How to get ecommerce success

Successful online commerce means knowing critical new business practices which result in online success. Dawn M. Yankeelov, president and founder of Aspectx, shared these practices and so much more in her session “Customer Retention : Learn Critical Factors for Maintaining Online Commerce Success” at PRSA’s 2010 global conference. Below are the pearls of wisdom I gathered from her exceptional session.

Ecommerce Goal: Customer Retention
Online commerce today should focus on current high value customers because it’s cheaper to upsell than to cross sell.  The key to retention and conversion lies in the customer experience.  Relevancy on search and relevancy on site must touch the user.  Customer retention means micro targeting with calls to action, solicited, measurable feedback, comparative pricing, and ranking well in search.

Ecommerce facts
No more is it a goal to get people to go online and buy. The fact is, Americans love to buy online. Which states have the most online purchase power?  Take a look at North Dakota whose citizens average $7975 worth of online purchases a year. Second are Alaskans who spend an average of $5414 per person.  In third place are those who live in Connecticut spending $5054 annually.  Three states who spend the least online are Rhode Island, South Dakota, and Maine.  Overall, women tend to purchase more than men because they like to research products and don’t have time to go out and shop.  Women prefer deferred payment accounts and auctions.

Ecommerce trends
Mobile ads leading to payments continue to grow in popularity. Incentives and payment cards are back in a big way.  Comparative pricing has become the norm.  Cross channel campaigns are in demand. Companies should be listed in all the right shopping sites.  Personalized communications to top shoppers paves the way to more sales.  Group buying sites are trending up and crowdsourcing, or leveraging a community’s support to grow sales is powerful and effective. Facebook, when used with coupon generating software based on consumer likes, is a successful conversion tool.

Ecommerce roles: PR, marketing, and sales
The advent of social media along with tools that support and track it have blurred the lines that used to separate marketing, PR and sales.  Today, PR and marketing ARE sales. As a result, all three should know how to micro target customers with calls to action, use solicited, measurable feedback, offer comparative pricing, and rank well in search. Dawn Yankeelov recommends marketing, public relations, and sales professionals get to know the following array of software to help with this conversion work:

Digital River
Social Store Builder
Gilt Groupe

Mashable just published  5 Tips for Marketing Online to an International Audience. It’s definitely worth a read.

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