Ecommerce companies need to have a full understanding of what their customers expect from browsing to checkout. Optimization and automation have become essential, and in order to effectively plan for success, business professionals are required to develop informative testing strategies. These testing strategies will aid in determining how to maximize their bottom-line as quickly as possible by focusing on customer expectations, perceptions, wants and needs as well as the usability of their end-to-end shopping experience.
To do so effectively online merchants need to be adaptable, flexible and willing to create and offer tailored experiences for their different market segments and personas.
According to eMarketer’s forecast, global retail ecommerce sales are forecasted to reach $4 trillion by 2020; that makes for a very large pie, and everyone wants a piece of it. So what is the secret to capturing a portion of this extremely large, but extremely competitive industry? Simply stated, it lies in knowing exactly what your users want, and the ability to provide that in the most simplistic, convenient and tailored way possible.
To understand your users’ intent, begin with strategic testing of multiple aspects of your business. The path to optimization is best understood through the results of multiple testing scenarios as you discover what appeals to them and engages them, and what does not.
If customers encounter an ecommerce service optimized for the user experience, this will be what they expect from every similar business they encounter. If your business falls short, you’re likely to lose market share to those who are aggressively working to understand their consumers’ decision making journey and optimize it for them.
When marketing globally, businesses need to recognize that they are speaking to an extremely diverse client base, and that no one strategic plan will encompass them all. Therefore, it is extremely important to segment your audience, as well as your marketing efforts, based on multiple different attributes.
Segmenting your marketing efforts to differ between various geographic regions is vital, and the process is the same as when developing personas for your initial in-country target audience. You must understand the criteria that are important and specific to your audience to create robust testing plans that encompass different geographies, and conduct extensive consumer insight studies to understand their expectations and needs.
Localization is the end result of effective geographic testing and lies in a thorough understanding of those different markets. This means you need to literally speak their language, understand their culture, design templates with which they are familiar, offer payment options specific to their location and provide the ability for them to pay in their preferred currency.
Automation is not a new concept in the world of ecommerce, however, many of its uses are. According to VentureBeat’s Marketing Automation index, there has been a 50% annual growth since 2011 in the marketing automation segment.
When you automate marketing, it enables adaptability and flexibility of your media and thus the execution of key deliverables. It also allows you to tailor your ecommerce experience between vastly different audiences. Given the extreme rate of change in the global environment, real time price changes are a variable that will significantly impact the effectiveness of your marketing strategy; in fact research provided by Forrester clearly shows that automated price optimization software has been seen to improve gross margins by 10%.
Success is at your fingertips if you are prepared to invest the time in finding the best ecommerce platform to fit your vision, mission and growth objectives as you globalize your Ecommerce business.