Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Ecommerce Trends

There are various trends that are in vogue currently and as a very small company, it becomes very important to us in being extremely picky when it comes to prioritizing what we want to do. Here are some trends we are looking at very closely :

1) Videos : It is widely accepted that videos play an important role when it comes to search engine optimization. They are crawled and indexed easily though we have not been able to determine how it affects the number of queries. Creating a compelling video is hard work - no video is better than a patchy video. Videos also take significant bandwidth which means two things - 1) higher storage costs and 2) requires a good connection for the end user - it is possible that you may have a wonderful video and 90% of your customer base can't get your page to load properly because they have a slow connection. Our experience with video has been very mixed. There is no significant increase or decrease in product conversions due to videos. So we are taking it a bit slow when it comes to video - about 10% of our products have videos.

2) Mobile : Do we need a iPad add ? Do we need a iPhone or Android app? The answer at this moment for us is no. This is basically because there seems to be a lot of reluctance in india to use credit cards online so extending that, we believe that using them on a mobile app will be a bit more complicated - also payment gateway integration may not be seamless. The app strategy may be good in case of COD, but since we dont do COD, it looks like a lot of investment without returns at this point. Also with HTML5 and other things on the horizon, we believe the app thing may be a pasing fancy and a singular web based UI across device will start taking precedence in the future.

3) Google : Though we dont have a lot of insight into how Google works, it seems with the recent updates, Original content is becoming more and more important and the number of links especially bought links are kind of becoming less valuable. So, we have kind of stopped doing too much SEO jugglery and just put up good content when we have a new product. Traffic wise, our strategy hasnt worked very well, but at the moment we dont know of ingenous ways to build links and traffic from emails etc havent been very productive for us.

4) Social : Pinterest is not working for us in India - we get some repins etc from primarily US users, but dont seem people care much about pinterest much. Twitter brings in lot of instant traffic but cant seem to connect any conversions to twitter. We havent done much with linkedIn.Facebook is where we spend most of our social time. Our audience engagement has been pretty good and people usually respond well to smart and funny posts, pictures - e.g animals have good engagement. Our average is one post a day and anything more than two usually causes engagement rates to go down drastically. Social is great for brand building but from conversion perspective, it seems a bit overrated at this point. We may be wrong, but that has been our experience though getting accurate conversion data from facebook is very difficult.

5) Advertisement - We have an absolutely tiny budget for ads. The ROI is pretty poor but what you gotta do you gotta do. We do a little bit of google ads - only search and video, no banners. The conversion cost are very high and then some of them drop off during the payment. Video is primarily for branding - not sure if it is working - difficult to track. In Facebook, we primarily page post ads and spend about Rs 6-7 per like - Its not too bad but again it is more of a branding thing.

Hmm. Well thats all for today. If you have any ideas, do leave us some comments. Thanks for reading



1 comment:

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