In just a few short years, commerce has evolved more than in the prior 100 years. The introduction of safe, online secure purchases from multiple devices has unlocked sales opportunities never before seen.
In the United States online ecommerce sales are expected to reach $523 billion in the next five years. That’s a direct increase of 56% ($335 billion) since just 2015. The key driver in this unprecedented growth is directly attributed to mobile devices. A new report from Forrester, titled “U.S. Cross-Channel Retail Forecast, 2015 To 2020,” predicts online sales will grow by an average annual rate of 9.32% over the next five years.
A key metric that Forrester has identified is that is the expected increase in the number of shoppers browsing and buying on their smartphones and tablets in the coming years. Forrester projects an additional 26 million shoppers will be both browsing and buying from retail sites by the end of this decade, reaching 270 million, as bigger smartphones and faster wireless networks make it easier for consumers to use the Internet to shop on their phones. Forrester says 244 million consumers browsed or bought online in 2015.
So what are the key differentiators for retailers that are growing their online sales versus those who are seeing rapid declines?
Here are the top 8 reasons retailers are not driving online sales.
#8 – Your Product / Service Description Content Copy Is Not Unique and Too Short
Up to 85% of the content on product description pages is less than 1,000 words. The top ranking pages have content that exceeds a minimum of 1,200 words. To stand out and earn higher Google rankings ensure that you have unique content in a longer, more descriptive format.
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[CASE STUDY] Attracting a customer online is requiring many different digital channels. But, once you have the audience what are you doing to keep them on your website?
With the heavier dependence on search from smart assistances such as Siri, Cortana and Alexa long tail searches are becoming more common. When people are on the computer users might search ‘tom’s shoes’. But, when that same user searches from Siri the search query is much more descriptive; ‘toms organic shoes with donation program’. This provides a great opportunity to reach your customers directly by answering their search queries. One tool worth looking at to help you identify your long tail keyword searches is called HitTail. HitTail is the only long tail keyword tool that generates keyword suggestions by analyzing your existing website traffic. It provides you with very specific long tail keywords that are relevant to your audience. https://www.hittail.com/
#6 – You’re Not Leveraging Guest Posts About Your Products
Guest posts provide a quick and extremely effective means of high-quality relevant links to your website. Search Engines such as Google identify and reward these type of links. This is also a means of new client awareness and acquisition. A post published to an existing audience will allow you to quickly gain the attention of target users. Couple that with the Social Proof that comes in the form of the written post builds quick and lasting new customer relationships.
#5 – You’re Relying On An All-In-One Social Media Tool To Promote Your Content
Social Media should not be treated as simply a means of syndication. Many companies are making the mistake of using services such as Hootsuite to syndicate content to all of their social channels. That in itself is a major mistake. You should treat each network differently and treat your means of communication differently across each network. A female shopper on Twitter is looking to join a conversation about a product. That same user on Pinterest is seeking additional visual information about that product, it’s uses and other key benefits. When that user interacts with the same product on Facebook she’s looking for Social Proof. Lastly, when that user is seeking information on Google or Amazon she’s ready to buy. The way you communicate with you users across these channels should directly reflect the exact position they are currently in regarding the ‘New Customer Journey’ – click here to access.
#4 – You’re Not Building A Community On Your Website
Online commerce relies directly on Social Proof and continued engagement. One key metric that’s not easily displayed in the top 10 positions of Google search rankings revolves around community. You’re ongoing engagement and genuine interest in your users can be the single differentiators that wins over new customers that previously shopped with your competition. Ecommerce demands more than just a place to shop. Online shopping has replaced the local mall and their online communities serve as a digital location to meet and interact with like minded shoppers.
Does Your Marketing Strategy Include Video?
We’ve assembled a crucial piece outlining the key components your digital marketing plan should include for 2016 business growth.
The average person receives up to 147 new emails every day. That’s well over 4,000 new messages a month. So the thought of responding to every single permission-based email subscriber’s response can seem like a daunting task. But, the direct impact to each response on your subscriber’s feeling of importance will keep your customers for life.
#2 – You’re Not Writing Evergreen Content That’s Leveraged As A Resource
Consumers demand for product information has grown exponentially within the last three years. With mobile devices, online product review videos and social networks consumers are much more educated about purchases. You should be writing engaging evergreen content that users will find as a direct resource to answer specific questions. You should identify exactly what resources your consumers are searching regarding your products so you can create a knowledge base that includes lists, in-depth tutorials and user guides.
#1 – You’re Not Leveraging User Generated Video Reviews
Customers want to hear real reviews from real consumers. Plain and simple. In fact, as many as 61% of consumers report researching online reviews before making an online purchase decision. And, a website visitor who interacts with both reviews and customer FAQ’s are 105% more likely to purchase while visiting, and on average spend 11% more than those who don’t conduct this product research (click here to read the full article).
With 68% of consumers trusting reviews more when they see both good and bad reviews (while 30% suspect censorship or faked reviews when they don’t see any negative reviews) online retailers are turning to Certified Video Product Reviews(click here to read the full article).
Gigantic Platforms such as Amazon and Ebay are built primarily on a review system to establish trust amongst users. Due to fake text reviews, consumers want to watch real reviews; eliminating any fraudulent claims.
Traffic data shows that users are seeking genuine reviews across multiple networks such as Amazon, YouTube and Google but those reviews are off your site and the shopper has many options for where to buy. User-Generated Reviews strategically placed right on your product pages have resulted in users spending more time on that page, reducing bounce rates from the page and increased page views (click here to watch a detailed Case Study). Review Media is one of the fastest growing media formats being searched and consumed daily across multiple platforms. Harnessing this data in one centralized location will directly equate to increased online sales.
From The Desk Of Denise O’Connor
Director of Business Development of Criteek
153 W 27th Street | NY NY 10001