What would I do if I became an e-Commerce Manager today and had a year to demonstrate the effects of my work? My answer is based on 4 years of experience in running my own store and nearly 10 years of experience in working with clients in the e-Commerce industry.
If my company owns any ground points, I collect all the consultants’ presentations about Omnichannel and invite the Board to a good conference and reference visits. After convincing them that this is the only possible way, I determine a coherent policy on pricing, orders and returns, and I include all the ground points into a coherent Omnichannel strategy. Implementation of all the above (systems integration, marking points, staff training) will take at least 6 months, but if I make it before the beginning of the season, my annual bonus is secured. So, I have to start with this.
Very Quick Wins
While constantly indoctrinating the Board on the Omnichannel strategy, I choose several sure bets, which almost always increase sales by leaps and bounds and I carry out a series of experiments to optimally configure them.
Delivery – it’s still easily to distinguish yourself in this area. Free delivery, free and convenient returns, click & collect. I check where I can offer next day delivery (e.g. in the city where I have a central warehouse) and I promote this form of delivery for these locations.
Another sure bet – I check my email database looking for ideas to send better quality, more frequent and more personalized mailings. More often than not, you can send more mailings than you think :) Of course, only an idiot would not closely monitor the unsubscribe rate, so I won’t even mention it.
I check all text on my website – from the names of categories to product descriptions and FAQs. I simplify as much as I can. You can even apply some simple mechanisms such as Visual Website Optimizer to carry out the tests. I have just improved the UX of my store, without involving the IT department. Unique product descriptions will also improve my visibility in the search engine.
In the meantime, I verify the purchasing process. It’s probably not the best, but I bet the eCommerce module isn’t configured properly in analytics. After improving the configuration, you can quickly find areas where we lose the most and report changes to IT. It will take a while, but afterwards I will profit on it every day.
Customer service – does it keep up with the topics and responds with the assumed SLA? It’s worth checking and creating sales mechanisms (email, phone, chat) for contacting customers.
Boost for navigation – how does a search engine and product recommendations work? If they’re not perfect, they should be quickly replaced with some state-of-the-art solution. Each of these mechanisms can add 10% of sales, improving UX significantly. You can arrange a success-fee model with some of your manufacturers.
I put strong emphasis on encouraging customers to sign up for newsletter, social-media or text messaging system. This enables free access to customers. It’s even worth considering a strong reward system.
By implementing the above in the first quarter of my work as an e-Commerce Manager, I improved my revenue without spoiling the margin too much.
I make sure that everything works on mobile devices. If it doesn’t… unfortunately you have to take care of this quickly. Usually, it’s impossible to avoid serious changes in the software which prolongs the whole process.
I think how I can create valuable content for my offer. This will be a key element in the POEM model, that will ensure stable supply of customers and make me a rentier of e-Commerce managers in a year or two :)
If there’s enough time and money I implement Marketing Auto to my databases and strongly encourage the SEM agency to use Programmatic Ad Buying to a greater extent.