Weekly recap of eCommerce news - W31

Arrow Blog
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August 13, 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: Content Marketing Ideas for September; Google Ads New ‘Strikes’ Policy; Best Free Email Marketing Software; Retargeting Campaigns for Beginners; Social Media Ads for the Holidays
  • Platforms and Products: eCommerce Accounting Automation; Shopify vs. Shopify Plus
  • Customer Experience: Listening to the Voice of Consumer
  • Customer Acquisition & Retention: Customers’ Expectations in 2021; Pricing Strategies
  • Conversion Optimization: Amazon’s Traffic & Conversion Tactics; Best Product Page Designs 
  • Things to read or listen to: The History of the Shopping Cart; Podcast: The Charitable Bike Brand and Its Road to 7-Figure Sales; Podcast: Why is Digital Marketing so Hard?; Interview: Logiq CEO Tom Furukawa on eCommerce Trends; The Successful eCommerce retailer Checklist
  • The eCommerce week in numbers: Etsy’s Continuous Growth; Overstock.com’s Continuous Growth; 

Marketing and Advertising

Scratching your head over how to keep your customers engaged after the summer? Look no further than this article written by Armando Roggio with 5 ideas for your content marketing that should get you and your customers through the post-holiday blues. 

Google announced that starting September, advertisers who repeatedly violate ad policies will face account pauses and indefinite suspensions. As most advertisers don’t intentionally break the regulations, it’s important to understand what Google considers a violation and how you can avoid making the tech giant into your enemy. Here’s a breakdown of the penalties and the steps you need to take to avoid them. 

Email is going nowhere. It’s probably one of the least divisive opinions of your times. And since email usage is at an all-time high and businesses rely on it to reach out and engage with their customers, it’s good to know what free email marketing software is out there. Here’s a list of the top 13 email marketing tools and their most important features. 

Retargeting campaigns are some of the safest bets in the advertising landscape. Retargeting campaigns are typically served those who have already visited your website or are a contact in your database, aka people that are very likely to purchase. If you need a starter kit to help you set up your first retargeting campaign, here’s one that is sure to come in handy.  

For the past few weeks, the eCommerce world has been fretting about the upcoming holiday season. Preparations are in full swing and now is a good time to start thinking about how your social media ads will look like. Here are 10 ideas to get those creative juices flowing. 

Platforms and Products

No matter how good the numbers look, no one likes doing the books. But accounting automation is essential for eCommerce stores not just to take off the burden of dealing with numbers. Find out how it can help you stay compliant, have better cash flow visibility, manage your inventory easily, streamline end-of-month reconciliation and calculate your profitability rate from this piece.

As companies grow, their needs change and platform flexibility becomes essential. Check out this piece about the difference between Shopify and Shopify Plus to understand when the time has come for your business to unlock Shopify’s more advanced functionalities. 

Customer Experience

Consumers decide how good is the usability of a website and listening to their voice should be the starting point for any redesign project. This piece presents two ways of “listening” to consumers: getting passive feedback and conducting user testing. Find out what are the advantages of each of these methods and how to best use them to get valuable insights and make informed design decisions.


Customer Acquisition & Retention

No matter how quickly we return to normal, the fact of the matter is that the pandemic has changed the retail landscape for good. Pamela Hazelton has summed up a checklist of consumer expectations from online retailers post-pandemic. Worth a look if you want to be prepared for when the brick-and-mortar competition comes back.

It’s hard to talk about customer acquisition and retention without discussing the different pricing strategies and the impact they can have on consumers’ purchasing decisions. This week we came across two interesting articles that parse the notions of promotional pricing and introductory price, explain their pros and cons, offer best practices and brands examples that used them right. You can read all about promotional pricing here before you move on to introductory pricing here

Conversion Optimization

Whether we like it or not, Amazon knows a thing or two about conversions. In this video, DJ Sprague - Chief Marketing Officer at Shopper Approved and Pamela Hazelton - Practical Ecommerce Contributor unveil some of the tactics used by the giant that can also be used by businesses of all sizes. Tune in for tips on how to get high-ranking product pages on Google, the most frequently asked questions by consumers, key product-page components to increase conversions, and the story of a merchant who achieved a 75% conversion rate. 

Creating the perfect product page, i.e. giving just enough information to convince but not too much to overwhelm customers, is not easy. It might take many trials and errors before you get it just right, but the good news is you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. You can learn a lot from the numerous examples of great product pages online. Lindsay Kolowich Cox put together her love list here accompanied by reasons why those pages rock. 

Things to read or listen to

Shopping carts have been part of our lives for some time now. If you work in retail, you probably think about shopping carts day-in and day-out and have made it your mission to increase their value. But today’s carts have come a long way from their beginnings. Read all about the light-bulb ideas, artistic interpretations, and even a psychological theory on social behavior that mark the history of the shopping cart, here

In a recent episode of Shopify Masters, Shuang Esther Shan talks to Jem Stein, founder of The Bike Project. The Bike Project restores and resells used bikes, and at the same time donates bikes to refugees to promote a more cost-effective and active way to commute while adjusting to life in the UK. The project has quickly “cycled” down the road towards 7-figure sales. Find out all about it from this podcast, that might just restore your faith in humanity. 

This week, Molly Pittman and John Grimshaw try to answer the question: why is digital marketing so **** hard? Reflecting the levels of frustration many digital marketers have probably felt throughout their careers, this podcast discusses the unique conditions that make digital marketing difficult and gathers advice about how to reinstate the boundary between personal and business.

Jack M. Germain of eCommerce Times spoke to Logiq CEO Tom Furukawa last week about the global trends in eCommerce, how eCommerce and m-commerce influence the entire economic landscape, the role of market intelligence in the global commerce space, and more. You can read about his predictions in this interview.

eCommerce retailers are trying to tick the boxes that will help them turn their business into a success story. But what are those boxes and how should your go about trying to tick them? This article sums up all the aspects of an eCommerce business that determine its success. 

The eCommerce week in numbers:

Brick and mortar shops have reopened their doors, but that doesn’t scare Etsy. They have recently reported a $3.04 billion total value of goods sold for the second quarter ended June 30, 2021, on Etsy.com and Reverb.com, up 13.1% year over year. Moreover, Etsy’s GMS per active buyer on its marketplace grew 22% year over year. The marketplace does not plan on slowing down and also announced how it plans to integrate its two most recent acquisitions Depop and Elo7. Read all about it here.

The home furnishings web-only retailer, Overstock.com also reported a 4% growth in Q2. 94% of the revenue came from home products and as a result, the company plans to stop selling other products in the next year. Although the sales growth is slowing down, Overstock.com CEO Jonathan Johnson remains optimistic. Read all about it here.

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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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