Around half of the online marketing clients that I work with at GPMD are ecommerce, so we spend a lot of time thinking of new ways that they can generate more traffic / sales. I believe that the following five areas represent significant opportunities for online retailers as, in the vast majority of industries, there will still be an opportunity to be one of the early adopters.
Rich Snippets (Microdata, Microformats & RDFa):
One of the biggest developments in Google’s results pages in 2011 was the introduction of new rich snippets, which included apps, events, product pricing and author information.
Those who choose to implement the required markup to display rich snippets will be able to further entice users to click-through to their page by providing a more compelling indication of what can be found on the page.
Price is a particularly important one for ecommerce sites.
In addition to the current markup being actively used by search engines, there is a lot more that we should all be looking to implement – allowing us to outline more information about any given page.
There have been a number of good posts about this (including this one on SEOmoz), but by visiting schema.org you can find out exactly what code you can add to your site.
Mobile / Responsive Design:
Over the last couple of years, the amount of people using their mobile phone to browse the internet has increased significantly – resulting in lots of companies introducing responsive websites or mobile sites to facilitate for them.
I attended a Google seminar at the end of last year and one of their representatives referenced the following statistics:
- 79% of online advertisers don’t have a mobile-friendly website
- At the time – Amazon had recorded over four billion mobile sales
- Over 10% of traffic in industries such as travel and finance is mobile
- Over 30% of flowers sold on mothers day were from mobiles
- At the time – there were over 23m mobile internet users
(read my blog post about the event for more statistics)
These statistics illustrate that mobile traffic is increasing – yet only 21% of online advertisers have mobile-friendly sites! We’re working on responsive designs for a number of our ecommerce clients, as research clearly shows that mobile users are far more likely to convert on a user-friendly site.
Now is the best time to invest in mobile as many of your competitors will still be dragging their heels.
I would recommend reviewing how much mobile traffic is coming to your website before deciding how much of an opportunity it represents for your business.
Adding quality images and video content to your product pages is a great way to show customers how the product can benefit them. Video content is easier for users to view than text and you can add a voice over or subtle text to portray key messages and selling points.
A couple of years ago, Zappos began adding videos to their product pages, featuring real people outlining the benefits of the shoes that they sold. They are now one of the most commonly referenced case studies – reportedly increasing their conversion rate by over 6%.
Use Twitter for Lead Generation:
By using Twitter’s advanced search or tools like Topsy, you can filter tweets that are asking questions, looking for guidance or are generally relevant to your business. You can reply to these tweets and maybe direct them to a blog post or product on your website.
Whilst you’re pursuing leads and building your brand, you’re also engaging with customers and building relationships – adding to the benefits of doing so.
Great example of creativity on Pinterest from Peugoet.
So, Pinterest is the network on everyone’s lips at the moment – generating over 13,000,000 unique visits in February 2012. As Pinterest continues to grow in popularity, so does the opportunity for online retailers!
This level of traffic on its own indicates why retailers should be taking action, but as this video states, Pinterest is an even bigger opportunity for luxury retailers for the following reasons:
- The nature of the site
- 60% of users are college educated
- 70% of users are female
- Majority of users aged between 25-44
You can also add price tags and descriptions to your pins, adding to the proposition for the user.
If you have any questions about any of these points, please feel free to address them in the comments below or on Twitter.