What are the main pillars of an e-commerce strategy?

Before launching an e-commerce site, it is necessary to think carefully about its strategic plan and its angle to attack the market. In this guest article, Hugo Domeur, Traffic manager at 1ère Position, gives us the pillars of an e-commerce strategy.

What are the main pillars of an e-commerce strategy?

Article summary

  • Do a market study to determine your e-commerce strategy
  • Define the most relevant KPIs for your e-commerce strategy
  • Inbound Marketing: attracting visitors to your e-commerce
  • Optimize your e-commerce for SEO
  • A profitable e-commerce strategy depends on satisfied customers
  • Check the availability of the brand name and define its conditions of sale

Do a market study to determine your e-commerce strategy

To define a profitable e-commerce strategy, you must first define what you are going to sell and carry out market research on the chosen field.

For example, specializing in soccer balls can be disabling. Indeed, although the market is bearing fruit, competition is very stiff. It will therefore be difficult to find a place.

To position yourself well in the market, the challenge may be to orient your site towards "a niche".

For example, a site on sports equipment products for football (with shin guards as the flagship product) will have a better chance of performing well than a generic site on soccer balls.

Define the most relevant KPIs for your e-commerce strategy.

The main KPIs for an ecommerce

Define the most relevant KPIs for your e-commerce strategy.

One of the key points of your strategy should be the definition of your KPIs. There is no data more interesting than others. Depending on the strategic plans, KPIs may change. However, there is some data that comes up regularly.

Indeed, in the context of an e-commerce, the margin remains the most important KPI. It is the latter that will define your ROI, whether it is with SEO traffic or advertising.

One of the most important KPIs related to margin is the conversion rate. By improving your conversion rate, you will significantly increase your margin.

To recap the KPIs to follow:

  • margin
  • the conversion rate
  • the average basket
  • traffic (to your blog and product pages)

Strategic avenues to improve the KPIs of its Web store

To improve its KPIs, audience targeting is necessary. For example, in the case of a sports equipment e-commerce, targeting sports enthusiasts is necessary to ensure a profitable ROI.

For this, you can create personas to better analyze and understand the expectations of your customers.

You will be able to more easily understand:

how they buy (on which platform),
when they buy your products,
and what keeps them from buying.
Understanding your persona will allow you to solve their problems, while improving their journey on your site.

Speaking of the buying journey, you can also create a Storymap to better understand and optimize it.

Finally, why bother to get new customers when yours have good potential? Invest in customer loyalty to develop the Pareto principle. That is to say, 20% of your customers will achieve 80% of the turnover of your online business.

Inbound Marketing: attracting visitors to your e-commerce.

Once your target is well defined, you will be able to think about setting up an inbound marketing tactic.

Inbound Marketing is all about attracting your persona to your site by creating relevant and useful content. For this you can:

distribute this content in open access on other platforms (social networks, blogs)
offer an ebook for download in order to retrieve their contact details, send them your newsletter or do retargeting.
Or, submit guest articles and do guest-blogging.
Writing articles on a sports blog can help you market yourself to a new audience. This will make it easier for you to attract these readers to your site and possibly get them on a buying journey.

Optimize your e-commerce for SEO.

A responsive, fast and secure site

Optimize your e-commerce for SEO.

now let's talk about the technical design of your website.

Above all, it must be secure for you and your customers. Make sure you have an SLL certificate and offer a 100% secure payment platform.

Then, if you are not going to offer a mobile application, your site must be responsive. In fact, today’s traffic is increasingly oriented towards mobile navigation. Thus, having a non-responsive website is doubly penalizing: for user experience and for natural referencing (and especially for your sales).

But rest assured, the majority of wordpress, Shopify and Woocommerce themes are suitable for mobile browsing.

Also favor a fast and visually attractive site.

Detail the product characteristics and highlight photos where you can clearly see the object. This will not only give the user confidence, but also improve your SEO.

Also offer multiple payment methods if possible, as some customers may be held back from buying if they are unfamiliar with or don't trust the payment methods you offer.

Quality content and pages optimized for SEO and SEA

For your e-commerce to be well optimized for SEO, you will need to work on several actions including:

produce quality and semantically optimized content for your blog.
optimize your product pages for specific keywords.
respect technical SEO guidelines.
Writing articles optimized for SEO can be time consuming and investment-intensive. But you have to keep in mind that you will have a double advantage:

your content will be more visible and you will be able to generate more SEO traffic
your SEA campaigns will be more efficient.
Indeed, the quality of a site and the SEO optimization of its pages also influence paid referencing.

So, if you want to run a Google Ads campaign, it will generate more clicks with less budget. For that it will be necessary of course that your landing pages are well worked on the keyword that you buy.

A profitable e-commerce strategy starts with satisfied customers.

Do you make a lot of sales? Great ! But don't forget your customers, either.

Remain available to answer their requests and to reassure them:

Set up chatbots,
Respond to emails quickly,
Be very responsive for messages on social networks,
Send them an email in case of production delay.
With advice and relevant answers, the conversion rate can be improved. But that's not all, a happy customer is a customer who will recommend you and come back to buy.

The time investment is therefore worth it to increase your sales and acquire customer recommendations.

Offer customers the choice of delivery

Defining delivery methods and times is also important. Don't hesitate to offer several delivery methods and let the customer decide on their preferred method.

Highlight means of delivery known and known for their quality as a priority (Colissimo for example).

Optimize customer service and your premises

Once you have premises, it is recommended that you optimize the product storage space, so that your desk is equidistant from the various product storage shelves.

Guaranteeing quality service to your customers and respecting the standards written in the return conditions are necessary to make happy customers.

Check the availability of the brand name and define its conditions of sale

Finally, before any process to create your online store, remember to check the availability of your brand name.

Also define your legal notices and conditions of sale and return.

And voila, you now have the basics to establish your e-commerce strategy! Thanks to Hugo Domeur for this article, which I hope will help more than a person to launch their e-commerce.

If you would like to know more about specific SEO actions for e-commerce, feel free to leave a comment. I will be happy to answer them!

Otherwise you can also contact Hugo directly on Linkedin for more information on online stores.