You’ve probably noticed online sales are kind of a big deal.
E-commerce website sales are skyrocketing – a trend that shows no sign of stopping anytime soon. Check out these facts about e-commerce website sales:
In its March 2017 report, the US Census Bureau showed retail e-commerce sales had climbed to an estimated $105.7 billion in Q1 2017. That’s an increase of 4.1% compared to the previous quarter – and a stunning 14.7% increase compared to Q1 2016. (From an article by Marketing Land that documents E-commerce sales reach $105.7B in Q1 2017, to make up 8.5% of all retail sales)
eMarketer estimates sales will top $27 trillion in 2020, even as annual growth rates slow over the next few years. (Read the full story Worldwide Retail Ecommerce Sales Will Reach $1.915 Trillion This Year)
Why are e-commerce sales through the roof? Because people love to shop online.
People Love to Shop Online
It’s true – your customers want to shop on your website. Everyone –
Check out these stats from BigCommerce (an e-commerce website platform we love):
- 95% of Americans shop online at least yearly.
- 80% of Americans shop online at least monthly.
- 30% of Americans shop online at least weekly.
- 5% of Americans shop online daily.
- 51% of Americans think shopping online is the best way to shop, with 49% preferring shopping in-store.
- 67% of Millennials and 56% of Gen Xers prefer to shop on online rather than in-store.
- 41% of Baby Boomers and 28% of Seniors will click to purchase.
- Millennials and Gen Xers spend nearly 50% as much time shopping online each week (six hours) than their older counterparts (four hours).
- Parents spend more of their budget online in comparison to non-parents (40% vs. 34%) and spend 75% more time online shopping each week (7 hours vs. 4 hours for non-parents).
- Parents spend 61% more online than non-parents ($1,071 vs. $664).
- Nearly half (49%) of parents stated that they cannot live without online shopping.
It’s easy to understand why people would prefer to shop online as opposed to in-store. Thanks to improved UX/UI design, the online experience is much more enjoyable. Plus, customers can get the same products and customization without the hassle of store lines, time constraints, fuel expenses, and let’s face it, sales people.
- Ecommerce is growing 23% year-over-year, yet 46% of American small businesses do not have a website
Meet Your Newest Sales Rep
Still not convinced that your b2b needs an e-commerce website?
Here are the top 3 reasons why you need to rethink your opinion of an e-commerce website.
#1 – Your ONLINE Store is Open 24/7/365
This past Christmas my 20-year-old daughter did what every e-commerce company wanted her to do: she got online and shopped in her pajamas – She could make her purchases at any time, day or night. If she needed help, a friendly customer service representative could answer her e-mail requests.
This wouldn’t have been possible without the advent of e-commerce shopping.
Your Physical Store & Employees Aren’t
Now, compare that to your physical business location and team members. Unless you’re Wal-Mart or McDonald’s, your business is limited to a set of hours each day. Some days your store may not be open at all.
With a new e-commerce website, your product or service requests aren’t limited to 9 to 5, on Monday through Friday. You create a shopping experience for your potential customers without the confines of time and geographic location.
Your new sales rep works 24/7/365.
#2 – Your Website Drives Sizzling Leads for Your Sales Team
I’m not advocating the replacement of your sales team with an e-commerce website that automates your sales and never takes a day off.
Instead, I’m suggesting that an online store can act as a member of your sales team.
Your Lead Generation Machine Feeds Your Team
At Artonic we design your website to be part of your lead generation process. Your website can effectively be used to bring hot leads to your sales team. Here’s how:
- Use your blog to bring new traffic into your website (this is the first step in capturing leads)
- Build landing pages for AdWords campaigns (convert potential customers faster and easier)
- Showcase videos created for your audience (connect with those who matter – your customers)
- Create interesting and informative pages (Give customers the information they’re looking for)
Other Ways to Drive More Leads into Your Sales Funnel
Do you have customers who fill up their shopping carts… and leave? That’s called shopping cart abandonment. On average, about 69% of shoppers abandon their shopping carts (according to Baymard Institute).
But it’s not something you have to fear!
Instead of wishing you had more sales, turn shopping cart abandonment into a sales opportunity for your team.
By entering your site, looking around, and pricing out items, those individuals just gave you permission to directly market to them and close the sale.
The window shopper just became a warm lead.
Thank you, Website.
Now it’s time for your sales team to step in.
Let your friendly sales reps handle customer service inquiries on your site. (There are several ways to do this, from e-mail marketing to live chat.) You now have an opportunity to create a positive experience and efficiently move the casual visitor into a buyer.
Use your e-commerce website to bring leads to your sales team; it’ll make your sales process more efficient and cost effective.
(Learn more: How to Slash Shopping Cart Abandonment)
#3 – Your Website is Predictable & It’ll Never Leave You
“We humans are full of unpredictable emotions that logic cannot solve.” Captain Kirk
Employees are human, after all. And humans are unpredictable and emotional. In stark contrast is your website – no irrational emotions, only logic. You’ll never have to hold your website while it cries or let it leave early because it’s having a bad day.
Compared to your human employees, the exact opposite is true of your website! Your website is a machine that works predictably, day after day. And it will never leave early – or even leave at all.
Does this mean your website is impersonal and cold? Not at all!
Your website can be an engaging brand ambassador that actually helps your audience connect to you.
#4 – Your Website Helps You Bond with Your Customers
Your website is part of your team and part of your brand. That means that customers who shop on your website should have a wonderful experience online, just as they would if they were in a physical store.
Sound difficult? It’s not – there are many things you can do to make a website visitor enjoy her experience online. It’s all about telling your story and connecting with your audience.
- Focus your message on your customer’s needs
- Use lots of photos and videos to give your customer a full shopping experience
- Use personal photos of real people – team members your audience can relate to
- Make it easy to find information
- Connect with your audience through social media, newsletters, and a blog
Keep your audience engaged and excited to visit your website. To do this, you’ll need to keep a close eye on your website’s user experience and performance.
- Rigorously test your website to make sure it’s performing at 100%
- Know what your audience wants by conducting surveys
- Use analytics data and heatmaps to track your visitors’ behavior
- Constantly update your website with new, relevant information
Even Our Competitors Agree with Us
A website should be considered an employee – and that’s why the cost of a good website really IS a bargain.
How Much Does a Website Cost? Why $30,000 is a Bargain by Digett Digital Marketing Solutions
Do You Treat Your Website Like a Valued Employee? by Synrg
Why You Should Treat Your Website Like an Employee by Search Marketing Australia
Download Your Free Guide
How do you create a website that entices your customers to buy the things you sell? And what kind of marketing strategy is best? These questions are something we answer for clients all the time!
Discover what it takes to build a success e-commerce website online with our guide: E-commerce Web Design Best Practices.