Despite a rather slow economic recovery, we should see more growth in 2013 in terms of online purchases coming through your clients’ websites—with you as their online marketing agency or consultant. Based on a recent ComScore report, the total U.S. e-commerce spending reached $289.1 billion in 2012 – an increase of 13 percent from 2011. Travel e-commerce spending grew 9 percent to $103 billion, while retail (non-travel) e-commerce spending jumped 15 percent to $186.2 billion.
Now e-commerce does not necessarily comprise of full-blown e-commerce sites with full shopping cart integration with thousands of products in inventory. A simple website accepting payments online (via Paypal for example) even for a single product is already an e-commerce site. This growth of online purchases for retail products means that these, for the most part, were found online as well — either through search engine optimization via organic search or local search, or via paid search (PPC), or via social media marketing or any combination of these. Another factor for businesses gaining ground on e-commerce is having a website with mobile-responsive design which provides a user-friendly interface for buyers using mobiles devices, such as smart phones or tablets, to comfortably go ahead and make a purchase.
Our CEO, Paul Stinemetz, recently announced the launch of our new SEO and Local Buzz Services. Other services are in the works which are geared toward your clients’ online presence sending out the right signals and getting more exposure whether they operate an e-commerce site or not.
Having mentioned SEO and Social Media as one of the most employed marketing tools for products to be found online, it is not surprising to know that SEO and Social Media rank #1 and #2 for having the most growing importance as a source of leads and sales among businesses.
It is interesting to note that SEO and Social Media work hand in hand. That social signals contribute to SEO, as much as the discovery of businesses in the social sphere (aside from people’s social circles) can also come from SEO—that is when people find a website via search and click on a link to go to the corresponding social media pages of that website. Our new SEO outsourcing solutions or reseller packages are crafted to provide your clients not just traffic but also social signals. More importantly, our new SEO packages were designed to generate leads and sales (really!) through a keyword strategy integrated into a product or service promotion strategy that you can easily plan with your clients.
Pay per Click Advertising
For keywords with high commercial intent, PPC accounts for 64.6% of clicks compared to 35.4% for organic search as one study shows. PPC advertising works best for direct-response campaigns and for products and services that do not require complex buying decisions allowing customers to click and purchase right away. This scenario also allows for cost-per-click to be measured immediately against conversions or sales determining ROI.
Nonetheless, PPC is great for generating instant traffic. It can pump-prime or stimulate traffic so to speak, especially if the site has great content worth sharing, as well as social integration to extend a website’s reach into the social space. Our PPC advertising reseller program is flexible to meet your clients’ needs whether they have small or big budgets.
Social Media Marketing
Social media has changed the consumer buying decision-making process. Consumer decisions and behaviors are increasingly being shaped by the opinions, tastes and preferences of an exponentially larger, global pool of friends, peers and other influencers. Thus, businesses’ e-commerce success has become strongly influenced by how visible they are, and how their customers feel and talk about them in social media. In addition, your clients’ target markets are participating in social media for longer time periods.
It is also interesting to note that engagement in social media is increasingly taking place via mobile devices. From 2011 to 2012: 37% to 46% for mobile phones, 3% to 16% for tablets, and a decrease from 97% to 94% for computers.
Indeed, consumers are increasingly using mobile devices when using social media. And social media has become a springboard to businesses’ websites from friends’ recommendations. And so to fully optimize social media, your clients must have mobile-responsive websites. Our Social Media Optimization reseller packages enable your clients’ businesses gain exposure through various social media channels. These channels act as pathways leading users to websites. You can also offer Facebook Ads to your clients for instant visibility and increased social engagement-the same way PPC does for search. You may contact our sales consultants for any inquiry about our SMO packages and Facebook Ads.
Local search on the other hand, is used by people (increasingly by the ones on-the-go using mobile devices) needing instant necessary information about a product or a service nearby, who are ready to make a purchase either online or offline. Local search optimization is part of SEO with focus on geo-defined search results. Our Local Buzz service which is especially great when combined with our SEO services will exactly generate local buzz for your clients’ businesses strengthening local signals to make you more visible in local searches.
US search & local search market continue to grow at an impressive rate with 144% growth in 2011 from 2007 – 1 billion to 2.440 billion. Much of this has a lot to do with our love for mobile devices. In relation to this, mobile commerce or m-commerce accounts for 11% of U.S. retail e-commerce in Q4 2012 from a mere 3% in Q4 2010.
The explosion of mobile device usage shape local search and buying behavior. This results to more and more people making online purchases using their mobile devices pushing your clients’ competitors to go with mobile-responsive website designs.
- 64% of tablet owners make local searches at least once a week
- 86% of tablet owners made a purchase from their recent tablet-based local search
- 61% of smartphone owners made local searches from their device
- 72% of smartphone owners made a purchase from their recent tablet-based local search
- 49% of smartphone and tablet users use apps for local business searches
- 32% of smartphone users made a $100+ purchase
- 38% of tablet users made a $100+ purchase
These numbers are expected to grow further and faster in the coming years.
To fully benefit from the exponential increase of mobile device usage, local search and m-commerce, we highly recommend that your clients’ websites or digital storefronts must be optimized for mobile use.
Websites that are mobile-responsive mean that visitors will not have difficulties reading texts, viewing product galleries, viewing pricing and comparison tables when using smaller screens such that of an iPhone or a Galaxy tablet.
When mobile users land on a website that is not mobile-responsive, those users tend to leave that website and opportunities are missed.
Our Web Design services based on the WordPress platform provide for mobile-responsive design which makes your clients’ websites viewable with no hassles whether their potential or current customers use PCs, smart phones, or tablets.
You can go ahead and grab this graph below to show to your clients who are engaged in e-commerce big or small. The market for them is big and you have the opportunity to offer consulting to help them market their products and services online. As usual, we are here ready to provide you with back-end Internet marketing outsourcing services while we stay invisible in the background.
Putting all of these together:
To optimize your clients’ e-commerce websites (big or small) for online marketing, you need to offer them SEO services, Local Buzz services, and Social Media Optimization services. Our SEO strategy incorporates a promotion scheme integrated with a content and keyword strategy for their products that you can plan and schedule with them. This will create local and social media buzz reinforcing and extending the reach of their campaigns. PPC marketing is always a good option for instant traffic and immediate measurable results. To cover the basics and to optimize for consumers who are now heavily getting into mobile use, their websites must be designed or redesigned to be mobile-responsive with our Web Design services.
For our current resellers, contact our sales consultants to learn more about our new SEO and Local Search reseller program as well as our PPC advertising, Social Media Optimization and WordPress Mobile-Responsive Design reseller packages.
For Internet marketing and web design agencies and consultants who just learned about us, sign up now for us to become your cost-effective outsourcing partner.