Recent data (October 2013) has shown that the last quarter has seen the fastest paced growth since March 2008. A major source of the increase is centered on sales of furniture (which grew by 3pc after a lengthy period of contraction) and this could be due to the usual pre-Christmas advertising pushes for sofas and dining furniture or it has been suggested that the Government’s “Help to Buy” scheme has meant that new home owners have more disposable funds with which to furnish their new homes. Further to this cyclical growth, however, there is evidence of the upturn across the whole retail sector and, moreover, online sales significantly feature in the positive figures. For online retailers in the run upto the Christmas period, this must be heartening news as they prepare for their busiest period. However, there is an ominous note in the form of the rise in fuel bills and inflation far outstripping the 0.7pc rise in average wages.
While online shopping accounts for 10.2pc of all retail spending (with the execption of fuel), online retailers are competiting in a highly competitive yet somewhat volatile market. Search marketing is one method of ensuring that your website is found and produces return on investment (ROI). While SEO campaigns will, more often than not, require more than a couple of months to garner results, certain aspects of search marketing can offer wins in time for this christmas period.
Pay Per Click (PPC) is a great platform for generating instant visibility on searches relevant to your website. They are also very useful for positioning seasonal stock that wouldn’t generally be incorporated into a longer term SEO campaign.
Calls To Actions (CTAs) and onsite audits can be a great way to ensure that your ecommerce site is running efficiently for the visitiors. Simply put there are only three things that users of retail sites want: the cheapest prices, ease of use and appealing web design. While price is a matter of margins, offering tempting promotions such as free delivery can entice buyers from competitors.
Ease of use and appealing web design go hand in hand, as a well designed website should enable both. While many people now opt to buy on line there are several parallels to be made with the high street, but with the added factor that it takes two minutes to visit five shops as opposed to half a day in the real world. The most obvious parallel is that your website acts as your store front, if its uninviting or makes it difficult to find a product people will leave.
For more information on search marketing and web design, contact DSM.