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How technology platforms are driving ecommerce success

Bricks and mortar retailers can rely on foot traffic for a large percentage of their customers, but it’s not that simple in the world of ecommerce. Ecommerce retailers rely on search engines from digital channels like Google, Facebook, Instagram and, increasingly, Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) platforms to drive traffic to their platforms – for a price. We consider how discovery is driving retail success online.

By Hemma Vara | November 4, 2019 | Sponsored Content

Google is the most popular search engine in the world. It’s only natural that retailers want their websites to be ranked high (i.e., on the first page) when customers type in relevant keywords. Optimising your ecommerce store for search engines is called Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Optimisation means that a website is crawled, indexed, and better understood by the search engine to feature a site to relevant searchers. Google’s SEO Guide is a helpful start.

To pay for search traffic on Google, retailers can set up Google AdWords campaigns. These advertisements capitalise on the keyword searches used as part of a customer’s buying journey. 

As there will also be organic traffic searching on Google for a particular brand name, this is where Google My Businesscan help. Akin to an online window front, retailers can add contact details, opening hours, and also direct customers to the link to leave Google reviews. In particular, reviews will increase the willingness of searches to purchase from a retailer online. 

Turning to social media behemoth Facebook, it advertises directly to the Facebook newsfeed, as well as Instagram and other placements where selected. Users do not need to search for a particular keyword and are instead targeted based on a variety of behaviours and preferences. For example, one can build a specific audience for targeting by selecting interests, location, recent life events, and more. 

Facebook also allows ads to focus on a particular objective, for example, driving traffic to a website, collecting leads, brand awareness, and online purchases. 

Although it’s online purchases that every ecommerce retailer wants to achieve, it’s not necessarily what one would start with when advertising on Facebook. For example, it may be essential to build brand awareness or generate traffic to educational posts on a website. Then, these users can be retargeted to encourage purchases, and there’s already a sense of trust and familiarity with the brand. 

Retailers should remember that on social media, they won’t have success with getting visitors to their page if they’re hard-selling 24/7. They need to use Facebook and Instagram for their purpose - to socialise. 

Marketing on these channels is about storytelling and conversing with the audience. There are also nuances between different social media platforms - on Instagram, the audience is slightly younger and highly visual. Therefore, retailers need to consider changing their messaging to match the different audiences on each platform. 

Shaun Quincey, Latitude’s General Manager Buy Now Pay Later and founder of BNPL platform Genoapay, says shoppers increasingly use Genoapay as a discovery platform. The store finder page is one of Genoapay’s most popular sections.

“It’s the buy now pay later solution but it’s also the database and the ecommerce SEO,” Quincey says. “The fact that we list almost 3,000 business names means we can leverage all the SEO of that so we drive a lot more traffic to our retail partners.”

Quincey adds that offering Genoapay will increase a retailer’s Google ranking over a period of time.

He says retailers seeking to partner with a BNPL should not only consider its payments utility, but ask themselves, “What else can your payment tool do for you?” 

While digital channels will attract traffic to a website, it’s then up to the retailer to convince the traffic to stay. Therefore, the content included on a website, as well as its user-friendliness, is vital. The barriers to conversion, for example high shipping fees, should also be considered. 

Ultimately, search traffic is essential for ecommerce success as retailers can drive traffic from search engines and social media platforms to an asset they own. How the retailer then convinces a potential customer to make a purchase is another journey in itself.

This story was created with the support of Gem powered by Latitude.

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