Planning your ecommerce strategy

Creating a successful web store

The Ecommerce sector is growing at a rapid pace.  A recent report undertaken by NZ Post shows 1.8 million kiwis bought online in 2018, spending a total of $4.6 billion. 

Encouraging trends for local retailers also show spending with New Zealand stores grew at nearly double the rate of growth for international online stores.

But what does this mean for companies considering changing their ecommerce website or embarking on their first ecommerce store? 

With a reputation for building stunning digital experiences, Tin Soldier has helped many New Zealand brands digitally transform their online businesses – including the likes of La-Z-Boy, Panasonic, Zempire Camping and CS&Co.

As such, we are often asked what advice we can give companies putting together their own digital commerce strategies. Just as every business is unique, with different products, goals and customers, so is every ecommerce implementation.

We have put together our own thoughts on what we believe should run through every ecommerce strategy: 

Design and UX

If you walked into a shop with products strewn across the floor and no room to move around due to badly placed furniture, you’d probably walk back out.

A lot of time and money is often spent on getting the look and feel of the bricks and mortar side of the business just right – ensuring the customer experience is such that it not only ends in them buying something, but also sees them return in the future.

As your ecommerce platform is your online shop, it is amazing how little time some companies consider spending on their User Experience – or UX strategy.

There are so many areas that can directly influence a journey. It is therefore important to consider every aspect of a customer’s journey – or touchpoints across online and offline channels.

Other areas to consider include attractive product presentation and data presentation through menus; strong branding and easy payment flow. 

Our design team understand the customer journey and how best to enhance it through design. Our UX expertise can be difference between a sale and an abandoned cart.


Make the checkout process easy

The customer has come to your site, scrolled through all the products, picked out the one they want and put it in the basket. Product sold, right? Wrong.

Research conducted by the Barnard Institute discovered an average shopping cart abandonment rate of 67.91 per cent. That’s more than two in three people leaving without going through with paying. Of course, some of these missed opportunities are due to people wanting to shop around, but the same research suggested that 29 per cent of the abandonment occurred due to an overwhelming checkout process.

Another survey by Worldpay found that the top reason given – at 56 per cent – was due to shoppers being presented with hidden costs.

The checkout process therefore needs to be straight forward. Are you forcing customers to register and create an account?  How many payment options are there? Are the delivery costs and any other costs clear throughout the site?  

We say, be up front about additional fees, offer a variety of payment methods, create a guest check-out minimising the amount of information that a customer needs to divulge before being able to buy a product.

Make the checkout process on your ecommerce site as easy, quick and stress-free as possible and increase conversions and sales in the process.

Think Mobile

Gone are the days when mobile could be an afterthought when planning your ecommerce strategy.
‘Omnichannel’ can seem like a buzzword, but today’s tech-savvy customers interact with brands across a multitude of different platforms and devices, so providing a seamless shopping experience is in many cases considered essential. And mobile is a huge part of this approach.

According to Adobe Digital Insights, US consumers spent more than $24billion shopping online last Thanksgiving, up 23 per cent on the year before. But the bigger story was that over 40 per cent of this was mobile spend – just over $10 billion. This was up 44 per cent from the year before, with smartphones 77 per cent of these sales. Worldpay say mobile shopping will take over from desktop by 2023.

Worldpay suggest that ecommerce brands develop a branded app, with 71 percent of shoppers preferring apps over mobile browsers when shopping on their smartphone. And we find it difficult to disagree. With 5G around the corner meaning faster networks, increased smartphone ownership, and more hours spent on the devices than ever, think mobile.


In conclusion: customer is key

While the online retail industry is growing year-on-year, the key ingredient of the shopping experience remains the same - the Customer. A good ecommerce strategy will put the customer at the hear of everything it does.

A comprehensive UX strategy will then help you identify every aspect of a customer’s journey across online and offline channels, enabling you to design your site with this in mind.

Recent research has found that is costs seven times more to attract new customers than to retain existing customers, so when you have identified ways to bring people to your site, it’s then all about ensuring they want to return.

Listen to what puts them off and frustrates them. Make navigation and communication simple. And ensure mobile and an easy checkout process are integral to your plans.

If you incorporate these key elements into your ecommerce strategy, you will be onto a great start.

To discuss your online business, give us a call at Tin Soldier.

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