Trends in internet retailing

This is a nice summary of key trends, from

  • Multi-channel integration. Online consumers are getting ever more demanding, and ever more intolerant when retailers fail to join up their multi-channel dots. A seamless cross-channel experience, driven by a single view of the customer, will become a core requirement for success in the years ahead.
  • Mobile. The potential of mobile as a new channel for retailers has received much of the industry’s attention over the last few months. The ability for customers to easily price check, find the latest coupons and deals and purchase online from their mobile phone — even in-store — is going to lead to significant changes in shopping habits.
  • Mobile – again. One of the most interesting developments is likely to be the way in which mobile will link into retailers’ multi-channel strategies as a way to connect up the different channels through technologies such as mobile barcodes, coupons and NFC.
  • Delivery. Fulfilment and delivery service providers have responded well over the last few months, introducing ever more sophisticated delivery options. ‘One size fits all’ is no longer enough.
  • Personalisation. Everything from personalised on-site recommendation engines to tightly targeted email campaigns will be key to delivering growth as internet retailing becomes ever more competitive in the years ahead.
  • Choice. Whether it’s offering a wide range of ways to pay, or options for the frequency of marketing emails, consumers are set to expect online retailers to use information gained from previous purchases and site visits to tailor the offering to meet their particular needs.
  • Social media. On the one hand, social media has now become quite entrenched. On the other, however, an understanding of the ways in which social media can be leveraged to aid business decisions is still in its early days and is set to deliver significant commercial advantage to those who gain the greatest expertise.
  • Email. Still very much a key sales driver, and one that internet retailers still need to be investing in and making a key development priority.
Mar 29, 2010 | Posted by in Ecommerce strategy, SEO, Social media | 0 comments

Is adwords ever “not cost effective”?

I was talking to the owner of Sunspel, a website selling luxury menswear both online and offline, who came out with the statement “Adwords is not cost effective for us” (not for product-related keywords, only for brand-related keywords).

My main experience with Adwords was for where my adwords campaigns generated 50% of sales at a cost per conversion of around 10% of the average order value – so very cost effective, in fact the most cost effective marketing channel in that particular case.

Of course an adwords campaign will not be particularly cost effective if the keywords chosen are not relevant, if ads are poorly written, and landing pages are poor. But the point made by Sunspel was that there were too many competitors bidding on keywords like “T Shirt” or “mens clothes”, and with so much competition it’s difficult to push a luxury message vs. a price-based message.

To some extent I had it easy running campaigns for a site selling mostly cutlery, where the majority of traffic came for a handful of “cutlery”-related keywords. And there are fewer Adwords competitors in the world of cutlery than T shirts. But to a much bigger extent Adwords was cost effective due to constant optimization; stopping keywords and ads which were not cost effective, refining keywords and ads which were more cost effective; constantly looking for trends and opportunities in the long tail of search terms.

Mar 15, 2010 | Posted by in Ecommerce strategy, SEO | 0 comments

I Like: (the biggest online retailer of footwear in the US, now owned by Amazon) has this nice widget to encourage you to “blog about this item”.

I Like:

Ramona by Lassen at
Ramona by - Powered by Service

It’s a great example of building engagement with the brand AND helping SEO by building links to their site. Apparently Zappos has been doing social media well for a while, as this chart of inbound links since they embraced Twitter shows:

Mar 5, 2010 | Posted by in SEO, Social media | 0 comments
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