4 Strategies for Ecom Brands to Stand Out in 2021

Never stop looking for ways to invigorate your ecommerce company’s performance. As a business owner, it’s your duty to make time for pushing out of your comfort zone. Yes, you may be showing a decent amount of growth, but unless you’re actively looking for ways to pull ahead of your competition, you’re always at risk of stagnating.

Let’s take a look at four ways you can differentiate yourself from other online retailers ahead of the new year.


1. Go Beyond Standard Social Proof With UGC

By now, all online retailers should be aware of the importance of providing social proof on their various sales channels. People want to see that their interest in a product is validated by their peers. It’s a psychological phenomenon that many savvy online retailers have leveraged for years.

Typical ways of providing social proof are user reviews, star-ratings, testimonials, and real-time sales notification popups. It’s time to think beyond these methods and create an emotional connection between the happy customer and the potential customer.

One of the best ways to do this is to promote user-generated content (UGC) and shine a big, bright spotlight on it. Take a look at online furniture retailer, Article, for an example of how to do this right. Each of their product pages has a feed of Instagram photos showing the item in its new home, many including the happy customer’s smiling face.


2. Implement Live Chat

Customers have questions. First-time customers may have several. From issues with products to shipping queries, there’s no shortage of reasons a site visitor would want to interact with a human before clicking on that buy button.

One of the main reasons you want to provide answers to questions is because you do NOT want your customer navigating away from the checkout page. If a concern strikes them at this point, the last thing you want is for them to click on the back button to find an FAQ section.

The chances of them doing this are significantly reduced if they see that comforting “Click here to chat with us” button somewhere on the page. Campaign Monitor reports that users who interact with a salesperson using a chat feature are not only 2.8 times more likely to make a purchase but also spend up to 60% more than customers who don’t.

Online fashion retailer Modcloth is a terrific example of making live chat a part of their customers’ shopping experience.


3. Respect Your Customers’ Time

Reducing the number of clicks in your website visitor’s experience as they look for the ideal product is a fantastic way to make your website more customer-centric.

Online retailers with large inventories and many product categories often need their visitors to navigate to and fro between the category landing page and the product page itself as they learn more about their options. A very effective way to reduce this frustration is to make a change in your category page’s layout. When doing this, it’s crucial to keep in mind that customers want to know as much as they can about a product before buying it. They want to compare it against all the other options on your site before adding it to their basket.

Rain or Shine Golf’s category pages are fantastic examples of how to enable your potential customers to make this comparison without clicking a dozen times or launching 12 browser tabs. Notice how each of these products on the page feature its price, a detailed description, and also a very convenient pros and cons section.

This makes product comparison an absolute breeze. Be aware, though, that this strategy is going to backfire if you have more than five or six products in the category. The only thing more frustrating than a thousand clicks is an impenetrable wall of text.


4. Offer Order Tracking

Trust is something that an online retailer earns. No matter how much social proof you offer, first-time customers are often going to be concerned whether they’ve just purchased something that’ll never arrive at their front door.

Once a customer’s had a couple of satisfying fulfillment experiences with your company, it’s fair to say that you’ve probably won someone’s trust. But this takes a while, and what’s a site to do in the meantime?

Well, one of the best ways to reduce the fear that a first-time buyer faces is to do what AllPosters does and make it very clear that you offer an order-tracking service. You don’t even have to be signed in to see a prominent link in the navigation bar labeled: “Track my order.”


Some Final Thoughts

All online retailers want visitors to turn into customers and customers to turn into advocates. One of the best ways to do this is to think like a first-time customer when designing your website or your marketing strategies.

Imagine what their needs are. Speak to your staff and friends. Reach out to your network and find out what irritates them about shopping online. Never stop finding ways to solve these problems.

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