Searching for something on the internet today can seem like a minefield. All it takes is one quick search for ‘book shops near me’, only to find 2,330,000,000 Google search results. With all these search results, how are consumers expected to find the right website for them only to then navigate through a website to find the product they’re looking for – has there become too much choice online?
As of 2020, there are over 1.74 billion websites on the internet, so it’s not surprising that many customers give up and go to find a similar product in their hometown, even if it does mean a 30-minute walk and paying double the price. Many consumers are now aware of the benefits to buying online, namely, less walking, fast deliveries and generally lower prices. Yet, with the densely populated search results online, how is any one business supposed to stand out and get the much-wanted eCommerce purchase at the end of a consumers’ battle with the internet?
More Choice Doesn’t Always Make it Easier
On the high street, things may seem slightly more simple. People walk into a store, and even if they can’t find the exact product they’re looking for, they’ll likely find something similar and be more than satisfied with their purchase. On the web, however, people don’t have to leave a store, drive somewhere else and put their facemask back on. On the internet, it takes all of 10 seconds to leave a website and find a product more suited to their needs.
When people do their food shop in Tesco, they will rarely price check their pasta with Asda’s to see which store has the best deal. This is not the case on the internet, as with Google shopping, price comparisons are easier than ever. Consumers can see the exact same product in a range of prices and delivery options, so how are you going to stand out, because there’s only so many times you can lower the price?
How the FMCG Industry Can Stand Out on Search
Standing out on search engines may seem like an impossibility amongst the millions of others who are selling incredibly similar products to your own. We’re here to tell you that you don’t need to be called Amazon to stand out at the top of search engine results pages. With the right keyword targeting and search engine strategy, it is possible to get to page one of Google with the right help and perseverance. We worked with an FMCG company in the blinds industry who were previously on page x of google, and after seeking specialist SEO help from us, they are now ranking on page x of Google with a range of home improvement giants – so we’re here to tell you that it can happen! If you have been looking for ways to stand out on the search engine results pages, you’ve probably come across the term SEO, otherwise known as search engine optimisation. SEO is the practice of using data-driven techniques to help your website to rank higher on top search engines like Google. Some of the ways this can be done is through keyword research, SEO content writing, technical SEO, and a range of other techniques intended to drive more visitors to your website. If you want to find out more about SEO or how to win at local SEO, check out some of our latest blogs.
SEO implementation is a great way to cut through the digital noise and stand out across search engines, and just like you’d invest in a creative shop display for your bricks and mortar store, investing into SEO is a proven way to get more customers onto your website, so they have visibility to you, your products and everything else you may offer. After all, having a website with no SEO is like having a retail store in the middle of a field where no one can see it.
Improving the Online Buyer Journey
One of the first steps in becoming an eCommerce connoisseur is to understand the steps involved in the online buyer journey so you can evaluate where customers challenges and complaints may lie in relation to their customer journey. Understanding how users navigate your website is a great way to put yourself in their shoes and think of website solutions that you may not have picked up on before. For instance, you somehow get a click from the condensed forest that we call the SERP’s (search engine results pages), the user makes their way onto your product pages, only to find 404 pages and a million clicks before they reach the checkout – you don’t have to be an expert to know that this one will not reach an end conversion.
Evaluating the buyer journey means that you should look at where people are entering your website (it’s not always the home page), and quite literally following where they go next, and how easy and simple this experience is for the customer.
Some of our favourite user experience and behaviour analysis tools include Hotjar, Crazyegg and unbounce. If you don’t have the right tools to look at this, we suggest having a play around with your website yourself, and noting down any pain points you come across. If you can’t make a converting action within 3 clicks, there is a problem. A few other pointers to look out for include:
- Simple form fields and appropriate titles
- Clear menu and navigation structure
- Breadcrumbs, allowing people to head back to previous pages
- A functioning search bar
One clear way websites do this is through having a navigation bar at the top of the page, it may look something like this, with links back to each of these pages:
products > sofas > green sofas > velvet green corner sofa
Crafting an Omnichannel Presence Online
So you now have a fully optimised website that is easier than ever for your customers to navigate, next it’s time to translate this across all your channels to build a bridge between your platforms and create a consistent message for your customers. With 73% of shoppers using multiple channels before they make a purchase, creating a seamless omnichannel expert has the power to retain a significant number of customers and boost sales significantly.
This applies not only to the branding and themes on each of your channels, but also the experience that customers have across touchpoints such as social media, mobile, and even bricks and mortar stores. Every touchpoint with the customer should be shoppable, meaning adding things like QR codes to your instore products so customers can continue to shop online when they get home, making your social media pages transactional, including links to products on the social media pictures, and creating a coherent experience on mobile, including even fewer clicks than on desktop.
When you feel ready to start cutting through the digital landscape and start making a real impact to your sales and conversions online, you may want to reach out to some industry experts in digital marketing to take your efforts to the next level. At Digital Ethos, we have a team of in-house experts with vast experience in the retail and FMCG industry who can help you to accelerate your digital marketing and SEO practices and help your business to stand out on the ever-growing internet.