The article written by Molly McCormack Moody highlights insights from our CEO Sarunas Budrikas. Read the full article below or in the original publication in FabShop Direct magazine.
You’ve invested time and dollars into an e-commerce component for your website, but you’re not seeing the return that you had hoped for. This, unfortunately, seems to be a common trend among manufacturing companies. In this month’s column, we talk with Sarunas Budrikas, CEO of digital marketing and web development company Angle180, to gain a better understanding of what a fully effective e-commerce plan looks like and what businesses can do to enhance the processes they’re currently leveraging. Like most projects Budrikas and his team take on, he suggests a holistic, top-to-bottom approach that includes research, planning, implementation, analyzing and testing. This cycle, Budrikas adds, should run continuously; an e-commerce platform needs to be monitored and tinkered with often to meet and alter the business goals outlined in the planning phase.
The cornerstone to a successful digital sales solution is what Budrikas calls “taking action.” In this stage, companies gain traffic through search engine optimization, pay-per-click leads, e-blasts and social media. This drives customer engagement, increasing conversions and establishing a relationship with the customer for continued retention. With conversions being the key indicator of success, Budrikas advises to influence the customer’s decision-making process by providing a user experience that anticipates and accommodates each potential customer’s needs and purchasing reasoning, especially during the checkout phase.
“Checkout needs to be a straightforward process, funneling customers directly to payment,” Budrikas emphasizes. Budrikas stresses the importance of limiting the extra “noise” during checkout. Streamline the process and eliminate any unnecessary intermediary screens asking customers if they want to add additional items to their purchase. Capturing additional sales should be part of the follow up with customers instead of a distraction during the initial purchase.
In the spirit of keeping it simple, Budrikas recommends keeping user-registration requests to a minimum. He suggests looking at larger, more well-known brands for reference and reducing the number of information fields – think first and last name, email address and company.
“Gather data, analyze and test it and then offer your customers what they need – before they even know they need it.”
While the desktop experience is something to always consider, Budrikas preaches the mobile experience is where a business should continually look to enhance and optimize.
“Mobile experiences and mobile traffic are taking over; that’s a fact,” he says. “No matter if your market is mainstream or a niche business-to-business, your e-commerce site needs to be optimized for a great mobile experience. This means having a great working search and filtering module, well-crafted product pages with intuitive picture navigation systems and easy to use order processes. And, finally, the checkout flow; it must be as simple and as straightforward as possible to complete that sale.”
Along with tedious check-out processes and low-functioning mobile platforms, Budrikas notices that companies dissatisfied with their current e-commerce platform tend to focus solely on the acquisition of new business. While new business is crucial for growth, he suggests paying closer attention to the existing customer base; one way is by creating automated email campaigns for follow-up sales.
It’s actually easier to do business with people that have purchased from you in past and trust you, Budrikas says. The foundation of an email campaign comes from the data collected during the initial sales process and each subsequent visit the customer makes to the page. Campaigns can then be tailored to fit each user’s needs and interests.
“Gather data, analyze and test it and then offer your customers what they need – before they even know they need it,” Budrikas concludes.