Improve your E-commerce website with the E-Channel project

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Hedgerow Marketing is proud to be supporting E-Commerce experts Vertical Plus, on the E-channel project as marketing consultants. For many years – nearly 10 – Hedgerow has supported clients with websites from improving their SEO, to design and build of a website, to product photography  and copy.However, we ourselves are not e-commerce experts.

Improve your e-commerce website

Working so closely with Vertical Plus over the past 2 months has been eye-opening for us, so we thought we’d share our insights into the top 3 things we’ve learnt about running a successful e-commerce website.

  1. Crunch the data

Launching an E-commerce website might be an obvious step for your business but rushing into it headfirst without a plan is a sure way of wasting your time and money, and you’re going to end up disappointed and with a website that doesn’t sell well. To avoid a disaster, you’re going to need to crunch the numbers. But what do we mean by this?

The experts at Vertical Plus stress the need to know your business and your products like the back of your hand – and they mean it. You have to crunch the data. In fact, it’s what Vertical Plus are best at. They do the nitty gritty data crunching that many people don’t want to do… and yet it’s the first crucial step to getting the most from your e-commerce website.

You’ll need to know which of your products sells best and why, a process that involves thoroughly understanding your consumers, their habits, and the way your business operates. This process, which Vertical Plus can help you with, enables you to build a plan and design an e-commerce strategy that is optimised for you.

  1. Converting the traffic

You’ve got your wonderful products, and you’re crunched the data and are ready to take your business to the next level via your e-commerce website. However, you’re going to need to generate traffic, and convert that traffic. And no, we don’t mean road traffic. And no, we don’t mean a rugby conversion. So, what do we actually mean by ‘convert the traffic’?

Whether you’re selling to a new audience, or to existing customers, you’re going to need to generate traffic to your website and then you’re going to need to turn that traffic into sales. You can do this organically, through your pre-existing channels such as email-marketing or social media, or you can run paid campaigns, typically known as PPC or Pay Per Click campaigns, most commonly on Facebook or Google.

At Hedgerow, we’ve worked with photographers and graphic designers for years now, and have surrounded ourselves with a reliable team. Populating your website with the right imagery, graphics and copy is crucial to converting traffic into sales.

Not only does your website have to look good, but it has to run efficiently and has to be intuitive to the audience – otherwise known as website architecture. If your website is built correctly, and this is a delicate process, your website will funnel visitors to the checkout (or generate a lead). Along the visitor’s journey on your website, your visitor will learn all about your business and products, and you can start to establish reputation, and build trust.

Your visitors should soon start to commit to your business, whether that’s by joining the mailing list, making an inquiry, or buying from you right then and there.

  1. Marketing Pipeline

Now your website is built to convert your visitors into customers, you’re ready to start bringing more people to your website. We’ve already mentioned you can do this through PPC campaigns, but that’s not the only way you can do it – and it really depends how your business is set up. So, what’s your third and final step to running a successful e-commerce website? It’s all about pipelines, but not the sort you need in your bathroom.

You might already have a marketing strategy – in which case, you’ve done half the job. That being said, you might want to consider how adaptable and effective aspects of your strategy are, to ensure it is optimised for your fancy new e-commerce website and products.

As mentioned previously, you can generate traffic organically, or through paid campaigns. You might choose to do one or the other or take an integrated approach. Whichever way you choose, you need to make sure your marketing pipeline is economically viable and effective.

There’s all sort of things you can be doing to make sure your website is receiving the attention it deserves. Making sure your website is optimised for Google; Using email marketing; Improving your domain authority; and getting your website backlinked on reputable websites are just a handful of ways to make your website accessible and effective.

You might consider running online adverts on Facebook or Google to bring people to your website. PPC campaigns are typically run when you’re starting a new business, tapping into new markets, or when you’re trying to grow your customer base quickly. Essentially, you’re buying leads. This can be a costly and ineffective method if you don’t know what you’re doing – so if you want to run adverts to improve your brand exposure and guide more people to your website (e-commerce or not) we can help you with that.

Tapping into E-Channel to grow your e-commerce business

E-Channel is a joint venture between Vertical Plus and Soledis in Brittany, and is a consultancy project whose aim is to work with a small and carefully selected number of companies who want to grow into new markets using E Commerce. This could be new markets in the UK, new markets outside of the UK or specifically new markets in France.

E-Channel aims to create and provide a framework for new market entry for companies using a unique action based consultancy model and a unique data management control platform designed to help SMEs conduct new market entry successfully.  Contact them on info@e-channel.org