The ongoing evolution and disruption of the retail market, both online and in physical stores is all attributable to the Amazon effect. As such, the prevalent manifestation of the Amazon effect is the consumer shift to shopping online.
Increasingly, buyers are turning to their smart devices and an internet connection to purchase goods from the comfort of their own home. For ecommerce companies, this trend creates the ultimate market conditions.
However, Amazon.com’s success has tweaked retail practice and customer expectations. Research reveals that almost 90% of UK shoppers use Amazon and 40% are Prime subscribers. In the UK alone, this creates fierce competition as alternative retailers compete for the remaining 10% of the market.
Is Amazon obliterating its competition? Some businesses that can’t compete with Amazon’s vast selection, fast shipping, free returns, and low prices have closed down in defeat.
Many other companies, on the other hand, have strategically combated the Amazon effect with creative and effective tact. Ecommerce companies and online sellers, in particular, have been on the front line in this combat. Those who use WordPress to power their online stores are especially well-equipped to beat the Amazon effect.
All online retailers know that its future depends on achieving high conversion rates. It’s all well and good getting users to visit your site but without them actually converting to paying customers, your business will soon cease to exist.
WordPress offers an array of templates and stylesheets that are used to shape the display, appearance, and usability of your site. Each has different features and not all of them were designed specifically to convert users into customers. The themes that have been designed for maximum conversion rates, do so by strategically highlighting key content areas, adjusting landing page functionality and ensure responsive user experiences across all devices.
Flatsome is a Woocommerce theme that encompasses all the tools you’ll need to give your conversion rates a boost. Relying heavily on visual elements, this theme is designed to draw your users in. Its front-end page building function lets you edit your pages from the front-end view. Meaning, you can make pages appear exactly how you intend.
Opt for themes that have slider and banner systems built-in- they allow your users to actively and directly engage with your site. Unlike static posts, ‘slide-ins’ are found to significantly increase the click rate of the banner.
Informative, interesting and engaging content plays an important role in driving sales. In fact, 77% of people read reviews and product descriptions before buying. Consider a theme like Foxy, that lets you create separate product pages with images, descriptions and product suggestions.
Eliminate all distractions when it matters most. For example, Shoptimizer, allows you to hide headers, footers, and sidebars on the checkout page. Its been found that without these distractions, users are more likely to complete the purchase as opposed to abandoning the page. It’s an effective way to help reduce abandoned cart rates and themes that include smart microcopy lets you include returns policies and shipping options right below “add to cart”.
Whether you’re starting from scratch or going to turn your existing WordPress site into an online store – there are a host of powerful WordPress plugins to help you along the way. One day you’re blogging and growing your followership and connecting with your readership, the next, you could be launching your product gallery with eBooks and merchandise.
Different plugins cater do different users. For example, some might be particularly useful to those selling video content on their site. Easy Digital Downloads is a good choice for those who want to promote and sell their digital products from their blog. While others might be more suited for selling other specific products or a range of multiple products, Woocommerce can serve as a good solution. It lets you create a blog with the option to promote thousands of products and sell them. It’s free to use and provides support for unlimited products and visitors.
Now, there’s little use in creating a stunning website as an online store if your prospective customers can’t find you. That’s where SEO comes into play. Search engines are one of the main sources of traffic for most websites. Focusing on SEO from the get-go will improve your position in the SERPs. But it’s never too late to improve your rankings.
Simply wouldn’t be right to talk about SEO and not mention Yoast. It’s one of the most downloaded WordPress plugins of all time and is a comprehensive all-in-one solution for your SEO needs. In short, this plugin offers users the ability to add SEO title, meta description, meta keywords and create custom titles for all pages. It goes further to add Open Graph metadata and Twitter Cards. Most importantly, it lets search engines know that your site is updated and ready for crawling. In simple words, Yoast helps you climb the SERPs in real-time.
If you really want to compete with Amazon and beat them, you’ll need to let people know that you exist, the products and services you offer, why you’re a good choice and offer them a call to action.
A good way to achieve this is by reaching out to your customer base via email. There are a few steps along the way and each can be made easier with WordPress compatible plugins. The first thing to do is to build an email list. Sumo list builder is a convenient addition as it helps you convert your one time visitors into permanent subscribers. It does so by incorporating creative newsletters and pop-ups before any user leaves your site. This advanced drag and drop builder is one of the best email capture tools to pull your users in.
When it comes to email marketing, the MailChimp WordPress plugin lets you send out email campaigns to your users in a matter of minutes. It’s extremely user-friendly and mobile-optimized. It seamlessly integrates with other plugins and add-ons are available for more sophisticated features.
The success of an online store depends on speed and reliability. It is more infuriating than waiting for a page to load, especially when you are actively looking to make a purchase. Slow loading pages can be a major turn off and can result in a large portion of prospective customers quitting the page before it loads. In fact, a delay in speed loading by just one second reduces conversions by 7%.
Shop around until you come across the best hosting provider for you. With WordPress stores in mind, Bluehost is one of the more suitable options.
As Amazon continues to improve its online presence and introduce new features to its loyal customers, so shall its competitors. There is space in the market for more innovative, creative, and user-centric online stores, and WordPress’s features and compatibility with a host of tools make beating the Amazon Effect easier.
Yasmine Dehimi is a marketing professional with five years of experience in tech writing. She can be found on Twitter @YasmineLayla_x.
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