Use the OPEN System to Effectively Greet Your E-commerce Customers

June 27, 2019
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Just like in traditional retail, greeting your customers and making them feel welcome, comfortable, and ultimately open to purchasing is a vital part of operating an e-shop. Like the saying goes, “you only have one chance to make a first impression.”

When you consider that a huge chunk of your visitors will drop off without even proceeding to a view a product page it’s even more imperative that you put your best foot forward and try your best to make your offer shine as soon as they arrive.

To that end, we’ve put together our OPEN system (coincidental acronym), composed of 4 focal points you should make sure you're well acquainted and regularly working with to do your best to ensure your visitors are getting converted to customers.

O IS FOR OPTIMIZATION

Before your visitors ever arrive, you want to make sure your “shop” is ready and optimized for their visit. The mere ease and simplicity of shopping online is one of the core reasons why e-commerce is where it is today, but that ease also means the average shopper is much more fickle and apt to move onto the next e-shop.

Statistics show that if your page takes too long to load, only a few seconds, that you can lose almost 50% of your customers. Additionally, with the emergence of mobile e-commerce, if your shop isn’t at the very least responsive, meaning it displays well across all devices, then you’re putting yourself at an even greater disadvantage.

Some things you can do to optimize your page are:

  • Check your speed at Pingdom, which provides free webpage analysis and assessment.
  • Make sure any images are optimized for web, meaning you're using the right format, keeping the size at a minimum, and use your alt tags.
  • Ensure you’re employing a responsive design to your website. While many e-commerce hosts/platforms will provide this, make sure yours is working as intended and continue to test and optimize.
  • With that, have a look at the subscription plan you have with your host to make sure you have the fastest one available. The slight increase in subscription fees will be far less than the increased revenue potential you’ll enjoy from the faster speeds.

P IS FOR POP-UPS

These days, there's a really good chance that the first thing you'll see when you go to an e-commerce site is a pop-up for one thing or another, whether that’s a limited-time offer, subscribing to a newsletter, a free demo, etc. Why? Put simply, pop-ups give you an opportunity to get in the customer's face and effectively welcome them to your business by not only highlighting any key communications, but by building your brand with impactful visuals and copy.

We’ve found that this is an opportune time to do a number of things, including offering discounts, tantalizing with exclusive content or information, or getting them to subscribe to your email list, the latter of which Samba just happens to have an intuitive and automated solution for.

Try some of these strategies:

  • While email marketing is incredibly potent, you need email addresses to send your emails to! Get your visitors to become subscribers by encouraging them to submit their emails with a first-time shopper coupon.
  • There are a variety of execution triggers you can employ, each with their own strengths and purposes, including based on a certain amount of time, behavior, exit intention, etc. Try experimenting to see what works best for your visitors.
  • Keep the texts short and make the visuals pop to get the best results. Make your proposition, show your value, and give them something to act on.
  • If you'd rather not offer a welcome discount, consider running a contest to get them to subscribe to your email list.

E IS FOR EMAIL

This part works hand-in-hand with the previous step and is as equally potent. Did you know that welcome emails have 86% higher open rates than other emails? Not only that, those welcome emails will generate more than 300% more revenue than other marketing emails.

It shouldn’t be a surprise when you consider welcome emails capitalize on those initial waves of interest and enthusiasm, are anticipated after the visitor has opted in, and can even capitalize on the product interests they've already shown, when it comes to automated personalized emails.

Strategies for effective emails:

  • Think of this as your chance to make a pitch and show them what makes your business different than the competition, which includes using brand-building messaging, showcasing your products in the best light, and reinforcing the benefits of being a subscriber.
  • Don’t stop at one, but create a complete welcome campaign with a chain of emails that slowly unfold your business, offers, and identity.
  • Consider an AI-powered personalization solution, like Samba, that will not only execute the emails on its own, but will also populate the emails with products that the customers have shown an interest in.
  • Provide links to your social network pages as it’s a great opportunity to increase your top-of-mind presence, while decreasing any “email fatigue” that may eventually develop from your email marketing campaigns.

N IS FOR NAVIGATION

Nothing can be more devastating than finally attracting a visitor and getting them to view your e-shop, only for them to be frustrated and confused by what they encounter and leaving just as quickly as they came. By optimizing your navigation, you can decrease your bounce rates and get your shoppers to where they want to be.

Some good rules of thumb are to try to make it possible to get to any page from any other page within 1 or 2 clicks; use high contrast to make sure your navigation stands out and is easy to read; and cut down the clutter, keeping the design as clean and simple as possible.

Some other things to be mindful of:

  • Try to keep the amount of options in a menu down to 6-8 items, anything over that may be working against your intention of making navigation easier.
  • If you have a lot of additional content to share above and beyond your product range, consider filling up your footer instead of your top or side menus.
  • Use breadcrumbs to help people backtrack or see related items.
  • Don't forget about mobile! Make sure your navigation is easy to use on a mobile device.

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