Warrick Kernes has been selling online for 12 years, winning numerous industry-related awards in Europe and Africa over that time. He grew one of his online businesses to sales of over R1 million per month and in the process learnt the correct steps to take in building a successful online business.
Today, Warrick speaks at eCommerce events around South Africa, is a guest lecturer to the WITS Business School’s MBA class and has published a book on eCommerce in South Africa called eCommerce Secrets. In 2017 Warrick founded the Insaka eCommerce Academy with the vision of helping local entrepreneurs set up and grow their own online businesses.
eCommerce is not just about selling products online; it includes all transactions done through the Internet.
All businesses today should be considering how they are interacting with their customers online, and how online interactions are influencing purchasing decisions.
Most people see eCommerce as an opportunity for entrepreneurs to start a business without needing the big capital outlays normally associated with launching brick and mortar businesses. While start-up entrepreneurs have been the group to readily adopt this digital sales channel, the opportunity is arguably even bigger for established businesses.
Brick and mortar retailers can dramatically increase their customer base as selling online removes the geographical limitation of physical stores. All store owners can also use eCommerce to better interact with their customers and to garnish valuable information from customers to improve each customer’s shopping experience, increase engagement and to increase overall sales.
As you build a profile on each of your customers, you can start to segment your database and make product-specific recommendations or announce new products to the exact group of customers who have either registered their interest, or bought similar items from you previously. Not only will this increase your sales but it will also give each customer a much better overall experience with your brand.
In order to leverage eCommerce to grow a company’s sales, the main strategic focus needs to be on growing a strong opt-in database with quality leads. Continually increasing traffic, conversion rates, and average order value is a winning formula to ensure growth in sales.
Knowing what your ideal customer looks like means you can target them using Facebook ads to bring higher quality traffic to your site, which is more likely to convert. Using remarketing across all channels will also help to increase your conversion rate and to increase your average order value. You can use your website’s shopping cart page to recommend upsell items according to what they have in the basket or what they’ve bought before.
Many business owners make the mistake of thinking that if they make it, customers will come. Once the site is live it needs to be treated as a normal business, which requires continual effort, improvement and strategic moves to ensure success.
The main top-level metrics to monitor include traffic and conversion rate, but business owners also need to ensure that their website has an ever-increasing visibility online by making use of digital marketing and social media.
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