In today’s economy, acquiring highly qualified customers while increasing the amount of products and services they purchase is of critical importance. By making small, manageable improvements, online merchants can increase the lifetime value of each customer, drive repeat purchases and create stronger customer loyalty.
After a challenging holiday season, merchants face seemingly paradoxical imperatives in 2009: Continue e-commerce growth while holding the line on expenses. Now more than ever, merchants must invest wisely to stay competitive, and continue to improve and innovate online.
The early mantra of online marketing simply was, “build it, and they will come.” With thousands of shopping opportunities jostling for attention in today’s Web 2.0 world, direct marketers must employ sophisticated tactics to entice browsers and buyers.
Company: MarketLive, an e-commerce software and service provider for midsize merchants Product/Service: MarketLive Intelligent Commerce Solution, a commerce-as-a-service platform comprising the MarketLive eCommerce Platform, MarketLive Managed Commerce Infrastructure and integrated partner technologies
As e-commerce continues to be the bright spot in an otherwise clouded retail landscape, successful multichannel merchants will take advantage of consumers looking to shop more online due to the convenience, cost savings in gas and the opportunity to deal-hunt this holiday season. By implementing the following five proven tactics, you will be able to turn browsers into buyers, increase the amount shoppers spend and convert first-time shoppers into long-term, brand-loyal customers.
To combat the triple challenge of economic uncertainty, slowing market gains and seasonal swings, e-commerce merchants must shift focus to a previously neglected stage of the sales process: customer retention. Currently, online retailers allocate 53 percent of their marketing budgets to online customer acquisition and 21 percent of marketing dollars to online customer retention, according to Shop.org's State of Online Retailing Study for 2008. By building a base of loyal customers, merchants can smooth their averages by driving repeat business over time.
As the playing field levels for online retailers in terms of basic transactional capabilities—e.g., fast checkout processes, accurate shipping calculators, e-mail order confirmations—how can we increase sales and build competitive advantage in the years ahead?
For e-commerce retailers, microsites provide an opportunity to focus on specific marketing initiatives outside of the confines of the larger corporate site and brand. Microsites can house special features, marketing campaigns and sales promotions. They range from unique URLs tied to ad campaigns; to sites featuring one product or product group; and even auxiliary sites that experiment with new brands, customer bases or feedback modules. “If I’m a cosmetics and skin-care company, and I come out with a product for acne, I can build a microsite. I would probably still sell my acne products within my overall site but allow customers to click off
Challenge: Make up for a decline in store traffic Solution: Relaunch the Web site with a comprehensive online inventory and gift center Results: Sales increased approximately 105 percent in the first month Remaining flexible as the marketplace shifts keeps companies sharp, and when retail traffic diminishes, merchants focus on the Web to entice customers to visit retail stores and make purchases. Because most consumers prefer to view jewelry pieces in person, providing a positive online experience often is a challenge. When Days Jewelers experienced decreased retail traffic last year, the 100-year-old Waterville, Maine-based company created a new Web site to better showcase its product
For the fourth straight year, gift cards were expected to be the top gift purchase this holiday season, with 69 percent of consumers planning to buy them, according to the Deloitte & Touche 2007 Annual Holiday Survey.