Once again, the season of making New Year resolutions has begun. We’ve all made and failed them, both in private and professional endeavors. Surely, there’s something that can be done so we can go beyond a mere #newyearnewme hashtag? The answer is ‘yes’, as long as you are smart in where and how you want to change. Setting realistic goals will exponentially increase your chances for success and 2018 can be a true breakthrough for your business, one step at a time. Here, a purpose-driven approach can lead you to create fantastic promotions, garner a huge audience in your marketing channels and significantly improve your bottom line. So consider these three actionable tips on sailing 2018 like an ecommence commander.
What’s your status?
Begin by auditing your marketing channels, especially your websites, landing pages and social media channels. That said, that’s a lot of ground to cover. However, taking this broad look at everywhere your customers can meet you is absolutely indispensible. In ecommerce, the omnichannel is the name of the game; a universal and consistent, but not identical, experience of your business across the channels. Start with your websites.
Checklist for websites
We are living in 2018, but every now and then there comes a website which has trouble displaying properly across various devices. Responsive web design has moved from being a buzzword to another business standard, so make sure you’re not left behind. If you are, know that mobile traffic is forecasted to increase, so rectify quickly. Next, optimize your website for quick loading. Customers won’t wait for your product pages forever; it’s cruel to say but only one can be quicker, either your page loading or your customers abandoning their carts. Two ways which can reduce the load time noticably are lazy loading and caching. Another area to look into is how comfortable and meaningful experience your customers have when they visit your website. Look at it through your customers’ eyes and try to make a purchase or compare products. Is the experience smooth or counter-intuitive? Do the design elements on your website facilitate a best possible customer’s journey? Is it information-overloaded or cluttered?
Tip #1: Audit your marketing channels
If you want the traffic to your website to trickle, your page has to be optimized for search engines. Review how well you rank, adjust your SEO strategy, rethink the keywords you’re going for and take advantage of the analytics tools out there. Or have an agency take care of this area for you.
Requirements for your websites:
- quick to load
- designed with UX in mind
- optimized for SEO
Checklist for Social Media
Managing your social media channels is a project in itself. Begin this year by evaluating them and seeing which ones bring new customers and which ones retain them. Then, tailor your content accordingly. Next, don’t turn a blind eye to the missing account information that no-one in your team felt like submitting; it’s a mundane task, but your business’ profiles have to be complete and consistent. Have someone check the contact information, cover photos and descriptions. Once it’s done, single out the top engaging posts and use this intel in your 2018 Social Media strategy.
Action points for your Social Media:
- complete and update profile information
- identify top engaging content
- use the insight
The Truth is Out There!
Inconsistent product information is a foe which ecommerce managers fight year in and out. Decide for the year 2018 to be exactly when you put an end to this horror. With the right tool, you can in fact have a achieve unified error-free product content. That’s where a product information management (PIM) solution comes in. Implement one which is collaborative, cloud-based and integration-friendly, especially to spreadsheet software.Transition to a scalable, collaborative and cloud-based product information management solution in 2018 with @bluestonepim Click To Tweet
Although for most businesses eliminating error-prone spreadsheets completely is a long run, 2018 can be a year when you begin to transition to a more agile, scalable, collaborative and less human-error sensitive solution.
Tip #2: Get rid of product content chaos
Ideally, consider a PIM solution which offers a media bank – like Bluestone PIM. In order to ensure a smooth transition, choose one with onboarding, so you’re not left in the dark. The benefits of having PIM will definitely improve your bottom line, as you will save on resources such as your team’s valuable time spent on eliminating tiny product information inconsistencies.
Use PIM because:
- it will eliminate inconsistencies in your product content
- it will reveal which product information is out-of-date
- it will create a trustworthy reference point for information across your company
- it will enable your team to collaborate on product information
- it will move your product information to the cloud, so you don’t have to worry about your servers being compromised
There are countless ecommerce sites out there, many of which offer very similar products to yours. So, in order to be the go-to place for your customers, think how your pages can be as appealing as possible to your target audience. Here, a very simple rule can get you very far; make sure you provide good quality photos of your products. Snappier product descriptions can work wonders, but images can do more than that. Coupled with great copy on your product pages, your products will practically sell themselves. Ideally, have more than one image for every item – and preferably from different angles.
Tip #3: Take complete advantage of images
A general challenge with using photos is getting the right balance between image quality and file size. Both can attract or discourage your customers. Remember not to go less than 72 dpi and approximately 100 x 100 px for thumbnails, 800 x 800 for product pages and at least 1000 x 1000 px for zoomable close-ups. However, for different platforms, like Magento or Wix, these numbers may vary. Let me also remind you how important images are for SEO. All file names, titles and alt-texts for images should be adjusted. Also, if possible, show the product being used in context, e.g. worn by a model.
- Find the balance between image quality and file size
- Pay attention to image resolution
- Use images for SEO purposes
Your business is at the brink of another twelve-month sprint. While we’re in it, focus on improving in these three areas; it can be a home run for you. So, this time next year when you reflect on the steps you will have taken in 2018, you will see that making New Year resolutions isn’t all that bad.