E-commerce spending by consumers has been on the increase for nearly two decades as consumers embrace the convenience, cost, and variety available from a home computer, laptop, or mobile device. In 2020, consumers spent more than $861 billion on purchases from online merchants. E-commerce now represents 21.3% of all retail sales. During a year when the COVID-19 pandemic closed many brick and mortar retailers, e-commerce sales jumped 5% in just one year. Amazon remains the largest online retailer, with Walmart, Apple, Dell, Best Buy, Home Depot, Target, Wayfair, Kroger, and Staples rounding out the list of the top ten online performers. While most of the public recognizes the biggest and most popular names, there are more than 2.1 million e-tailers in the United States and 7.9 million worldwide. In such a vast and competitive marketplace, being competitive and getting noticed requires e-commerce brands to stay up-to-date and ahead of trends.
A comprehensive e-commerce strategy is essential in a crowded and noisy environment where trends can shift and gravitate quickly, leaving a brand uninteresting and irrelevant to a dynamic marketplace. A targeted approach is needed to identify a brand’s key prospective customers, boost website traffic and increase revenue. Researching the market and identifying trends will yield important information that can be used to provide market insights and aid in the formulation of a successful e-commerce marketing strategy. Where does the journey to an effective effort begin?
Start with what you have. The old saying “a bird in hand is worth two in the bush” remains sage advice even in our high-tech digital world. Creating credible customer profiles and personas from the ranks of current customers can help identify the path to attracting new like-minded customers. Start with what is working and refine and improve the process over time. Demographic data like age, gender, income, profession, personal interest, and buying behaviors will help determine which social media platform will best connect with the most desirable target. Look to competitors to learn what is working for them. Emulate the success but discover unique ways to differentiate your brand and website.
An e-commerce website is the world’s window into a brand’s business. Design and develop a web presence that reflects the brand’s value and mission. Optimize site functions that focus on driving users to make a purchase and remove any reason that would drive a prospect to a competitor. Utilize videos to tell the brand’s story. Video can add significant value to the customer’s content experience. When both video and text are available on the same page, 72% of people would rather use video to learn about a product or service and surveys have shown that 90% of users say videos are an important factor in making a purchasing decision. Adding real customer testimonials to the web campaign can be the evidence prospects are seeking about a brand’s performance. Consumers are becoming weary of paid advertising and are turning in greater numbers to having conversations with friends, family, and influencers about favorite brands.
Before the pandemic, content at its best was said to be reliable, helpful, timely, and honest. These elements’ importance to content generation remains fundamental to creating effective messaging, even in the face of communal negativity and despair. Every social media user on the internet has a platform preference. Identifying those preferences will optimize the effectiveness of the messaging and improve a brand’s ability to connect with targeted consumers.
There is no value in getting huge numbers of website visitors if they are not going to convert into paying customers. As competition increases and digital channels become ever more crowded, just being on the internet with a website isn’t enough to get noticed, drive discovery, connect with loyal followers, and build a trusted brand. In the past, there was a focus on off-page search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to boost a website’s search engine rankings and build organic traffic, but off-page practices will not do much good without on-page SEO fundamentals. Targeting relevant and popular keywords is crucial for the success of any e-commerce strategy.
With nearly 50% of all web traffic originating from mobile devices, an e-commerce business must ensure that a website is designed to be mobile-friendly and is responsive and easy for mobile users to navigate. Creating content that is optimized for mobile will improve site performance, result in users spending more time on a website, and increase page views and conversions. Creating a strong user experience that optimizes content delivery over mobile devices may require some fundamental modifications to an existing site but is essential for an e-tailer to remain ahead of the marketing trends going forward.
At Junction Creative Solutions, we know that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all marketing strategy. For more on how Junction can help craft the right e-commerce strategy for your business, call 678-686-1125.