Scalability Unleashed: 4 Ways to Seamlessly Expand Your Website's Reach in an Era of Competitive Commerce In the modern day, e-commerce owners must prioritise all commerce channels, hyper-personalisation, and a multi-device-powered future if they want to reach as many customers as possible.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
You're reading Entrepreneur Europe, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.
The e-commerce world is becoming increasingly competitive in 2023. As more consumers find themselves making purchases from the comfort of their couch, online store owners are facing greater demand than ever before.
By 2026, a whopping quarter of all purchases are expected to take place in an online high street. As digitally native consumers tap into their favourite stores via mobile, tablet or voice-activated devices, store owners are being forced to adapt their site strategy if they want to stay ahead of the curve.
"We can expect to see continued growth in social commerce, personalisation, AR/VR, subscription services, and sustainable and ethical shopping practices," says Kirk W. McLaren, CEO of Foresight, CFO. "Retailers who stay ahead of these trends and provide exceptional customer experiences will be well-positioned for success in the years to come."
Moving forward, online store owners must prioritise all commerce channels, hyper-personalisation and multi-device-powered future if they want to reach as many customers as possible.
Let's jump into a new era of competitive commerce and how to expand your own website's reach in just four simple steps.
Prioritise multi-device optimisation.
One of the key factors transforming the future of e-commerce is the introduction of multi-device purchasing. In 2023, consumers can make an online purchase using their mobiles, tablets, Amazon Alexa and even their smartwatches.
With over 91% of online consumers now converting to a smartphone device, it's up to retailers to start optimising their content for different screen sizes and mixed online abilities.
In 2023, adaptability is the most important skill to obtain as a site builder. Ensuring that your visual shopping experience is seamless across all channels and devices is the key to attracting more customers.
From optimising your mobile UX design, such as changing content sizing, introducing deice haptics and adding call-to-action buttons to targeting new keywords for voice-search traffic, there are plenty of ways to make your website more accessible to a wide audience.
One of the hardest areas of device optimisation to combat is voice search. As a relatively new phenomenon, many online businesses are yet to adapt their content for their new e-commerce channel. Voice searches alone have increased by 9.7% since 2021, so it's important to introduce it to your strategy if you want to target each and every consumer.
To ensure your content is voice search ready, ensure that you introduce these three strategies to your site plan?
- Long tail keywords: Voice searchers tend to speak in full sentences, as a pose to short-form text searching. If you want to appear at the top of a voice search, start optimising your content for longer keyword phrases.
- Answer questions with your content: Voice searches are often question-based. Make sure your content answers these questions quickly.
- Don't forget the summary: Devices like Amazon Alexa and Google Home often search for concise information when filtering the SERPs (search engine results pages). Writing keyword-filled meta-descriptions could mean that your site is found first in a voice search.
Invest in a powerful web host.
It's no secret that e-commerce competition is on the rise. As retail giants dominate the SERPs, getting your small business to appear on the first page of a Google search can be difficult.
Investing in a good web hosting provider can help increase your chances of appearing at the top of a site search. By allocating your site a secure space on a server, a good hosting provider can ensure that all potential leads have a seamless UX experience and keep coming back to your online store.
Investing in a web host service maximises your chances of conversion by promising site owners content up-time, faster site loading speeds and greater security for consumer data. With limited page timeouts and no more server errors, your target audience is less likely to bounce off your site, slowly but surely raising your SERP score and, in turn, your consumer reach.
"Step one in having a successful ecommerce company is availability. Your store must be open at all times, around the clock, with few exceptions," say experts at BigCommerce.
"Hosting is crucial for ecommerce because it determines how your online store operates and performs. Your ecommerce website is essentially a digital storefront that needs a physical location, and hosting provides that space on the internet where your site can be accessed."
Better still, you can also customise your hosting plan depending on your business size, site structure and individual needs. For example, e-commerce hosting, created specifically for online web stores, can help prioritise scalability for constant business growth.
Start a business blog.
Content is the driving force behind SEO success in 2023. If you want to improve your audience reach, it's time to start incorporating lead-generating content into your site strategy.
One way to do this is to start a business blog. Not only are e-commerce blogs likely to get 55% more traffic than an online store without one, but companies that post regular content generate 97% more links to their product pages for an increased chance of conversion.
The key to creating a successful e-commerce blog is to keep offering value to your readers on a regular basis. This includes covering trending topics that will drive search intent, writing irresistible headlines and targeting keywords that will see your business rise within the SERPs.
Did you know that effective blog titles alone can drive up to 500% more traffic to your online store? If you're consistently linking to your product pages within your content, just imagine how many more potential conversions you could rake in.
Last but not least, why not also invite others to guest blog on your site? Not only do they introduce diverse topics and perspectives, but partnering with other businesses alike can help improve your own authority, as they are likely to link out to your site and services on their own blog channel in return.
Revamp your social strategy.
This one might seem self-explanatory, but social media commerce has become the driver of success for a number of online stores since 2020.
From TikTok shop to Instagram's swipe-up linking, your social channels are the most important forms of advertisement for your business in a mobile-dominated e-commerce landscape.
Did you know that a quarter of all social media consumers use their chosen channel to either purchase a product or influence a future purchase decision? Optimising your content to ensure that your potential leads have a direct journey from social media to check out could see your conversions rise.
This is where prioritising an organic social media strategy comes in handy. Online consumers are savvy, they know a sponsored post when they see one and are unlikely to engage with something that looks forced or spam-like.
Instead, focus on an organic social strategy based on the consistent posting of valuable content and an active community management plan that engages your followers with your brand one-on-one.
"First, don't spam your audience — it costs a user nothing to scroll past your post, and if you don't offer them any value, that's exactly what they'll do. Know your audience, and craft content that speaks directly to them," says Henry Franco, a brand marketing associate at HubSpot. "Second, stay active with community management. People love when brands like and reply to them — it'll humanise your business and keep people coming back for more content."
As we step into a digitally dominated e-commerce sector, scalability is essential. You must be finding new ways to expand your audience reach and adapt your content to please a diverse demographic if you want to stay ahead of the curve.
By prioritising your site speed and UX alongside introducing valuable, lead-generating content, you'll have a higher chance of success when it comes to scoring conversions. As trends evolve, online store owners should be ready to serve leads on all devices and of all abilities if they want to remain in a continually competitive retail game.