Why you can't move forward without an E-Commerce strategy

Digital Marketing | 25 August 2015

The biggest store opening of the year might just be yours: that is, if you’re willing to develop an e-commerce strategy to speak of. Data regarding online sales in Europe shows that B2C (business-to-consumer) e-commerce has been breaking record after record and shows no signs of decreasing in the near future. Under this scenario, there has never been a better or more adequate time to develop an e-commerce strategy to put your store on the map. Since this is one of the services Hi INTERACTIVE provides, we hope to show you, with this article, the importance of this strategy would be more than happy to help you tackle this kind of challenge.

Background of any e-commerce strategy: good news altogether

Non withstanding consumers’ initial doubts regarding online shopping, data doesn’t lie and the numbers have a way of speaking for themselves: according to the Ecommerce Europe association, in its new European B2C E-commerce Report 2015, the European e-commerce market was worth 423,8 billion Euros in 2014. Compared to 2013, this sector grew by 14,3% and for the current year, the prospects look as sunny. In 2015, Europe should see a growth of 12,5% in this sector, which would then have a turnover of 477 billion Euros. The importance of the e-commerce sector is therefore on the rise: while in 2009 it accounted for just 1,27% of the total European GDP, in 2014 it already represented 2,45% and that value should reach 6% in 2020. The sheer number of B2C websites is also increasing: from 650 000 in 2013, to 715 000 just a year later. Finally, the e-commerce sector already accounts for 2,5 million jobs in Europe and is posited to become even more relevant in the near future. Still need more reasons to invest in an e-commerce strategy? Think mobile.

E-commerce strategies focused on mobile

“I think mobile is the most significant technology to come along since the invention of the Internet.”
Greg Nudelman

Greg Nudelman, author of "Designing Search: UX Strategies for eCommerce Success", is usually regarded as an authority when it comes to e-commerce strategies and he talks about e-commerce in both desktop and mobile platforms. Nudelman considers mobile to be the thing to watch for and points out to other factors to consider: the old-time idea that all online shoppers fuss about is price needs to be updated ASAP. Price is undoubtedly important, but perhaps even more important are convenience and ease of use. Nudelman goes on to explain how, drawing from his own experience, even giants like eBay can see an entire e-commerce strategy crumble to pieces during usability testing, which just goes to show how design is an essential element to consider in your strategy. The exact role e-commerce is likely to play in the future is still being defined, but current trends show that the right way will include helping people how to make informed choices: this help will most likely include product guidance, recommendations and reviews. Therefore, while designing and creating websites, strategic teams should take on board such concepts like problem recognition, information search, evaluation of alternatives, purchase and post-purchase behavior. Once we have established this, the next question pops up: what exactly should your e-commerce strategy never miss on?

Tips for a successful e-commerce strategy

  • First impressions count: there are three essential questions every user should be able to reply to as soon as he sets eye on your website: what is being sold here? What is this company? Why should I make my purchases here? Preferably try to fit all these answers above the line, so that your visitors don’t have to scroll or interact with the website to find them.
  • Respect the 3S’ of the purchase process: ideally, your website should be able to offer a smooth, simple and secure purchase experience. While conceiving this process, designers and strategic minds should consider variables such as the number of steps needed to finalize a purchase, easiness to add, change or delete items placed in the shopping bag and finally, the design is simple enough to allow the user to focus solely on the purchase experience.
  • Don’t forget customer service: post-purchase experience is as important as purchase experience! If you don’t keep your customers in the loop and if you don’t answer their questions, you’ll be asking for trouble. Invest in FAQs and make it easy for your clients to get in touch.

Regardless of whether you’re a first timer to e-commerce or are just looking for something to drive your current e-shop, we’d love to share our thoughts on your e-commerce strategy. Give us a call!