7 Awesome eCommerce Ideas for 2017

7 Awesome eCommerce Ideas for 2017

2017 is on full fledge, so is the eCommerce market. It’s almost half past and we are all set to step inside the rest half of the adventure.

Adventure? Yes, if you are an eCommerce entrepreneur and your business is still kicking, you know what I mean.

This year, till now, has witnessed so many start-up successes, while some were not so lucky. Are you one of those lucky ones?

If ‘Yes’, congrats! You did the job right till now. If ‘No’, there is no problem. In this post, I have compiled a list of some really useful eCommerce ideas that you can still adopt to keep on kicking. Hopefully, if you do it right, you might get something to reestablish your business, if you were not so lucky earlier.

So, here it goes.

1. Take Mobile Optimization as priority now

Jordan Linberg, Founder, and Owner of Stardust Memorials says  “If your web-store isn’t mobile-friendly, do something about it right now. Mobile shopping (phones and tablets) is the future of eCommerce, and websites that are not mobile responsive are going to be a bigger and bigger barrier to success for their owners”Information courtesy: Practical Ecommerce

He got it right. Optimizing for mobile is a topic that is being discussed from the time unknown now. Ask any successful web-shop owner, you will get the same answer- they took mobile optimization as a priority.

Mobile optimization today is not just a crucial CRO requirement but also a strong signal in search engine optimization (SEO). How? Just look at these stats and you will find the answer:

According to Google 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing and 40% would visit a competitor’s site instead”- Source

Are you ignoring the mobile experience of your store? you are not just pushing your potential customers away but also sending them straight to your rival’s site that has better mobile experience than yours.

57% of users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site” – Source

E-Commerce website design is not just about looks today- it’s all about the user experience. While content optimization is a crucial factor on every website, eCommerce sites still have to do a lot more than just optimizing contents.

Mobile site V/s Standard Website

The ultimate goal with a user on your web-shop is to complete the checkout and receive a successful order. That can only be achieved if your site is responsive enough for the customer to easily perform everything from browsing a product page to completing the checkout, right from a mobile device.

Google officially consider mobile friendliness as one of its ranking signals”- Source

Till now we have been looking at the stats that revealed how you are killing your sales and conversion by not optimizing for mobile. The above fact just pushed us to look at a more dangerous side – Mobile SEO.

When you have a site that is well optimized for mobile users, you are a hero in Google’s eyes. However, by not optimizing for mobile yet, you are surely fixing a bad spot in the same eyes. You will find yourself nowhere in the mobile SERPs and even if somehow you are visible somewhere, bounce rates would make you itch your head like anything.

You can use the Google Mobile-Friendly Testing tool to know if you are a hero or a need some more work in mobile optimization.

Google go mobile friendly

So, it’s almost mid 2017, and mobile commerce is on full fledge. Tougher days are yet to come, optimize for mobile today to secure your business. In fact, why just secure? You can actually touch the sky of revenue generation by making the best possible optimizations.

2. Focus on your new customers and retain them

Steve Jobs Quote about Customer

As eCommerce sellers, we presume that a customer would order only once. As a result, we take a very less interest in generating repeat sales from the new customers. Well! That’s a mistake, a big one I would say.   Undervaluing the new customers not only affects the new customer acquisition but also make the growth stagnant. If you check the sample of your past customers, every repeat customer on your store was once a new customer. Perhaps, it’s your product quality, quicker product delivery, better mobile experience, or the well-optimized checkout process that has encouraged a new customer to shop once again on your store.

It’s time that you understand that the same channel that has pulled a new customer can also generate repeat sales. Acquiring a new customer is tough, and tougher is to retain them. However, with some serious optimization and marketing, it is possible to generate repeat sales more easily than acquiring a new one.

It’s a time to make some loyal customers and boost your conversion rate in 2017

3. Update your social Ads frequently

Today, if you are something of a popular image on the social channels, you start producing gold with your business. Social media, the fastest and easiest medium to carry your words to the millions can also break your brand image if gone wrong.

Facebook Ads for example. You may have launched a successful Facebook Ad campaign which is doing quite well. But if you are showing the same Ad again and again to the same not-interested customer, you are irritating him/her and killing your brand image at the same time.

not-interested customer

What that worked on one customer may not work on another. Michael Stancil, Director of Commerce, Wedding Wire, says that you should keeping changing the images, and Ad text of your Ads every week. In this way, your same Ad will always look fresh and will have something new for each time. Perhaps, some random change might hit even the not-interested customer and get you a successful conversion.

Read: Social media trends that you should follow for your business in 2017

Facebook Ads

Leverage every possible Ad type that you can get on the social platforms. Especially for a platform Like Facebook where ROI is always impressive, you can’t say no to it. Not just Facebook, even Snapchat is not far behind, and who can ignore YouTube which has become a major target for the businesses around the globe.

On the whole, get on these social channels with your Ads and follow the best practices to keep them fresh and updated.

4. Don’t be an orthodox, make wise decisions

It’s a human tendency to easily believe in the things that we hear from the surroundings. Gradually these believe develop into conventions and we start confronting anyone countering those conventions.

You would not purchase a cell phone without researching the complete specs, reviews, ratings, performance, battery capacity, RAM, ROM, and customer support. This information helps you to make an informed decision that is backed by a data-driven research. So, why would you make your Add to cart button Yellow, Send reminder emails, and remove guest checkout option without understanding the data behind making such a decision?

Just because, the yellow color works so well for Amazon, it doesn’t mean it will also work for you. Just because, ASOS increased the checkout rate without having guest checkout option, it doesn’t mean it would work for you too.

don't be eCommerce orthodoxies

If you are an eCommerce entrepreneur, stay away from these orthodoxies. Businesses run on facts, data, and analytics. For everything you believe about your business, make sure you have enough data to prove it right.

Use the business analytic tools like Google Analytics, A/B testing, and heatmapping to collect the data that drives your business. These tools will not only help you to know about the actual scenario correctly but will also present a deeper insight about your target customers.

For example, A/B testing your decision to make your Add to cart button ‘Orange’, would give you a statistically proven data that would either support or oppose your decision.

So, I should go like this

Yes, you should go like this!

In this way, you can avoid the Orthodox beliefs and make an informed decision with higher success chances. In 2017 and onwards, a decision backed by the analytic and research is always more efficient and correct as compared to baseless beliefs.

5. Get ready for a new Analytic tool-

Google Optimize Who doesn’t know about Google Analytics? The well-known business tool that acts as a base for every decision we make. It’s popular not just because it’s free, but for its efficiency to present even the minor datum in so much detail. Furthermore, who can forget the Content Experiments?

Well, 2017 has brought something equally special as Google Analytics – the Google Optimize and Optimized 360. After keeping in Beta stage for a prolonged period, Google finally made these two tools available to the general public in March 2017.

These two tools have already created a buzz in the market. It would be interesting to see how Google Optimize (the free version) would hold the market. Rest, the Optimize 360 might be a luxury for most of us with a cost around $150,000/year.

Want to compare the two tools? Google has already done it for you.

For online store owners, the new free A/B testing tool from Google might be a perfect and better replacement for Google Analytic Content Experiments. If you are not an orthodox believer, and you believe in leveraging data for making the decisions, perhaps it’s a time you should give it a shot.

6. Track your Cart abandonments

Track your Cart abandonments

The whole eCommerce market is moaning from the pain of Abandonment curse. Believe it or not, probably all the perceptions that you have about Shopping cart abandonment till now is incorrect.

A quite popular perception is “If your shopping cart abandonment rate is 67.89%, you are losing 67.89 % of your sales”.

But that’s not true!

The biggest idea for eCommerce in 2017 would be to change this perception once and for good. In fact, this perception completely follows the orthodox believe that we discussed in the fifth point.

It’s completely wrong to assume that every visitor adding a product to the cart has a definite intention to buy only. You would be surprised to know that hardly 30-40% of these visitors actually have an intention to buy when they add a product to the cart. However, even then it does not indicate a definite commitment to purchase.

So, before setting your Abandoned cart recovery tool to bombard the reminder emails, hold your horses for a moment and rethink whom should you target actually?

Any Idea? You will get it, after reading my post about Abandoned Cart- Biggest lie you probably believe to be true.

7. Mobile-first-index may hit the floor anytime

By the end of 2016, Google buzzed the whole SEO world with its announcement for the new Mobile First Indexing algorithm.

We discussed in the first point how Google wants you to go mobile friendly. However, the mobile-first-index is something that goes beyond “wants” and takes you to “You have to”.

In all the mobile based announcements and updates before mobile-first-index, the impact was totally on your mobile SEO. When this update would be live, Google will index your mobile version of the site first, and your whole ranking (both on mobile and desktop) would be based on how Google sees your mobile site.

That means if Google does not like your mobile site, it will drop your ranking not only on mobile search results but also on desktop SERP.

you should worry if your mobile site is broken

Image courtesy: search engine land

Worried? You should be, but there is still some time. The Mobile-First-Index update is still in testing phase and is not going to be live any sooner, at least for a couple of months yet.

Leverage the time you have. If you have not optimized for the mobile-first-indexing yet, start optimizing now. You have a lot of work to do. Before that do not forget to go through the words from Google’s official notification on webmasters. Google has already given there a list of “what you should do and what not”.

To Summarize

It’s clear that you are not going to step in 2018 with your business if you have ignored the mobile commerce. From mobile-optimization to mobile-first-index, 2017 and Google both want you to go mobile friendly as soon as possible.

Similarly, an interesting idea to thrive in 2017 would be to stop being orthodox and start accumulating data-driven ideas through analytics. It also involves changing our perceptions over various myths and conventions- shopping cart abandonment as an example.

It’s also the time when we develop a profound focus on- customer acquisition, customer retention, and customer remarketing to leverage every chance for conversion and revenue generation.

On the whole, 2017 can be a year for you if you are well packed with these three aspects:

  1. Decisions backed by data to support it; not baseless beliefs.
  2. Acquire customers and by every mean, retain them.
  3. Evolve with the new SEO trends, go mobile first.

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Joe Parker

We boast of the best in the industry plugins for eCommerce systems and has years of experience working with eCommerce websites. We provide best plugins for platforms like - Magento, Prestashop, OpenCart and Shopify . We also provide custom module development and customization services for the website and modules..

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