The basics of e-commerce
For any brand looking to sell online, there are five crucial fundamentals that lead to deal completion and are necessary to retain buyers.
Inspiration- Engaging marketing campaigns should be complemented by an online site that delivers on the “brand promise”.
Consumers are always looking to be inspired by a purchase, and an e-commerce site that can showcase a brand’s products through engaging imagery and content is going to lead to stronger sales.
This includes focusing on challenging content that allows the client to imagine the outcome.
For example, for a furniture company, a kitchen table is not just a table – it is a central center where family life takes place and from which family happiness emanates. “Inspiration” also takes responsibility for ensuring that there is a “compelling event” that drives a transaction.
Shein does this with timed offers and limited inventory, which forces the customer to buy or lose the offer or item.
Convenience – According to Sitecore statistics, 69% of Gen Zers have less patience with slow or faulty websites than before the pandemic. A website should have a strong UX and therefore be easy to navigate and find the right products.
Above all, shoppers are looking for a seamless online experience that makes the buying process easier for them.
This includes having all the product information they need, pricing, sizing (crucial in clothing and fashion conversion), delivery details, and an easy checkout process, including a range of payment methods that provide customers with optimal choice. For brands that sell internationally, good localization is key to providing this convenience.
Trust – Sales conversions are fundamentally based on trust.
It is essential that a brand or retailer communicates clearly to the customer that they will have a successful transaction – and this “success” applies to the product, the delivery time, the customer service, the ability to return if necessary and to a series of other criteria.
Trust can be established in many ways, from a reassuring FAQ page, to helpful chatbots that can handle common queries, to an efficient and helpful customer service team sitting on the phone.
Trust can also be built on opinions, both from authorities and peers. Fan & Fuel data reveals that 92% of consumers are hesitant to buy without customer reviews.
They are therefore an important decisive factor for a consumer in order to reassure him about the service and the product he is buying.
Pricing – With a plethora of options, it’s easy for customers to keep shopping if a product isn’t within budget. Understanding your competitors’ prices and being able to provide a competitive match is the first step.
However, this needs to be complemented with selective discounts and marketing tools to help generate a localized price advantage.
Effective pricing strategies can help convince buyers and are a key pillar to achieving successful conversion rates. Shein is very competitive in this space, and it’s a major driver of its success, especially with its primary target demographic, Gen Z, which is very price sensitive.
Commitment – Brands and retailers need to remember that each time a shopper returns to your store, they are more likely to convert and make a purchase.
The sales process isn’t just about one visit, it’s about understanding where your customer is in their sales journey and delivering the right message.
For the mobile-savvy Gen Z, this could be delivered through a functional, user-friendly app that provides push notification reminders to stay top of mind with shoppers.
Engagement is also why retailers invest heavily in loyalty programs – once a customer is hooked, data based on previous purchases can provide the customer with relevant recommendations on other products as well as exclusive discounts to engage them more later.
Shein is very effective in this area, using a combination of aggressive marketing and loyalty tools (like its app and post-purchase offers) and offers a masterclass for challenger brands on how to gain and maintain a foundation. of customers, even if it can fall under the blow of the most delicate of the tradesmen.
Gen Z is becoming an important demographic to target. This demographic has grown up online and therefore has arguably the highest expectations when it comes to shopping online.
Retailers like Shein have developed a strong social media and marketing strategy to capture the customer’s attention and drive them to the site. However, these tactics can’t go any further, and retailers looking to follow in Shein’s footsteps can’t forget that marketing is only one piece of the puzzle.
Delivering a solid offering that respects these fundamental aspects of “conversion” and that is functional and transparent to the customer is the backbone of e-commerce success.