Consumer electronics make up the largest share of all U.S. retail e-commerce sales, accounting for 22 percent of all ecommerce sales nationally. And, consumer electronics are projected to bring in over $79 million in ecommerce sales in 2022.
Consumer electronics retailers should seize the opportunity to optimize their websites to capture a greater amount of ecommerce sales and market share to capitalize on the busy holiday shopping season.
Focus on the Fundamentals
There may not be enough time to add new exciting features or implement new payment and delivery options, but one area that retailers can focus on is fixing the fundamentals. This can have a significant impact on your holiday sales performance and in the new year.
When it comes to the fundamentals, three things should be considered: site performance, customer experience, and business processes.
Getting these areas right is crucial to sustained ecommerce success. Let’s look at each one.
- Site performance
Consider what would happen if your online store was unavailable for as little as one minute? While traffic varies for every retailer, looking at some generalities, it can mean losing around 1,200 visits and 325 orders; with an average order value of $300, that means over $105,0000 in lost sales for every minute of down.
But there’s even more at stake; a poor first-buying experience almost always impacts a customer’s willingness to return. So, on top of lost sales opportunities, each one minute of downtime during the holiday season can be extrapolated to include loyalty loss (visitors experiencing downtime can be considered lost long-term) and customer acquisition loss (lost return on investment of marketing dollars spent on driving traffic to your site during that downtime).
Long story short: Make sure to test your site performance thoroughly well before the holiday shopping season begins. It is better to have your site fail when you have 0.3 orders per second than 5.4 orders per second.
2. Customer experience
Consumers today expect the same level of service and convenience online as if they would walk into a brick-and-mortar store location. Customers who experience a seamless and convenient buying journey are more likely to become loyal to that brand and come back for repeat purchases.
When it comes to customer experience, every step of the buying journey should focus on convenience and simplicity. Customers should easily find what they’re looking for, and checking out should be like a playground slide, you should be done and gone quickly and easily.
There are many analytics that you should be looking at to understand how customers browse your site. But at this late stage you should complement this with qualitative research to identify any last-minute site optimization needs. Identify your “target buying persona” in your customer database and consider offering them a 50% discount on one order in exchange for input on what they find frustrating or annoying during the shopping journey. This is an easy and cost-effective way to get feedback that can go a long way toward refining your user experience.
3. Business Processes
Walk through your business processes related to every step of the buying journey. Identify where you are dependent on external partners and systems. Be sure to load test not only your ecommerce site but also supporting systems, such as payment engines, customer support ticket systems and order management systems to ensure they can scale and handle the volumes you anticipate.
Study your process flow charts in detail and identify any steps that can be removed or accelerated to optimize the customer experience. Can you speed up the curbside pick-up process? Add dynamic content to your customer service FAQ? Fine-tune order packaging?
Looking and Thinking Ahead
The holiday shopping season, while critical for retailers of all sizes, is increasingly becoming more about the coming year than making the numbers for the present year. For consumer electronics retailers, getting the holiday shopping season off to a strong start is a recipe for success. Finetuning your ecommerce site is a chance to heavily increase the number of customers in your database and build customer loyalty for a solid revenue stream and healthy returns in 2022. –Johan Liljeros and Johan Sommar
Johan Liljeros is General Manager and Senior Commerce Advisor, North America, at Avensia and Johan Sommar is Chief Strategist at Avensia.