There’s a new update everyday about the state of the ecommerce market. Each report recounts the same information: customers have turned to online retailers for all their needs from essential goods like paper towels and hand sanitizer or electronics and groceries.
The heyday of ecommerce is far from being over even after physical stores will reopen, new research shows. More than half of millennials and Gen Z consumers surveyed by Kantar, a consulting company, said their lockdown shopping habits would continue post-pandemic.
If you’re an ecommerce business owner, you might hold off on celebrating, because with increased demand comes fierce competition. Continuing business as usual won’t cut it anymore. To drive recurring revenue and secure new customers, you’ll need to refine all of your processes.
We’ve put together a list of ecommerce mistakes you need to avoid if you want to fully reap the benefits of current consumer behavior trends and keep your business profitable, long-term.
Using the Wrong Ecommerce Platform
This is the ideal time to assess the efficiency of your ecommerce platform. Here are three essential features a good solution should provide: Multi-channel marketing. You should be able to drive traffic and conversions through multiple channels such as your website(s), your retail store(s), email, mobile, etc.
- In-depth data and robust analytics. This can include reports on everything from sales, to cart abandonment and promotions.
- Superior site search and navigation. The latest features use machine learning to deliver results and content based on each visitor’s age, location and past purchases.
Your ecommerce platform should equip your team with everything they need to easily navigate through back-end systems on their own, with little or no IT involvement required.
Ignoring the Role of User Experience (UX)
Your website’s design can make or break your conversion rates. The explanation is simple: if prospects have a hard time understanding the content, imagery, promotions and other elements of your web pages, they will most likely bounce way before reaching your product or service pages.
A poorly designed website is as much of a turn-off for search engines as it is for users. Google, for instance, now implements “user experience signals” such as bounce rate, time on site and organic click-through-rate (CTR) as ranking factors.
Here are a couple of design elements that steer prospects towards making a purchase:
- Call-to-action (CTA) hover states - A popular feature creates an interactive feel by displaying a small portion of copy whenever users hover over a CTA button.
- Secondary navigation and smooth scrolling - This is meant to help users get a quick overview of the page content, and move seamlessly from one section to the other.
- Interactive forms - Instead of simply asking visitors for their information, these forms use data analytics to show or hide questions based on someone's user behavior.
Not Optimizing Product Pages for SEO
Your product pages should match user intent. In other words, use the exact terms and phrases your ideal audience enters to find products similar to yours. Comprehensive research will help you determine what keywords to include, not only in your product descriptions, but also in your headlines, title pages, meta descriptions, alt tags and URLs.
A couple of pointers to optimize your product pages for search engines:
- Use keywords in a natural manner - Going overboard will result in Google penalizing you.
- Focus on writing unique product descriptions - Those provided by manufacturers can already be found on countless other websites.
- Include your brand name and model numbers in your headlines and title pages.
- Clean up and shorten your URLs, so they don’t look spammy.
For every reason people can give you for not blogging, there are twice as many examples of companies that are generating skyrocket profits thanks to blogging efforts.
Shopify, for instance, leveraged blogging to boost the number of paying customers by 55% and achieve a revenue of $389 million.
Having a product is not enough; you also need to differentiate your brand through interesting and useful content. Take a look at some simple ways to get your ecommerce blog off the ground:
- Craft blog posts for each stage of the customer journey. “How-to” articles are ideal for the awareness stage, while product comparison guides help users in the consideration phase.
- Create an editorial calendar and aim to publish at least four articles a month. You’ll reach “blogging maturity,” when you’re able to post over 10 articles a month.
- Promote your content on social media. Facebook Business Manager, for example, allows you to launch targeted ads, which will deliver more qualified traffic to your blog.
- Nurture your leads via email campaigns. Place a newsletter subscription form in the sidebar of your blog to build your email list and choose a free email marketing tool like HubSpot to automatize the entire process.
For more tips on creating outstanding content, check out our blog on How to Develop Strong, Clickable Content for Any Audience.
Lack of Testimonials and Product Reviews
A user precedes almost every purchase by reading reviews on that product for a couple of minutes. Don’t just take our word for it. According to a recent Local Consumer Review Survey, 91% of customers read online reviews regularly, and 84% trust them as much as personal recommendations.
Make product reviews, testimonials and referrals visible on your product pages to see a significant conversion boost.
Make sure that you only promote reviews that received over four stars on your site, but don’t ignore negative posts on Yelp or other review sites. 71% of consumers say they’re more likely to engage with a business that has responded to their reviews, both negative and positive.
Scroll through more powerful strategies to “wow” customers with social proof:
- Show off your best numbers. From posting the number of people who downloaded your eBooks, to explaining the amount of money clients can save by using your products, make it easier for prospects to see the value of doing business with you.
- Present your product in use. Use high-quality photos and short videos to show customers just how effective your product is.
- Incentivize positive reviews. Your request should be perfectly timed so it aligns with a specific step in the buyer's journey such as a re-purchase or after someone tagged your company in a social media post. The incentive could be free samples or a percent off of their next purchase.
Gathering social proof doesn’t have to be expensive, but it is an intentional act that requires diligent planning and finesse. The last thing you want is to bombard customers with so many testimonials that it overwhelms them and pushes them away.
Ecommerce is not a one-man show and you don’t have to make all these changes on your own.
Americaneagle.com has the experience and versatility to take on any online project. We've successfully developed thousands of digital solutions since 1995 through a variety of tools such as web development, digital marketing, experience design, hosting, security and more. Browse our full list of services and contact us to start building your ecommerce empire.