Last year, e-commerce in the UK hit a record £137.38bn. By the end of 2019, however, that figure is set to balloon to £180 billion, with more of us ditching the high street and spending online, favouring the convenience and anonymity of shopping on our smartphones and PCs.
If you own an e-commerce brand, you’ll no doubt understand the importance of an effective marketing strategy. One cannot expect to launch a store and have customers flock to it overnight – SEO, PPC, and social media are all required to drive traffic and build a brand.
Below, we’ve rounded up some eye-opening e-commerce statistics that will change the way you think about your business, and perhaps encourage you to re-examine your marketing…
1.92 billion digital buyers
According to Statista, there will be more than 1.92 billion global digital buyers before the end of 2019, and by 2021, 2.14 billion people worldwide are expected to buy goods and services online.
As a small business owner, positioning your business as an e-commerce authority in your niche has never been more important, especially if you ship internationally.
Once you’re happy with your site, build an SEO and PPC campaign and test and optimise for conversions as often as possible, introducing new landing pages to push people through a sales funnel.
Price comparison sites matter
Research shows that 65% of shoppers look up price comparisons on their smartphone when they’re in a physical store, so if you’re an e-commerce brand, search engine visibility through Schema markup will help you to score new customers.
Just remember to consider postage and packaging pricing – if a customer can pick up a bottle of shampoo in store for £5.99 and you’re offering it for £3 but charge £4 for delivery, you won’t win over many retail shoppers.
Your digital presence is everything
According to Salesforce, 85% of consumers research into brands and products before they make a purchase – so do everything you can to win them over.
Google your brand name and audit the first page of results – if you’ve got mixed reviews on TrustPilot or someone is ranting about your poor customer service in a blog post, you need to clean up your act.
It can take a long time to build a five-star brand, so start by encouraging happy customers to leave reviews on Google, send out product samples to influencers who’ll write about you on their blog, and don’t underestimate the power of public relations – the more coverage, the better!
Customer service counts
Research from HubSpot suggests 80% of consumers stop doing business with a company because of poor customer service.
Once you’ve covered the basics, like hiring a customer support team and training them, make sure your website and app push people to the most convenient support channels.
Add a live chat option to your site, build a knowledge base, and offer customer service on social media, which can double as a brand-building exercise.
Customers want an easy way to contact you
It’s no good offering first-class customer support if customers can’t reach you in the first place.
KPMG data shows that consumers are more likely to trust a business if they make it easy to contact people, so don’t hide your support tickets or phone number behind layers and layers of ‘Is this what you were looking for?’ prompts.
Humanising your support will lead to an increase in sales and improved customer satisfaction, so it’s worth putting in the effort.
Cart abandonment is still high
69% of all e-commerce shopping carts are abandoned, a figure that’s actually grown since records began in 2006.
With more choice and distraction than ever before, consumers often need a nudge before handing over their credit card details and completing an order, so look for new ways to optimise your shopping cart experience and make it as simple as possible.
Allow payments via Apple Pay and PayPal, cut down form fields, and you’ll soon see more users check out and complete their orders, rather than disappearing off the face of the Earth.
Consumers hate paying for delivery
Research from Baymard shows that unexpected extra costs are the number one reason for shoppers abandoning their carts.
Your customer could be spending £1,000 on new clothes, but still be put off when they’re asked to pay £4.99 for delivery – or worse still, £9.99 for next day delivery.
In the age of Amazon, fast, efficient, and free delivery has never been more important.
If possible, embrace this and make up for it by marking up prices, or offering free delivery when users spend more than £50 to incentivise them to add more to their baskets.
Abandoned cart emails work
One last note on cart abandonment: sometimes, customers just need that extra push. The average open rate for an abandoned cart email is 15.21%, so send out a reminder when a user leaves your website without making a purchase.
You could also consider remarketing, but be careful not to follow users around the web as this can lead to mistrust and damaging your relationship with existing patrons.
Find the right balance between sales and stalking!
Mobile users live in apps
According to eMarketer, 90% of all mobile time is spent inside of apps, so either develop an app for your e-commerce store or utilise social media and pay-per-click marketing to get more consumers to your store.
Instagram’s new shopping feature, for example, allows users to purchase clothing, accessories, health foods, and more from within the app, reducing the friction of purchasing via e-commerce, with the entire transaction handled within the app.
Instagram is a prime shopping destination
Speaking of Instagram, a quick nod to the fact that 60% of people use the social network to discover new products.
As well as having a presence on the platform, adding calls to action and shoppable posts will increase sales, whilst influencer marketing and user-generated content (post about us and get 10% off your next order) can give your brand ‘social proof’.
Voice search is growing
According to Google, 41% of adults and 55% of teenagers conduct a voice search at least once a day from their smartphone or Google Home/Amazon Echo.
Schema markup can help optimise your content for voice, whilst listing your products on e-commerce sites like Amazon allows consumers to purchase from you without looking at a screen, though you should take into consideration Amazon’s fee for every sale before scrapping your own e-commerce site.
More people are buying via Alexa
37% of people have used their smart speakers for shopping (such as asking for information on a product or checking prices) and 27% have actually purchased something using a smart speaker.
Consider how you want to back up the voice shopping experience post-purchase, such as by sending buyers an email or a notification from within your app.
Building an Alexa Skill or Google Home Action could also help to streamline this process and increase sales.
Video is on the rise
We don’t need to tell you that consumers prefer watching videos over reading articles. Now, 54% of people say they want to see more videos from brands on e-commerce sites, whether that’s a model showing off a dress or a tutorial of how to use your speaker system.
Getting behind the camera and recording a bunch of quality, engaging videos will ultimately lead to more sales, as videos allow consumers to see how the product will look when they get them.
Augmented reality shouldn’t be overlooked
Augmented reality may still seem like a bit of a fad, but 66% of consumers say they’re interested in more AR shopping experiences.
Particularly useful in the fashion industry, giving users the ability to ‘try on’ clothes or see what a new wallpaper will look like on their walls adds some tactility to the online shopping experience.
Even Apple has experimented with AR shopping to let consumers see how their new Mac Pro would look in their offices.
Personalisation is the key
Almost three-quarters of e-commerce marketers say that personalisation tactics have a strong impact on conversion rates, so adjust navigation towards a visitors’ interests, use a style finder and ask users to upload an image, use geo-location targeting to increase traffic, recommend product categories based on browsing behavior, and show personalised deals and offers to returning visitors.
As marketers, we have access to a lot of data, so make the most of it in order to increase sales and take your e-commerce brand to new heights.
At Zudu, we offer a range of services for new and established e-commerce brands, including web design, app development, pay-per-click management, search engine optimisation, and conversion rate optimisation. Get in touch with the team on 01382 690 080 to find out more.