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With the pandemic seeing global ecommerce sales grow significantly, we are in the midst of another ecommerce boom. As a result, the share of ecommerce as part of total retail jumped from 13.8% two years ago to 19.8% in 2021. This share is expected to reach 24.5% by 2025.
At Urtasker.com we have seen customers prioritize online shopping over traditional retail and we expect the narrative will shift from saving time and money to getting a superior shopping experience. Whether it’s your website or your product listings on marketplaces, it will get increasingly difficult to differentiate yourself from the competition.
Having observed how trends have continuously changed in the past several years, I’ve noticed the only way to keep growing your ecommerce business is through evolution. With 2022 heralding new technology and customer behavior trends, you need to adapt to evolve from fighting price wars to building your brand.
Below, I’ve listed the strategies that’ll help you grow your brand in 2022.
1. Create an SEO strategy
SEO will stay golden in the coming year. Customers are always searching for solutions to their needs and your products need to surface at the top of those search results. Make sure to optimize your product listings for both text-based and voice-based searches.
In fact, you need to go a step further and optimize your product videos for user searches as well. Utilize transcripts and thumbnails to perfect video SEO as well.
Lastly, to increase the Domain Authority (DA) of your website, you need to cultivate organic backlinks. These all-around SEO efforts will keep your brand fresh in customers’ minds, bolstering your brand recall.
Today, every marketplace has its own set of SEO best practices that you will need to optimize for.
2. Leverage social commerce
The latest reports indicate that customers spend an average of 2 hours and 25 minutes daily on social media apps. You need to capture this huge chunk of their mindshare if you wish to grow your brand’s prominence.
Marketing your products and your brand story on platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest will increase awareness and create stickiness with potential customers, while bringing relevant traffic to your website.
You can even integrate your online store with these platforms to enable customers to shop your products directly without ever needing to leave their favorite social media apps.
3. Provide rich shopping experiences
Online shopping today has transformed from just an alternative channel to a whole new beast — accelerating the adoption of innovative technologies like AR, VR and 360-degree videos. It’s all about how you can create delightful experiences for your customers and foster new reasons (in addition to shopping) for them to spend time on your online store.
Engaging customers with novel implementations of cutting-edge technology will position you in the top tier of brands, leading to lasting loyalty from customers and unlocking the ability to charge a premium.
4. Collect social proof
One of the most powerful forces behind brand-building is social proof — positive recommendations from people around us. Studies show that 93% of people trust friends and family more than advertisements, influencers or celebrities.
Word-of-mouth is still king when it comes to making purchasing decisions. A 2020 survey showed that 79% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
When potential customers can trust reviews and save hours of research deciding which brand to trust with their money, their experience benefits as a result. Hence, incentivizing your existing customers to share their experiences online goes a long way in building your brand image.
User-generated content (UGC) is another powerful source of harnessing your brand community to your advantage. Encourage your customers to post about their experience with your brand on social media, your product pages and even your website.
5. Get known for excellent customer service
The service recovery paradox shows that stopping a customer from jumping ship by solving a problem they faced will increase chances of retention much more than retaining one who never faced a problem at all.
Hence, investing in customer service can prove to be one of the greatest investments for your brand. The human element in an otherwise automated experience can work wonders by creating positive associations in the minds of your customers.
Your customer support personnel can work as your brand evangelists, working in synergy to provide the best shopping experience, pre-and post-purchase.
The way your brand handles returns and replacements will define brand perception for your customers and will have multiple benefits for your business.
6. Omnichannel presence
It’s a folly to try to maximize your sales by limiting yourself to a single marketplace or just your website. Ensure you’re selling on all the platforms your potential customers are spending time on, be it Amazon, Shopify, Etsy or Walmart Marketplace.
If you’re already selling on Amazon and Walmart Marketplace, there are still a lot of areas you can improve on.
- With the Brand Registry Program, you can optimize your product pages with increased customization, while also protecting brand assets against infringement by other sellers.
- Amazon Stores lets you design store pages for your brand. Having a customized brand page builds brand authority and helps you connect with customers on a deeper emotional level.
- Lastly, Amazon Advertising and the Amazon Influencer Program can massively increase awareness and engagement for your products, both on and off the platform.
- Sellers using Walmart Fulfillment Services and sporting the Pro Seller badge are automatically part of the most elite sellers on the platform.
- Walmart Advertising is a highly effective tool to drive customers to your products and highlight deals and specials you might be running.
- Using Walmart’s new Flash Picks program, you can take advantage of Walmart’s marketing campaigns and deliver a top-notch and consistent site experience to your buyers.
The pandemic has forever changed how customers shop online, accelerating industry trends by a decade. In order to capitalize, your brand needs to adapt to and anticipate new customer behavior trends. The only ecommerce currency that will survive the increasing competition and changing customer trends in this new decade is your unique brand identity.