10 eShop Key Successful Factors
With Best Practices In Running Your eShop
Best Practices in Running Your eShop
Running a eShop requires the whole knowledge of eCommerce and digital marketing know how. In this article we discuss the 10 key successful factors in running your eShop. In addition, we will discuss the current best practice and how ebixPRO as a eShop platform can empower you along the way.
1. Shopping Experience
Optimising eShop shopping Experience is quite similar to optimising search engine optimisation (SEO). You want to offer fast and personalised experience with unique product to delight your customers. Each area is a whole profession to pursue, but the point is you need to know they are the keys for your eShop optimisation. In order to deliver the fast and personalised experience, you should always have your online help desk in place.
2. Online Helpdesk
Online help desks serve as an important touch point in your eShop, it helps explain anything in your eShop that is not clear enough. It is not only a live chat, but also a self-serving knowledge base for providing answers to different specific questions. Some online help desks can also let you log-in right there to track your order delivery status in real time. All these functions help provide fast and personal experience for your customers to build trust and loyalty.
3. Promotion x Campaign Management
There are lots of excellent website builders out there, but not many of them integrate with sophisticated promotion and campaign management tools to use. Promotion and campaign management tools are your online sales kits to boost traffic and sales, that you want to make sure you have in place. A functional promotion manager should be able to offer discounts, coupons, and bundle sales, while a campaign manager should be able to push your promotions to customers by emails, sms, apps, or instant messaging channels in social media at once.
The eShop Logistic Standard
Logistics is an essential element of customer experience in eShop businesses. You and your customers will appreciate the eShop platform that streamlines a complete ordering workflow to deliver your promised delivery schedule. Basic logistic functions include connected logistic vendors to choose directly, customised shipping cost settings, and pick-up location options. Advanced logistic functions can further break down the logistic workflows into different tasks to meet different needs. For example, order splitting functions allow you to meet different regulations imposed by different countries, especially for cross-boarder shipping; you may need the system to help you split up packing list for 3rd-party logistic vendors to support the pick-and-pack list before delivery; In complex situation, you may need to set up a delivery schedule with your logistic vendors to organise your shipments. As your business scales up to cross-boarder, advanced logistic functions significantly reduce complexities and risks.
Advanced Logistic Integration to a eShop Platform
Advanced logistic functions alone save your day, but they are even more powerful when being integrated into your customers’ journeys. eShop platforms offering online help desks can update customer’s real time delivery statuses in live chat rooms, building trust and loyalty with your customers in every way.
Online to Offline (O2O) Fulfilment Services
Only a few eShop platform provides O2O warehouse support to fulfil eShop orders, as it requires the platform providers to have a huge initial investment in the local market. Offline warehouse supports can include storage, pick and pack, quality assurance, and delivery. Most of the time these are not the core competencies of a brand that requires support from a 3rd party vendor. ebixPRO saves you time by offering the warehouse support you need for your eShop operation to run in complete automation.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
After getting your business model ready, you need to drive traffic to your website. This is the beginning of the long death vamp, that you need burn up money until the business engine runs by itself. How long it takes depends on the effectiveness of the go-to-market strategies implemented. At the beginning stage you need to have monthly budget to boost your website traffic in search engine marketing (SEM), which in most cases is spent on Google and the major social media covering your target markets. Pay attention to the traffic data on acquisition and behaviour, to shape out your target audience (persona) as soon as possible, so you can build up different re-marketing campaigns to start boosting your conversion rates. Monitor your visitor behaviours and KPI daily to optimise your advertisement budget allocation to improve the return on investment (ROI) of your marketing budget. Drill into all the above to certain extent and you realise you need to optimise your SEO to go further.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Don’t under estimate the power of search engine optimisation (SEO). Not only it gradually brings free traffic to your website at increasing rates, it also improves your SEM performance and eShop conversion rates. This is because by optimising the technical and non-technical SEO on your site, you are actually optimising landing page experience, which adds up the quality score to boost your Google SEM ranking with the same budget, while offering better eShop browsing experience increases conversion rates in general. Currently, the most impactful investment in SEO is still content marketing. By doing so you are linking the value created by your brand into the market trend, increasing your digital presence everywhere on the web in the eyes of your target markets. Build up your evergreen content as the core of your brand messages, and develop articles, posts, and blogs in your owned media. Then build up quality backlinks, webmaster database, and social media channels for your eShop. At some point of time, it is likely you will reach a turning point that your major profit comes from organic traffic.
6. Data-driven Conversion Optimisation
Analyze Data to Optimise Conversion Rates
Data provides evidence for decision makings, leading to better accuracy in pivoting directions towards your strategic goals. The normal standard of a eShop platform is to collect various sales related data and organise them for reporting. Shop managers/owners then try to analyse the reports to find out insights and patterns to optimise the corresponding conversion rates. You should get used to this data analytic practice to keep up your competition. Data-analytic-driven eShop platforms further let you set rules to automate the setups and launchings of promotions to your segmented customer groups. In ebixPRO, you can even segment your customer groups automatically, based on your their previous browsing and purchase behaviors.
From eShop Analytics to CRM Analytics
Nowadays most eShop platforms in the market offer embedded data analytics in their eShops, not many of them embed customer relationship management (CRM) system and related customer behavioral data into their platforms. The granular level of customer behavioral data enable precise customer segmentation for you to offer personalised shopping experience, segmented re-marketing campaigns, and customised loyalty flows. With CRM data, you can easily sort out outliners to set up follow-up actions. For example, you can set up a customer label for customers with specific customisation needs in the help desk system to improve customer satisfaction rates. ebixPRO eShop platform even steps further to let you set up rules to perform all these automatically.
Data Preparation to CRM Analytics
Choose the data-analytic friendly eShop platform like ebixPRO, or integrate your eShop with various 3rd-party data analytic tools to get your precious data on the table, to guide you through your optimisation. The most famous data analytic tool is Google Analytics, whose free version is powerful enough in most use cases. However, after all Google Analytics is a 3rd-party tool that keeps up high standard in privacy. In order to analyse the browsing source/behavior of your identified individual customers in your eShop, you need to connect with different APIs to Google, to integrate your customer IDs with the ones in Google Analytics. In this case, you need developers and accessibility of the server hosting your eShop to do so.
Key Performance Index (KPI)
You should have different KPIs at different step of your marketing funnel according to your marketing stand point. For example, a new startup should build up your brand awareness and website traffics with your minimal viable product (MVP) through SEM then SEO; an expanding brand should focus more on driving traffic and optimise conversion rates, while an established brand may want to reenforce brand presence and boost up the purchase amount per existing customer. However, At any given point of you time, you may to mingle your strategies altogether to achieve the best outcome. ebixPRO presets the most valuable KPIs at every step of your tasks so you are always clear on your business statuses.
Interactive Data Visualisation
KPIs pinpoints the most valuable data on your eShop at a given task, but cannot offer much insight to give reasons behind them. That is why some eShop platforms who are serious in data analytics offer interactive data visualisation graphs for most KPIs as well. Interactively visualised graphs only only are well structured to provide meanings and patterns at instance, but you can also perform analyses directly on them to conclude meaningful reasons behind the scene.
8. Just-in-time Product Development to Meet Market Demands
You need new products to meet your customers’ changing demands, Whether by sourcing or by your own product development, you need to be as agile as the changing market demands in your product development to delight your customers. In general the agile process of design thinking in empathy, define, ideate, prototype, test, and iterate can apply to your customer journey design, as well as your product development process. The core concept is to link up your development concepts with your customers’ feedbacks. An agile-friendly eShop platform should have enough convenient windows to collect feedback for further follow ups.
After insisting on iterating the above processes for a while, you should be able to find out the best target market for you, with the well-organised marketing message appearing the at the right time and place, to have good sales and marketing conversion rates on your main products. Now it’s time to automate some of your workflows to free up your man power for more value-adding work, such as generating more creative ideas, scaling up your business to new markets, or expanding new product lines etc.. eShops that offer automations usually either have well-established eco-system to integrate workflows with other applications through API, or have unified all-in-one solutions to be able to let you build automated workflows from within. While the API-enabled workflows offer scalability and flexibility, all-in-one unified eShop platforms like ebixPRO offers seamless automation to generate holistic performance data for further optimisation.
10. Scaling up
Opening a eShop in a eShop platform often binds you with standardised templates and capabilities. In general, you pay for what you get, meaning you pay more for more functions, better stability, and higher performance. When you scale up your business with increasing website traffic, more complex logistic needs, and more customised functions, your eShop platform should be able to offer the customisation you need and scale up with you. Often times you see eShop platforms justify their premium charges by guaranteeing their service level, ebixPRO scales up with you by also customising your eShop business the way you want it to be.
Arthur: ebixPRO team