6 steps to increase online sales
Companies have begun to move their business processes from traditional to digital channels. As a particular and key channel, eCommerce has taken a lot of relevance and has become the favorite channel for selling products and services. However, adoption and results are not always as fast as marketing managers could expect.
Throughout this blog, we collect the main tasks that need to be executed over and over again each time we must create a new eCommerce project or advise a client with their existing platform:
1. Define the Process:
It is important to define the business process you want to automate. The eCommerce will automate the process that you define, but if you don't know your own process then your platform will automate the default programming that comes in the system, or simply not the one that is convenient for your business.
Use tools such as SIPOC, As-Is / To-Be Analysis, and customer journey. These will help you raise requirements, understand your processes, and improve them.
2. Buyer Persona:
One of the most powerful and impactful exercises for a business is to diagnose your Buyer Persona. This exercise will define the specific profiles of your buyers and help you understand what products you should sell to your customer profiles.
For example, if you believe that your buyer persona is 25 years old, describe all the considerations about this person such as who they work for, how much they earn, what activities they do during the week, what their metrics are at work, etc. With this profile you will be able to estimate his salary, expenses, interests, and you will be able to understand if a product can be cheap or expensive for this profile, if I must communicate through Facebook, LinkedIn, among others.
3. Collect CRM data:
Your eCommerce is at a great disadvantage if it is not integrated with a Customer Relationship management (CRM). CRMs will help you extract data and gather information about your prospects and customers, such as their product needs and purchasing history.
Please note that a CRM automates marketing, sales, and service processes. Traditionally these three modules are sold separately, so analyze your business process and define which are the most convenient modules for your business.
There are many options in the market. If your company has very complex processes, it’s possible that systems like Salesforce are your best option due to the programming and integration capabilities it has. If your company has standard non-complex processes and doesn't have a large technology department or doesn't have one at all, a software like HubSpot is possibly your best option.
Integrations are key. All eCommerce must have integration with inventories, databases, CRM, invoicing, banks, shipments (shipping), and Analytics. If an eCommerce does not have a clear technological architecture and does not integrate all the elements necessary for the purchase process to flow, then its chances of success will decrease considerably.
Draw the processes, identify the integrations you must perform at each stage of the process, and then define the systems and integration architecture your eCommerce needs.
5. Inbound Marketing:
An eCommerce platform is not going to generate sales on its own, you need to implement a methodology that helps you increase traffic on your site and help you create flows that generate qualified opportunities and close those qualified opportunities.
Consider inbound marketing methodology as one of the best business tools for your company. The methodology will also give monthly maintenance to your platform.
6. Talk to your sellers:
There is a methodology called SMARKETING that aligns sales and marketing requirements to achieve business objectives. Most commercial departments do not have metrics together and this creates a gap between marketing and sales goals.
It is important that marketing and sales feel or define metrics together, such as defining what is a qualified lead and what is not a qualified lead, the average closing rate according to leads, assertiveness of sales, average sales by category and others.
Start with key considerations:
- Business Unit: What service do we sell?
- Average supply size: when we sell, how much is it worth in year 1?
- Average sales cycle: How long does it take us to close a deal?
- Typical closing rate: for every 10 qualified leads we work, how many will we close?
- Quality Lead Ratio: Currently, if the marketing department delivers 10 leads to sales, how many of those are qualified for sales (which means they are able to do business with us)?
- New income objective: how much new income are we trying to generate through this business unit?
- Number of offers needed: Based on the average offer size and new revenue, how many offers do we need to close?
- Potential clients: according to the quality potential clients rate, how many potential clients do we need to generate?
- eCommerce are complex systems that must be part of an architecture. THEY ARE NOT A SIMPLE WEBSITE.
- If they offer you a website with payment functionality, discard that provider. They don’t know how complex an eCommerce is and should not be your advisor.
- Do not forget to lift the business process, since the process defines how to develop your eCommerce
- Your platform will have a lot to do with the success of your eCommerce, check out Gartner's Magic Quadrant for Trading Platforms, you can see which are the best platforms.
- An eCommerce should not be expensive, even Magento that is rated as one of the best eCommerce in the world has a free version and another paid business version.
- Before starting an eCommerce project, have the data on the amount of inventory of your company, information on the systems you have and if possible, some business processes at hand.
- An eCommerce MUST be updated every month. This is not an investment to be made if you are not willing to provide the same or more maintenance than a physical office or store.