Posts Tagged: ecommerce

What Retailers Need To Do In Light Of Recent Google Changes? Build Content Sites! – Retail Spokes Blog


Google Search

Google recently updated its search algorithm, which according to Google will affect about 11.8% of searches. The change is targeted towards pushing down sites with low-quality content. According to a blog post by Amit Singhal, Google Fellow, and Matt Cutts, Principal Engineer:

“This update is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites—sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful. At the same time, it will provide better rankings for high-quality sites—sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on.”

So, what do retail sites do in light of these changes? The answer is simple – create high-quality original content that attracts backlinks naturally. The blog post by Amit and Matt further states importance of high quality content:

“Google depends on the high-quality content created by wonderful websites around the world, and we do have a responsibility to encourage a healthy web ecosystem. Therefore, it is important for high-quality sites to be rewarded, and that’s exactly what this change does.”

via What retailers need to do in light of recent Google changes? Build content sites! | Retail Spokes – Online Retail Focused Content Solutions.

Facebook Commerce: Marketplace or Just Referral Source? – Retail Spokes Blog

Facebook Shopping

Lately, there has been a lot of talk about Facebook’s eCommerce efforts. Many believe it is the next big thing in eCommerce. According to IDC, in three to five years, 10 to 15 percent of total consumer spending in developed countries may go through sites such as Facebook. I agree that some consumer spending will go through social networks, but these numbers along with predictions by many others are somewhat inflated. Facebook’s initiatives like Open Graph, Like button, Facebook Credits and partnerships with retailers indicate a push towards making its platform more conducive for eCommerce transactions. But, it will take years before physical product sales become mainstream on Facebook.

What can really work in near future is Facebook as a referral platform. The real value for anyone trying to leverage Facebook comes from heaps of social data that the platform owns. But, collecting data is one thing and putting it to use is another. It will take a while before Facebook itself can effectively mine and use this social data, let alone its partner being able to make good use of it. Currently, when making a buying decision outside of Facebook, this data rarely helps. This is due to the fact that at a user level limited amount of product recommendations can be derived via Facebook APIs, and anything outside user’s immediate social graph very quickly becomes vague. But, if Facebook itself were to launch a product recommendation engine (or such), they would have huge amount of data to analyze and tremendous targeting opportunities.

via Facebook Commerce: Marketplace or Just Referral Source? | Retail Spokes – Online Retail Focused Content Solutions.

E-Commerce Videos: Benefits And Optimization Best Practices – Retail Spokes Blog

ecommerce videos

For a long time, retailers held back from adding video content on their eCommerce sites. This delay was due to high production and hosting costs, inept distribution and marketing channels, and few optimization opportunities. All in all, there was no clear ROI for the investment. Today, technology advancement has cleared most of these roadblocks. About 68% of top 50 US online retailers offered some kind of video content on their site in 2009 (eMarketer). This number is growing rapidly as adding video content has now become the second-highest priority of multichannel retailers. According to a recent Forrester Research study, videos are 53 times more likely to generate a first-page ranking than traditional SEO techniques.

via E-Commerce Videos: Benefits and Optimization Best practices | Retail Spokes – Online Retail Focused Content Solutions.

The New Shopper – Informed, Connected And Demanding! – Retail Spokes Blog

informed shopper

It is amazing how Apple rules over its consumer’s mindsets. They pre-sell millions of products and even get away with shortcomings (think iPhone 4 signal issues) without hurting their fan base. Only Steve Jobs has the ability to instruct his consumers to stop holding the phone ‘the wrong way!’ But, Apple fanatics are a rare breed providing such leeway to a seller. In the times that we live in, it is difficult even to get shoppers’ attention. To think of commanding what, where, when and how they buy is like daydreaming. Shoppers today have complete control and they have tools at their disposal that facilitate this authority.

So, what has lead to this shopper authority? Internet and other digital mediums have essentially changed the way we shop. The effect of internet shopping is far greater than the dollar value of online sales transactions. It is the influence on offline shopping where online produces a much bigger impact. Let’s list down some of things that have changed shoppers’ attitude and in effect transformed the retail landscape.

via The New Shopper – Informed, Connected and Demanding! | Retail Spokes – Online Retail Focused Content Solutions.

How Comparison Shopping Engines Are Innovating – Retail Spokes Blog

comparison shopping

I always get into an argument with a friend who works at a first generation Comparison Shopping Engine (CSE). My opinion that CSEs need to do much more than just provide price comparisons does not fare well with him. His mantra – “Get shoppers in and out as quickly as possible and run with your cut”. Until recently, no one seemed interested in engaging shoppers, or providing better experiences. But, what my friend doesn’t realize is that the CSE world is changing. What was once considered taboo is soon going to become a hygiene factor. And, new breed of Comparison Shopping Engines are leading the charge to see about this change.

via How Comparison Shopping Engines are Innovating | Retail Spokes – Online Retail Focused Content Solutions.

Decline of Comparison Shopping Engines – Retail Spokes Blog

comparison shopping

Comparison shopping or ability to compare prices was (and to a large extent continues to be) one of the greatest innovations since the advent of internet shopping. Why? Because it put shoppers in control of the single most important shopping insight – ability to find the best price. So, understandably, comparison shopping engines (CSEs) were once a rage. But, they are constantly losing their clout with advent of new technologies and pressure from players like Google and Amazon. Here are some of the factors that are taking away CSE traffic:

Search engines are investing on their own shopping platforms

Google and Bing continue to evolve their own product search platforms. In addition to standard product information, they are enriching product pages with content like product reviews, videos and related products. There is a clear conflict of interest when it comes to product related search results. And, guess who wins? It is definitely not CSEs.

via Decline of Comparison Shopping Engines | Retail Spokes – Online Retail Focused Content Solutions.

What Can Retailers Do To Build a Brand (And a Loyal Customer Base)? – Retail Spokes Blog

brand building

Social media

It is not rocket-science to understand that the web is becoming increasingly social. Most retailers have a social media marketing strategy, but campaigns are mostly geared towards putting deals on Facebook and Twitter. What would really make a difference is content that can enhance experience on these social touch points. The goal is to enable your most influential existing customers to spread word of mouth that would bring in more traffic. Soon, online shopping will be the same friends and family experience as it is in a traditional brick and mortar store.


It is now common understanding that retailers have to provide consistent products, pricing, information, and experiences across all their channels. Multi-channel retailers have an advantage over pure-play retailers in that they have more opportunities to convert shoppers. This includes features such as ‘ship to store’, ‘ship to home’ (if not available in-store) or in-store access to content and community over mobile devices.

via What can retailers do to build a brand (and a loyal customer base)? | Retail Spokes – Online Retail Focused Content Solutions.

Building a Loyal Brand Following – a New Focus For Online Retailers – Retail Spokes Blog

brand loyalty

If there is one thing to be learned from Amazon’s dominance in eCommerce, it is the importance of building a brand. It is phenomenal that 33% of all shoppers visit Amazon for research, according to a recent study by e-tailing group and PowerReviews. Although, it is apparent that Amazon does not provide best product choices or shopping experience for many product segments. Nonetheless, their ability to attract direct traffic is unmatched. This is where most eCommerce sites need to become better in that they have to build loyal customer bases.

via Building a loyal brand following – a new focus for online retailers | Retail Spokes – Online Retail Focused Content Solutions.

Price Consistency Across Channels – Absolutely Important! – Retail Spokes Blog

Price Consistency

I recently got my hands around a report from Forrester Analyst Sucharita Mulpuru titled “Higher Prices In Your Stores: OK Or Not? How Consumers React When Store And Web Prices For An Item Differ”.

In today’s socio-economic environment, it is common sense that shoppers are increasingly frugal and aware of their options when it comes to opening up their wallets. Retailers understand this trend and have come to realize that this is not a recession specific phenomenon. We may be out of recession, but shopper attitudes have not changed. Almost everyone shops around and compares prices across different channels. This has led to a rush towards consistent multi-channel experience.

But, this Forrester report paints a completely different picture. It suggests that having different prices across channels is not an issue, and retailers should rather focus on things that are more important!?!?

via Price Consistency Across Channels – Absolutely Important! | Retail Spokes – Online Retail Focused Content Solutions.

Top 5 Facebook Pages Series (Brands) – Retail Spokes Blog

Top 5 Facebook Pages Series - Brands

Along with good design and layout, it is important for brand pages to have great content that drives conversations and social interactions. Unlike retailers, most brands do not offer any coupons or promotions making it even more important to have quality content. I have come across hundreds of Facebook pages, but these 5 brands stand out for excellent design, engaging content, and social features that draw millions of Likes.

via Top 5 Facebook Pages Series – Brands | Retail Spokes – Online Retail Focused Content Solutions.