“If you’re competitor focused, you have to wait until there is a competitor doing something. Being customer-focused allows you to be more pioneering.”—Jeff Bezos
The steady increase of ecommerce sales over the past two decades turned into a dramatic upwards spike between 2020 and 2021.
It’s no secret that Covid-19 triggered a major turning point in the ecommerce universe. Businesses are now scrambling to keep up with both the consumer demand and the competition of others within the industry.
There has never been a more critical moment for anyone working in ecommerce to dive deep into upcoming trends.
Now is the time to implement updated marketing and development techniques in every ecommerce business—big or small.
In this article, we are going to look at six points of interest around eCommerce strategies for optimization that will help put your brand at the forefront of the online shopping industry.
6 eCommerce Strategies
- Site Optimization
- Social Media and Content
- Augmented Reality and Filters
- SEO and Blogs
- Data Analytics
- Alternative Payment Methods
The sales peaks ecommerce hit over the last year were beyond what anyone could have foreseen. But now that we know what we’re up against, we can prepare with the right ecommerce strategies to get ahead of the game.
It’s 2021, and ecommerce websites are seeing more traffic than ever before. Yours needs to stand out like a peacock amongst pigeons, and function like a well-oiled machine.
Using tools like Google Analytics to track which parts of your site are seeing the most clicks and which ones are becoming redundant affords you a wealth of insight. You can easily pinpoint where to make adjustments that best suit the typical trajectory of your online customers.
Ensure that your product pages are easy to navigate, that calls to action are clear, and that all your content is easy to read. Your contact options must also be immediately obvious, and customers shouldn’t have to hunt about to get in touch.
If you have a support chatbot, the pop-up shouldn’t become annoying and must be easy to close.
Mobile optimization is also important, and your site must function flawlessly across all devices.
Accessibility is part of optimization too. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) provide excellent insight into how you can make your site as accessible as possible to the largest number of people.
If you can budget for it, hiring a UX or UI developer to identify and correct site issues can make all the difference in a competition where your customer’s attention is the prize.
Social Media and Content
Fresh content is what your customers want and what all of your competitors are providing.
The internet offers consumers a never-ending menu of content to choose from. If you want to uphold your reputation in the ecommerce world, your content needs to be piping hot and regularly served.
It is no longer enough to simply upload one 500-word blog a week and post on Instagram every two days. Your ecommerce site and social media platforms need a comprehensive and detailed marketing strategy that is thoroughly researched for the most effective results.
Creating a content calendar that outlines the type of content you’re creating, where you’ll post it, and when is crucial to success. You can plan when you’ll post blogs, social media updates, giveaways, promotions and any other content that is engaging and drives interest.
Decide which platforms you want to focus on and keep them up to date at all times. If you cannot curate content for Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok and Twitter, pick the channels that are most popular with your audience. A great social media presence on two or three channels is far better than a weak presence across several different channels.
Always respond to questions, comments and queries as quickly as possible, and never ignore negative feedback. Engaging with customers is key, and social media provides the ideal platform for this.
Augmented Reality and Filters
This may seem far-fetched, but it’s one of the ecommerce trends expected to gain the most traction over the next decade (and beyond).
Augmented reality (AR) is the use of digitally created objects or information superimposed onto real-life scenes. Filters fit into the AR category, as does the mobile app game Pokémon GO.
AR features are becoming increasingly popular as big names like Kylie’s Cosmetics by Kylie Jenner and the iconic denim brand Levi’s use it to let customers virtually “try on” different products or outfits through use of a filter.
If you can add an AR feature to your site, that’s a huge bonus. However, if this is out of reach for now, consider using Snapchat to promote your brand. There are plenty of AR filters that can make marketing material fun, and you can engage with customers on a new platform too.
SEO and Blogs
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the bread and butter of the current online marketing world.
Blogs featuring trustworthy backlinks and fresh content that is relevant to your brand should be a significant part of your ecommerce marketing strategy.
Blogs increase your site’s domain authority and can boost SEO rankings dramatically over the course of a full year. Quality content gives both existing and potential customers the opportunity to discover your brand online via organic trafficking.
Guest blogs written by external figures or brands can also be a low-cost way of effectively attracting business.
Make your blog interesting, informative, and exciting, and update it regularly. You don’t have to rigidly stick to topics that relate to your brand, you can get creative too. For example, if you sell office furniture, you can tie in content that relates to the importance of taking holidays, or tips for desk-bound workers who need a little extra exercise. Including good quality photographs and video content will boost engagement, and in turn, boost your SEO rankings too.
Most of the strategies on this list are only possible through the efficient tracking of data analytics.
Data is said to be the new oil, and it’s easy to see why. It’s never been simpler to track trends, understand customer behavior and see where you’re on the right track or going wrong.
Data analytics provide a visual representation that immediately pinpoints problem areas and highlights positive performance.
There are hundreds of paid and free high-quality software tools available online. These tools can provide you with the necessary insight into your customer’s preferences, aversions, and general behavior.
Once you have this information, you can then apply it to your marketing and development strategies in a way that best meets your customer’s needs. This results in higher sales and online traffic.
Without data analytics, your brand is blind to what customers really want. You will needlessly miss out on many opportunities to make pivotal changes that drive profits.
Alternative Payment Methods
All over the world, cryptocurrency platforms like Bitcoin and Ethereum are becoming valid payment options. Many users prefer these payment options over card payments, and research tells us this is only going to become more normalized in the future.
PayPal (the world’s leading financial platform) recently announced that they would be adding in a virtual coin wallet option for those who want to send or receive cryptocurrency across countries.
Millions of consumers are buying cryptocurrency not only for the purpose of investment but also as a simple way to transfer money when making online purchases.
By working cryptocurrency payment methods into your new ecommerce marketing and development strategies, you can stay ahead of the game. This may require the adoption of accounting software that accommodates cryptocurrency, but the results will pay off. You’ll ensure a solid position in the future of the online shopping industry.
Of course, cryptocurrency isn’t the only alternative payment method that’s growing in popularity. Digital wallets such as Apple Pay and Samsung Pay are gaining traction and QR codes are also becoming commonplace.
The more ways you offer your customers to pay safely and securely online, the easier they’ll find buying from you.
Prepare for the Era of M-Commerce
The term “M-commerce” refers to mobile app-based ecommerce.
The presence of mobile sites is not new by any means, but it is on the rise. Make it a priority to put mobile-centered strategies into place if you want to be a part of the upcoming m-commerce era.
Studies claim that m-commerce will cover as much as 54% of all online sales over the course of 2021.
The global m-commerce sales sat at $1.4 trillion in 2017, and by the end of 2022, that figure is estimated to reach a staggering $5.4 trillion.
More than 50% of all online traffic happens on mobile devices, and studies claim this percentage will only grow over time.
The rise of m-commerce was always inevitable. But the Covid-19 pandemic has wildly accelerated its course and brought the future much closer than we originally anticipated.
M-commerce is about to take center stage in the highly profitable online shopping industry, and the success of every ecommerce site or platform is going to come much faster if designed for easy and accessible mobile app usage.
Start Moving Forward Now
The trick with ecommerce is to always stay ahead of the curve. This is a challenge, but it’s one you need to meet to achieve success.
The best time to start implementing new strategies and development techniques?