5 Things Every Ecommerce Store Should Evaluate at the End of 2016
Once the holiday rush is over, it’s time for ecommerce stores to start looking at the year ahead. One of the best ways to grow in the new year is to take a look at past performance metrics for better decision making. Did average order value grow? Which products performed the best? What channel did our best customers come from? The answers to these and other data-driven questions will help you strategize for a successful and profitable 2017.
To get you started, we’ve outlined several key ecommerce metrics you should analyze to make changes for growth in the coming year, plus ecommerce trends for 2017 that may influence your strategic planning.
Ecommerce Metrics to Measure
1. Identify Best Selling Products
Identify your hot selling and high margin merchandise in order to optimize for further future growth. Also, analyze how well these products sold at full price versus discounted pricing to determine your pricing strategy moving forward. For example, if your hot sellers sold well at full price then you may not need to offer discounts in the future.
2. Clear Out Low Sellers
With your data, identify merchandise that is not selling well. Before you decide to drop the products altogether, analyze outside factors that may have contributed to low sales. Make sure the products were marketed and priced properly. Check imaging and product descriptions.
If the merchandise you want to discontinue is still on sale, purge it from your inventory with clearance pricing.
3. Analyze On-Site Search Terms
While planning for your 2017 product mix, look at what terms were being searched for on your ecommerce site and not found. You can’t offer it all, but find missing pieces that would be a good addition to what you already offer and fit in with your overall brand.
4. Develop a VIP Customer Profile
Did your loyal VIP customer base grow this year? If not, you may not have a defined profile for who they are and where they are coming from. This is important data to analyze in order to grow your base of big spenders. Once you develop a VIP profile, you can deploy marketing dollars and strategies to grow repeat customers with a higher lifetime value. For tips on growing your VIP customer base, click here.
5. Identify Where Your Buyers are Shopping
The data you have should tell you the level of customer acquisition per marketing channel. Attribution detail will depend on your analytics platform but you should have a general idea of how your customers are finding you and buying. Optimize your marketing spend and exposure on these channels in 2017. If your analysis includes Facebook or Instagram, check out this guide to help you determine the best channel for your store.
Ecommerce Marketing Trends for 2017
Ecommerce store owners know one thing for sure, the industry is always changing. In order to compete in 2017, it’s important to be aware of the trends in online marketing that can set you apart.
Mobile Continues to Dominate
Mobile devices make up over half of all web traffic and that number is consistently growing. Few companies are reaping the benefits of this growing trend. According to Forrester Research, the average consumer reaches for their smartphone 150-200 times daily, yet only 14% of companies are cashing in on using mobile as an engagement platform.
A new study from the first two quarters of 2016 confirm this. The research shows 59% of online browsing sessions were on mobile devices, yet mobile browsers made up just 38% of online sales conversions.
58% of shoppers browse on mobile devices but only 38% of them buy via mobile –Wolfgang Digital
Having a mobile-friendly website is just the beginning if you want to capture these shoppers. Ecommerce sites must remove the friction and steps required in the transaction process. Consider adding mobile wallets like Apple Pay or Google Wallet to make mobile transactions as easy as possible.
More Personalized Content
Digital marketing experts agree that personalization is an ongoing trend to keep up with in 2017. The challenge is, if you are trying to appeal to a large audience with your content, it’s not going to be as valuable as it could be for a specific customer base. In the new year, focus on creating customized content for a very specific audience. Customer data can help you out here.
Analyzing customer information can not only help you develop content your customers want to know more about, but can also guide their purchases with features like ‘recommended products’ and ‘related products you’ve viewed’.
Omni Channel Selling
Expose your products to more eyeballs and wallets by selling on multiple marketplaces. It’s estimated multichannel shoppers shop more often and spend over 3 times more than single-channel buyers.
Online shopping behavior is trending toward more consumers searching online marketplaces first, (Amazon, Etsy or Ebay) before heading to individual ecommerce sites. Don’t think of these sites as competition to yours, but as opportunities to capture more sales and brand awareness.
Want to learn how top ecommerce stores maximize their product bundles? Download our free guide!
A Guide to Product Bundling: Tips for Ecommerce Success