Recently we reported on the ecommerce boom that was encouraged by a bout of glorious sunshine during the early Spring months. Now, at the beginning of May, growth seems to be slowing in Britain’s ecommerce market. Internet Retailing reports that sales were up by just 9% during the wettest April since records began. Granted, this is still healthy growth, but not compared to the 14% experienced across the same period last year.

There’s no reason though that the damp squib of April’s weather – and indeed other factors affecting the economy – should mean slow revenue. In the same month Sainsburys has reported a growth in overall sales, with ecommerce sales accounting for 20% of their 16.6% overall market share. Meanwhile the US has seen ecommerce revenue for the first quarter up by 17% on 2011, according to new figures from ComScore.

With that in mind, here are some tips to make the most of downpoints in the year and ensure conversions and purchases continue to grow. They’ve worked for our clients including boohoo.com, Tesco Clothing and Superdry – all of whom have reported consistent revenue growth from adopting these tactics.

Gear customers up to buy with clever merchandising opportunities

Internet Retailing’s article quotes Andrew Stewart, Marketing Director at Play.com. “The weather can have a huge effect on retailers” he says. “One way retailers can negate the effect of the weather is to ensure they have a genuine multichannel approach to retailing. Savvy retailers could even use this to their advantage, with online deals on items like coats and macs to help them shift winter stock.”

Adapting deals and offers to fit the weather is a great strategy – as is our strategy for seasonal and occasion led merchandising covered in a previous blog. But even today many online retailers find this kind of immediate response difficult to deliver via cumbersome manual merchandising platforms.

Locayta Freestyle Merchandising® can liberate your ability to respond instantly to market conditions. A choice of manual or automated opt-in means that merchandising opportunities can be controlled and adjusted at the touch of a button.

What’s more, Balance Factor® enables you to tell the system which products you need to push most urgently – so if you’re planning a special offer on umbrellas or coats to match the bad weather Balance Factor ensures those results are optimised. Customers immediately see the offers you’re looking to push, with a potentially dramatic impact on sales.

 

 

 

Enhance the checkout experience

Recommendations are vitally important to conversions as we all know. Locayta Product Recommendations enable you to control how and when products are suggested at any point across your site – and particularly when shoppers view their baskets. Like all of Locayta’s technology, product recommendations are programmed to balance your users’ individual search preferences with your own stock and profitability priorities.

Another word of advice: make sure you’re up to speed with shipping and delivery costs. Time and again we’re seeing evidence that high shipping costs are closely connected with cart abandonment. It’s no wonder that the likes of Sainsburys and Tesco are investing in click and collect campaigns. If you don’t have the facility to deliver this, at the very least ensure that your shipping costs are transparent and reasonable to stay competitive.

Get smart: Get multichannel

Multi-channel is a must these days. If you’re not geared up to deliver you can only expect to disappoint. Check out Locayta Shop Window – a shopping widget that’s easily deployed on third party sites including blogs, social networks, and partner sites. Shoppers can search and select just as they would on your site. When they’re ready to purchase they are then transferred to your main commerce site to complete the transaction.

Add to this Locayta Mcommerce, a powerful click to buy ipad app, and you have some quick, cost effective solutions to make sure you’re meeting your customers’ demand for always on, convenient service come rain or shine.

 

 

If you’d like to know more about how Locayta can help you increase conversion rates, up your average order values and grow a healthy return, contact us today for a free demo or to discuss your requirements in more detail.

Read more:

Online sales grow by 9% on wettest April since records began Internet Retailing May 2012

eCommerce aids Sainsburys sales growth Shopsafe, May 2012

Shift to eCommerce channels accelerating SmartPlanet May 2012