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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.

3. Retarget customers who abandoned their shopping carts

“Our first goal for 2017 is to implement a better return path for visitors to our online store who did not complete their first purchase,” says Darrius Glover, founder & CEO, Wool Fresh. “During 2016, our average bounce rate was 60 percent, which means out of 100 people only 40 visitors took the next action of visiting other pages on our site. To fix this problem, we are going to set up a simple re-marketing campaign to ask visitors who left abruptly to come back and learn more about our products (we sell socks you can wear 30 days straight with no smell),” he says. “We can achieve this easily with a $5 a day Facebook campaign aimed at visitors who only visited our homepage. With this approach, we hope to decrease our bounce rate to 50 percent by the second quarter of 2017.”

4. Explore new online marketing/advertising channels

“Facebook is a great platform to help promote your products and services, but you must not forget about other channels your audience spends time on,” says Glover. “Since a lot of our buyers are women, Pinterest is a great medium to share more about how our socks can help them live better.

“During a test campaign in 2016, we achieved a relatively low cost-per-click of $0.23 for targeted traffic geared towards women’s running shoes,” he explains. “In 2017, we will double down on our efforts and increase our spending to maximize the cheap traffic we can move from Pinterest over onto our site. In 2017, our goal is to use Pinterest and Facebook traffic (50/50 split) to attract a new audience for our products.”

Similarly, many small business owners say they plan on using Instagram and Snapchat to gain followers and potential customers in 2017.

5. Improve customer service

“Online shoppers can’t try on, handle or otherwise test a product before buying it, so they can’t always be 100 percent certain that they’ll be happy with an order until it arrives on their doorsteps,” explains Tom Caporaso, CEO, Clarus Commerce. “Excellent service, though, will help reverse any negative experiences your customers might have — and/or ease their concerns even before they place orders. It will also boost your bottom line.”

Indeed, according to Microsoft, “66 percent of consumers say they’ll spend more with companies that offer great customer service,” he says. “These days, that can (and should) involve [using] a variety of communications channels, from live chat on your website to email, text and more. The more helpful [you are to] customers, the better your chances are to build loyalty with them.”


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