Weekly Recap of eCommerce News - W30

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August 6, 2021
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Weekly Recap

The internet is a great, yet overwhelming source of information. Every week, we read the articles published on eCommerce blogs, journals, and websites. We then curate and sum up what's hot and what’s not in eCommerce, and link to the information that matters to you. 

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

  • Advertising & Marketing Trends: Omnichannel for the Holiday Season; SMS Marketing; Marketing on a Shoestring Budget; Cookieless Advertising Strategies 
  • Platforms and Products: Shopify vs. Etsy; Selling on Instagram
  • Customer Experience: Designing for Engagement; Better Mobile Shopping Experiences
  • Customer Acquisition & Retention: Site Performance for the Peak Season; Full-Funnel Product Detail Pages; The SOSTAC Model; Google Cloud Retail Search; 
  • Headless Commerce: Going Headless; 
  • Conversion Optimization: Unified Checkouts; Checkout Innovation
  • Things to read or listen to: Andrew Chan, Cofounder of Aftership on Customer Retention 
  • The eCommerce week in numbers: Investment in eCommerce Technology;

Marketing and Advertising

If the busy holiday season already makes you freak out, omnichannel sales might help calm your nerves. In this article, Digital Commerce 360 looks at how omnichannel sales have fared thus far through the unpredictable times of the pandemic, and why they are likely to be the savior during the busiest time of the year, the winter holiday season. Find out also how other retailers are preparing their omnichannel for the end of the year. 

This week Yotpo dropped their comprehensive consumer survey on SMS marketing and it’s as good as gold. For those who have been toying with the idea of a new marketing channel, but prefer one that has been around long enough to have sufficient data on, the survey includes reasons why shoppers opt into SMS messaging, why they prefer it to other channels, what types of text messages they want to receive and when they want to receive them, as well as their reservations when it comes to SMS and six strategies for top-notch SMS marketing campaigns.

All marketers have had to work with tight budgets at some point in their careers. If you’re at that point, there’s no need to despair. Shopify has put together a list of organic marketing ideas precisely for these times. In this piece, you can find out how starting a blog, producing video content, social media marketing, affiliate programs and SEO can help you promote your brand even on a budget. 

For online advertisers, 2023 is synonymous with the end of the world as they know it. Google plans to phase out third-party cookies on Chrome, and contingency plans are already starting to be put in place. If you’re struggling to imagine a cookieless world, this article will help you paint a picture and prepare yourself for the inevitable.  

Platforms and Products

This might sound like comparing apples and pears, but there will be a few retailers out there that find themselves unable to decide between Etsy and Shopify. This article comes to solves the dilemma of choosing between the two by looking at ease of use, branding and design, domains and URLs, eCommerce features, marketing, and customer care, as well as the fees of each platform. 

Once you’re all set up on either of these two, you can turn to Instagram Shopping to boost sales. This article takes you through the steps and best practices of setting up Instagram Shopping and looks at what the top brands on Instagram do right. 

Customer Experience

eCommerce apps allow brands to stay close to their customers wherever they are. But how to design a user-friendly, instantly accessible app? E-Commerce Times spoke with several experts in the fields of mobile apps and customer experience (CX) in this piece and reported back a few of the key principles they follow when designing a mobile app: keep it simple, make it fun, use data, and finally, always look ahead.

For even more tips on how to create a solid mobile shopping experience and curb mobile cart abandonment, head over to this piece from Bold Commerce. 

Customer Acquisition & Retention

Inventory and on-time delivery are not the only issues retailers face during busy times. Site performance is also essential if you are to handle the crowds that enter the virtual doors of your shop during the holiday season. This article explains why website performance is important, and how to mitigate glitches and outages during busy periods.

The product detail pages have evolved to become the entire customer journey. In this article, Armando Roggio looks at the evolution of the full-funnel product page and the factors that drove the changes to help retailers understand how they should approach it. Get ready for real-life examples from Amazon product pages accompanied by some great advice.

The 6-step customer acquisition model: Situation Analysis, Objectives, Strategy, Tactics, Action, Control has been developed over 25 years ago and has since been tried, tested, and improved. This article explains each of the steps, and other models to be followed in conjunction to create a competitive long-term strategy, in a world in which Google and social media ad campaigns can be set up by anyone in a matter of minutes.

Last Tuesday, Google launched Google Cloud Retail Search to address the “search abandonment” and help retailers compete with Amazon. Find out from this piece, how the AI-powered service helps customers find what they are looking for and whether it has an edge on Amazon. 

Headless Commerce

There has been a lot of talk about the benefits of going headless on eCommerce blogs, but so far this is the first piece that actually gives step-by-step advice on how to switch to a headless architecture. The basic steps are to set business goals and sponsorship, start with a strategic pilot, identify a team(s) with proper skills, design the experience architecture, have a design system, and finally, establish experience operations. Learn how to make the transition easier and useful in the long run.

Conversion Optimization

Omnichannels seem to be a hit with customers, but only as long as they are backed by a powerful unified checkout experience. This article sums up the key points of a seamless checkout experience made possible by a headless architecture, one ​​that is both unified and customized. 

Since they are such a critical part of the online shopping experience, checkouts need constant improvement and innovation. This piece sets out a roadmap for retailers to ensure their checkout always responds to the ever-changing demands of customers, while this article goes into more detail about how headless can make different checkouts possible, and help drive conversion rates up. 

Things to read or listen to

This week, Andrew Chan, Co-Founder of tracking and post-purchase e-commerce platform Aftership spoke to eCommerce Times about customer retention and why it should be prioritized over customer acquisition. Read this interview to find out the reasons, as well as some tips on how to supercharge customer retention. 

The eCommerce week in numbers:

Whenever we’ve been speaking numbers in eCommerce lately, it’s has been good news. And this week is no exception. According to CB Insights, $31 billion has been invested into retail (brick-and-mortar and eCommerce) technology firms in Q2 of 2021, an increase of about 4% over Q1 2021 and more than triple the amount from Q2 2020. Find out who the companies that received the most investments and the top industries are from this piece.

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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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