E-commerce is continuing to evolve rapidly and a huge number of articles are written each day. Everything from light opinion pieces, to “how to articles”, to deep data analysis (our favorites). It’s easy to start reading everything which often leads you to being overwhelmed by the volume. There is a solution….
To keep you updated on the most relevant trends and happenings in the e-commerce space, we’ve curated some informative articles for you on e-commerce strategies, marketing approaches and how e-commerce companies approach customer support and services. We hope these articles add value to your e-commerce business!
Commerce trends come and go like everything in life. Currently on the up is the subscription model for both products and services. Do you remember the Sony Disc of the month Club?
If you’re successful with a subscription model you can look forward to:
- More predictable revenues
- Inventory forecasting being easier
- Tighter customer relationships allowing you to solve (and monetize) more of their problems in the future
This doesn’t mean a subscription model is always going to apply to your company. One-off purchases like mattresses and luxury strollers aren’t plausible. But there are certainly a lot of successful case studies like regular mystery gift boxes, monthly underwear delivery, laundry services, NetFlix and food boxes that validate the model.
Delivering on Subscription services is often complex and is not included in most e-commerce platforms. For the Magento platform, the subscription models are either clunky (Aheadworks) or good but expensive (OrderGroove – which we have developed Braintree and Cybersource payment methods for). So, we took it into our own hands and built one that bridges the gap. Get in touch if you need a Magento subscription module.
Further Reading: Subscription model can help increase lifetime values.
Businesses selling to other businesses are not immune to the industry changing dynamics and market encroachment of e-commerce monsters like Amazon and Grainger. As the B2C market continues to mature, B2B is the next area of focus (and possibly domination) by players like Amazon.
Amazon’s B2B e-commerce approach is very channel friendly (for now) and leverages a lot of their B2C user experience and capabilities. For example, B2B sellers, like B2C sellers, can store inventory in Amazon’s more than 100 U.S. warehouses and let Amazon handle order fulfillment, a service called Fulfillment by Amazon.
If you are in a B2B segment and don’t have a solid e-commerce strategy in place with a channel component, you better get started quickly, because your competitors probably have one already.
SEO: Most Online Shoppers Start at Amazon and Google, Study Says
A recent study by PowerReviews (the product reviews syndication platform) called “Mapping the Path to Purchase” found that 38% of shoppers search on Amazon to begin their shopping journey, closely followed by Google with 35%.
21% went to an online retail or brand shop, and the last 6% went to other e-commerce marketplaces.
A key take-away, is that to acquire traffic, you really need to have your product visible on both Amazon and Google. To be successfully, you need to utilize a combination of best SEO practices, channel feeds, and advertising to get the placement and traffic.
You can read about the results of studies here.
In the world of home design, Houzz is one of the e-commerce heavyweights and their investment in design, content and the underlying technology platform’s capabilities is very apparent. From your initial impression through to the checkout process, Houzz is inspiring.
Commerce + Content
As a lifestyle site, Houzz invests a tremendous amount of effort and $ into merchandising and content creation. Beyond just blog posts and articles with rich images, they tie the content to their products and their specific product listings. Given the importance of SEO when acquiring new e-commerce customers, the strategy both entices and engages visitors.
Unlike most e-commerce sites, the Product Detail Page (PDP) on Houzz is fixed width. This is a unique twist and allows them to do a lot more merchandizing “above the fold” than many other comparable sites.
How does your mobile presence stack up to your peers? With mobile contributing between 9% and 50% of revenues across industries, if you don’t have a mobile strategy, it is probably going to impact your revenues pretty soon (if it hasn’t already). Online buyers consistently take the path of least resistance when making purchases. If your site is desktop only, or difficult to use, customers will take the path that is easiest for them, and will buy elsewhere.
Check out this article from Marketing Sherpa. Some industries have lots of merchants receiving over 50% of their revenues via mobile.
THE BOTTOM LINE
That’s all for our July edition! As always our team will continue to search the web to bring you the very latest trends in e-commerce. Check back next month to find out what is happening in the world of e-commerce. Remember, staying ahead of the game puts you in the drivers seat. Have a great month.