More than 2.14 billion people will buy goods and services online this year, up from 1.66 billion global digital buyers six years ago. Although marketplaces like Amazon remain the preferred choice for many consumers, independent online retailers also report growth.
In the United Kingdom alone, eCommerce sales climbed to US$177,516.7m in 2021, with an 11.2% compound annual growth rate between 2021 and 2025 expected. In 2020, at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, user penetration for internet shopping in the UK reached 87%, and this year, the average user will spend £2,490. Simply put, eCommerce is no longer a “nice to have” for firms: it should form an essential and ever-growing part of their sales mix.
For hybrid brands, eCommerce unlocks opportunities that once weren’t possible. Indeed, click-and-collect turnover in the UK will climb to 11.9 billion euros in 2023 as consumers look to “hybrid shopping” to order goods and services and receive them immediately. And online sales aren’t limited to the UK: with a well-designed eCommerce store, you can reach users in markets around the world. 9% of German shoppers, for example, said they had shopped online with a retailer based in the UK, and demand for UK goods and services continues to grow, particularly in FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) sectors like whisky and make-up.
The ongoing strain of the cost-of-living crisis has undoubtedly led some to reconsider their Christmas 2022 marketing plans. The good news is that the future looks promising for eCommerce. In October 2022, 71% of online sellers said that they were “optimistic” about the state of eCommerce; 53% expected “a rise in online shopping” over the coming months.
To maximise eCommerce sales and reach the right consumers every time, your product pages must be up to speed. Give this a read to find out how to optimise them properly.
Focus on SEO from the get-go
Perhaps one of the most exciting things about eCommerce is that every retailer is on a level playing field. Sure, Amazon and more prominent brands like Argos and Currys might dominate the search engine results pages (SERPs) for some products, but it’s still possible to enjoy SEO success in some spaces with the right strategy.
The first impression that a searcher garners about your products and services will come from your SEO; get the basics right immediately.
As well as properly researching keywords and incorporating relevant search terms into your product descriptions, you should focus on your page title, meta description, and more. Be sure to include the product’s brand, name and model number and include valuable details in the meta description to ensure you’re hitting the right people with the right products. Offering value and convenience in metadata can increase click-throughs and ultimately boost sales.
When it comes to eCommerce SEO, there’s no such thing as too much. Check out a product description on a retailer like Alibaba in China, and you’ll see endless streams of text offering in-depth explanations about how a product should be used. Whilst you don’t want to overwhelm your customers with too much detail, a well-written product description will do you wonders and help you outperform your competition. According to a HubSpot study from 2021, the ideal page length for SEO should be 2,100-2,400 words, so see what you can do and incorporate all of the necessary product details to satisfy both Google and shoppers.
You could also consider adding some FAQs to your product pages, elaborating on key points and answering some commonly asked questions. Not only does this bulk up your product pages and make them ‘meatier’ from an SEO perspective, but it can improve the shopping experience and ensure potential customers have their questions answered right away.
Invest in photography and videography
One of the most significant drawbacks of shopping online is that users cannot physically handle any of the products they’re considering purchasing. High-resolution images and videos on your product pages can help customers understand what they are buying and lower your return rate. Use photos to show the product from various angles, and consider videos to offer step-by-step instructions on how to make the most of using that item.
- 75% of online shoppers rely on product photos when deciding on a potential purchase
- 22% of returns occur because the product looks different in person
- Increasing the number of images of the product improves sell-through
- 65% of users say they prefer emails made up of images
- 65% of the population are visual learners
- Product pages with original images attract 94% more views than those without
Put user experience first
Finally, put user experience at the forefront when designing your product pages. Start with the basics like usability and website loading times: if shoppers have to wait for ages for your pages to load, they’re simply going to click back and look at a competitor’s website. There are lots of other simple UX strategies to consider when developing a website, such as:
- Using clear and prominent CTAs
- Streamlining the checkout process
- Allowing users to check out as guests
- Making your website more mobile-friendly
- Highlighting your site’s security
- Adding user-generated content
- Making customer support easy to find
Looking for support developing your eCommerce website? Reach out to the team at Zudu on 01382 690080.