Global players have introduced to markets new practices that place the customer at the centre of everything. The most critical factors now include customer knowledge and service based on relevant activities.
At the same time, more and more companies face growing pressure to develop their operations and boost performance. The effectiveness of marketing programmes and customer commitment are under review: it is essential to determine the important factors that generate sales. Above all, it is important to understand how to repeatedly replicate that formula for each customer based on what is relevant to that customer.
The following are four crucial issues you should consider when developing your eCommerce operations – based both on your experiences and on information gleaned from customer behaviour.
1. Find factors and metrics relevant to your eCommerce site
As you develop your operations, think about which metrics are relevant for your business. For example, from the revenue perspective, it is important to identify factors that increase the quantity of products sold. These factors differ depending on your industry, the products you sell and your customers.
In a consumer-focused business, the biggest factors might be product price or related discounts. In B2B operations, the most important variables affecting product sales, apart from price, are availability and delivery time.
2. Offer your customers a personalised experience – online too!
After understanding the common factors, you must identify relevant factors from the perspective of the individual customer. You can target your sales routines as effectively as the data you gather, and your tools and resources allow.
Make use of data to specifically target your customers: sell innovations to customers interested in new products, communicate with discount shoppers using discounts, and offer customers with time constraints the option of especially quick delivery. When you collect relevant data about your customers and analyse it carefully, you will be able to profile your customer groups more accurately and efficiently.
3. Hold on to your customers
You will constantly let customers slip through your fingers if you only settle for calculating the number of lost customers and promise to ‘do better in future’. You will be able to convert a lost customer into a buying customer once you understand the factors that caused you to lose their business.
For example, a first-time customer purchases a sale item. As a result of human error, delivery takes three times longer than promised. Instead of leaving the matter at that, you can automatically market improved delivery times to the disappointed customer. You can add impact to your message by offering a discount, because the original purchase revealed the customer’s interest in discounts.
In spite of a failed transaction, the buyer could become a loyal customer.
4. Harness data using effective tools
Experience is an undeniable advantage when you plan your operations. However, in addition to experience, it is beneficial to make use of data. At its simplest, this can be done using Excel to address one pain point at a time. In the future, using solutions, such as IBM’s Watson, will help you exploit data systematically. You will be able to use information to support decision making to develop daily operational routines, as well as laying out broader strategic policies.
International firms you compete against now and in the future have gained experience from stiff competition over the years. They fully exploit data to reach their – and your – customers. Processing customer knowledge into concrete actions gives you an opportunity to implement your eCommerce operations to international standards for customer-driven sales.