Managing Editor, www.smallbusinesscomputing.com
Based on a recent study, the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) identified the top ten things that online retailers are doing to boost their bottom lines. According to the association, retailers are focusing on factors that make their Web sites more profitable rather than investing in features that do not provide a return on investment.
Following are the top 10 things that online retailers are doing to build their bottom lines:
1. Develop content that addresses the nuances of product categories, customer base and distribution channels. This is especially important for product categories such as electronics, for which consumers need detailed information to make a buying decision.
2. Use interactive technology to add value to the online shopping experience and increase sales. Zoom, color change and/or multiple-dimension technologies are frequently used on sites that sell computers, sporting goods retailers, department stores, mass merchants, and apparel and accessory sites.
3. Minimize the number of clicks to checkout and improve "quick-to-shop" times to avoid cart abandonment.
4. Communicate with customers via targeted e-mails that include merchandising tactics and provide timely accurate responses to customer service inquiries.
5. Invest in search technology that allows consumers to search by multiple factors (e.g. department, keyword, price, recipient, theme, occasion) and delivers results that match the search request.
6. Encourage additional purchases by offering relevant cross-sells and up-sells throughout the site.
7. Offer timely gift services, including gift centers and comprehensive gift searches.
8. Provide real-time online information about product availability and order status.
9. Structure promotional offers without forfeiting profitability (e.g. condition free shipping on order size).
10. Consistently integrate multi-channel efficiencies for customer convenience and operational cost savings.