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5 New Year’s resolutions for small ecommerce businesses

Jennifer Lonoff Schiff | Jan. 3, 2017
Small online business owners and ecommerce pros share their digital to-dos for 2017.

The beginning of the new year is a great time for the owners of small ecommerce businesses to take stock and note all they have accomplished the past 12 months. It’s also a great time to think about and set down in writing what they would like to accomplish in the next 6 to 12 months.

While most (if not all) proprietors of ecommerce businesses probably have “make more money” and/or “grow the business” on their to-do lists, we wanted to get more specific. Here are their top five digital resolutions.

1. Increase mobile conversion rates

“Our number 1 New Year's resolution is to be even more mobile-phone friendly,” says Antonia Townsend, founder & chief knicker officer, Enclosed, a high-end lingerie subscription service. “Since we launched three years ago, traffic has shifted from a majority on desktop to a majority on mobile phones and tablets. Therefore, our number one goal is to get our mobile conversion rate up to that of our desktop.”

Boosting mobile conversion “is a stretch goal as mobile conversion rates remain lower than desktop in ecommerce,” she explains. “But it is worth shooting for. Moreover, as a high-priced luxury service (our prices run from $55 to over $500) many people will continue to prefer to checkout on [a] desktop [computer or laptop] for larger ticket items, but we need to make the mobile experience as seamless and easy as possible.”

2. Improve email marketing

The beginning of the New Year is the perfect time to review your email marketing strategy – and purge and segment your email marketing lists. Reviewing your email lists is important as it can help you see who is actually responding to your email campaigns and who isn’t. You can then delete subscribers who haven’t engaged in over a year (or less), which will help your business, or domain, maintain a healthy online reputation.

Once you’ve scrubbed your email list(s), resolve to “avoid sending ‘batch and blast’ newsletters and try to segment your audience using information you know about [subscribers],” says Adii Pienaar, founder & CEO, Conversio, an ecommerce marketing dashboard.Good ways to segment your email list include by gender, age, geography and/or past purchases for B2C – and by industry, position, past purchases and/or sales cycle for B2B.

“Sending relevant and targeted emails will help you to maintain long-term subscriber engagement,” he explains. “People are most engaged with a brand in the first 60 days, after which there can be a huge drop off if you don't keep them wanting more.” By segmenting and personalizing email, you can increase the chances of “your customers opening, clicking and, of course, purchasing.”


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