With the door to 2015 firmly closed, let’s take a look at your E-Commerce strategy for the year ahead.
2016 could be your year to assess whether you need to be active on social media or other digital channels. Or do you want to start expanding overseas and listing your products on new marketplaces. If listing your products on new marketplaces is a priority, then make sure they are accurate and optimised so they are ready to attract new online shoppers and boost your conversion rates.
This post will look at a few areas that 3PL think you should be looking out for in 2016.
The access you can have to a whole host of consumers with the use of online marketplaces, that would otherwise be unreachable, is phenomenal. Platforms such as Amazon and eBay have programmes that are centred for retailers to get the most out of their listings. With Amazon for example, you can select an option to offer same-day delivery, or on eBay you can offer Click and Collect. These services are massively helpful and would be way too expensive to set up on your own.
Accuracy is key here. Once your listings are on a marketplace, make sure the product listings are as accurate as possible to maximise your presence. Try and include as many details of your product as you can by filling in all of the item specifics boxes. eBay has now made it easier for your items to be found through an on-site search and also external search engines, by requiring sellers to include product identifiers in their listings.
It is also highly important to regularly review your listings to make sure that they show up in the right categories you are listing them under, and always use professional, high-quality images. According to eBay, the use of higher quality images alone can boost your conversions by 5%.
The Power of Social
Social networking is growing at an unbelievable rate, in and out of the e-commerce world, and the power is strong. The number of worldwide users is expected to reach some 2.5 billion by 2018, nearly a third of the world’s population.
At the end of the day, the customer journey is considerably the most important thing. By putting the right message in front of the right consumers, you can use social media to make a more personalised customer journey. Said social networks are also turning into online marketplaces too, with so much advertising available.
With Facebook, you could consider using product ads, which target your shoppers based on actions they’ve taken with a product on your website. Twitter has 320 million users and offers its own advertising in the form of product cards that are attached to tweets to showcase your products. This can also be helpful in driving traffic to your site.
Performance on Google Shopping
For Google Shopping campaigns, you need to think about your content, the structure of the campaign, bidding and analytics. Make sure you think carefully about product groups and remember to use all of the data you have, including SKU’s. Apply custom labels and use the Bid Simulator Tool to give you a sense of direction when it comes to bidding. Keep testing to see what works for you.
Consumers are becoming increasingly confident when they are buying online and from overseas sellers. Especially if you are going off the statistics from 2015. If you have faster shipping and your delivery charges are clear cut, these are likely to boost this confidence even further in 2016.
The figures support this – with global B2C cross-border e-commerce is set to increase $1 trillion in 2020. That’s an annual growth of 27.4% over the next five years.
Amazon and eBay offer e-commerce fulfilment programmes such as FBA Global and the Global Shipping Programme, and they also have a loyal audience of shoppers, making marketplaces a good place to start your overseas expansion.
Some other marketplaces you may want to consider listing on:
• Rakuten has an engaged audience of 103 million buyers. The platform gives you free rein to design your own shop and actively encourages you to directly interact with your customers.
• MercadoLibre has 121 million users, making it the top e-commerce site in Latin America. The marketplace has a cross-border trade program that can help with the logistical challenges of selling there.
• Tmall Global offers an opportunity to tap into China, which is predicted to become the largest cross-border market: 200 million Chinese consumers may be cross-border shopping in five years.
When you are listing on marketplaces overseas, make sure that you localise the language and optimise your checkout processes to make the likelihood of conversion higher for those international orders. Legal requirements of selling in to each market, you will need to be aware of.
There is enormous potential to take your sales to the next level in 2016, whether your aim is to scale your success on current channels, expand to new regions or list on additional marketplaces. Whatever you do, make sure you stay up to date with all the latest news and trends throughout 2016.