Brought to you by MightyCall:
North America has over 1.3 million e-commerce businesses – a number substantial enough to populate a small country. With all that crowd, taking the online business market by storm and keeping your place once you claim it is no easy job.
Tasks like boosting sales, investing in customer service, and crafting engaging marketing content – all while keeping your budget in check – demand real superhero abilities – even for female entrepreneurs.
Remember the age-old adage numbers don’t lie? Well, with online business planning, that especially holds true.
Amidst an overwhelming number of challenges and the present-day economic crisis, modern businesswomen have the help of data accumulated from e-commerce sales and actions. Analyzing this data facts is a guaranteed way to get your online business ahead of the competition.
To get you started (and save time on research), here are some insightful e-commerce stats deciphered. Implement these scientifically-backed pieces of advice to reenergize your online business strategy – both in the short and long run.
Don’t Wait to Engage
You’ve heard tons about first impressions and their impact on online business. But do you know how long a human brain actually takes to form that vital impression? Or how fast your online business “clicks” (metaphorically and literally) with prospective clients? Try 50 milliseconds — or 30 times faster than it takes to blink an eye!
Research also shows that 2.6 seconds is all it takes for visitors to scan a web page and evaluate its usefulness. Even when evaluating health sites, visitors assess trustworthiness based on visual impressions like layout, navigation, color schemes, text placement, and so on.
All of the above facts are due to the brain’s lightning-fast ability to process images and form opinions way before engaging in written content. They also echo Microsoft’s 2015 report on the average human attention span, down to 8 seconds –or shorter than that of a goldfish.
Bottom line: in 2019, no online business, no matter how serious, can escape (or resist) the visual content factor. Make sure yours engages instantly.
Keep your online store homepage minimalistic but appealing. Customers are more prone to buy when inspired with an irresistible image of your product used in real life. If your site is up to date on design (revamped less than 2 years ago) but not visually-optimized, you can give sales a direct boost with a visual website optimizer tool. This tool strategically switches content on your website to help visitors spot the focal info in the 2.6 second time-frame mentioned earlier.
Craft Your Own “No Client Left Behind” Strategy
Having visitors surf your site is nice, but let’s not kid anyone. You want people to love your product enough to buy it. Unfortunately, the circa 76% cart abandonment rate for online shopping isn’t a cheerful statistic. Neither is the annual $4.6 trillion in lost eCommerce sales due to visitors who ‘changed their minds’ sometime during checkout.
Studies prove there are several reasons why customers abandon their virtual carts. One of the primary cons is a poor mobile site. Today, a lot of customers do shopping on smartphones, not desktops. Things like a slow-loading, poorly optimized mobile version of your online store will have customers searching for competitors in a few moments.
And then, there are surprises – unpleasant ones – like unexpected shipping costs, taxes, and hidden fees. If you don’t want to lose 55% of your customers and half your possible revenue, give shoppers a treat like free or discount shipping from time to time. Your generosity will pay off.
Last but not least – don’t lose 34% of potential clients by making registration mandatory for checkout. A simple way to avoid that is to include a “guest checkout” option.
Analyze cart abandonment stats and optimize customer retention by focusing on the major customer complaints and your own customer feedback – one issue at a time. As former Growth PM Lead at Airbnb Lenny Rachitsky instructs, “Crafting and aligning on a problem statement is the single most important step in solving any problem. […] Obsess over crystalizing the problem you are trying to solve and align your entire team behind it.”
Relinquish All Communication Excuses
You know how tough it is to answer inquiry calls, SMS, or help chats when you’re the only person around in the office, when a colleague took an unexpected day off, or when you’re a solopreneur on the go, multitasking what seems like a gazillion tasks an hour. Any business owner will get this. But for a client, poor customer service has no excuses.
Excellent communication stands in direct correlation to both great first impressions and customer retention. To be a success, communication should resemble a 3D network serving everyone in your business: yourself, your team, and your customers – a network that’s extremely mobile and allows you to delegate tasks with the swish of a magic wand.
Communication is also your number one tool for lead conversion, and that’s some serious stuff. According to research published by Steve Olenski on Forbes, 71% of leads are wasted because of delayed communication. No doubt all those communication delays had some good on paper excuse. But at the end of the day, they became plain wasted leads.
There are still small business owners out there who like to do communication old-school, via a landline or extra mobile phone subbing for their business number. Apart from that being pricey, slow, and inconvenient, the result has an overwhelmingly negative impact on customer service.
Virtual Phone System (VoIP) growth rates show that it’s the most reliable communication choice for modern business and a top tool for customer service improvement. No existing landline provider comes close to opportunities offered these days by VoIP for business.
A virtual phone system for business offers instant multi-device communication and dozens of business features for a fraction of landline costs. Moreover, it will get rid of all your customer service excuses for good.
Embrace a Futurist mindset
Learning is a lifelong quest for an entrepreneur. So is leadership. But basing your decisions on past wisdom and even past experience is only half the real deal. The most enticing journey starts the moment you adopt a futurist mindset.
What exactly does a futurist mindset imply? The World Future Society tackled some of those precise questions in a recent article. Here are a few grains of wisdom to ponder:
- Relinquish notions of comfort zones. Both in life and in business, staying within predetermined comfort zones may give you generic results, but never exceptional performance. Experts suggest – don’t be afraid to set ‘uncomfortable’ goals when they embrace the future vision of your business.
- Work backwards. If you’re not familiar with Amazon’s “working backwards” methodology, working backwards means understanding your perfect scenario of a product, user experience, or company vision and going from there to map out how you’re going to bring that to life. In other words, know exactly where you want to be and then figure out how to get there.
- Map out several business realities. In the words of Richard Watson, author and Imperial London College lecturer on futurism in business, “One of the biggest traps when thinking about the future is not separating what’s probable — conventional wisdom, in many instances — from what’s possible. Start with some broad categories that impact [your business]. Then consider the present drivers or megatrends. Next [tackle the] probable: We use 50 percent chance or greater, usually 10, 15, or 20 years into the future. Lastly, [rethink the] possible: What’s hugely impactful, highly improbable, but not actually impossible?”
By thoughtfully implementing at least one of the above strategies, you’re taking both your mindset and your business perspectives into the future.
Provide Instant Help
When customers visit your online store, they’re expecting several things: to be “wowed” by your product (first visually and then content-wise), to be offered a smooth shopping experience, and to have instant access to help tools.
The global Connecting with Customers Report found that 83% of e-customers need support during online shopping and checkout – now that’s a lot of people who need your help fast!
But how fast is fast? According to the same report, 71% of customers expect support within five minutes; 31% want assistance instantly.
For business owners, this means your help should come as fast as requested, and the tools should be as efficient for you as they are valuable for your customers.
VoIP web widgets are instant and efficient help tools for online business. Some of the most popular widgets are click-to-call buttons that you can place anywhere on your online store page(s). They allow customers to instantly call from whatever device they’re on at the moment – even a laptop. Another sort of VoIP web widget is a call-back button. This lets clients order a call-back instantly or at a time that’s best for them.
While the click-to-call option works best for customers who need help right away (like during checkout), call-back is great for following up on leads, and making sure none of them (i.e. the 71% mentioned earlier) are wasted again.
With the all-in-one virtual phone system from MightyCall, you can quickly set up your entire communications network (voice calls, messaging, and web widgets), distribute calling responsibilities (e.g., call flows, extensions, auto-attendant, etc.), and change preferences on the go (mobile app) whenever your schedule shifts.
At the end of the day, you (and your team) will feel like you’ve just grown a pair of superhero wings.
Both for online business owners and their customers, the most valuable asset is time. Whenever you invest in care for your customers, be it through modern communication tools, a custom business strategy, or special gift, you’re regaining lost time. You’re also creating a confident future for yourself and gaining loyal followers.
Mandy Hale reminds us, “There is nothing more beautiful than someone who goes out of their way to make life beautiful for others.” As an online business owner constantly striving to be better, that’s exactly what you’re empowered to do.