How can you increase ecommerce conversions? It sounds simple enough on the surface, but ecommerce (and all that it entails) has become complex. From effective information architecture to SEO and content marketing, having the right strategies can have a big impact on revenue.
BigCommerce released some 2017 ecommerce statistics that should make etailers sit up and take notice:
- 51 percent of Americans prefer to do their shopping online
- 96 percent of U.S. shoppers have made an online purchase in their life, 80 percent in the past month alone
- Ecommerce is growing at a rate of 23 percent year over year, yet 46 percent of U.S. small businesses do not have a website
- Online orders increased 8.9 percent in Q3 2016, but average order value (AOV) increased only 0.2 percent, indicating that transactional growth is outpacing total revenue
If you are a small business owner reading this, we are going to assume you've gotten past the "having a website" issue. So, how do you increase ecommerce conversions? Throw more ad dollars at it or maybe focus on SEO? There has to be a magic pill, right?
It sounds simple enough on the surface, but ecommerce and marketing strategies have become pretty complex. Our team works daily to pull together the best strategies and tactics to get the best out of marketing conversions. From effective information architecture to SEO and content marketing, having the right strategies can have a big impact on revenue.
Below are recommendations for startup etailers or those trying to grow to increase sales conversions and get you on your way to increasing your ecommerce revenue.
- Design a clean and easy-to-use website centered around the customer. Google search data is your friend when it comes to designing the overall structure of your ecommerce website. What problems do your customers have that you can solve? How can you make your customers feel important and cared for? Pour through available search data to find important issues, needs, wants, questions and problems from the customer perspective. From there, you can build an effective and easy architecture. If you always keep in mind what problem you are solving or why a customer would be searching for your product, you can keep that message and process sharp.
- Do your homework with search and analytics data. Many ecommerce sites are built without paying attention to search data at all. A business should serve customers' needs, right? Do your investigating before launching a content strategy. The more you know about what people are searching for via terms, phrases and keywords, the higher your chances of successful conversion. Insert descriptive words and terms into your product descriptions and splash pages. Believe it or not, you can predict financial outcomes by combining search data with sales figures and conversion rate data before you deploy an SEO strategy. Doing your homework with search and analytics data can help you prioritize for increased revenue.
- Solve any major problems in the planning phase. Newsflash – successful ecommerce companies are not constantly fighting fires. They don't rush web planning, and they don't move forward without input from key stakeholders (including the ever-important SEO consultant). Comprehensive keyword research and analysis is a great way to find customers' desires and fears. Use the planning phase to observe consumers' online behavior; you'll get fantastic insights into how their minds work. Search data will provide a bird’s-eye view of your buying field's unfiltered thoughts and trackable behavior patterns. Then implement this into your build and marketing plans. Keep the entire team of stakeholders in the loop so everyone is using the same playbook.
- SEO best practices are your best friend. SEO strategy for ecommerce is specialized in that the tactics used are tailored specifically to ecommerce websites. Your SEO plan should be drawn up before coding even begins, not after! Without advance planning, you may find yourself stuck in a nightmare trying to switch gears after the fact due to underperforming sales. If you don't have that capability in-house, seek out a knowledgeable consultant who specialized in ecommerce-driven SEO.
- Shape your content marketing strategy on search data too. Products are essentially solutions to problems. Blog posts, videos, ebooks, buyer/product guides and images tell a story and connect the dots for your audience with answers. Is your product the right solution to your customers' problems? Use targeted landing pages and different touch points in the sales funnel to tweak and observe what is working best.
By utilizing the above tactics, you can improve your conversions and revenue. If your team simply doesn't have the time to sift through all the data available (and that is understandable), consider an automated marketing engine that optimizes some of the process. At the end of the day, building a website full of products, no matter how great the products are, won't drive conversions. Content and SEO must be integrated, which means it's time for you to shift your website's focus to driving results.