E-commerce has emerged as an indispensable component for businesses globally. In the US, e-commerce transactions account for a whopping 26.9% of total revenue generated, as per a recent IBIS World report. While the projected growth for the US is 12.1%, the CAGR for 2023-2027 for India and the UK are estimated at 14.11% and 7.7%, respectively, as per a Statista publication.
Riding on this wave, businesses are increasingly investing towards building successful e-commerce activity, something that depends on a strong online presence which can only be established through active digital marketing efforts.
Effective digital marketing helps businesses reach a global audience, engage with customers, measure and optimise campaigns, and build brand awareness in a rapidly changing online space. In this regard, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), visibility campaigns, website optimisation and insights from analytics are the major components of digital marketing activities that impact the long-term profitability of any business.
The Perils of Neglecting SEO
SEO helps improve the visibility of e-commerce websites on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). If the website is ranked higher, it is more likely to be seen by potential customers and can lead to higher organic traffic based on specific keywords and phrases that are relevant to the products or services.
E-commerce businesses failing to prioritise SEO will see that their products rarely appear in search engine results, resulting in low traffic, which will directly impact the e-commerce revenues. This will force them to rely heavily on paid advertising, which will eventually increase customer acquisition costs significantly.
Google recently updated its core algorithms, impacting the way SEO works and affecting website rankings of all businesses. In this context, businesses failing to focus on improving website quality will face a significant drop in rankings.
Any e-commerce business looking to improve its rankings needs to focus on proper keyword research, on-page optimisation, technical SEO, content strategy, link building and SEO-incorporated content to improve its site visibility and attract organic traffic. This in turn will lead to conversions. SEO is an ongoing process, and businesses must stay up-to-date.
Lessons From Ineffective, Underfunded Campaigns
Promotional campaigns play a crucial role in the success of an e-commerce business. These campaigns involve strategic and coordinated efforts to promote products, engage with customers and drive sales. Without them, e-commerce businesses will struggle to establish their online presence.
If such campaigns are done effectively, businesses will be able to engage with customers through social media, email marketing or other channels, and will enhance growth.
For instance, Amazon PPC ads, offered to Amazon’s third-party retailers, are becoming an increasingly important component of Amazon’s business success. Amazon strategically implements promotions year-round, targeting key events and significant occasions. The advantages of these well-planned campaigns effectively resonate with the audience, bolstering Amazon’s ability to sustain a competitive edge in the digital marketplace.
Reaching the target audience within the established budget at consistent intervals can help generate sales, measure results and engage customers on a global scale. When executed effectively, the results can lead to increased visibility, higher sales and a strong online presence.
Rescuing Online presence from Poor Optimisation
A decrease in website traffic will lead to fewer potential customers visiting the site. Website optimization failure in e-commerce can have far-reaching negative consequences, impacting user experience, search engine visibility, sales, brand reputation and overall business performance.
It is essential for e-commerce businesses to continuously invest in website optimization, such as site speed and performance, that impact metrics like conversion, searches per user, visits, engagement, bounce rate, article views and return users. This facilitates a seamless and efficient shopping experience for customers and maximises their online sales potential.
In 2019, Amazon encountered speed-related issues that adversely affected conversion rates and led to optimisation challenges. In response, they undertook a comprehensive optimisation effort on the backend of their website to rectify latency issues. Amazon’s stance on this matter is crystal clear: a mere 100 milliseconds of latency translates to a 1% reduction in sales.
Consequences of Overlooking Informed Decision-Making
The success of any business depends on how well it makes informed decisions. In the realm of e-commerce, the absence of well-informed decision-making is akin to navigating a ship without a map and can have detrimental consequences.
To avoid this, businesses need to harness the power of data analytics. Insights like cart abandonment, inventory management, customer segmentation, visitor tracking, behaviour analysis and trend analysis can help in understanding a brand’s pain points and areas to improve, providing data to adjust the e-commerce strategy.
Data analytics is the compass guiding businesses to the treasure trove of effective marketing channels, the sweet spot of target audiences and the holy grail of campaign optimisation. Neglecting this treasure map means squandering precious resources on marketing strategies that are about as effective as shouting into a void, missing the boat on connecting with target customers.
Data analytics helps in setting optimal pricing by considering factors like demand, competition and consumer behaviour. Without these insights, the business will misprice products and lose customers to competitors.
With the help of data analytics, Netflix completely changed how we consume entertainment. The Netflix recommendation engine uses complex algorithms to analyse user behaviour, watch history and preferences to suggest relevant content that caters to each user’s preferences. Through data analytics, the company was able to boost user engagement, extend viewing sessions and transform the customer experience.
E-commerce businesses need to allocate sufficient resources to their digital marketing efforts to effectively reach their target audience, drive conversions and stay ahead in a highly competitive online landscape. It underscores the consequences of inadequate investment in digital marketing, such as missed opportunities, reduced competitiveness and a diminished online presence.
E-commerce ventures should embrace data analytics to steer business in the right direction, charting a course for success in the vast sea of online commerce.