Five tips to make success of online shopping channels

  • August 6, 2020
  • Steve Rogerson

Online shopping is offering retailers a way to overcome the difficulties presented by Covid-19 and improve the customer experience across both physical and online stores, according to Ciaran Bollard, CEO at Irish ecommerce company Kooomo.
He said analysing the right ecommerce metrics was critical, not just for established ecommerce brands but for high-street retailers looking to optimise their online offering and increase footfall for their bricks and mortar stores.
“Almost all interaction with an online business is now immediately recorded and measurable,” he said. “Feeding these data to offline teams will help to create a seamless and successful omnichannel experience, as physical stores can still work as mini-marketing hubs by influencing the online trade in their local area. For example, retailers can use customer shipping data to geographically map online sales and unite their online and offline teams by measuring online customer value by proximity to their local stores.”
Bollard said there were five key ecommerce metrics that were essential for retailers when it came to understanding customer behaviour, enhancing the omnichannel experience and increasing both online and offline sales:

  • Conversion rates: Monitoring sales figures will only show how a business is actually performing when tracked in tandem with conversion rates. Conversion rates can show opportunities and these data can then be used to optimise omnichannel sales strategies.
  • Traffic sources: It is more valuable to understand why a customer has decided to visit a site and where the traffic is coming from than how much web traffic the site is receiving. It is also important to find out if visitors are using a mobile, desktop or tablet to access the online store. These metrics can dictate where to focus marketing and advertising budgets.
  • Click-through rates (CTRs): By measuring the CTRs of email campaigns, retailers can get a clear indication of genuine interest in offers. The CTR is more important than the email open rate because it’s a user action to which retailers can respond. If someone clicks a link in a newsletter, they are brought to the corresponding product page on the site, but if they log off without purchasing, they can be retargeted with personalised messages to encourage a repeat visit or conversion.
  • Geographic customer targeting: Knowing where customers and followers are based can be used to a retailer’s advantage. If a large percentage are based in a town or city where there is a physical store, an omnichannel strategy can be offered with click-and-collect options. Social media campaigns can target similar audiences based on this cluster of customers.
  • Shopping cart abandonment rate: Checkout abandonment rates are different to shopping cart abandonment as the customer has usually reached the checkout page and submitted some of their data before dropping off without converting. There is a chance to persuade those potential customers who put products in their shopping cart to take the next steps. Technology to display messages to users before they leave, as well as voucher codes, product recommendations and browsing history reminders can prevent shopping cart abandonment.

“Today, most consumers will expect to interact with their chosen brands across different physical and digital touchpoints and therefore retailers need to have the capabilities to cater to their growing expectations,” said Bollard. “The ultimate goal for retailers should be to interact more effectively with their customers and to improve the omnichannel experience by breaking down the barriers between physical and digital offerings.”

He said in a post-Covid world, ecommerce would be vital for retailers looking to increase sales and win new customers.

“The right ecommerce data can help them to achieve this goal by putting their business into context and identifying specific areas for improvement,” he said. “If your current metrics aren’t telling this story, it’s time to find the ones that do.”

With 17 years of international ecommerce experience powering over a billion transactions, Kooomo has been built to integrate with existing systems, allowing complex projects to be delivered in six weeks using its Magento switching toolkit. Kooomo is used by international brands such as Morrisons, Umbro, Mothercare, Havaianas, La Sportiva and Blauer.