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Key takeaways from a recent E-commerce conference

Our monthly contribution from Andrew Leon Walker of Rame Marketing

Last week I attended the E-commerce South West event in Bristol where the focus was “maximizing the potential of your business online”. There were some extremely interesting and diverse speakers and I thought I’d take this opportunity to share some of the key takeaways. Some of the presentations were a little “techie” so I thought I’d concentrate on the snippets that are most actionable and easy to digest.

The general theme running through all of the presentations was that businesses which are gaining an advantage over the competition include those which have moved from a “marketing-centric offer” towards a “customer-centric delivery”. That sounds like a common-sense approach, but how many of us have experienced massive frustrations when trying to buy something online?

Key Takeaways

Content is king, context is queen but your mobile audience should be at the heart of your marketing offer. Google is now showing Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) in the search results as this Moz article explains. With Google taking a mobile first approach and more searches taking place on mobile devices than desktops, this is an important factor to bear in mind. AMP pages don’t give you a ranking advantage in search (at least not yet) but they will offer your visitors a better customer experience. And if your site is not mobile friendly, your mobile visitors will probably leave and take a look at your what your competitors are offering. Today’s customer journey takes place over multiple devices so you need to offer the same user experience across mobile, tablet and desktop.

Less can be more. It’s reckoned that only 50% of content on a web page is read, so don’t be afraid to simplify the content of your site. Make it easy to scan content by using short paragraphs and bullet points. Heat map experiments show that users are not scrolling too far down a web page either on a mobile or a desktop, so keep your Call To Action (CTA) and key messages ‘above the fold’ or towards the beginning of your page.

You probably have an understanding of what search terms visitors are using to get to your site and you can get some information from Google Analytics and Google Search Console. But if your site offers onsite search functionality you can glean some interesting search terms from digging a little deeper into Google Analytics regarding the questions users are asking when they’re on your site. This information can then form the basis of articles and blogs.

If you’re running a PPC campaign (and you probably should be) don’t forget that not everyone who clicks through to your site makes a purchase first time. So take advantage of Remarketing on Google and Facebook to remind your visitors to return to your site through a relevant Ad and CTA.

Test, Test and Test again. The old saying “walk a mile in your customers’ footsteps” still rings very true. Explore your site from the perspective of your customer. Where are the barriers and the blocks? If you have enough visitors to your site to make it viable, use A/B testing to compare which pages provides the best results. Keep your sign-up and registration pages as simple as possible as there is a direct correlation between the number of contact fields and the drop out rate.

In Summary

It’s a busy world out there and we don’t operate in a vacuum. Making it as easy as possible for your customers to deal with your business will provide a competitive advantage and there are plenty of tools available to help test and improve the Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) of your website.

Technology is driving change, Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are just around the corner and will have an impact on how we promote our business (and not just for gaming). Digital disruption is happening now; don’t be the next Blockbuster or Kodak.

Andrew Leon Walker runs Rame Marketing and provides consultancy to BMON. Read about his Outsourced Marketing Packages here

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