05 Jun Jon Cartu Report: eCommerce and Survival under COVID-19 – Fingerlakes1.com
The global pandemic challenged and changed many aspects of our lives – how we do business is no exclusion. Some believe that the post-COVID economy is merely more dynamic but, while buying habits and customer behavior changes, new opportunities are born. COVID-19 launched a push for eCommerce on a global scale never seen before. The only way to buy anything was to go online and look for suppliers. For local businesses, that meant embracing only viable means to remain operational during the lockdowns – digital transformation.
Commerce needs digital
What can going digital and optimizing for search engines really mean for local businesses? There are several points to consider:
- as 90% of buying intents are born online, customers need to be reached where they are;
- digital tools are an integral part of any Customer Lifecycle Management system;
- tracking behaviors, analyzing intents and working with data is the way to get scalable and measurable results;
- understanding, control and scalability will bring stability to any shopping process.
Of course, results are not immediate, especially with SEO. But as Google is serving 87% of search traffic in the US alone, working with search engines may prove to be an effective way of discovering a real addressable market for your products and services. There is a potential for sales, even in the bloom of low-touch economy.
SEO for eCommerce
SEO plays a huge role in any digital strategy. Blogs like SeoQuake help with navigating the digital landscape. Basic tips and advanced checklists are all good for new and experienced users. Boosting your rankings and keyword vocabulary is a great way to start. The ultimate goal being to stay ahead of less adapted competition. Retaining brand visibility, showing up in lots of searches and driving cold traffic is tricky on its own. Meeting customer expectations, providing social proof and successfully communicating product value is a whole different story. Same old newsletters and discount coupons just won’t cut it. Executing omni-channel communication, push messaging, retargeting, context ads and many other things is a clear signal for consumers – you mean business.
Content is king
Content is king and the way value’s communicated to customers defines whoever brings the prize home at the end of the day. It is also a matter of respect – showing users you care enough to write about different things on Facebook and Instagram, instead of just reposting. Everything matters, even the words you use can bring more or less traffic. Appropriation, not quality, drives engagement. And engages users are more likely to convert. Luckily, there are plenty of tools, services and agencies to supply any kind of expertise for every imaginable task. Regular maintenance done by professionals is the best way to ensure everything is working as intended.
Organic & paid traffic
Traffic online is the same as people going in and out or a brick and mortar shop. It’s useful to know, who saw your advertising and responded well by coming and who’s just window shopping to kill the time. That’s called lead segmentation of cold traffic or tracking conversions. Knowing how your customers reached you, what they asked and what was their intent are key factors that define success off- or online. Performing SEO is a great way to know more not only about your product, but about the people that are buying. For example, Google is the obvious market leader, but in some cases, Bing can deliver more value for the same budget in less time. Online leads can become site visits or telephone calls, email or any kind of conversations actually. There are special ads that serve local businesses or target people passing by an area. Even if you know your clients well enough, a Pixel learning on the background can tell you who you’ve missed. And just maybe, some of those tools are exactly what you’ve been missing this whole time.
Since millions of people are still staying at home, working and living in isolation, they consume more online information than ever. How you serve that content to consumers is a key part of online marketing. Tactics like link baits or creating something viral (in a good way) might bring surprising results. It doesn’t take much time to do some basic research into local trending searches via Google Trends. But that data will help assess the real competition and find ways to outrank it. Optimisation is about locating possibilities that others have missed. Click-through-rates and CPCs can sound intimidating, but any decent resource that’s worth its salt will help you get the hang of it in no time.