conversion rate optimization (CRO) copywriting comes in. By crafting compelling and persuasive content, you can boost your website's conversion rates by keeping people’s attention and appealing to their most basic desires.
The conversion optimization copywriting process involves analyzing your target audience, understanding their pain points, and crafting messages that resonate with them. It's a strategic approach that combines psychology, data analysis, and creativity to create content that not only attracts visitors but also motivates them to take action. In this article, we'll explore the benefits of conversion optimization copywriting and provide tips on how to implement it in your digital marketing strategy.
Understanding your target audience is the first crucial step to writing compelling copy. Knowing the demographics, psychographics, and behavior of your ideal customer is imperative to creating content that resonates with them. You need to identify their pain points, goals, and desires and how your product addresses these in order to craft messages that speak to them.
One of the best ways to understand your target audience is by creating buyer personas. These are fictional characters that represent your ideal customers. By creating detailed profiles of your buyer personas, you can get a better understanding of their needs, preferences, and behavior. This information can help you create content that addresses their pain points and motivates them to take action. This strategy is great to create a high level overview of what your ideal customers day/life looks like and what major events motivate their purchasing decisions (i.e. new baby, new house, new job, retirement, grandkids, etc.).
Onsite behavioral analysis is another way to help identify which issues your audience cares most about. You can use tools like Google Analytics to get insights into your website visitors' behavior. You can see which pages they visit, how long they stay on your site, and what actions they take. This information can help you create content that meets your visitors' needs and addresses their concerns. This can also help you determine which pages are the most important to focus on first.
In the world of eCommerce, driving traffic to your website is only half the battle. The real challenge lies in converting those visitors into paying customers. That's where conversion optimization comes in, or the skills of an expert eCommerce conversion rate optimization agency.
But what exactly is conversion optimization, and how can you use it to boost your sales? The answer lies in the science behind consumer behavior. By understanding how people think and make purchasing decisions, you can tailor your website and marketing strategies to meet their needs and preferences.
In this article, we'll explore some tips and tricks used by Media Contour, an eCommerce conversion rate optimization agency, for optimizing your ecommerce site for conversions, from tweaking your copy and design to implementing social proof and urgency tactics. Whether you're a seasoned eCommerce pro or just starting out, these ecommerce conversion rate optimization strategies will help you increase your conversion rates and drive more revenue for your business. So let's dive into the science of eCommerce conversion optimization and take your online store to the next level!
The customer journey refers to the steps that customers go through before making a purchase, from awareness of your brand to post-purchase evaluation. By mapping out the customer journey, you can identify areas where customers may be dropping off or experiencing friction, and tailor your optimization strategies accordingly. This will help you take a targeted approach to where customer pain points are occurring, and avoid making site wide changes with hopes that the journey will improve as a secondary result.
The customer journey typically follows a few key stages: awareness, consideration, decision, and post-purchase evaluation. During the awareness stage, customers become aware of your brand and products through channels like search engines, social media, and advertising. During the consideration stage, they evaluate your products and compare them to competitors. The decision stage is when they make a purchase, and the post-purchase evaluation stage is when they evaluate their experience and decide whether to make repeat purchases.
For ecommerce conversion rate optimization to work effectively, it's important to understand each of these stages and tailor your messaging and strategies accordingly. For example, during the awareness stage, you may want to focus on building brand awareness and establishing credibility through social proof and testimonials.
During the consideration stage, you can emphasize the unique benefits and features of your products compared to competitors. And during the decision stage, you can use urgency and scarcity tactics to encourage customers to make a purchase. The post-purchase evaluation is your opportunity to highlight pain points in your customer service, order fulfillment, and creating lasting relationships with your customers.
Make sure you know where these touch points are occurring online and offline. Make sure your messaging is consistent across platforms, and remove unnecessary touch points that are convoluting your messaging and confusing the customer journey.
Even if you have a strong understanding of the customer journey, there are some common obstacles that can prevent customers from making a purchase. By identifying and addressing these obstacles, you can improve your customer experience which leads to more purchases.
One common obstacle is a lack of trust or credibility. Customers may be hesitant to make a purchase if they are unsure of the quality of your products or the security of your website. To overcome this obstacle, you can use social proof and testimonials to establish credibility and build trust with customers.
You can also display trust badges and security certificates to reassure customers that their information is safe. Make sure to display which payment vendors you accept. Seeing that Visa, or Mastercard, etc. is willing to do business with you goes a long way in establishing trust with new customers.
Another obstacle is a confusing or frustrating user experience. If your website is difficult to navigate or if customers can't find the information they need, they may become frustrated and abandon their purchase. To overcome this obstacle, you can simplify your website design and navigation, use clear and concise product descriptions, and provide helpful customer service resources like chatbots or FAQ pages.
A helpful navigation hack is to employ what we call user self selection in your navigation. Allow users to search by activity, pain point, price/sale, condition, etc. This allows users to search based on their criteria, and delivers on the expectation that your site has what they’re looking for.
Lastly, another obstacle is a lack of urgency or motivation to make a purchase. Customers may be interested in your products, but they may not feel an immediate need to buy. To overcome this obstacle, you can use urgency and scarcity tactics like limited-time offers, countdown timers, and low-stock notifications to create a sense of urgency and motivate customers to make a purchase.
To truly optimize your eCommerce site for conversions, you need to base your strategies on data and analytics as if you were an eCommerce conversion rate optimization agency. By tracking and analyzing onsite customer behavior, you can identify areas for improvement and test different strategies to see what works best.
One key metric to track is your conversion rate, which measures the percentage of visitors who make a purchase. By tracking your conversion rate over time through eCommerce Conversion Rate Optimization Services and identifying any changes or trends, you can identify areas for improvement and implement targeted optimization strategies. Be sure to A/B test (split test) any changes to track exactly which optimization strategies worked and remove any guesswork.
Another metric to track is your bounce rate, which measures the percentage of visitors who leave your site without taking any action. A high bounce rate can indicate a problem with your website design, messaging, or user experience, and can be fixed by implementing targeted optimization strategies. See which pages have the highest bounce rate, and focus your efforts there.
Finally, you can use tools like heat maps and click tracking to analyze how customers interact with your website and identify areas where they may be experiencing friction or confusion. Heat maps are a great way to identify where user’s attention is focused on each page, and determine what they find valuable, and which elements are missing their mark.
In the world of eCommerce, copywriting is a crucial element to drive sales for your online store and turn potential customers into loyal ones. But what makes product features or an ad copy truly compelling?
The answer lies in the power of emotional triggers. Emotional triggers are the psychological cues that evoke strong feelings and reactions in people. They can be positive, like joy and excitement, or negative, like fear and anxiety. When used effectively in good eCommerce copywriting, emotional triggers can make a product or a brand stand out from the competition and create a lasting connection with the audience.
In this article, we'll explore the science behind emotional triggers, how they influence purchasing decisions, and how you can leverage them in your eCommerce copywriting to increase conversion rates, user experience, and customer loyalty.
Emotions are an integral part of human behavior. They influence the way we think, feel, and act. The science of emotions is complex, and researchers are still trying to understand how they work. However, there are some basic principles that we can use to understand emotional triggers.
Emotions are processed in the limbic system of the brain, which is responsible for memory, motivation, and behavior. When we experience an emotion, it triggers a chemical reaction in the brain that influences our thoughts and actions. For example, when we feel happy, our brain releases dopamine, a chemical that makes us feel good.
Emotional triggers work by tapping into our subconscious mind. They evoke an emotional response that is not necessarily logical but rather instinctual. For example, when we see a cute puppy, we may feel an overwhelming sense of joy and happiness, even if we don't need a puppy. This is because the image of the puppy triggers a positive emotional response that is hard to resist.
Now that we understand the science behind emotional triggers let's explore some examples of emotional triggers in eCommerce copywriting.
One of the most common emotional triggers for eCommerce sites is the fear of missing out (FOMO). FOMO is the feeling that you might miss out on something valuable if you don't act now. This emotional trigger is often used in limited-time offers, flash sales, and countdown timers.
For example, "Don't miss out on our biggest sale of the year! Only 24 hours left to save 50% off!" This kind of copy creates a sense of urgency and scarcity that motivates customers to act quickly.
Another emotional trigger in eCommerce copywriting is social proof. Social proof is the idea that people are more likely to do something if they see others doing it. This emotional trigger is often used in customer testimonials, user-generated content, and influencer marketing.
For example, "Thousands of satisfied customers have already tried our product and loved it! Join the club and see for yourself!" This kind of copy creates a sense of trust and credibility that reassures customers that they are making the right choice.
Emotional triggers can have a powerful impact on consumer behavior. They can influence how people perceive a product, how they feel about it, and whether they decide to buy it or not.
For example, a study by the University of Southern California found that emotional ads are twice as effective as rational ads in driving sales. Emotional ads create a stronger emotional connection with the audience, which leads to a higher likelihood of conversion.
Another study by the University of Michigan found that people are more likely to share content that evokes strong emotions, such as awe, joy, and anger. This means that emotional triggers not only impact individual behavior but also social behavior. When people feel strongly about something, they are more likely to share it with others, which can lead to viral marketing.
Now that we understand the impact of emotional triggers on consumer behavior let's explore some tips for incorporating emotional triggers in your ecommerce copy.
First, identify your target audience and their emotional needs. What are their pain points, aspirations, and desires? What kind of emotions do they respond to? By understanding your audience's emotional triggers, you can create copy that resonates with them on a deeper level.
Second, use descriptive language and sensory details to create a vivid image in the reader's mind. For example, instead of saying "Our coffee is delicious," say "Our coffee is rich, smooth, and aromatic, with notes of chocolate and caramel that will transport you to a cozy café in Paris." This kind of copy creates a sensory experience that taps into the reader's emotions.
Third, use power words that evoke strong emotions. Power words are words that have a strong emotional impact, such as "amazing," "unforgettable," "life-changing," "exclusive," "limited," "free," and "guaranteed." By using power words strategically, you can create a sense of excitement, urgency, and exclusivity that motivates customers to act.
Conversion Rates are crucial to any e-commerce business. It refers to the percentage of visitors to your website who complete a desired action, such as making a purchase or filling out a form. Having high conversion rates means that your website is performing well and is effectively communicating your value proposition to your customers. On the other hand, a low conversion rate may indicate that your website is not engaging enough or that there are obstacles preventing customers from making a purchase. Therefore, it is essential to continually measure and improve your conversion rates to optimize your website's performance and increase your revenue. By analyzing and optimizing your conversion rates, you can stay ahead of the competition and ultimately grow your e-commerce business.
In this article, I’m going to explain why your conversion rate is absolutely your most important KPI if you’re an eCommerce business, and what factors going into improving it. I’ll also be discussing other metrics that can hint at a conversion rate problem, and how to tell if there is room for improvement.
Firstly, it is important to define and prioritize your KPIs so that you have a clear understanding of what you need to measure and what goals you are trying to achieve. Businesses should be setting SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) and aligning their KPIs with these goals.
Prioritization plays a key role, especially when it comes to data analysis. You will want to focus on the KPIs that are most relevant to your business's goals and objectives, and this should be your primary focus when analyzing your data.
In eCommerce, the most popular KPIs tend to be Return on Ad Spend (ROAS), Average Order Value (AOV), Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV), Add to Cart Rate and Conversion Rate. Most eCommerce platforms provide analytics for these metrics and will calculate conversion rates and give you an average conversion rate over time so you don’t have to worry about the math.
One of the most important e-commerce KPIs is the conversion rate. It is an indication of how well your website is performing and how effectively you are converting your visitors into customers. Tracking this metric provides you with valuable insights into the effectiveness of your sales funnel and can help identify areas for improvement.
But, knowing your conversion rate isn’t nearly enough. Take a look and compare it to your industry’s average to see how you measure up. Next, decide on your conversion goal, and figure out a plan for exactly how you're going to increase your conversion rate. Conversion rates are tied directly to user experience. If you have a conversion rate problem, chances are likely you have a user experience problem somewhere on your site. This is where other analytics tools and CRO tools can be utilized to help you focus on the issue, instead of making a huge mistake like redesigning your site to fix the issue.
Let’s take a look at some of the other metrics to help us diagnose where a problem is occurring on your landing page or site.
Another important e-commerce KPI is Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV). It is the amount of revenue a customer will bring to your business over their lifetime. CLTV is a great metric to monitor as it provides insights into how much you should be spending to acquire new customers, the type of customers you should be attracting, and how to better retain your existing customers.
This can vary dramatically depending on your business model. Do you offer a subscription service in addition to products? Are people signing up for loyalty programs and taking advantage of them? Does your business model only require a one-time purchase (i.e. wedding dresses, maternity)? How long should one purchase technically last your customers? CLTV is also a measure of how long people are sticking with your business, and there can be more than one way to measure this. You need to establish a goal for your CLTV, and establish and action plan for increasing it.
Sure fire ways to do this include personalization for repeat site visitors, remarketing/re-engagement campaigns via email and sms, or loyalty programs that offer VALUE to customers for their loyalty (i.e. not just run of the mill discounts).
Cart abandonment is when a customer adds items to their cart but leaves the website before completing the purchase. This can be a major problem for e-commerce businesses, as it means that potential revenue is being lost. Monitoring your cart abandonment rate is crucial in identifying problematic areas in the sales funnel and taking corrective action to rectify them.
Your cart abandonment can some sometimes feel like a war of attrition. Your cart abandonment may be on par with industry averages, but take a look at what percentage of visitors are viewing your product pages. We’ll often see that PDP views are extremely high, while add-to-cart is average. For reference, eCommerce industry averages for sessions with a page view are about 43%, while sessions with an add-to-cart are around 14%. This is where the war on attrition comes into play. If your PDP views are 60%, and your add-to-cart is 5%, then you’ve just diagnosed a PDP issue.
Google Analytics is a helpful tool for tracking conversion funnel drop-off, and helping diagnose if you have a Cart Abandonment problem, or a PDP problem. Cart abandonment in a vacuum can usually be handled by personalized remarketing campaigns to customers to encourage them to checkout. However, take the time to analyze your checkout process to make sure the user experience is on par with customer expectations. Check out our article on Cart Abandonment to learn more about a conversion optimized checkout experience.