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5 Tweaks That’ll Make a Big Difference to Your E-commerce Store

Whether you make awesome tie-dye t-shirts, intricate bespoke jewelry, or drop ship various home decor items, you love running your e-commerce store. You’ve got a product offering, you’ve got some social media marketing going on, admin tasks that…well, those never end, but still. Things are going pretty well, all things considered.

But what if, things could be really great? And possibly approach ‘awesome’ territory?

Here are a few little tweaks to your e-commerce operation that could take it from here to HERE.

1. Set up email automations

If a new potential customer visits your website and decides to sign up for your newsletter to learn more about you – great, right?  Sure. But what if your next newsletter isn’t due out for another week or more.  Good chance that they might forget they signed up by then and wonder who you are when you finally appear in their inbox…and delete it.

What if, the moment they signed up to your email list, they received a quick, short n’ sweet “Thanks!” from you. Create a connection right away, reinforce your brand immediately. This is something that will take you minutes to set up and automate within your ESP and you’ll see long-term benefits for.   Go, do it now.  We’ll wait.

Other email automation to consider are abandoned cart emails, thank you purchase emails and upsell offers.

2. Take a pulse on your site health

Run your store through an SEO tool online, if you don’t have someone you use already. Make sure you have no broken links, no glaring page errors, and also make sure your site has a quick load-time on both desktop and mobile.  If you see any red flags, address them as quickly as possible. The better experience people have on your site, the more likely they are to come back and bring their friends with them.

3. Ensure your branding is cohesive

Do your social media pages match the look of your website in terms of logo, brand colors, fonts, and tone of voice?  Are your user names the same (or close to it)?  Little things like this help your store and brand remain recognizable to your customers.  If you’re Joe’s Pet Food on Facebook, but you’re Joey Smith on Instagram…are people going to connect the two? 

Find a name you’d like to use across all platforms – check to see if it’s been taken. Then when you find one that’s available, use it everywhere. Some platforms have character limits so you might need to tweak them slightly to stay within the parameters.

4. Confirm Humanity

We put customers through a lot. Double-opt-ins when signing up for accounts, clicking those pictures of traffic lights…always wondering if we’ve clicked on enough of them just to sign-up.  What about you?  Have your customers ever seen your face or heard your voice? 

Referring back to our previous blog post (I’m sure you’ve read it, right?!) social media is the place to show your face and remind people that a real human (or several) humans are on the other side of the computer.  Instagram and Facebook have “Stories”; they last 24-hours before they expire. A great place to pop on for a little hello, share a quick behind the scenes, share something non-business related, and more. 

Even before ‘lockdown’ became part of our everyday vocabulary, people wanted to know there’s someone real that they’re ordering from. Take a moment to show your face and share why you love running your store and thank your customers for their support.

5. Streamline your checkout process

Our attention spans are dwindling and our patience is evaporating. 

Bigger brands have mastered the art of a quick and simple checkout process and people become repeat customers when it’s a frictionless experience. Put yourself in your customers shoes and place an order on your site. See what it’s like. How many clicks, how many fields to fill in? How long does it take?  

If you find things you can simplify or refine for a better overall user experience, do it.  Customer expectations are evolving and if another store offers an easier experience, some could easily jump ship and order with them instead.

The moral of the story is…

Think like your customer. How do they interact with your store and what can you do as an owner to make it the best experience possible?  That combined with a healthy and well-running site will turn your site from a 7/10 to a 10/10 (or higher!).

Sources:

How to decide the best platforms for marketing your business

You’ve got a business and you need to market it. People need to know you exist and how they can find you. Sounds easy enough, especially when we live in the era of Social Media, right? Just throw some posts up and you’re good, no?  Maybe ten years ago, but not now. 

There are reportedly over 500 social networks and counting.  While some channels come and go (RIP, Google+), there are six top channels that are likely in it for the long haul. And as it’s not physically possible to be active on all of them (nor would you want to, but more about that later) those companies just starting out may feel like they need to try. A new brand needs as much exposure and awareness as possible – understandably, they want to be everywhere to achieve maximum reach.  What you’ll find is that a more targeted strategy will yield better and long-lasting results as opposed to a blanket, one-size-fits-all methodology.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed trying to keep running on the hamster wheel of posting, it’s time to take a step back and figure out your social media sweet spot.

Repeat after me: I do not need to be on every social media network. 

It’s much more important to have an active and engaged audience on one or two networks than to have a bunch of people across every platform who never read your posts or respond to them.  

Daily posting isn’t necessary either.  Two to three well thought out valued-filled posts a week are much more effective than a hurried and panicked “I don’t know what to post today, so I’ll just post this …” mentality. 

When trying to find out the best channel for your business, it’s important to answer a couple of questions first:

  1. Who is my ideal customer?
  2. Do they have kids? A truck? A koi pond?
  3. Where do they live? What do they do for a living?
  4. Which platform(s) do they spend time on?
  5. How old are they? 

Answering these questions will give you insight into which platform aligns best with your existing and future customers. Some of this information may be available through your CRM, but if you don’t know the answers to these questions – ask! Make a few interactive quiz or poll posts on your existing social pages or website for quick and easy market research.

For this blog post we’ll focus on the top 6 networks:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • YouTube
  • LinkedIn

These six are the most well-known and used world-wide, applicable to most industries/niches,  and so are generally where people choose to market their businesses.  

Let’s review each one to help determine which fits best for your business.

  1. Facebook 

The big granddaddy of them all. Used by 180+ million businesses for advertising and 2.7 billion monthly active users, this one goes to the top of the class. It’s been around for long enough that an older audience is comfortable with using it, while younger generations tend to spend their social media hours elsewhere.  If your company has customers who average 35 and older, definitely include this platform in your strategy.

  1. Twitter 

This channel continues to grow;  at last check with 152 million monetizable daily active users. Of these, Americans comprise 15% of Twitters total monthly users worldwide – putting them at the top of the platform’s user base. A quick-moving hashtag-driven search haven for those who want to get bite-sized pieces of information at the push of button. With a 280 character limit this is great for users who move quick and enjoy these microblogs as their preferred method of information intake.

  1. Instagram

The images and graphics grab your attention, but the captions are where the stories are found. Crafting a caption has become an artform, drawing users in to inspire, educate, and inform.  The app has been busy rolling out new features to keep users on the app more engaged and for longer – Stories, Reels, Guides, IGTV, lives and I’m sure, more in the works. This is a great place to tell a story and grow a community.  With a reach of 140 million users in the U.S. and a nearly even gender ratio (51F/49M) it’s one to consider. And if that doesn’t convince you – 200 million users visit at least one business profile per day.  

  1. Pinterest

Not just for moms craft projects anymore! Male users are on the rise (more than 20%) here, and everyone uses it as a research portal. A large majority of female users head to Pinterest to help with planning ‘life events’ so you’ll definitely want your business to have a presence here if you serve that niche.  The site is used to find inspiration and ideas for big purchases and share ‘pins’ they’ve liked and tried with other users. And the biggest benefit to using Pinterest? The lifespan of a pin can be close to two months! When you compare it with other social media channels, where posts are gone in hours (or minutes) from your newsfeed, Pinterest leaves them all in the dust!

  1. YouTube

People may not realize this, but YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world. With 2 billion users and growing, if you cater to 18-34 year olds you should work on including this into your marketing strategy. As video content can sometimes require a bit more experience in compiling and producing compared to other channels, YouTube might be a good step for more medium-sized businesses who are ready to add it to their social media strategy and have the resources to outsource the production of videos rather than doing it in-house. 

  1. LinkedIn

If you provide SaaS or primarily a B2C organization, then get on #TeamLinkedIn right away.  It’s no longer just a place to search for jobs. With 700 million active users you can connect with other professionals, and follow industry thought-leaders. They also offer “LinkedIn Learning” where you can take courses on several business topics and programs (from video editing to Microsoft Excel and everything in between). Live streams have spiked 158% in use, especially during the pandemic. LinkedIn users skew slightly more males than females (57%/43%) and it is by far the best site for lead generation.

“When you speak to everyone, you speak to no one.” 

Meredith Hill

As stated earlier, you don’t need to be on every social network. If your customer base is parents-to-be and grandparents ready to spoil their grandkids, you can probably put LinkedIn on the backburner.  Narrow down your audience and wherever they are, that’s where you need to be.

Are you comfortable with Facebook from personal use? Then start there. Start a page for your business, post relevant and helpful content related to your industry.  Grow a community – remember it’s called social media for a reason.  Interact with your followers, start discussions, ask questions of them and they’ll give back to you.

As your community grows in engagement and you feel confident in one channel, then think of adding a second one to compliment your offering and expand your reach. A health social media strategy is one that includes an engaged and happy audience.

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