I was recently reading an article penned by Mitchell Harper, one of the CEOs of BigCommerce. For those unaware, BigCommerce is one of the world’s leading ecommerce platforms, enabling even the most technologically impaired online business owners to build and manage complex web stores as easily as if they were managing a WordPress blog. In his article, Harper waxed philosophic about how ecommerce has “gone too far in eliminating the middleman.” In other words, social media integration has largely overshadowed the value of real, human contract in the sales equation, and that’s proving to be detrimental to the online sales landscape. This piece instantly appealed to me, as I have been using BigCommerce for years and currently manage a team of leading BigCommerce web designers and developers. In the article, Harper makes a few extremely noteworthy points about the state of ecommerce.
The Important Takeaways
Among other things, the article emphasizes how social media “likes” do not equate to valuable leads. For instance, your product or website may have 100,000 Facebook followers, while still only raking in $300 a month in sales. How is this possible? Because today’s paradigm emphasizes quantity over quality. The whole notion is predicated on the erroneous idea that greater exposure equals greater revenue. Unfortunately, there are several factors that must exist before exposure can effectively translate to sales. For instance, are you actually appealing to the right demographic? Are your marketing efforts tailored to the needs of that demographic? Are you emphasizing search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) as integral components of your marketing strategy? Are you engaging your customers directly, rather than simply talking at them?
Sadly, the personal element of sales is being lost in CyberSpace. Before the days when you could offer up your wares at the click of a mouse, salespeople had no choice but to appeal directly to the consumer. The interaction was face to face, and without a meaningful engagement, the entire exercise was futile. But today, much of the interaction is digital, and it’s so easy to take the personal element for granted. We fall into the trap of assuming that in order to enhance our success, we must only widen our net. This is partially true, as greater engagement does amount to greater exposure to our target audience (if only according to the laws of probability), but the fallacy lies in the feeble assumption that exposure alone is tantamount to success. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Fostering Real Success
If we want to achieve the kind of exposure that actually promotes the maximum return on our investment, we need to step away from the absurd notion of quantity > quality, and get back to the old school. We need to consider how personalization leads to a more palpable return on investment, and we need to look for ways to connect directly with our audiences, rather than just blindly tossing darts at increasingly massive dart boards. As Harper notes in his article, “most consumers prefer some form of human interaction with ecommerce” (according to a report from Purdue University), so the key isn’t to increase your followers, but rather to make the most meaningful use of the audience you already have, while reaching out to new consumers who are actually looking for your products or services. But how do we achieve this? And what does it mean for BigCommerce?
BigCommerce and the Future of Online Sales
There is a famous Billy Wilder film called Kiss Me, Stupid. It stars Dean Martin, and it features one of the crooner’s most famous and iconic lines: “If you’ve got what it takes, sooner or later someone will take what you’ve got.” This is the perfect, succinct way of illustrating the power of giving people what they actually want. And this is why I love BigCommerce. Sure, the platform contains a wealth of marketing and social media tools, designed to increase your exposure and incrementally increase your following — but more importantly, BigCommerce emphasizes the importance of giving people what they actually want. That’s why I continue to recommend it to my clients.
For example, BigCommerce highlights recommended products based on a user’s viewing activity, and it allows you to communicate seamlessly with customers in order to forge a meaningful relationship. Sales are great, but if you want to maximize your conversions, you need to establish a real dialogue. This requires top notch customer service and an in-depth understanding of what the consumer actually wants. If you’re spending all of your time trying to bolster your Facebook or Twitter following, you’re missing out on tremendous opportunities.
Turning the Tide
Maybe you’re thinking, “Wow, I’ve been going about this all wrong. I’ve spent so much time obsessing over my social media accounts that I’ve been neglecting my actual customer base.” Well, you’re not alone. The great thing about BigCommerce is that it does some of the work for you. It performs a variety of important back-end SEO tasks, enabling you to improve your search engine visibility to the consumers who would benefit most from the very products and services that you have to offer. BigCommerce also enables you to engage your existing customers with tailor-made recommendations, newsletters and streamlined customer service. If you’re looking for the ideal ecommerce platform, you could certainly do a lot worse. In fact, BigCommerce consistently ranks among my top recommendations, not only for its unparalleled engagement features, but also for its usability, price and customization freedom.
Coalition Technologies – More Than Just BigCommerce Web Designers
If you already use BigCommerce and are looking to give your site a much needed facelift, I would encourage you to call Coalition Technologies. Our team consists of the leading BigCommerce Web designers and developers in Los Angeles, and we can help you turn your adequate website into an ecommerce powerhouse with breathtaking designs, seamless usability and top quality SEO. Call us for a free quote at 1-888-800-9101 to learn more about how we can help. Like Mitchell Harper, we believe that online success isn’t about quantity. We take it personally.