What do Debenhams, Evans Cycles, New Look, House Of Fraser, Hamleys, Toys R Us & many other retail businesses have in common? They’re all struggling on the high street, right? With store closures, falling profits and big For Sale signs on their doors. They have one other thing in common, too, something that is now a very apparent thread stringing all the well-known brands who are struggling together. They didn’t get their E-Commerce right.
When you look deeper, it’s actually much more than that, they didn’t get E-Commerce or their digital strategy right. If you’re looking for a toy online what would you do? Google “toy name”. I’ll guarantee you don’t find Hamleys until at least the third page. Before they had a chance to get their e-commerce right, they got their entire SEO strategy wrong, losing out to the likes of Argos, Amazon, Smyths, who, by the way, are all thriving!
So, let’s dissect that. What does it mean to get E-Commerce right?
Getting e-commerce right looks like this
- High volume targeted traffic. Appearing in searches for the individual product and product categories, not your brand name. People will rarely search for “Hamleys star wars toy” vs “star wars toy”. The internet is a transparent marketplace, broader searches mean more comparison to get the best deal. Getting e-commerce right means showing up for these broad searches.
- Assuming you get good quality targeted traffic, your website must be engaging and easy to use. User experience is key. Think of ao.com. A company which dominates the appliances market and is expanding into small appliances and tech. They never had a physical store, but their SEO and website user experience is second to none.
- Now let’s talk conversion rates. Your websites conversion rate (how it deals with the traffic and turns them into orders) is critical. The difference between a 2% conversion rate and a 3% conversion rate can be millions. It can also be just a few small code changes too! Many websites can get traffic, but have poor conversion rates meaning their e-commerce venture is not as successful as it could be!
- Operational Fulfilment and after sales – These two key points are often overlooked. Once the order has been placed, ensuring the customer is kept up to date, can see everything in their account and is drip fed information via email/text is important. The best performing e-commerce companies do this. Why is it so important? Repeat business.
To be successful in e-commerce you need to be successful at scaleable digital marketing. This is where the large brands went wrong. It’s also where small seemingly successful e-commerce brands are going wrong. Sure your websites makes sales and a small profit, but investing in scalable digital marketing, better understanding SEO and Conversion Rate Optimization and making technical improvements can be the difference between profitable and wildly successful. Clickfluence works with e-Commerce brands of all sizes and have the experience to help scale small e-commerce brands into sector dominating businesses.