Category Archives: ecommerce

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The Amazon Ecommerce Market: Lessons to Take From an Online Empire

This entry was posted in ecommerce, Marketing on by .

The impact of emerging technologies and social media year-to-year continues to astonish businesses and consumers alike. Ecommerce has become a staple of a growing business, and one of the most recent but fast-growing giants in the market is Amazon. So how did the online empire of Amazon emerge, and how did it grow so quickly?

Prior to 2001, Amazon didn't even turn a profit, and the numbers grew very slowly for many years. But in 2016, the company began to grow suddenly. It’s quarterly net profits that were well under half a billion quickly became close to the one billion mark.

And in 2019, profits somehow have continued to climb. In Q1 Amazon's net profits peaked at a hefty 3.56 billion dollars. Amazon took almost 50% of e-commerce sales in 2018, a figure sure to rise this year. Amazon’s reputation is so large that it’s common to hear about the “Amazon Effect, referring to the competitive difficulty retailers in many industries often face trying to keep up with Amazon.

An Integrated Marketing System

Not only does Amazon sell its own services and merchandise, but it also owns the platform by which many other businesses market their products. For smaller retailers, the latter step is probably unlikely for the near future. However, there is much to be gained by pursuing other opportunities for vertical integration.

A business should always be looking for ways to consolidate their supply chain. This can take the form of franchising, contracting, or direct incorporation. Amazon has a long history of such experiments, from establishing their own publishing imprint to developing their own delivery service. They also arrange unique deals with their manufacturers which allow them to freely enter and participate in the operations of their own brands.

Developing your own web platform to engage directly with consumers is essential. In the digital environment, those who own and operate apps, websites, and databases are important links in the chain. Amazon Web Services, which provides cloud computing and storage tools for businesses, is a powerful example of vertical integration in the digital world – they also use AWS for their own retail sites.

Horizontal integration is also key – putting new products into new markets is on many companies' to-do lists, and Amazon sells much more than books now. Famously, they purchased Whole Foods in 2017, a surprising entry into a new market with the hidden benefit of adding new information about consumer habits to their databases. All these moves, while seemingly risky in many cases, make headlines and expand Amazon's reach dramatically.

Innovative Customer Experience

Not long ago, a web-integrated approach to retail was simply called “multichannel”: brick-and-mortar stores and online selling would work in tandem but were viewed as two separate, but parallel, aspects of the business. Today, the “omnichannel” model is gaining prominence.

The concept of omnichannel marketing is like that of a vertical marketing system in that it calls for a unified approach to retail, but where vertical integration largely affects behind-the-scenes operations, an omnichannel strategy directly targets customer experience. The idea is that customers should be able to move seamlessly between various connected platforms and services while experiencing a unified brand experience.

For example, one should easily be able to purchase things in one way – say, on Amazon.com – and return them in another, such as a physical location, seamlessly. Amazon unveiled yet another one of their famous experiments this year when they made a deal allowing Amazon customers to return their products in Kohl's stores, which handle the packing and shipping themselves. This move appears to have greatly benefited both companies.

One of the biggest differences between a traditional business model and an omnichannel approach is the way shipping is handled. Large companies are not just shipping from distribution centers to stores—fulfillment centers have been introduced to package and ship parcels individually to consumers.

Amazon has contracts with several shipping companies around the US, including UPS and FedEx, which provide them with cheaper shipping rates in exchange for the extra business. FedEx recently allowed their express shipping contract with Amazon to expire, so they may be looking for new retailers to contract with. Developments like this are worth paying attention to.

Amazon has also received a great deal of media attention in recent years for its interest in radical new ways to deliver goods faster than ever before. The most remarkable example of this is their testing unmanned aerial vehicles as a way to ship small products directly to customers' doors in 30 minutes or less.

We haven't yet exhausted the many ways Amazon is dedicated to new technologies. As climate concerns and renewable energy efforts make headlines more and more, Amazon pays attention.

Environmental Focus

Products and business practices viewed as “green” are still all the rage with both consumers and companies. This trend shows few signs of slowing down as demand continues to increase and smaller companies invest more frequently in the renewable energy industry.

Major players are getting involved too. In fact, it seems Amazon is determined to take the lead in environmental awareness and renewables investment going forward. In February, they announced their intent to make at least 50% of their shipments have a net carbon impact of zero, a plan fittingly named “Shipment Zero. Amazon has 61 ongoing renewable energy projects across the globe, two of which were just announced at the start of August.

They have also started shipping more of their items in lightweight plastic mailers rather than boxes to fit more items in fewer trucks and planes. Producing these mailers emits fewer greenhouse gases and uses less petroleum than making boxes from recycled cardboard, experts told The Washington Post.

While there are environmental pros and cons to most types of packaging, other companies would do well to explore innovative alternatives to stay ahead of the curve.

Amazon is also pushing for better practices from its various manufacturers: they have outlined a program requiring some manufacturers to change their packaging to make it sturdier, less expensive, and more eco-friendly. Brands that comply early will be rewarded with a credit of $1 per item shipped, but after August 1st, non-compliant items will incur a surcharge of $1.99 each, Forbes reported.

With all the expansion and innovation behind Amazon's rocket to prosperity, it's not surprising that many business owners would fear the Amazon Effect. However, with increasing worry about the impact of big business and tech companies, more avenues for smaller trustworthy competitors may be opening up in the near future.

But this is not to say that important lessons can’t be taken from the rise of the Amazon ecommerce empire. If your business hasn’t created an avenue for online sales, or is looking to increase your conversion rate, consider getting in touch with SeoTuners today. With affordable SEO solutions that include web design, social media, custom link building, SEO penalty recovery, and more, we’re confident we have a solution for all your marketing needs. Contact us today to learn about how we can help you grow your business online.

Choosing a Web Design Company: 5 Things to Consider

Finding someone to build your site is easy. Finding the right person for the job, though, that one takes a bit more time. While there are quite a lot of options out there, you’ll want to be careful when you hire a web design company in Ventura. If you want a bit of help in choosing a site design partner service, then make sure you look for these five things.

Credentials

What are the firm’s qualifications? What does the firm and its team bring to the table? It’s essential to find someone with the technical skills to help you out. That’s why asking about experience and training is a must. However, credentials are only one consideration out of the five. You’ll need to factor in the rest before you pick a firm that’s loaded with qualifications.

Portfolio

A website design firm that has a slew of credentials will no doubt have a portfolio ready for your review. Take a look, the Small Business Trends says. Do you like what you see? Which works represent the elements or style that you want to see in your own site? Does the portfolio show you the range of services that you can ask for if you hire the firm? These are just a few of the considerations you’ll want to

Customer service

When you pick a web design company in Ventura, get a sense of its customer service. Call and ask for a consult. Or email them about it. How fast did the firm reply? Were they attentive to your questions? Do you feel like they tried their best to provide you with answers that can help you make the ideal choice for your business? Or did you feel like they were rushing to get you off the phone? That should be enough warning for you.

Alignment

Choose a website design firm with goals that are aligned with yours. For instance, some companies offer a maintenance package. That means you can leave the maintenance and monitoring as well as upgrades of the site to an online digital marketing firm. That gives you more time to focus on the core needs of your business, so your operations don’t suffer a slump or hiccup. When you find a company that has aligned its goals and processes with your organization to provide you with the help and support you need, choose that firm. They’re ideal for long-term business partnerships.

Cost

How much is the cost of the firm’s services? Look for a service provider that offers website design assistance at a price you can afford. That doesn’t mean you should always choose companies that offer the lowest rates or prices possible. After all, if anything is too good to be true, then it probably is. You’ll want to reconcile cost with value before you decide.

Conclusion

Use these considerations to help you make a smart and sound hiring decision. With excellent website design, you can attract and win over more clients to your pages, increasing your sales and returns.

Google to notify those who leave reviews when business owners respond

This entry was posted in Advertising, ecommerce, Local on by .

Online customer reviews are growing in importance to help people make a decision on where to do business. Google reviews are one of the most viewed and most trusted on the entire Internet. Recently, Google announced that it will notify customers when businesses respond to their reviews. This can have important implications when trying to increase your Google local optimization.

Reviewers receive an email from Google and can soon opt in to receive push notifications. The notification is sent 5 minutes after the business responds to the review. It features a link so people can read the full response. The response is available immediately on Google Search and Maps.

 

This is important because business owners should give some extra thought to the response they leave. They cannot assume the customer will not see the response. For example, if a customer leaves an unfavorable review, the business should not respond rudely or inconsiderately. You don’t want an online war with a customer. Conversely, many issues can be resolved if you show that you are open and willing to talk with the customer to see how you can help improve their experience.

 

This gives a business the opportunity to show they care about the customer experience and will do whatever it takes to make things better. This can help your Google local optimization because there is activity on your profile. It also shows potential customers you pay attention and that you care about what customers are saying.

 

Even if a positive review is left, responding to it shows that you value a genuine relationship with your customers. Communicating with your audience and customer base is a major part of your overall marketing. A customer who sees that you took the time to respond to a review is much more likely to visit you again.

 

Google local optimization is all about people finding your business online. Having a rating and customers reviews pull up quickly can help people make a decision on whether or not to do business with you, no matter if they are local or just passing through the area.

 

 

6 Tips for Using Location Information to Boost Conversion

This entry was posted in Advertising, ecommerce, SEO on by .

Despite this being an age of digital marketing and online shopping, the bulk of purchases are still made locally for the average consumer. To capitalize on this fact, retailers of all kinds are utilizing Google local optimization tactics to improve their online presence for local consumers and bring in more business. Creating conversion is about more than simply attracting potential clients and customers, though. Read on to find a few ways today’s SEO specialists are optimizing local business websites for the modern marketplace.

  1. Make location information simple and easy to find. Your location information should include all relevant information for finding your storefront, as well as contact information. It should also be easy to read and well organized.
  2. Describe location in ways that various audiences will understand. For locals, describing a business by neighborhood location, closeness to other areas and more will create a listing they can better understand and utilize.
  3. Highlight the proximity of your location to other landmarks or businesses. For those from out of town or who might be less familiar with neighborhoods within a city, using landmark descriptions is a great way to indicate location. Describing your location as “half a mile from the exit” or something similar can help those without extensive local knowledge find you while passing through the area.
  4. Don’t keep location information static. While your storefront may be in one fixed location, its proximity to relevant or interesting locations may change throughout the year. How? Consider a restaurant in a city that hosts multiple events during the calendar year. Changing the language of your location’s description to highlight the proximity to the hosts of those events will make your location appealing during that time.
  5. Utilize local landing pages for businesses with multiple locations or storefronts. If your business has multiple locations, be sure to include links to a dedicated landing page for each on your company’s primary site. This will allow Google local optimization to pull necessary information from your site to offer the nearest or optimal location to those searching.

Use interactive maps, when possible. Allowing consumers to find their way to your location with street views and other modern features will increase the likelihood that they’ll make it there, as well as appeal to younger users who are less likely to search for traditional directions.

Top 10 Strategies that Will Have Command Over Digital Marketing in 2017

This entry was posted in Advertising, ecommerce, Local, Marketing, SEO on by .

2017 has reached a flaming mid-point, while signaling the middle between 2015 and the new decade, and marking a clear uptick in several trends across all forms of marketing involving a few similar concepts such as instantaneous content and communication, automated data, and a general attraction towards white hat SEO services, instead of less effective dirty tricks.

  1. Small Business Transparency

Businesses that are transparent about how they function, who they represent and how they make their products and/or services work will attract more customers.

  1. Consumer-Involved Marketing

Similarly, there will be a marked shift towards involving consumers not just in marketing, but even in product design and other suggestions. Customers will want to have a part in running the business, and working that balance without devolving into chaos will be a challenge for businesses.

  1. A Shift to Instant

Consumers are beginning to get used to getting everything, always, and at any time – and the newer generations are going to be even more insistent on instant delivery of content and information, as well as (eventually) products. Focusing on speed as a perk and feature is important.

  1. More and More Visual

Text has always been a bit more boring than video and photo, but it’s also usually been king. This is markedly changing with visual content becoming quickly more important than words.

  1. Pairing Business with Content Creators

Influencers are already a part of bigger companies – but smaller local business will also have to leverage the popularity of local influencers and content creators to gain popularity online.

  1. Automation (Everywhere)

From AI to actual job automation, algorithms and robots will take over more work in 2017 than any previous year, and this includes data and analytics even in digital marketing. It’s cheap, efficient, and needs neither sleep nor a salary.

  1. Mostly Mobile

While many continue to browse on laptops and PCs, smartphone usage has exploded, with people using their phones to track their fitness, tell time, communicate, browse, play, and generally lead most of their digital lives.

  1. Less Hand-Holding

Intrusive advertising and marketing methods that take away the freedom a consumer must explore and find products on their own will irritate rather than aid customers in making decisions and getting to the checkout page.

  1. Effective Communication

Businesses will have to further invest in direct and near-instant communication with customers through social networks, especially on raw and more intimate forms of communication like Snapchat.

  1. Outsource Everything

In 2017, businesses will have to look outside to stall a plateau in growth. Sometimes, beating the competition means hiring someone from the outside – even into a managerial position in digital marketing – to get things done.

These are a couple concrete concepts that will gain more traction over the rest of the year, and the next few years to follow.

Here’s How Google’s Product Listing Ads Are Hurting You

This entry was posted in Advertising, ecommerce, Marketing, PPC on by .

If you’ve ever looked up a certain product on Google – say, a coffee maker or a video game console, or a new mouse – then you may have noticed that a huge portion of the top listings on Google are highlighted Sponsored Ads – specifically, image and info-rich Product Listing Ads (also known as PLAs).

 

These PLAs are different from your regular AdWords sponsored ads – text-only ads, that is – in that they’re geared to take the person looking for a product immediately onto the product’s page, and off to the point where they get the product sold. Done and done. And more significantly – they’re doing a better job of it than anything else.

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Here’s Where They Can Hurt You

 

The first significant fact is that PLAs take a huge amount of space on Google’s top page for product searches. The second significant fact is that they’ve got pictures in them –those draw in clicks and views more than simple blue-and-grey text. And finally, since they explicitly give people an easy and simple way to nab an item straight off of Google’s search results, most people who are looking for a product with the intent to buy it, will go for the PLAs. So, PLAs are attracting 60 to 70 percent of clicks in searches because:

 

  • They’re big;
  • They feature images;
  • They provide people with an easy way to immediately buy something.

 

That leaves you and your organic, non-sponsored search results with the people who are still unsure about what to buy, or people who are simply looking for reviews, feature articles, or an expert opinion on coffee machines, computer mice, or whatever other product they’re searching for.

 

Why Did Google Do This?

 

From Google’s point-of-view, product-listing ads are amazing. Firstly, they work. Secondly, they work better than Amazon. And thirdly, they get us to change up the way we pay for clicks – potentially even leading us to paying more to get the right ads going.

 

Google’s competition with Amazon is an important point to highlight. As the Business Insider points out, Google’s market share for retail marketer’s paid-search campaigns increased by roughly a percentage point within a single quarter, while Google’s former CEO Larry Page himself said shortly after PLAs were unveiled, that “we’ve seen tremendous uptake from merchants and from users.”

 

As research firm RKG announced, PLAs drove 28 percent of Google’s non-brand paid search clicks in the final quarter of 2012. And things have been growing since.

 

What Does That Mean For You?

 

While it’s nice to know how PLAs impact organic search optimization for product searches, this information does have a silver lining – with it, you can strategically allocate your resources and make a lot more out of your marketing buck.

 

The key is to know at what stages of shopping you should target a customer. If you’re a product or service provider, your best bet is to look for affordable SEO services in Los Angeles and Ventura– like those provided by SeoTuners – in order to promote your company and business’ name as a premier provider of product information and expertise. And when it comes to getting your product sold, transferring most of your PPC AdWords budget into Google’s PLAs is a wise decision.

E-Commerce SEO

Proven Tactics for Killer Ecommerce SEO

This entry was posted in ecommerce, SEO on by .

Ecommerce businesses need to face stiff competition these days. And, keeping the websites abreast and noticeable, is becoming more challenging by the day. Now that isn’t to bog you down and raise your blood pressure, but to remind you of how overwhelming managing ecommerce can become most of the time. But, worry not; here are 5 killer ecommerce SEO tactics to keep your ecommerce website a step ahead of your competitors.

ecommerce marketing

Proven Tactics for Ecommerce SEO

  1. Keep duplicate content in check – One of the most common and diverse problem faced by ecommerce website is of duplicate content. Pages can be duplicated through print preview, filtering, faceted navigation, query parameters, etc. Or, your website may also be featuring web pages with product descriptions that have been directly pulled out from the manufacturer’s manual. Whatever be the case, duplicate content can split page authority and conversion tracking, thus resulting in negligible organic traffic. Note here that besides creating unique content for all product and category pages, blocking query parameter pages and defining canonical settings is also very important to alleviate such problems.
  2. Consider tuning your informational architecture – The information layout can be critical to an ecommerce website’s bounce rate, which is very similar to a brick and mortar supermarket store. Finding coffee in a toiletries section or having entire sections of American tuna can be a terrible experience for your potential buyers. Hence, layout is very important. In the case of an ecommerce store, automating universal on-site elements, instituting breadcrumb navigation, crafting user-friendly URLs and mapping out category hierarchies can be some of the ways to enhance usability and improve the website’s crawlability.
  3. XML Sitemaps – XML sitemaps act as a directory for your ecommerce websites. Since ecommerce websites have a number of cycle products that are uploaded and removed from time to time, they can create an influx of broken and new pages. Hence, XML sitemaps need to be updated regularly and submitted to search engines, so that the new pages can be indexed and the old ones removed. Updating XML sitemaps will also help organizations monitor indexing fluctuations and take necessary actions accordingly.
  4. Implementing ecommerce tracking and site search – While implementing on-site search is a must-have tool for ecommerce websites to track user behavior, having an sales tracking tool can help gauge user buying behavior and help your create marketing strategies accordingly.
  5. Use of structured data – Although it isn’t universally adopted as a ranking signal, structured data can be remarkable in optimizing the click through rates, in the case of organic searches. Structured data offers users with greater comparative data, earlier in the purchase cycle, therefore helping you present your consumer satisfaction data alongside that of your competitors.

How many of the above ecommerce solutions do you ensure for your ecommerce website? Share your thoughts and opinions with us in the comments below.

Things To Avoid While Aiming For Ecommerce Website Optimization

This entry was posted in ecommerce, SEO on by .

Market analysts are often on their mind’s toes for all day long to come up with the best plans that will help to separate their products or their brands from the rest that is available in the market. This whole process requires the formulation of correct strategies so that ecommerce website optimization can be achieved a potential customer base can be generated that in turn leads to a heavy inflow of good traffic. Most White Hat SEO companies try to achieve it by shifting from self made branded keywords to a language that makes more number of potential customers hit the search engine button. However, if you are committing any of the below listed mistakes, it may lead to a decrease in your traffic and so these are the pitfalls that you need to avoid:

  • If you are marketing a product like a garment or a gift item, providing all its basic details is extremely necessary.  Unfortunately, a lot of companies fail to provide text descriptions apart from a generic explanation like boots, or handbag, or dress material etc which leads to a lower frequency query because there is nothing special that is separating your product from that of others.

Ecommerce Website Optimization

  • Many times, page owners make the mistake of uploading content that is received from the manufacturer without editing it. Since the manufacturer distributes same content to everyone, not editing to add anything unique makes you fall in the same list of countless other websites which is seen as repetitive and having nothing different to offer.
  • Today’s customers prefer making informed decisions and this is one big reason why websites that do not carry product reviews find themselves at the end of the line. For achieve this, ensure you have product reviews that look genuine and also are updated at periodic intervals so that the traffic keeps moving.
  • If you do not consider the demand keywords while writing out your headline, title pages, or the description of your product; you are in for trouble. this is a very common mistake made by most online stores who do not pay heed to these issues and often end up promoting the products which have little or no buyers.
  • In the world of ecommerce, the basic foundation of website optimization is based on how unique you can be. If you cannot make unique key phrases, chances are that you shall end up repeating the same combination of keywords again and again. A good way to avoid this is to organize comprehensive customer survey to learn the language that they use for keywords.
  • Keyword speaking is an art and that is why many SEOs fail miserably at it. One way to learn it is to look at various good websites and see how they use the name of the product in the website address itself. These are also known as keyword-friendly urls and the reason for the name is obvious.

Once you are able you sort out these issues and create unique content or product descriptions that separates you from a million other marketers who are selling similar products; you have a winner. The idea is to be unique enough to have spunk but sane enough so that you do not look like spam.