One thing today’s businesses – especially those with online platforms – may focus on is increasing eCommerce sales. The COVID-19 pandemic has further sped up the adoption and popularity of eCommerce, urging people to get on board with this phenomenon or risk losing out. As a result of this, the industry has likewise become more competitive.
Outsourcing your eCommerce services to a reputable agency can help you see the growth you may not have expected if you were to do the work in-house. You should consider hiring an eCommerce agency as an investment, because of the technical know-how, skills, and expertise that will go into executing effective solutions.
Looking into factors such as reviews, reputation, previous experience, pricing, specialization, communication, and methodology can help you objectively decide on an eCommerce agency that suits your company best.
Because eCommerce is such a lucrative business, with global retail sales amounting to $4.28 trillion in 2020, there is an overwhelming amount of agencies that now provide these services. As such, we have grouped together a general list of factors that may be beneficial to you when you start narrowing down a list of eCommerce agencies to work with.
It may give you more peace of mind to know how long an agency has been in service. Their number of years in the industry may indicate how well they know its ins and owns, as well as how they have stayed abreast with its changes. You can have a look at their portfolio for a clearer picture of their work within your industry.
What previous customers have to say about your chosen eCommerce agency is extremely important, as it gives you an unbiased account of their track record. Be sure to look into the reviews posted on third-party sites, as the agency will likely only display the most glowing reviews on their site. Technical reviews that are more objective will also be beneficial. Additionally, consider exploring the agency's proposed referral program for eCommerce, as positive referrals from satisfied clients can further validate the credibility and quality of their services.
You may have a set budget for your company’s eCommerce and marketing plan, so you should compare and contrast different agencies’ pricing plans. Although this is not the most important factor, you should still see what services are included in their packages so that you have a concrete idea of what you are paying for.
As mentioned, it may be more ideal for you to hire an agency that specializes in working with clients under your niche. This way, you will know that they have a more thorough understanding of your business goals and needs – as well as how to differentiate your eCommerce solutions so that you are able to stand out from your competitors.
Customer service and communication are everything when it comes to hiring an eCommerce agency. You will want to work with a team that is responsive and transparent when they communicate with you – whether this is for daily updates or about the progress of your campaigns. If you need anything, you should be able to contact the agency as soon as possible.
Make sure that your chosen agency operates using the best practices, and personalizes its eCommerce solutions to suit your company best. Have them walk you through their usual methodology so that you understand what they will be doing for you. Ask them about what metrics they use to test the effectiveness of their eCommerce solutions and campaigns.
Different eCommerce agencies may have their own arsenal of marketing strategies in their toolkit which they offer their clients. The following strategies are a great starting point as you begin your eCommerce journey. Make sure to look out for these services when you are choosing an agency to work with.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial for today’s eCommerce businesses to gain traction, boost brand recognition, improve rankings on Google, and convert searches into sales. The right agency will help you identify your target audience, and then refine your SEO strategies from there.
They will assist you with targeted keyword research for your intended market, and deploy these insights on your website. Moreover, your eCommerce agency will help improve elements of your website structure, speed, and design to ensure a favorable user experience, regardless if its Shopify or Squarespace. SEO services will also include link building, and of course, reporting or analytics so that you can track progress.
Producing and promoting content regularly is one of the best things you can do to stay relevant. Creating content in different mediums and on different platforms helps you widen your reach, while at the same time tap into new markets. You will also grow your chances for improving your SEO, and thus, your rankings as well.
Your chosen agency, however, should help you create quality content and not just content for the sake of posting. They should also optimize it to be SEO-friendly for different platforms. If effective enough, your organic search traffic will improve. You will also be able to provide potential customers with the information that they need about your products and services.
Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing is an advertising strategy where online shops can promote themselves in ad spaces. Through PPC ads on websites, search engines, and even social media pages, you will be able to capitalize on customers who are ready to make purchases. It is also cost-effective, as you will usually only pay when someone clicks on your ads.
Your chosen agency will help you find affiliate partner sites that are relevant to your company, for these PPC ads. Strategically picking the best affiliate partners can lead to better results and sales. For eCommerce, PPC ads can be as big or small as you need them to be. You will be able to track the process and analytics of these ads with ease as well.
Utilizing your social media channels is a great way of marketing your brand for better recognition. This is where you can start building a community and a band of loyal followers or customers. Social media marketing also allows you to create positive brand associations. Through this, you can also interact directly with your target audiences.
Social media is great for real-time interactions and engagement. It’s also a fantastic starting point that can lead potential customers to your actual eCommerce page. If they are intrigued by the image you portray on social media, they may be more likely to check out your page and what you have to offer.
Website optimization is another important strategy, which an agency can assist you with in order to make your site visible and well-ranked on search engines. Agencies can optimize your category, product, and landing pages for search engines, to match potential customers with your products or services.
Website optimization covers everything from optimizing your content, headings, and meta tags, adding rich snippets for your products, making unique and search-friendly URLs, and the like. All of the above are part of your on-page SEO. Off-page SEO, which includes social media marketing, link building, among others, can also improve your website optimization.
The three types of eCommerce are business-to-business (B2B), business-to-consumer (B2C), and consumer-to-consumer (C2C).
To determine your cost per lead, simply divide the total amount spent on marketing by the number of leads generated. For example, if you spend $100,000 on marketing and generate 1,000 leads, your cost will be $100 per lead.
The eCommerce industry is profitable, so long as you’re ready to put in the work. It takes an average of 18 to 24 months to get your business up and running, and true eCommerce success requires long-term planning.
A top-level SEO company can help you with your local campaign for about $500 a month. For national or international campaigns, plan on spending at least $2,500 to $5000 per month (or more). Some companies offer trial packages without contracts, but they tend to be around the lower end of that price range.
If you're earning less than $5 million in revenue and your net profit margin is 10 to 12 percent, the U.S. Small Business Administration recommends spending around 7-8% of sales on marketing and advertising expenses each year.
Building your eCommerce SEO strategy is a lot simpler when you work with a reputable agency that supports you and cares about your growth. May the tips above help you get closer to making all your eCommerce goals come true.
Want more industry knowledge and advice on digital marketing and SEO? Bliss Drive can help you with that. Contact us today to learn more!