Five steps to boost your e-commerce activity

In 2022, brands recognized the importance of “being well prepared.”. Global digital revenue increased by 77% year on year, according to Statista. Digital is still on the rise in 2022. Regardless of how the pandemic plays out, brands need to prepare for a significant uptick in their online business

A sudden spike in traffic can occur at any time. It can be carefully planned like the holiday season. It can also be unforeseen, such as a pandemic that tests the limits of governments and institutions, but also of companies.

Is your brand ready for a sudden surge in traffic? In this article, we will see how to evolve your strategy according to the circumstances and how to adapt content, products, communications, and experiences to face all situations …

Contextualize your communication

Holidays, hurricanes… Whatever the event, adjust the tone of your content by adapting your messages on your website, social networks, and other marketing channels. Show that you are in tune with the situations of the moment:

On your site

Remember that visitors only sometimes come to your site through the homepage but through paid or organic traffic sources. This is why it is essential to convey your key messages at the top of all your pages, in a dedicated space. 

Take the opportunity to add a link to an explanatory note or to your customer support. Be transparent and direct about all the challenges caused by the exceptional context and the possible delays or inventory problems it causes.

On the product pages

Check your product descriptions and make sure the words and language used are appropriate for the situation. Be sure to include all relevant information so that customers do not have to search for details and are not surprised when it comes time to complete their order. 

Add ‘badges’ that highlight relevant features, such as ‘ fast delivery ‘ or ‘ Christmas present ‘. Indicate if the items are out of stock or if quantities are limited. Include more important details, like “only available online.”

At the customer support level

Anticipate consumer questions. When will they receive their orders? How do you protect your teams?

Leverage chatbots to extend support across different digital channels. They will allow you to support more requests while freeing up your operators. This will allow them to better focus on resolving complex cases escalated by bots. Connect your bots to FAQs and content from your knowledge base to enrich support. 

On social networks

Deploy contextualized engagement campaigns, and post-how-to videos, and communicate about how your brand helps communities or charities.

Monitor engagement: this monitoring is always instructive. Take the opportunity to start the dialogue based on reactions to campaigns and exchange directly with customers by taking advantage of the conversational features of the e-commerce platform. 

Highlight the most relevant products

During busy periods, demand for a specific type of product can explode. Out-of-stock is waiting for you. Use sorting rules to adapt supply to customer demand dynamically.

Place the most relevant products for customers in the top left corner of your page. Contextualize the sorting rules according to your stock and the sales to be boosted. Also, adjust delivery times as needed: 1-day lead times are preferable for products that sell quickly. 

Create dynamic displays based on criteria that combine conversion rate (best-selling products), margins, and availability. You will be able to dynamically adjust the display by moving the products up or down the page depending on their popularity.

Sort in real-time

Define and use hybrid sorting rules (combining manual and dynamic rules) to maximize baskets as well as conversion rates. These hybrid rules are particularly effective during exceptional events. They allow real-time adjustments to be made based on sales and site activity 

Focus on customers

Add predictive sorting that uses AI (Artificial Intelligence) to offer personalized answers in the search bar and on the results or overview pages based on product category buying behaviors. 

The use of AI can also facilitate cross-selling, up-selling (up-marketing) or even making recommendations on products generally acquired together. 

Think research beyond your products

The search function within your site is even more important when the events shake. What your customers enter is indeed rich in lessons on their requests and expectations. This is why it is particularly essential to analyze their queries (via search engine reports).

Establish new content pages

Check the list of searches performed by your customers. They can help you find opportunities to offer new content pages. For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, brands have noticed that new categories such as “loungewear” have become very popular. The objective is also to avoid as much as possible a response of the type ” no result corresponds to your request “. 

Respond to logistical questions

Beyond products, customers use the search function to get all kinds of information, from shipping details to customer support and product availability in stores. Make sure your search engine directs them to your support center, FAQs, customer portal, or other useful information.

Deliver personalized results

Adding product recommendations using AI always pays off. Personalize search results for each customer based on the words they start typing and using search history, trending topics, or auto-correction. Re-engage customers with promotions, online exclusives, or special messages based on their search behavior.

Manage stock fluctuations

Above all, do not frustrate your customers with out-of-stock! Your sorting rules must systematically place available products at the top of the page and those that are not at the end of the page. 

If necessary, offer alternatives to your customers to help them always find what they are looking for.

Manage expectations

Capture emails from customers interested in specific products. Send a personalized message inviting them to buy the product once it’s back in stock. Consider attaching a promotion to it for an added incentive.

Facilitate orders

Save a sale by allowing customers to pre-order products. Be clear about the expected shipping date, as last-mile delivery can saturate the logistics at your disposal.

Offer more options to customers

To promote the realization of purchases, provide clear information, and simplify the validation of the basket as well as the payment while multiplying the payment and delivery options.

Validation and payment

Many customers prefer to remain “guests“. In practice, 30% of customers abandon a purchase when forced to create an account. Consider devices used by customers and allow mobile wallets. 

Sites accepting this type of payment double their conversion rate and their customers spend less time validating the basket. PayPal and Apple Pay are two avenues to explore to get off to a good start.

Shipping and delivery

Clearly display your shipping thresholds before the validation of the basket: for example, ” Spend €7 more for free 24-hour delivery “. Indicate for each item the expected delivery date (or a range of dates).

Use delivery partner APIs to calculate it. Offer customers the choice between faster or slower but less expensive deliveries.

Pick-up options 

For customers who need their products as soon as possible or who cannot have them delivered to their home, offer options to pick up their order in-store or at a pick-up point.

In 2022, resellers who offered withdrawal options in “Drive” or “store” experienced a 60% increase in their digital sales over the 5 days preceding Christmas, against only 45% for those who did not offer this flexibility. 

Advantage: once in the store, customers can take additional products, increasing the average order value accordingly.

Abandoned Carts

Many customers place items in their virtual shopping cart that they actually intend to buy later. Others even use it as a wishlist! If a customer leaves your site without buying, keep their items in a persistent cart. 

Encourage him to come back by offering a route for abandoned shopping carts. Send a reminder email within 12-24 hours. Consider including a promotional offer to entice him further.

Engagement and service

Customers use on average up to 10 channels to engage with brands such as Facebook, Instagram, Search engines, and PPC. By implementing conversational commerce, you can engage people and help them transact on their favorite channels like Facebook Messenger. 

Arrange for your operators to provide local service, which requires them to have access to order history and customer preferences.

Prepare for all eventualities

By evolving your business strategy to meet high demand, your customers will have a better chance of finding what they need. This is the key to a successful customer experience. Is your site able to handle planned or unplanned spikes in both traffic and orders? Do not hesitate to consult this article on technical and operational preparation to ensure that you have a site ready for all eventualities.

About the Guest Author:

Rakesh Donga is a Certified Magento Developer and CEO at MagentoBrain with 8+ years of experience in eCommerce development. MagentoBrain is the leading eCommerce web development company that also offers Magento 2 Migration, Magento Upgrade, eCommerce Solutions, and other IT solutions. 

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