Top 10 Keys to eCommerce Success in 2022
The state of eCommerce has been discussed often over the past few weeks as 2022 springs to life.
Every eCommerce blog that respects itself has issued some sort of grocery list for the year, issuing predictions as to the next big things every eCommerce director should be focusing on.
2021 WAS A TOUGH YEAR FOR eCOMMERCE MANAGERS
The truth is that eCommerce managers had a complicated year in 2021:
- The increase in online consumer traffic brought a tsunami of new competition from traditional retailers who have deep pockets as well as other interest groups from around the globe. It seems that everyone is investing more in eCommerce and eying for a slice of the pie.
- Increased eCommerce competition resulted in a huge bump in acquisition costs; the cost per click from the major outlets grew by 300% to 700%. This increase created wars among the new players that are trying to gain a bigger market share (deep-pocketed traditional retailers had lots to spend their money on).
- Increased shipping costs coupled with an unpredictable supply chain caused a shortage of goods – driving rising costs to the end buyer.
- The change in work habits along with high demand for valued employees made it difficult for businesses to retain good talent.
2022 PATH TO PROSPERITY
The question now on everyone’s mind is what’s next? How can eCommerce marketers adapt to the “New Normal” and make the right decisions that will lead to ongoing growth in 2022? Which activities, technologies and operations will drive the brand forward and increase revenues?
Below are 10 keys to eCommerce success in 2022; I call them my “2022 Path to Prosperity”:
- Document internal processes
As employees come and go it’s important to streamline operations as much as possible (buying and shipping processes, fulfilling, accounting…). Time is money – keep documentation up to date and organized.
- Make internal videos of every possible process. Create quality teachable content that will be an asset to your organization.
- Identify the bottlenecks in your internal processes and make sure to automate as much as possible.
- Document every process so as people come and go, the transition will be smooth.
- Make internal videos of every possible process – Create teachable content that will be an asset to your organization.
2. Site content and quality links –
As marketing costs continue to grow, it is essential to generate quality content which will drive organic traffic to your site.
Quality content doesn’t only serve Search Engines rankings purposes, it’s also super important for your customers. High quality content around product descriptions, titles, and messaging makes a huge impact to the end user and directly impacts sales.
Personal story: while investigating goal failures from the Payment Page for a customer we noted that the error messages weren’t always aligned with the customer experience leading to confusion. We deployed new error messages and saw an immediate lift in Payment Page conversions (22%)! So simple…the answers were right in front of us, just needed to look at the data. Good messaging will help the site’s conversion abilities immensely.
- Backlinks to your brand are super important for rankings by Google and other Search Engines. I recommend building up your backlinks by participating in case studies, creating newsworthy content and sharing data across the wire as well as social media postings.
3. Add payment options
A large selection of payment options is an easy way to help customers buy from your store while also driving free traffic to the site. Consider adding payment methods such as AfterPay, Klarna, AmazonPay and PayPal Commerce. Make sure the payment options offered are popular in the countries that you are serving.
- Additionally, be sure that mobile shoppers have easy payment options for a seamless checkout process.
4. Site Performance
As technology continues to change, customers have become more adaptive to shopping online. Site performance is critical – “make sure the darn thing works”. It amazes me that we still see retailers burning millions in online sales based on a poor shopper experience from their own website.
Knowledge of your customer’s online failures is eCommerce 101. eCommerce companies cannot stay in the dark as customers experience frustration from the site while your competitors lay lurking, just a single click away.
- Don’t leave money on the table! Make sure to monitor site performance consistently and set real time alerts when anomalies occur on the site: Add to Cart failures, Log in errors, coupon redemption failures and more. Tools like Webeyez are super helpful and give an inside view to site performance. Make sure your toolbox contains the right solutions that reveal site issues and where to focus your efforts.
5. Update your Marketing Mix –
As more and more players enter the eCommerce realm it’s crucial to review your Marketing mix and plan your marketing budget. Many activities that were ROI positive in 2021 are no longer valid in 2022. Take the time to work on a new marketing plan and rethink your dollar spend allocation.
Re-evaluate email nurturing and SMS campaigns. This direct channel to your customer base is a key step to conversion success. Invest into targeted and “trigger based” messaging for all parts of the online journey: Welcome series, Cart Recovery, Transactional, Win back, Window Shopping and more. Investment into triggered one to one messaging is ROI positive and converts. True low hanging fruit.
Pay close attention to the status of your Domain authority and protect yourself from SPAM filters. Be careful of the amount of emails & SMSs you’re sending to maintain good standings; check your current standings on Google Postmaster.
6. Improve load time especially on mobile
If there is anything that can help boost your conversion, it’s load time improvements. Investing into load time will ultimately be the single best way to improve your conversion rate and reduce bounce rate from these pages.
This is especially true if you are heavy in mobile traffic. Changes in load time are dramatically felt with this channel and will help your mobile shoppers navigate and shop in your online store with ease.
7. Smart A/B Testing and CRO
Conversion Rate Optimization and A/B Testing have been a pillar of online eCommerce for the past 15 years. A/B Testing tools evolved greatly in recent years, but A/B Testing without statistically significant results is careless and may quickly become a gigantic money pit. It’s important to first understand the issues that are disrupting the online funnel, then make educated choices of how to test and resolve.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s vital to remove the bottlenecks and blockers from your customer journey, however most often it is not related to site layout, but more around merchandising, tech failures and messaging. Identify goal failures and then use A/B Testing Solutions.
- If you offer great value then quality of traffic, load time, and most frequently, failures in the shopping process will determine your conversion rate most.
8. Social Commerce & Product Feed Sanitation
For the past few years now, the lines between social and commerce have been fading away. With Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and other social media outlets becoming a source of actual commerce taking place on these channels it’s important to keep updating and adding content to these sources. This brings us to a major point of opportunity and weakness to many retailers – product feed.
Your product feed is also key for many internal tools on your store like personalization engine, search and reviews providers. For many retailers it is their biggest source of traffic funneling in customers from Google Shopping, Bing, Pinterest and Facebook. Having a robust feed will make a better experience for your potential customer, reducing cost of acquisition and improving your ROAs.
A client I work with recently discovered that 40% of their traffic from Facebook was landing on 404/ “Page Not Found” pages. The majority of this traffic bounced, burning over $10,000 in FB ad spend which affected 6000 users.
- Broken links, empty images and page issues are detrimental to business.
- Follow your feeds and make sure that they are healthy!
I’m a big advocate of Loyalty programs. As competition over each eCommerce customer gets more and more intense, the importance of customer loyalty becomes ultra important. Give your site visitors a seamless online experience, great service and superior product value and they will become your biggest asset.
One way to create customer loyalty is by investing in a Rewards program. Rewards programs help keep customers coming back to your site while also organically sharing your brand.
Customers love to see their rewards dollars, so make the log-in process simple and memorable like adding social sign ins.
10. Drop the dead weight and optimize
When first onboarding a new client, the first thing I like to do is review the third party tools running on the site. You’d be amazed at how many tools are not actively used but continue to reduce site performance. Review your third party tools that you have at your disposal.
Be sure to utilize the tools you love the fullest; set up meetings with your providers to see what’s new and how you can do more with what you have.
- Onsite Search providers – Keep creating synonyms and redirections as well as other merchandising tools you might be underutilizing.
- Overlays & Popups – Make sure you are utilizing and making use of overlays properly.
- SMS/Email Services – New Journeys and triggered messaging that can be created.
- Personalization Engines – Use your personalization engine in all pages possible:
- Add to Search with zero results page
- Add to Page Not Found page
- Add to empty shopping cart page
- Add to Thank you page after purchase
In summary, no one knows what the future holds, but we can definitely learn from the past. As more and more players join the eCommerce train, things are getting more complex and as always, everyone needs to adapt or you will find yourself out of the game.
The theme for your eCommerce this year should be “move the needle”. How to find areas of your eCommerce that can be improved, bottlenecks to be exploited and giving your site visitors a solid experience, while exploring new avenues of marketing to drive solid ROI acknowledging that the landscape has changed.