A June survey, surveying 99 people from retail companies, indicated their e-commerce platform as a top priority. They responded to Internet Retailer Magazine survey. Mobile ecommerce was their second focus. Online platform is seen as a critical marketing tool for the majority of eRetailers. This aligns with an earlier Forrester study report that indicated US business spending on technology for 2014-2015 will outpace the economy.
Marketing budgets have changed greatly in the past 10 years, first they included developing a website and currently companies are creating a marketing budget that can include social media, email, PPC and website. As I review B2B sites it is disconcerting how many businesses have not kept their sites up-dated or optimized content for effective results. Yet recent reports are telling us that companies do understand the importance of the internet presence. The reports are missing a huge audience that don't understand the ability of websites to capture leads and sales.
Though I stress the importance of content (images and copy), websites must load quickly and be easy to navigate. Beauty and content will make no difference if the visitor doesn't stay or use the site.
86% say they will spend more on e-commerce technology in 2014.
Of those responding, 24% say the budget will be bumped up by 15% to 25%. Improving eRetail customer relations, automation and mobile are their requirements. 19% need to replace their e-commerce platforms. Almost 30% report they do not plan to change e-commerce platforms.
As a eRetailer, you understand the need to have some management of the site. You'd prefer to be able to manage price changes, product additions and deletions in-house. Platforms like Magento allow you to automate that process by linking to your internal inventory system. Smaller companies that don't have a large inventory of products can opt for a WordPress platform. The vast number of plugins that have been written for WordPress allows you to have a great functioning e-commerce site. Some are free and there are others that you must purchase.
By the time you become aware of a lead they are 62% of the way through the sales funnel.
I cannot say this often enough - your website is a critical marketing tool and you need a mobile strategy. It takes work to get and keep 1st page ranking in a Google search. As the owner, you or someone in your company needs to have a basic understanding in order to hire a professional firm to help with online marketing your site. There is a lot you can keep in house if your organizational structure can support that position. Survey your customers and those that left their shopping cart to direct your efforts to improve your site. Add automated actions to lower cart abandoment.
Building a great website is one step in the process.
Competition in every market and industry is fierce. Even if the keywords you want to own do not get searched frequently, there are many companies vieing for top ranking with those words. Though many feel SEO is voodo, I have had greate results in increasing my organic search results with consistent SEO and back link building. Some small companies have helped drive business to their website with social media. Social media platforms like Facebook and Pinterest can provide additonal opportunities for you to be in fromt of your customers and prospects that spend time on those sites.
9 months into the year - it is a good time to check analytics.
Don't guess about what needs to be done and where you stand against your competition. There are online services that can report on your keywords, load speed and links compared to your comeptition. This knowledge will help you focus your updates amd maintenance on the areas that will do you the most good. And if you need help in understanding the reprots give me a call.