Your ecommerce strategy’s foundation lies in three areas: attracting, converting and retaining your customers. At BigCommerce’s 2021 Make it Big Conference Neil Patel shared innovative ways to stand out from the competition and exceed customer expectations in 2021 and beyond.
Neil Patel’s Key Takeaways at Make it Big
Neil is a New York Times Bestselling author. The Wall Street Journal called him a top influencer on the web, Forbes named him one of the top 10 marketers, and Entrepreneur Magazine said he created one of the 100 most brilliant companies. He was recognized as a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 30 by President Obama and a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 35 by the United Nations.
Here are a few key takeaways from Neil Patel’s Make it Big session:
Patrick Quinn: Walk us through some of the big trends that are happening in ecommerce right now. What do you see that’s working, what’s not working? What do you see these days?
Neil Patel: “The first big trend that we’re seeing right now, and it’s hard for people to necessarily capitalize on this, is Voice Search. I know this because every time we had content around it, no one really cares to talk much about Voice Search. But according to OC&C, Voice Search is a multi-billion dollar commerce industry and it’s going to grow into double digit billions per year. And it’s just gonna keep increasing at a rapid pace. They say in the US and in the UK, a large chunk of people, over 10% of people who have these devices like Alexa and Google Home, have made purchases through these voice devices. So eventually, making sure that your commerce platform is compatible with these devices so you can sell more, I believe that’s gonna be one of the biggest trends in the future that no one is really talking about.
The second big trend that we’re seeing, again, that no-one’s really talking about, is convenience. And here’s what I mean by this. We all know that more people do commerce through mobile apps or mobile phones more than they do from their desktop computers. So let’s say someone’s sitting on their couch, they see a TV commercial for Adidas see brand that’s selling on BigCommerce. Do you think they really wanna get up off the couch to go get their credit card and all those kind of information? Not really. They wanna go to this site, click the buy button and be out as quick as possible. So the more payment options that you have and the more flexible you are, the higher conversions that we’re seeing and a lot lower cart abandonment when you end up doing that. But those are two big things that we’re seeing companies not really focus on and they’re taking for granted. They’re just like, “Oh, I take payment options, someone can manually type in their credit card on my checkout page.” And that’s great and all but we’re seeing a huge increase in bounce rates due to a lot of people being on mobile devices when you don’t really give them options on how they can pay.”
PQ: There’s a ton of content out there that says meet your customers where they are, but in reality it’s so much harder than that, especially when you’re selling online. So what are some of the more successful channels or tactics that merchants can use to really reach their target audience and speak to them directly?
NP: “Right now with commerce everyone’s looking at Facebook and Google ads. And then you also look at other channels like SEO, email marketing, push notifications, text alerts, those are all great channels. But I’m gonna break down a few tactics and channels that I would do very specifically that work extremely well for commerce right now that not as many people are leveraging.
The first is TikTok. Leverage TikTok ads. Leveraging the influencers on TikTok and Instagram to sell more works extremely well. The goal is to get micro-influencers so, for example, if I’m selling men’s ties [even though I’m not wearing one right now], I wouldn’t just have an influencer like David Beckham, even though he’s known for being in fashion, and say “Hey, let me pay him. I would like him to push my tie.” Instead, look for micro-influencers who only talk about fashion — and men’s fashion specifically, right? David Beckham can also talk about soccer. So a lot of his audience may not care for ties or fashion. All of these platforms tell you where your followers are these days. And when they push your product, the landing page that they drive them to should have their image and them on there ’cause that really helps with conversion.
The other channel that I really love right now that very few commerce brands are leveraging is Snap. Snap is amazing. Yes, it’s not the most popular network, probably won’t ever be the most popular social network, but here’s what’s cool with Snapchat — Just like Instagram, people have stories. And instead of trying to drive people to the landing page on commerce, what I would do is try to have all the material of the product that I’m selling within the story so they’ll go next, next, next, next and then when they’re ready to buy, they can just end up going to your website. So then that way you’ve pitched them already on Snap before you get them to your site. Because if you get someone to your website and then pitch them, you’re gonna lose a lot of people. But already on Snapchat it’s much easier to get your message across and try to give all the context that you would within your landing page within Snapchat and then drive them to your site after.”
PQ: Something you just touched upon a little while ago is being patient with SEO. I want to shift gears and talk about this more in depth because it’s such a foundational place for any online marketing strategy. It’s really an investment in the long run though, so why should merchants focus on SEO and what are the benefits of it and waiting that long time you might have to wait?
NP: “The most popular site in the world is Google, right? Especially if you combine all the other properties that they own. Sometimes it goes to number two depending on which source you look at but either way number one, number two, it’s massively popular. Especially when you’re including things like YouTube which could be a standalone business in and of itself. The reason SEO is important is most online experiences, well over 60%, start with a search and the most published searching is Google. And when you think about SEO when most people search, I can tell you that most people click on the organic listings and they don’t click on page which is true but instead of me telling you just think about every time you search, how often do you really click on the paid results? Majority of the time you actually click on organic. That’s the power of SEO. Being on the most popular site where majority of the people are clicking and you don’t have to keep paying per click. With advertising, you spend a dollar, great. You may get a click or a visitor on your site, they may convert or not but the moment you stop, there goes your traffic. And that’s why I love SEO because if you stop, you’re still getting traffic.”
For even more insights, you can also experience Neil’s full Make it Big session on the Make it Big podcast.