The Imminent Future of Ecommerce: Insights & Tips from Experts
That’s how much online shoppers spend annually, on average, within the United States. 70% of the population shops online at least once a month, and as much as 33% of Americans shop online weekly. With the current rate of development in this sector and with massive market expansion, e-commerce certainly is the future of commerce.
And the future is now!
Ecommerce has quickly changed the entire landscape of the traditional trade. From luxury to a necessity, online payments and online purchases make millions of lives easier. People pay their bills, their utilities, they (virtually) go shopping for clothes, purchase electronics, toys, even groceries – it is all made available via just a few internet search queries.
Possibly the best indicator of how much has Ecommerce changed our lives is the fact that 40% of the people who at least once per week shop online are also parents. So, this is not a trend but actually more of a standard. But what is more interesting is that 48% of online shoppers don’t mind spending more money if the product is something that they want, or if there is a free gift, free delivery, etc.
We, the online shoppers, certainly appreciate the possibilities of ecommerce, and the fact that we don’t need to leave our homes in order to purchase goods.
But what do the experts say? Is this yet another exciting year for ecommerce stores? And what are the trends that will change the landscape, once again? Let’s hear it from the best, and let’s start with the basic requirements for your website.
Have you been neglecting your SEO? Don’t be alarmed if you did, since there are so many ecommerce stores that rely solely on social media marketing. But if you do want to stay ahead of the competition and drive more traffic to your website, and ultimately new customers to your store – mind the following!
7 SEO Success Factors
According to Graham Charlton, an SEO, CRO and an Ecommerce veteran who was also an Editor in Chief of the Econsultancy Blog for quite some time, the seven crucial factors that you need to implement in order to have a fruitful SEO strategy are the following:
A few years ago, you could produce mass content and hope for the best once the search engine crawlers reach your website. Believe it or not, that strategy actually worked for quite some time. However, search engines are getting smarter and if you produce vast amount of content that is poorly written and provides no useful information – the fact that there is a ton of it won’t do you any good. Graham’s advice is to concentrate on the quality of the content.
Search engines, and primarily their crawlers, are always on the hunt for some fresh and original content. If you can provide unique insight on a trending topic – search engines will love you. Basically, search engines are concentrated on providing useful content to the end user, so if you care about your users’ experience, your rankings will definitely reflect that.
A Well-researched Keyword Strategy
The holy trifecta of the keyword strategy are the following tools: Google Analytics, Google Trends and AdWords Keyword planner. Through this set of tools (which are absolutely free for use), you can build your keyword strategy and make sure that each one of your pages, and your posts, target exact searches.
Following Graham’s advice, you should measure the performance of every piece of content you publish. How many people have seen it, how many conversions did it get, engagements, shares – those are all important factors that will determine the ROI of your post. This type of insight will also help you come up with new content strategies.
Apart from using your keywords in your headlines, you should also make sure that your headline is alluring, and that it will draw the attention of the reader. Although coming up with new ideas constantly might seem like a challenging task, you have to have a title that will drive traffic and make people simply want to click on it.
Distributing links throughout your website, and connecting stories and posts through hyperlinks is a beneficial practice for different reasons. They send crawlers to other pages, which definitely helps with your indexing, but what is more important – they send a part of the traffic to other pages, providing more content to your visitors, and keeping them on site. This action is also a good signal for search engines.
People simply love to discuss and read about some topics. If you are targeting a popular keyword and you are able to provide original insight – you will have continuous visits just to that post. By providing something useful and of substantial quality to your visitors, you are also improving your SEO.
It is evident that during the past decade the practice of SEO became more user-oriented. Instead of trying to figure out algorithms and technical aspects of search engines, your ecommerce store will benefit more if you just focus your efforts on your customers.
Conversions & The Social Factor
Hannah Pilpel, the social project manager at Made.com, stated that people who came to their website from a social media channel had a 4% higher average order value. This statistic will probably surprise no one, but the fact that an SMM strategy is evidently providing better ROI, you should be advised that that channel would hardly reach its full potential without any SEO and SEM.
What you need to do is to concentrate on people and always think about the end user. In the words of Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon:
This statement is especially true since there are so many of us who post our opinions and thoughts online. And if you are monitoring your brand, you are probably well aware that people don’t think twice before they write a review.
The fact that there is more than 2.3 billion users of social media, with almost 2 billion of them staying connected via their mobile device, is certainly an insight that a respectable Ecommerce owner cannot neglect.
In fact, social media has become such a large influencer that businesses grow simply because they have to respond to the growing demand and popularity. It is not an uncommon practice for Ecommerce runners to locate from where do they get the most visits and the most purchases, and actually open a store in that same region.
Although conversions that come from desktop traffic are certainly showing better results, people use their mobile devices more often when they are researching the product they want (55% in average).
Glori Blatt from Salsify, thinks that most Ecommerce stores are not paying enough attention to a large group of audience – the Millennial shopper. In her words, other people’s experience with your brand and positive reviews are the most influential factors for conversions. What you need to comprehend is the fact that people born during the 80s will soon become a predominant working force globally and a great majority of them is really into the product research and investments.
So, having a transparent insight about your business, primarily about your customers’ service, is what will make or break your business in the following decade.
According to Brian Dean from Backlinko, she is absolutely right – lack of social proof is one of the most hazardous mistakes that a business can make and it definitely will influence your conversions in a negative way. So mind your likes, your shares and your retweets because people are going to look for them when they start thinking about doing business with you.
But even if you do attract the crowd and even if they do show interest in your product, your conversions will also depend on your UI and your funnel in general. If your prospects reach your website, but they don’t find the way to make a purchase as soon as possible – a large number of them will navigate away to a more user-friendly store. Glori, once again providing her own perspective on this issue, stated that she will abandon your shopping cart if she cannot find enough information about the product, if she sees some additional shipping costs, or if you are not offering her preferred method of payment.
And we can help you with that part!