The e-commerce industry is flourishing at an incredible rate, with more and more shoppers choosing to visit e-shops for their purchases.
For online brands to succeed in today’s ultra-competitive retail environment, they need to continuously align themselves with ever-evolving customer expectations. Asendia strives to stay on top of international e-commerce trends to help brands across the world achieve global e-commerce growth.
To guide you to greater success, we’re presenting the 12 most important trends for today’s cross-border retailers. In this third part of four, we explore Google updates, using influencers to gain maximum exposure, and selling to new markets.
- Keep up with Google
For online retailers, SEO is crucial. After all, how can companies generate sales if nobody can find them? Given the dominance of Google, it makes sense for brands to adapt themselves for this search engine where appropriate; this means keeping up to date with changes to their algorithms, which affect search results in significant ways. It’s the reason for Google’s continued success – they constantly respond to users and enhance their service, which in turn forces companies to improve their websites and visitor experience.
While it’s unnecessary to keep on top of every update (an incredible 3,234 changes were reported last year), knowing when the major ones occur can explain changes in ranking and organic website traffic, or help brands modify their sites accordingly so such changes are minimised. The issue, however, is that even though Google announces updates ahead of time, details are often left out, triggering a need for further research among authority sites.
But how drastic can the impact of Google’s updates be? MailOnline reported a 50% drop in daily search traffic following June’s core update. Keep up to date with Google, and make sure your customers keep coming to you.
Tips to stay ahead:
E-commerce companies should keep an eye on Google’s Webmaster Central Blog and familiarise themselves with their Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines, which explain what the search engine is looking for when ranking websites. Updates are nothing to fear. As long as you keep your website compliant with Google’s standards in terms of content, design, and site architecture, you should have no problems.
- Using Influencers
Not only has influencer marketing developed into a new industry, it’s becoming more sophisticated too. A recent news report detailed the rise of an ‘influencer management company’ in China that scouts for gifted social influencers, offering contracts to 10 online personalities a month and giving them personal support teams.
So why are influencers in such high demand? Because they have powerful voices. These individuals have an online aura that affects people around the world; an influencer who backs your brand can redirect entire new audiences to you, shortcutting months of marketing department activity with just one social post. When you collaborate with influencers, you harness true celebrity power (the ASA recently defined a ‘celebrity’ as having 30,000 followers).
Social influencers are being brought into the content teams of organisations in increasing numbers as brands seek to acquire their power in-house. The benefits of working with social influencers cannot be understated: they improve awareness, engagement, credibility, value, traffic, and sales for your brand.
Tips to stay ahead:
There are plenty of free online tools that will help you source relevant social influencers. Once identified, reach out to them and consider offering free samples. Make sure you nurture the relationship and try to stand out from their mass of followers. You could also take your efforts offline – organise industry events such as launch parties and send invites to influencers you want to bring on board.
- Exploring New Markets
It’s been forecast that worldwide e-commerce sales this year will total an unprecedented $3.5 trillion. Furthermore, the global e-commerce market is predicted to grow by 13.1% by 2025. It’s evident that e-commerce is a mighty, growing force, and cross-border sales are a large part of this success: it’s been reported that most online shoppers around the globe make purchases from overseas retailers.
Brands that expand internationally can experience outstanding growth in sales as new audiences who are on the lookout for quality goods become aware of products that aren’t available in their own country. But smart entrepreneurs aren’t just picking the biggest markets in the world and taking their chances there. They’re looking to target emerging markets with huge potential – lucrative e-commerce destinations that are on the rise, where companies can establish a stronger brand presence due to less competition.
So why are e-tailers excited about these newer markets? In Norway, average annual spend per e-shopper will grow by 30% by 2021. In Israel, the total worth of e-commerce is expected to grow to €3 billion by 2020. In Switzerland, over two-thirds of online purchases are cross-border. When you consider the ever-increasing popularity of online shopping and the high purchasing power of these populations, it’s clear that sometimes the best opportunities are not in the most obvious places.
Tips to stay ahead:
First, make the decision to expand abroad. With the right assistance, it’s not as complicated as you may think, and the potential for success is staggering. Taking your brand to the world’s leading markets may be a popular ambition, but consider selling to alternative destinations. Seize the opportunity of conducting business in a less competitive environment and being part of a smaller etailer pool that meets the needs of a high-spending customer base.
Delivering to over 220 destinations and providing cross-border solutions to companies around the world, Asendia are the global experts you can rely on. We can provide you with everything you need know about exciting new destinations where you can gain success, including their customs regulations, consumer preferences, and e-commerce landscape. Whether you’re an established brand or a young ambitious business, our tailored delivery solutions and Premium Partnerships will help you sell to new audiences around the world.