Online shopping has made many people’s lives much more comfortable. Not only can you order things to your door, but you have a world of products at your fingertips. We are no longer limited to the selection of products available at our nearest stores. As incredible as it is to have all of these options, it makes owning an e-commerce store a challenge. The market is getting more saturated every day.
Standing out as an e-commerce business can be tough. Today, online retailers abound in practically every niche, and many have gotten their distribution and shipping down to a science.
In a time of very high online competition, it is important to stay on top of trends and do everything you can to make your website and product stand out.
So how can you draw attention to your e-commerce shop and make it stand out from the crowd? Here are five ways that will help distinguish your e-commerce website from the competition:
Create a powerful brand
Somebody else is selling what you sell. It is virtually impossible to stand out based on your products and services. The key is building a brand that positively differentiates you from your competitors.
Your branding is impacted by everything from your choice in the logo to the content on your website to your company’s mission statement. It is mostly your company’s personality; it drives how people see your business, and the type of customers your business attracts. Successful branding requires a branding strategy that defines how customers perceive your store and the products you offer.
Your e-commerce store may not be able to compete on product, price or shipping. If that’s the case, then recognize that your brand voice is something others can’t duplicate. Even if they can copy your business in every other regard, your branding remains your own. Look for the ways to highlight unique aspects of your business.
Offer a great website experience
Customers form an opinion about your business the minute they land on your website. So your site should be designed to make the steps to purchasing as pleasurable and straightforward as possible. Nothing frustrates consumers more than a website that is slow, unclear and unprofessional looking. Having a beautifully designed website and logo can make your store stand out from others which use pre-made layouts or logos.
Put yourself in the shoes of your customers and try to purchase on your website. Conduct frequent audits of your website, especially the checkout process to ensure that everything works smoothly. Don’t forget to test using different devices and browsers. It’s important to serve up an excellent experience for all customers.
Also, make sure your site works on mobile. This is increasingly becoming more and more important to the bottom line of e-commerce stores, so stay with the crowd.
Use high-quality images
Using high-quality images is very important in your product presentation. Make sure that your photos are explicit and show what the product is. The higher quality the photographs, the better. Having pictures which look expensive convinces customers that the product is high quality as well.
Many people underestimate the importance of excellent photography that highlights the unique features of a product. We often use placeholder images when designing a website for our clients, and this gives us the opportunity to show the client what type of photography we recommend using. However, when the site goes live, clients sometimes replace our placeholder images with not-so-professional photos, and it completely alters the look.
It is essential to show off your products as best as you can. You want to evoke a feeling that makes visitors want to grab the product through the screen – and immediately click on the “buy” button.
Increase your Social Media efforts
Social media is where potential customers are looking for you. 75 percent of customers will check out social media before they make a purchase. If you aren’t actively engaging with customers on social media and posting content written by your top writers, then you lose your chance to reach them.
Social networks offer new ways to reach the customers. Share user-generated content from social platforms on your website. It will add credibility to your company, showcase the community of your followers and give your users ideas on how to use your products.
Post engaging content with your logo on your social media accounts such as motivational quotes, short videos, gift ideas and much more. Always be sure that your social posts include clear calls to action that bring people back to your website to buy your products. Make sure to bring your followers to your website by sharing links to your landing page.
Social proof indicates credibility; it can stimulate new website visitors to place an order with you. Moreover, if they’ve been scanning your site for a while without coming to a buying decision, little social proof can be the tipping point they need.
Social proof comes in many forms, but for e-commerce, the most important is customer reviews. That’s because we all trust them, and many of us base our entire purchasing decision on them.
There are various ways to leverage social proof on your website, try at least some of them. If you do not have the customers yet, influencer reviews and testimonials can work as well. Contact the influencers in your field on social media and ask them if they would be interested in reviewing your product.
Are you trying hard enough to handle your shopping cart abandonment?
The first step is to track and recognize how many customers are leaving items in their carts without finalizing the purchases.
If you are not addressing it, you are missing out on sales.
Take a moment to think about how you can improve the customer experience.
First, the consumer becomes aware of your products, services or brand.
Next, they have a want or need that sparks interest in something more specific.
Once the customer knows what they want, they consider the purchase.
Adding a product to their shopping cart qualifies as the consideration part of this conversion funnel process.
They are now just one step(click) away from finalizing the sale.
So, what is the problem?
If consumers are getting all the way to the shopping cart, you do not have a problem with your homepage or product service page.
What about your contact page or customer service information availability?
It is possible the customer does not feel comfortable finalizing the purchase based on the provided information about your business, reputation, warranty, or return policy.
But again, they have already made it to the checkout page with items in the cart.
So, the issue has to be in the final step of your conversion process.
In this post, we will show you some techniques that will minimize shopping cart abandonment on your platform and increase your conversion rates.
1. Recognize that customers are price sensitive
Your prices may be deterring the consumer from finalizing their purchase.
Apparently, you are trying to make money.
I am not telling you to start giving everything away.
You should be making a healthy profit on each transaction.
But unexpected prices are the first reason why consumers are abandoning shopping carts.
So, the initial price of your item might be okay.
But the added charges are turning customers away.
Some examples of these extra charges may include:
Any other hidden costs
Is there a way you can discharge some of these?
Here is an idea.
Maybe you can take on the shipping fee.
Rather than putting that burden on the customer, you can adjust the original prices of your products to account for the shipping charges.
The customer will still end up paying more, but it is not an unexpected charge.
You have got to find a middle ground and try to keep your prices competitive while still generating a nice profit.
You may be making slightly less money in each transaction, but it is worth it if you can increase the transaction rate.
2. Make sure your website and checkout process are secure
In the last five years, 46% of Americans were victims of credit card fraud.
That is an alarming number.
Americans are being the targets of nearly half of all the credit card breaches worldwide.
This is a real concern for consumers.
Your customers may have had a negative experience in the past, and that can make them hesitant about online shopping.
Therefore, the purchase process on your website needs to be secure.
You hold the responsibility for your customers’ credit card information.
Do not be the reason for their accounts getting hacked.
Take the proper security measures and place the corresponding badges on the checkout page, similar to the graphic above.
It makes the consumer feel more comfortable on the checkout page.
A secure website and checkout process need to be a priority for your e-commerce store.
3. Let your customers check out without creating a profile
You want customers to have an account with your company.
It is a great way to track their behavior and keep them informed of special offers and promotions.
However, you should not be forcing people to create a user profile to make a purchase.
It is an extra step. People are in a hurry, and you want the procedure to be quick.
They may have a fear of getting unwanted text messages, emails, or junk mail.
If your website does not have a guest checkout option, you are making a mistake.
There should be two clear options.
Returning users can easily sign into their accounts, and customers without an account can proceed without creating one.
This ensures you are not losing sales.
However, to complete the checkout process, the customer still needs to enter their information.
Which means you will have their name, location, email address, and other information.
Once the sale is finalized, you can entice them to create an account.
All they need to do is create a password.
You already have all the other information in your records, so they do not need to submit information twice.
Give the customer a reason to create an account.
What’s the customer getting in return?
Option to track the order
But they should not be forced to create a profile just to make a purchase.
So, make sure that is optional.
4. Accept a broad range of payment options for the customer
What kind of payment options are you accepting?
Do you not accept Discover cards?
I understand that particular credit card companies have higher processing fees than others.
Accepting transactions from PayPal or similar platforms could be even more costly.
By not accepting some payment methods, you could be turning customers away.
You might think everyone has one of the credit cards you accept, but that is not always the case.
Give the consumer lots of options because alternative payment methods are trending upward.
If you are accepting only 1 or 2 payment forms, it could be the reason for your shopping cart abandonment. Because some customers get to the checkout process only to discover you are not offering their preferred payment option.
5. The process needs to be mobile friendly
Your website should be mobile friendly, and the checkout procedure should be optimized for mobile devices.
Research shows 84 percent of smartphone users have experienced a problem completing a mobile transaction.
And 40 percent of users will go to your competitor after an unsatisfactory experience on your mobile site.
What do these numbers tell you?
People want to shop on their phones.
Almost 5.2 billion people have a mobile device across the world.
Of course, not all these people are your potential customers.
But a large part of them could be.
Do not alienate people from shopping on their mobile devices.
It is estimated that half of the e-commerce transactions happen on mobile platforms.
If getting to a desktop or laptop is the only way for your customers to shop, it could be hurting your sales.
Make sure your checkout procedure is optimized for mobile devices to decrease your shopping cart abandonment rates.
6. Avoid your competitors from stealing your customers
How unique is your service or product?
Chances are, you do not own the space outright.
You have plenty of competition.
It is not always easy to compete with the big players like Amazon or Walmart.
36% of shoppers abandon a shopping cart because they found a better price elsewhere.
If your prices are higher, that needs to be justified.
Make sure your service and quality are outstanding.
Your customer needs to understand this.
The website needs to load fast because 64% of smartphone users expect a site to load in 4 seconds or less.
And do not make the process too complicated.
We know that 25% of consumers abandon their shopping carts if the navigation is too complex.
They will go to your competitors instead, and therefore you should be aware of how your competitors are operating.
7. Send a reminder email if a cart is abandoned
So you may not be able to prevent everyone from abandoning their shopping carts.
Even if you reduce the abandonment rate, you will not get that number down to zero.
Where do you go from here?
Do not give up just because a customer abandoned their cart.
If you have their information, reach out and send them a reminder.
Sending an email, you can accomplish a few things:
remind the customer of their shopping
create a sense of urgency
offer an additional incentive
The reminder alone can be enough to get the customer to finalize their purchase.
But if it is not, it can create a sense of urgency by saying “high sell-out risk.”
It can also provide an extra incentive by offering a discount.
Earlier I mentioned that consumers are price sensitive.
They may abandon the cart for financial reasons.
Giving the customer a discount will show them you care.
That promotion may be enough reason for them to finish the checkout.
8. Use A/B testing to simplify your checkout process
How long does it take the consumers to purchase on your site?
Every extra click they have to make gives them a chance to second-guess their decision.
You can run an A/B test to see which checkout procedure is more successful.
If you have a long checkout system, you should definitely shorten the procedure significantly.
Run an A/B test by using your current system as the control group and a shorter version as the experimental group.
See if you there is a difference in your shopping cart abandonment rates between these two groups.
9. Create a sense of urgency
You can do FOMO(Fear Of Missing Out) on your checkout page to reduce cart abandonment.
Some customers are just browsing.
New customers most likely will not buy anything on their first visit to your website.
But you can give them an additional incentive to finalize their purchases.
Create a sense of urgency.
“Limited quantity remaining.”
“Sale price expires at midnight.”
“8 other people are looking at this room right now.”
“14 people booked this flight in the last 24 hours.”
I am sure you have seen phrases like this before while browsing online.
Airlines and hotels do this all the time.
Act now, or miss out.
You can incorporate this psychological method into your checkout process to reduce cart abandonment.
The shopping cart abandonment is a problem for your e-commerce website.
But it is not too late to make changes to your checkout process to prevent future cart abandonment.
You can follow the advice above to keep your abandonment rates low while increasing your conversion rates and revenue.
Customers are price sensitive so do not hit them with any unexpected charges.
You should accept multiple forms of payment while also making sure the payment procedure is entirely secure. Customers will not shop on your website if they think their credit card information is at risk.
Do not force customers to create a profile to check out. Instead of that offer a user account as an option after they complete the process.
Make sure your website is optimized for mobile devices. Because if not, your customers can go to your competitors.
The checkout process has to be short. You can run an A/B test to play with different formats and options.
To avoid cart abandonment, create a sense of urgency: if the customer does not act now, they may not be able to get the exact product in the future.
Even if someone abandons their cart, it is not too late. Send them a reminder email about the product.
You can also offer a promotion or discount as an extra incentive to finalize the sale.
Creating an app opens an entirely new channel by which you can interact with your customers. A haven in which your dedicated audience always has access to you in one simple click. Your app is a space fully customizable to their needs. The problem in most cases isn’t the app itself. Rather, it is the crucial step so often missed after the app is created, promotion.
A general rule of thumb is to spend as much time promoting your product as you do to create them. For instance, if you spend 2 days writing a blog post, then spend the next 2 days sharing your blog post in as many outlets as possible.
The more you promote your content, the easier and faster the process becomes. We know small businesses don’t have a large budget to dedicate to marketing or promotional events. Even those who do have the money may find themselves only having a few channels to promote their content.
We have gathered 15 steps to guide you in marketing your app effectively. These steps will only cost you time, and we’re confident that if you follow them, you’ll have a notable increase in a number of followers and downloads.
Leverage Your Mobile Website
If you have an existing website which is fully functional and mobile-friendly, then it can be one of the greatest assets for promoting your app. At one point or another, all of your customers or anyone interested in your company will find their way to your website, and when they do, it’s important they all know you have an app.
Including your app in your site could mean sectioning off a part of your website exclusively for the app. Such as towards the middle of the webpage or the corner of the screen. While this method can bring in more downloads, I recommend taking an alternate approach. Instead of placing it solely on your website, have a pop-up page display whenever someone visits your site.
By this way, the app is the first thing the viewers see. The pop-up page is just a gentle reminder that you have an app and your customers are given either the option to continue to your mobile site or download the app.
Feature the App in an Official Blog
In addition to including your app on your website, including it in your regularly scheduled blog post is another marketing strategy you can leverage. You can do so by creating a comprehensive blog post entirely about your app or including a CTA (call to action) at the end of each blog post to invite your visitors to download the app.
When writing the blog post completely about the app, write a complete story about your app and let your viewers know the purpose behind it. Tell them how this app can help and make things easy for them. Include your app links, videos, and screenshots to help them get a good understanding.
Feature The App in Your Emails
Your app needs to be engraved into every aspect of your marketing, which includes all of your emails. As a business, you’ll send out countless emails and not including your app in each of those is a missed opportunity.
Any email which is sent out, whether it be from your newsletter, your tech support or even the payment confirmation email should include a footer with one line advertising your app. Include details such as what can be achieved through the app and a link redirecting towards the download page.
Create a Demo Video
Demo videos are an easy way to showcase everything that your app has to offer. For the demo video, create a simple half a minute commercial with the principles of Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle: Why, How, and What.
Assign a team to work on this video together. The collective minds of more than one will help you to finish projects faster and with fewer errors. Keep in mind that your demo video isn’t meant to stay the way it is now. Your videos, along with all your content, should be updated weekly or monthly.
Apply for Awards
Participating in-app awards is the most recommended channel, and I would highly suggest you take advantage of it. It can give you tons of press, reviews, exposure, and plenty of downloads. Even though the chances of winning very much depend on your pitch and app idea, if you succeed to get things right the first time, you can enjoy a little stardom.
Here are some of the most famous app awards websites:
Best App Ever Awards
Apple Design Awards
Ericsson Application Awards
The Webby Awards
Best Mobile App Awards
Create An Eye-Catching App Icon
With over 3.3 million apps in the Google Play Store and 2 million in the App Store, there is a lot of noise in any category you choose to have your app in. Due to that noise, many people choose to take an interest in apps, only when the app icon entices them.
To make your app icon stand out, it should:
Have a unique shape that stands out
Have a limited pallet of colors – 2 is enough to create contrast
Avoid using a photo – it blends in too much!
Avoid a lot of text, and it is barely readable anyways
Testing your app icon out on a dozen different wallpapers also doesn’t hurt.
App Store Optimization
App store optimization (ASO) is, at its core, search engine optimization (SEO) for the Google Play and App Store. Just like SEO, app store optimization focuses on search relevance, keyword relevance, and the keyword density in your description.
With almost half of iPhone users in the US are finding apps through search, your app description is one of the essential things that you can focus on in your app marketing efforts.
Build A Great App Landing Page
A great landing page is a must have for any business, even if you do not have a mobile app. Having a great landing page is like having a great business card, just in case you ever need it, it is good to have with you.
Breaking it down, while the page has multiple links out, the two most prominent links are the Google Play Store and App Store buttons. They are several times larger than the social sharing buttons, great to have for helping visitors to the site share the app, and they stand out just as much as the images to the right of them.
As you scroll down, each panel has a single call to action, which leads directly back to the primary call to action – to download the app.
Get Featured On Mobile App Review Sites
Getting on an App Review Site means you are going to have to send them a pitch which means you have to convince the website that your app is good enough to be reviewed by them and featured on their site. Most of these app review sites are looking for things such as:
Beautiful graphical designs in high quality
Original and unique content, mechanics, themes, and art
Stable apps with no glitches, crashes, overwhelming loading times or poorly pieced together content
When you reach out, you’ll most likely have to provide supporting material for your app. It is usually done in the form of a document containing the following:
A link to your app in the app store
A summary paragraph describing your app and what makes your app stand out
Screenshots of your title screen, app logo, and in-app content
Links to videos of your app from Vimeo or YouTube
A promo code that are keys giving access to download the app for free if it is a paid app,
Promote Your App Through A Promo Video
Having a good promo video is a staple of any mobile app. It is a quick and easy way for anyone to understand the most common use case behind the app and how they can use it.
An additional benefit of a promo video is that you can take advantage of video SEO.
For instance, if people search for “the best list-making app” and your YouTube video title matches, then it will show up before the rest of the search results.
Use Your Social Network
Social media, despite the heavy focus of most businesses, is still a very underutilized channel of promotion. Sending the message once is good, but sending it several times over a month or two is even better.
The typical Facebook page post reaches 16% of the page’s fan base. Now if you’re to send the same message, re-write it 4 or 5 times and send it out once a week for five weeks and you are apparently reaching 80% of your Facebook page audience.
Reach Out To Influencers
Marketing your app can also extend beyond your usual field of influence and often, these foreign connections are exactly what your company needs. Developing authentic, honest and mutually beneficial relationships with influencers will go a long way in helping to promote your app.
Influencers are people with the power to influence the buying and engagement decisions of a particular group of people. Business owners reaching out influencers should be careful to only present content that is truly relevant for the influencers and their audience. While some marketers often offer monetary compensation in exchange for influencer promotion, we recommend you instead find influencers that genuinely value your company.
Your viewers and theirs as well will quickly catch on that the influencer is being paid to act on your behalf. The last thing you want is customers’ feeling that you are “faking” how great your business is. Genuine sponsorships will aid your company much more and build a stronger following.
Let influencers know you’re building or have built an app. Ask if you can have some time with them to discuss the development of the app or to gather some feedback. If you want to have them on board, give them their section within the app or work towards building an app that provides to both parts needs. And if you decide to go with either of these choices, make sure your interests, values, and customers align.
Join Developers & Entrepreneurs Groups on Social Media
Increase your visibility on social media groups, especially Linkedin, Google+ and Facebook, to become better known among entrepreneurs and app developers go.
Ask for their feedback about your app and give them a free promo code to try it out. Discuss current features, future updates, bug fixes, and value their opinion. You can build a great relationship with them which might present the opportunity to cross-promote each other’s apps without spending a cent.
Have a look at blogs in the space which are relevant to your mobile app. Identify the opportunity to add value by commenting on relevant blogs that makes sense. Make sure to provide valuable insight and also link to your mobile app or your mobile app’s landing page. It can be used in mobile app marketing to drive high-quality, relevant links and traffic to your mobile app’s landing page or download link.
Roll Out New Updates Constantly
Your customers need to know you’re always making the app better for them. Apps that aren’t being cared for will be thrown away. Users will feel betrayed if you aren’t doing all you can to make the experience better for them. This is particularly true if you still have not addressed many of the issues that customers rage about in the review sections. Keep your app content fresh and let your customers know that you are always planning something more for them to enjoy.