How The Customer Shopping Journey Affects Your eCommerce Sales

 

One of the basic elements to creating a successful online eCommerce business is understanding the online customer shopping journey.
From keyword search to checkout, how a shopper searches for the products they want to buy has a huge impact on the difference between eCommerce success or failure.
Let’s take a look at how the customer shopping journey starts and what it means for your business.

Online Customer Shopping Journey: The Statistics
According to a report by eMarketer, two-thirds of digital shoppers in the U.S. start their customer shopping journey with a search on various marketplaces, such as Amazon or eBay. Nearly half also begin their journey at their favorite E-retailers.

customer shopping journey

Before you freak out and assume there’s no hope for your business, especially if you’re small, here’s a third statistic:
Organic search is the largest single driver of traffic to U.S. retail eCommerce sites ,
with 40% of survey respondents starting their search, at least sometimes, by searching for the product they wanted to buy.
The research shows that in Q2 2015, 40.0% of tablet traffic, 38.5% of desktop and laptop traffic, and 33.3% of smartphone traffic went to retail sites from organic search. Paid search accounted for another 12.6% of traffic overall.
This means that there is always room for you, the seller, to grab new customers via search.
Finally, social media, although the least popular starting point for digital buyers, is still a meaningful search medium, with 29% of shoppers starting their search on a social media site. (Interestingly enough, research shows that more than half of U.S. small businesses use social media as a key online marketing tool, preferring it to websites or online ads.)

3 Takeaways for eCommerce Retailers:

If you want to maximize the chances of shoppers finding your product listings, here are 3 things you can do today.

1. Widen your eCommerce reach
If you’re not already selling on at least one of the big marketplaces like eBay and Amazon, why not give it a try? Listing on a marketplace will expose you up to an enormous pool of people who would never have found you otherwise.
Having an omnichannel presence in today’s eCommerce world is critical for long-term success. Think of the customer shopping journey as a dating site. If you want to cast the widest net of potential dates possible, you must have a profile presence across multiple mediums. eCommerce sales are no different.
Ensure that your products are listed in as many places as possible for maximum exposure, no matter how the customer shopping journey starts.

2. Be SEO-sharp.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the name of the game for organic search.
The “only way to feature high up on organic search is through SEO. One of the main elements of SEO is keywords—making sure you include the most searched-for terms in your URLs, anchor text, product titles and descriptions.
Guessing what these terms are isn’t enough—you must do your homework in exploring the exact words shoppers are searching for.
A great tool to optimize your product listings for SEO is the Sigmento platform.
To give you a leg up on the competition, Sigmento optimizes titles, categories, and product descriptions for each one of your products so shoppers see you first.

3. Get your listings tip-top perfect
In addition to keywords, there are 4 other overarching “rules” to follow in order to direct the right traffic to your website and marketplace listings.
Click here to read our post on 4 Sure-Fire Ways for Multi-Channel Sellers to Attain Perfect Product Listings

Conclusion

Gone are the days of retailers controlling the shopping journey for customers.
In today’s world, it’s the customers that are in complete control of their experience from start to finish. They decide what to search for, compare, and ultimately purchase.
By understanding your target audience’s traits, habits, and personalities, you’re able to anticipate the journey and proactively turn shoppers into loyal, life-long customers!

Standardized Product Attributes: Why eCommerce Retailers Need Them

If you are an eCommerce retailer today, chances are you have quite an extensive product catalog. Whether you are selling fashion, furniture, or hardware, giving your customers ample buying options can separate your store from similar competition.
Back in the early days of eCommerce, providing a few standardized product attributes here and there for each product was more than suffice. SEO was in its infancy at the time, and online shoppers were just excited to be able to not have to schlep to the local mall to buy a new pair of pants.

However with the eCommerce landscape completely changed in today’s world, having comprehensive, in-depth standardized product attributes are more important than ever. The benefits of these attributes go far beyond just providing accurate product data for your customers.
Let’s take a deeper dive into why your eCommerce business needs to start focusing on standardized product attributes.

Standardized product attributes:
Why should you care?

eCommerce retailers are often focused on creating great content for their SEO and lead generation efforts, and rightly so. Nothing beats great, original content for generating leads for online retailers. However, what is typically overlooked is that product page content can be just as important and effective as any other content you create.
From an SEO perspective, your product page visibility will skyrocket with standardized attributes. Google’s algorithm will pick up that your product page content now contains 10-15 specifications and attributes instead of just 3 or 4.
Providing accurate, comprehensive standardized product attributes also help with boosting those conversion rates for your eCommerce business.

By driving more traffic through search engine optimization, more eyes and traffic will be coming to your product pages. Once you have attained that increased traffic, ensuring that you are providing important product data such as height, weight, and fabric, customers will feel more comfortable making a purchase without physically seeing the product themselves.

A great example of an eCommerce retailer utilizing standardized product attributes is Jacobtime.
A Sigmento client, Jacobtime understood the importance of quality, comprehensive attributes for their product pages. Since they have such an extensive eCommerce catalog, they searched for a solution that would automate this process for them. This is where we came in, as Sigmento’s machine learning algorithm standardizes and optimizes product page information at scale for our clients.The product page below is an example of how their standardized attributes looking in their product catalog after using Sigmento:
The product page below is an example of how their standardized attributes looking in their product catalog after using Sigmento:

standardized product attributes eCommerce

As you can see, Jacobtime has enriched their product specifications significantly with Sigmento. With this specific, standardized product attributes, customers are able to get a much better idea of the product they are interested in.

From an SEO standpoint, Jacobtime has also seen a big increase in its product ranking on Google. Check out what happens when you type in the above product into Google search:

product page SEO ranking

Jacobtime has shot all the way up to the third position in Google’s search engine after implementing standardized product attributes and specifications, ranking ahead of sellers on marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon. This type of product page enrichment will encourage potential shoppers to check out Jacobtime’s website, and ultimately increase site conversions for their business.

But what about how expensive it is to create optimal product pages?
This is a question we hear quite often here at Sigmento. eCommerce retailers love the idea of generating a more robust product page, but are weary of the typical costs that are associated with this type of venture.
Hiring a content writer or data outsourcing company can cost anywhere between 5-15$ per product page, depending on the type of content you require. For those online retailers with hundreds of thousands of product pages, this can run you into the seven figure stratosphere.

With Sigmento, we scan the entire web to both automate and streamline the standardized product attribute process for your business. By allowing our machine learning to assist in product page creation, Sigmento clients are able to cut these costs by well over 50%.
Although standardizing product attributes may require a monetary investment, the benefits you reap are well worth it in both your short and long-term marketing goals.

Conclusion

To sum up, ensuring your product catalog has standardized product attributes and specifications are critical for success in today’s eCommerce world.
With so much competition out there, separating yourself and your product pages with enriched content is imperative. This goes beyond good blog and website content, but product attributes and specifications as well.
This will not only allow your products to rank better in Google’s search algorithm, but give more purchasing power and confidence to your online traffic as well.

In order to avoid the typically hefty costs of standardized product attributes and content, consider using an automated machine learning platform like Sigmento to automate and streamline the process.
Sign up below to learn more about how Sigmento can help your business generate more revenue!

eCommerce Taxonomy: How to Perfect Taxonomy for Online Marketplaces

Ensuring you have a comprehensive eCommerce taxonomy strategy is the foundation of any successful online retailer.

In other words, how you classify and organize products so that shoppers can seamlessly find what they’re looking for can make a huge difference to your sales and bottom line.

This is true both for your own web store, as well as any marketplace you might be selling on such as eBay or Amazon.

A clear and descriptive taxonomy will also help your search engine ranking, since it can facilitate the application of targeted PPC campaigns.

A word of advice: Don’t skimp on setting up your eCommerce taxonomy properly, because we promise it will come back to bite you in the long run.

So here are the 4 steps to building the perfect taxonomy for your eCommerce business:

eCommerce Taxonomy Tip 1: Think Logically

When we talk about taxonomy, we are referring to splitting all your products up into categories, sub-categories and even sub-sub-categories (also known by various other names).

Taxonomies vary wildly according to what you’re selling and how much you’re selling, and also differ greatly from marketplace to marketplace. So you really need to think about what works best for your products.

You need to make your store and your products easily-navigatable for the shopper. And this requires logic. The shopper needs to be able to click on one of the main categories on your store’s central navigation page, and then further explore and narrow down their search to find the exact product they’re looking for.

The best way to start is to sit down and map out every single one of your products. Group them into main categories. Look at each category individually, and break it down further into clear and descriptive sub-categories. Then break those down according to the individual attributes of the sub-category.

In the below example, you can see that someone browsing on the Shutterfly website immediately views the main categories of items for sale (in yellow).

ecommerce taxonomy exmaple

When they click the category of “Personalized Gifts”, they view the sub-categories available (in pink), such as “home accents”, “gifts for him”, and “gifts for her”.

Clicking on “home accents” breaks it down even further down to sub-sub-categories (in blue), such as “candles”, “ceramic tiles”, and “pillows”. Clicking on “candles” will take you to a page of only candles, and then you can filter your search according to different candle types.

eCommerce Taxonomy Tip 2: Don’t Over or Under-Taxonomize

The art of building eCommerce taxonomies is to keep it simple.

If you sell a limited amount of products, don’t feel the need to split them into a million different categories and sub-categories just for the sake of it.

Below is an example of a local health-food business eCommerce store. A shopper looking for frozen fruit doesn’t have to search far. Since frozen fruit is one of only 12 categories the store sells, it is featured in the central navigation of the website.

Once you click on the category of “frozen fruit” you immediately see the 20 or so sub-categories of different fruits.  And that’s it. This website features a taxonomy made up of only categories and sub-categories.

However, the more products you have, the more sub-categories you’ll need in order to make the central navigation less overwhelming.

On the Shoprite website, for example, shoppers who are looking for frozen fruit will have to search a tiny bit further. Shoprite sells hundreds of food products and their categories, or “departments”, reflect this.

There are approximately 25 categories including one labeled as “frozen”. The “frozen” category is made up of 16 sub-categories of various frozen foods.

When you click one of the 16 — “frozen fruit”, you reach a page of all the sub-sub-categories of frozen fruit that Shoprite sells, and can refine your search further according to the multiple brands available.

eCommerce Taxonomy Tip 3: Reevaluate as you Grow

Once a taxonomy is built does not mean all the hard work is over! Unless, of course, you have no intention of growing your online business.

You may need to reevaluate your eCommerce taxonomy as you add new products to your store, or branch out into selling new categories of items.

See your eCommerce taxonomy as a work in progress. You’ll ultimately reap the benefits since your shoppers will have a great user experience and purchase more from your store.

eCommerce Taxonomy Tip 4: Understand Category Nuances in Marketplaces

We’ve talked about this before, but it suffices to say that different marketplaces have completely different taxonomies.

This means that when listing your product, you must take special care to meet marketplaces categorization requirements, and find the category (and sub-category etc.) that best suits your product.

It’s usually not a good idea to list the same product in more than one category, since some marketplaces don’t allow it, and even if they do, it can be risky, since it can cost you more in fees and can be difficult to keep track of stock levels.

Conclusion

If you are an online retailer today who is looking to get serious about creating a user-friendly experience, having an eCommerce taxonomy strategy is critical.

Online shoppers are notoriously impatient if a website is not easily scannable for the products they want to purchase.

Investing in a comprehensive eCommerce taxonomy may take time and effort, but the rewards you will reap are invaluable for both the present and future.

The Amazon SEO Strategy Tips You Need to Know

If you are an eCommerce retailer in 2017, chances are you are selling at least a part of your product catalog on Amazon.

With 136 billion dollars net sales in 2016, there is no larger marketplace to generate revenue from hundreds of millions of potential buyers.

However to get your products recognized and seen by this vast audience, eCommerce retailers need a comprehensive Amazon SEO strategy.

Without it, that potential revenue stream will fall into the hands of competitors.

But how do you create such an Amazon SEO strategy?

By understanding how the Amazon algorithm works, and tailoring your strategy around outranking, outperforming, and outsmarting the competition.

Let’s take a deeper look into everything you need for a great Amazon SEO strategy in 2017:

Amazon A9: The Amazon Ranking Algorithm

Unlike Google search results, Amazon has created its own ranking algorithm for retailers to gain maximum visibility of their products.

They have called it Amazon A9, which also sounds like a potential title for the next Bond movie.

In reality, however, understanding the A9 for your Amazon SEO strategy is the baseline for any vendors looking for high volume selling on the marketplace.

Due to its fairly new inception, the keyword algorithm is actually quite simple, and not nearly as complex as its counterpart in Google.

Take the example below, where you can see the phrase “multivitamin” was typed into the search box.

amazon seo search

Now look what happens when you put a space between and search for “multi vitamin”

amazon seo search

The amount of search results is cut by over 10,000 products!

This drastic change of product listing tells us a few things about an effective Amazon SEO Strategy:

  1. Keywords: Ensure that you are including as many keyword variations of your products as you possibly can. Both long and short tail keywords will allow for a wider, more targeted audience.
  2. Relevance: Amazon A9 does not look kindly upon filling your product information up with keywords from areas of irrelevance. Keep your Amazon SEO strategy simple, yet targeted to the right audience.

To properly optimize each part of your Amazon SEO strategy, you must segment your decision making into various parts.

Let’s dive right into how Amazon can be a game-changer for your online business.

Amazon SEO Strategy 1: Product Images

High-quality, relevant images of the product you’re selling goes a long way in both Amazon SEO, as well as conversions from customers.

Because it is entirely possible that you could be selling a product similar or exactly as other merchants, great imagery is an important tool for differentiating yourself from the competition.

Take a look at this example below of different Amazon sellers offering a similar product:

amazon seo comparison

The clear answer is the product farthest to the left.

A clear, close-up image of the fragrance clearly conveys what the bottle looks like at first glance.

Customers will more likely than not then click through to the product page where they will be provided more information before purchase.

When formulating an Amazon SEO strategy, product images should be at the forefront of your decisions. Remember, visuals are everything!

Amazon SEO Strategy 2: Product Titles

For online shoppers, titles hold a high level of importance for deciding which product to click on.

It is where one of the first impressions of the product is made, and thus must be optimized for both SEO and aesthetic purposes alike.

Amazon suggests including various types of information such as:

  • Colour
  • Size
  • Product Line
  • Packaging
  • Quantity
  • Key Feature

Take a look at this example of multivitamin listings of the same product shown in three different organic results on Amazon; desktop, mobile, and right rail ads.

amazon seo strategy keyword

The breakdown of character limits is as follows: 115-144 in desktop organic, 30-33 in right rail ads, and 55-63 in mobile organic.

So, what does this mean for your Amazon SEO strategy? Including the right, relevant keywords at the BEGINNING of your Amazon product titles.

From a practical standpoint, this ensures that your potential customers will understand your Amazon product listing regardless of what medium they are using for search purposes.

From an SEO perspective, including the Amazon suggested keywords front and center will go a long way in getting that organic ranking up.

Pro tip: Take a look at what your competition is using for their Amazon SEO strategy. A great tool we highly recommend is Helium 10. Their tool enables you to see what your competition is ranking for on Amazon, and recommends strategies to take your Amazon SEO strategy to the next level.

Amazon SEO Strategy 3: Unique Product Information and Accurate Data

One of the best ways to stand out from the crowded Amazon marketplace is by providing better, more accurate data to your customers.

One of the leading reasons for Amazon returns or negative reviews is the lack of accurate information about the product listings.

To separate yourself from the competition, including some simple best practices for your product information such as:

  • Giving shoppers as much detail about the product as possible. This includes going beyond just product specifications, but features of your product listings as well
  • Using bullet points to concisely and effectively convey your product information. Bullet points offer both SEO and practical benefits to your Amazon product listings.
  • Using a product information tool to scale your thousands of Amazon product listings. Sigmento offers Amazon merchants a machine algorithm that will create unique content, titles, and ASIN finders for all your product needs.

Conclusion

Having an Amazon SEO strategy in 2017 is the only way to properly optimize, convert, and sell on the Amazon marketplace.

Amazon has truly become a giant in the eCommerce world, with hundreds of thousands of merchants looking to utilize the hundreds of millions of active daily shoppers.

By using tools such as high-quality product images, long-tail keywords in your product titles, and providing unique and accurate product data, you will see your Amazon product rankings soar past the competition

6 Steps to Optimize Google Product Listing Ads

The value of Google Product Listing Ads is officially undeniable.

According to Search Engine Land, product listing ads now accounts for 43 percent of all retailers’ Google search ads and 70% of non-brand clicks as well.

google shopping statistics

The question is, however, are PLA’s right for every eCommerce merchant, and how do you create or optimize Google Product Listing Ads that will get you the results you are looking for?

Larger feeds get better exposure, so merchants that sell a limited number of products (less than 500) may find it difficult to get a significant degree of visibility using PLA’s.

Additionally, given that the pricing for product listing ads follows the same format as PPC pricing, eCommerce merchants that operate on small margins may need to keep their bids too low to allow their ads to be visible enough to be cost effective.

If your website is still “rough around the edges”, it might also decrease the visibility of your PLA’s – ensure your website is fully functional and ready before utilizing PLA’s.

To get started using Google Product Listing Ads, you will need to have a Merchant Center Account which is connected to an AdWords account. (Google provides step-by-step instruction here on how to do this).

Once your accounts are linked, you can create PLAs through your AdWords account. For guided step by step instructions on how to create PLA’s click here (this will take you to directly to your AdWords account).

Creating Product Listing Ads is only half the job, now you need to optimize your PLA for success.

Follow the 5 steps below to help optimize Google Product Listing Ads and get the results you are looking for!

Step 1: SEO Optimize Google Product Listing Ads

Some of the same strategies that work well for SEO purposes can be adapted to your PLAs.

Since they (PLAs) do not rely on keywords, your control over when and where your PLA ads will be displayed is limited.

By optimizing Google PLA’s, specifically the product title to include brand name, color, size, style, etc. you can create a far more effective PLA.

See the images below as an example of an optimized Google Product Listing Ad product title compared to one that is not. Which one would you click?

seo google product listing ads

Step 2: Be Negative

Negative keywords are a key component in ensuring optimized Google PLA’s.

You may not be able to select keywords which cause your PLA to display, but you can (and should) select keywords which will result in your PLAs NOT displaying.

As an example, if you are selling only men shoes, you would add [-woman], [-female], [-children], [-kids] etc. to your negative keyword list.

Any search queries containing your negative keywords will “disqualify” your PLA from showing.

Negative keywords can be used at the campaign level or added to specific ad groups. This will allow you to further target your audience and prevent wasteful clicks that do not convert.

This will allow you to further target your audience and prevent wasteful clicks that do not convert.

Step 3: Feed the Google 

Your data feed is quite literally the sustenance of your PLAs and should be uploaded to Google on a daily basis to ensure relevance and accuracy.

Daily updates can also help Google see you as a merchant who provides consistent and reliable data (which Google likes to see).

This can result in better ad placement and create a better experience for your customers, as the ads they see will always be an exact match to the information on your website.

The image below shows how you can set up scheduled fetches (in your Merchant Center) to have Google automatically pull data for your feed:google pla feed

Step 4: Image is Everything

Use relevant images and photos, ideally images and photos which differentiate your products and optimize Google Product listing Ads.

Additionally, make sure that your images are sized correctly.

Notice that in the image below, the highlighted ad on the left the photo immediately draws the user’s attention.

In comparison, the “stock” photos the other ads use do not.

The highlighted ad on the right shows an example of an image that is not correctly sized, resulting in the image being cut off. (For more details on sizing images for AdWords campaigns, click here)

google pla star ratings

Step 5: Reviews & Ratings

Some PLAs will display a star rating and review count – which can really make a PLA stand out (see the example below).google pla customer reviews The ratings and reviews are aggregated from multiple sources including your own website, editorial sites, users, etc.

For your PLA to show ratings and reviews, you need to have at least three reviews on a single product and 50 reviews across all products.

Your customers are not likely to leave reviews on their own – make sure you incentivize your customers and make it easy for them to write and post reviews.

Once you have enough reviews to be eligible to have them displayed, you will need to ask Google to add the reviews – they will not do it on their own.

Including customer reviews greatly increases consumer confidence and may increase your conversions by as much as 30%!

6. Ensure GTIN’s Are Included And Up To Date

As of 2016, GTIN’s are now required for all Google Shopping listing products.

They are an important aspect of ensuring that as a retailer, you are complying with all the rules and regulations that Google has laid out.

One way to ensure that you have proper, unique GTIN’s is with the Sigmento authenticator.

Sigmento can convert any product identifiers from across the web (ASIN, UPC, etc) to your unique GTIN code.

Conclusion

There you have it.

For eCommerce retailers, Google Shopping has rapidly become a go-to marketplace to sell and promote products.

To properly optimize Google Product Listing Ads, implement our step-by-step guide and start to see results and conversions coming in quicker than you can handle!

Want to learn more about how Sigmento can assist with your Google Shopping initatives? Sign up now!

Why Your eCommerce Store Needs Product Page SEO Optimization

Every eCommerce retailer today should know the importance of product page SEO for their website.

According to imForza, 93 percent of online experiences today begin with a search engine.

customer shopping journey

Adding to that, 75% of those search engine users never scroll past the first page of search results. Those are some eye-catching statistics.

With product pages being where you convert most online shoppers from page to checkout, ensuring product page SEO optimization is critical for success.

Ranking ahead of the competition can be the difference between CVR rate skyrocketing or falling into the hands of your competitors.

Here at Sigmento, we have curated a comprehensive list of best practices for product page SEO optimization.

Implement these product page SEO recommendations, and start ranking, optimizing, and converting customers like never before.

Unique product pages: An SEO Must

Ensuring that your product pages consist of unique, unduplicated content is one of the most important aspects of product page SEO.

Google’s algorithm takes duplicate content very seriously, and oftentimes will penalize product pages that are exactly the same as the competition.

Think of it this way. If you are fairly new to the eCommerce retail world and looking to expand and scale quickly, the easy way out may be to just use product information that similar retailers use.

However, from a product page SEO viewpoint, this shortcut will severely harm your search engine visibility, with more established eCommerce websites will already be ranking well ahead of you.

A great way to not only combat this issue, but scale your product information is by automating the data process.

Sigmento will scale thousands of product pages using our machine learning algorithm, all while reducing costs on content writers and getting your product pages optimized for SEO.

product page SEO

From unique title descriptions to specifications and attributes, your eCommerce product pages will be up and running faster than ever.

Keyword Research: Know what your customers are searching for before they do

As we already discussed, almost every eCommerce shopping journey begins with a Google search.

When a potential customer doesn’t know exactly what they are looking for, they will usually type in a few words that best describes their desires.

One tool we highly recommend is the Mozbar tool by Moz.

They have a great article that walks you step-by-step on the importance of keyword research for product pages, and plenty of best practice tips to achieve product page optimization.

Customer Reviews: Your greatest product page SEO asset

Whether on your own eCommerce website or a secondary marketplace like Amazon or eBay, customer reviews have become integral to the online shopping experience.

According to eMarketer research, 70 percent of potential shoppers are looking up reviews of the product before making a purchase.

What is oftentimes forgotten, however, are the SEO benefits that customer reviews can provide your business.

User-generated content is a great asset to collect unique, new content on a consistent basis.

Pairing that content alongside product pages, and those product pages shoot up on search rankings ahead of your competitors.

According to a survey done by Yotpo, customer reviews increased organic SEO search by a whopping 300 percent over a 9-month period.

SEO product page benefits

That type of organic growth is a tool in which eCommerce businesses simply cannot ignore when it comes to product page SEO strategy.

URL Structure: Keep it Simple

URL’s play an important role in optimizing SEO for product pages.

Because URL’s will typically auto-generate themselves, it falls upon the shoulders of the eCommerce vendor to change the URL.

So, what makes a good optimized URL? One that is kept simple, to the point, and most importantly includes relevant keywords.

Here are two real examples from a popular eCommerce website that showcase both good and poor URL structure:

Good!: http://www.jessops.com/compact-system-cameras/Sony/NEX-5-Black-18-55-lens/

Not Good: http://www.jessops.com/online.store/products/77650/show.html

The differences here are fairly obvious to the naked eye.

The SEO optimized URL showcases relevant keywords, the model number of the camera, all while not using too many keywords.

The other URL on the other hand, has no keywords, information on the product, or any other important SEO indicators.

Don’t let great product page SEO content go to waste and make sure to always optimize your URL’s with keywords that will get noticed.

Product Page Images: Don’t forget that alt-tag!

eCommerce shopping is arguably more visual of an experience than the classic Brick and Mortar shop.

Online, however, you have to rely on sharp, high-quality product page images to entice shoppers to go from product page to checkout.

For product page SEO, you must make sure to include alt-tags on each of your product images.

product image alt-text

Alt-tags are an alternative way for potential customers to discover your product pages.

Much like URL’s, alt-tags are generically created, so they need to be manually changed to include relevant keywords that RELATE to the product you are selling!

Wrapping it Up:

As we have covered at length here in this article, ensuring that your product page SEO is ranking ahead of the competition is paramount for eCommerce success.

With 75 percent of shoppers staying on the first page of Google search alone, having product pages appear front and center can be the difference between big sales or lost opportunity.

Simple SEO for product pages best practices such as keyword research, appropriate URL’s, customer reviews, and relevant product images all go a long way in boosting your organic search rankings for website product pages.

Implement these product page growth hacks, and see conversion rates sky for your summer 2017 selling season and beyond.

3 Product Catalog Management Hacks for Your eCommerce Business

If you are an eCommerce business today, you probably understand the importance of product catalog management.
However, not all companies take their catalog management as seriously they should.
Let’s look at a typical scenario in which we have seen all too many times here at Sigmento.
A customer returned the Otterbox iPhone 5 case you sent them through eBay because they thought they’d ordered one for the iPhone 6.
Amazon removed 5 of your listings and threatened to close down your store because those listings were incorrectly categorized. And you received a slew of complaints from unhappy customers on your own site, claiming that, “the product received wasn’t as advertised”.

The reason for this? The eCommerce retailer has failed to properly oversee their product catalog management throughout their omnichannel presence.
Data Warehousing Institute estimates that lack of product catalog management costs U.S. businesses more than $600 billion a year.
That’s a lot of lost profit, considering that the health of your product catalog should be, and easily could be, completely within your control.

What do you need to do to ensure
up-to-date product catalog management?

The answer, in one word, is time.
You absolutely must take the time to clean up and optimize your entire product catalog management. This may sound tedious, and time-consuming, and it is. But the honest truth is that the success of your business depends on clear, accurate and concise information being presented to the customer.
Here are 3 tried and true growth hacks to ensure optimal product catalog management success for your eCommerce business.

1. Clarify ALL product identifiers with distributors and manufacturers.
There are so many product identifiers associated with each product, and each different version of a product, that trying to work out the exact ASIN, UPC, or Part Number can be confusing and stressful. Talk directly to your distributors and manufacturers and request they provide you with the right details to match your inventory.

In the example below from eBay, you can see the Brand, Part Number and EAN for this drill. Having the correct product identifiers will reduce duplicate listings and unnecessary returns.

product catalog management ebay

The Sigmento solution is a great tool to ensure your UPC and ASIN codes are accurate and up-to-date. Our live product database contains millions of products and actively finds UPC and ASIN for every product in your catalog.
Our live product database contains millions of products and actively finds UPC and ASIN’s for every product in your catalog. This is product catalog management at it’s finest and most optimal!

2. Check that all product catalog information is accurate by comparing listings to the actual product.
It’s not just the product identifiers that need to be accurate, but all the information on the product page needs to be full and complete.
This will improve the customer experience, as well as brand value.
It is also important to create unique product descriptions so that your page isn’t exactly the same as your competitor.

Although sometimes it’s just quicker and easier to copy what someone else has written, duplicate content ends up getting ignored by search engines, which is certainly not what you want to see happening.

Take these Nike sneakers on Amazon, for example. The description is thorough, so the customer knows exactly what they’re getting, and the importance of the Nike brand value is also emphasized.

product catalog management amazon

This type of product information can be the difference between conversion rates for your eCommerce store skyrocketing or falling into the hands of a competitor.
3. Create uniformity on your own site so customers know what to expect.
No customer, or potential customer, will stick around if they find themselves frustrated with navigating your site.

If the user experience is complicated and unfriendly, people will get frustrated and your sales will lag. Don’t use the word “teal” for a dress, if you’re then going to describe a sweater in the same color as “jade”.
Uniform, standardized product information will result in efficient data management and a more pleasing user experience.

On the ASOS site, for example, every product is categorized according to product type, brand, size and color, thus simplifying the data management process and providing the customer with an easy way to search and filter what they’re looking for.

ecommerce product catalog management

Take these 3 growth hacks to your eCommerce presence and see a remarkable improvement in your product catalog management, and more importantly, sales, in no time.

Good luck!

Top Tips for eCommerce Omnichannel Retailers to Optimize Product Listings

You’ve heard it before, but we’ll say it again.

It is absolutely vital to optimize product listings if you want to generate conversions, and lots of ‘em.

And the single reason behind this truism is Search. Your product pages—whether on your own eCommerce store or on a secondary marketplace—are essentially meaningless if they don’t show up in a shoppers’ organic search.

You can find plenty of articles online regarding best practices for product titles, images, keywords, product categorization, descriptions, reviews, and a whole lot more.

However what’s most important, especially if you’re an omnichannel seller, are the differences between the various eCommerce marketplaces and how to best optimize your listings for each one.

The following 4 how-tos will help you achieve perfection in your eCommerce omnichannel product listings:

Tip Number 1: Keep Your Product Listing Titles Trim

Not only will shoppers skim over your product listings if the title isn’t direct and clear, but marketplace algorithms will as well.

For your product listing to be picked up and listed in organic search, you must include as much relevant information in your title as possible including product name, size, color, brand, and quantity.

The real challenge, however, is to do all this within certain character limitations.

On Amazon, the title limit was recently changed to a maximum of 50 characters in most categories. On eBay, it’s 80. And on Google Shopping it’s 150 characters, although they recommend you don’t go over 70.

Any titles longer than these recommendations will just get cut off and do damage to your organic search rankings.

Even on your own website, where you can create as long a title as you like, bear in mind that if best practice means short titles, you’re probably better off adhering to this piece of advice too.

The title for this kettle featured on Amazon contains all the main product listing information a shopper would want to know—brand name, type, capacity item model number, all under the character requirements of Amazon.

Automated product listing tools such as Sigmento can help your eCommerce business create optimized titles that will help rank better than the competition.

Tip Number 2: Choose your Product Categories Wisely

There are two types of shoppers; those who know exactly what product they want, and those who prefer to browse.

Creating appropriate product categories and logical navigational hierarchies on your own eCommerce site will help both types of shoppers compare products, filter easily, and eventually decide what they want to purchase.

When selling on marketplaces, make sure to comply with the specific categorization requirements of each individual item.

For example, on Amazon, a baby bottle could fit into a bunch of different categories, including “Baby” and “Health, Household & Baby Care”. Whereas on Google Shopping, only one relevant category exists—“Baby & Toddler”.

It may take some research, but you’ll have to decipher which is the most popular and suitable category for each of your product listings on each marketplace.

Choosing the wrong one could make the difference between 50 and 500 conversions for your product listings.

It’s also important to specify as closely as possible to your exact product type in order to maximize the chances of your product showing up in a shopper’s search.

Google Shopping, for example, has over 6,000 categories and subcategories to choose from.

So if you sell guitar straps, you could simply choose the category: Arts & Entertainment > Hobbies & Creative Arts > Musical Instrument & Orchestra Accessories.

However, you’re far better off diving a bit deeper to Arts & Entertainment > Hobbies & Creative Arts > Musical Instrument & Orchestra Accessories > String Instrument Accessories > Guitar Accessories > Guitar Straps.

By targeting a more precise product category, you allow your product listings to have a more targeted, eager to purchase customer base.

Tip Number 3: Be Specific for Filters

Product filters enable shoppers to narrow down their search and find exactly the product listing they desire.

This means you should include ALL the specifics about a product, as well as all the info each marketplace asks for (even the optional ones!), for each individual listing.

For example, when you search for “kettle” on Amazon, the filters you can choose from include characteristics to do with the actual kettle (brand, cookware material, price, condition), as well as other characteristics unique to Amazon.

These include whether the product is Prime-eligible, available in frustration-free packaging, etc.

An eBay search for “kettle”, however, brings up different filters. There are more filters than on Amazon regarding the characteristics of the kettle (type, colour and power), and the eBay-specific filters include the format of the listing, the item’s location etc.

The more specific the information, the deeper the shopper can drill down, and the richer the search will be.

Tip Number 4: Unique Content for Product Listings is Critical

Our final tip is to create unique content wherever possible. Even if you’re selling the same product on multiple websites, the key is to switch your product descriptions up a bit so it won’t feature elsewhere in exactly the same format.

It’s a pain to do but it’s a must, since duplicate content can and will get ignored by search engines.

Rather than falling back on the manufacturer product description, CPCStrategy suggest that sellers start with writing brand new SEO optimized descriptions for their top 50-100 best sellers.

Good luck!

Sigmento’s Top 5 Resources for the 2016 Holiday Season

As 2016 comes to a close, the Sigmento team selected 5 articles that will help retailers start 2017 in full force.

Internet Retailer: E-retailers Beware: 3 Perils of Unvalidated Product Information
Did you know that 75% of retailers are not confident in their product information? Sigmento was featured on Internet Retailer discussing the risks unvalidated product information poses to your business.

Kissmetrics Blog: 25 E-Commerce Experts Share Their Best Tips for Driving Repeat Sales Online
You’ve probably invested a lot of time and effort into preparing for this holiday shopping rush. Make sure all of that hard work doesn’t go to waste. Kissmetrics reached out to the best E-Commerce experts to find out how to retain shoppers and get them to keep shopping after the holidays.

Sigmento Blog: 5 Powerful Mobile Search Tips for the Holidays
The online shopping experience is moving to mobile at 30% year over year. Nextopia was featured on Sigmento’s blog discussing mobile search tips to optimize your store’s mobile shopping experience.

CPC Strategy: Get More out of your Google Shopping Campaigns in Q1
How did your Google Shopping campaigns perform in 2016? CPC Strategy thinks you can do better. They wrote an awesome guide on how to get more out of your Google Shopping campaigns. They cover strategies to uncover high performing shopping verticals, as well as ways to utilize Google Shopping’s new feature Customer Match for Shopping.

A Better Lemonade Stand: How to Apply Content Strategy to Each Stage of the Sales Funnel
Shoppers are increasingly paying more attention to your store’s content, and so are search engines. A Better Lemonade Stand provides a thorough guide on how to implement a content strategy to your entire funnel.

Online shoppers want better product information. Are you overlooking it?

Product information is of tremendous sales asset and a competitive advantage for online retailers who place an importance on enhancing the quality of that information. What appears to be obvious, necessary steps, such as writing unique high-quality descriptions, adding product videos and using high-resolution images, are often overlooked.

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Do your customers even care about product information?

Per an Oracle study on product information, 37% of online shoppers wanted more detailed and visual product information on shopping sites. A survey by Shotfarm of more than 1,500 consumers found that 40% had returned an online purchase specifically because of poor product content, while one in four had returned an item due to inaccurate product information. In fact, 30% of those consumers abandoned a cart because of poor product descriptions, which was the third most common reason after cost (61%) and delivery time (33%).

According to the same Shotfarm report, when it came to brand trust, 86% of those surveyed said they would be unlikely or very unlikely to make a repeat purchase on an eCommerce site that provided wrong or incomplete product details.

How can accurate and complete production information help your eCommerce business?

Earley reported that better product data had led to greater than 20% increase in SEO traffic and SEO product page entries, while product search click-through (CTR) and product detail page conversions increased by 40%.
Better product data also increased customer satisfaction and website usability by 20%. It drastically increased the pace of item on-boarding by up to 2X times. Revenue also increased between 5% and 15% when they added detailed product attributes to products available online.

Don’t overlook Product Information

Online retailers cannot underestimate online shoppers’ need for more detailed product information along with high quality pictures to convey the look and feel of items. Good product information is necessary for great user experience, increasing brand value, improving traffic from SEO, and decreasing returns amongst many other benefits.