At Linnworks, we love hearing from the people we work with about their thoughts on the e-commerce industry. We are all passionate about e-commerce and love the opportunities it opens up for small and large companies alike to grow and take advantage of the worldwide marketplace.
Below are some top tips from some of our staff members, partners and customers as you start to grow your business into an e-commerce empire.
Some of our authors are contactable via Linkedin or Twitter if you would like to contact them further. Links can be found below their quotes.
Andy Stephen - Head of Marketplace - Flubit
"Use data to make it personal"
Online shoppers have unimaginable choice and tend to be very picky, often focusing on finding the best offer rather than being loyal to one retailer or shop. Retaining customers has become a real problem among online retailers, with almost every single etailer trying hard to ensure that shoppers are likely to come back again.
There is plenty of tools and tactics that are commonly used to lure shoppers back – from offers and discount vouchers to thank you emails and loyalty programmes.
These are all a great additions however they will not work if the retailer doesn’t know the customer. For example sending a £5 off sport goods voucher to a shopper who just bought a bottle of perfume is not likely to lure the customer for more shopping.
Equally, generic newsletters and emails are much more likely to be ignored then the ones containing a bit of a “personal touch”.
Most of etailers already have the necessary data but do not use it fully to help personalise selling and make the shoppers feel more special.
Creating unique profiles for shoppers based on their purchase history and interests as well as demographics helps to target communications and offers which in turn is making shoppers more likely to come back.
"Spread the word, spread your listings"
You could significantly boost your ecommerce business by tapping into global markets. By listing internationally on eBay, you can gain instant access to over 124 million potential buyers around the world and gain direct access to buyers on eBay’s European, North American and Australian sites. You can also target international buyers from 208 countries including high-potential emerging markets, such as Russia and Brazil, through eBay.com. Selling internationally can help you to even out seasonal peaks and troughs, for example you could still be selling t-shirts and beachwear in December by targeting the Australian market.
Sam Goodman - Business Developement Executive - Linnsystems
"Connecting to the world and they will buy from you"
"Think Mobile, then think Global. Over 50% of ecommerce sales are done via mobile in today's world. Pull out your phone and have a look at your own listing, do you have to zoom? Would you purchase that item from your phone?
Expand your business! Start looking into English speaking markets, find the right international courier. Build your international retail foundations and then localise your listings to the native markets! Customer Service might be a challenge, why not outsource it to FBA or eBay's Global Shipping Programme?"
Gemma Price - Co-founder & Director - Superfood Market
"Its all about the feedback"
Gareth Halford - Managing Director - Navitech
"The power of native speakers in international eCommerce"
Pushing internationally is the key to growing big in eCommerce but what I have learnt in my years in business is that having a native speaking team to create listings and offer customer service outshines cheaper alternatives like machine translation. By offering potential customers the local feel, this increases the trust between them and your business.
As with all things in business you get what you pay for, if you want to the best then you need to invest in the right places to succeed.
Charlie McBroom - Marketing Manager/E-Commerce Specialist- Linnsystems"Optimise your ecommerce listings for the popular search engines".
To be seen by as many potential customers as possible, you must make sure you are making the most out of your listings.
There are many factors to this but the main points I would focus on is using relevant product titles with focused keywords, include multiple product images of a professional standard and write a unique product description for all of your listings, try not to used copied descriptions from the manufacturer to prevent being kicked down the rankings for duplicated content."
Eoin Kenneally - Head of e-commerce - Hermes
"The importance of testing"
The most important thing in ecommerce is to constantly test. Test everything that is on the site as your original ideas may not be the best ones, or existing processes may need refining. This will not only provide you with more customer insight but will help to deliver a better user experience. Applying elements of persuasive design to get the customers to do what you want will have a significant impact.
Utilise online tools such as visual web optimiser to drive a better customer experience and implement improvements which will ultimately drive your bottom line.
It’s also important to involve yourself in the online ecommerce conversations, there is a weekly twitter conversation on ecommerce called ecomchat, http://ecomchat.com/. This brings together many of the industry’s best and brightest to discuss best practices across a number of different topics. Joining these conversations or even just watching them allows you to immerse yourself and deliver your own best practice and understand how quickly it evolves.
If you would like to read more advice from Hermes, feel free to check out their own 10 top tips for e-commerce business.
Artem Verovenko - Head of Business Development - Linnsystems
"Cloud is the new Infrastructure for SMEs"
SMEs increasingly realise that technology is a key business enabler. According to SMB Group research, 67% of small businesses and 81% of medium businesses confirm that technology solutions help them improve business outcomes or run the business better. Only 19% of small businesses currently employ full-time dedicated IT staff, 86% of medium businesses do have internal IT staff, but they are typically IT generalists who do not have experience in cloud computing.
Requirements for fast, easy access to new social tools, analytics solutions, more computing power and storage as well as other services have been increasing as needs grow. With hardware to host such services, as well as bandwidth being expensive, cloud services adoption has boomed — 92% of SMEs are now using at least one cloud business solution and 87% are using at least one cloud infrastructure solution.
I believe it is now crucial for any successful business to embrace cloud computing as the way we are working is changing.
Recognising these changes, and the maturity of cloud technologies, Linn Systems have transitioned Linnworks from a locally installed solution to a cloud-based client and server model, using a modern HTML 5 based solution to enable access to critical business functions wherever you are, regardless of the device being used.
Modern business isn’t shackled to the PC, it happens where the customer is, and increasingly where the seller is, as well.
I hope these tips prove useful for you. We'd love to hear from you with your top tips, why not tweet me and use the hashtag #Linntoptip so you can be included in the next expert article.