This year presents an interesting — and relatively new — opportunity for brands to increase their direct-to-consumer relationships. Limited retail floor space and an increasing number of online-only shoppers means a brand’s website has a much greater influence on sales and brand loyalty than most people think.
And the reality is that when the website is designed correctly, the potential to inspire greater loyalty, engagement and sales increases significantly. Here are the top five ways brands can better leverage their websites this holiday season to drive sales and increase the direct-to-consumer relationship, from Kelly O’Neill, senior director of commerce, Acquia.
Click through for five ways to boost online sales, as identified by Kelly O’Neill, senior director of commerce, Acquia.
Think about all the information a consumer needs when he or she considers a purchase. Whether it’s product information, ratings, reviews, social generated content or a combination of these things, an effective website allows consumers to find and digest information in a way that makes the most sense for them. Blending content with community (i.e. social interactions) to create a rich, immersive and informed shopping experience is extremely effective in building brand loyalty.
Remember: Commerce is more than just driving consumers to complete transactions. Online interactions should be a rich and streamlined experience, offering consumers information, guidance and recommendations to help them make the right purchasing decision. And a big part of this is encouraging consumers to contribute to the discussion, whether it’s before, during or even after a purchase is made. This type of community-based experience can drive commerce and produce brand champions.
It’s little surprise that consumers are using their mobile devices more frequently to complete various shopping tasks. In fact, digital marketing analyst firm eMarketer predicts mobile commerce will comprise 16 percent of digital holiday shopping this year. To reach these shoppers, brands’ websites must accommodate mobile experiences, allowing consumers to easily move across channels or devices and still access the information they’re looking for in a consistent and easily navigable format.
Retailers may be concerned about showrooming, and ultimately losing their customers to a competitor, but from a brand’s perspective, showrooming can create more informed consumers. Websites present the opportunity for brands to build a relationship directly with consumers, regardless of the location or channel where the brand’s product is purchased.
The reduction in retail floor space has forced many retailers to change their brand relationships. Smart retailers are using information from brands’ websites to inform consumers in-store as they’re searching for information in real time. This two-way relationship helps retailers close deals in their stores, while building brand loyalty. It’s a win-win.