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Weekly recap of eCommerce news - W34


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: What Makes or Breaks a Brand; Driving Sales on Social Media; Facebook Text Overlay
  • Platforms and Products: WooCommerce vs Volusion; Woo Commerce vs 3DCart; Automated Accounting for Increased Profitability
  • SEO: Search Engine Alternatives; What to Do about Spammy Backlinks 
  • Conversion Optimisation: Reducing Customer Acquisition Costs; 8 Steps to Start Your CRO Strategy; A/B Testing in 15 steps; Essential eCommerce KPIs
  • Headless Commerce: How to Get Started
  • Things to read or listen to: Podcast: Mack Weldon DTC Menswear
  • The eCommerce week in numbers: Online SMBs in the 2021 Next 1000; Home Goods Top the List of Needs

Marketing and Advertising

There are many things that can make or break a brand identity. Harvard professor Michael E. Porter’s competitive forces theory has become one of the most popular tools used when trying to understand the “structural, underlying drivers of profitability and competition”. This piece is a short and invaluable introduction to Porter’s thinking on the 5 competitive forces, meant to help those seeking to build a brand that will last.

There are very few things as certain as the fact that social media drives up sales for online businesses. But how to exploit social media to its full potential might still leave some puzzled. This article covers the goals you can define for your social media campaigns, from increasing brand awareness, driving website traffic, boosting brand engagement, or building a brand community to ultimately increasing revenue, plus the metrics you need to watch out for.

When thinking of social media and the ways in which it can help businesses flourish, we can’t stop at organic posts. The opportunities social media ads hold for online businesses, in particular, are endless and a good understanding of what makes social media ads work is essential. In this article, Karla Cooks covers the Facebook text overlay and how to use the 20% rule to create better ads.  

Platforms and Products

This week Cloudways set out on a mission to put WooCommerce against two other eCommerce platforms to see how it fares. WooCommerce vs Volusion compares the two platforms in terms of market share, features, ownership & hosting, security & encryption, design & usability, scalability, cost-effectiveness, customisability, plugin, and performance. WooCommerce vs 3DCart looks at ownership & hosting, security, scalability, usability, cost-effectiveness, customisability, community & support. No universal winners are declared, but this will surely help those still pondering to decide which platform best suits their needs.

Automated accounting may not be the first thing that comes to mind when defining strategies to increase the profitability of online businesses, but according to Jack M. Germain, by simplifying complex receivable vendor data, identifying, tracking, and resolving costly marketplace oversights, automated accounting can save businesses millions. Find out more about it here


When you say search engine you immediately think of Google. Though the two may have become synonymous, there are other search engines out there that offer quite a few perks, from increased data privacy to niche content and users. If you’re curious to explore beyond the known territories of Google, have a look at this list of possible destinations. 

With every new update, Google forces SEO managers to ask the question: what should we do about spammy links? Needless to say, you should refrain from running aggressive link-building campaigns that result in a lot of unnatural links to your website in the first place. The higher the number of low-quality links you have out there, the more urgent the need to disavow them. Get more advice on this matter from Bill Sebald, managing partner of SEO agency Greenlane.

Conversion Optimisation

Reducing customer acquisition costs is just another way to say conversion optimisation. There are many things you can do to reduce the customer acquisition costs, such as ensuring your target the right audiences, re-marketing, optimising the website, analysing the purchase journey, or focusing on retention. Find out from this piece what each of these steps means and why it’s worth having a strategy in place even though it’s not going to be easy or cheap. 

The topic of conversion rate optimisation has been tackled by this article on the HubSpot blog this week as well. This is a starter guide for those planning to kick start a transformation of their website that will allow it to work smarter and generate leads with a higher potential to convert. The article starts with a definition of conversion rate, proceeds to explain how and when websites can benefit from it, and finally, goes through 8 strategies that can be integrated into the process, like text-based CTAs, lead flows on blogs, run tests on landing pages, and more.

Every CRO strategy will involve a lot of A/B testing. If you’ve been convinced by the previous article that it’s time to start a website make-over to improve your conversion rates, this article is a must-read before you roll up your sleeves and get to work. It maps out the 15 steps you need to cover to run successful A/B testing and take all the learnings you can out of these tests.

The beauty of eCommerce is the data it can gather and the KPIs you can use not just as indicators of success, but as learning resources too. The stressful side of it is navigating your way through the many KPIs available and deciding which ones you should keep an eye on. This article sums up the 55 most critical KPIs in all aspects of your business, including sales, marketing, customer service, manufacturing, and store performance management.

Headless Commerce

Headless is great for some businesses, but might not be necessary for others. Before you jump on the bandwagon just because everyone else did, here’s a list of things you should consider when it comes to ways and contexts in which headless commerce can be implemented.

Things to read or listen to

Brian Berger founded Mack Weldon in 2012 out of sheer frustration with the department store experience. Tune in to this podcast to find out how he turned what seemed like a personal preference into a successful business, what strategies he used to sell out before that launch and how he found the right business partners.

The eCommerce week in numbers

Last week, Digital eCommerce 360 brought out the 2021 Next 1000, a ranking of online small and medium-sized online retailers with sales anywhere between $1 million and $32 million. Learn from this article who the top 2000 online small and medium-size businesses are, and what the challenges are for these types of businesses.

We all suspect what the top sold goods might have been during the pandemic. If your guess is home goods, you are proven right by a survey Digital eCommerce 360 that reported 63% of consumers list home goods as their top need. Find out what other categories were at the top of this list, as well as other consumer preferences from this report.

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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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