It has been another challenging year for retailers as consumers become more conscious of their spending amidst inflation and relentless interest rate rises.
The ability to convert potential customers into loyal patrons is more critical than ever for the industry.
Compounding this challenge is the startling fact that Australian businesses are squandering an estimated $1.4 billion annually on underutilised digital tools. A recent survey of 1,500 Australian SMEs underscores the gravity of the situation, with 59% reporting significant hindrances caused by software running in silos, impacting growth and posing strategic risks. A troubling 27% of these businesses find themselves grappling with soaring overhead costs directly attributable to disconnected digital tools and software in their tech stack. These issues highlight the pressing need for a more streamlined and integrated approach to digital solutions in the Australian retail sector.
At a time when software is supposed to be their saviour, it is creating more challenges than solutions for many. Ecommerce store, The Anime Collective, knows this all too well. The company went from an ecommerce nightmare that nearly ceased its business to boosting conversion rates by 250%. The company was wasting money on an expensive ecommerce platform which was hindering its business performance. Founder, Joshua Akerry, almost gave up but made one last ditch effort by replatforming to Shopline.
In doing so, the business learned four key lessons on how to improve conversion rates and reduce unnecessary overheads on tech. With the current macroeconomic climate, these are integral for ecommerce businesses wanting to be successful.
Prioritise website performance
One of the most crucial elements in increasing conversion rates during a retail slowdown is ensuring that your website performs optimally. A sluggish website can turn potential customers away before they even get a chance to explore your offerings. The Anime Collective saw this with its initial platform. The site’s slow performance was a major impediment to its growth.
When customers encounter slow-loading pages or a glitchy user experience, they are more likely to abandon their shopping carts. To avoid this, retailers should follow in the footsteps of The Anime Collective and invest in a new high-speed, user-friendly website. Fast-loading images, clear descriptions, and easily visible buttons can make a significant difference. Remember, your website is often the first point of contact between your brand and your customers, so make that experience a memorable one.
Seamless integration is key
Another critical aspect of boosting conversion rates is having a seamlessly integrated ecosystem of digital tools and platforms. The Anime Collective experienced the challenges of disconnected digital tools firsthand. It hindered the company’s growth and resulted in unnecessary overheads.
Integration is not just about making different software solutions work together; it’s about creating a cohesive and efficient system that streamlines your operations. It enables you to have a clear view of your business, from tracking customer interactions to managing inventory effectively.
Consider investing in platforms that offer comprehensive integrations, like The Anime Collective did. With the right tools in place, you can harness data intelligence and gain valuable insights to make informed decisions that drive conversions.
Accurate tracking and analytics
Understanding the performance of your marketing efforts is vital, especially during a retail slowdown when every dollar counts. Accurate tracking and analytics tools can provide you with valuable insights into where your sales are coming from and help you differentiate between organic and paid sources.
Having clarity around return on ad spend (ROAS) can be a game-changer. It allows you to allocate your marketing budget more effectively, ensuring you’re investing in channels that yield the best results. In the case of The Anime Collective, the integration of data intelligence tools provided the team with invaluable insights and empowered them to make data-driven marketing decisions.
Community building and sustainable growth
During a retail slowdown, it’s essential to shift some focus from short-term gains to long-term growth. Building a strong community around your brand can be a strategic advantage. Engaging with your audience, understanding their needs, and creating a loyal customer base can sustain your business through challenging times.
At The Anime Collective, the transformation from a struggling brand to one that’s thriving was possible because the brand was free to focus on community building. With a highly effective ecommerce platform in place, the company redirected its energy towards what truly matters – its customers.
The challenges presented by a retail slowdown can be daunting, but they also present opportunities for growth and transformation. With the right tools and solutions, retailers can increase their conversion rates and have long-term success. It’s not just about surviving; it’s about thriving, even in the most challenging of times.
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