Fundamentals of e-commerce marketing for 2020

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New technologies and changing consumer behavior are having a fundamental impact on e-commerce marketing.

Some of the changes affect established tactics, such as search engine optimization. Others, like the development and management of chatbots, are new. All of them require online marketers to master important new skills.

SERP zero position

SEO is arguably the most important foundation of ecommerce marketing. Done well, SEO can have a powerful impact on an ecommerce business in the long run. But SEO is changing.

Last year, Rand Fishkin, the founder of Moz and SparkToro, reported that 61.4% of Google mobile queries tested in September 2018 did not result in a click.

In many of these cases, Google simply answered the question asked in the query directly on the results page, no clicks required.

For example, if you searched for “what is the capital of Idaho” you would get the answer without having to click any further. You get an image, map, and the word “Boise” as well as some content from the Wikipedia post “Idaho State Capitol”. If you had clicked, you would probably be on the recommended resource, which is now at position zero.

Google users have likely seen a SERP that answers a question, such as “what is the capital of Idaho”.

This type of zero position response can impact ecommerce and content marketing. For example, if you google “how to choose a gift for my grandchildren,” you get a featured snippet, suggesting to “talk to mom and dad first” and “make sure the gift is suitable for. age ”.

So, it’s not enough to just earn the # 1 SERP position in 2020. You also need to earn Featured Snippets. And that requires a new optimization process.

A query such as “how to choose a freebie” can be important to e-commerce businesses. But on this SERP, the hit wins the featured snippet.

Semantic SEO

For 2020 and beyond, optimizing for zero position isn’t the only new fundamental related to SEO. You will also need to optimize semantic phrases, not just traditional keywords and phrases.

With the rise of artificial intelligence and voice search, Google, Bing, Yahoo and Amazon are expected to move further away from lexical results towards semantics.

Lexical results are where the search engine tries to match the query, word for word. Semantic results, however, attempt to understand the meaning of the query and provide the best answer regardless of the exact words used.

“In 2010, search engine optimization meant capturing as many backlinks as possible and including more keywords than side dishes at a Thanksgiving dinner,” Aleh Barysevich wrote in a Search article. Engine Journal of 2018.

“Back then, SEO meant understanding how search engines generated results so that we could reverse engineer content that ranks better,” Barysevich continued. “Today’s understanding of search engines has evolved and we’ve changed the way we optimize it accordingly.

“Identifying keywords is no longer enough. Now you need to understand what these keywords mean, provide rich information that contextualizes these keywords, and have a firm understanding of user intent.

Sell ​​on Amazon

Selling in the Amazon Marketplace (or selling directly to Amazon) has become vital for many ecommerce businesses.

It is not a surprise. In 2019, 32% of U.S. consumers receive at least one package from Amazon all week, according to Walker Sands’ “The Future of Retailing 2019”. The percentage is even higher for millennials; about 43% of people aged 18-35 receive one or more Amazon boxes every week.

These buyers love Amazon. The same Walker Sands report said 45% of consumers were excited about Amazon’s growth in the retail industry because shopping on Amazon was relatively cheaper and more convenient.

So it’s no surprise that over 66% of U.S. shoppers start looking for a new product on Amazon. In other words, most searches for new products in the United States begin on Amazon.

So even if they want to sell from their own website and build a brand, your business will likely need to list products on Amazon for ease of discovery and access to Amazon’s pay-per-click advertising. Doing this requires a new set of marketing skills, including list optimization.

Messaging bots (chat)

In a recent video, Benjamin Bloom, Research Director at Gartner, said, “I’m very interested in conversational marketing, and it’s… a combination of bots and other chat-driven experiences through the convergence of mobile and social messaging applications. “

“One of the things that’s really interesting is how brands have started to embrace some of these different forefront… messaging apps that used to be owned by consumers to talk to each other. “

“What conversational marketing allows brands to do is take things that are difficult to anticipate ahead of time, but easy for consumers to express in text and turn them into something that is an interaction. rich marketing. “

If Bloom and other experts are right, conversational marketing and the messaging bots associated with it will become one of the most important ways for businesses to communicate with their customers.

For online marketers, that means learning how to use and employ chatbots.

Old vs New?

So that’s my shortlist of new fundamentals for ecommerce marketing. But remember, many of the old fundamentals are still essential. Do not neglect pay-per-click advertising on Google, for example, for the benefit of chatbots. Your business probably needs both.

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