E-commerce continues to become increasingly central to marketing success. In 2016, global e-commerce sales reached $22 trillion, a 6 percent increase from 2015, according to eMarketer. By 2020, global e-commerce revenue will climb to $27.7 trillion.
So what does this all mean? Truth be told, your website’s performance is more important than ever for driving revenue. Here are four essentials you should include on your website to maximize traffic, conversion rates and sales.
Valued at $99 billion, Amazon is today’s most successful online retail brand. This is primarily due to the company’s marketing strategy, which includes tactics like price matching and free shipping. However, the real key to Amazon’s success has been content marketing. Whereas most websites only feature product sales pages, an Amazon product page includes content like
- Free sample pages
- Customer reviews
- Links to user forums
- Links to other works by the same author
- Related reading suggestions
- Lists of recommended books in a given category
This information educates visitors, thereby helping them make more informed buying decisions and making them more inclined to purchase a product or service. Amazon’s content marketing strategy also includes featuring SEO-oriented keywords and topics to attract readers from search engines.
Amazon also shares content on social media to draw readers from sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Additionally, Amazon’s extensive help documentation provides content that’s valuable for both prospective and current customers seeking answers to frequently-asked questions.
While valuable content can help attract readers to your site, eye-catching design can help keep them there. One company that excels at this is Adobe, which stays true to its focus on products for creative audiences in fields such as graphic design and videography.
Adobe’s homepage is currently paying homage to the 25th anniversary of the company’s Adobe Premiere video editing line of products, with the area above the fold highlighting movie hits edited with Premiere Pro, like Deadpool. This helps underscore the product’s professional target market. Below this are links where visitors can learn more about Adobe’s Creative Cloud signature product, which includes Premiere Pro as one of its components.
This design serves both to grab the viewer’s eye and to steer them toward clicking on a link for a featured product. For visitors seeking other information, there is also a menu icon with additional navigational options.
Graphic selection is a key element of design. Your graphics send a message about your brand and products, telling your visitors something about your company as well as about who you perceive your audience to be. Your graphics also set the emotional tone for your site, with factors such as subject matter and color influencing your visitors’ mood.
One company that has succeeded in part by carefully controlling its graphic image selection is Apple. From its inception, the company’s corporate philosophy has emphasized simplicity as the key to functional sophistication. This philosophy is embodied both in the design of Apple’s products and in the company logo.
In fact, Apple’s distinctive logo consists of just two shapes: a bitten fruit and a stem. The logo shape has remained consistent over the years, with the color changing to reflect different marketing themes. Additionally, Apple publishes a detailed brand style guide, which lays out strict policies for use of the logo and other imagery. This helps Apple maintain quality control over its graphics to ensure a professional impression consistent with the company’s branding philosophy.
Where and how you display your products is crucial in piquing customer interest and generating continued sales. A proven approach is to use the area above the fold to showcase a current sale or signature product, with additional navigational links available for other products.
One site that uses this approach effectively is TireBuyer.com. Mobile visitors will notice a sales offer for discounted tires, with a drop-down menu to select specific brands from which to purchase. Meantime, desktop visitors will see an alternate offer with a similar menu selection. This approach extends a special offer to visitors regardless of which product they’re looking for or what device they’re using.