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eCommerce: A Diagnostic Checklist

The online shopping experience for your audience is vital to the financial health of your organisation, but is your shop performing as well as it could be? From establishing your USP to streamlining the user journey and looking after your customers post-sale, it all makes a difference and it can always be tweaked. Ask yourself the following diagnostic questions to understand how the eCommerce of your organisation is performing.

Have you established your Unique Selling Proposition, and is it clear to the customer?

A Unique Selling Proposition (USP) refers to the specific benefit exhibited by an organisation, service or product – in other words, it’s what makes you stand out from your competitors.

The USP must be a feature that highlights meaningful benefits to consumers. A USP isn’t related to marketing discounts, free shipping or a generous return policy – it embodies what your organisation is about. This could be defined by a slogan, a particular or exclusive type of product, or specific approaches unique to your organisation. Most successful brands or retailers will have a USP, so it’s important to highlight the benefits of shopping directly with you over other online retail competitors. This article [] demonstrates some good examples of what a USP is and how one can be applied to your online shop.

Do you have an effective sales strategy?

A well-planned strategy to drive sales (known as a ‘sales funnel’) is crucial to the success and growth of your online store. It will help define and focus how you will drive visitors into converting customers. A sales strategy should outline the following:

  • How you intend to use marketing and advertising methods to attract potential customers
  • How you will incentivise visitors to share their contact details so you can nurture that relationship
  • How to motivate potential customers to become paying customers
  • How to retain paying customers and turn them into advocates of your organisation

If you are unfamiliar with sales funnels or would like to create one for your organisation, this article is a good place to start [].

Are you monitoring your eCommerce performance?

Setting weekly reviews of how your online shop is performing using the analytics available in your eCommerce platform will help you determine your performance in relation to your goals. This can the following key metrics:

  • Traffic to your shop
  • Page visits per customer
  • Time spent on pages
  • Reviewing customer journey flows and sales figures

This way you can measure your current impact and make tweaks to improve.

Are you reviewing customer conversion?

Reviewing all of your visitor touch-points (on multiple devices) is important so you can understand behaviours and how customers navigate your site, as well as identifying points of customer drop-off and any friction points in the user journey path which could be preventing sales. What tweaks could you make to ensure the journey to buying a product is as simple as possible?

How are you engaging with your customers?

Once you have converted your visitors into customers, nurturing these relationships to encourage loyalty to and advocacy for your organisation becomes crucial. A customer is supporting you, so they should be reminded how much their contribution matters (this relates back to your USP). Building a customer engagement strategy post-sale will help your customers feel appreciated, making them more likely to engage with you again in the future. You can achieve this with tools like tailored email communications and loyalty schemes.

What next?

This checklist has introduced some of the most important issues you need to consider when appraising the performance of your eCommerce activity. Monitoring these areas regularly will help you to improve the customer experience and retain your audience once that interaction has finished. To learn more, you can read one of the articles linked below.

The Digital Culture Network is here to support you and your organisation. Our Tech Champions can provide free 1-2-1 support to all arts and cultural organisations who are in receipt of, or eligible for, Arts Council England funding. If you need help or would like to chat with us about any of the advice we have covered above, please get in touch. Sign up to our newsletter below and follow us on Twitter @ace_dcn for the latest updates.

Original article created in 2020. Author: Emma Roberts. Article reviewed on 24th February 2021.

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