A joint study between UPS and ComScore shows 3 main areas where consumers are narrowing their retail preferences (plus 4 suggestions for boosting your ecommerce game).

Buyers are shopping online more than ever and their preferences have become more sophisticated. Unlike brick-and-mortar shopping, people have unlimited options when they buy online. If they have a negative impression of your website during any point in the buying process, they can instantly choose somewhere else to take their business.

As the end of summer creeps up and we start thinking about holiday marketing campaigns – it’s critical that marketers make sure their ecommerce strategies are effective. Last year, 90 percent of consumers shopped online during the holiday season, and chances are that number will only grow.

According to a joint study between UPS and ComScore, there are three main areas where consumers are narrowing their retail preferences. In 2015, customers want online retailers to have:

  • Advanced mobile features
  • Flexible shipping options
  • Hassle-free returns
How to boost your ecommerce game (4 suggestions)

1. Focus on lowering cart abandonment rates

Purple_ShoppingCartThe average shopping cart abandonment rate in 2015 is a little over 68 percent. This means two out of three people who visit a site, find items they’re interested in and add them to their carts, don’t end up buying.

Assess your website’s UX and overall shopping experience – is the layout of the shopping cart page confusing or misleading? Is the page’s load time slower than average? These are factors that could play a role in high abandonment rates.

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Perfect those landing pages

Purple_Icon_AnalyticsOur Content Marketing Director Colin Campbell said it best when he wrote “The pages that describe and introduce your products need good content, not just a list of items.”

Your product landing pages need to be visually appealing, with rich content that relates to the items. Think big images, video – and a simple, but engaging, call to action that shows users how to buy the product.

In order to get people to the product in the first place, you need to think about your SEO strategy. For one retailer in the shoe industry, a few sentences with relevant keywords helped net 250k in ecommerce revenue.

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Get social

Purple_Icon_Social2Nearly half of people make purchase decisions based on social media referrals, and you don’t want to miss conversations that could be centered around your products.

Whether you’re running a social contest (like Beauty Bridge did on Pinterest), or are sharing blog posts about your specific products, it’s important to have a strategy in place for social media. This is where most brands go wrong – 90 percent of businesses say they use social, but 60 percent struggle to measure success.

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Ramp up your email campaigns

Purple_Icon_EmailEmail campaigns are an example of when it’s safe to err on the side of being promotional with content. In fact, 60 percent of marketers say newsletters are one of the most effective formats they use.

For one ecommerce client, email nurture campaigns are a key strategic element of their online strategy. The marketing team selects Brafton blog posts to feature in email blasts that the company sends to its database of leads, providing useful information that keeps people engaged and acts as a catalyst to convert.

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Ecommerce is becoming the norm – not the exception. Brands will fall behind if they don’t build a user experience on the channels their customers use to learn about products and services. Most companies have already started to reconsider the buyer journey to accommodate for people’s changing preferences – and they’re pulling ahead of the pack.

Molly Buccini is Brafton's community manager. She joined the team with a background in digital journalism and social media. She's a theatre nerd, pop culture junkie and lover of summertime.