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Ecommerce Businesses on the Rise

Ecommerce Businesses on the Rise

Thinking about getting into the ecommerce space or putting in the extra marketing effort to grow your current business? Now is as good a time as ever.

Ecommerce businesses are on the rise. The online shopping market share overtook general merchandise for the first time this year, so there are huge opportunities in the ecommerce space.

It’s no surprise either. Ecommerce businesses have incredible advantages over traditional, physical stores. Their overhead costs are considerably lower than traditional brick and mortar storefronts, there are no geographical limitations, and they boast 24-hour trading. These online businesses are the next evolution of the shopping experience. 

What Is an Ecommerce Business?

An ecommerce business is an online business that makes electronic transactions, hence the name “E-commerce,” which comes from “Electronic-commerce.”

The most well-known example is Amazon. You can visit Amazon’s site and buy almost anything you can think of, pay within a few clicks, and receive your goods the next day (or even sooner).

You don’t have to be an Amazon to turn over millions, either. The low costs and few barriers to entry mean anyone can start and run a successful ecommerce business — even with limited capital.

To prove this point, I took a behind-the-scenes look at some of the ecommerce businesses that have been crushing it in the last few years and highlighted ways you can emulate some of their marketing strategies in your own business.

5 Of the Best Ecommerce Websites to Keep an Eye on (and Emulate for Your Own Success)

Bombas is a comfort-focused clothing brand based in New York that launched in 2013. Their mission is truly commendable; for every pair of socks they sell, they donate a pair to the homeless community.

What’s equally as impressive, however, is how quickly they’ve grown their ecommerce business. Bombas turned over more than $100 million in 2018, all driven through their online store.

Let’s take a look at how they’ve grown their online presence through organic and paid search:

Organic and Paid Traffic Analysis

Two things jump out at me when looking at traffic stats for Bombas. First of all, 155k organic visitors a month is huge. Secondly, they grew their traffic very quickly in 2018, most likely through a combination of aggressive on- and off-page SEO and some additional paid search.

Paid Ads and Keywords

Paid search is instrumental for any ecommerce business, and once you find a way to get a positive ROI, the sky’s the limit. This is an area Bombas clearly mastered in early 2018. As these screenshots show, they used varied ad copy and targeted a wide range of keywords.

Use of Demographics

The above screenshot gives you some insight into the power of targeting the right demographics when running PPC campaigns. Bombas knows their target customers are predominantly male and between the ages of 25-44, so they tailored their ads to reach this segment of online shoppers.

Site Design

Bombas’ homepage is perfectly laid out to funnel customers to the right sales page and make any offers instantly noticeable.

Their top-level menu is clear, they use a header bar to display offers, and have some gorgeous product images. Presentation, first impressions, and UX are three of the main trust factors for an online retail site, and they nailed all three. /

Hims, Inc. is a personal care brand with two ecommerce stores: one for men called Hims, and one for women called Hers.

Hims launched in 2018, and as you’ll see from the graph below, they grew their organic traffic to more than 500k per month in that short time.

Their women’s health brand launched towards the end of 2018 and is still in the early growth stages, so I’m focusing on their men’s brand for this piece.

Organic and Paid Traffic Analysis

With very little ad spend contributing to its traffic, Hims utilized aggressive digital marketing campaigns and SEO to grow their organic traffic.

One million backlinks in less than two years is nothing short of incredible and will do wonders for any sites’ domain authority!

It’s worth noting that Hims sells a range of unique men’s health products not readily available from other ecommerce stores, such as prescription ED meds.

This gives them a unique selling proposition (USP) and helps separate them from other businesses in the competitive men’s health niche, allowing them to dominate less competitive keywords and own a larger portion of these niche areas in men’s health.

Site Design

If you want an example of what an ecommerce homepage should look like, Hims is the perfect example.

They emphasize bold colors, minimal text, clear buttons to navigate their stores, and very clear and consistent branding.

As soon as you land on the homepage, you can click through to the category you want. From there you land on a product page, and with just a couple more clicks your products are in the mail and on their way to you.

PlushCare is an example of how you can run a service business via an ecommerce store. PlushCare is a site that connects customers with doctors online. You can schedule a visit, have a consultation, order prescriptions, and do many more health-related things.

Dr. James Wantuck and Ryan McQuaid started this site in 2014. They wanted to create an alternative for people who need medical care but can’t necessarily afford treatment through the traditional, in-person methods.

Organic and Paid Traffic Analysis

The traffic analysis for PlushCare is interesting. As you can see from the graph I pulled from SEMrush, they have reached highs of 900k visitors a month and have seen huge drops too.

This is due to the healthcare niche being very volatile in Google’s algorithm. On August 1st, 2018, Google rolled out an update that people call the “Medic Update.” This update shook up the SERPs for sites in the health niche, and the ripple effects are still around today.

I think this accounts for the slide in traffic PlushCare is seeing, but it doesn’t mean they can’t recover.

They used very little paid search. This isn’t surprising, as paid search works better for ecommerce businesses driving traffic to product pages. PlushCare funnels traffic to book an appointment with their physicians, which adds an extra link in the sales process.

Site Design

PlushCare’s storefront follows all the ecommerce trends and best practices.

Their call to action is clear and a different color from the rest of their text. There are just two short sentences to help new visitors understand their business, and they’ve included some social proof in the way of adding trusted brand logos.

Allbirds is an ecommerce business that sells environmentally-friendly footwear. The business launched in 2014, and as of October 2018, the market values it at $1.4 billion.

Organic and Paid Traffic Analysis

Allbirds grew their organic traffic to around 500k visitors a month in the 5 years they’ve been trading.

They run a modest ad spend which accounts for around 10% of their total traffic. This is fairly standard practice for ecommerce stores — having ads targeting the main branded keywords helps funnel consumers looking for their products to their store.

With a strong brand and a USP of having environmentally friendly shoes made from sustainable materials, Allbirds can target their ads to a hot audience.

This is a lesson for anyone looking to start an ecommerce business. If you can find a USP, you can narrow down your audience and target your ads at consumers looking for your products.

Site Design

Allbirds’ storefront follows a similar design to the other ecommerce businesses I already looked at, because this is what works to drive an online purchase. 

They have a large, high-quality image of their products, with minimal content and clear navigation. Also notice the “Live chat” button in the corner. Conversational marketing is essential for building customer relationships and maximizing conversions.

Nectar Sleep launched their ecommerce business in 2016 and became one of the world’s fastest-growing ecommerce businesses, turning over more than $55 million in a year. They currently sell more than 1,000 mattresses a day in the US and have a revenue run-rate of $315 million.

Organic and Paid Traffic Analysis

It’s no surprise that growth this aggressive was because of a huge advertising spend. Nectar Sleep drives more traffic to their site through PPC than they do via organic search.

They found a way to run profitable ad campaigns. This means they are getting greater than $1 return for every $1 they spend, so they are spending huge amounts on advertising.

Digging into their keywords, I can see they targeted a broad range, covering all the generic searches people would type into Google when looking for a new mattress as well as branded terms and lots of competitors’ branded terms and keywords.

It’s a very aggressive PPC strategy, and it paid off.

Site Design

Nectar Sleep’s storefront has a smart layout from a customer-relationship standpoint. They have a clear call to action and navigation, make their offers clear in large font and with a floating bar, and provide customer testimonials as you scroll down the page.

In Summary

I pulled back the curtains and gave you a detailed look at how 5 different ecommerce businesses grew using a combination of organic and paid search.

You’ll notice some trends in how each of these ecommerce businesses on the rise designed their landing pages and the sales funnels they use. There are certainly a lot of elements you can replicate in your own ecommerce business.

Whatever niche your business is in, I hope this information demonstrates there are lots of opportunities in the ecommerce market. The future of ecommerce is bright, so now is the time to jump in.

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