With the way 2020 has been going, it is a make-or-break year for shopping. The world is fully embracing a shift to online formats for various things, but especially shopping. One of the online formats with proven results and even more potential for success is eCommerce. Amazon and other huge retailers have put enormous pressure on businesses local and national alike to correctly implement eCommerce options to give themselves a chance of surviving. Our eCommerce techniques will help you survive against these giants.
In addition to these large corporations with effective eCommerce, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has also exposed how vulnerable in-person shopping formats are. Bluntly, the need for a proper eCommerce option is glaring for many businesses. Here is an explanation of eCommerce as well as some eCommerce techniques that will bring you success if applied correctly.
What is eCommerce?
eCommerce, also known as electronic commerce, is something that you are probably familiar with by now. It is the activity of buying or selling products and services through online platforms on the internet. You have probably participated in eCommerce without even knowing it. eCommerce utilizes various technologies including inventory management systems, electronic funds transfer, digital marketing, and more. This may seem overwhelming, but it is not that difficult to set up in reality.
eCommerce is prevalent through desktop websites and downloadable apps, depending on the needs of the business. The eCommerce process is becoming more user friendly as time goes on, but some companies are still behind the curve. Whether your company has ineffective eCommerce or simply does not utilize it at all, the following tips will give you ideas on how to improve, grow, and sustain your business’ online component.
With your new knowledge of what goes into eCommerce, here are some helpful tips that will give you an advantage over other newcomers to the industry.
Strive for a high-quality search function
Have you ever been on an eCommerce website that has a worthless search function? Some sites do the bare minimum in this regard, and you do not want to be one of them. Most eCommerce development websites allow you to play with the functions that you want to add to your search bar. Take advantage of these tools and put plenty of time into your search function.
Some important things to consider while developing your search function are filters to include, results layout and navigation ease, autocomplete design, and more. If you have a weak search function, potential customers may find somewhere else to buy the product from.
Optimize your local SEO
Local SEO and eCommerce may seem like things that do not have a lot in common, but they can actually work very well together. Even though your goal in eCommerce may be growing your business nationally, local SEO can help you gain pivotal local customer and community support. As we’ve discussed in previous posts, utilizing your Google My Business listing is important if you have a physical location in addition to your eCommerce website.
Other strategies that you can use for local SEO and eCommerce are online reviews, geo-targeted content and keywords, and community outreach. If you use all of these tips, you have a great chance of gaining local customers and expanding to a national reach in the future.
Improve social media strategy
They say that social media is a whole new beast, and that is becoming increasingly factual. It can be utilized for eCommerce in various ways being that it is so powerful. In 2018, Avionos released a study that said that more than 55% of consumers purchased something directly through a business’ social media channel. That percentage has most likely increased in 2020, especially given the current pandemic. Consumers enjoy when their shopping experience is made even easier, and that is why an effective social media strategy is critical.
In addition to shopping directly through social media, making your shopping experience social is another good way to grow your eCommerce platform. You can do this by incentivizing social media posts and reviews of your business by creating coupon codes, getting influencers to promote your products, and convincing customers to sign up for personalized emails. Email marketing is a proven method and if the customers are seeing what they are interested in, they are more likely to buy from you and tell their friends via social media. You can then share these success stories and build your public image to potential customers.
Optimize your site speed
Depending on the website, internet speed, optimization, etc., a site’s load speed can vary. However, if your website loads very slow, potential customers may turn away and go with another option. This is exactly why you must focus on optimizing your site so that it loads as fast as possible. To optimize your site, you can add alt text to all your product images. This will help your load times as well as your visibility in search results. One second is the optimal load speed, so strive to hit that marker for greater success with customer acquisition.
Focus on constantly unique content
Effective marketing plays a big part in the success of your eCommerce component. You can use various marketing strategies including email marketing (mentioned above) and content marketing. The latter is one of the most effective in a variety of applications, including in eCommerce. You should learn about your customers and understand what their problems are. What are they trying to solve by buying from you? Once you know these problems, create content that answers their questions and guides them to the correct products or services.
Video content is another key area to focus on. You can write as many blog posts as you want, but if your customer does not want to read them, they may lose interest. If you make videos instead, the average time spent on a page goes up. When the average time on page goes up, you are more likely to gain a new customer. Focus on high-quality video production, it could save you money in the long run.
In conclusion, eCommerce is a huge business opportunity that you should take advantage of. It is important to utilize eCommerce effectively by following the tips and techniques above. Please contact us if you have any questions about eCommerce, local SEO, and more. We can give you a free audit for our services!