28th January 2020

13 E-commerce Marketing Essentials For 2020

Mike Blackburn

With the start of a new year and a new decade, it’s the perfect time to review the performance of your e-commerce website and decide on your strategy for the year to come.

There are countless articles on marketing trends for 2020 so to help you identify the worthwhile activity from the things that will take up your time but not deliver the goods, we’ve broken down exactly what you need to be focusing on for your e-commerce site to dominate this year.

The advice below comes from members of our design and development, brand marketing, paid and strategy teams to cover the thirteen most important marketing strategies to increase revenue over the next twelve months.

  1. Utilise Smart Shopping Campaigns
  2. Offer Additional Payment Options
  3. Invest In Quality Product Photography
  4. Implement An Intuitive Site Search
  5. Use A Data-Driven Attribution Model
  6. Adding Collections To Product Pages
  7. Run PPC Campaigns To Raise Brand Awareness
  8. Ensuring Your Website Is Using The Latest Technology
  9. Invest In Third Party Reviews
  10. Review Your Social Media Strategy
  11. Email Marketing
  12. Price Match Challenge
  13. Voice Search For PPC Campaigns

1. Utilise Smart Shopping Campaigns

Smart Shopping is one of Google’s newest campaign formats for advertising. The campaign type was first released in 2018, but has been consistently improved over the last six months to make it essential, if you have the budget for it.

Smart Shopping uses machine learning to constantly optimise your campaigns, which when implemented correctly, can be a very powerful tool for any e-commerce business wanting to increase their revenue and sales.

Since we implemented Smart Shopping into our PPC campaigns for IT technology and software company Evaris in July 2019, we have seen the following results compared with the previous year:

  • Conversation rate increased by 149%
  • Transactions increased by 118%
  • Revenue increased by 97%

Due to the nature of Smart Shopping being fully automated, this frees up time for other activities, such as feed optimisation, product optimisation and competitor analysis.

2. Offer Additional Payment Options

Research by Merchant Payments Ecosystem in 2019 found that using a debit or credit card is no longer the preferred method, with most people now opting to pay for things with a digital wallet, such as Apple Pay or Google Pay.

Additionally, the report found that 50% of consumers will end a transaction if their preferred payment method isn’t available. That means that you will miss out on half of your potential sales if you don’t provide a variety of options.

We would recommend having a variety of payment methods, including traditional debit and credit cards, as well as digital wallets such as PayPal, Apple Pay and Google Pay.

The digital payment system, Klarna, could also be a worthwhile suggestion to help you not only increase conversions but also the value of transactions. 

Klarna is a “buy now, pay later” system that allows users to place their order without having to worry about paying for up to 30 days. The system is in use by a number of fashion retailers, such as ASOS, meaning that cash-strapped shoppers can try before they buy and return any items they don’t want without having to worry about returns being credited.

3. Invest In Quality Product Photography

If you run a large e-commerce website selling thousands of products, it can be hard to justify spending time and money on professionally photographing all of your items. However, with cheap (and usually bad) alternatives to popular products becoming mainstream thanks to platforms such as Wish, it’s vital that customers can see exactly what they’re getting when ordering from you.

Using computer generated imagery like this won’t give customers trust in your products

While you can increase the chances of converting customers with a generous returns policy, you’re still going to miss out on a lot of potential income without high quality photography.

The best online stores provide a number of different images to give users the full context of the product. These means including standard product photography from a number of different angles and lifestyle photography of the item in use.

One way to easily acquire additional in context imagery of your products is to request photos with any submitted reviews, aka user generated content.

4. Implement An Intuitive Site Search

With most people now using a smartphone and able to navigate to your site for a product as soon as the thought enters their head, it’s important that you make it equally easy for users to navigate your site on any device.

An intuitive site search function is vital for increasing revenue for a number of reasons but the main one is that website visitors who use site search are typically in the late stages of making a purchase. 

They’ve done the research, know exactly what they want and are now ready to place an order - this means it’s essential that you make your products easy for them to find.

Simply put: a straightforward user experience is more likely to mean a retained customer

5. Use A Data-Driven Attribution Model

Data-driven attribution modelling is the first model to use conversion data to determine actual contributions across all channels.
 
Previous attribution models typically use first or last click data to attribute conversions to a particular channel, however that’s not always a true representation of how customers find your site.
 
From data-driven attribution modelling, you can learn which ads have the greatest effect on business goals and if using an automated bidding strategy, Google will use the 
information gathered to help you acquire more leads and sales.
 
Using data-driven attribution modelling; we were able to increase health and safety equipment supplier SafetyBuyer's revenue by 11% and transactions by 17% year-on-year.
 
Find out more about our paid successes for SafetyBuyer by reading our case study.

6. Adding Collections To Product Pages

Acquiring a new customer can cost five times as much as the cost of retaining an existing customer. This means it can be more beneficial to focus on getting more revenue out of your existing customers.
 
One way to do this is through strategic cross selling, for example, introduce collections on product pages or make suggestions for complimentary items when a product is added to the basket.
 
This can mean showing the matching duvet set on the pillowcase product page or allowing customers to get the look when browsing fashion sites.


Example of ASOS crossing selling a pair of jeans

7.Run PPC Campaigns To Raise Brand Awareness

The new year is a good time to review your PPC campaigns and think of paid marketing across the whole funnel. All e-commerce businesses should be investing in Shopping campaigns, but don’t put all of your eggs in this one basket. 

Consider display advertising to get your brand in front of people. This involves running demographically-targeted ads on relevant sites that your typical customers frequent. Doing this in a carefully curated way is a fantastic great way to increase brand awareness among potential customers who aren’t ready to buy just yet.

8. Ensuring Your Website Is Using The Latest Technology

It might not seem like a top priority to invest in keeping your website maintained, but failing to do so will produce diminishing results. It can even result in security issues that will put your business and your customers data at risk.

Keeping your website technology up to date also has the benefit of improved page load speed as well as additional flexibility and functionality.

If your site is currently running Magento 1, this tip is essential. Back in September 2018, Magento announced the end of life of the biggest e-commerce platform in the world as they plan to cease providing support for Magento Commerce 1 after June 2020.

Your current website won’t stop working after June, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be concerned. Ceasing support for the platform means that there will be no more security patches released by Magento. With over 250,000 active Magento stores, continuing to use the outdated platform will put your website, your revenue and your customers at risk.

9. Invest In Third Party Reviews

Adding a reviews section on product pages is a strong trust signal for users, but without investing in third party reviews, you are going to miss out on sales. 

77% of customers read product reviews before making a purchase. For a small company, reviews are vital to building trust and authenticity with users. 

Additionally, good quality reviews provide a whole host of benefits for driving visitors to your online store. A well-reviewed listing is more likely to rank high in local search and if Google adds the review snippet to your listing, you will benefit from an enhanced click-through rate.

The reviews don’t even need to be five stars to have a positive effect. If users can see that you are quick to respond to negative reviews and make an effort to correct any issues customers have had with their purchase, it can be equally beneficial to you. 

10. Review Your Social Media Strategy

Using social media properly can be a time intensive process and if you’re unable to put the time in, it can be easy to dismiss as not being effective for your business. However, if you’re able to invest the time and budget to do social media in a way that aligns with how your customers use the different platforms, it can become a new avenue to generate reliable and meaningful revenue.

Review the social channels you’re currently using, see which ones have been generating engagement and which aren’t working as well. Check in Google Analytics to see which (if any) social channels are generating traffic to your site. Then it’s time to take a step back and decide whether to cut your losses or increase the time you spend on any specific channels.

Create content that your audience wants to see and participate in the conversations they have. This might be the time to revisit your customer personas and make sure that you know exactly what your followers want to engage with.

11. Email Marketing

Email remains super-important, but the key takeaway that marketing managers should be bringing into 2020 is to keep on top of their data.

Make sure to constantly build your lists and cleanse the data to remove any email users who consistently don’t open your mail. Ensure you are making the most of automation with the use of:

  • Welcome programmes
  • Abandoned baskets notifications
  • Re-engagement emails
  • Rewards for repeat purchasers

12. Price Match Challenge

If your store sells products made by other manufacturers, you’ll know how important it is to be competitively priced. You can lose out as users shop around with 65% of shoppers admitting to comparing prices before placing an order

One way that Evaris works around this is by presenting users with a reminder of their price match promise when the product name is highlighted.

 https://www.evaris.com/shop/aruba-ap-103-radio-access-point

Before the start of the year comScore predicted that 50% of all searches would be voice-based and 50% of consumers will be using voice shopping by the end of 2020.
 
When setting up campaigns you need to think about three major factors of how voice search affects PPC.
 
To get started, review each campaign's search terms report within Google Ads and look for long tail terms that include phrases such as “OK Google”, “hey Siri” and “Alexa”.
 
Most voice searches begin with a question so also look for question-oriented terms such as “When does” and “How can I” to identify potential keywords.
 
If your website is receiving a high volume of converting traffic from voice search, also consider what you can do to maximise this in organic search. Look into creating an app, skill or experience to leverage repeat business.

Next Steps

Now that you’ve got all these ideas for strategies to take your e-commerce website to the next level this year, you might be wondering which one to implement first. 

To help you make a decision, call us on 0161 402 3170 or use the contact form for a free no-obligation chat.