How important is e-commerce product search in 2019-20?
In the past few years, consumer search behavior has begun to change, and when looking for what they want, they are increasingly savvy at detailed search queries or browsing the specific attribute they seek in their to be purchased product in their online quest.
According to Wolfgang Digital, Search directs 58% of traffic to e-tailers on their eCommerce stores on marketplaces, websites, apps & on social media platforms, whether it’s an organic search or paid search. eCommerce marketers have to start considering ‘SEO’ and ‘ecommerce SEO’ as two distinct areas to work upon the product visibility of their products.
What drives online eCommerce search vs. search engines?
Don’t worry: with 43% of all e-commerce traffic generated from Google organic search, it isn’t yet time to slow down your SEO efforts.
In recent years, as consumer product search habits have begun to change, Amazon and other marketplaces have become direct and primary destinations for consumers looking to purchase. Despite 96% of online users visiting Google every month and product search engines, those numbers mean very little when it comes to actual sales. 41% of online shoppers search and buy items directly on Amazon.
With traffic and keyword results data for your owned sites and search engines already available in Google search marketing tools, your blind-spot is, therefore, online retailers. In a recent survey, 73% of marketers said they use more than 3 online marketplaces as part of their sales strategy and with the shift towards a direct search and purchase cycle only increasing, understanding how your products perform search-wise in these environments is crucial for your sales success.
That means ensuring you are aware of your share of the digital shelf visibility on them , or how you rank in on their onsite search results.
Consider also categories such as luxury and beauty, where dedicated sites like Sephora and Ulta are taking increasingly large chunks of the market, and in this category, most online activity relates to pre-purchase research. Understanding this behavior and how to make sure your products are at ‘eye-level’ on the digital shelf is vital for your success, but is it possible to monitor a multitude of online retail sites with purely manual processes? Especially in a category where discoverability via social media is increasing, and image and voice-activated searches could make up to 50% of the total by 2020.
How do search results relate to sales?
* Buyers searching on Google first buy earlier than those searching on Amazon first
On average, 25.9 days spanned search-to-purchase on Amazon while for Google it was 19.6 days. A explanation for this is that search engines index more product pages than a specific retailer – the user is more like to find what he is looking for. Additionally, such search results are likely to have less distracting offers of related products, which is especially true on Amazon with so many ads etc.
* 1 of every 4 sales related to a brand-specific search take place on an online marketplace.
This means that even if you have an e-commerce site for your brand, and a search is conducted for your brand name or product type… the customer may still buy from an online marketplace. This demonstrates the power over consumer behavior wielded by Amazon and other online retailers. The best strategy you can employ therefore is to game the Amazon product Search algorithm.
Is it a long stretch to gain top e-commerce seo results?
The search algorithms employed by online retailers are nowhere near as complex as Google as they don’t factor in as many variables. This means that figuring out what influences your product search results on Amazon and taking action to improve them should have an almost immediate effect.
But what about other sites?
Other than physically monitoring all the products in your given category as mentioned previously, your best option is to use an SEO professional. The more product lines, the more complex your range, the more search patterns change to incorporate image and video… the more difficult SEO gaming of the marketplaces algorithms will become. A SEO professional can begin to implement best practices to improve rankings for your brand & products.
What does a successful search strategy look like in 2019?
In summary, the current state of play is that consumer behavior has changed such that, in order to sell efficiently, digital branding and sales promotion strategies need to change with it. So an integration of Web SEO & Local SEO in case of physical outlets of your brand and importantly eCommerce SEO of your stores on marketplaces alongwith a booster from paid Search campaigns makes a successful Search strategy in 2019 & 2020.
So a successful eCommerce Search strategy in 2019 – 20 would be :
- Maintain your current SEO strategies on Search Engines like Google, Bing etc. to attract as many customers to buy from you,
- Gather as much data as you can from your online retailers and optimize for ecommerce SEO,
- Get the best Local SEO & Reputation management SEO work done on your web listings.
- A SEO Expert can help you focus on your prime business objectives of merchandising, pricing, listing, operations, promotions etc. by helping your eCommerce stores and brand stores get the top visibility for online consumer Searches