How do we see sales building in e-commerce? Initially we prepare the platform for designing, tests with users, implementation and integration with the sales-warehouse system. In most cases, the work to generate sales is still ahead of us.
Besides preparing the supply chain, one of our next steps is to delegate to a team that will handle orders, then we start e-store promotion. In our current work we service the orders, ensuring that our offer is competitive and visible on the Internet. The real work to increase sales and efficiency of e-commerce begins at this point.
E-commerce growth is very dynamic, that’s why it’s best to consider using two startup techniques. The first is “growth hacking” – increasing sales by conducting a number of experiments in different areas of business. Sean Ellis, in his book “Startup Growth Engines” describes examples of businesses that have successfully discovered this “engine of growth” (Uber, Square, Snapchat, Evernote, Hubspot, Github). The best example in e-commerce is Zaggora.com, which used Social Media and Groupon to build an audience and achieve large-scale sales. As a result this e-store, only 10 weeks after commencement of business, had more than 100,000 active customers.
Social media helped to find brand ambasarors for products from www.zaggora.com
The other great technique is “lean management”, which basically means continuous improvement that should be applied in e-store usability, analytics and marketing. The term “lean” refers to conducting short, controlled periods of optimization, creating hypotheses and then verifying them through analytics. The essence of this approach is well described in ”The Lean Startup”.
Increasing sales in e-commerce is similar to building a business. Each component is important however, at the epicenter of your business is always a product or service. Interest in products comes from the need or demand. Initiating a marketing campaign requires knowledge about the market and the products. A good example is one of our clients, www.ksiegarnia-edukacyjna.pl (online bookstore) where a Google AdWords campaign had great Google Analytics ROI (more than 3000% and CPC reduced by 50%). This was possible thanks to the close collaboration of two teams of specialists – one from Księgarnia Edukacyjna, with knowledge about products and the market, the other from Divante, with experience in creating sales driven campaigns for e-commerce companies. Cooperation in the partnership model means sharing knowledge, results from reports and analysis. A large part of the knowledge gained on-line may be significant for off-line activity, eg. INTERSPORT Poland (www.sklep.intersport.pl) or home & you (www.home-you.com). So let’s get into the system to increase sales.
Framework structure for increasing sales and efficiency in e-commerce.
The framework for increasing sales and efficiency in e-commerce includes the following elements:
Business – a key element in the structure. By business we mean such features/components as quality of the product or service, pricing, time of delivery, customer service and differentiators from the competition. Without a good product or service and good facilities, we are not able to ‘conquer the market’. Verification of business can be achieved by using the analysis model ‘business canvas’.
Business canvas, source: JAM
The executive team – business growth depends on the teams (business and professionals) who work directly on the maintenance and service of the e-store. The most effective model, which I strive to create for every business we develop at Divante, is connecting working relations of two teams and treating this business as your own. Very helpful for this are tools and processes such as Trello (www.trello.com) or Redmine (www.redmine.pl), quarterly or monthly planning, weekly status updates, communication planners (e.g. PR planner), brainstorming (also with experts from outside the company) or workshops.
Exchange of knowledge/education – no one knows their customers or business better than the people who work directly in the sales departments. On the other hand, the transfer of knowledge on new marketing possibilities, analytics, or utility might be the best way for new initiatives. Mutual education between teams increases the efficiency and quality of work.
The dimensions of development – we strive to achieve the best results out of the available assets (online store, marketing channels). Increasing sales and business efficiency depends on who buys, where, when and how often they buy. Key elements of this system are the dimensions we are working on with our current activities:
- Generating new clients – the stable growth of any business depends on a constant surge of new clients. In the businesses in which brand plays a big role, competition for gaining customers requires creating a long-term commitment to a single manufacturer, especially in FMCG sector;
- Purchasing Retention – as recommending the purchase or renewal of our business. Working on retention – creating the need for another interaction with our e-business;
- Conversion optimization – increasing the number of sales involves improving elements of the website (functionality, presentation of product description/information, the offer). With conversion optimization, we strive for more efficient customer traffic management.
Nike, Reebok – every campaign fights for customer loyalty to their brand
Tools and activities in the analytics, marketing and usability areas – each tool can be used independently. For each of the dimensions, the tools are selected according to the needs, business opportunities and specialist recognition(e.g. a specialist who’s focus on purchasing retention can use analysis of popularity of video recordings on the website – tools like www.mouseflow.com or www.clicktale. com). This will help to find the right scheme for future changes and appropriate marketing activities.
The cooperation is based on three key dimensions of development, in which the business development team and specialist team are working together, exchanging their knowledge.