At the end of 2017, global B2C ecommerce sales reached $2.3 trillion while global B2B ecommerce hit $7.7 trillion (Source: Statista). Experts predict that sales will continue to grow in the coming years. As a business owner operating in this space, the figure sounds exciting. Even a small slice of that humongous pie should make your business extremely profitable.
However, an industry with so much profit potential attracts countless competitors. If you wish to remain competitive in this business, you should be on top of your game. This means solving the many challenges that ecommerce businesses deal with on a daily basis.
Though the ecommerce industry shows tremendous growth potential, the growing number of competitors makes it challenging for a small business owner to survive in this area. Nevertheless, those who manage to address the key concerns faced by many ecommerce businesses put themselves in a position to succeed. These issues include:
With so many options, online consumers have changed the way they shopped online. For example, more and more people are using mobile devices to shop online. Research shows that shoppers using mobile devices doubled in 2017 while the percentage of consumers using desktop devices fell (Source: Invespcro). You have to be aware of how your customers behave so you can get their attention before anyone else does.
While online retailers invest a lot of money to drive website traffic, a high conversion rate is never a guarantee. In fact, the average conversion rates in ecommerce are between 1 percent and 2 percent (Source: Bigcommerce). Therefore, online both B2C and B2B ecommerce companies must create a strategy to help them identify leads that will most likely convert.
For both B2B and B2C ecommerce, every bit of information that you can gather about your leads or customers can be used to generate sales. The challenge here is to build a system that enables you to learn about their shopping interests, preferences, and tendencies. Equipped with this data, you can create personalized upsells and cross-sells that target certain customer segments. According to research, this strategy can account for over 30 percent of your revenue (Source: Forrester).
The content management system of your online shop might provide you with free analytics tools that offer basic sales figures. For instance, you can view sales numbers from a month or a year ago. But there are no sales trends or forecasts. This makes it extremely difficult for B2B ecommerce companies to optimize their sales pipeline. The same is true for B2C ecommerce companies. Without sales trends and forecasts, they won’t see which products or SKUs are pulling in sales. Lacking these insights, they will likely struggle to keep their inventory adequately stocked to anticipate and meet demand.
Another issue that can help you get ahead is the ability to predict and keep in step with cyclical periods. For B2C companies, this means anticipating seasons when there’s high demand and preparing for seasons when sales are thin. For example, online gadget stores may expect sales to spike during the holidays. Meanwhile, B2B companies can refer to cyclicality in terms of industry or overall economic performance. They can adjust their sales targets based on projected economic contraction and expansion. This enables them to anticipate expenses such as staffing, marketing, etc.
Regardless of whether you’re running a B2B or B2C ecommerce company, your customers will have multiple points of contact with your company. This includes engaging your customer support, invoicing, and purchasing teams. To pull this off, many businesses rely on several applications to communicate with customers and address their concerns. This raises the need to integrate these applications into a system that enables you to have a single view of the customer.
Every customer who makes a purchase from your ecommerce business provides you with a lot of valuable data. Companies that do not know how to organize and leverage this data will most likely lose the opportunity to make countless repeat sales.
These are but some of the challenges that you, as an ecommerce retailer, must face head-on if you want to keep your business growing.
As an online retailer, you’ve probably heard of a CRM software. If you don’t have one right now, then you probably must have thought that it was an unnecessary expense. After all, many CRMs are complicated to use so they’re most likely built for big businesses with the tech talent who can navigate the application.
Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Many small and medium-size ecommerce businesses rely on a CRM system that helps them attract customers, qualify leads, create targeted campaigns, manage customer data, and so much more. The owners of these businesses don’t necessarily have background or specialty in tech. That’s because the best CRMs in the market have an intuitive interface. This enables users to take advantage of the application’s numerous functionalities without prior training.
Speaking of functionalities, an ecommerce CRM like Freshsales is designed and developed to help online store owners grow their business. In fact, the application is so effective that it gives an average return on investment of $8.71 for every dollar spent according to a Nucleus Research study (Source: Nucleus Research). This is possible because the most powerful CRMs in the market provide the following benefits:
If you’re a small ecommerce store, the threat of going under is real. Statistics show that 29 percent of small businesses fail because they ran out of capital (Source: CB Insights). Knowing this possibility, you have to be mindful of how you spend your marketing budget. This is where the best CRMs in the market shine.
CRM software like Freshsales enables you to rank leads based on multiple factors so you can identify the ones who are likely to buy from your online store through lead scoring. The idea is simple: a lead that engages with your online store and meets the requirements of your buyer persona is more likely to make a purchase. For example, interactions such as call answered or link clicked and qualities like job title and zip code can help you predict whether a lead has a very good chance to turn into a customer.
To help you rank leads and create a custom point system, the most powerful CRMs like Freshsales provide built-in fields that you can score for such as web page viewed, ticket created, email opened for level of engagement and country, city, and state for quality of fit.
Lead scoring can have a significant impact on your bottom line. Use it to launch campaigns and lure hot and warm leads with special offers, promos, and discounts.
Research reveals that 40 percent of consumers shop online to save time (Source: KPMG). This means that many of your customers have certain expectations in terms of customer service when they visit your website. You must be able to meet these expectations if you wish to attract or retain customers.
With a CRM system like Freshsales, your support or sales team can immediately pull out all available data that you have on the customer including web pages visited, previous purchases, shipping details, and other relevant information. Having instant access to these details helps your team to quickly address any issue presented by the customer.
In addition, the ecommerce CRM lets you connect with website visitors and app users in an instant. Freshsales lets you integrate Freshchat, a modern messaging tool that lets your sales reps chat with leads. This gives you a channel where you can engage visitors or app users in real time and address their concerns.
Best of all, Freshsales enables you to integrate multiple third-party applications that enables you to get a 360 degree view of your customers. With this CRM, you can view all customer information. This facilitates collaboration across multiple teams.
With these features, you can meet or even exceed the expectations of online shoppers. This can increase the odds of converting leads into customers and turning customers into repeat customers.
Research shows that only 33 percent of businesses implement marketing automation (Source: Apteco Ltd. In other words, more than half of your competitors are wasting time and money relying on manual labor when they can simply invest in a software.
By using Sales Campaigns feature in Freshsales, you gain a clear advantage over your competitors. It enables you to create email templates, segment lists, and schedule campaigns. In addition, you can design a custom workflow for each campaign. For example, you can create one workflow that uses a series of messages to target your hottest leads. You can create another one that aims to convert new customers into repeat customers. Follow-up emails will be automatically sent out to its intended recipients at the time of your choosing.
With this feature, you can generate sales even as you sleep.
The late Steve Jobs said, “Get closer to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need before they realize it themselves.” This is a marketing gem that’s easy to say but extremely difficult to do. You need a wealth of customer information if you have a chance of pulling this off.
Fortunately, an ecommerce CRM like Freshsales is designed to help you store and organize customer data. It can track website activity, buying history, personal information, and a lot more. Use the data to conduct an in-depth analysis and understand the behaviors and needs of your customers.
Leverage the insights that you gain and launch automated campaigns with highly personalized offers. On top of that, you can use this feature along with lead scoring to create a list of inbound leads who are most likely to convert. These are marketing strategies that can drastically improve your revenues for both B2B and B2C ecommerce.
Tracking the performance of every stage involved in your sales strategy is no walk in the park. For instance, a business might rely on a web tool to track the performance of email marketing campaigns. In this case, the same business might use a spreadsheet to do sales reporting.
With custom reports in Freshsales, you get a system that allows you to generate detailed sales reports and forecasts. It lets you easily cull all sales data in just a few clicks. You can instantly check the status of your KPIs including lead generation by source, email open rate, leads converted by source, conversion rates, and many more. This makes it easy for B2B ecommerce to optimize their sales pipeline.
Meanwhile, B2C ecommerce can also take advantage of sales trends and sales forecasts. They can use these tools to track the performance of their SKUs and see which ones are performing well.
You can even use these reports to forecast seasonal sales and cyclical periods. This helps you anticipate demand so you can prepare in terms of hiring, item stocking, marketing promotions, and more.
With Freshsales ecommerce CRM, you can proactively deal with the principal issues faced by many online store owners. The application helps you provide top-notch customer service, rank leads, run automated campaigns, analyze customer behavior, generate reports for optimization, and more. Freshsales is a multi-purpose system for small and medium ecommerce businesses to survive and thrive in this highly competitive industry.