Have you mastered the fine art of marketing your ecommerce business? You know, the things you do to attract prospects to your online store — while hoping they bypass all of the other ecommerce sites selling the same (or similar) products or services.
Or have you joined the growth hacker marketing brigade? They’re the marketers, engineers, and product managers who experiment in rapid succession with a multitude of marketing techniques looking for the Holy Grail: the most effective and efficient way to grow a business.
How do you attract prospects to your site? The only way you’ll have the opportunity to convince prospects of the many benefits of buying from you instead of the competition is to entice them to take a look.
The multitude of marketing tactics available today isn’t finite — and continues to grow. Some are probably familiar: Website Search Engine Optimization (SEO); content marketing; email marketing campaigns; loyalty programs; social media; multi-language websites; website live communication chat modules; and pay-per-click advertising.
All can produce good results when properly managed, whether you favor the traditional marketing approach or growth hacker marketing.
One approach you may not have considered is to use payments capabilities, as differentiators that prospects believe are important.
“Payments?” you say with a question mark in your voice. What’s different or unique about how you deal with payments? Don’t all ecommerce sites have to deal with payments?
You’re skeptical — that’s clear. But it’s not clear why you’re skeptical. Just because your competitors haven’t touted payments capabilities in their growth hacker marketing efforts doesn’t signal that it won’t work for you. Let’s consider it further and you may become a believer.
Optimize Your E-Commerce Experience with “Payments First”
Let’s start by agreeing that online shoppers care more about the security of their payment experience than whether the dress they chose requires dry cleaning. So while secure payments are a functional necessity for your business, they’re also a marketing benefit.
Too many online shoppers have experienced payment card fraud (or heaven forbid data security breaches) to trust naively a new shopping site. So use the fact that you offer secure payments in your ecommerce growth hacker marketing strategies.
Good marketing messages clearly show empathy for customer needs, wants, and challenges. If prospects’ primary “care-bouts” have to do with fear of fraud, then tout your willingness to invest in payment security.
Let your potential customers know that you understand their concerns. Not only is loss of personal financial data intrusive, recovery is also such a time-consuming hassle. You understand — therefore you’ve intentionally invested in payment security solutions, making security a priority for your customers.
So they can trust that their personal information will be kept safe.
And that’s how to headline your growth hacker marketing messages with a “payments first methodology.” Consider what you know about your prospect pool and try your hand at similar messages. Make them comfortable buying from you and differentiate your business too.
Cart Abandonment Costs Your Bottom Line… So Fix It!
No doubt you’ve experienced the heartbreak of lost almost-customers. Folks who were nearly there… about to hit the “buy now” button… who just gave up and left a cartful of products… and your site.
Known as “Checkout Abandonment” or “Cart Abandonment” in ecommerce parlance, this phenomenon occurs when shoppers leave your site without purchasing what they want during the very — last — step of the checkout phase. How frustrating!
Common reasons include many things you can absolutely adjust and control in your business model. While you cannot control the amount of tax you must charge, but can make your shipping policies (like timeframes and costs) competitive.
Some experts say that 25% is the average cart abandonment rate to expect (13% or lower is tops), though it will vary by industry. If your rate is higher than you’d like, it may indicate the need to improve your checkout process.
If the checkout process itself is cumbersome (too many steps, slow response times, and the like) shoppers get irked and abandon ship. These things too can be corrected, so make them a priority.
Streamline Checkout & Payments Processing to Boost Conversions. Your Bottom Line Will Thank You.
Streamlining checkout and payments processing for the consumer can boost conversions. Once you’ve drawn prospects to your website and they’ve browsed and created a shopping cart, make it easy for them to actually buy from you.
As noted above, don’t drive them away with a cumbersome checkout process. And following a streamlined checkout process, the payment process should be simple and seamless too.
Try these growth hacker marketing ideas:
- Accept the payment forms your customers prefer to use. If that means mobile wallets, and European or Asian regional cards, so be it. This is about trusting you and your site. Display the “payments accepted” information prominently.
- Display all costs on a single page (products, taxes, shipment) so there aren’t any surprises at checkout. That includes currency conversion information for non-domestic transactions.
- Use a single page data entry screen for checkout details, and don’t ask for information that you really don’t need.
- Allow guest checkouts. Returning customers may choose to sign up for an account, but help new customers give you money quickly without having to enter a lot of extra information.
Many of the checkout best practices that work for retail stores also make sense for ecommerce growth hacker marketing stars too. Don’t dismiss good ideas just because they’re not exclusive to ecommerce. And don’t be afraid to steal good ideas when you encounter them.
An easy win that doesn’t require extraordinary marketing prowess — just brilliant business acumen — is to choose the right payments processor for your business.
Working hand-in-hand with a payments industry expert who also understands your industry will give you a leg up from day one.
And when that expert works with you as a business partner, and treats you like one, how can you go wrong?