Best E-commerce Tools To Improve Sales And Profitability

So you’ve just set up an amazing E-commerce store. You’ve created a stunning website, your inventory is all set, and you are ready for sales to roll in. However, so far, your results have been quite underwhelming. 

We’re not surprised.

Getting an E-commerce store up and running is only half the battle won. You need to efficiently manage it to improve sales and profitability. And that’s where E-commerce Tools come in. 

It doesn’t matter whether you’ve set up a small online store selling a single product or a massive E-commerce marketplace selling almost everything under the roof, you need the help of these tools to drive growth and revenue.

In this article, we will go through some of the top E-commerce tools and plug-ins that you can adopt to improve your sales and profitability. 

What Are E-commerce Tools, And Why Are They Important? 

E-commerce Tools are softwares like apps, plug-ins and platforms that you can use to manage and automate your online store operations. These tools can handle anything from inventory management to customer relationships, enabling you and your team to focus on more strategic and mission-critical tasks. By improving the overall efficiency of your store and keeping operational costs down, these tools considerably improve your margins. 

An E-commerce tool is used by businesses because it – 

  • Streamlines store operations
  • Automates lead generation and customer acquisition activities
  • Optimizes ad campaigns
  • Manages inventory without errors
  • Enhances customer experience

With that basic introduction, let us go through some of the best tools you can use to manage different aspects of your online store.

Tools For Streamlining Online Store Operations

Here’s the harsh reality – If you do not streamline your store operations, you may never be able to scale your business. You will not be able to handle increasing order volumes, manage a growing product catalog, or expand into new markets. Most importantly, non-streamlined operations can result in inconsistencies and delays in various aspects of your business, all of which can impact the customer experience. 

And this is why you need a dedicated tool for streamlining your online store operations. It forms the backbone of your digital processes and profoundly impacts your sales and profitability.

Kartify: E-commerce Hosting Platform 

Kartify is an end-to-end E-commerce platform that offers everything you need to run your online store. Essentials such as website building, product listing, sales and inventory tracking, payment processing, marketing & analytics are built into the Kartify platform. It means you don’t have to juggle multiple platforms to manage your store and can handle it all with one centralized hub. With its ability to handle over 1 Million concurrent users, Kartify is highly scalable, making it a great choice for large E-commerce brands launching and expanding in India. 

Some of the key features of Kartify include:

  1. Plug & Play Integrations: Kartify can be integrated with 80+ third-party tools such as Payment Gateways, Marketing Automation tools, SMS & Email providers, and Order Management Systems, making it easier to manage all aspects of your E-commerce business. 
  1. Built-in Performance Marketing: Kartify comes loaded with multiple marketing tools and automation. The platform also offers an intuitive analytics and reports feature that gives you a 360-degree view of your sales and traffic.
  1. Design beautiful storefronts: With Kartify, you can build a responsive E-commerce website in minutes thanks to easily customizable templates. Modify the templates to your liking and add branding elements with great ease. From user flows and layouts to menu and filter options, you have complete control over the look and feel of your store. 
  1. Promotions and Offers: Conveniently manage your promotions, offers, and discount strategies within the platform. Instantly create multiple offers such as B1G1 offers, category discounts, and order discounts and share them with customers 
  1. Hassle Free Returns: Simplify your returns management with Kartify thanks to the in-built workflows and approval management system. Manage pickup updates and refunds with the help of integrations with other platforms. 
  1. Omnifriendly: It’s an omni-enabled platform, meaning you can seamlessly sell across multiple channels without having to invest in multiple platforms. 

The Kartify E-commerce platform is highly secure, adhering to ISO/IEC 27001:2013 security standards. It is carefully designed to the taste of the Indian audience and offers many India-specific features like login with OTP, automatic pincode & city detection, GST Invoicing, and more.

Wondering how to choose the right E-commerce platform for your business? We have created a comprehensive checklist for you. Download the checklist here

Inventory management Platforms 

Inventory management is crucial for E-commerce businesses. It typically comprises tracking inventory levels, ensuring adequate stock counts, managing fulfillment, and coordinating with suppliers. If not done right, it can present several hassles for your business. For instance, the risk of stockouts or overstocking is quite common in inventory management. 

To counter those issues, you need a robust inventory management platform that can perform accurate demand forecasting and offer real-time visibility into your stock levels. These platforms also ensure that your inventory is synchronized across different channels. 

Here are two popular inventory management platforms for E-commerce businesses: 

Unicommerce 

Unicommerce is a cloud-based inventory management software that offers real-time visibility into your stock levels. Besides inventory management, it optimizes and automates your order fulfillment processes and warehouse management activities. Some of the key features offered by this tool includes SKU-level product bundling, order routing, and easy stock routing.

Zoho Inventory

This home-grown inventory management software from the tech giant Zoho offers a rich feature set to take care of your every inventory need. Right from handling your GST billing to overseeing your warehouses, it is the only tool you need to efficiently manage your inventory operations. Some of the noteworthy features of this platform includes:

  • Accurate stock tracking with barcode scanning and RFID system
  • Instantly convert your sales order into invoices 
  • Generate real-time carrier  rate and shipping labels
  • Synchronize sales and inventory across multiple warehouses
  • Receive low stock alert with reorder point 

Must Read: 11 Smart Ways To Reduce Shipping Cost 

Payment Services 

These E-commerce applications play an important role in simplifying and streamlining the payment process for your online store. They are the digital payment software that helps you accept online payments from your customers. Since customers have different payment preferences, using a payment service provider allows you to offer a variety of payment options to your customers. Here are a few payment services widely used in India.

PayTM

PayTM is arguably one of the biggest names in the Indian financial space. It is also an able partner for E-commerce businesses looking for a convenient and secure payment solution. By integrating with PayTM, your customers can pay you through various methods like credit cards, debit cards, net banking, and their proprietary wallet. Paytm’s extensive user base and brand recognition contribute to increased customer trust and higher conversion rates for your store. 

Razorpay

Razorpay payment gateway is built specifically for E-commerce businesses. It facilitates online payments for both online and offline businesses. With Razorpay, you can receive payments through credit cards, debit cards, net banking, wallets, and UPI payments, all through the E-Commerce plug-in. The best part is the application allows customers to make payments directly on your website without being redirected elsewhere.

E-commerce Applications For Faster Checkout 

Lengthy and complicated checkout processes can lead to cart abandonment. Customers may get frustrated or lose interest if they encounter multiple form fields, mandatory account creation, or a complex payment process. By optimizing the checkout flow for speed and simplicity, you can reduce cart abandonment rates and increase conversion rates. Here are the E-commerce apps and plug-ins you can use for faster checkout. 

Nimbbl 

Nimbbl brings together all the popular payment gateways under one unified dashboard so that you can manage your payment operations more efficiently. The tool supports popular payment options such as Buy Now Pay Later and UPI through a single API. Nimbbl is also known for its one-click checkout option that drastically reduces checkout abandonment. 

Juspay

Juspay is a fully customizable end-to-end solution that takes care of all the payment needs of your E-commerce store. It connects you with over 100 payment aggregators /payment gateways to process your online payments. With Juspay, you can also create Express Checkout functionality for your store. It uses an intelligent routing system that efficiently routes transactions based on success rates, the health of the payment gateway, and business logic.

Gokwik

Gokwik is a platform for solving problems related to shopping experiences with a slant toward reducing the RTO rate for your E-commerce business. It also improves your order delivery rates with the help of smart features like automated address correction, intelligent order confirmation, and communication optimizer. Gokwik also provides a 360° dashboard view with real-time order data for you to make quick decisions regarding order processing. 

Order Management Platforms 

Order management, shipping, and RTO platform together form the backbone of your E-commerce operations. While order management tools take care of your entire order lifecycle, the shipping tools automate different shipping processes by integrating with shipping carriers. RTO (Return to Origin) platforms handle reverse logistics and returns. 

These platforms are necessary for the proper functioning of an E-commerce store today. They ensure that the products reach the customers on time while ensuring great customer experience and complete transparency in all the operations involved after a customer places an order. Gokwik and Clickpost are the two most popular platforms that fall under this category. 

Must Read: What is Return-to-Origin and How Can You Reduce It? 

Clickpost

It is a logistics platform that specializes in providing end-to-end shipping solutions for E-commerce businesses. Some of the key services offered by Clickpost include multi-carrier shipping, returns management, and COD reconciliation. The platform is integrated with over 350+ shipping carriers so that you do not have to worry about the logistics and last-mile delivery of your orders.  

EasyEcom

EasyEcom is an AI-powered Order Management System that lets you manage and track your inventory in real time. As the platform integrates with popular E-commerce hosting providers, marketplaces, and ERPs, it is the preferred choice for growing brands. Apart from order management, EasyEcom App also allows payment, shipments and invoices in multiple currencies and locations. 

E-commerce Applications To Boost Customer Acquisition and Retention

Customer acquisition and retention are two important goals of any E-commerce business. However, the task of generating leads, converting them into customers, keeping them engaged, and nurturing long-term relationships is not easy. 

With intense competition in the E-commerce space, customers are always on the lookout for alternatives and will jump at the first chance to switch to your competitors. That’s why you need E-commerce Tools that specializes in customer acquisition and retention activities. 

Kartapult For Performance Marketing

Unlike traditional marketing, performance marketing focuses on measurable outcomes and tangible results. You need to measure the impact of your paid ad campaigns and clearly understand which campaign to scale at what cost. Constant experimentation and thorough analysis are essential to identify the strategies that work for you. At the same time, performance marketing can be costly, and that’s why using an E-commerce tool like Kartapult is essential.

Kartapult is a leading performance marketing platform that maximizes your revenue and improves your ROAS  by optimizing your online advertising efforts. It integrates all the advertising channels such as Facebook ads, Instagram Ads and Google ads into one platform so that you have a unified view of your marketing activities. It also ensures that the entire Ad Management process is automated, be it targeting audiences or optimizing budgets. 

With Kartapult you can 

  1. Automatically adjust your advertising budgets based on ad performance
  2. Create high performance audience list with industry and funnel specific audience cohort 
  3. Create and launch all types of ads in bulk using Ads Manager
  4. Use ROAS Analysis to make precision optimization to your ad campaigns 
  5. Get insights into your overall bid performance both at funnel and channel level
  6. Adjust strategies in real-time to maximize ROI by tracking daily averages
  7. Make informed decision with data insights and intelligent recommendations 
  8. Generate comprehensive reports that capture marketing performance across channels
  9. Get a unified dashboard for managing and analyzing ad performance across channels

Buffer For Social Media Marketing 

Having a consistent social media presence is important to increase your online store’s visibility. Buffer can simplify this process for you with its easy-to-use social media management platform. You can schedule social media content in advance for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, making it an ideal E-commerce tool. 

Besides helping you automate your social media publishing, Buffer also helps you keep a close eye on impressions and engagement data of your social media posts. 

Must Read: Best E-commerce Marketing Strategies (+ With Examples)

Email Marketing Platforms 

Email marketing enables E-commerce brands to directly communicate with their customers in a personalized way. Email Marketing platforms let you deliver targeted messages that can engage your audience and convert  them to customers. From drip campaigns to new product launch emails or abandoned cart reminders you can build, send and track your marketing emails using these tools. Two of the most popular email marketing platforms for E-commerce businesses are Mailchimp, Netcore and MoEngage. 

Mailchimp 

Mailchimp is a popular email marketing and automation platform that keeps your customers and prospects engaged through relevant emails. Apart from offering a variety of templates to create your email campaigns, the tool also gives you suggestions for improving your content based on top-performing emails in your industry. It even suggests the best time to send your emails for maximum engagement. 

Netcore

Netcore is another popular email automation platform that helps organizations better engage with their customers via personalized emails. It is one of the few email marketing platforms to offer a drag & drop Email Builder and AI- powered insights specifically tailored for E-commerce businesses. 

MoEngage

MoEngage is a customer engagement platform that also offers email automation services. You can use this platform to create compelling, contextually relevant emails that align with your customer’s behavior and preferences to boost open rates. You can also engage your customers with interactive emails such as surveys, ratings, feedback requests, and more with Moengage. MoEngage can also trigger emails based on customer lifecycle and send timely alerts such as delivery status, reward points, invoices, etc.

Also Read: What is Conversational Commerce and How To Use It For E-commerce 

Referralcandy & Affise For Partnership Marketing

Partnership marketing campaigns like referral and affiliate marketing encourages and incentivizes your existing customers to attract new customers to your online store. Referral marketing is particularly beneficial for E-commerce brands because referrals from friends or family provide social proof and build trust.  Similarly links from affiliates eases concerns and increases confidence among customers who are uncertain about buying particular products. They are two of the most cost-effective forms of marketing as you are paying only after you get results.

Referral marketing tools like Referralcandy automates your referral marketing efforts. With Referralcandy, you can send automatic invites and reward customers who have made successful referrals. You can even segment your audience and create a campaign that only enrolls people who sign up via a particular channel. 

Affise is another tool that automates and scales your partnership management activities. You can quickly find affiliates and influencers with Affise and also nurture relationships with them. The platform helps you manage campaign budgets, handle payments, track conversion, and a lot more through a personalized dashboard. 

Notify Visitors For Customer Engagement & Communication

Customer engagement is the process of building and nurturing relationships with customers through various interactions. Constant engagement is important to build trust, particularly in the E-commerce space.

Notify Visitors is a customer engagement platform that helps create automated campaigns across different channels. It nudges users with relevant messages based on their actions on your website. You can also use the platform to communicate with customers more personally through personalized messages like Push, E-mail, and SMS.

Tools For Enhancing Customer Experience

E-commerce is an intensely competitive space, with thousands of businesses vying for customer attention. Providing exceptional customer experiences is the only way to set yourself apart from your competitors. Since customers are spoilt for choices, they are more likely to choose businesses that prioritize their satisfaction and offer a seamless and enjoyable shopping experience.  

There are tools aimed at enhancing various aspects of the customer journey in your store. From personalized recommendations to showcasing reviews for informed decision-making, these E-commerce Tools can create engaging shopping experiences for your customer, ultimately leading to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty. Two such tools are Nosto and Yotpo. 

Additional Read: What Is Customer Lifetime Value & How To Calculate It (+ Free Calculator) 

Wigzo  by Shiprocket for personalization 

Wigzo by Shiprocket is a one-stop solution for creating a fully personalized experience for your customers. The platform helps you engage website visitors in real time with intent-based targeting and personalized pop-up messages. You can also create customized user journeys with the help of a simple drag-and-drop builder so that every customer has a different experience and feels that the store is built just for them. 

Bazaarvoice for  user-generated content and reviews

Bazaarvoice is a retention marketing platform with a focus on User Generated Content. The platform lets you collect authentic customer reviews and display them where they can create maximum impact, such as your product details page (PDP). Apart from this, the platform also lets you showcase a wide variety of user-generated content, including social media posts, ratings, and questions & answers from customers on your website. 

Conclusion

The above tools not only enhance your E-commerce operations but also empower you to tap into the immense potential of online selling. Hope this list will help you improve your E-commerce sales and drive profitability. 

And in case you need an E-commerce partner to set up your operations and succeed, ANS Commerce can help. As a Filpkart Group Company, we are India’s leading E-commerce enabler

From providing E-commerce technology solutions to implementing impactful marketing campaigns and seamless warehousing & order fulfillment services, we offer end-to-end support to E-commerce brands launching & expanding their presence in India. 
To know more about ANS Commerce, book a demo now.

How To Leverage Mobile Advertising To 10X Your Sales?

Numbers don’t lie – By 2024, the number of smartphone users in India is expected to reach 1.07 billion. People have started relying on mobile phones for everything– be it shopping or entertainment. And that’s precisely why E-commerce businesses should embrace Mobile Advertising. Today, it’s the easiest way to reach your customers and deliver personalized marketing messages to them. But not all businesses succeed in Mobile Advertising, mainly because they fail to adapt and optimize their strategies to navigate the competitive Mobile Advertising landscape.

To help you succeed, we will deep dive into the world of Mobile Advertising, go through its basics and look into some of the best examples of Mobile Advertising in recent times. 

What Is Mobile Advertising? 

Any type of advertising delivered on a smartphone or tablet can be considered Mobile Advertising. These advertisements can appear on social media apps, games, mobile websites, or even video streaming platforms. 

Mobile Advertising should be an integral part of your marketing strategy because mobile users are active on their phones throughout the day. In fact, three in every five people across India spend five hours or more on their smartphones every day. So it’s a missed opportunity to not target them on the device they use extensively. 

Mobile Advertising Vs Mobile Marketing 

Mobile Advertising is often interchangeably used with mobile marketing. However, they are two different terms with two different meanings. Mobile Marketing is more of an umbrella term that includes Mobile Advertising as one of its core components. 

Mobile Marketing typically involves gathering customer data, analyzing the collected data, and using it to share personalized messages with customers. The medium used to communicate these messages to customers is called Mobile Advertising. 

Basics Of Mobile Advertising

Understanding the basics of Mobile Advertising is crucial for advertisers looking to harness its full potential. So let us quickly go through some common terminologies used in the Mobile Advertising ecosystem and also the different types of platforms used to run mobile ads.

Terminologies To Know 

  1. Ad Impressions: Total number of times a mobile ad is displayed to the user.
  1. Click-through Rate: The percentage of users who click on a mobile ad after viewing it. Dividing the number of clicks by the number of impressions will give you CTR.
  1. Cost per Click: It is the amount an advertiser pays for every click on the mobile ad.
  1. Cost per Install: It is the amount an advertiser pays for every App installation of the mobile app resulting from an ad campaign.
  1. Cost per Action (CPA): It is the amount an advertiser pays for every action, such as order placement or account creation, resulting from a mobile ad campaign.
  1. CPM: It stands for Cost Per Mille and is the total amount an advertiser has to pay per mille (1000) impressions
  1. A/B Testing:  It is the process where you test different variations of a Mobile Advertising campaign and determine which performs better.
  1. Retargeting:  These are those ad campaigns that target people who have previously visited your mobile website or app. In this, you share personalized ads to encourage users to re-engage or re-install the app,
  1. Ad Campaign: Ad campaigns are a collection of advertisements that revolve around a single message. 
  1. Ad Network: They are the intermediaries between ad publishers and advertisers. In other words, it is a platform where advertisers can buy ad space.

Platform 

Mobile Advertising involves two different types of platforms to reach and engage with your audiences. They are:

Mobile Web 

These ads are displayed on websites accessed via a mobile device’s browser. They can include static imagery, video, rich media, text content, and more. More importantly, these ads must be adaptable to a wide range of devices, browsers, and operating systems.

In App

These ads are displayed within mobile applications. In-app ads can be easily tailored based on the app’s content and layout. Ad creators using this format can benefit from the immersive nature of the app, resulting in higher user engagement.

Why E-commerce Brands Should Focus On Mobile Advertising? 

Besides the surge in the number of mobile users today, there are several compelling reasons why E-commerce brands should focus on Mobile Advertising. Here are the top ones – 

Instant Engagement

With smartphones being constantly within reach, users can instantly access your ads and take immediate action. You can include interactive elements such as clickable buttons (click-to-call or click-to-message) on your mobile ads, allowing users to directly connect with you and make purchases in real time. 

Cost-Effectiveness

Mobile ads are cheaper than other traditional forms of advertisements such as print or television ads. The high competition in the Mobile Advertising market and the lower production cost of mobile ads are two main reasons why mobile ads are cheaper when compared to other forms of ads. And most Mobile Advertising platforms offer several self-serving advertising options(ad creation, ad publishing, ad management, etc.) with flexible budgeting. This enables you to allocate your ad spend according to your specific needs and scale campaigns as desired. 

Increase Sales With Geofencing

It’s very easy to target customers in Mobile Advertising due to geofencing. You can build a virtual boundary around your company’s location to promote your products to individuals in that area. In other words, you only reach those people who want to see your ad and are most likely to purchase from you.

Geofencing works based on GPS and several other radio frequency identifiers. Your geofencing campaigns will give you better insights into your local population’s demographics which you can leverage to personalize your messaging to resonate with your potential customers. Ultimately, you will drive better sales for your business. 

How Much Does Mobile Device Advertising Cost?

The cost of Mobile Advertising can hugely vary and depends on several factors. It could be the ad format, the platform used, the objectives of the campaign, or the competitiveness of the advertising market. But the good news is India is one of the most affordable countries for running mobile ads. According to research, a banner ad costs only $0.50 to $1 while the CPM (Cost Per Mille) rates of a video ad hovers between $5 to $7. However, this is a ballpark figure and can vary based on industries. 

Types Of Mobile Advertising

Mobile advertisements come in different formats, with each of them having its own share of advantages and disadvantages. Here are the 6 common types of mobile advertisements – 

Banner Advertising

A banner ad is one of the most common types of mobile ads you can see. It is a small rectangular image with text ingrained in it. It can be usually found at the top or bottom of the screen. These ads are affordable, easy to create, and supported on most devices. And the best part – these ads do not interrupt the user experience. However, the chances of wrong clicks are quite high in this ad type. 

Best Practices In Banner Advertising

  • Most people will not spend more than a second looking at your banner ad. So the copy should be easily digestible. It should highlight only the most crucial aspects of your campaign.
  • Keep your headlines short and make sure it passes the ‘Highway Test.’ For example, can a driver passing through the highway at 60 mph be able to read your headline on a passing billboard. 
  • Keep the CTA short and concise. It should not be more than two words. 
  • Have a logo of your brand in every banner ad you create for easy brand recall.

Video Advertising

Video advertising uses video content and elements such as sound, visuals, and animation, to engage viewers. These ads are usually short commercials promoting the brand or different products. Video ads are gaining immense popularity because people spend a substantial amount of time watching videos today. This is a great opportunity that you must take advantage of. However, producing video ads can be costly and time-consuming despite the availability of several video creation platforms today. 

Best Practices In Video Advertising

  • Ensure that the video ad is short and not more than 15 seconds. Use effective sounds and background music to keep your audience engaged. 
  • Since most people hold their phones vertically, pick a vertical or square aspect ratio for your mobile ads. The most common ratio used is Use 4:5.
  • Since many people watch videos without sound, make sure to use text and captions whenever possible. 

Interstitial Advertising

Interstitial ads are full-screen ads that appear between content transitions. For instance, they could appear when launching an app or navigating between different screens on an app. These ads are particularly known for their “immersiveness” as they crop up at a crucial time of the user journey.  Since they occupy the whole screen, the user is pushed to take action. He could either proceed with the CTA or close the ad. On the flip side, these ads can be quite annoying as they interrupt the user experience big time. 

Best Practices In Interstitial Advertising

  • Ensure that the ads appear at the natural start and stop points within the app. It should complement the user experience and natural flow of the app.
  • Ensure that the users can easily use the interstitial ad exit button. It must not be camouflaged by other objects on the screen. 
  • The ads must load quickly. The last thing you want is for the user to wait for your ad to load. So always ensure that the images used are optimized in terms of file size. 

Pop-up Advertising 

Pop-up ads appear in the same window or a separate window or tab but display over the page you are currently in. They are triggered by specific user actions or after a particular time interval. Like interstitial ads, these ads demand action from the users as it completely covers the present content. These ads have garnered mixed reactions from people due to their intrusive nature. Advertisers have also shifted to less intrusive ads to avoid negative experiences. And many web browsers of today come with in-built pop-up blockers, which prevent pop-up ads from coming up. 

Best Practices In Pop-up Advertising

  • Format the pop-up ads for all the devices on which they will be viewed. An unformatted pop-up ad will cover the entire screen, sometimes hiding the close button, and affecting user experience. 
  • Do not run pop-up ads on those pages you wish to rank organically. Google will penalize all those ads with poor UX and pop-up ads are one of the biggest culprits to hamper UX.
  • Ensure that the pop-up ad is triggered only after the user has interacted on your website, it could be scrolling up or down or visiting several pages. You have a better chance to encourage these users to take the desired action this way.

Native Advertising

These ads do not feel like your typical advertisements. They belong to the app or page the users are on and create an organic promotional experience. These ads could comprise images, texts, or even videos. Native ads are the least intrusive ads available today and can attract clicks without compromising on the user experience. However, you need to be careful while creating such ads. If these ads are not distinguishable as sponsored content, your users may be misled or confused about the information they are consuming. This can result in a loss of trust in the long run. 

Best Practices In Native Advertising

  • All the design elements of the native ad must align with your app. Use similar fonts, colors, and styles.
  • You must indicate the ads as ads. Include cues like badges or sponsored tags to help users identify them as ads. 
  • Do not forget to include a call to action such as Install, Shop Now, Get Started, or Learn More.

Geo-targeting Advertising

These ads allow you to customize ad content based on the user’s location. They utilize the mobile phone’s GPS capabilities to deliver highly relevant ads such as localized offers or specific messages when the users are in a particular area. These ads can also offer information about your physical stores and drive footfall to them.

Best Practices In Geo-targeting Advertising

  • Do not forget to exclude certain areas that are unlikely to generate a positive ROI for your ad spend. 
  • Before running the ads, look at the search history of your users. This will help you create more targeted ads.
  • Include location-specific keywords in your ads for better targeting. 

10 Mobile Advertising Examples From E-commerce Brands 

Let’s now discover some creative ways in which E-commerce brands have harnessed the full potential of Mobile Advertising- 

1) Fire Bolt

mobile ads example by online store

Fire-Boltt, an emerging player in the wearable technology market, recently rolled out an interstitial mobile ad to generate buzz around its upcoming product launch—the Quantum Luxury Smartwatch. The campaign smartly tapped into the wide user base of a popular news app, Inshorts, and placed the ad on their users’ news feeds. The ad was seamlessly integrated into the user journey and received maximum exposure by targeting tech-savvy individuals who rely on Inshorts for their daily technology news consumption. 

2) Puma

 Mobile ads example by Puma

 

Puma, the global sports brand, implemented a mobile ad campaign on the Playo app, a platform for booking sporting facilities. Upon logging into this app, users were greeted with a popup ad that showcased an attractive offer from Puma for all Playo users. When users clicked on the CTA, they were directed to the Puma mobile website where they could explore Puma’s vast catalog and purchase products at a discounted rate. This campaign aligned the Playo users’ passion for sports with Puma’s growing brand image in the sports industry to drive sales for both brands. 

3) Instamart

Mobile ads example by Instamart

This is one classic example of a native mobile ad. This advertisement from Swiggy Instamart, an online grocery platform, effortlessly blends into the layout and content of the popular newspaper app Times of India. The ad utilized one of the spaces reserved for articles and showcased a discount as a part of its latest campaign. Upon clicking the ad, the user was taken to the Instamart app for making purchases. 

4) Mama Earth

Mobile ads example by Mamaearth

Mama Earth, a brand known for its natural and organic personal care products, launched a banner ad campaign on the Flipkart mobile app. This banner features a catchy slogan about one of their products along with an attractive discount for Flipkart users. The placement of this banner on the home page of the app is extremely strategic as Flipkart is one of the largest E-commerce platforms in India with thousands of users accessing its app on a daily basis. The banner has the potential to reach a vast audience driving traffic to that product page and increasing brand awareness.

5) Apple

Mobile ads example by Apple

Apple’s ad campaign focused on one of its flagship product’s data privacy capabilities. The ad was in the form of a video that played on the free plan of Spotify, a widely used music streaming platform. By displaying this ad on Spotify, Apple received great visibility and reach. Spotify’s vast user base enabled this campaign to target a diverse audience, particularly those looking to purchase a new phone with advanced privacy features.

6) Pant Project

Mobile ads example by Pant Project

Pant Project, an Indian apparel brand with a focus on custom-made clothing, has created a video ad campaign for its cargo collection. This ad runs on YouTube’s mobile app and instantly captures the attention of users through stunning visuals and enticing background music. The ad also features memorable captions to ensure that it can be viewed even without music being switched on. There is also a crisp CTA that directs users to the brand’s website directly from the app. 

7) Ugaoo

Mobile ads example by Ugaoo

Ugaoo, the home gardening store created an image ad for the Instagram app. This ad showcased the brand’s unique collection of plants to capture the attention of plant enthusiasts casually scrolling through their Instagram feeds. Using the Instagram app for this campaign is a smart move as the users of Instagrammers tend to be highly engaged and active. They not only scroll through their feeds and explore content but also interact with posts through likes, comments, and shares. This level of engagement is much needed for a relatively new and growing brand like Ugaoo.

8) Ajio 

Mobile ads example by Ajio

Ajio, an online fashion retailer, created a WhatsApp ad campaign to promote its weekend sale. The brand leveraged the widespread usage and convenience of WhatsApp to engage with customers. This is an example of a retargeting ad that re-engages users who had previously interacted with the brand. This ad doesn’t have an active CTA and is mainly used to drive users to their physical store and improve brand recall. 

9) Juicy Chemistry

Mobile ads example by Juicy Chemistry

Juicy Chemistry, a renowned organic skincare brand, created an ad campaign on the Facebook mobile app. Facebook, often known for its visually driven content, is a great platform for a brand that revolves around beauty. The ad captures the instant attention of users, thanks to the stunning video shot of a product, showcasing the brand’s commitment to quality and eco-friendliness. Checkout types of facebook ads E-commerce brands can use

10) Pampers

Mobile Advertising example by E-commerce brand

Pampers, a well-received brand in the baby care industry, crafted a unique and eye-catchy Mobile Advertising campaign to showcase their recent recognition. It successfully leveraged the popularity of Firstcry, another renowned name in the baby care industry, and strategically integrated its campaign with the app. When the user closes the Firstcry app, a visually appealing pop-up emerges that has a prominent mention of this award. This approach offered maximum visibility for Pampers by capitalizing on an action that most users will take on the Firstcry app.

Conclusion 

And that’s a wrap! The examples highlighted in this post showcase some of the most innovative approaches you can witness in the world of Mobile Advertising. Use them as an inspiration and as a starting point while running mobile ads for your own business. 

As the competition in the E-commerce space grows, brands are faced with the critical challenge of handling multiple aspects of their business. This is where ANS Commerce steps in. We are an E-commerce technology company offering end-to-end support to Indian and foreign brands planning to launch their online store in India. To know more about how we can help scale your E-commerce business, book a free demo now. 

10 Types Of Facebook Ads D2C Businesses Can Use To Grow Sales (With Examples)

Facebook – the social media giant became a household name around the world in the mid-2000s. Back then, it was used primarily by people to connect with friends and family, share updates, and stay informed about each other’s lives. But with billions of active users, it soon became a hotspot for businesses, particularly in the D2C domain. D2C businesses of all sizes started to establish their presence on Facebook and attract this ocean of users to their websites.

One marketing strategy in the Facebook ecosystem that has proven to be quite a hit amongst D2C businesses is ‘Advertising’. With a plethora of ad formats available, savvy D2C marketers have started using Facebook advertising extensively to grow their sales and boost brand awareness. 

So what are the most sought-after types of Facebook ads that successful marketers use to drive clicks and generate revenue? And how do E-commerce advertisers ensure that their ad reaches the right audience? Find out the answers in this post. 

Why Advertise On Facebook?

There are several compelling reasons why you must consider advertising on Facebook. Here are the top ones – 

  • In the first quarter of 2023, there were 2.98 billion active users on Facebook. That’s 2.98 billion people you can hope to reach via Facebook advertising – a monumental number of target audiences to tap into even for an established D2C business.
  • Facebook’s advanced targeting capabilities enable a marketer to reach highly specific audiences. You can pick a group of individuals to target based on factors such as age, gender, location, interests, and behaviours. The benefit of this is that you can create highly targeted campaigns that are more likely to resonate with your target audience.
  • Compared to traditional forms of advertising like print or TV ads, Facebook advertising is a lot more affordable and cost-effective. You can set your own budget and choose from a variety of bidding options. It ensures that you get a very high ROI for your ad spend.
  • Facebook also offers detailed insights into the performance of your ad campaigns. You can monitor metrics such as impressions, clicks, and conversions 24X7. This will help in optimizing your campaigns and achieve better results over time.

Six Facebook Advertising Formats You Should Know

There are different types of Facebook ads that you can adopt to reach your target audience. Here are six of the most common formats along with some of the best practices you can adopt to succeed:

Single Image Ad Format

A single image format allows you to promote your products using a single image. These ads are quite popular among businesses because they are easy to create and can be very effective in grabbing the customer’s attention. Here is an example of a single-image Facebook ad  –

Facebook Single image ad example

Best Practices

  • Since your entire ad revolves around a single image, make sure the creative you choose is visually appealing and relevant to your ad goal.
  • Use concise and compelling copy that gets straight to the point. Convey most of your message through the image.
  • Do not ignore the aspect ratios of the image. More importantly, make sure your image doesn’t get stretched or cut off at important places. The recommended aspect ratio is between 9:16 to 16:9. Both PNG and JPEG are supported.

Single Video Ad Format

This type of Facebook ad uses a single video to promote your brand or products. A video ad can convey a lot more information than an image in a short span. However, they are quite time-consuming to create. They are ideal for demonstrating how a product works or even showcasing its different features and benefits. 

Facebook Single video ad example

Best Practices

  • Keep your video length less than 15 seconds. 
  • Make sure you captivate the users within the first few seconds of the video.
  • Pick a visually appealing thumbnail image that accurately represents the content of your video.

Carousel Ad Format

This ad format lets you showcase multiple images or videos within a single ad post. This type of ad is ideal for promoting multiple products, features, or benefits in a single ad, or to tell a story across multiple images. Here is an example of a Facebook carousel ad

Facebook Carousel Ad example

Best Practices

  • Make sure each card in your carousel ad flows logically and builds on the previous one.
  • Start with a hook and accompany the text with attractive images 
  • Create multiple CTAs, multiple catchy headlines, and descriptions for all the cards. This will increase the chances of garnering a click.

Slideshow Ad Format

This ad format is similar to the video ads. The only difference is that slideshow ads comprise 3-10 images that play like a video. It is ideal for those looking to showcase their product with motion and sound but don’t have access to video content. Here is a slideshow video ad format – 

Slideshow Ad Example For Facebook Ads

 

Best Practices

  • Incorporate motion between your images to make them as appealing as a video. This can include panning, zooming, or fading in and out.
  • Insert music to make it more engaging to your target audience. 
  • Add text overlays to your images to communicate your message.

Collection Ad Format

It’s a mobile-only ad format that contains a cover image or video, followed by several product images displayed in a grid format. This is a great way to showcase a collection of related products as it offers an immersive transition from ad to product page. However, this ad format is only available on mobile devices. 

Facebook Collection ad format example

 

Best Practices

  • Fill your catalogue with a variety of products. Allow Facebook to choose the products from the list. 
  • Pick a set of products that fit a specific theme or category. For example, it could be a seasonal collection or a product line with a shared design aesthetic.
  • Experiment with different covers and product images to see which ones perform best. Use that as the main image or video. 

Stories Ad Format

These are full-screen, vertical ads that appear in between user-generated stories on Facebook. They are ideal for brands looking to increase brand awareness, generate leads, and boost engagement. These ads offer a more immersive, interactive experience compared to other ad formats. They also offer a lot more freedom of expression as you can experiment with different video effects in this.

Facebook Story ad example

Best Practices

  • Optimize your images and videos to be used on a full screen.
  • Keep the pace of your stories quick, so that users are not bored.
  • Many users watch stories with the sound turned off, so make sure your ad works both with and without sound.

10 Types Of Facebook Ads To Win Customers

You can create different types of ads on Facebook serving different purposes. The right one can make all the difference in the success of your advertising campaign. Let us explore the 10 types of Facebook ads that can help you win customers and grow your business.

Lead Ads

Lead ads are usually created to gather contact information for future marketing efforts. These types of Facebook ads are best suited for businesses looking to generate leads and revenue. These ads typically lead users to a form, which allows businesses to collect valuable information like name, email address, phone number, etc. Interestingly, this form is usually pre-populated by Facebook, making it extremely easy for users to submit their information. 

Use facebook ads to generate leads

Dynamic Ads

Dynamic ads are quite similar to remarketing ads. These types of Facebook ads allow marketers to promote products based on the browsing history of the user. Once your product catalogue is linked to Facebook and the pixel is installed on your E-commerce site, these ads start getting displayed to your website visitors when they log into Facebook. They will see the ad for the same products they were browsing on your website, making the ad extremely personalized and relevant. 

Dynamic ad example

Messenger Ads

These types of Facebook ads allow you to reach users directly on their Facebook Messenger inbox. Upon clicking the ad on their inbox, a Facebook conversation with your page will be initiated. You can also create automated chat experiences that answer common sales questions about your products without users leaving the Messenger app.

Facebook messenger ad example

Facebook Instant Experience Ads

Instant Experience ads are highly interactive ads that are restricted only to mobile devices. Previously known as Canvas ads, these ads offer an immersive experience where people can watch captivating videos, view photos, swipe through carousels, explore lifestyle images with tagged products, all within a single ad.

Facebook instant ad example

Boosted Post Ads

A boosted post looks exactly like a regular Facebook post but with a Sponsored note on the top. Whenever you are creating a post for your page, you will be given the option to boost the post. Enabling this will amplify your post’s reach among your targeted audience and increase the likelihood of engagement and improve brand awareness. 

Boosted post ad example

Page Like Ads

If you want to garner more likes for your Facebook page, this is your best ad choice. These ads have a CTA that allows users to like your page. To promote, all you have to do is click on the Promote button on your Facebook page. These ads appear in the Facebook News Feed and can be targeted to specific audiences. Page Like ads are a great method to increase your followers when you are just starting your brand. 

Page like ad example

Website Traffic Generation Ads

The primary goal of these Facebook ads is to promote your own website by sending Facebook users to your landing pages. You can target specific users using lookalike audiences so that only relevant audiences reach your landing page. These ads can also be optimized for key campaign objectives, such as website traffic or landing page views.

Website traffic generation ad example

Abandoned Cart Retargeting Ads

Cart abandonment is a plaguing issue for E-commerce businesses. The best way to counter this is through retargeting ads. You can run personalized Facebook retargeting ads aimed at people who visited your site and added products to the cart but never completed the checkout process. These ads usually offer an incentive such as discounts or free shipping. 

Recommended read: 17 Best Abandoned Cart Email Examples With Key Takeaways (+Free Templates)

Abandoned cart retargeting ad example

Customer Thank You Ads

A thank you ad is usually created by businesses that believe in direct selling marketing tactics over traditional methods such as showcasing their products and highlighting their benefits. Such types of Facebook ads generate a better impact as users can emotionally connect to such messages. 

Customer thank you ads

New Product Ads For Existing Customers

As the name suggests, these ads are sent to your existing customers on Facebook when you launch a new product. Their goal is to generate additional sales and encourage repeat purchases. Since the customers are already aware of your brand, you can put all your focus on the product and its benefits instead of talking about your brand.

new product ad example

Expert Tips For Great Facebook Ads

Creating great Facebook ads requires a combination of creativity, strategy, and knowledge of the platform’s features. Here are some expert tips to help you in creating these ads  –

Acquire New Customers With Custom and Lookalike Audiences

Custom Audiences and Lookalike Audiences are Facebook features that allow you to create ads relevant to a specific group of people. Custom audiences can be created with the help of users’ past interactions with your brand or by using email lists or phone numbers. Lookalike Audiences allow you to target users who are similar to your existing customer base. To create Custom Audiences, you can upload your customer data to Facebook and create a target audience based on that data. Both these features help you create personalized ad campaigns catering to your buyer persona. This can increase the effectiveness of your advertising and drive more sales.

Target Potential Shoppers Who Are Dissatisfied With Your Competitors

Keep tracking users who have engaged with your competitors’ pages or posts. Some of them will be dissatisfied with their product quality or customer. Focus on them and create different types of Facebook ads that highlight your USP. Encourage them to switch to your brand. To target these users, all you have to do is create custom audiences based on people who have engaged with your competitors’ pages, groups, or posts. The chances of converting these users are higher than attracting new users because these users are already in the market searching for similar products. 

Use A Conversion Pixel To Track And Retarget Cart Abandonment Activity

By using a conversion pixel you can track and retarget users who visited your website including those who have abandoned their carts. When you target them you can recover lost sales. A conversion pixel is a small piece of code that is placed on your website. It tracks user activity, including when a user adds a product to their cart but does not complete their purchase. With this data, you can use an ad to remind users about the product they were interested in and encourage them to complete the purchase.  These users are more likely to convert as they have already shown interest in your products. 

Consider Your Facebook Ad Placements

While creating and publishing different types of Facebook ads, carefully consider the different placements available on Facebook. Each ad placement has its own share of advantages and disadvantages, and you must evaluate them carefully by considering your target audience and advertising goals. For instance, in-feed ads are highly effective for increasing brand awareness and engagement while stories ads are a great choice for reaching younger audiences. 

A/B Split Test Each New Facebook Ad Campaign

It doesn’t matter what types of Facebook ads you create, it is important to A/B test them. Create text and image variations and test them with a pilot campaign to see which combination generates maximum impact. You can also experiment with the targeting options and placements. 

Use Graph Search and Audience Insights

Facebook’s Graph Search allows you to search for specific keywords and phrases related to your industry. It’s a great way to see what content and products are most widely shared by your target audience and your competitors. On the other hand, the Audience Insights feature unlocks a treasure trove of demographic, behavioural and interest data on Facebook users. Both these tools feed you with great insights into your target audience and highlight different opportunities for growth using advertisements. 

The Final Word

Facebook ads can be a great choice for D2C businesses looking to bolster their sales and grow their online brand. By selecting the right ad format and targeting the right audience, you can see promising results in your advertising campaigns. 

However, creating Facebook ads and managing them can be time-consuming, which is where a reliable E-commerce growth partner like ANS Commerce can help. We provide expert guidance and end-to-end support in creating and executing successful Facebook ad campaigns, ensuring that you can focus on what you do best while still achieving all your growth goals. 

Ready to take your D2C business to the next level? Consider partnering with ANS Commerce today. Book a demo now!

17 Best E-commerce Marketing Strategies Brands Can Try In 2023 (With Examples)

In the ever-evolving world of E-commerce, it’s essential for organizations to have well-planned marketing strategies in order to succeed. An effective E-commerce marketing plan can help build a larger customer base for your business, thereby driving sales and revenue. 

Now, we understand not every business owner has the luxury of time to craft marketing strategies for their business. Don’t worry! We’ve done the homework for you. 

From our experience in E-commerce marketing, we have compiled a list of 17 best E-commerce marketing strategies that you can implement straightaway in any E-commerce business. Read on to learn more about these strategies.

What Is E-commerce Marketing?

E-commerce Marketing is the use of different tactics and strategies by businesses to promote and sell their products online. There are different goals of E-commerce marketing such as increasing brand awareness, generating leads, driving sales, and retaining customers. To achieve these goals and master E-commerce marketing, one needs a good understanding of online consumer behaviour, as well as a solid grasp of the latest marketing trends and strategies. 

Top of the Funnel (ToFu) E-commerce Marketing Strategies

ToFu Marketing Strategies aim to introduce your brand and products to a broader audience, ultimately driving more traffic to your website and improving conversion rates. Here are some of the top marketing strategies you can use under this stage:

1. Optimize Your Website For SEO

Optimizing your website for Search Engine Optimization(SEO) helps your website to appear higher in search engine results pages (SERP). This significantly increases the likelihood of people finding your brand and engaging with it. 

SEO is a useful strategy as it helps you attract new visitors, particularly those who are starting to explore their options but are not ready to purchase yet. You are effectively introducing your brand to them at this point with the goal of building a long-term relationship.

Here are some basic tips to optimize your website for searches:

  • Use marketing tools like Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, and SEMrush to identify the keywords that are highly relevant to your business.
  • Ensure that your landing page copies, blog posts, and product descriptions contain the keywords you wish to rank for.
  • Use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights to identify issues and optimize your website for faster load times.
  • Build high-quality backlinks from reputable websites.
  • Make sure your website is optimized for mobile devices. 

Brands like BigBasket have mastered the art of SEO. They rank at the top of the SERP for most queries related to grocery and everyday essentials. 

Optimize your website for SEO

2. Focus On Collecting Leads

This strategy involves collecting contact information from visitors who have shown interest in your products but are not ready to make a purchase yet. When you build a list of leads, you can nurture them later with targeted marketing campaigns. This will push them closer to making a purchase.

Offering a discount on a user’s first purchase is a great way to incentivize visitors to give their details. You can use pop-ups, exit-intent overlays, or banners to display the offer while they are browsing your website. By requiring users to provide their basic details to receive the discount, you can collect valuable contact information and build your lead list.

Loom, the online fashion store, uses this strategy effectively to collect information about its visitors. It generates a popup asking for a customer’s email address in return for latest updates on new launches and exclusive offers.   

Collect leads from your E-commerce website

 

You can also add a discount wheel to your website like how Bunaai, the fashion retailer does. The visitors have to spin a wheel to win a discount on their purchase in return for providing basic information about them. Besides receiving instant discounts, it creates a sense of excitement and fun for the users, which will encourage users to input their information.

Offer discounts on website to collect leads

 

3. Convert Empty Shopping Carts

The buyer’s journey is not always linear, and many times customers might click the empty shopping cart and reach the blank basket page. In such cases, displaying products related to the user’s intended purchase or popular among other shoppers on the empty cart page is a smart move. This way, you provide the visitors with additional purchase options on a page they least expected to find products. This pleasant experience increases the chances of conversion. 

For instance, Firstcry, the Online Store for kids and toddlers displays a range of trending items on their empty cart page. They are utilizing the real estate to the fullest potential and not leaving the page with an empty cart message like most businesses do. 

Display trending items on the cart landing page

 

4. Offer Holiday Gifting Guides

The holiday season is a peak time for businesses to drive sales and bring in new customers. The easiest way to do this is by creating a gifting guide.  A gifting guide is a curated compilation of products that are perfect for gifting during a particular holiday season. 

By creating this guide, you are essentially catering to those people who struggle to find the perfect gift for their loved ones from a vast catalog of products. You can also categorize the products based on different budgets so that customers can find their products even more quickly.

IGP, the online gifting store creates collections under different categories for each individual festival season. 

Offer holiday gifting guides

5. Build Subscription Plans

Offering subscription plans for all the relevant products on your website is a great way to generate recurring revenue. In a subscription plan, you enable your customers to opt-in to receive regular shipments of their favourite products at a discounted rate. 

Besides the price factor, you are also providing a convenient and hassle-free shopping experience for them. They can avoid the trouble of repeatedly purchasing the same products and at the same time ensure that they always have a supply on hand.

You, on the other hand, enjoy the fruits of recurring revenue, which is a stable and predictable source of income. This enables you to manage your cash flow in a better way and plan for future growth.

Amazon offers subscription plans for most of its grocery products at discounted rates. This increases the customer lifetime value of their customers by encouraging them to continue purchasing their products over an extended period.

Offer subscription plans

 

6. Leverage Influencer Marketing

One effective way to increase brand awareness and drive traffic to your website is by collaborating with social media influencers. By teaming up with these individuals, you can leverage their established relationships with their followers on different social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. This not only introduces your brand to new markets and audiences but also helps establish credibility by associating your brand with trusted and influential figures who share your values. 

For example, Homecenter, a popular home retail brand, partnered with celebrity chef Ranveer Brar to promote its kitchenware. In addition to this collaboration, Homecenter also features several of Ranveer’s kitchen tips videos on their website to further engage customers.

Leverage influencer marketing to boost sales

 

7. Utilize PPC Advertising

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising involves placing ads on search engines and other websites and paying each time a user clicks on the ad and visits your site. Using these ads, you can target specific keywords and audiences and only pay for clicks from users who are interested in your products. This results in increased conversions and sales for your E-commerce store, as well as a higher ROI compared to other advertising methods. 

Interflora, the online florist, extensively uses PPC advertising in the form of Google ads to attract users to their store.

Utilize PPC ads

Middle of the Funnel (MoFu) E-commerce Marketing Strategies

MoFu marketing strategies nurture the leads and guide them further down the sales funnel by providing valuable information, building trust, and offering personalized experiences. Here are the top MoFu strategies you can employ – 

8. Offer Discounts On Wish List Items

The idea behind this marketing strategy is to create a sense of urgency and incentivize customers to make a purchase. The chances of conversion are high as you are offering a lower price for a product they have already expressed interest in. Customers who receive targeted discounts are more likely to feel valued and they will continue to engage with your brand, enhancing their loyalty. 

In the below example, you can see Flipkart offering a discount on a particular type of product that the user has shown interest in by adding it to the cart. 

Offer a discount on wish list items

 

9. Be In Contact With Your Customers

Staying connected with your customers is important for keeping your brand fresh in their minds and enhancing brand awareness. You can use various communication channels like email marketing, social media marketing, WhatsApp messaging, and live chat to address customer queries. You can also create email campaigns targeting specific customer groups. 

For instance, consider Nurserylive, an online plant seller. They regularly share stories with their customers about different plants and their benefits for homes. Even if the customers are not interested in buying the plants for now, this brand will be the first thing on their minds when they consider purchasing a plant in the future. 

Communicate with your customers

10. Recommend Products Based On Past Purchases Or Abandoned Cart Items

When you understand your customer behaviour and recommend suitable products, the likelihood of a purchase drastically increases. This is the core idea behind this E-commerce marketing strategy. By offering smart recommendations based on past purchases or abandoned cart items, you are creating a more relevant online shopping experience.

It’s important to ensure that the product recommendations are displayed in a way that is both helpful and unobtrusive. Also ensure that the recommendations are relevant, timely, and not overwhelming to the customer.

Most marketplaces like Amazon and Flipkart have a dedicated section of recommended products based on past purchases, abandoned cart items, and browsing history on their home pages. 

Recommend products based on past purchase

 

11. Recover Lost Sales With Abandoned Cart Emails And WhatsApp Notifications

Creating an abandoned cart email flow or WhatsApp notifications helps in recovering lost sales. When your customers add products to their cart but don’t complete the purchase, you can automatically send a series of follow-up messages to encourage them to return and complete the purchase.

A typical abandoned cart messaging flow consists of a series of three or more messages, each designed to provide value and encourage customers to complete the purchase. The first email usually reminds customers of the items left in their cart and includes a call-to-action to the shopping cart. Subsequent emails may offer additional incentives, such as discounts or free shipping, to encourage customers to complete the purchase.

Looking for inspiration to revamp your abandoned cart campaign, check out 17 best abandoned cart email examples along with free templates to get started. 

Pepperfry, the online furniture store sends a series of abandoned cart emails, each convincing the customer in a unique way to complete the purchase. For instance, the below email from this brand induces FOMO in the minds of people to get the product before it goes out of stock. 

Create abandoned cart email flow to recover sales

Bottom of the Funnel (BoFu) E-commerce Marketing Strategies

BOFU marketing focuses on providing potential customers with the information and incentives they need to make a purchase. Here are the top strategies under this category – 

12. Use Customer Testimonials As Social Proof

When you share positive reviews and feedback from satisfied customers, you end up demonstrating the high quality of your products, thereby encouraging potential customers to make a purchase. Sharing testimonials with potential customers also helps in addressing common objections or concerns that potential customers may have.

You can feature customer reviews on your product pages. You can also share customer quotes and feedback on social media. But to succeed in this strategy, you must constantly encourage your existing customers to leave reviews and feedback. You can also incentivize this process by offering discounts or gift coupons. 

Wakefit, the online sleep company, shares customer testimonials in the form of videos on every product’s detail page so that customers can go through the experience of other happy customers and make an informed decision. 

 Use customer testimonials as social proof

13. Convince Warm Prospects

In this, you convert potential customers who have already expressed some level of interest in your products. A warm prospect is someone who has interacted with your store in some way, such as signing up for a newsletter, adding items to their cart, or visiting a product page multiple times. 

One way to convince them is by sending personalized follow-up emails and encouraging them to complete their purchase. But the faster way to convince them is by offering an instant discount while they are browsing through your website.

Ferns n Petals offers discounts during user sessions with the help of pop-ups. This is a great way to convince visitors who are contemplating whether to make a purchase or not. 

Offer discounts

14. Reduce Frustration Of Sold Out Products In The Cart

When products go out of stock, it can be frustrating for customers who have already added them to their cart. One way to reduce this frustration is by providing alternative options. For example, if a customer has added a dress to their cart that is now sold out, you can suggest similar dresses or products that may fit their style or preferences. You can also notify them when the original product is back in stock.

By providing alternative options and being transparent about stock availability, you are showing customers that you value their time and their experience. This can help avoid negative reviews or feedback from these frustrated customers.

Myntra addresses this issue by showcasing products that are quite similar to the out-of-stock product on the cart page. This ensures that the user’s purchase journey doesn’t end abruptly, resulting in a more positive experience for them.

Inform about sold out products

15. Combine The Psychology Of FOMO And Free Shipping

FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) is a psychological phenomenon that has been extensively used in the world of business. It revolves around people getting anxious or stressed about missing out on an opportunity, such as a limited-time offer on a popular product. The easiest way to implement this strategy in your online store is by clubbing it with cashback or free shipping.

For instance, you can make free shipping available for a limited period, such as a 24-hour flash sale. You can also induce FOMO by displaying the cart value left for unlocking free delivery. Netmeds, the online pharmacy displays this value in a prominent real estate on the cart page. This automatically encourages users to add products at that value to enjoy free shipping. This is a great way to improve the average order value for your business.

Invoke fear of missing out

Nyka, the beauty retailer, runs time-based discounts regularly on their website. It induces FOMO in the minds of visitors and encourages them to check out the sale products and make a purchase.

How Nykaa uses FOMO on their website

16. Ask For Referrals

Referrals are recommendations made by satisfied customers to their friends and family members. To encourage referrals for your E-commerce business, you can offer incentives to your customers such as discounts or rewards for each successful referral. You can also make it easy for your customers to refer by providing them with a referral link that they can send to their contacts. 

By leveraging the power of referrals, you can tap into the vast networks of your existing customers, and acquire new customers at a lower cost than through traditional advertising methods. Referrals also act as valuable social proof, as new customers are more likely to trust recommendations from their friends and family members than from other sources. 

Ugaoo, the online nursery store offers the benefit of each successful referral to both the referrer and the referee. This is a great way to promote referrals as the additional benefit will make the existing customer keener on sharing their positive experience with their loved ones. 

Ask for referrals

17. Set Up A Customer Loyalty Program

A customer loyalty program can help retain your existing customers and encourage repeat purchases. As the name suggests, it is a membership program that rewards customers for their long-term association with the brand.

It usually works by assigning points to customers for their purchases or other activities, such as referrals or social media shares. These points can then be redeemed for rewards, such as cashbacks, discounts, free products, or exclusive access to promotions. 

By offering these benefits, you create a sense of exclusivity and appreciation among your customers, which can increase their satisfaction and encourage them to continue shopping with your business.

Adidas, the sportswear brand, has a loyalty program called Adiclub. It provides exclusive benefits and special offers to all its members. Whenever the customer shops or reviews, they earn points that unlock new levels and rewards. 

Set up a customer loyalty program

Partner With ANS Commerce To Boost Your E-commerce Sales 

As the E-commerce space becomes increasingly crowded, it’s more important than ever for brands to stand out and succeed. By utilizing the above E-commerce marketing strategies, you can increase your brand’s visibility, attract new customers, and ultimately drive more sales. 

However, if you wish to take your E-commerce marketing efforts to the next level, the support of E-commerce growth partners like ANS Commerce is invaluable. Our highly experienced team is always updated with the latest E-commerce marketing trends and strategies and can help maximize your online sales and grow your E-commerce brand in no time. 

To know more about us and how we can help, book a demo now. 

E-commerce Personalization: How To Make Your Customer Feel Valued

In this cutthroat world, an effective way to cultivate loyalty is through personalization – the silver bullet to win over the hearts (and wallets) of your customers. By tailoring the shopping experience of each individual customer, you make them feel valued, heard, and connected – ultimately leading to increased sales and repeat business. 

But how does personalization work in the E-commerce space? And as an E-commerce store owner, how do you successfully implement it? Let’s find out. 

What is E-commerce Personalization?

E-commerce personalization is the process of crafting a unique online shopping experience for every visitor who reaches your website. It could include providing personalized product recommendations, displaying target ads, creating customized landing pages, and offering customized content. 

Personalization is successfully achieved by using customer data, such as past purchase history, browsing behaviour, social media activity, etc. The goal of E-commerce personalization is to improve customer engagement, drive loyalty, and ultimately boost sales. 

Benefits of Personalization in E-Commerce

Personalization has become a key strategy for many E-commerce businesses in recent years. Here are some of the key benefits of embracing it – 

Better Conversions

Personalization is all about presenting information you want to share in a way customers can relate to. This way you get their attention for a longer period as people normally focus on things they are invested in. They will end up spending more time collecting information about your products and might even get convinced that it is the right choice for them. When you craft highly targeted and relevant campaigns that appeal to your target audience, you enjoy higher click-through rates and improved conversions. 

Increased Customer Loyalty

By creating a personalized shopping experience, you are showing that you value the customers’ presence. This is the foundation of any strong customer relationship. Customers are more likely to return to your website when they feel that you are actively listening to them and putting in the effort to make their lives easier. This will boost their loyalty toward your brand. They will not only engage in repeat purchases but also become your brand’s advocate and recommend you to others. 

Enhanced Customer Experience 

E-commerce personalization can significantly enhance customer experience by offering a more efficient shopping process. It will make the customers feel like they are always in control of their purchase journey. Personalized content will reduce unwanted confusion, making it easier and quicker for visitors to find what they need on your website, resulting in a better experience. A personalized experience is also quite interactive and engaging to customers as they will be focused on the buying process, leading to a more memorable experience.

Increased Average Order Size 

When you analyze customer data and understand individual preferences, you can suggest complementary products or upsell items. This way, you are not only personalizing the experience of the users but also increasing the average order size of every customer. For instance, a person who has been trying to buy a smartphone can be easily enticed with a back cover or a screen guard, resulting in higher order value. 

How To Start With E-commerce Personalization?

If you are ready to get started with E-commerce personalization, there are three key steps you must take to create a personalized shopping experience that will delight your customers. Here they are :

Segment Your Customers and Collect Data 

The first step is to divide your customers into different segments. Use data such as demographics, purchase history, browsing behaviour, and social media activity to segment customers with similar interests and needs. For new customers, you may want to focus on collecting data such as:

  • Demographics (You can make them provide basic demographic information during the sign-up or checkout process)
  • Pages viewed
  • Time on website
  • Items in wishlist
  • Items added to the cart
  • Exit page

For return customers, you may want to focus on:

  • Past purchases 
  • Average order value
  • Time interval between purchase
  • Interactions they had over email and social media

Identify Personalization Opportunities

Now that you have different segments of customers, the next step is to identify the different areas of your website that can be personalized. To do this, you need to answer the three basic questions – 

  • Where: Where can you personalize the shopping experience? Consider all customer touchpoints, such as the website, email, social media, and mobile app.
  • What: What can you personalize? Consider product recommendations, pricing, promotions, messaging, and content.
  • How: How can you personalize? Consider using algorithms, machine learning, and artificial intelligence tools.

When you get the answers, you will be able to identify areas where you can implement personalization to improve the customer experience.

Let Your Customers “Opt-In” to Personalization 

Believe it or not, not all customers want a personalized experience. Some prefer a more general shopping experience, especially the ones who enjoy anonymity while browsing through your website. Data privacy is mainly behind this need. 

Therefore, it’s essential to allow customers to opt-in to personalized experiences. By offering a simple opt-in process when they visit your website, you not only respect the privacy and preferences of your customers but also provide a personalized shopping experience only for those who want it.

4 E-commerce Personalization Tips and Tactics

Achieving effective personalization requires a well-planned strategy and the right tactics. Here are the five E-Commerce personalization tips that you can adopt today –

Personalization Tip#1: Understand Your Customer Needs and Provide a Solution 

Combine the power of technology and human insights to smartly collect clues about customers’ pain points, needs, and preferences. For instance, you can track how customers entered and navigated through your site. If a customer entered your site through a specific product ad, it’s likely that they are interested in that product and may benefit from personalized recommendations or offers related to that product. Club this valuable data with your existing research about customers’ preferences to create an effective personalization strategy.

Example:

  • If you’re an online fashion retailer and a customer frequently browses your selection of jeans, you could use that information to recommend jeans or showcase new arrivals in the jeans category.
  • If you’re an online grocery store and a customer regularly orders organic produce, you could create a personalized section of your website that highlights the latest organic products and deals.
  • If you’re an online beauty retailer and a customer frequently searches for moisturizers for sensitive skin, you could use that information to recommend other products that are specifically formulated for sensitive skin.

Personalization Tip#2: Incorporate Intelligent Search With Semantic Understanding

Every search is different. Some users make spelling mistakes, some use broad terms, some describe the same thing in different ways, etc. All these can make the search function messy, not generate the desired results, and impact the overall customer experience. 

However, intelligence search with semantic understanding is different. It uses natural language processing and machine learning algorithms to analyze the context of the search query and identify the customer’s intent. This will ensure that search results are always accurate and relevant to the customer’s needs.

Example:

A user searches for ‘iPhone cases’. A regular search would return the cases of all models of iPhone. This means, the user will take a lot of time to find the desired product, which will impact the experience. 

However, an intelligent search will know that the user has been browsing for iPhone 14 previously. In all likelihood, they are looking for a case for that particular model. So the search engine will give preference to iPhone 14 cases and display them at the top, reducing the time it takes for the customer to reach the desired product. 

Personalization Tip#3: Segmentation, Profiling and Targeting Of Customers 

A salesman in a brick-and-mortar store has an important responsibility – to profile and target customers by asking relevant questions about their needs and preferences. They then use this information to guide customers to products that suit their individual tastes. Now, this might seem impossible in an E-commerce space, but it is not the case.

You can virtually accompany your customers and profile them while they browse your site and pick up clues on what kind of products they want, their budget, their pain points, etc. To achieve this, you need to embrace machine learning and AI tools that will invisibly collect and process information to match it against your inventory in real time and display the relevant products. Popular tools include Dynamic Yield, Barilliance, and RichRelevance.

The best part about these platforms is that they can pick up information that even a human salesman might have missed while profiling. It does this by identifying patterns in the visitor’s past behaviour or matching customer journeys with buyer segments having similar needs.

Example:

If you are a home decor retailer who wants to promote your outdoor furniture collection, you can create a landing page dedicated to this category and showcase all relevant products that are popular among the target audience.

Machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms will analyze visitor behaviour, extrapolate buying intent from customer data, and make real-time adjustments to the products on the landing page. For example, if visitors are frequently clicking on outdoor swings, you can boost those items on this page to increase the chances of conversion.

Personalization Tip#4: Retarget Users In-Session Using Personalized Pop-Ups

In-session pop-ups with relevant and personalized information are one of the best ways to enhance the experience of users. You must ensure that the pop-ups are intuitive and not intrusive. 

Time your personalized pop-ups to match each visitor’s in-session behaviour and trigger them via automation. It could be triggered when the user reaches a particular number of sessions or cart values. It could also be based on a particular browsing behaviour.

One way to use these pop-ups is to offer exclusive discounts for a product category they are currently browsing. You can also offer tiered discounts once a user adds a product to a cart to increase the average order value. 

Example:

You are the owner of an E-commerce website selling spices. A customer browses different types of cloves but exits the website without taking any action.

The next time they visit the store, you can use pop-ups to offer discounts for that product category while they are browsing. This will encourage them to proceed to checkout this time. 

5 E-commerce Personalization Examples To Get You Inspired 

Sometimes seeing real-world examples can help inspire new ideas and approaches. Let us explore five E-commerce personalization examples that have been implemented successfully.

TataCLiQ

TataCLiQ personalization example

TataCLiQ, the online marketplace for lifestyle goods is another example of a brand that has nailed the E-commerce personalization strategy. It collects details like the time users spend browsing products, the number of products they look at, whether they’re comparing multiple products with different price points, etc. It also looks at the user’s funnel stage. For instance, from which page did they drop off? How many different product pages did they look at before dropping off?

This data is used to check whether a particular user has the intent to buy. If yes, it triggers the promotion of best-selling products in that category, which helps the user to make faster decisions.

Decathlon

Decathlon personalization example

Decathlon, the sports brand, has built an in-house AI personalization engine that recommends products for each individual customer by looking at sports preferences, past browsing history, and purchase history. It also recommends events, training sessions, and classes based on customer preferences. 

Pantaloons

Pantaloons personalization example

Pantaloons, the fashion retailer, uses real-time shopper behaviour and past customer data to personalize the customer experience. It offers hyper-targeted product recommendations based on regional top sellers and local festivals. It also offers features like complete-the-look recommendations and products that complement previous purchases. The most recent addition is the ‘Style Finder’ feature that lets customers specify their desired categories and occasion to get relevant products recommended.

SkinKraft

SkiKraft personalization example

SkinKraft is a skincare brand that takes personalization to the next level. It harnesses the power of its customer data to generate customized skin care regimes that cater to the needs of individual shoppers. It asks the visitor to complete a comprehensive skin assessment that asks questions about age, gender, and skin concerns. This data is then used to create personalized product recommendations that are tailored to the individual’s skin type and needs. It also uses the data to develop new products that meet the evolving needs of its shoppers.

Spencer’s Retail

Spencer’s personalization example

The supermarket chain Spencer’s has also embraced personalization in its E-commerce store. It uses advanced segmentation to divide customers into different buckets: loyal, promising, about to go dormant, etc. This helps them push relevant messages to each segment to reduce the churn rate and improve retention. Spencer’s search functionality has a ‘recent search’ feature that showcases all the searches made by the user previously.

Final Words 

It is quite evident that E-commerce personalization is the key to creating a strong bond with your customers and making them feel valued. By using a blend of technology and knowledge, you can collect valuable data about customer needs and personalize their experiences accordingly. Now that you know how personalization is the core of digital presence, it is time to take action. 

This is where ANS Commerce, A Flipkart group company can help. We are India’s leading E-commerce growth partner and our team of experts has implemented personalization strategies for a variety of businesses looking to enhance their customer experiences. 
Want to know more about how we can help? Book a free consulting session with our expert today.

Omnichannel E-commerce: A Retail Strategy Trend For 2023

Good news! The market value of the retail industry in India will hit 1.7 trillion in 2026, an increase of over 80% since 2018! Clearly, the retail industry is zooming at a breakneck pace. 

However, it is quite evident that a single-channel approach isn’t enough any longer, especially if retailers want to be a part of the above growth story. Modern Indian consumers (74%), shop across channels and love the seamless, integrated shopping experience offered by omnichannel E-commerce. 

Now, before you go ahead and adopt an Omnichannel Strategy for your E-commerce business, it’s important to understand the ins and outs of this powerful approach –including the opportunities it presents, the roadblocks in adopting it, best practices, etc. And that’s why we have created this exhaustive guide, the only thing you need to adopt omnichannel E-commerce for your business.

What is Omnichannel E-commerce?

Omnichannel E-commerce is a retail strategy that focuses on offering an integrated shopping experience across multiple channels. It integrates different touchpoints where your customers are likely to interact with your brand into a single unified system. It could include online marketplaces, social media, brick-and-mortar stores, mobile apps, etc. The goal of the omnichannel approach is twofold. One, to enable customers to engage with your brand in any channel they prefer. Two, to ensure that the customers can switch between two channels seamlessly.

What Is The Difference Between Single Channel, Omnichannel, and Multichannel commerce?

ParameterSingle ChannelMultichannel Omnichannel
DefinitionBusinesses sell their products through a single channel.Businesses sell their products through multiple channels that are not integrated.Businesses sell their products through multiple channels that are integrated with each other. 
Options for InteractionA minimal number of options for purchasing, communicating with customer support, and tracking orders.More options. However, there is a lack of integration and consistency across channels.More options with a consistent and seamless experience across all channels.
Data sharing across channels (For creating personalized experiences in other channels)NANot shared across channelsShared across channels
Inventory ManagementVery simple as there is only one channel to manage.Complex because there are multiple disconnected channels.Simple as there is a single centralized inventory to manage the inventory across all the channels. 

How Does Omnichannel E-commerce Work? 

In an omnichannel system, all the channels are tightly interwoven to provide a consistent experience. Customers can start shopping on one channel and continue on the other without losing their cart. They can also track their orders and communicate with customer support via any channel of their choice. 

Here is a simple example of how omnichannel E-commerce works.

Channel 1: Social media

Mary sees an ad on social media for a dress she likes. She clicks on the ad and is directed to the brand’s website. 

Channel 2: E-commerce website

She browses the dress, reads the reviews, and adds it to the cart. However, she didn’t complete the purchase. 

Channel 3: Mobile app

After a few hours, she receives a push notification on the brand’s app with a targeted promotion for the dress she left in the cart. She clicks on the notification and is taken to the same dress’ page in the app. This time, she plans to buy it. However, at checkout, she chooses to pick up the dress in-store as she wants to try it out before purchasing it. 

Channel 4: Phone

She calls the phone support team to ask for the address of the nearest store. She also collects information about the store timings. 

Channel 5: Physical store

She goes to the physical store and tries on the dress. The size doesn’t fit her, so she exchanges the product then and there and leaves with the one that fits her.

How Omnichannel E-commerce works

As you can see from the above example, the customer is seamlessly shifting between different channels without any interruption. This drastically improves their overall experience and trust factor with your brand. 

Businesses adopting an Omnichannel Strategy have to employ a centralized inventory management system to ensure that the customers have access to the same products at the same price point across all channels. They must also ensure that their messaging is uniform everywhere. This keeps the customers at ease, knowing that they have multiple options to reach out to your brand in case something goes wrong in their purchase journey. 

Examples of Omnichannel E-commerce 

Let us explore the examples of brands that have successfully implemented Omnichannel E-commerce. From retail giants to upcoming businesses, these companies have leveraged omnichannel strategies to drive sales, increase customer loyalty, and stay ahead of the competition.

Pepperfry

How Pepperfry is using omnichannel commerce to boost customer experience

Pepperfry is a leading E-commerce brand that specializes in furniture and home décor. It has adopted an Omnichannel Strategy allowing its customers to order their products anytime, anywhere from any device. A key aspect of their omnichannel approach is the ‘Studios’ where people can explore and experience all types of furniture in person. Even though customers cannot purchase furniture from these studios, they help in making informed purchase decisions. 

Channels present: Website, mobile app, social media, and physical store.

Lenskart

Omnichannel in ecommerce example from Lenskart

Lenskart is an optical retail chain that has established a strong network of stores across the country. It has successfully established an omnichannel ecosystem where customers can either place an order online or from a retail outlet. At the store, they get to try on the product in-person, but the stores have a limited category of products. The online channels have been carefully designed to accommodate its vast catalog that customers can browse and order from the comfort of their homes. 

Channels present: Website, mobile app, physical store, social media, and marketplaces like Amazon and Flipkart.

H&M

Omnichannel Ecommerce Example From H&M

 

H&M is a Swedish fashion brand with a strong retail presence in India and known for its trendy and affordable clothing. Besides its brick-and-mortar stores, the brand also has an online website and a mobile app for customers to purchase their products. H&M has invested in creating a seamless in-store experience for its customers looking to try the attire before they buy. Customers can browse products online and find nearest stores having them. The brand is even quite active on social media platforms showcasing its products from time to time and highlighting promotions and new sale events if any.

Channels present: Website, mobile app, social media, and physical store.

Why Brands Should Focus On Omnichannel E-commerce?

Let us take a closer look at how Omnichannel E-commerce can help you stay competitive in today’s retail space – 

Better Customer Experience

An omnichannel experience puts the customer first. It prioritizes their needs and preferences and delivers a better customer experience. For starters, it allows customers to shop on their own terms – a key recipe for offering a better customer experience. Some would like to buy in-store, some prefer E-commerce sites, and some mobile. By offering a range of channels, you are catering to different customer preferences, which can lead to a better overall experience.

You also reduce the time it takes for customers to complete a purchase. A simple example would be allowing customers to use their smartphone to scan a barcode in-store and complete the purchase on your E-commerce store. They do not have to wait in line to make the payment. In other words, you are effectively reducing the friction in engaging with your brand, which has a direct impact on customer experience. Decathlon has mastered this art to deal with the weekend rush. They have built a dedicated Scan & Go app that lets customers make payments through their smartphones by scanning the QR Code while exiting the store, making the check-out process seamless. 

Increase in Sales and Website Traffic

By being present on multiple channels, you can reach a wider audience and provide customers with multiple options for engagement. This creates more opportunities for customers to make a purchase, which can lead to increased sales. 

Omnichannel E-commerce also improves your brand’s visibility among potential customers, which can drive website traffic. For example, if you constantly post brand ads on social media or set up multiple pop-up stores in the locality of your target audience, they will be able to recognize your brand and products better. And customers are always more likely to purchase from a brand that they are familiar with. 

Boost Customer Loyalty & Retention

In an omnichannel approach, you offer multiple methods to shop, different places to engage, and a much more personalized experience. This automatically attracts a band of loyal customers who are not only going to purchase from you repeatedly but also share their positive experiences with others.

Omnichannel E-commerce also allows for better communication with your customers. This is the foundation of any strong relationship. For example, you can use different social media channels to respond to customer queries and provide customer support. This is a great way to show your commitment to customers, which will ultimately lead to better loyalty and retention. 

Better data collection and understanding of the customer journey

Once you implement an Omnichannel Strategy, you’ll be able to collect customer data from one channel and fill in the data gaps on other channels. You will have access to complete, organized, and centralized data. This will give you a better picture of what products or content your potential customers are engaging with, how they are interacting with them, at what point in time, etc. 

This valuable information can then be used to understand the customer journey and personalize their experience irrespective of where the customers are or which device they use. For instance, you can use the information collected in an E-commerce store to provide customized product recommendations when customers visit your physical store. This can improve their overall shopping experience and increase the likelihood of a sale.

Challenges with Omnichannel E-commerce

While Omnichannel E-commerce can provide numerous benefits to you, it can also present several key challenges that must be addressed. Here are some of the common challenges associated with implementing Omnichannel E-commerce –

Logistic challenges 

As you know, Omnichannel E-commerce is all about offering a consistent experience to users irrespective of where they engage with your brand. To achieve this, your inventory, logistics, and delivery processes should be in perfect sync across different channels. 

With multiple channels to sell through, it gets very difficult to balance stock and demand. Overstocking is very common in omnichannel implementations. This is primarily due to a lack of real-time visibility into inventory levels across all channels.

There are also logistical issues associated with returns and cancellations. Many E-commerce brands do not have clear policies and procedures in place for handling returns owing to the sheer complexity involved in handling those processes in multiple channels. This can lead to customer dissatisfaction and result in a loss of sales.

Data privacy challenges

Collecting customer data is the only way to personalize the customer experience and drive sales. While customers love personalized experiences, they fear for their privacy due to the misuse of data collected. Recent data breach incidents have only strengthened their apprehension. 

When you integrate multiple channels and adopt new tools and processes, you are getting exposed to new variables and risks. This considerably increases the risk of cyber attacks. Hackers can always exploit the vulnerabilities in one channel to gain access to sensitive data in another channel, putting customer data at risk.

To counter this, you must take precautionary measures like multi-step authentication, training employees on various data attack types, and following password protection. You also need to ensure that general industry guidelines for security and data privacy, such as GDPR and CASL are followed in all the channels. 

Globalization challenges 

When you are expanding to multiple countries, you have to consider the local language, currency, laws, and cultural trends to be successful there. For instance, customers in the US would not like to see the final order amount in Indian Rupees. A French customer would like to see the website content in French. And, data privacy laws are also different in different countries. Implementing this in one channel is difficult. Imagine doing the same across multiple channels that are connected with each other. It will not be easy. 

One way to deal with this challenge is by adopting an E-commerce solution that can handle multiple catalogs and currencies. However, creating and managing multiple catalogs is also not easy when you do it in-house. The simpler option is to partner with a Seller of Record or E-commerce specialist like ANS Commerce who will take care of everything related to E-commerce while you focus on delivering more personalized global experiences. 

Lack of tech infrastructure

Integration of multiple channels in Omnichannel E-commerce requires a robust technology infrastructure that can support various software applications, CRMs, Inventory management tools, Order Management Tools, and data analytics tools. 

Most companies lack this or find that their current tech stack is not advanced enough to support the complex omnichannel requirements. 

In other words, their existing commerce platform will not be able to scale with their omnichannel strategy. As a result, many businesses end up re-platforming their E-commerce solution or hiring additional support, which can drastically increase the cost. Thinking of moving your online store to a new platform? Checkout our blog on E-commerce migration and replatforming to get started. 

How to create an Omnichannel Strategy for your brand?

Creating an effective Omnichannel Strategy requires careful planning and execution, taking into account your target audience and channel goals. Let us now explore the key steps involved in creating an Omnichannel Strategy for your brand.

Step 1: Understand your target audience

Start by analyzing your customers’ preferences, behaviors, and buying habits. Collect data, such as purchase history, demographics, and social media activity, to gain insights into their preferences and how they interact with different sales channels. Send surveys, invite customer feedback, and leverage social listening tools to gather this data. 

Step 2: Select the right channels

Now, select the right channels for your business. Pick the ones that your customers prefer. For example, if most of your customers spend time on social media shopping, include that as one of your channels. You can also pick ones suitable for your business. For example, if you are in the home decor industry, you might want to include physical stores as one of your channels, as it will help customers visually experience the product before buying. 

Step 3: Define goals for each channel

Each channel should have a clear purpose that aligns with your overall omnichannel strategy. For example, your physical store could focus on offering a more personalized shopping experience, while your website may focus on convenience. 

Step 4: Connect the channels

Now start connecting all your channels. While executing this step, you must ensure that customers can switch between different channels seamlessly. For instance, if a customer starts shopping on your website and later visits your physical store, they should be able to access their online shopping cart in-store.

Step 5: Maintain your channels

Once you have connected the channels and established your Omnichannel Strategy, it is essential to maintain and update your channels regularly. Monitor customer feedback and track sales performance to identify areas for improvement. Additionally, keep up-to-date with emerging technologies and trends to stay ahead of the competition.

Ready to provide an omnichannel experience to your customers? 

A FlipKart group company, ANS Commerce, is India’s #1 Full Stack E-commerce Growth Partner, renowned for its expertise in implementing omnichannel strategies. If you’re looking to provide your customers with an exceptional shopping experience, then ANS Commerce is the partner you need. 

With our deep understanding of the E-commerce landscape and proven track record of success, we will help you seamlessly integrate all of your customer touchpoints, from brick-and-mortar stores to E-commerce platforms and marketplaces, to create a cohesive omnichannel experience. 

By partnering with us, you can rest assured that your customers will enjoy a consistent, personalized shopping experience, regardless of where they are in the buying journey. 

Want to know how we can scale your E-commerce business? Book a free consulting session with our expert today. 

Strategies To Streamline Return Management And Reduce Cost: A Complete Guide

Here’s a fact— at least 30% of all products ordered online are returned as compared to about just 9% in brick-and-mortar stores. Also, a survey suggests that 92% of consumers will buy again if the brand’s online return process is easy.

What does this data depict?

The need to have an easy return policy for any E-commerce brand. 

Having a return process in place allows your customers to have confidence in buying from you. It’s a signal from you that you put your customers’ satisfaction above everything and value their time and money. 

However, handling returns isn’t easy. You need to have a streamlined Return Management process while keeping costs down.

In this article, we’ll be talking all about that. Starting from the basics.

What Is E-commerce Returns Management?

In retail or E-commerce, Returns Management is a procedure that deals with customers who wish to return purchased items. This process involves engaging with customers, receiving returned products, and replenishing the stock with returned items. It is crucial for retailers to handle Returns Management effectively as mismanagement can lead to significant cost implications.

Why Do Customers Return A Product?

Returns aren’t a bad thing, in fact, it’s inevitable. No matter how good your products are, there will always be returns.

However, you can always decrease the return rate by implementing some common strategies. Now to decrease the return rate, you first need to understand what are the common return reasons. Here are a few reasons why customers return products:

Incorrect Product Size

Over 50% of the returns are because of sizing issues. While this may seem beyond the control of an online store, there are ways to mitigate it. 

In a physical store, customers have the opportunity to try products and get a better idea of their size. They can even try on clothes and shoes to check for proper fit and comfort. But this is not possible while shopping online. Discrepancies due to sizing can easily be tackled by offering detailed product description and using size standardization. There are many plug-ins available in the market to help you recommend accurate sizing to your customers. 

Product No Longer Required

Many customers order products online, but sometimes circumstances change and they no longer require the item when it arrives. For instance, a customer may have ordered something online and by the time it comes, you might have got a better version offline, thus not needing it anymore. 

Another reason for returns is when an upgraded version of the product becomes available. Electronics, such as chargers, mobile phones, tablets, and laptops are common examples of this. While this type of product return may be out of your control, there are ways to encourage customers to keep the product by highlighting its unique benefits and/or offering a discount coupon. 

Mismatch Between Product And Description

It’s not uncommon for products to appear different in reality than they are described in the product description, which can lead to customer disputes and reflect poorly on business practices. To avoid this, product descriptions must be detailed and accurate. 

Crafting complete, clear, and accurate descriptions is crucial to answering customers’ questions and avoiding disputes. Additionally, it’s important to proofread the descriptions and accompanying images before publishing them, as first impressions matter. Take the time to write, read, edit, re-edit, and proofread descriptions to ensure their accuracy and avoid any potential misunderstandings. Make sure your descriptions are accompanied by clear product images from different angles, leaving no surprises for the end consumers. By providing clear descriptions and real-life product images, sellers can prevent unnecessary disputes and returns. Read our blog on how to click awesome product photographs to get started. 

Wrong Product Shipped

Effective product picking is a critical task in the fulfillment process, and failure to do so diligently can lead to a significant number of returns. It’s important to ensure that the correct products are properly sorted and selected, as mistakes can result in unnecessary labour and shipping costs. 

To mitigate this risk, partnering with a 3PL (third-party logistics) fulfillment provider with robust OMS (Order Management Systems) can be a viable solution. These providers have expert teams who handle products, sort them, and pack and ship them. They also offer storage solutions, and when an order is received, they can process it on your behalf. By utilizing the services of a 3PL provider, businesses can minimize the risk of errors in product picking and save on associated costs.

E-commerce Return Management Process Explained

E-commerce Return Management Process

The Returns Management process involves multiple touchpoints or points of interaction between the customer and the E-commerce business. However, it all begins with the customer initiating a return.

Customer Requests A Return On Their Order

Returns can occur for a variety of reasons, some of which may seem illogical and based solely on the customer’s emotions. Let’s consider the scenario in which a customer is dissatisfied with their order. 

In this case, the customer would select the item they wish to return and provide a valid reason, as requested by the E-commerce business.

Return Request Is Rejected Or Approved

If return requests do not meet the conditions set by the E-commerce business, they may be rejected, and the interaction regarding that order ends. 

However, if the return request is valid, it can be approved, and the process for initiating the return will begin.

Order Is In Transit

From the moment an order return is scheduled to be collected until it reaches the E-commerce store, it is considered to be in transit. During this time, E-commerce brands can take advantage of these moments to share return status updates with their customers.

Product Is Returned To The Store

After the returned product has been received by the E-commerce store, collecting customer feedback on their shopping experience with the brand can begin. If the feedback is positive, the E-commerce business can consider encouraging the customer to shop for a replacement product (if they haven’t already chosen one).

E-commerce Returns Management Process: Best Practices

We’ve already talked about the importance of having a good Returns Management process in place and now here are some best practices to help you achieve the same.

Have A Shopper-friendly Returns Policy

More than 67% of shoppers check a brand’s return policy before buying. This is why it’s imperative to dedicate a page on your website clearly describing your return policy.

Here are a few things to consider while creating a return policy-

  1. Clarify conditions and deadlines for return.
  2. Mention your objectives and customers’ needs clearly.
  3. Don’t encourage fraudulent returns and wardrobing.

By creating a customer-friendly returns policy that balances flexibility with the E-commerce store’s objectives, a win-win situation can be achieved. This can result in increased conversions without the need to spend excessively on customer acquisition or return-related expenses. 

To ensure that customers can easily find the returns policy, it should be prominently displayed in areas of high visibility, such as the home page, product pages, checkout page, and FAQ section. This will help to minimize confusion and streamline the returns process, ultimately improving the customer experience. Read our complete guide on E-commerce return policy to get started. 

Avoid These Common Mistakes

Here are two of the most common mistakes that brands make while selling online.

Mistake: Inaccurate product photo

Photos are among the first few things that customers check before buying any product. If the photos are misleading or different from the real product, the chances of returns are high.

Solution: Keep the photos real. You can make it look attractive but make sure it still shows what exactly the product is like. You can also ask your customers to share real-life photos of the product. Ask them to post their pictures of your product and tag your brand on Instagram. And then use tools like Pixlee, Yotpo, or Later to automatically collect images/videos and display them on your website.

Mistake: Wrong product description

Before buying anything your customers would do extensive research and after that research, if the product doesn’t look or feel like the description, they will return it and may never come back. 

Solution: Write descriptions that match the product’s qualities and standards. 

For example, Nykaa provides in-depth as well as visually appealing product descriptions that are easy-to-read and understand.

Product Description Example By Nykaa

 

Offer Fast And Easy Returns 

A staggering 92% of shoppers are more likely to make repeat purchases if the returns process is easy. Furthermore, E-commerce businesses can simplify the returns process by enabling customers to initiate returns easily and quickly through a returns portal. 

With a returns portal, customers can access their orders, select the item they wish to return, provide a reason for the return, and select a return method in just a few minutes. This streamlined experience can make customers more inclined to continue shopping with the E-commerce business, ultimately boosting customer loyalty and retention. Also, adding the option to return in-store can also be helpful for people who want to return immediately. 

Collect Customer Feedback

Collecting customer feedback is essential. The reason behind this is that these feedbacks provide you with valuable insights into the customer experience. By understanding why customers are returning products and their overall satisfaction with the returns process, E-commerce businesses can improve their Returns Management policies and procedures. 

Moreover, customer feedback can also help identify common issues that customers may face when returning products. For example, if customers frequently experience delays or issues with return shipping, you can take steps to address these issues and improve the returns process.

How Flipkart collect feedback from customers

Use Data To Decrease The Chances Of Return

Making your marketing and operations team work together can get your brand to touch new heights. 

By leveraging customer feedback and segment data, you can easily identify the following things:

Problematic products:

By checking and analyzing feedback and returns you can easily spot which products are problematic and getting returned the most.

Problematic customers:

Create personalized profiles for high-risk customers by utilizing customer segmentation and feedback. Share this information with your marketing team to help them determine the appropriate customers and products to target. 

When a product with a high return rate is bought or a customer with a history of high returns makes a purchase, send them a targeted email.

Problem with the products that are good but different:

For instance, with the help of user feedback, you know there’s a t-shirt that runs one size smaller than the standard size. Now to handle this, you can mention on that particular brand’s products’ page that the size runs smaller than the usual ones. This small note will help customers determine and order the right size and, in turn, will reduce returns. 

Restock Returned Products To Improve Inventory Flow

The success of a retailer heavily relies on its inventory management. Apparel products, in particular, tend to lose their value quickly over time, which means it is essential to avoid being left with a large amount of unsold merchandise at the end of the season.

This is exactly why effective inventory management and proper reverse logistics are crucial for E-commerce retailers.

About 30% of products sold are returned. Timely grading and restocking returned products are vital as every minute in the warehouse and every touch by a worker increases the cost. Inefficient handling of returns can lead to up to 10% of sales revenue loss. This issue becomes even more significant for multichannel sales, where fully integrated inventory management can make a significant difference. 

Thus, streamlining the returns process improves both customer experience and operational efficiency.

Recapture Costs From Damaged Good

Recapturing costs from damaged goods is the process of recovering the real value of the returned product. In this process, instead of simply rejecting the product, you can try to salvage some value by repairing, repackaging, or reselling the product. By recapturing the costs of the returned product, you can reduce your losses and improve your bottom line. Proper inventory management and reverse logistics processes can help you streamline this process and recapture as much value as possible from damaged goods.

Provide Exceptional Customer Service During Returns

According to a report, a whopping 89% of consumers say that they are more likely to return and make another purchase after positive customer service. 

It’s no secret that customer service is an essential component of brand building. Nearly 3 out of 5 customers report that good customer service is crucial to stay committed to a brand. And if you don’t provide good customer service during returns, they will feel betrayed and may never buy from you again. 

Outsource Your Reverse Logistic Process To ANS Commerce

At ANS Commerce, we specialize in helping E-commerce businesses to optimize their storage and supply management processes. Our services encompass the entire supply chain, from product inwarding to final delivery and even Return Management. By leveraging our expertise and technology, we can help streamline your operations and improve efficiency, ultimately saving you time and money. 

Whether you need assistance with inventory management, warehouse organization, or order fulfillment, our team is dedicated to providing customized solutions that meet your unique needs. Let ANS Commerce be your partner in optimizing your supply chain and taking your business to the next level.

Connect with our E-commerce expert today to see how we can help you grow your business. 

How E-commerce Brands Can Use Merchant of Record And Seller of Record For Global Expansion

The world has become a much smaller place today – a true global village where everyone is a click away. Even E-commerce businesses have joined the party, selling their products across borders to tap into new markets and expand their customer base. But the expansion is not without its own share of hurdles.

Cultural differences, language barriers, currency fluctuations, and regulatory complexities are just a handful of obstacles that they encounter on their way to international success. Such challenges have made global expansion a really slow endeavor. In fact, the share of cross-border sales in total E-commerce sales worldwide has risen only by 7 percentage points between 2016 and 2022.

The easiest way for businesses to counter these issues and experience exponential growth internationally is by partnering with a Merchant of Record (MoR) and a Seller of Record(SoR). Both these entities help you navigate the difficult waters of cross-border trade and achieve success on a global scale. In this post, we will take a look at both these concepts along with their key differences. 

What is a Merchant of Record?

A Merchant of Record (MoR) is a service provider that acts as a legal entity responsible for selling goods to end customers. It takes care of the financial and legal aspects of your business, including processing payments, managing taxes, and handling compliance. The primary goal of an MoR is to enable businesses to sell internationally without worrying about local laws and regulations. An MoR does not assume the identity of the business selling the goods and will always be identified separately as a third party.  

How does the Merchant of Record model work?

What is merchant of record

When the end customer buys from your E-commerce store, they are officially buying it from your MoR partner. They are the legal seller of your product in the country of your customer but do not hold any inventory. In this model, the service provider becomes the only buyer of your goods in that country. 

Once the MoR partner receives the order notification, they buy the product(s) and resell it to the customer. They take care of the international payments and taxes, and your customers do not have to worry about foreign exchange fees as they are paying a local business in local currency. 

Key responsibilities

  1. They are responsible for securely processing customer payments, including managing payment gateways and processing credit cards in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.
  2. They are responsible for calculating, collecting, and remitting taxes related to daily online transactions.
  3. They are responsible for implementing protective measures against fraudulent activities 
  4. They are responsible for generating and maintaining accurate financial reports.
  5. They are responsible for managing relationships with payment service providers, financial institutions, and other stakeholders involved in the transaction process. 

What is Seller of Record?

A Seller of Record is another legal entity that is entirely responsible for selling and delivering goods to your customers. Unlike MoRs, who never own the products( and the inventory) (in the customers’ eyes), the SoRs can be the owners and even responsible for fulfilling customer orders, provided you authorize them. The main goal of a Seller of Record (SoR) is to handle the entire lifecycle of a sale so that the business can concentrate on more mission-critical activities.

How does a Seller of Record model works?

What is seller of record

You give the SoR the legal right to sell your goods under their name, making them the original seller of your products in front of the customers. When a customer purchases the product, the SoR handles the sales transaction, including processing payments, issuing invoices, and collecting customer information. They also become the primary point of contact for customers regarding purchases.

The SoR works in a revenue-sharing model, where you receive a percentage of the sales revenue, while the SoR retains a percentage as compensation for their services.

Key responsibilities

  • They are responsible for managing orders and fulfilling them. It may include anything from inventory management to shipping and delivery.
  • They are responsible for the quality management and the performance of the products being sold.
  • They are responsible for providing customer support related to products, orders, returns and refunds, etc.
  • They are responsible for price management, including setting prices, managing discounts and promotions, etc. 
  • They are responsible for maintaining accurate records of sales transactions, financial transactions, and customer data

Difference between Merchant of Record, Seller of Record, and Payment Service Provider

ParameterMerchant of RecordSeller of RecordPayment Service Provider
Core ResponsibilityActs as a merchant and is responsible for payment processing, compliance, and financial and legal liability.Acts as the seller of the products and is responsible for day-to-day operations and customer support.Provides payment processing services, but does not take on merchant or seller responsibilities.
Legal LiabilityAssumes legal liability for processing payments, managing refunds, and handling chargebacks.Assumes legal liability for products sold.Does not assume legal liability for payment processing or product sold.
Customer RelationshipManages the customer relationship, including customer communication, support, and issue resolution related to payments.Manages the customer relationship, including product inquiries, returns, and refunds, .Typically does not manage the customer relationship related to payments, as it is primarily focused on payment processing.
Fraud ManagementResponsible for monitoring and preventing fraudulent activities related to financial transactions.Not responsible for fraud management. Not responsible for fraud management. 

Benefits of using a Seller and Merchant of Record services

Using a Seller of Record and Merchant of Record service can offer several benefits for businesses, especially in the E-commerce space. Some of the key benefits include:

  1. Access to legal expertise

Both the SoR and MoR service providers are well-versed in navigating the complex landscape. They can offer their expertise in different areas like taxation, consumer protection, and data privacy laws. Through them, you will ensure that the sales transactions are always conducted in compliance with applicable laws, reducing the risk of penalties.

  1. Global expansion

SoR and MoR enable you to enter new markets without having to handle the intricacies of international sales, including local taxes and customs duties. You can focus on your core competencies, such as product development and marketing, while leaving everything else to the SoR and MoR service provider.

  1. Improved customer experience

The SoR and MoR service providers have extensive knowledge about the pulse of the local customers and can offer better customer service to your end customers in that country. This rapport is necessary to build a positive customer experience and trust with customers, as they have a single point of contact who knows their needs better. 

  1. Lower operational cost

SoR and MoRs can significantly reduce operational costs by eliminating the need to hire, train, and manage staff for handling day-to-day tasks such as order processing, payment collection, and customer support. Also, you need not invest in software licenses, hardware, infrastructure and other operational resources. 

  1. Faster execution

When you partner with an MoR or a SoR, you get a lean and agile team solely focused on managing the operational aspects of your business. They can efficiently handle different tasks by using their expertise. They can also adapt to changing market conditions and scale your operations up or down swiftly, providing you the capability to respond quickly to market demands.

Factors To Consider While Partnering with a Global Merchant and Seller of Record for E-commerce Expansion

Partnering with an MoR or an SoR for global expansion can be a strategic decision, and one needs to consider several factors before finalizing such a partnership. Here are some key factors to keep in mind:

  1. Reputation

Evaluate the reputation and experience of the MoR or the SoR service provider. Look into those companies with a proven track record in handling international E-commerce transactions. Research their credentials and go through the reviews on different platforms to ensure they are reliable and trustworthy.

  1. Knowledge of Local Laws & Regulations

Ensure that the provider you choose can process payments in the countries where you plan to expand your E-commerce operations. Also, verify if they understand the local laws and regulations in all those countries, including tax requirements, data protection, and consumer rights. It is also important that they have a good understanding of the customer base, so that you can start tapping into the local market right away. 

  1. Pricing and Fees

Understand the pricing structure and fees charged by the SoR and MoR providers for their services. Compare them with other providers in the market to ensure they offer competitive pricing. Consider factors such as setup fees, transaction fees, currency conversion fees, and any other additional charges that may apply.

How much do Merchant and Seller of Record services cost?

The cost of MoR and SoR services can vary based on multiple factors, including the volume of transactions, the planned location of your business, the expertise of the provider, and so on. Also, there are several components in the fee structure of a Seller of Record and Merchant of Record provider that can determine the final cost. Here are some of the parameters – 

  1. Service fees: This is usually a percentage of the transaction value or a flat fee per transaction. This is the main cost you incur for partnering with an MoR and SoR for outsourcing various agreed functionalities of your business. 
  2. Set-up fees: This fee is usually charged while onboarding a new seller. For the MoR and SoR, it will cover initial setup costs, such as integrating with payment gateways, configuring tax settings, and other technical setup tasks if any.
  3. Additional fees: There may be certain additional fees for optional services, such as chargeback management, currency conversion, and custom reporting. 

Expand Your Footprint in India with ANS Commerce By Your Side 

ANS Commerce is a leading E-commerce growth accelerator that offers comprehensive solutions to businesses looking to expand their online presence in India. With a deep understanding of the Indian market and a wide range of services, we are the go-to partner for many international businesses looking to establish a strong foothold in India. 

From setting up online stores, E-commerce marketplace management to ROI-driven performance marketing services and managing logistics and order fulfillment, we take care of everything related to your everyday operations so that you can focus on other strategic activities and capitalize on the booming E-commerce market in the country.

To know more about how ANS Commerce can help you expand your business in India, book a 1:1 consultation with our E-commerce experts

How To Calculate E-commerce Return Rate?

As an E-commerce seller, no one better than you know the importance of keeping an eye on various business metrics. After all, these metrics offer you a treasure trove of insights that will help improve customer satisfaction, product performance, and overall business health. One such key metric that holds immense significance for your business is the Return Rate. Calculating and analyzing it correctly is an essential step in making informed logistics-related decisions. In this post, we will dive into the ins and outs of E-commerce Return Rate calculation, including why it matters, how to measure it accurately, and how to optimize it. So, grab your calculators, and let’s get started.

What Is The E-commerce Return Rate?

The E-commerce Return Rate is a metric that measures the percentage of online purchases returned by customers. In other words, it highlights the frequency at which customers return the products for various reasons. This value can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of your online store’s customer service, product quality, and overall user experience. A high Return Rate indicates customer dissatisfaction or issues with the quality of your products.

How Do You Calculate Your E-commerce Return Rate?

Let us learn how to calculate your online store’s e-commerce rate, along with a simple example to illustrate the same. 

Return Rate

The return rate can be calculated by dividing the total amount of products returned by the total amount of products sold in a particular period. Its formula is given by –  

E-Commerce Return Rate = (Products Returned/Products Sold) X 100

For instance, if you sold 10,000 products in 1 year while 2000 units were returned, your Return Rate would be: 2000 / 10,000 x 100 = 20%

As you can see in this example, 20% of the products sold in this timeframe were returned. However, this value doesn’t answer why the products are getting returned or how the return process is taking place. Put simply, the Return Rate doesn’t highlight how many of those returns could have been avoided with a simple solution and how many of those returns were actually ‘exchanges’. And that’s why it is important to measure the refund rate and exchange rate of your online store.

Refund rate

As the name suggests, the Refund Rate is the total number of refunds given for the total number of returns in a given period. Its formula is given by – 

E-Commerce Refund Rate = (Refunds Given/Products Returned) X 100

In the same example, if the number of refunds given was 500, then the refund rate would be:

500 / 2000 x 100 = 25%

Many people use Refund Rate and Return Rate interchangeably, which is wrong! As you can see, they are two different metrics representing two different aspects of your E-commerce business.

So what does a Refund Rate indicate about your business? Let us answer this with another example. Imagine you are an online fashion retailer. A customer buys a shirt but returns it due to an incorrect size. They end up exchanging the shirt for another one in the right size. As you can see here, even though this order resulted in a return, it didn’t result in a refund. In other words, it did not create a loss of revenue for your business. 

However, if the customer wanted a refund strictly, it could lead to revenue loss and indicate other issues with the product or your business, such as late delivery, poor product quality, defective product, product not matching the description, etc. All these are serious issues that can also result in loss of customers and loss of reputation. So keep a close eye on your Refund Rate along with your Return Rate. 

Exchange Rate

This is another metric you must measure, along with the Return Rate and Refund Rate, for improved visibility into your returns operations. It is the total number of exchanges made for the total number of returned orders in a given period. Its formula is given by – 

E-Commerce Exchange Rate = (Exchanges Done/Products Returned) X 100

Going back to the same example, if the number of exchanges done was 1000, then the exchange rate would be: 1000 / 2000 x 100 = 50%

After selling, the next best thing for an E-commerce business is exchange. Why? Because it will not result in a loss of revenue (apart from the minor shipping costs). Sometimes, it can even result in an upsell. 

Your exchange rate should always be higher than the refund rate, as it indicates that your brand has been successful in convincing customers to once again try your brand’s product despite not being happy with the original process. It can also indicate that your organization has a seamless exchange process, adding to improved customer experience and brand loyalty. 

What Is The Average E-commerce Return Rate In India? 

E-commerce has seen tremendous growth in India in recent years, with many consumers turning to online shopping due to convenience and accessibility. At the same time, the Return Rates have surged in many categories. But before we look into the different categories where returns are maximum, let us look at the average Return Rates in different channels. 

Average Return Rate Across Selling Channels

  • The average Return Rate in E-commerce stores in India is around 30%
  • E-commerce Return Rates in India can shoot up to 40% during the festive time
  • The Return Rate is only 10% in brick-and-mortar stores in India. 

E-commerce Return Rates by product category

Returns are inevitable in every industry. However, some industries are disproportionately affected. These industries feature products that are highly subjective when it comes to fit and style expectations. Unsurprisingly, clothing, bags, shoes, and accessories take the top spot in the list of most returned online purchases by Indian customers. A staggering 49% of Indian online customers returned clothing, while 39% of customers returned bags and accessories. Only 22% of customers said that they did not return anything back to the online store. 

Most returned online purchases by category in India

What Are The Common Reasons For Product Return?

Product returns are a common challenge in the world of E-commerce, and there are various reasons why customers may choose to return a purchased product. Here are the most obvious ones:

  1. Defective Products: Customers may return products that are damaged, broken, or have missing parts. In most cases, the product gets damaged during shipping due to poor handling and bad packaging. 
  2. Size, Fit, or Color Issues: Customers may return products that do not fit them properly. This is a common return reason in the clothing and footwear categories. Color discrepancies between the received product and product image can also lead to returns.
  3. Buyer’s Remorse: Customers may return products if they change their minds after making a purchase. This is quite common among impulse purchases. Once received, customers realize they do not actually want the product.
  4. Performance Issues: Customers may return products if they experience issues with the quality or performance of the product. It could be malfunctioning electronics, poor durability, or other product-related problems.
  5. Negative after-purchase experience: Customers may return products if they experience poor customer service, unresponsive or unhelpful sellers, or any other negative experience after placing the order. 
  6. Delayed delivery: Customers may return products if the order is delivered after the promised delivery date. Delayed deliveries can lead to frustration, disappointment, and inconvenience, prompting them to return the products. 
  7. Better Pricing from the competition: If the customers can find the same product at a lower price on some other site, they may return the product they purchased from your site. Make sure you are providing a competitive price on your website. 

What Is The Impact Of A High Return Rate?

When your Return Rates soar, it can have far-reaching repercussions on your business, ranging from financial losses to operational difficulties. Let us explore some of the consequences of a high Return Rate in the E-commerce space – 

  1. Impact on finances 

Whenever your customers return products, it results in unwanted costs associated with processing returns. Besides refunding customers’ payments, you may have to bear the shipping charges to return the product to the origin. Also, in most circumstances, the returned products may not be in a resalable condition. This can result in further loss of their original value. In summary, high Return Rates can cause a dent in an E-commerce store’s profitability and cash flow.

  1. Impact on operations

Processing returns is not easy. It is a time-consuming and resource-intensive process. You will require additional labor to manage inventory and logistics. Returns can also disrupt your regular inventory management process. Returned products have to be restocked, refurbished (or disposed of), and sold again. High Return Rates can also lead to excess inventory of returned products, locking your capital and warehouse space. 

  1. Impact on customer loyalty

High Return Rates can affect customer satisfaction and loyalty, which will ultimately lead to reduced customer lifetime value. Returns are inconvenient and time-consuming for customers. If they feel like they are constantly returning products, it can negatively impact their overall satisfaction with your brand. Dissatisfied customers are less likely to be loyal and may switch to competitors who offer better quality products and a better experience. 

  1. Impact on reputation

High Return Rates can also negatively impact the reputation of your E-commerce business. Customers who experience repeated returns will convey their frustration in the form of negative reviews. When potential customers go through these reviews, they will view them as a sign of poor product quality, inaccurate product descriptions, or inadequate customer service, all of which can result in a loss of trust and credibility for your brand. 

  1. Impact on environment

Returns can result in additional transportation, packaging waste, and potential product waste if returned items cannot be resold. This can lead to environmental concerns, such as increased carbon emissions and higher waste generation, both of which may affect your business’s sustainability and CSR efforts.

Ways To Reduce The E-commerce Return Rate 

With online shopping becoming the norm, the rate of product returns has drastically increased these days. However, certain proactive measures can be taken to tackle this issue head-on. Here are they:

  1. Provide detailed information

About 23% of returns are due to inaccurate or misleading depictions of the product. Provide detailed specifications and high-quality images for every product so that there are no last-minute surprises. This will drastically reduce the likelihood of returns due to product-related issues. Similarly, to avoid sizing-related returns, provide an easy-to-read size chart for every product. If possible, offer fit recommendations so that customers always pick products in the right size. 

  1. Have a clear and transparent return policy

Around 67% of customers check the returns page before making a purchase. So you must have an easy-to-comprehend return policy for your E-commerce business. It should provide all the crucial information, such as how to initiate a return, possible timelines, and any associated fees or restrictions. A transparent and clear return policy builds trust with your customers and helps set realistic expectations when it comes to product returns.

  1. Perform thorough quality control and inspection

When you implement robust quality control measures in your E-commerce store, it will automatically reduce the number of defective or damaged products being shipped to end customers. If you have the budget, hire a separate team that will thoroughly inspect products   and identify any issues before it reaches the hands of the customers. 

  1. Improve your packaging

Proper packaging is essential to protect your products from damage during transit. So invest in high-quality packaging materials that are appropriate for the type of products being shipped. Also, ensure that products are packaged securely without leaving too much space in between to minimize the risk of damage due to movement.

  1. Offer Excellent Customer Service

Prompt and responsive customer service can help address customer concerns related to products, which will reduce the need for returns. You can provide multiple channels for customer inquiries, such as live chat, email, or phone. You can also leverage technology to provide personalized product recommendations based on customers’ preferences and past purchase history. It will help customers choose the right product for their needs and reduce the likelihood of returns. Also, provide clear usage instructions so that customers use the product the right way, reducing dissatisfaction. 

  1. Analyze Return Data

Continuously analyze return data so you will get valuable insights into return patterns or trends, identifying areas for improvement. Focus mainly on return reasons, product categories with high Return Rates, and common issues faced by customers. This will help you take corrective measures before they start affecting your reputation. 

E-commerce Returns Best Practices To Follow 

By implementing certain best practices, you can effectively address various challenges related to returns, leading to streamlined operations. Here are four such best practices – 

Offer brick-and-mortar returns

Did you know that around 62% of customers are more likely to shop online if they can return an item in-store? So if you own a brick-and-mortar store along with your E-commerce business, offer customers the option to return products in-store. This will be a convenient and hassle-free solution for customers who prefer to return products in person rather than dealing with the hassle of return shipping and repackaging. This strategy can also turn a return into an exchange or an upsell opportunity when the customer sees other products in the store.

Take customer feedback on the reason for the return 

When you understand the reasons behind product returns, you will be able to address the root causes and implement preventive measures. This is possible only if you encourage customers to provide feedback on the reason for their return. You can use channels like online surveys, email follow-ups, or service calls to collect feedback. 

Use returns management software to assist with exchanges

By using returns management software, you can streamline the entire returns process, making it seamless both for your team and your customers. Returns management software can also facilitate exchanges and allow customers to request a replacement or an alternative product easily. This will reduce the need for a return altogether and reduce revenue losses. 

Partner with a 3rd party logistics company experienced in reverse logistics 

3PLs experienced in handling E-commerce returns can efficiently manage the entire returns process, letting you focus on other critical aspects of the business. They can take care of everything from receiving returned items to inspecting, restocking, or disposing of products. You will save time, effort, and resources while ensuring that returns are handled in a timely and professional manner.

As warehousing and order fulfillment partner for E-commerce brands in India, we offer extensive support for reverse logistics. With years of hands-on experience, we fully comprehend the intricate complexities and challenges associated with handling returns. We receive, re-label and pack products with better QC standards and handle refurbishment across different categories. 

To know more about ANS Commerce, book a demo now

How Return to Origin (RTO) Is Impacting Profitability of E-commerce Businesses

E-commerce is the new normal for buyers and sellers, with countless businesses diving in amid the pandemic. Even major brick-and-mortar brands joined the bandwagon. While they did it as a survival response in the first place, the decision emerged as a game-changer for all the brands. 

Most businesses want to continue with it for the long haul. And statistics show that growth is imperative. E-commerce sales are projected to grow 10.4% in 2023, and the market size is expected to reach a whopping $6.3 trillion this year. That spells a huge opportunity for retail and D2C brands.

While everything about the industry sounds great, it has a fair share of challenges as well. Of course, competition is the one player, one needs to worry about the most. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg because there are a lot more things to stress about. 

Returns are one of them- in fact, Return to Origin (RTO) is a major headache as it can seriously eat into a seller’s profits. Research shows that E-commerce businesses lose over $400 billion in sales every year due to product returns. Nonetheless, having a strategy to deal with RTO can help business owners survive and thrive in the unpredictable landscape. 

Let us share a comprehensive guide on return to origin in E-commerce, its potential impact on businesses, and a strategic approach to get through. 

What is Return to Origin (RTO)

RTO, or Return to Origin, is a term used in E-commerce to describe the return of a package to the seller when it cannot be delivered to the customer for any reason. This can occur if the delivery attempt fails or if the customer refuses to accept the package. As a result, the package is marked as RTO and sent back to the seller.

Unfortunately, sellers must bear the cost of both forward and reverse logistics in such cases, which can be a significant financial burden. In fact, returns and exchanges can account for up to 50% of an E-commerce retailer’s revenue.

How to calculate RTO?

To calculate the RTO for your business, use the RTO rate formula below:

RTO rate = (Orders not delivered + Orders cancelled before delivery) / Total number of orders

The RTO rate represents the percentage of orders that were not successfully delivered. This is an essential metric to track as it indicates the efficiency of your shipping process. A lower RTO rate is desirable as it implies that products can be shipped faster and more reliably.

How RTO impacts business profitability despite high order volume? 

Research indicates that returns make up a daunting 30%+ of E-commerce shipping. It means a seller can expect one-fifth of their D2C orders to return. Even worse, it can affect a business’s bottom line due to the cost associated with shipping and managing inventory. Here are some potential pain points caused by the return to origin-

  1. Cost of forward and reverse logistics

The most evident reason to worry is the cost of forward and reverse logistics. The seller ends up paying for shipping the item initially (if they offer free shipping) and repeating it when it gets shipped back to them. That’s double the sum. They also pay operational costs in order processing, such as the cost of packaging, quality testing, and labor. These can add up to a significant sum that is enough to erode the profit margins. 

  1. Cost of managing damaged products

Some products returned by customers may be damaged or in a condition that makes them unsellable. In such cases, E-commerce companies have to bear the cost of managing these products, which may include repairing or disposing of them.

  1. Cost of repackaging and quality checks

When the seller gets another order for a return to origin product, they have to repeat the entire order processing schedule, from repackaging to quality checks and getting in touch with logistics. 

  1. Cost of blocked inventory

When a product is returned, it takes up space in the warehouse, blocking inventory that could have been sold. This space comes at a cost, as the E-commerce company has to pay for warehousing storage.

  1. Loss of marketplace commission

The loss compounds if one sells through marketplace. Depending on the marketplace a seller collaborates with, they may not get a refund for sales commission even if the order does not get through. On top of that, most marketplaces charge an additional fee for a return to origin. 

When these costs are added up, they can have a massive impact on the business’s profitability. And it worsens because of the sheer number of RTOs they encounter. Consider how much you can lose when one in five orders returns to the origin. 

What are the top reasons for Return to origin?

Return to origin in E-commerce is a part of the deal for D2C sellers because several reasons may lead to a return to origin. But it is vital to identify them so that you can reduce the possibility and implications of E-commerce returns. Here are the reasons for RTO:

  1. Incorrect user information

When a customer adds inaccurate information such as an incorrect address, phone number, and email, they are eventually set up for a return to origin situation. If the delivery person tries to reach such customers, they are unreachable. There is no option other than returning the product to the warehouse and marking the customer as an invalid user. Besides incorrect details, ambiguous information and spelling errors may also cause problems. Missing out on zip codes is one of the common instances. As a seller, verifying and confirming customer information before shipping the package is important to avoid any errors and reduce the risk of RTO. 

  1. Unavailability of customers

Another common reason for E-commerce product return is the unavailability of a customer to receive it. The logistics partner usually makes multiple delivery attempts before marking it for return-to-origin. Keeping customers in the loop by sending real-time tracking information or giving them a phone call before delivery can prevent RTO due to the non-availability of customers. 

  1. Lack of customer intent

Surprisingly, a buyer who orders a product online may end up rejecting or returning it because of a lack of intent. The reasons may vary, from a change of mind at the last moment, getting the same item at a lower price or earlier from another seller, not requiring the product any more, and more. Whatever the reason, a seller cannot force them to accept the order, even if it sounds right. 

  1. Delivery of damaged or wrong products 

Delivery of damaged or wrong products is another reason for return to origin. Damaged items can result from mishandling during shipping, while wrong products may be due to errors in order fulfillment. When customers receive damaged or incorrect products, they may return the item rather than keep it. If this happens, check with customers if they would like an exchange or store credits for the return. 

  1. COD payment is not ready

At times, the reason for RTO could be as simple as the recipient not having the cash payment to honor a COD order. They will probably ask the delivery person to ship it back to the seller. 

Another reason COD orders are prone to RTO is that customers may change their minds or have second thoughts about their purchase while waiting for the order to arrive. Since they have yet to pay for the item, it may be easier for them to cancel the order or return it. 

E-commerce merchants need to be aware of these risks and possibilities and take proactive measures to address them. Fortunately, it is possible to address most of them and protect the business and profits in the long run. 

Ways to reduce the return to the origin

While retailers cannot curb return to origin altogether, there are ways to minimize them. We have a list of actionable measures to limit returns at all stages of the conversion funnel. Here are some ways you can use to reduce RTO: 

During pre-sales

D2C business owners can start with an RTO-minimization strategy as early as the pre-sales stage when it comes to managing returns. Here are the steps you  can take: 

Improve product quality

Poor product quality is detrimental for retail and D2C players, specifically in a competitive E-commerce landscape. Even if customers place orders, they will likely return them eventually if there are quality issues like incorrect sizing. Therefore, sellers need to analyze the potential causes of a high Return to Origin rate of specific products and work on improving them. One of the actions that they can take is size standardization, which can help reduce RTO drastically, besides bolstering their reputation in the long run.

Go the extra mile with product showcasing

Product showcasing is a key challenge for E-commerce sellers. It is unrealistic to expect buyers to click on a whim when they cannot see, feel, and experience the offering. But going the extra mile with showcasing does help. Providing detailed information about products can help customers make informed purchase decisions. Include product descriptions, specifications, and high-quality images and videos to give customers a clear idea of what they are buying.

Offer surprise gifts and freebies

Adding freebies, discount coupons, and gifts to an order is a surefire way to reduce the chance of returns. Plus, one gets loyal customers willing to stay and recommend the brand by word of mouth. That’s a win-win! 

Incentivize pre-paid orders

COD is one of the primary drivers leading to return to origin. After all, it seems much safer to return an order when one hasn’t paid for it. As a seller, one can address the risk by incentivizing customers with cashback or discounts for pre-paid orders. It is possible to dissuade them from choosing the COD payment method by asking for a small fee. 

Relook at return policy clause

It’s no secret that many E-commerce companies offer friendly return policies, which allow shoppers to buy items, try them out, and return them if they don’t meet their expectations. While such policies can undoubtedly increase conversions, they can also lead to an uptick in returns. To prevent customers from exploiting loopholes, it’s crucial to ensure your return policy is ironclad.

Reevaluate your E-commerce return policy to clearly include these aspects: 

  • The time frame for returns
  • Acceptable reasons for returns
  • The condition of the product upon return
  • The refund or exchange process, and 
  • Any associated fees or shipping costs. 

By taking these factors into account, you can help ensure that your return policy benefits both your customers and your business.

During order processing

Besides acting early, sellers can also lower the return to origin risk during the order processing stage. Here are a few steps to implement in this context:

Keep a close eye on high-risk orders

Not all E-commerce orders are the same. Some are at high risk of return to origin, so sellers must keep an eye on them. Risk management should be an integral part of order fulfillment operations. Checking the customer’s past purchase history is a viable way to confirm whether they return the ordered products. A seller needs to worry if they are notorious for returning COD orders. The best bet is to re-confirm the order via call, email, or IVR before shipping it. 

Use technology and verify shoppers’ information

The inability to locate the delivery address of customers is one of the most common reasons for a return to origin. Incomplete/invalid/non-deliverable addresses can be problematic. Fortunately, it is possible to resolve the issue by leveraging technology. There are software tools to ensure that an address has been keyed in correctly and completely. They even give an apt error message to prompt the buyer to complete the address. 

In addition to software tools that verify and complete addresses, E-commerce merchants can also leverage faster checkout and RTO reduction automation tools to reduce return rates. Additionally, using AI-powered predictive platforms can help identify potential defaulters at the onset, reducing the likelihood of returns. 

Partner with a reliable 3PL service provider

3PL collaboration can be a game-changer for an E-commerce business as these providers help with the entire shipment process, including picking, packing, and shipping. Their expertise in managing the shipment process ensures that orders are shipped to the correct destination on time. This reduces the chances of products being returned due to incorrect or delayed deliveries. 

They also take care of the returns, so partnering with a reliable one can minimize the return to origin-related hassles.

Provide fast shipping

Fast shipping and delivery experience is another measure to reduce the chances of returns. Online shoppers are impatient lot, so they end up buying a product from a brick-and-mortar store if the delivery date sounds too distant. In such cases, returning the product is the obvious repercussion. Brands can address the possibility by providing super-fast delivery services to minimize waiting time and frustration. 

Post-sales

A proactive approach to return to origin minimization also includes the post-sales phase. D2C sellers cannot afford to get complacent at any stage when it comes to E-commerce sales. These measures are effective for dealing with the risk of E-commerce returns post-sales:

Focus on NDR management

Non-delivery reports (NDR) offer visibility into the order journey and the potential reasons for returns. They are critical for sellers looking to resolve and limit the return to origin rates for the long haul. For example, if a seller can see the delivery person citing customer unavailability as the cause of non-delivery, they should contact the customer to confirm their availability and ensure delivery.  Focusing on NDR management can take the E-commerce game a notch higher.

Collect customer feedback

Listening to the customers is the key to success for a business. Customer feedback offers insights into what’s working for business and what needs to be improved. Including it in the post-sales process can help a business owner to get actionable insights into their product and logistics customer service. They should also implement measures to improve things to avoid a return to origin for future orders. Acting on customer feedback does more than resolve the issue, but also strengthens the relationship with buyers and boosts retention. 

Don’t let return reduce your profit margins

In conclusion, it is important to consider the impact of returns on their profit margins. While returns are inevitable, they can eat into profits if not managed properly. Implementing a well-designed return policy, tracking returns data and analyzing it can help businesses reduce the cost of returns and increase their overall profitability.

ANS commerce, a leading full-stack E-commerce service provider, offers a suite of services and tools to help you manage your E-commerce returns effectively. With ANS commerce, you can gain insights into return patterns, and implement strategies to minimize the cost of returns. Our streamlined return process and data-driven approach to order fulfillment can help you increase your profitability and achieve sustainable growth in the competitive E-commerce landscape. With the help of our expert team, you can focus on growing your sales and expanding your customer base while leaving the management of returns to us. 

To know more about how ANS Commerce can help you, Book a free consultation with our E-commerce experts today!