2020 eCommerce trends: Is Your Site Ready?

2020 eCommerce trends: Is Your Site Ready?

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You heard it right, the big retailers will be closed on Thanksgiving 2020. Walmart and Target will operate solely online during Thanksgiving. This can make online shopping for the 2020 holiday season hit sales records.  

The COVID-19 pandemic drove businesses and customers online. This year online sales have already surpassed Black Friday and Cyber Monday figures of previous years. That’s why it seems most of this holiday season shopping will happen online. According to a recent study, there would be a 73% increase in online shopping compared to last year. So, how can you make the most of this holiday season? In this article, we share insights and tips to get your shopping campaigns ready. 

Holiday Season 2020 Ecommerce: How Is it Going to Look?

The closing of the big retailers for in-store shopping this year will open e-commerce’s greatest window of opportunity. Below you can find the main dates and three eCommerce trends to consider in the next months:

 

Holiday Sales Important Dates

  • October 13-14 – Amazon Prime Day 
  • October 31st – Halloween
  • November 27th- Black Friday Deals
  • November 30th- Cyber Monday
  • December 24th- Christmas Eve
  • January 1st- New Year Sales
  • February 14th- Valentine’s Day

 Ecommerce will grow further this holiday season

If before the pandemic, eCommerce was booming, now it is soaring. COVID-19 accelerated online spending in 2020. Brands needed to adapt quickly, to avoid losing customers. Nike, for example, is integrating digital and in-store sales, powering direct-to-customer selling strategies. Ecommerce will let customers access their favorite brands during the holiday season while staying safely at home. 

 

Retailers, affiliates, associates, and shopping sites should prepare for the coming growth of demand. If your shopping campaigns are not up to date, do it now. Focus on providing your potential buyers exactly what they are looking for.  

Customer trends shifting to online shopping

The new normal is shaping the way we work and shop. More than half of Americans said the pandemic crisis was an opportunity to change their lifestyle. Shopping is not an exception. Here are some key consumer trends that you should take into account:

 

Deal seeking- more than ever, consumers are searching for deals online for their holiday shopping. If you are a brand, consider how to maximize your online exposure to catch those Black Friday shoppers. If you own digital property or a shopping comparison site, this is the time to present the best deals for your visitors, with relevant shopping ads to help them decide. 

 

Loyalty-  as people adapt to buying more things online, they are also more “on the look” for new online brands and retailers. If the brand or site satisfies expectations, it is very likely customers will continue purchasing there. This holiday season, ensure your shopping site is functioning top notch. Relevant product ads can help your visitors discover their new favorites. 

 

Apps- shopping app revenue in the US doubled since mid-march. Shopping apps are convenient, ready where people are (their phones). Sure, they don’t always work well and may have a different inventory. If you are a brand or an online store, consider a mobile app to reach customers everywhere. 

 

How Can Your Business Make the Most of the Holiday Season 2020?

Both retailers and shopping sites need to prepare and up their game for the upcoming influx of online customers. As shopping platforms like Amazon get saturated with sellers, retailers should aim to push their products through ads on shopping comparison sites and on searches. 

If You Are a Retailer 

The critical word here is exposure. You should get the right exposure for your products on the right websites. Your target customer needs to find your product online easily. Product ads are an excellent way to promote your product. Especially on shopping comparison sites, where you already have a high intent customer looking for the best buy.  

How to create the most attractive ad? If you want your ad to stand out for the right customers, here are several tips for an effective ad: 

  1. Your ad should be relevant. Use the most popular query keywords in the ad titles and text. 
  2. Select an attractive image that showcases the product
  3. Speak the language of your customers
  4. Be specific about the need of the customer
  5. Show benefit for the customer buying your product
  6. Include a call to action

 

If You Have a Shopping Comparison Website

Optimize the monetization of your digital property. To attract high intent buyers right where they are shopping, add the Shopping Fuel solution. Product shopping ads are visible at the top of SERPs, making your offer more visible. 

You can also leverage content to attract shoppers. Create sponsored content for brands and publish it on your site. The content can be infographics, product reviews, offers, announcements. This approach is best for sites of high influence and value.  

Make the Most of the Holiday Peak Sales With CodeFuel

Turn your visitors into customers with CodeFuel Shopping Ads. It is designed to work specifically on price comparison, content, search engines, and eCommerce sites, or any search result pages. You can display products by various sellers and affiliates. Get ready for the highest online sales season with CodeFuel, contact us today to learn how. 

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Back to School Shopping in Our New Normal: Tips for Retailers

Back to School Shopping in Our New Normal: Tips for Retailers

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Typically, the back to school shopping season is a peak sales time. This year, the back to school season is nothing but full of uncertainty. Since the plans to reopen schools keep changing, parents are taking a wait-and-see approach to buy school supplies. 

Some states intend to return to in-person classes, while some districts are resuming a hybrid approach. Parents are unsure if kids will need backpacks or zoom-friendly shirts. Merchants are unsure of where to focus their marketing strategies. Retailers that are used to having a prime season during July and August, will need to adapt to a changing market.  

In this post, we’ll analyze the impact of the changes and give you tips to adapt to the new normal. 

How Is Back to School Shopping Changing in the New Normal?

COVID-19 is affecting how people work, live and spend. It is also affecting the way we learn. While most schools were closed for two months or more, teachers resorted to alternate methods of learning. This didn’t impress parents, which are concerned with academic readiness for the next grade. 

COVID-19 changed the learning format

According to the Deloitte consumer survey, over 79% of families got digital learning content for school, during school closures, with 32% having classes via live-stream.This requires digital equipment, laptops and desktop computers. 

 However, not all the alternatives were well received by parents, who preferred live streaming sessions and digital learning content to other learning resources. 

There is high uncertainty about the new school season- 

Since it is unclear yet what format will school take place this year, shoppers are uncertain about what to buy and when. Besides health concerns, almost half of lower income shoppers have financial concerns. since they would need to buy technology equipment that is expensive.

The New Spending Trends

Increase in Tech Purchases

Customers want to be prepared. Therefore, parents are shifting their purchases, just in case schools don’t reopen and students’ requirements change. 

There is a marked increase in tech purchases, specially in the category of computers and hardware. In addition, parents are turning into digital resources to supplement or substitute in-person school education. This includes e-learning platforms, licenses for educational tools and digital devices.

Increase in online shopping  

48% of customers still feel unsafe going to stores to make back to school purchases. As a result, online shopping has not decreased. On the contrary, have gained terrain from in-store purchases. Therefore, physical stores are incorporating online stores and applications,  

Another trending pattern is the increase in shopping using personal computers instead of mobile, because of customers staying and working from home more. 

Although consumers still prefer buying school supplies on big retailers, almost half of customers intend to purchase back to school supplies on online stores. Moreover,  online shopping is the preferred way of shopping for higher income buyers. 

Retailers will have to adapt to catch these changes in consumer habits. Now is not the time to wait for what happens with the stimulus and the schools reopening. Companies should pivot and catch the opportunity of back to school sales. 

5 Tips to Adapt your Business to the New Normal

Focus on Online Shopping

Back to school, shopping involves adding up a list of low value items. It is easy to just throw them in the cart while checking off the list. Searching for and adding things to an online cart is often a bit more complicated. 

You can help your customers by easing the online purchasing experience. Features like collection pages that bundle related or frequently used products can ease the customer experience. 

Another obstacle is the shipping cost. Justifying shipping on large purchases is one thing, but school supplies orders are rarely worth paying shipping. To overcome this obstacle, you can offer free shipping with a minimum order purchase amount. 

Shift Your Marketing to Electronic and Technology

Until last year, clothing and accessories were the largest share of the back to school shopping. Uniforms, backpacks, shoes and accessories, for example. However, shopping trends have shifted away from these. Companies should then focus their offers to essentials like pens, notebooks, and technology items.

Improve Your on-site search

Help your customers find what they are looking for by improving your search box. Some pointers that can be helpful:

  • Make the search box visible and at the top of the page. 
  • Add autocomplete to make the search easier
  • Add a “recommended product” feature. This will help you upsell complementary add-ons and show customers related items.

 Use Discounts and Special Offers

Price is still the most important factor in influencing back to school shopping. You can attend to this demand by offering discounts and offers, like bundle discounts or a certain amount off with purchases over certain orders. 

Offer Convenience

Customers demand more convenience than ever because of the stress of juggling work and home life during the pandemic. Nobody has time or patience for long or complicated purchasing journeys. Offer your customers features that maximize their convenience, like same-day delivery, curbside pickup, or a mobile shopping app. 

The Bottom Line

Uncertain times call for innovative solutions. Companies on the back to school market should adapt to these trying times by following these tips: 

  • Shifting into technology and essential items. 
  • Focusing on online shopping
  • Improving your search features 
  • Tap on convenience

Although it is still unsure what shape will take this school year, hopefully, this article can help you convert your visitors and increase on back to school sales. 

 

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Features and Solutions Your e-Commerce Site Cannot Miss

Features and Solutions Your e-Commerce Site Cannot Miss

When you shop online you want to find quickly what you are looking for and fast checkout, right? Users want eCommerce websites to be attractive, functional, and easy to use. Your website’s success depends not only on what you offer and how well you market the site but mainly on what features the website offers to the user. 

The internet is full of useful solutions that promise to increase traffic and boost conversions. A quick search can show hundreds of tutorials about how to turn your website into an Internet success. What features and solutions are essential for a successful eCommerce website? Let’s explore.   

What Makes a Successful eCommerce Site?

In a world with over 47 billion websites and with the average conversion rate between 2-3%, you need to stand out to get people to opt-in, engage and buy. These tips and solutions can help you increase your conversion rates and lead your e-commerce to success. 

#1: Optimize your Website for Fast Loading Time

Just two seconds.

That’s the time the average Internet user will wait for your website to load. In this age of instant gratification, if your website takes longer to load,  53% of customers will continue on to other sites. There are a few actions you can take to ensure your website’s loading speed is in shape. 

  1. Figure out your baseline speed – you can use GMetrix, Google Page Speed Insights or another speed checker. Make sure you check both your mobile and desktop speeds.speed test ecommerce sites
  2. Use a high performing hosting plan – if your host is offering several plans, check that you are using the high performing version. It may cost more, but it pays off in the long run with increased conversions. 
  3. Optimize images – large or heavy images can slow your website speed. You can compress your images by resizing, cropping or changing the format. If you are not the DIY type, you can opt for using an optimizer tool. A quick search can offer you both free and paid options. 

#2: Track and Optimize Performance

You can’t improve what you cannot measure, so the saying goes. You need to know about your website traffic with real-time data to optimize it.

#3: Don’t forget SEO and CRO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) optimizes the content so search engines can get your site ranked higher in Search Engines Result Pages (SERPs). Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) optimizes content for users to get them to complete the call-to-action.

You would want to use them together to increase both traffic and conversions. But optimizing your content for both SEO and CRO is not that easy. Search engines algorithms focus on three key factors to determine page rank:

  • keywords and on-page SEO
  • content quality 
  • usage data

Not only you need to improve your SEO to get visitors to your site, but make sure the on-page copy is built for conversion. There are a lot of free and paid tools to check if your website’s copy and content are on target, many of them with free trial periods. 

Give Quality Content and Strong Copy

A strong copy increases conversions by addressing the user query,  driving action, and building relationships with the customers. But first, you need to attract the visitor’s attention to read your content. According to an eye-tracking study, most people don’t read every word of a page, instead, they scan for the most interesting content first.

#4: Give Your Customers What They’re Looking For, and Quickly

Visitors tend to leave a site if it takes too long to find what they’re looking for. Here are a few ways you can help your customers in their search: 

Manage the product categories

Customers looking for a product search based on keywords. That’s why it is important to tag products in a way they can fit into multiple subcategories. For example, if someone is looking for a “wireless headset” but you only have it listed as “gaming headset”, the visitor can understand you don’t carry the product and leave.  

Managing your products categories can help them find what they are looking for right away. Every e-commerce site builder and platform has different product taxonomy processes, so make sure to check yours. 

Optimize your search and recommendations

You can help users find the product they are searching for by optimizing your site search and recommendations. Changes in design can attract visitors to your search functions. Here are some recommendations:

  • Make your search box scroll as the visitor scrolls down
  • Add a call-to-action text to your search box
  • Use autocomplete and offer suggestions
  • Add a “you may also like” features. This ensures your customer always gets value from your site. 

Use Product Ads and Leverage Intent

You can add product shopping ads like ShoppingFuel to further aid potential customers to search and find you. 

Product shopping ads appear following a user search query at the top of the search engine result pages. Therefore, using product ads you can drive more traffic to your website, and help boost your ranking while drawing the attention of high-intent buyers. 

#5:  Focus on the User Experience

Visitors tend to stay and return to sites that provide a great customer experience. There are a few tips to make your customer journey a smooth ride from landing page to check out:

    • Smooth navigation – ensure your interface is user friendly. The rule of thumb is:  simpler, the better. Provide an easy-to-find menu with very few steps to checkout. 
    • Eliminate checkout barriers –  accepting multiple payment options and don’t require every customer to register to buy. Sometimes all a customer wants is to buy a T-shirt. 
    • Go after abandoned carts– if a customer doesn’t complete a purchase, you need to know why and how to fix it. A 

#6: Go mobile

These days a mobile-first or a mobile-friendly site is a must have for any eCommerce business. Customers make half of their online purchases from their phones. So, ensure your website is fully responsive, following the same standards of user experience and easy checkout that your desktop version. And, since search engine algorithms are prioritizing mobile-first sites, having a mobile-friendly site also helps with page ranking. 

What Are the Essential Solutions for an E-Commerce Website?

In summary, the essential solutions for a successful website  are the ones that help your eCommerce site serve customers faster and better by:

  • Loading faster
  • Giving quick and accurate query results- giving value and transforming searchers into buyers.
  • Provide a smooth customer journey – including simplifying the checkout.
  • Track and optimize performance

Solutions such as CodeFuel’s ShoppingFuel and SearchFuel, provide value to your potential buyers, increasing conversion, and retention. And a happy visitor is a loyal customer. Contact us to learn how we can help. 

Tips to monetize user searches and boost conversions

Tips to monetize user searches and boost conversions

Statistics show that 90% of Internet users which reported search activity visited an online retail site or store, of which 74% purchased a product online. E-commerce is booming, and despite the re-opening of malls and physical stores, consumers still prefer shopping online.

Your customers are visiting your site and you can optimize this opportunity to monetize their search. This article shows you how.

What Users Search: Do. Know. Go

When users search the Internet, they want to perform one of three major action categories: Do, Know and Go.

Do” searches are also known as transactional queries. Users look to perform a specific action, such as purchasing a product or booking a service. These are the kind of queries that e-commerce sites look for.

Know” searches are informational queries. Users want to learn about a specific subject. This kind of queries can sometimes lead to “do” queries. For example, if a user wants to select their next holiday destination, they may start with a generic query [summer holidays south Europe] and then filter until they select where they want to go. At this point they can make inquiries with buying intention.

Go” queries occur when a user searches for a specific brand or product name. For example, if a customer is looking for Gucci, giving them Chanel will not do.

Customer Journey and Intent

The journey of a customer that is doing a transactional query goes through a series of stages, from knowing about the product until the actual purchase. Which each step, the chances of finalizing the purchase increase: 

  1. Awareness – when the customer discovers the product. At this stage the purchasing intent is weak.
  2. Interest – when the customer finds out relevant details about the product. This stage may prompt the decision for buying.
  3. Intent – this is when the customer decides to buy the product.
  4. Consideration – at this stage, the customer evaluates where to buy the product.
  5. Purchase – the moment of purchase.

While it seems straightforward, many customers fail to complete the journey, because they don’t buy the product or because they purchase from a competitor.

How to Identify Users Intent

Shopping platforms such as Google or Bing identify the users by analyzing the keywords used by them when searching. Although it is not an exact science, customer intent can be inferred and classified according to the keywords used.

The more specific the keywords used, the higher the buying intent. For example, a search term “skirts” has a very buying intent, although “navy pencil skirt ¾ length” is more specific and shows a higher intent to buy. The higher buying intent is in exact product names as search terms, for example, “Aroma Electronic Drum Set S-15”

To make the most of the visitors’ intent, apply search monetization strategies for your site.

Search Monetization Tips

There are a few tips you can implement to help monetize your site’s traffic. The first thing to do is ensure your site receives enough traffic. To achieve this, you can apply a couple of site optimization techniques: 

  1. Optimize your page loading time – slow sites not only have higher bounce rates but also figure lower in search engine rankings. You can optimize the loading time by reducing the file size of the images in your site.
  2. Ensure the design is responsivemobile searches and purchases amount to nearly a half of online purchases.
  3. Ensure your site provides true value – you do this by analyzing which keywords people searches for and check that your content, including the ads, match those keywords.

Once you get a decent amount of traffic, you can start earning revenue. Common monetization strategies include:

  • Advertising
  • Sponsored posts
  • Affiliate marketing

The name of the game is to give value to your customers at every step of the customer journey. The easier the searcher can find what they are looking for, the earliest they will make a purchase decision. One way to give your visitors more value by serving shopping ads to searchers.

Boost Conversions by Using Shopping Ads

Product Ads are online ads that feature products matching a search query. They include the essential details of the product: image, name, price, name of the seller and copy.

Serving shopping ads to your customers presents a few advantages: 

  1. High-positioning: Product Shopping Ads are always at the top of search engine pages, responding to an organic search made by a potential buyer. Therefore, your product will draw attention of high intent buyers.
  2. Boost conversions: people are less likely to abandon a search if they click on an ad featuring an image, making product ads more effective than text ads.
  3. Save on bidding: when you use product ads you need not bid on different keywords, since products ads show for several related keywords.

You can display the product ads in a search results page, or on your website. One example of a versatile solution is Shopping Fuel. Based on Bing Ads, it allows you to serve products by different sellers and affiliates. This saves you on having to bid independently by keyword, and you can manage your shopping campaigns more effectively.

Conclusion

Attracting visitors and keeping their attention is not an easy feat. The average person will stay less than a few seconds on a website if they don’t find what they are looking for. When you are looking to boost conversions, there are a few tips you can implement: 

  1. Identify your customers intent: analyze the keywords so you can target the higher intent buyers
  2. Provide value that matches that intent: not only in your content or product. All of your website should provide the customer with as close as possible to what is looking for.
  3. Optimize your website: your website should be easy to navigate, responsive, and fast to load to keep customers interested.
  4. Use product shopping ads: the ads are a useful solution that can draw customers to your site. They target exactly according to your customer search and can boost conversions.