Weekly Recap of eCommerce News - W28

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July 22, 2021
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Weekly Recap

Here’s the lowdown on some of the hot topics in the industry last week:

  • Advertising & Marketing Trends: Getting more out of PPC; Dynamic Search Ads; Price in the Marketing Mix; Email marketing list growth; SMS Marketing
  • SEO: Web crawler explained; ​​Meta tags; Canonical tags & URLs; Image Alt text
  • Plugins & Products: July Product Releases; Shop’s Search
  • Customer Experience: Interview with Inmod.com’s Brian Greenspan, Good customer experience: the customer’s perspective;
  • Headless Commerce: Headless for delivery options; digital revenue stalled by inflexible technology
  • Conversion Optimization: Unit economics to analyze profit; 
  • Things to read or listen to: Podcast: eCommerce Firms Should Acquire Content Providers;  The “fractional” CMO
  • The eCommerce week in numbers: Back-to-school budgets spent mostly online; Online shopping retains consumers

Marketing and Advertising

Most marketers are on a continuous hunt for new leads and pay-per-click ads are often, the easiest, most likely way to get good results in a short amount of time. A lot of tweaking and calculations are needed to ensure your PPC campaigns are successful, but the rewards will likely be worth it. Here is a good summary of the questions you need to answer when planning your PPC campaigns to ensure you make the most of them.

If you find having to constantly adjust your bids and keywords tedious, then Dynamic Search Ads might be right for you. This article explains why it sometimes is a good idea to give Google control over your ads to take some of the pressure off your shoulders, especially if you have a wide range of products and continuously add new ones on the page.

It’s common knowledge among marketers that the marketing mix is made up of seven ‘P’s’: product, place, people, process, physical evidence, promotion and price. This article, argues that of the seven Ps, pricing is the most important pillar in the mix. Delve in to find out why for online shops price becomes so relevant and get an overview of the full interaction between pricing and marketing.

Growing your email list is a great way to generate more leads. However, like with many aspects of marketing, simply adding numbers to your email list does not mean more conversions and higher profitability rates. This article explains not only how to grow the list, but how to do it in a way that ensures you get the quality leads needed to grow your business. 

SMS marketing is said to make a comeback. If you’re skeptical, this article cites research that tells us otherwise, explains why that is the case, and guides us through the launch of an SMS strategy. 

SEO

Hubspot has graced us with a series of amazing reads last week about the very technical, and often intimidating, side of SEO, so we’ve decided to dedicate an entire section to it. This article explains what web crawlers are, how they work and why you want them to crawl your site. Bookmark this piece to have the full list of meta tags at hand when you need them. Meta-tags are snippets of HTML code that can be crawled by search engine robots such as Google. It’s essential to understand what they do and how to write them to make your website easy to crawl. 

Webpages duplication happens naturally due to the different parts of a web address. This can result in the search engine crawling low-quality, duplicate pages instead of important ones. To prioritize some pages over others, you can use canonical tags and URLs and this article explains how to do it. Last but not least, image Alt texts are another important element for SEO and here you can find out more about what they are and how you should write them.

Plugins & Products 

Is it that time of the month already? Indeed, that time of the month when Practical eCommerce sums up the product releases is here. A few of the highlights are the expansion of Facebook Pay to additional platforms, GoDaddy teaming up with Google to offer small businesses free product listings and promotion on the search engine, Shogun’s new funding campaign. For many more exciting launches, head over to this summary

Great news coming from Shopify who has just launched the beta version of ​​Shop Search. Shop Search will advance brand rediscovery and loyalty within the Shop app by prioritizing existing customer–merchant relationships. Find out more about how Shop Search can help your business, here

Customer Experience

Digital Commerce 306 ran an interview with modern décor retailer Inmod.com’s, Brian Greenspan last week about what makes a great customer experience. From ways to make it easier for customers to find what they are looking for, to Q&As on the product page to help decision making and making it easy for customers to reach you, Brian has good advice for those looking to up their game when it comes to customer experience. 

Oftentimes, we hear businesses or their employees preach about how to offer a great customer experience. But have you ever wondered if their advice aligns with what consumers would define as a good customer experience? This article answers that question and gives online retailers insight into their consumers’ minds and what matters most to them when it comes to the online shopping experience.

Headless Commerce

This week we found an interesting read from Bold Commerce about some of the less obvious benefits of a headless architecture. At the same time as consumers started shopping more online, they also often chose  BOPIS/BORIS/Curbside pickup. This poses a challenge to online retailers who now have to deploy online purchases and pick-up/return in-store options. With a more traditional technology stack, they would indeed have their work cut out for them, but headless commerce saves the day once again.  Find out more from this piece.

And to bring the argument to an end, this article tells us why technological innovation has become a priority for customer acquisition and retention.   

Conversion Optimization

One way to make conversion optimization easier is to understand what your most profitable economic units are. Whether it’s customers, customer categories, or products, treating them as distinct units is a good way to get more information about the source of your profits and make informed decisions. This piece will walk you through the process of defining units and using them to your advantage.  

Things to read or listen to

Practical eCommerce reminds us once again that content is king in a podcast with Adam Ryan from The Hustle. Find out how The Hustle built its team and the content, how they think traditional and online businesses should approach content, how to develop your voice, put your “human hat on” and more. Tune in here for all the advice you need from the content masters themselves, The Hustle.

In this week’s podcast, Molly Pittman and John Grimshaw talk to their partner in crime, Pepijn Hufen about how the idea of a “fractional” CMO led them to start their own business - Your Next Move Group - offering clients guidance and strategy at a fraction of the price. This will sound appealing to any online business, so tune in here to find out more about what you can get for a fraction of the costs of a CMO. 

The eCommerce week in numbers

The percentage of parents shopping online for children from kindergarten through to 12th grade (K-12 shoppers) has been on the rise since the pandemic started. From 29% of parents shopping online in 2019, the number went up to 37% in 2020 and is foreseen to rise by another 2% this year, according to a new survey from consulting firm Deloitte LLP. The study surveyed 1200 families with at least one child attending school in K-12 grade this year and found out other interesting facts too. The news is overall great for online retailers. It seems parents don’t only plan to do most of their shopping online, but also plan to spend more, $12.5 billion, up 20.2% from last year. If you share the fear many parents have said to have, i.e. limited stocks, read this article to help you prepare for the busy season ahead. 

We’ve gotten used to only hearing good predictions for online retailers. Just as well, because this piece brings us more. Research firm eMarketer predicts that in 2021, U.S. retail eCommerce sales will grow by 13.7%, reaching $909 billion. This is a testimony that the pandemic has caused an enduring shift in consumer habits and online shopping is not just a fad. Though consumers will slowly start spending on services such as travel, movies, and live entertainment rather than physical goods, online shopping is still forecast to reach sales levels previously not expected until 2024.

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This article was brought to you by Ana-Maria Carabelea

Ana-Maria is a content creator, copywriter and brand storyteller with extensive experience in eCommerce and the creative industries.

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