As with any online business, the success in the long term of any ecommerce site is going to come down to its ability to build its brand. However, there are certain tactics that, if used correctly, can greatly increase your chances of success in the short term.
The first is from a search engine point of view. The great thing about ecommerce sites is that if it’s architecture is correctly structured, it should represent a catalogue of hundreds, even thousands of landing pages that can each bring in extremely targeted, highly converting traffic. However, in practice many ecommerce sites use dynamic URL’s to generate these landing pages, which means that when Google looks at the website, it see’s a far smaller number of landing pages than it should.
The other issue from a search engine perspective is that we don’t tend to consider the sheer breadth of user intents when people lands on a given landing page. For example, if someone’s searching for a particular t-shirt, we’ll focus on that product, rather than considering if they might like to see some really high-resolution imagery, or a video of someone a bit like them wearing the item, or customer review integration or even links to related fashion articles. Not only do each of these additional items improve conversion rate, but they also aid search rankings as Google’s aim is simply to provide the user with the best and broadest range of content for any given search query.
The other thing to mention is email. So for an ecommerce site their email list is their most important asset, and yet so often it’s heavily neglected. The reason it’s so important is that not only should it drive a significant proportion of your weekly sales, but it also, more than anything else, determines your average customer lifetime profit value, and of course the higher that number, the more you can spend on advertising to acquire them in the first place.
So yes, in the long term, the success of your ecommerce site is down to your brand, but there isn’t going to be a long term brand strategy without a viable and profitable short term, so make sure you get these foundations in place from the outset.
See you next time.