Did you know that global eCommerce retail sales are predicted to reach $4.5trillion by 2021? (Shopify Plus, 2019) – is your slice of the pie currently where you want it to be? Europe is the worlds third largest eCommerce market and as buyers look to buy domestically and further afield.
eCommerce websites have to work hard to build a flow of traffic and make a meaningful impact on its visitors to encourage strangers to become customers and to develop long term relationships over time.
Traffic is just one hurdle, engagement is another. Clients often request ‘more traffic’ as one of their eCommerce goals and you may have already identified this as one of yours, however, if you are already getting a reasonable volume you may also need to consider how the user experience is impacting the buyer’s journey.
Search Engine Optimisation
This one topic alone can be a massive opportunity to grow although many may see it as an endless blight. The truth is that much of what we do on our eCommerce websites is an ongoing process, there is no, “oh here, do this and you’ll get on page 1 of Google”. This is a huge opportunity to keep your website relevant and useful to your potential customers and the good news is there is lot’s you can do to begin building authority and relevance.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) does not just mean having lots of relevant words on your website. It is now essential to understand the intent of your visitors and provide them with meaningful content. There are also all of the technical aspects of SEO to consider as performance is now a crucial metric and you may find you have different performance in Google search on desktop and mobile. It’s essential that you consider the performance of both to keep improving, not just the volume but also the quality of the traffic.
SEO is also super relevant for websites that have existed for a long time. Metrics from your Google Analytics may suggest your traffic is healthy but don’t be afraid to scratch under the surface and look at how visitors are moving around your website, consider things like bounce rate and review whether all of your content is still working for you. It might be a great way to boost SEO by updating your best-performing pages and uplifting the middle third to make it more relevant to users in 2019. This sort of content audit is something that requires a time and strategy investment and can pay dividends in high-quality traffic.
Too many times have we had conversations or overhead conversations about advertising being a waste of time and money. If you’ve hired someone to do this for you and were left feeling it was a waste, I’m afraid to say perhaps your budget wasn’t in safe enough hands. The power of advertising is undeniable and is not just a case of ‘throwing money’ at it.
For advertising to be the right investment for your business there are some important factors to bear in mind.
The strength of digital advertising is that you have an opportunity to present your brand, product or service to those people who are likely to resonate with what you do and how you do it. Not just to show people how awesome you are, but to demonstrate that you solve a problem they have.
Targeted advertising means doing exactly this, identifying your ideal customer (those most likely to buy, whose problem you solve the best etc) and show them something they will love (or need). Casting a wide net without a buyer persona in mind is a quick way to flush lots of money down the drain.
In our opinion, there is very little point in undertaking an advertising campaign if the person who clicks on it is suddenly transported to a page that is jarring, lack of strong branding, no clear journey or CTA or just simply, a poor performing page. Of course not all campaigns lead to website pages, it might be more suitable to sell directly through Instagram or have a Call Link from Google search, but if they are to your website, it needs to make sense for the customer.
Advertising is a fantastic investment when a great website and a clear buyer persona which enhances your visitors journey are in place. It’s far easier to guide someone through a buyers journey when you understand their needs and create a full experience with this in mind. From seeing the advert to checking out, the process should be smooth, and if there is friction that causes people to drop out meaning a poorer overall return on investment.
Defining your target is essential, and this can be set within the campaign tools you use to set the ads up. What is your ideal reach, or CPC (cost per click) or CPA (cost per acquisition)? Setting your desired outcome allows you to set an appropriate budget to reach that goal and as the campaign is running it can be optimised to get the highest return on investment.
Websites that publish more than 11 pieces of content per week see 3.5X the traffic and 4.5X the number of leads generated (Hubspot, 2019) compared to websites creating 0-1 pieces per week. This is significant, a strong wake-up call for businesses who aren’t seeing their ‘blog’ as a major asset to their company. Great quality content is the proverbial low hanging fruit when it comes to increasing visibility, traffic to your eCommerce website and sales for your company.
Buyers want to be well informed and have high levels of trust in the brands they are buying from. In store, buyers make impressions of the brand from the store location, window displays and what kind of greeting they get from staff, websites need to work to make similar first impressions – with many companies underestimating what it takes to make a good one.
Your company exists to solve a problem for the customer, before expecting a visitor to buy we can also share our expertise, helping them to understand their current challenge, put a name to it and understand available solutions. Content allows you to do this in your company for each stage of your buyer’s journey. It’s a double win with content both assisting and serving the customer while building brand trust and credibility.
Writing great quality content in volume gives your customers a ‘one stop shop’ resource so where else would they go when they are ready to buy!
To develop stable and growing revenue from your eCommerce website a stable and continual investment must be made in your digital presence to ensure you keep up with the pace of change. Just like retail stores have overhead costs to their physical space, so eCommerce ventures and web-only businesses must see these types of investments as part of the overheads required to be successful. Many startups and smaller businesses may want to do these things in-house and that is a great way to start and scale. If you have more questions about what it will take to meet your revenue goals then book some time to speak to us.