Asking the right questions is key to getting the most out of an ecommerce retail marketing adviser.
Web traffic to online store
Giving “free” advice on the Manaaki forum, I showcase where and how online retailers can improve a lot of their business without a lot of cost. One question asked was
I need help with increasing traffic through my online store on my website.
I would like to add to more products but if there is no interest on what I’ve already put up, then I’m unsure if I should proceed further.
The questions look good – but when I did basic research into the site, the other social media profiles and the product set, it was clear that the author was not asking the right questions.
Online Product Mix
This site sells a book and some note cards.
The description of the products are accurate, but not aligned to any obvious audience, nor do they connect together – why does an author sell note cards?
I did some research and I could see why – she’s an artist AND and author.
The images she creates are her social media publicity and the “experimenters mindset” she identifies with gives a clear alignment with an audience of searchers.
So far so good, but the website and the social media profiles are not aligned. There’s no connection between what she does on each and so without that logic, the customer won’t see any reason to go from one to the other. If you like her social media pictures, there’s a website selling a book = disconnect. And the reverse.
You need your product-set to have coherence – they must sit together logically. A website that sells milk and furniture doesn’t work because few people just buy those two things together.
Can you build other products which are related to your book which allow the customer to step up a “ladder” of purchases? This allows the customer to buy one thing and it’s obvious what the next thing they should buy.
This is a great test for any ecommerce store.
You need entry level products, you need larger ticket and high priced items and a pathway from one to the other. And if possible, you also need replenishables – things which can be bought over ad over again.
Let me share a way you can check your ecommerce store has a good product set and is aligned with your target audience along with the marketing you do. Read on.
Assess your competitors
Go and find websites for your 4 favourite competitors. Analyse them.
What are their websites like? What products do they sell? How are the home pages laid out?
Draw a ‘wireframe’ of their website home page and identify each block of the page and what it is – this is a photo – this is a buy button – this is a link to the top 3 products etc…. You will quickly see a pattern and a logic to a nicely designed website. You don’t need to know what the ‘rules’ of good design are – but you do need to be able to explain to a friend why you like each site.
Search for “shops / brands similar to….” and find sites you don’t know and do the same analysis.
You are trying to work out who their customers are and to answer the same questions above. Write all this down in a spreadsheet so you can compare them. Then ask a friend to check your work and see if they agree.
Now you have an idea of where your website matches up with these design rules. Make any changes you need so your site is laid out better. And who is YOUR customer? When you know your audience – re-write your website as if you are speaking to one person who is your ideal customer persona.
Online retail merchandising
After doing your website audit, now review your product mix.
Can you build other products which are related to your number one best seller which allow the customer to step up a “ladder” of purchases? So they buy one thing and it’s obvious what the next thing they should buy is. Keep the list of products short and concentrate on a range of price points as well as the ladder of purchases.
There’s a lot of work in here – pace yourself, small actions done regularly are a good way to make progress.
Read the case study answers where I suggest products to add to the range and also low cost marketing tactics for promoting the brand, head back to Manaaki.