Ecommerce, in its earliest form, has been around for nearly 40 years. Born from humble beginnings as a small startup company called CompuServe in 1969, ecommerce has now grown into a $4.89 trillion industry, according to eMarketer. It shows no signs of slowing down, either. Experts predict that by 2024, the ecommerce market will be worth well over $6 trillion.
That said, in an industry as astronomical and competitive as ecommerce, it’s essential for brands to correctly lay their foundation for success. So, as part of the Americaneagle.com 2021 Forum, Ecommerce Practice Lead Roger Walker shared 10 things you need to do now to help kickstart your ecommerce strategy today.
- Understand the difference between B2C and B2B – We need to understand that there is a difference between business to consumer (B2C) and business to business (B2B). For B2C, we have a much broader consumer base and it’s driven by brand awareness and emotions. For B2B, we have a small group of people that are hyper-focused on what they need to buy. In order to be successful, brands must determine which type of audience they want to sell to, and then tailor their strategies to match.
- Streamline offerings – If everything is important, nothing is! Because we want to showcase our wide variety of product offerings, our websites tend to get extremely cluttered. We need to get rid of this clutter and remember that more isn’t always better. We need to make sure we are helping people focus on the product they want so they fulfill our ultimate goal of clicking that “buy now” button and completing that sale.
- Ensure critical content is written and displayed – You could have the best-looking website out there, but if visitors come to your website and can’t find what they’re looking for, then they most certainly will go somewhere else. Humans are very visual people, so adding appealing images (that are clean with no clutter behind it) is always recommended. Additionally, ensure that the product description, features, and any other resources are written clearly and concisely. Ensuring that critical content is written and display is also beneficial for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes.
- Optimize site speed – Site speed as an ecommerce company is extremely important. We have seven seconds or less to grab a person’s attention and hold it, so if you’re site speed isn’t up to par, they will go elsewhere. To ensure quick site speed, optimize images and perform routine performance audits to check for things like server performance, image-load performance, and time to first bite.
- Ensure navigation is convenient – There are three types of people who will use your website: navigators, searchers, and browsers. However, for this step’s purposes, we’re interested in the navigators and the searchers. You need to make sure that your navigation tool is fine-tuned to what people are actually going to search for – it’s important to drive them to the catalog as quickly as possible and then leverage faceted navigation to help refine it. It’s also important to the limit the number of categories to avoid any confusion (i.e. gym shoes vs. tennis shoes).
- Ensure user experience is engaging – An engaging user experience is aesthetically pleasing, easily navigable, and points users in the right direction depending on which actions they want to take.
- Optimize digital marketing – People need to be able to find your website, which is where digital marketing and all of its components come in. Things like SEO, content marketing, social media marketing, paid search management, email marketing, and more, are all vital to your website’s success. Remember, digital marketing is a not a “set it and forget it” operation. It constantly needs to be evaluated and improved in order to be effective.
- Maintain product focus – When it comes to the actual products we’re selling, maintaining product focus is what will drive conversions. Drive people to the product catalog as quickly as possible, put the product front-and-center, and then seal the deal with a hook (i.e. “buy these shoes today and enjoy 50% off your purchase!”).
- Increase cart value – We’ve all heard it before, the “Do you want fries with that?” question. This step is essentially that. Increasing cart value by offering add-on items or accessories to bigger items is often neglected even though it’s one of the easiest things to implement.
- Follow best practices – There are three very things to remember when first delving into the ecommerce industry. First, iteration. Implement processes quickly and refine often. Second, customer feedback. Let your customers tell you how they are using your site and then adjust as needed. And third, follow the core principles. While we recognize that every industry has nuances, the ecommerce industry as a whole follows core principles – and you should too.
Americaneagle.com has extensive experience in the ecommerce space from development to digital marketing and more. Our experts can optimize your site for traffic as well as find innovative ways to promote your products. View our list of services and contact us today to get started.