It’s a case of simple mathematics: Amazon is getting bigger and increasing its market share, while a greater number of smaller e-commerce sites are entering the fray. Add those together and what do you get? You get an increasingly tough and competitive environment for independent online stores.
So how do we drive more e-commerce revenue from your site? How do we gain the competitive edge?
Here are 3 proven ways to capture more sales from driving more traffic to doing more with the traffic you have:
1. GREATER VISIBILITY IN SEARCH
It’s a stone cold fact the modern consumer “Googles” just about everything before parting with their hard earned cash to buy it. If they don’t find your e-commerce site in their search, your chances of getting their business are slim.
For this reason, the good, old-fashioned on site optimizations, like on site content, title tags and META descriptions are still as important as ever. But they’re not the only ways to be seen in the SERPS.
Google Shopping is an increasingly popular platform, which allows consumers to search for products and then browse the best options, and the best deals, without leaving the Google interface.
The Google Merchant Centre allows you to post your products and optimize the listing with quality images, customer reviews and special offer prices.
2. SOCIAL MEDIA REFERRALS
Last year, a popular marketing and analytics solutions provider named Piqora claimed that their customers had enjoyed a near 70% increase in e-commerce revenue from Pinterest referral traffic alone; which highlights the importance of social media promotion to any e-commerce site.
With the growing popularity of image-led networks like Pinterest and Instagram, e-commerce brands have a direct way to promote their wares and entice social media users to visit their site and buy.
Ok, social media’s relationship with e-commerce is still in its relative infancy but there is no denying its increased significance. A study by Custora, the customer retention specialists, shows that 74% of consumers rely on social media when making a purchase decision, while 90% admit to trusting recommendations by their friends. To put that into context only 33% said they trusted sponsored advertisements — and this includes your costly display banners.
3. ON-SITE RECOMMENDATIONS
The headline from earlier this year stated that a third of online retail revenue was generated by product recommendations. That stat came from website personalization specialists Barilliance. But if you needed further proof of the importance of recommendations, look no further than the big daddy of e-commerce sites: Amazon.
Amazon uses cross-selling and up-selling features like “customers also bought” to great effect and this sort of feature could apply to the vast majority of e-commerce situations.
In the fashion sphere you can upsell multi-buy offers or outfits with matching similar products but this approach can apply to many other retail scenarios too. The question is how to coax more from a consumer by providing them with genuinely helpful and relevant recommendations. That is the kind of recommendation which works.
The job of the e-commerce site is to fulfill a need and personalized recommendations allow you to do an even better job of this. Everybody wins.