Custom E-commerce Platforms

E-commerce platforms are so much more than an online store-front, shopping cart, and taking payments. The platform should start by generating leads and ultimatly creating valued repeat customers. We will break this down further below and give an example platform.

1. Generate new leads

Lead generation is the obvious first goal of a good platform

  • Lead capturing begins with quality site building and advertising campaigns.
  • Next, we add meaningful methods of engagement, this is almost always content driven. It can be products, reviews, activities, and information.
  • Following the engagement, we have to have a measurable way fo capturing the potential lead. Common methods are newsletter signups, contact forms, live chat, and promotionals offers.
  • Once, the marketing campaigns are decided on, the engagement methods are in place, and the methods for capure, we move on to measuring the incoming data. A typical campaign runs for 30 days, but this is based on business decisions, and there is almost always multiple campaigns going on at once. This data is vital for giving a business it's "Starting Point" and future goals.
  • The number of leads is relative to the number of sales. Depending on the industry, you may see a 3% end conversion rate per lead. That's why this first block is so important.

2. Create Engagement

Engagement is anything to adds value to your website and keeps your potential customer interacting with your brand.

  • Blogs are a great way to keep your customer interacting with your brand. We suggest a weekly updated blog with relevant, useful, and unique entries. There's no limit to a brands creativity with their blog and it can also be used as a marketing resource.
  • Unique assets on the site are probably the best form of engagement. Search tools that allow customers to drill deeping into data to find the information their looking for are a great start.

3. Land the Sale!

This step is more crucial than just keeping your business running.

  • Sales are channels and once your potential customer is in the "Buy" channel, you need to remove everything else from the process except for the most critical parts of checkout.
  • Keeping the above line in mind, this is where you can add value added options. For instance, if you're selling shoes, add laces or water proofing spray. Socks (possibly even laces) can be distracting at this point in the channel.

4. Re-engage the customer

Depending on your business and its strategy, you'll want to have a re-engagement program.

  • Typically this is started with a request for a review on the customer's experience. It's not a terrible idea to include a 'Friend Coupon' at this point. This first email needs to wait at least one week after the sale. Don't forget the customer may get 2 - 6 emails (typically) in an order process, so wait some time so the re-engagement is more effective.
  • Next, a product review email is important. Both of these emails should provide data that is available on your site. Depending on complexity, manually or automatically, it is invaluable for your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) .
  • Next, you customer needs to be a part of newsletter campain, ideally this will coincide with blog entries and be very informative.
  • Last, a re-engagement campaign. After 3 months or so without a new order, send the customer a special coupon, reminder of your loyalty program, or a taylored email like a birthday discount, or new specials.

The above strategies are great starting points for a successful ecommerce platform but just a tiny fraction of the over-all product.