In this day and age of online shopping, digital marketplaces have made it easier than ever to sell products. However, these platforms also allow competitors the chance to steal sales right out from under your nose. Here are three digital grinches that will spoil holiday ecommerce sales…
The “the grinch original” is a Christmas-themed children’s book, written by Dr. Seuss. It tells the story of three different Grinches who steal Christmas presents from people’s homes.
Ecommerce sales are expected to hit $206.88 billion this Christmas season. That’s a huge number, and with so much money on the line, your ecommerce company may cash in on the buying frenzy.
Despite this advantage, there are a few areas where ecommerce firms may make mistakes and lose customers. Three digital Grinches will destroy your Christmas by hurting your sales volume if you’re not cautious. Ecommerce sales will be impacted by cybersecurity threats, sluggish websites, and non-personalized content. But don’t worry: we’ll teach you how to get rid of the Grinches and experience good sales this Christmas season in our guide.
Cybersecurity Risks (Grinch #1)
Cyberattacks are a significant danger to ecommerce companies. The average cost of a data breach in 2021, according to IBM, is $4.24 million. Most firms lack the financial resources to cope with such a catastrophic loss.
But it’s not just about money. Your reputation will be ruined if a cyberattack breaches the data of your consumers. Years of effort might be ruined by a single assault or breach after you’ve worked hard to create a great connection with your clientele. Customers will lose faith in you and be less eager to spend with you, perhaps hurting your ecommerce sales.
Worst news of all? Attacks against cybersecurity are on the increase. Over 30,000 websites are hacked every day across the globe. Companies’ security became far more challenging as the epidemic compelled millions of employees to work from home. It’s one thing to protect your workplace, but how can you keep your network and client data safe when workers use their own devices or unsafe WiFi?
The majority of ecommerce businesses are unprepared for cyberattacks. They lack a strategy for preventing, mitigating, and recovering from cybersecurity threats. If you’re not prepared, you might end up with a crashed website and poor ecommerce sales as Q4 and the Christmas season approach.
Invest in Cybersecurity Training and Protocols, according to the Grinch.
Your system is just as powerful as its weakest link when it comes to cybersecurity. And we’re generally the weak link. We’re all human, and we’re all prone to making errors. Training your workers in best practices for avoiding and recognizing possible attacks or breaches is the finest line of protection against cyberattacks.
To begin, teach workers who work from home (WFH) how to safeguard their home network. To guarantee that your network is secure at all points, including workers’ residences, you may need to invest in extra technologies and services. Educate workers on why it’s a terrible idea to combine work and personal devices, and provide suggestions for how you’d want them to utilize their allowed devices. Strong password management and the ability to recognize phishing email schemes will be required knowledge for all workers.
Experts, governments, and supervisory bodies have put in place cybersecurity policies to assist avoid intrusions. Following these procedures will reduce the chances of your ecommerce sales and company being compromised.
The PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) was developed to assist merchants in safeguarding their customers’ sensitive credit card data. These guidelines describe how to properly store and send credit card information over the internet. If you don’t follow these rules, your company might suffer fines or penalties, including the loss of your merchant account.
TLS and SSL are two security protocols.
TLS (Transport Layer Security) and SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) are protocols that safeguard encrypted data as it travels across networks. You may acquire an SSL certificate for your ecommerce business to ensure that your visitors’ information is secure.
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a means of confirming the identity of consumers attempting to connect into your ecommerce site. The requirement that users provide several means of authentication lowers the risk of fraud.
The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is a data protection regulation that is now in effect in the European Union. This guideline applies to all firms that sell to EU clients. More states in the United States are enacting comparable data protection laws. Make sure you know what kind of criteria you need to follow in your ecommerce sales company.
Access is restricted.
Always keep an eye on who has access to your network, website, and customer information. It’s possible that former workers, contractors, and customers have more access than you think. Audit your user list on a regular basis to verify that only authorised individuals have access to critical information. Don’t stop at your website, either. Apps and extensions may also be a source of security breaches.
Increasing Client Security
“Make sure your site’s theme and extensions are current. WordPress is the most used content management system in the world, making it a favorite target for hackers. WordPress distributes security updates on a regular basis to fight malicious assaults. It’s best to maintain your WordPress version up to date and use high-rated plugins that developers update on a regular basis. Keep the license active if you have premium plugins installed on your site so you can get updates. Avoid using “admin” as your username and use a strong password for your WP admin login for further protection. WordFence and Sucuri, for example, are security plugins that may take your site’s security to the next level.
Security breaches are still conceivable for SaaS companies like BigCommerce and Shopify due to security flaws in their systems. Third-party applications, malicious code inside themes, and API logins exposed to public repositories, for example, are responsible for the majority of security vulnerabilities. Having admin users check in with 2FA is recommended to make your ecommerce platform secure. Install applications from reliable app stores and see if there are any programs you don’t use anymore. If any of these programs are present, uninstall them and delete their ode from the theme files. Check your API accounts and users on a regular basis to verify your site doesn’t have any illegal users or API accounts. Also, when giving people admin access, make sure they have the necessary access levels.”
Coalition Technologies’ Director of Web Design and Development, Amandeep S.
Slow page load times are Grinch #2’s pet peeve.
Your user experience, SEO, and ecommerce sales will all suffer if your website is slow.
Customers are less likely to remain around if websites take too long to load. According to Unbounce, over 70% of buyers say page load speed influences their propensity to purchase online. If your prospective consumers can’t see the things or services you have to offer, they won’t purchase, and they won’t return. Even a fraction of a second may make a significant impact. According to Google, when webpage load time grows from one second to three seconds, the likelihood of users bouncing (immediately abandoning a page) increases by 32%.
Furthermore, in Q4, poor load times may undermine your SEO efforts. Pages with low bounce rates and quick load times are prioritized by Google and other search engines. If your site isn’t running properly, you won’t be able to get the SEO rankings you want.
These two causes combine to produce a single end result: lower ecommerce sales for your company. Here’s how to speed up your website for improved SEO and user experience.
Grinch #2’s Solution: Speed Up Your Site
Images should be compressed.
Images are a common cause of website load time delays that go unnoticed. Download times will be greatly slowed by larger, clearer photos. Reduce the file size, dimensions, and quality of your photographs to compress them. You may also optimize photographs for the devices on which they’ll be shown.
Those on a mobile site, for example, may be substantially smaller than images on a full-size site.
According to Google, simply compressing pictures and text, 25% of web sites could save more than 250KB of data, and 10% could save more than 1MB. Compressing photos for ecommerce sales sites with a lot of product photographs is certainly a good idea.
Page loading is postponed.
When you visit a website page, it either loads all at once or as you scroll down. Loading a page all at once takes longer, however postponing the page load as the user scrolls reduces page load time. When you choose to postpone or delay the page load, your site will load significantly quicker for your visitors. Prioritizing above-the-fold content ensures that your visitors see the most critical information first.
Extensions of Audits
For a variety of reasons, you might add extensions and add-ons to your ecommerce sales site. For example, you may make use of SEO tools, CMS extensions, and more. Each of these extensions, however, may be consuming important load time and slowing down your site. Audit your extensions on a regular basis to make sure they’re doing their job and not bloating your site.
Make use of a Content Distribution Network (CDN).
Content distribution networks, or CDNs, enable you to speed up your website by storing copies of it over a large geographic region. By storing your website in numerous data centers, you enhance the likelihood that visitors will be near one of the data centers, giving them faster access.
Redirects to other pages should be avoided.
A page redirect may be used for a variety of purposes. You may wish to redirect visitors to a newer, more recent version of a website or replace a broken link. Page redirection, on the other hand, slow down load times. Reduce the amount of page redirects you utilize to solve this problem.
Increasing the speed of your website for your customers
“Improving site performance is critical for all websites.” We’ve seen the consequences of decreased load speeds on client sites firsthand. Low behavior metrics, such as time spent on-site by a user, pages viewed during sessions, and poor bounce rates, are often harmed. Higher bounce rates are directly related to slower site load times. The slower a site is, the less likely it is to keep visitors interested, which may have a direct impact on critical site objectives like online form fill-ins and sales. Our customers’ key behavioral indicators have improved significantly as a consequence of improving page load speed. Stronger behavioral metrics may impact how a search engine crawler sees a website, resulting in higher keyword ranks and more possibilities to offer items and services. Page load speed is a top priority for organizations trying to stay competitive in today’s market, and it must be consistently improved. The key to achieving that aim is to provide a fantastic customer experience.”
Coalition Technologies’ Director of Marketing, Rebecca F.
Grinch #3: Content That Is Universal
Knowing your audience is one of the most basic laws of digital marketing. Your ecommerce sales will collapse even if you have the finest product or service in the world if you don’t know who you’re talking to or how to reach them. Nearly a third of shoppers desire more customized shopping experiences, and generic material will not suffice.
Marketers address this issue by segmenting their target customers for content and marketing activities. Each segment is made up of extremely targeted individuals who share certain characteristics, such as demographics, hobbies, and requirements.
Let’s imagine you’re in the business of selling protein drinks. After doing some research, you may learn that a portion of your target audience consists of busy parents who use your protein shakes as a handy breakfast on their way to work. Another segment of your target market may be serious lifters looking for the health advantages, while a third could be college students looking to save money by replacing lunch or supper with protein shakes. You may not have identified the groups of parents and college students if you didn’t go deep into knowing your target.
Each of the categories represents a distinct group of people with distinct demands and lifestyles. Trying to sell to all three at the same time will dilute your message. Segmenting your audience and responding to each one in a tailored, focused manner, on the other hand, can help you increase your ecommerce sales.
Solution #3 for the Grinch: Segment Your Audience
Establish Your Segments
To begin, you’ll need to identify and define your target audiences. There are several approaches to this, but data is the most important consideration. You can’t divide your audience based on gut instinct or intuition. That might be a nice place to start, but you’ll need to back everything up.
To capture the spirit of each group and boost ecommerce sales, many marketers construct consumer profiles. These personas serve as a proxy for the bulk of your segment, including information such as demographics, pain points, motivations, leisure activities, family size, and geography. You may collect this information by surveying your customers directly, looking at patterns in your CRM, capturing customer information using form fields, and asking sales staff about their own experiences with clients.
Make journey maps for your customers.
Every consumer purchases a product in a unique way, and this customer journey has an influence on your ecommerce sales. In the case of the protein shake firm, the parent segment could hear your commercials on the radio while driving to work. Lifters may notice your advertisements while viewing weightlifting videos on YouTube, while college students may see an advertisement while skimming through social media. These are three distinct marketing channels, each with its own set of formats, expenses, and best practices.
You can’t successfully develop content for your segments if you don’t know where and how they consume material and subsequently make a buy. Create a customer journey map for each target group to better understand how to reach out to them.
Make Your Own Content
You may generate bespoke content for each important audience for your ecommerce sales after you’ve defined your segments and comprehended the client path. Consider how each landing page, experience, and ad copy will cater to the specific interests of each audience. Which message should each section receive? What language or tone will they respond to? Which offerings will pique their interest the most? Keep your various divisions in mind while developing content.
Providing Clients with Results
“When it comes to audience segmentation, I can’t emphasize enough that the content portion is where many people fall short of achieving the outcomes they’d hoped for after doing such extensive audience research and segmentation. While going through data may be considered a science, producing content is considered an art form. Advertisement text, metadata, and landing page content must all appeal directly to each audience in a language that speaks to them on a personal level. Generic information often fails to wow. Without a clear call to action, too imaginative material that attracts attention may suffer in engagement.
It’s crucial to remember what difficulty each audience is dealing with and how to position your brand as a solution to that problem. Finding a balance between offering the exact action customers should do while keeping a uniquely engaging brand personality is the formula for a successful marketing strategy, based on what you’ve learnt about your consumers and their customer journeys.”
— Ryan F., Coalition Technologies’ Director of Marketing
Get Rid of These Three Digital Grinches
Make sure your online business is ready for the Christmas season. By safeguarding your site from hacks, optimizing page load speed, and developing effective, segment-based content on marketing segmentation, you can avoid these three classic digital Grinches. You’ll keep everything operating smoothly and watch your Christmas ecommerce sales surge if you follow these best practices.
Do you want to learn more about ecommerce and digital marketing best practices? Coalition Technologies offers data-driven marketing services to assist your ecommerce business boost traffic, lead conversion, and revenue.
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