According to the International Monetary Fund, global inflation is forecast to rise from 4.7% in 2021 to 6.5% in 2023, with the Bank of England warning the UK is facing its longest recession since records began, as it raised interest rates by the most in 33 years.
With the increasing cost of living but no change to salaries, business owners need to be smart about how best to ride the storm. Now is the opportunity to double down on eCommerce as, on average, online sales only account for 10% of retail. Unlike bricks and mortar, you don’t need to pay for heating and lighting for your website; now is the time to shift your focus.
The average conversion rate for eCommerce sites is still around 2.5-3% (as reported by Big Commerce). In comparison, physical retail converts between 20-40%, highlighting a giant opportunity for those ready to adapt and win.
Below is our take on how you can recession-proof your eCommerce business:
- Live video shopping
- Provide outstanding customer service
- Add value to your products
Live Video Shopping
Imagine you’re shopping for a bed frame and spot one which you think is perfect. The only issue is you’re not sure if it will fit through the door or even look right in your bedroom. These are the questions on your customers’ minds when shopping on your eCommerce store, especially without a retail assistant to help them. But have you wondered how it would be to mix the physical and digital experience in retail; you can with live 1-2-1 video shopping. By connecting with your online customers to help with their purchases, conversion rates go beyond 29%!
Live video shopping can be a channel in itself for your eCommerce business – by turning browsers into shoppers with your online retail experts. It replicates the in-store experience, online (even with the same conversion rates). Your retail staff can recommend alternative products to the customer, as well as up-sell and cross-sell on the live video shopping platform. These features ensure the customer is getting the most out of their online shopping and not leaving your website with unanswered questions.
Retail staff are also able to easily add deals and/or discounts to your customers’ orders, just as they would in-store. Therefore, there is much less of a risk of them finding better deals from your competitors.
If you want to try: Confer With Express is a free, live 1-2-1 video shopping platform that boosts conversion rates and average order value for many eCommerce stores, as well as reaping all the other benefits of a live video call between a retail expert and a customer. It is available to download on Shopify and takes less time to set up than it does to boil a kettle (honestly, we put it to the test).
Providing Outstanding Customer Experience
Rule number one of customer service: provide an outstanding customer experience. But it’s pretty hard to smile and tell someone to have a good day with a static website that customers navigate by themselves. However, there is a simple way to fix this.
Personalisation is a great way to ensure your customers feel as though their purchases are valued and appreciated by your business, and it doesn’t have to cost a penny to do so. You could include personalised, automated email confirmations with their name in the introduction or even offers related to their previous search history. As a result, your customers will feel appreciated, be more likely to return to your website, and in turn, make more purchases. This is a great tactic to recession-proof your eCommerce business.
But is there a way to target the already (or soon-to-be) local customers? Of course, there is! You can offer them reward schemes or personalised discounts based on their previous purchases, therefore increasing customer engagement and the likelihood of them recommending your business to other people. This can include:
- Data collection on consumer behaviour to determine their interests
- Fear of missing out messaging
- Give relevant recommendations to customers based on purchase history
Add Value to Your Products
How many times have you looked at a product on a website and simply skimmed over it? Whether that’s because it only has one image to show, or an essay of a product description, you’ve probably not given it a second thought. Well, chances are your customers have done it too, so it’s important to investigate how to solve this.
Unlike the last two points, which have been mainly business-focused, the ability to add value to your products is much more customer-based, and there are many ways to do so when looking to recession-proof your eCommerce business. The first is to include product features to improve user experience. You may already have a gallery and an explanation of your products, but your customers want to know more: what it goes with, is it a great gift idea, is it pet and children-friendly. By adding a video explanation of the products from a live video expert, your customers will better understand your products, and not leave your site with any unanswered questions.
The power of a sales expert giving real-time advice to your customers on your website is incredible. They can showcase their in-depth knowledge of the products and can easily explain features, compared to using a live chat function. If you are interested in using live 1-2-1 video shopping but aren’t sure if you have the staff available, then our Confer With Experts are the perfect alternative. They are the highest-performing video salespeople on our platform, available as an extension of your retail team. Our video sales team deliver high call conversion rates of 30% and above, with a 50-100% increase in average basket size – and you only pay when they’re online and talking to your customers. Find out more on our expert’s page.
- Engage with customers as much as possible with live 1-2-1 video shopping
- Show appreciation by personalising your customers’ shopping experiences
- Make your customers’ shopping journey as easy and hassle-free as possible by adding value to your products
If any of these points resonate with you, then why not book in a call with us to help you recession-proof your eCommerce business even further?