How to Boost E-Commerce Sales: Lessons Learned from Traditional Retail

Online stores have been successful in garnering millions of customers. Amazon Prime alone has 100 million loyal members. All of this is leading to an inference that people no longer like to stroll to a store, choose a pair of jeans of their choice, put them on in the changing room and wait in the […]

Online stores have been successful in garnering millions of customers. Amazon Prime alone has 100 million loyal members.

All of this is leading to an inference that people no longer like to stroll to a store, choose a pair of jeans of their choice, put them on in the changing room and wait in the queue to buy them. The truth, however, is nowhere near this notion.

In-store retail is still booming. According to Timetrade, “85% of consumers prefer to shop at physical stores vs. online”. So, there must be something that these traditional retailers are doing right to keep themselves relevant amidst all the pressure due to e-commerce.

We are going to focus on these tactics in this article and point out what e-commerce retailers can learn from traditional retail to sell more.

E-commerce Had Almost Taken Over Traditional Retailers

 

In the beginning, e-commerce celebrated the opportunity to cut out costs associated with traditional retail.

  • Access to remote stores: With e-commerce, customers located at far off towns that didn’t have a particular shop could get their hands on their desirable product on the website of the store. Hence geographical locations weren’t a limitation any more.
  • No more waiting in line at check out: Talk of shopping and the thought of waiting in a queue at check-out made customers feel sick to their stomach. There were even instances when picking up the desirable product took less than half the time one had to wait at the billing counter. E-commerce gave people the option to shop easy and fast.
  • Cut down in the employee payroll expenses: Without a physical store, there was no need to maintain a fleet of sales executives. And that served for a considerable reduction in the expenses.
  • No more real estate costs from physical storefronts: Just like lesser employee payroll expenses, there would be reduced rent or electricity bills incurred.
  • Conducting business 365 x 24 x 7: With e-commerce, no one had to consider factors like time, weather, or holidays anymore. People were able to shop to their heart’s content anytime and anywhere.

Traditional Retail Is Gaining Back Its Popularity

However, as e-commerce matured, and more contenders joined the competition, the expenses over customer acquisition through digital channels have experienced a hike. For quite a long time, traditional retailers faced a serious defeat against the e-commerce giants that offered techniques to help keep prices low. But, now with the growth in the number of mobiles and internet speed, the retailers are gaining their ground back. In fact, the scales are tipping in favor of traditional retailers.

Today, one among the many other challenges that retailers face is to keep up with the consumer demand—and the demand is increasing by the day. What proves the best is a middle path between online and offline stores. Neither an exclusively offline nor an exclusively online store will be able to provide that seamless exchange of products and payment between retailers and customers.

The process needs to facilitate a smooth transition from offline to online and back to online—an affair that flows through desktops, mobile devices, physical stores, and the desired products. As a result, many e-commerce companies are revisiting physical storefronts as an effective sales and marketing channel.

Things to Learn From Traditional Retailers

E-commerce companies should ask what other traditional retail sales strategies that were eliminated at the dawn of e-commerce might be worth integrating into their go-forward strategy.

Before delving into that, it is necessary we go through the advantages of traditional retailing and accordingly try to incorporate these into e-commerce.

  • Physical retailing allows consumers to test the products before purchase.
  • Sales associates at a traditional retail center help a person become sure about their purchase.
  • The consumers are at no risk to lose money to some hackers or scammers in case of physical retailing.
  • Rip-off sellers are easier to catch than online scammers.

Ways for Consumers to Try Out Products

One of the many reasons consumers try averting shopping at an online retail store is because they have to rely only on their sense of vision.

People will choose testing out a product by putting them on, feeling the material a hundred times over just seeing them through the screen. Thus you can add that edge to your business by providing consumers a way to test out products.

Ask your customers to make an appointment and choose their products only when they are totally sure about it. This tactic will be an even more valuable asset if the things you retail are costly and to be used for years like, for example, mattresses.

This technique will also ensure no confusion, rare returns or exchanges and establishment of a healthy, reliable bond between purchasers and retailers.

Sales Associates

It is vital that you know what role sales associates can play in particular for e-commerce as they are the ones representing your brand in case of interaction.

So, it’s imperative they exude positive energy, be welcoming and make the customers feel comfortable and sure about their purchase. Furthermore:

  • They should greet the customers whenever they have the opportunity to get in touch with them. Greetings humanize the brand and make shoppers feel comfortable.
  • Be ready to offer help whenever a shopper seems to be confused about what product to buy as it helps them overcome objections and any second thoughts during the buying process.
  • Answer the questions that customers seek out while trying to make a decision or choose between products.
  • Point the customers toward the cash register to check out—this behavior motivates the customer, pushes the sale and makes it easy.

Payment Security

Many people are still on the fence about regularly buying from online retail stores due to the security issues of e-commerce.

E-commerce merchants should have a responsibility to their customers. People are afraid to get their personal data stolen or auctioned off. Some of the step you should take to ensure customers’ security are:

  • Convert to HTTPS
  • Choose the correct e-commerce platform
  • Install security plugins
  • Tighten your admin panel
  • Always keep a copy of your data
  • Never store credit card numbers
  • Monitor your site proactively
  • Install multi-layered security
  • Don’t overlook the security of merchants on your site
  • Educate shoppers

Furthermore, consider hiring an Excel consultant who can help you take confusing arrays of data and organize them into information you can use. MS Excel is the world’s most robust business solution, so it’s likely that your business will need it, too.

However, you may not be an expert at managing crucial business data using Excel. So, have an expert take this burden off your shoulders while you pay attention to other important aspects of your e-commerce store.

Engage Proactively With Your Customers

Your customers should feel that you’re making an effort to befriend them and help them as much as possible regarding their purchase. However, that’s not always possible.

Are you thinking chatbots? Sure, they may come in handy. But, you also need to keep in mind that chatbots lose the human touch of a sales associate. Therefore, for optimal results, try conversing with the customer one-on-one whenever possible to appear dedicated.

Let us introduce you to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). It will increase the overall productivity of your company by allowing your employees to multi-task without interruption.

Choosing the best VoIP service provider will ensure an e-commerce solution that empowers proactive and humanized selling at scale. It will also allow your business to handle and resolve its customers’ concerns faster, which in turn will improve the customer experience and strengthen your business relationship with them.

VoIP is also cost-effective, so it’s a win-win scenario!

Wrapping Up

Customer satisfaction is a huge factor that determines the success of any e-commerce business.

Don’t just stick to one specific business strategy.

Jot down the good qualities of each technique and amalgamate them into one final strategy that your company will be known for.

Upgrade your systems and your workforce so that the process flows seamlessly between various layers of selling and purchasing, ensuring you have a loyal bunch of customers that keep returning.

Online stores have been successful in garnering millions of customers. Amazon Prime alone has 100 million loyal members.

All of this is leading to an inference that people no longer like to stroll to a store, choose a pair of jeans of their choice, put them on in the changing room and wait in the queue to buy them. The truth, however, is nowhere near this notion.

In-store retail is still booming. According to Timetrade, “85% of consumers prefer to shop at physical stores vs. online”. So, there must be something that these traditional retailers are doing right to keep themselves relevant amidst all the pressure due to e-commerce.

We are going to focus on these tactics in this article and point out what e-commerce retailers can learn from traditional retail to sell more.

 

Photo credits: Pexels

 

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