social commerce

Social Commerce Trends You Should Know About

 

Before, advertising can only be done in a few ways, such as radio, television, newspaper ads, and billboards. Businesses who wanted to boost their sales had to release a significant amount of money just to get their services and/or products in front of people.

However, due to the constant evolution of technology, advertising has become so much easier. Social media has completely transformed the way commerce happens, that is why companies who want to raise their sales have to be creative and innovative in their social media strategies.

Every year or so, these strategies can change as social media platforms issue new upgrades and advantages. So, what can we expect for 2019?

Here are some social commerce trends you should know about:

Taking Advantage Of The Impulses

impulse buying

Impulse buying has always been strongly integrated into the shopping experience of everyday people, and marketers have long tried to tap into it. Now, this method is increasingly used in various social networks.

For instance, platforms like Facebook and Instagram allow their users to buy products without even leaving the platform!

Companies are aware that impulse buying can make a tremendous amount of revenue and they’re doing everything in their ability to make it as uncomplicated as possible for the buyer to purchase their goods without second thinking.

Let The People Take Over

user generated content

More and more businesses are acknowledging the fact that the content produced by their users can actually increase their sales.

With the explosion of photo and video applications, a lot of users are now creating content marketing that features a product or service offered by a particular brand. While some also invite their patrons to participate in creating ads and products.

Smart marketers are using these collaborations and user-created content to develop a sense of community that often leads to higher conversion rates.

Why Ratings Are Important

rating system

When a person shares a rating to any social media platform, it results in a significant rise in conversion rates. These ratings are crucial because they encourage people to purchase products and also functions as a social proof for a company.

Here’s a bit of truth, ratings can really make or break a company. Take Uber for example; they’re asking all passengers to rate their drivers, so if a driver drops below a particular score, they’ll receive corrective actions from the company.

Influence the People

social media influencers

Influencer marketing is not a new thing since a lot of companies have been paying celebrities and high-profile individuals to advertise and promote their products.

What is new, however, is the rapid increase of influencers on social media. These days, it’s not entirely difficult for a person to gain a lot of followers on any social media platform.

Marketers should pay close attention to these “influencers” and hire them to show off their services and/or products. This example of native advertising works more to people than those traditional and blatant advertisements they see on TV.

These days, merely having an account on social media while hardly sharing any update is not enough. Companies who want to gain more revenue should create a well-defined strategy that will work on these social media trends.

We hope these tips helped you realise the importance of social commerce in your business. Utilise these points wisely, and you’re on your way to success!

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Review all website functions and make sure they are working

Monthly and Performance Checklist for E-Commerce Websites

 

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Any good business knows the importance of monthly check-ups to know if all aspects are working properly. Such is also the case for your e-commerce websites. Doing your monthly checks and performing the necessary changes will play a major role in the success of your site.

Here is a checklist of things that should be considered during your monthly maintenance routine, which have been utilised also by web design London firms who oversee monthly checks on their sites.

Review all security measures in place

Review all security measures in place

Security plays a vital role in the survival of the website as well as the peace of mind of consumers.  Update all log-in passwords to ensure security against hacker access, study security monitoring reports and act on recommendations as soon as possible.

Make sure SSL certificates are in place and functioning and make security assessments for common vulnerabilities like Cross-site scripting, SQL injections, and Cross-site Request Forgeries.

Review all website functions and make sure they are working

Review all website functions and make sure they are working

Check your e-commerce websites from the user’s point of view. Make sure it is working on all platforms to confirm compatibility.

Check ordering and payment functions for functionality and time-loading speeds to see if they are up to specs. If loading a page takes more than two seconds, then make necessary adjustments.

CMS should be up to date

CMS should be up to date

Look for issues like dead pages, broken links, and non-working CTAs. These are real issues that users run into when accessing sites.

Update the site content

Websites are ranked according to their value to the user. Keeping the contents updated increases this value.

Make sure blogs and articles are updated as well as header banners. Components that promote user engagement like testimonials must be kept fresh. Links to social media must be visible with updated photos and videos.

Make sure contents are optimised with URLs and keywords to improve SEO results. Update product photos and videos if there are any to keep the site fresh even for repeat customers.

Tweak SEO for improved results

Be sure to check keywords, URLs, and descriptions and update them if necessary. Check that all imageries and contents contain URLs and title tags. Ensure all links connect to content-rich and reliable destinations and add value to the site.

And last but not least, study crawl diagnostics reports and look for crawl errors and issues with missing titles and repeating content.

Storage and backup

Be sure to have a reliable off-site storage where you can back-up data monthly. This prevents lost data and increases data security.

Tidy up for faster-loading speeds

Check that plug-in are current and delete those that are unused. Remove files in the library that are of no use and delete broken links and old content. Streamline code by using efficient practices like CSS.

Summing up

Take the time to review the analytics of your luxury web design site. Although analytics should be looked at once a week, it is also a smart move to review them on a monthly schedule to have a more in-depth understanding of which strategies are successful and which ones affect important metrics such as conversions.

A monthly detailed scrutiny of analytics will help you refine marketing strategies and site functionality to come up with better SEO results, user traffic, and conversion rates.

 

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E-commerce

Trends Disrupting E-Commerce

 

Based on an analysis conducted by RJMetrics back in 2014, over 110,000 e-commerce businesses have generated significant profit. But this analysis was done 3 years ago. Indeed, that number has exponentially gone up. The e-commerce industry, which is tied up with technology, has been predicted to see some changes that would disrupt e-commerce business standards and traditional practices.

In 2017, an average shopper spends about $1,800 annually through e-commerce businesses. Thus, if you are part of this lucrative business, then you can’t miss out on this growing source of revenue by failing to keep up with global trends.

The following are trends that will appear or are already appearing in the e-commerce industry:

The Age of Artificial Intelligence

 

  1.    The Age of Artificial Intelligence.  Artificial intelligence (A.I.) has been among the most noteworthy developments enabling the improved performance, intuitivity and functionality of e-commerce stores. A.I. allows companies to come up with strategies using metadata that allows them to understand the target audience wants and needs based on analytical trends.

A.I can be used to analyse which products most site visitors and customers prefer to view, and then you create an ad for this particular product to persuade customers to purchase it, especially those who are second-guessing.

A.I. can also be used to analyse metadata in developing demographic-specific advertising trends. For example, your business wants to sell outdoor items, so you create an ad targeting 25- to 30-year-old customers who are particularly specific with outdoor activities.

By utilising A.I. and the vast array of metadata available, you can easily custom-build your ad and product base for the particular target customer to maximise chances of making a sale and thus to profit from your e-commerce business.

Ubiquitous Chatbots

 

  1.    Ubiquitous Chatbots. A.I. isn’t the only trend that’s gaining traction in 2017. Chatbots are a thing of the future, but currently the present. These e-commerce assistant chatbots are also A.I.-run. They are programmed to offer creative ways to guide customers in mobile shopping, particularly for those who have a hard time figuring out the ins and outs of e-commerce shopping.

These assistant chatbots provide vital customer service. These services range from helping customers in finding products, helping customers to understand navigating a business, helping customers understand business policies and helping customers in completing a purchase.

Chatbots, however, must be regularly updated so that they can provide updated information to customers. They also respond to customer inquiries and conversations.

Mobile shoppers are mostly prioritised

 

  1.    Mobile shoppers are mostly prioritised. Mobile users generate more than 50% of all web traffic, and they drive approximately more than 42% of e-commerce traffic. It is still predicted that this number will exponentially expand in the years to come, especially that today’s trend is geared toward mobile devices that allow for easy and convenient web navigation.

This led e-commerce business owners to find solutions and catch up with this current trend. Yet some businesses have failed to provide mobile-friendly sites to their extensive customer base. These types of business have significantly lost a now primary source of revenue. They have also in a way discourage their buyers by not offering mobile-friendly versions of their site, especially those belonging to generation X, Y and Z, from developing a customer/brand relationship with their business.

Going mobile allows many users to shop just about anywhere, anytime as long as they have a connection. For the shop owners, by offering mobile-friendly sites, they enable accessing a greater customer base for a longer time during the day.

You can stay on top of your competition by developing e-commerce sites that have luxury web designs that take advantage of the growing trend to keep on attracting your customers.

 

e-commerce websites

Consumer-Centric Ways to Boost E-Commerce Sales

Yes, we all do want to succeed as online marketers. However, what does that “success” actually mean?

We can just as easily track analytics or count how many social media followers we have or even watch as the number of visitors of e-commerce websites grow.

But how do you know you’re successful? Well, there’s only one group who can judge whether you have a successful marketing campaign.

The Customers.

Despite there being dozens and dozens of “best practices” and “how to” guides available online, the truth is if your audience does not connect with your marketing campaign, then your success is for nought.

For a marketing campaign to truly develop, you need to understand your customers. That’s basically the only thing you need to do.

Approximately 80% of online stores have failed to generate sales because of one simple reason—these brands have focused too much on their products than on their customers.

Below are some customer-centric tips to help you boost your sales.

Put Emphasis on Social Selling

e-commerce websites

A consumer-centric approach requires earning the trust of your customers. This is nearly impossible to earn with advertising alone, unless of course if you already have built an incredible brand.

Additionally, this is particularly challenging for e-commerce websites since they do not get to interact face to face with their consumers unlike in brick-and-mortar stores.

Now, how do you go about this?

One is to provide social proof. Second is to engage with your audience.

Social media platforms could be an avenue where you can build rapport and interact with your audience. You should show your audience that you too are a genuine human being, not merely a business venture looking at consumers as prey.

Here is a 3-step process for you to create an amazing social selling campaign:

  • Determine your brand’s core message
  • Share valuable, relevant content supporting your brand’s message
  • Respond as quickly as possible to your customers

Don’t ignore social selling since this could be the future of e-commerce industry.

A Too Automated Marketing Automation

e-commerce websites

Running your e-commerce business demands an immense investment of resources, including your time. Since you need to seek ways in order to eliminate redundancies in the business as much as possible, you turn to instant messaging and marketing automation, which are incredible ways to streamline your marketing strategy.

The only drawback with this is the possibility of taking it too far.

Marketing in the twenty-first century has evolved, requiring more interaction with consumers. What once was the fully automated marketing in the 1990s isn’t possible anymore. Back then, companies could just as easily stuff a site with relevant keywords and wait for search engines to pick them up and send traffic to the site to generate sales.

These sites did not have to make any changes or engage with their audience.

Yes, you can still use automation software for smooth operation, yet you need to engage with consumers yourself. Make it a point to actually read consumer replies and come up distinctive responses.

Base PPC Ad Copy on Consumer Needs

e-commerce websites

One of the best ways to generate sales for your store is PPC ads or pay-per-click advertising. However, there are far too many online e-commerce entrepreneurs who are doing it wrong. More often, their ads copy do not focus on the needs of the consumers, but rather puts emphasis on the benefits of their products.

Take a look at the following headlines for a few weight loss ads:

“16 Ways to Lose Weight Fast”

“Top FDA-Approved Weight Loss”

“Top 3 Diet Pills of 2018”

These ads simply inform the consumer what their product is. They’re not particularly good, per se.

Since business owners spend an enormous amount of money for PPC ads, it only makes sense to actually make sure they convert. Create ads around the needs of your consumers.

Put yourself in their shoes. Ask yourself: Why would he or she buy your product?

Conclusion

The e-commerce industry is at a rapid growth, and it will only get bigger, but not easier. Not only do you have to work hard to earn consumer trust, but also ensure your e-commerce websites’ marketing strategy revolves around the buyers.

web design

5 Business-Changing Elements That Should Be in Your E-commerce Web Design

 

Oftentimes, we are too invested at raising our Google search results ranking that we sometimes forget the most vital part of why we opened an e-commerce or any business in the first place—satisfying and serving the customers.

Although online advertising, Internet marketing and SEO are essential for an online business to grow, these must always go hand-in-hand with a flawless web operation, friendly user interface, uncomplicated web design and worry-free customer care. We must also put forth a need to make sure customers’ demands are met and that they would for sure come back for more.

So, here’s a list of business-changing features that you need to incorporate into your web design:

 

web design

Best Sellers

Why do you go into a shop? Well, we’re mostly interested in what the store has to offer, especially when we see the 4-letter word in red flashing in the window—SALE!

In other words, it all begins in the shop window.

Of course, it’s the same thing for e-commerce business. Your website must also display your best products, your top sellers or best sellers or featured products, on your main page.

These products typically attract a lot of the visitor’s attention. In fact, these are often the most viewed items on e-commerce websites.

Let’s admit it. Sometimes, we’re too lazy to scan hundreds, if not thousands, of products. We want to simply get it over with and finalise the purchase.

Hence, place your best products on the landing page or the homepage.

Why?

You’ll be helping visitors make the right choice. Plus, this speeds up the buying process and would lead them to actually make a purchase even before they get frustrated and exit the site.

TIP: You need to remember to monitor and regularly update your list. You can also experiment with seasonal and monthly top products or bestsellers.

Customer’s Names

Did you know that the most pleasant word marketers like using are not “success”, “conversions”, “trust” or “respect”?

Surprised?

It’s your name! According to psychologists, we love being addressed by our names because it has a strong correlation with being in a friendly nature.

Notice why sales manager or sales personnel ask your name and then use it multiples times during the conversation, especially when he or she is trying to make a point or a sale?

Successful e-commerce businesses make use personalisation very well since it’s the easiest way of making customers feel important and special.

TIP: If you opt for a quick personal account registration, make sure to ask the visitor his or her name.

Why?

It’s quick compared with uploading images or entering other personal details, which takes some time.

It’s efficient because you can sue their name to personalise their dashboard, making them feel right at home. This is still something many e-commerce sites fail to consider.

It’s worry-free since many consider that this isn’t sharing too sensitive information.

Use their name wisely and sparsely. Don’t be too obtrusive. You can use their names in newsletters or when greeting them upon login. Never place their names in every line on your site. You’ll sound like a pushy sales marketer.

Price Filters

One of the most often used tools in e-commerce web pages other than the search bar is the price filter. That’s why need more attention.

Make sure visitors and customers alike would be able to easily sort and then filter products according to price in all product categories.

TIP: If the price of specific products doesn’t include the shipping costs, then make sure to include that in the product information. Meanwhile, if products which fall under Free Delivery, make sure that a checkbox is placed to either show or hide products in that category.

One simple reason consumers will trust your business is transparency. Do not hide any information regarding product pricing.

The more comfortable your visitors or customers feel in your site, the more they are to find what they want, purchase it and then come back, possibly with friends.

web design

The Option to Zoom In

We all want a closer look at products we want to buy, especially online. Buyers want to see almost every detail of whatever item they buy, be it clothing, especially gadgets, shoes, etc.

Hence, allow them to zoom in or out of the pictures. That’s why you need good-quality pictures for every product in your store. Provide as much visual information to the customers as possible.

web design

Feedback Forms and Contact Details

The key to having loyal customers is building long-term relationships with them. You want them to completely trust you. Where to start?

Provide your business’ contact information. Your customers should know how to reach you if needed. Place this detail where it can easily be accessed.

If there’s an online chat feature on your website, then the better. Nothing is better than a fast response to inquiries.

Then, provide a feedback form and make sure to address the information given by your customers.

Summary

Every e-commerce website is unique, and there is no single formula for success or a solution to the challenges faced by this particular industry. You need to understand what your business needs.

Just remember the basic must-have features that you need to incorporate into your web design. Just remember these simple rules to improve UX:

  1. Design should be simple so that customers will be comfortable.
  2. Navigation should be clear with an easily accessible information.
  3. Provide a detailed information of every product, with high-quality pictures, zoom options and descriptions. The more satisfied with the information, the higher the chances of them buying your product.
  4. Provide a personal page for the customers, where they can create wishlists, save previous orders and save items in the cart for later viewing.
  5. Provide clear and complete details on delivery options.
  6. Don’t forget to update your site so that customers would want to come back and check if there are sales or promos.

Above all, have fun with your business!
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web design

4 Common E-commerce Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

 

All too often, businesses put up marketing sites and pay tons of cash for an eye-catching web design and expect a huge increase in their business. But as soon as the first reports come in, they are disappointed by the dismal performance their e-commerce sites seem to make.

But there is no cause for worry because chances are the site simply violated some simple rules for more effective marketing strategies. So instead of spending more money to change everything, let’s review the possible mistakes that have been made to make the site less than ideal.

web design

You focus too much on your site’s traffic

The first mistake is believing that increased traffic means increased business. While mainly true, this belies the real problem. Instead of focusing on increasing traffic to the site, why not design the site to increase its conversion rate instead?

While increased traffic is generally good for business, it is useless if the site cannot convert that traffic into actual business. A few simple tweaks are sometimes all that is needed to increase the conversion rate, while an increase in traffic could require a significantly larger investment to realize.

Your site load speed is miserably slow

The second mistake is relying on a slow website. Nothing frustrates potential clients than a slow service. Ergo, a slow website is similarly compared to the quality of service potential clients expect from the site owner.

Recent studies have shown that the average human in today’s generation has the least amount of time to spare waiting for things to happen than in any other generation. And this is backed by data that is hard to ignore.

In one recent study, it was shown that 51% of shoppers will abandon their purchase because of a slow website. Choosing a host site that is known for speed and reliability is the way to go.

web design

Offering products only once

The third mistake is thinking that offering the product once is enough. Nothing is more wrong in the marketing world. Imagine the world we live in now where people are more than ever before loaded with information from web design ads and marketing spiels and have little or no time left for anything else beyond what they are currently involved with.

Logic tells us that constant reminder is the only way for the product to sink in and be remembered by potential clients. For people who are too busy with their everyday dealings, reminders now and then can be a welcome thing rather than an annoyance.

No mobile strategy

The fourth mistake is not designing the website for a mobile device. With people having little time to sit down and relax and being on the go a way of life for the majority, having mobile capability not only puts you on the map, but it increases the conversion rate exponentially.

web design for mobile use

Final thoughts

The one-size-fits-all rule is not fitting for the e-commerce industry. You need to tailor your web design to specific audiences and platforms to increase traffic and conversion rates. Marketing strategies should also adapt to the changes needs of consumers.
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web design London

Why Having a Website Is More Important than a Business Card

 

In the past, business owners used to hand out business cards to potential investors, clients and customers to effectively market their brand and share information. However, in today’s world of digital media and mobile computing, having a website for your line of business is as important as having a business card that you can hand out to any potential client.

The difference between having a business card and a website is that the latter gives you the advantage of being able to provide limitless information about your business. Almost all use the Internet today on a daily basis. People use the web to search for business information or purchase products.

Below are reasons why a website is more important than having a business card.

Information sharing and networking

Unlike business cards where you only have enough room for information like your company name, address and telephone numbers, having a website gives you space you need for so much more data. You can include in your web design your entire product line or line of service, contact persons in your organization, pictures of your products and even the capability to place orders right there and then.

Let’s face it—your potential clients most likely will be people on the go who prefer to be able to do business while mobile.

web design

Modify relevant information 

Aside from these obvious advantages, it is also easier to add or modify information in your website.  With a business card, this can only be done by having a whole new batch of cards printed with the new information added.

So what happens to the unmodified cards that were already handed out? Right. Your potential client is left holding onto a business card containing obsolete information.

With a website, you are sure that people accessing it get only the freshest, most updated information about your business.

Accessible virtually almost anywhere in the world

Websites are also easily accessible anywhere, anytime. You don’t have to be anywhere near a potential client for them to access your site or gain information about your business. The website takes care of this for you. Your website works for you even while you sleep.

web design

Social media influence

Do you want an even bigger potential client base? Incorporate social media networking on your website.  There is a big chance the client you are looking for is on one of the popular social media sites. So go ahead and make your presence felt on these sites and start doing business with people you haven’t even met.

Instant reviews and feedback

Having a website also offers you the advantage of being able to get instant feedback from clients about your products or services. This vital function will allow you to improve your product or the way you do business or provide a certain service.

web design

 

People nowadays appreciate being heard, and it doesn’t hurt to hear from your clients now and again and listen to what they have to say about you whether it’s good or bad.  What you do with the information may very well determine the future of your business.

You can say that your website is your business card, a gateway to your business. Also, make sure that your web design reflects your brand’s message and what you are offering to your clients or customers so they can easily identify you.
E-Commerce Websites

web design

Top 5 2018 E-Commerce Trends & How to Profit from Them

 

Don’t worry. This is not another long list of speculations about what will be trending on the e-commerce market for 2018.

Yes, there are plenty of those. In fact, most of them make you wonder how progressive the industry has become.

The focus of this post will be on showing you which ones will become potentially disruptive trends in the e-commerce industry in 2018 and how you can capitalise on them today!

The following areas will be covered:

  • What the trend is
  • Data supporting the trend
  • How marketers could profit from them

Let’s get started.

The top 2018 e-commerce trends include:

  1. Upsurge in voice search share
  2. AR for better-quality e-commerce UX
  3. Video will be part of mainstream content strategies for e-commerce brands
  4. Amazon as big player in digital ads
  5. Widespread adoption of cryptocurrency payment gateways

Upsurge in voice search share

Voice search has seen a drastic growth over the past couple of years. In fact, in 2018, it will become one of the leading drivers of innovation in the e-commerce industry. Well, it’s clearly difficult to talk about mobile without ever mentioning “voice search” since a growing number of consumers interact with their devices by using “voice”. Additionally, there are plenty of stats pointing to its alarming growth rate.

According to ComScore, by 2020, which is only 2 years ahead, 50% of online searches will be done via voice. This means that we will be seeing a drastic change in how consumers use the Internet and interact with content.

This data also confirms Deloitte’s report. It pointed out that 11% of smartphone users regularly use voice search. Also, more than half of those users have started using voice since last year. Google also backs this data and points out that 20% of online search within the United States has already used voice.

The argument that voice search tech isn’t yet ready is not true either.

The use of voice assistants is also exponentially growing. HubSpot’s 2017 State of Inbound report points out that on at least a monthly basis, 23% of consumers use Microsoft’s Cortana, 37% Siri, and 19% Amazon’s Alexa.

What about voice assistants? Based on CIRP’s data, in 2016 alone, half a million Google Home units were shipped, while Amazon as sold approximately 5.1 million smart speakers since 2014.

Now, you might be wondering:

The technology is coming. It is selling. However, will people really shift to voice?

Statistics might surprise you. Geomarketing’s post revealed that 65% of Google Home or Amazon Echo owners admitted that they can’t imagine going back to days without smart speakers. Moreover, 42% of that same group also stated that voice-activated devices have rapidly become “essential” parts of their lives.

Given these data, it isn’t any more surprising. The average typing speed is roughly 40 words per minute, while 150 words per minute is the average speech rate. This means you can easily have your queries answered using voice faster than having to type it.

e-commerce trends reasons for choosing voice search

Source

 

The only bugs with voice search in the past involved nasty errors and voice assistants’ inability to recognise and understand complex phrases and terms. But that’s improving as well.

e-commerce trends smart assistants

 

Google’s AI reported that it has a 95% human-level accuracy.

Now, how does this affect marketers like us?

Well, here’s a fascinating fact:

Voice search is more likely to have three times more local focus compared with normal searches. So, local businesses, pay attention!

You’d be surprised to know that voice search doesn’t actually exist.

Shocked?

Basically, our “voice search”, what we use and see today, is simply voice-to-text search. Our voice is converted to text. Then, it is processed the same way as any text search.

This is exactly how marketers can make the most of out of this trend.

Featured snippets

Have you ever asked yourself where search engines like Google pull out data when a user “asks” a query to his or her voice assistant? It’s generally from search snippets.

Need evidence? Check Danny Sullivan’s tweet.

If this is how Google is doing it, then chances are Apple and Amazon are doing the same thing with Siri and Echo, respectively.

But, wait. What is a featured snippet?

A featured snippet, or also known as “direct answer” or “rich answer”, is a block of text or a summary of answers to a user’s query displayed on Google’s top 10 SERP. This data is extracted from websites optimised for this kind of query, or usually from sites ranking in the top 10. It includes the title of the page and its URL.

Check out the example below when “how to clean quartz worktops” is searched:

e-commerce trends sample snippet

 

Note how the featured snippet of Diapol United Kingdom ranked above the first search result? According to recent studies, up to 50% of clicks are captured by featured snippet listings. In other words, on average, the #1 position on Google’s SERP receives 33% of the clicks for a single search.

An estimate of about one-third of snippets is shown by Google out of all searches. It’s safe to say that it’s about time to start pooling together those snippets, don’t you think?

Yes, you guessed it right.

To capitalise on this trend, the best thing you can do right now is to optimise your site for search snippets and questions.

Here’s how you can do it:

How to search and obtain featured snippets

Begin with structuring.

Depending on the query, there are 3 types of featured snippets:

  1. Paragraph—Summary of the answer is shown in a box either with or without an image. The example above is a paragraph snippet.
  2. List—These are mostly answers to How-to queries or steps or DIY processes. See the example below.e-commerce trends sample list3. Table—These snippets display the answer as a table. Check out the image below.

e-commerce trend table sample snippet

 

Before diving right into the real optimisation process, let’s note these stats:

  1. Featured snippets contain an average of 45 words
  2. Based on Google, featured snippets are mostly conversational how, what, when, why and long-tail queries (more often, voice queries fall into these categories as well)
  3. Data from Ahrefs indicated that above 99% of featured snippets are pulled from site belonging to the top 10

Does my site have a chance to get featured?

As mentioned earlier, approximately 99% of featured snippets come from those already ranking on the top 10 of Google’s SERPs. So if your site already has a high ranking for related search queries, chances are you will have a high chance of getting featured.

On the other hand, 70% of featured snippets also came from a website outside the first organic ranking according to Getstat. Hence, the page should be part of the top 10 but doesn’t necessarily require it to be actually #1 for the site to be featured.

Naturally, Wikipedia.org is still the most featured site. If you find that there’s Wikipedia that’s featured for your search query, it could be extremely difficult to beat. But that doesn’t mean you should not try your hardest.

Below are some of the search query types that get the most featured snippet results:

  • Health
  • Financial
  • DIY processes
  • Mathematical
  • Status
  • Transitional
  • Requirements

Meanwhile, Ahrefs expanded this list to popular topics with the most commonly used keywords appearing in featured snippets:

e-commerce trends ahrefs study

Then again, below are the search query types that typically do not have answer boxes:

  • Shopping
  • Local
  • Videos and images

So to answer the question and to sum up the abovementioned studies—Yes!

Your site definitely can be featured but ranking high on Google SERPs play a significant role in this. This means you need to improve your site overall search ranking, especially for your lower-hanging fruit or long-tail informational questions.

So if your niche is either health, finance or DIY, then you have the highest chances of getting featured.

How to optimise your site’s content for Featured Snippets

Below are ways you can improve and optimise your site’s content:

  1. Identify different kinds of opportunities of being featured

A good old keyword search is all you need. Multiple studies agree that almost all featured snippets are triggered using long-tail keywords. In fact, the more words typed into a search box, the higher the likelihood a featured snippet will result.

This means start researching your keywords.

When identifying keywords for your featured snippets, keep the following in mind:

  • Begin with question-type queries since these are the easiest (what, why, how, etc.)
  • Aim for information intent, not only questions.

If it helps, you can always seek the help of a keyword search tool which immediately provides you which queries trigger the most results. Serpstat is one example of this. This tool combines the keyword search with a featured snippet search and allows you to see which of your keywords can trigger search boxes.

Google search console is also another tool you can utilise. Just open Search Traffic and then click on the Search Analytics tab. Then, tick Clicks, Impressions, Position and CTR.

You can view which queries rank well including the impressions data and CTR.

  1. The right format

This is the first step in optimising your site’s content for all featured snippets.

Remember the 3 types of featured snippets?

Paragraph. List. Table.

For example, if you’re optimising your site for paragraph snippets, which will appear in the featured snippet box, the answer should have to be within a <p> tag.

Usually, paragraph featured snippets contain only text answering the user’s query. However, they are only in paragraph containers <p>.

Now, you can add a relevant query or question to your content. Then in a paragraph right below it in <p> tags, answer the query. Easy right?

You can also do the same for list or table featured snippets just right below a relevant query.

  1. Properly use H2 and H3 tags

This is a common problem. Don’t worry, you are not alone in this. Even seasoned bloggers sometimes when posting relatively long posts feel a bit too lazy to go through and structure their headers accordingly.

Nevertheless, keep in mind that H2 and H3 are significantly important for SEO. Search engines like Google use those headers in order to understand what your site’s content is. Furthermore, Google uses the said headers for featured snippets.

Surprised?

Say you’re optimising for a list post, ensure that all the points on your list are H2 and/or H3 tags. This will help your content be a featured snippet with header tags as points on the snippet list.

  1. Include summary section at the top of posts

Easily capture a number of featured snippets by adding a short summary section at the top of the topic summarising the content in either paragraphs or lists.

Notice how lengthy list posts, around 3000 words or more, contain summary sections at the top that include anchor links to each list item?

Know why?

Not only are these for easy navigation, but also they’re forgetting a featured snippet.

So, here’s what you’re going to do—include a summary section at the top of your lengthy posts and make sure to link them to the blog’s content. Period.

  1. Make YouTube videos and create descriptions

It seems Google loves taking video descriptions for featured snippets.

As a matter of fact, according to Ahrefs, YouTube is the seventh most “featured” site.

e-commerce trends YouTube

And these are not the huge knowledge diagram panels when you search for Dua Lipa videos (no offense). YouTube has snippets for keywords like the following:

e-commerce trends youtube sample

 

Where do you think that paragraph snippet is from?

Yes, they’re pulled from the video description:

e-commerce trends video descriptions

 

It does pay to create relevant videos, upload them to YouTube and create descriptions answering common related queries.

Wow! These are actionable, aren’t they?

Now, let’s get on with the second trend that will shape the industry in 2018.

AR for better-quality e-commerce UX

You have to admit that ever since augmented reality (AR) was introduced a couple of years back, there has been a lot of hype about this technology.

Though, imagine this.

What if you can provide a store-like shopping experience with VR to your customers?

As it happens, Ikea is one of the pioneers to have strategically and brilliantly employed this breakthrough.

 

Ikea made us of AR and offered their customers the ability to view what their home would look if the furniture they want to purchase was there. Total genius, right?

But wait! This is only the beginning.

Imagine the likely innovations with AR in the e-commerce or any industry. Just think the hundreds of opportunities for the fashion industry alone.

A potential customer could “try on” and see how a pair of aviators would look on his or her face or how a dress would complement the shoes. Plus, customers could easily figure out the size of clothing that could fit them. Customers could also check if a red blazer would complement a recently bought dress. With AR, there are definitely endless possibilities.

How to provide an augmented reality experience to your customers

The obvious way to deliver AR is by getting started with the AR solutions for developers from either Google or Apple—ARCore and ARKit.

Here’s the app for iOS AR and Android AR app so you can get started.

Video will be part of mainstream content strategies for e-commerce brands

Video content has been a constant in the industry for years now. Why?

It simply cannot be ignored. In CISCO’s VNI Complete Forecast CISCO’s, they predicted that approximately 80% of online traffic will be video.

That’s a whopping 80%! Video completely wins over every other type of content that you can imagine. This data is clear.

But you have to ask yourself: How much video can actually be used in your content marketing strategy?

According to the data, using video content in your marketing strategy should be frequent, like a lot!

How to get started with creating video content marketing? Simple. Getting started is fairly easy since there are tons of free tools you can use.

Lumen5 is a good example of this tool. You can smoothly create simple videos straight from existing blog posts. Plus, the best thing? For free!

Press behemoths like Inc and Entrepreneur are in fact making use of similar tools in order to automate the creation of video content.

Using video content allows you to also amplify your reach on social media and to repurpose existing content for your other channels. Not only is this better for user experience, but also this helps your site’s SEO, providing another avenue for traffic.

The 4th trend is more of a budding monopoly than actually a trend.

Amazon as big player in digital ads

Before anything else, Amazon is included in this list, not because Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO, recently became the new “Bill Gates”.

Amazon is part of the list because they have continually expanded their product line over the past years and included more avenues for marketing that you can easily understand.

Undoubtedly, Google is the online advertising king.

However, in recent years, since the introduction of Business Prime and logistic centres, Amazon was able to build consumer trust, not only in the United States but also wherever they had presence in the world. This e-commerce company also offers hassle-free returns and provides quick delivery times thanks to its widespread logistics network.

Google used to be the leader of the buying funnel. Consumers would “google” product reviews and recommendations before purchasing.

However, Amazon turned the tables around through consumer trust building and offering options over the past years. Now, instead of using Google, consumers search Amazon first. Only if they’re unable to find what they’re looking for or are not able to find good options, they check with Google.

In other words, Amazon has become the “Google of shopping” in a number of B2B environments. Amazon has also blurred the lines between B2B and B2C.

And clearly, this trend has Google worrying, a lot.

Amazon has also been slowly building a digital ad network, which is more cutting-edge than Google’s.

Okay, here’s how it is.

Are you familiar with Amazon’s product line?

This marketing behemoth offers Audible, Twitch TV, Prime, Amazon Home Services, Kindle, Alexa, Dash button, Echo and Prime day (more on why this a product line later).

Many only view this only as Amazon’s product line up. But they’re more than that.

Take a wild guess.

Yes, they’re also advertising channels geared at each step of the sales funnel.

Here’s how.

The robust Amazon display network, Twitch TV and Audible are for the awareness level, while Kindle, Amazon Prime Now, Fire ads and Home services are for the discovery level.

Meanwhile, for sales, there’s Amazon discount codes and coupons, events (Amazon Prime) and of course Alexa Deals. Now, for retention, save and subscribe options are also available with dash button and Echo skills, which are both gaining traction.

You get the idea?

Although Amazon’s network is still in its formative years, as part of the e-commerce space, you better be part of this network, ASAP.

How? Simple. Get to know and understand Amazon’s bourgeoning marketing channels, and fast.

Why not try this actionable checklist:

  1. Immediately get started with Amazon display ads

e-commerce trends amazon ads

 

On the display ad platform in Amazon Marketing Services (AMS), register your e-commerce brand. Select product, set bid and define target section and start your ad campaign.

The AMS lets users run PPC ads on Amazon.com.

This is a really good option and opportunity especially if your brand is selling physical products.

Amazon offers 2 types of targeting:

  • You can choose similar products or related ones and then target that way.
  • AMS will provide keywords you can bid on according to the customer’s search and shopping history.

Note that for new advertisers, a USD 100 (₤ 72.15) is offered.

  1. Use Amazon Advertising Solutions

While AMS is focused on product sellers, Amazon Advertising Solutions (AAS) offers advertising options for all brand types.

e-commerce trends

 

You can use AAS to increase book sales, increase app downloads and be able to advertise external brands.

Yes, you can definitely advertise apps on Amazon, which clearly only a few know. Don’t worry, we didn’t either.

e-commerce trends

 

There are 2 options for app ads—self-service ads displayed on Android devices and on Fire or premium ads covering addition channels such as Amazon Prime, other than Kindle, Android and iOs devices, so you can boost install rates.

Widespread adoption of cryptocurrency payment gateways

It’s obvious that right now, there a lot of hype with Bitcoin, not to mention the exponential increase in the use of cryptocurrencies.

Think about this: Cryptocurrency will continue to survive so long as blockchain is alive.

A decentralised ledger concept has never before gotten so much traction.

Bitcoin may not or maybe a bubble. But there is an explosive growth on almost all major cryptocurrencies. You can consider this a fad if it only rose to popularity recently. However, cryptocurrencies have long been around for about 8 years now. And they are continually growing.

It’s high time that marketers need to recognise that this is no longer a fad and there is a need to capitalise on this.

Note this, however: In 2019, cryptocommerce may or may not be part of the trend. But it sure is one of the top trends that will make waves in 2018.

It’s up to you if you will start accepting cryptocurrencies in your e-commerce store.

Final thoughts

That wraps up the top 2018 e-commerce trends. While we do not completely guarantee that the abovementioned trends will definitely shake up the industry in 2018, we can definitely assure that these trends will have a major role in shaping the industry for e-commerce websites London in 2018, for the benefit of both consumers and marketers.
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e-commerce brand consistency

How to Maintain Brand Consistency Across Social Media

 

If you take a close look at all the big companies that have made the leap to social media marketing, you will notice the “consistency” in their ads or posts relative to the company’s theme or image.  This is what is called brand consistency.

The idea is to create an image or persona that remains the same regardless of the social media platform being used. Do you have to be a big company to adapt to this strategy? The answer is a big no.

Small businesses will see benefits from this same strategy just as the big companies do. Creating a consistent image separates you from other small businesses seeking recognition from the same clientele as yours.

By doing so, you create a memorable image that sticks in the minds of potential buyers who will remember you when they shop for products related to your industry. Creating a unique image can inspire followers who are loyal to a product or brand that they feel they can relate to.

So how do you achieve brand consistency for your e-commerce business? Well, there are a few things you can maintain to make sure you are brand-consistent on all social media platforms.

Consistency in social media profiles

First, the look of your profiles should be consistent. Certain companies have distinct profiles that make them unique and easily identifiable. Maintain this uniqueness in your profiles so that you are easily recognised regardless of social media platform. Just using your company logo as your profile picture is one example of achieving this.

Have a consistent “feel” to your posts

Have your presence felt by potential buyers when they read or see your posts so that at once, they know it’s you. Set a tone of discussion that potential buyers can see, hear, and recognize as you.  Users from different social media platforms react to different styles of discussion. Maintain a constant tone to these discussions and you are sure to have a consistent stream of followers.

Keep the terminology familiar

One thing that really enhances the possibility of brand recall is terminology. If your e-commerce company has a unique set of terminology that helps customers to identify it right away, don’t be afraid to use it. For example, McDonald’s is fond of using “Mc” to name their products like McChicken, McBurger, etc.  One look and you know it’s McDonald’s.

Social media platforms offer immense opportunities for e-commerce branding. Although the campaign on social media isn’t easy, it will still be fun and you’ll be able to reach and capture wider network and increase brand awareness.
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