Pivotal Elements for Ecommerce Success in 2018

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Here are a few key tips for succeeding at e-commerce in 2018, related to technologies, SEO, and other aspects of business:

 

Friendlier checkout

 

No one, of course, wants to get stuck in checkout: for the same reason we avoid the long line at the supermarket, we do not want it to take us 10 minutes to enter card information and get through to the confirmation page. Checkout is getting easier to achieve, and much faster, through wallet apps and mobile payments.

 

Social media

 

We all understand how pivotal social media can be for the success of a business. In its early years, this platform was considered more of a side-effort to ecommerce meant to increase awareness of the brand and build relationships. Today, it has become fundamental to ecommerce success. Consider that many people are now buying products straight through Instagram.

 

Content

 

Search engines place a great deal of emphasis on the originality of content on a site. In other words, the more high-quality, fresh, creative ideas and images that are presented on your site, the more likely people are to find it.

 

The issue for ecommerce sites is that they will often have many different products and need descriptions for each. Since it is so daunting to come up with your own content related to these products, you may end up simply reposting stock material from the manufacturer. That approach is detrimental because descriptions are a great opportunity to catch the attention of the search spiders by avoiding the sin of duplicate content. The core rule with original content is not to focus it excessively on sales but to provide information as a free, user-friendly resource. The information you share should be useful and help people to compare and contrast different product options.

 

Similar to using the same language as the manufacturer, you do not want to use databases and templates that are used elsewhere. These elements will also hurt your rankings because Google and Bing know that you are not the first to use them. Change all content so it is your own, thoroughly reframing and rewording the descriptions. Use appropriate keywords while avoiding keyword stuffing.

 

Video

 

Typically the first concern people will have when they want content is text and relevant images for their product or service pages, blogs, and social media. However, video is becoming more dominant. One estimate suggests that video will account for 80% of all web traffic by 2020. It is a way to have something similar to a one-on-one presentation to the customer even though you are in different locations.

 

Figures suggest that video is powerful enough to result in 97% higher purchase intent and 200-300% higher click-through rates.

 

There are all kinds of tools and platforms for creating strong and unique video for your offerings. With Slidely, you have an environment that is integrated into your social profiles for immediate sharing. You can find out locations of viewers and how long people stay tuned with analytics from Wistia or similar systems.

 

No approach is right for every video. However, live videos will generally create a greater boost. Compared to pre-recorded video, live video can drive as much as 300% higher engagement.

 

Storytelling

 

Content is something to strategize in volume, but it is also something to consider from a more granular perspective if you want it to yield an incredible impact. Today, companies that excel at user experience and relationship are going beyond simply displaying and describing products to developing a compelling brand story. To craft your narrative, work with content professionals to build them; and then integrate them company-wide, throughout social platforms, email newsletters, order confirmations, and packaging.

 

Augmented reality

 

Augmented reality (AR) is a developing and sophisticated way to attract the focus of your target. It is fast and gives your audience a sense of immersion within your brand. Some thought-leaders think that AR will become a bigger part of social platforms in 2018 – and that is almost stating the obvious. An AR feature within Snapchat allows users to “project” their image and include Bitmoji. As with the Place app by IKEA, it is also possible for a retailer to project products within the homes of social users.

 

Automation

 

Ecommerce automation has become a central concern for merchants. Increasingly, the sophistication of your automation mechanisms will determine if you are able to keep up with competitors.

 

Automation is a broad task since it is a practice that can be applied diversely. One possible element for automation is fraud (in which you can protect yourself in a similar manner to spreading your message with marketing automation). For automated fraud prevention, ecommerce systems will allow you to set rules that allow you to automatically forward any items that have estimated mid-range risk to the finance department immediately. When risk is high, you could have the automated system respond with a cancellation.

 

From a general perspective, automation frees up time so that you and your staff are not constantly entangled in mundane tasks.

 

Personalization

 

The time that you can save through automation can be redirected to emergent and ongoing big-picture concerns such as personalization. Personalization allows your display of products and content of emails to perfectly suit the particular person and situation.

 

Visitor review system

 

People will often abandon ecommerce sites because they do not trust them. A sense of uneasiness may continue with a person into the checkout process if they do not see any information validating a choice that they are ready to make.

 

With easily available reviews from other customers, the shopper will get a boost of confidence from the buyer’s perspective. The other positive of customer reviews is that they are user-generated and contain original comments that will add to your SEO power just like producing your own blog articles does.

 

Robots.txt

 

You can let a search spider know that it should only read specific portions of your site via the robots.txt file. By informing the search engines what pages are relevant for public use, you make it easier on them and save your own bandwidth.

One good use of the robots file is to section off parts of your site for exclusion from these scans so that you can work on the SEO within some areas while continuing to submit the stronger portions for search consumption.

 

Anchor text with keywords

 

With internal links, you are best served with keywords in the anchor text. That approach allows better description to users prior to clicking. User experience is improved in this manner, and you will get higher click-through rates.

 

301 redirects

 

You may have inbound links from other sites that lead to products you have removed (in turn meaning the page is no longer live). You want to get the positive search juice from those links, though; and you do not want people who click them to end up at dead ends. A 301 redirect will forward people who go to out-of-stock items to other pages that are similar to their needs.

 

High-performance infrastructure

 

To implement any 2018 ecommerce strategy, it is critical to have strong hardware and support to back you. At Total Server Solutions, we provide high-performance infrastructure and thoughtfully engineered services that are different, innovative, and responsive. See our approach.