While Google is obviously the most important company to watch to be able to understand how the rest of 2011 is going to build up to the next new year, plenty of activity is taking place at Google and elsewhere that will have significant influence on how things turn out for ecommerce retailers in 2012. Google should be focused on in a big way – especially the May Day and Panda/Farmer updates – if your ecommerce business means to play to the rankings games with Google now or in the near future.
Why in heaven’s name would you want to play such games? Because online is where your new consumers, customers, clients…the people who pay you…are going to be and already are. To reach these prospective ecommerce revenue boosters and to ensure that they find enough of a deal in coming to you for their shopping and actually making a purchase, you will need to know about practically every single step that Google takes. And make the user experience at your site better for your own customers. How make it better? Well, the info graphic to your right says it all.
Google is interested in its own consumers finding what they are looking for on the Google search engine. It cannot but do everything it can to ensure that it stays ahead of competition such as Bing, which it regards as a serious competitor despite the vast margin by which it dominates market share. And therefore, its algorithm changes and updates are going to keep online businesses on their toes even through 2012. By mid-2013, I expect the internet marketing industry to better anticipate Google’s algorithmic antics and develop a sure-footed approach to optimization (lol!).
Bing is yet another important component of a well-laid-out, strategic ecommerce campaign. Along with gradually increasing traffic directed by Bing, ecommerce sites can look forward to an online world that wants to shop more than ever before. Microsoft statistics indicate that Bing users are more likely (11% more) than Google users to complete a purchase at an online store. Thus, the opportunity provided by Bing is one that ecommerce businesses cannot possibly neglect. The value that Bing promises for all ecommerce activity is far too real to ignore.
In order to be able to keep abreast of online shopping behavior, ecommerce businesses will need to resort to the good ol’ ways of discounts, coupons, freebies, gifts, giveaways, and the like. Further, ecommerce professionals should particularly ensure that duplicate content at product and search levels do not create grounds for a chastising by Google’s notorious updates.
I am expecting much higher levels of automation to be made available for enhancing the online experience for the shoppers. Google has been actively and aggressively developing and promoting its own tools and functionality that facilitate precisely that online experience for its own consumers. Beyond that, the simple things to remember are also the most critical ones. Be practical in how you prioritize website essentials while building or renovating a business website or webstore.
Your consumers should likely be interested in your products, rather than in the frills that you might get your designers and developers to create at your whim. Your consumers want a no-nonsense online shopping experience that lets them shop comfortably and quickly. Concentrate on these basics and on offering genuine value. By all means, use whatever functionality and design effect you want, but don’t throw them in merely because you took a fancy to them.
I will be doing more posts on addressing user experience and providing what users want while eshopping, so watch this space for more on the topic.
Meanwhile, think about what the customers expect. Then act accordingly.