Each week, we're chatting to an expert in the eCommerce space to share their wisdom on building a resilient DTC brand in 2022 and beyond. This week we're handing the mic to Nic Dunn, founder & CEO at Charle Agency. Charle design and development eCommerce websites for Shopify and Shopify Plus brands.
Take it away Nic…
I have the best job in the world! My day to day involves working with each core department of Charle to provide support and insights to keep the operations of our agency running and delivering the very best service to our merchants.
Whilst there is a huge push to retain eCommerce customers, which I completely support, I would strongly advise merchants to not take their foot off the gas in terms of engaging new customers too! I believe challenging times such as a recession are the perfect time to take back your strategy to the bare bones and re-think what you are doing. Start with the customer experience on-site, what collections, products and website journey decisions are you presenting to your customer - can customers find products with ease.
Next step is to explore how you are promoting customers to buy more with upsells and recommendations (maximise AOV). Lastly, of your review how you are retaining your customers where it's subscriptions, a rewards programme or re-engaging customers with post-purchase email flows.
Bio&Me is a great of example we've helped grow. Whilst we did design and build and entirely bespoke brand new Shopify store, many of the decisions and features selected were focused on fuelling their future eCommerce growth. Examples include introducing a subscription model, allowing customers to build a box and integrate an AI driven product recommendation quiz. 30 days after launch the saw a 53% increase in conversion, 15% increase in average order value and a 65% decreate in bounce rate.
Another good example is War Paint For Men, we worked with them to work on improving the purchase journey to reduce clicks, recommend more products and incentivise purchases. We also improved the educational content that supported key decision making pages. We observed a 38% increase in conversions, 35% decrease in bounce rate and 24% increase in average order value following the launch of a new product page.
So you are looking to improve your average order value on your ecommerce store. It's a great goal as it makes every customer more valuable to you and offsets more of those ever-growing acquisition costs. The first step is to identify each step of the buying journey i.e. where most customers land, what the next step is and finally where the purchase journey is. It's then important to assess each of those steps and discovery if there's opportunity to suggest more products.
For example, on the product page the obvious choice a "you may also like" module that suggests products that may be a good option for the customer. Why not take this up a level and add an add-on section that customers can add multiple items at once. A great example of this is Amazon's famous frequently bought together. The cart is a great place to suggest additional products before they finish their order, try and use AI driven recommendation tools so that data can work it's magic.
If you are a subscription brand, why not try and upsell some one-off add ons before your customers next order renews!
We are seeing a big push towards retention strategies, such as rolling out rewards programmes, subscriptions, incentives for purchasing and referring a friend. My one piece of advice was to still know your worth and value - don't sell yourself too cheap. Customers know who's a top tier high-quality brand by the way you portray yourself online. Forgot those spin a wheel to win and try not to push discounts to heavy initially, incentives I believe should be tasteful and subtle to not discredit your product. Customers have the power of choice and they won't always choose the cheapest!
Don't run before you can walk! It can be really easy to want to build Rome in a day! Shopify makes it easy for brands to roll out features, products and collections lightning fast, but I believe that time is the most valuable tool to understand what is working. For example if you roll out loyalty and a new landing pages all at once, it will be really difficult to decipher the value that each of the new additions offered to you store. Test your customer base with an iterative process to rolling out changes. Split A/B test if you can the smallest of changes like button colours etc - you'll be amazed the value the smallest of changes can bring to your business.
...Take a holistic approach to selling online the centres their customers at the heart of their eCommerce strategy, consider the eCommerce journey online and have a strategic strategy for conversions, AOV, LTV & future trends.