With technology continuing to make advancements in customer experience and search, it’s important for retailers to make the most of it by developing a more personal relationship with their customers. Moreover, as consumer activity becomes increasingly more active on mobile, the need to develop an effective marketing campaign for a mobile audience has never been more crucial. Here are five common mistakes that retailers should avoid in order to ensure a successful marketing campaign:

Mistake #1 – Not making mobile a priority

Since mobile entered the ecommerce space, consumers are now able to shop on their portable devices whilst on the move instead of sitting on their desktops at home.  In fact, 31.1% of UK e-commerce traffic is already on mobile devices and mobile commerce is set to continue to be a driving force in 2016 with shoppers predicted to spend £22.8bn on their smartphones, smart watches and tablet devices. With this in mind, it is important that retailers make a concerted effort to incorporate mobile into their marketing strategy because choosing to overlook m-commerce will undoubtedly have serious repercussions on sales performance this year.

First of all, retailers need to convert mobile browsing activity into definitive purchases by the consumer. This is done by getting the user experience right from the outset. Ask yourself: is your website mobile-friendly? Are there images which limit the website’s response speed? In fact there are already incentives in place to help you. Mobilegeddon, Google’s ranking algorithm update released in April 2015, actually rewards retailers who have made their website compatible for mobile and websites who have not done so may see a negative impact in their search results rankings. Quick tip? Use Google Mobile-Friendly Test to analyse your site and ensure it’s mobile-friendly in its design.

Mistake #2 – Having an out-of-date product catalogue

Keeping your product feed up-to-date is crucial to converting more customer transactions. The customer purchase journey starts from pre-purchase activity and continues right up to the checkout point…and beyond! The protracted journey from the research stage to the checkout phase can be difficult at the best of times, but imagine the frustration after a lengthy decision-making process you click on a product to find it sold-out, out of stock or that the discount has expired. Also, customers will make their own decision for comparing products so unless the product benefits are apparent to the customer in an effective manner, the customer may overlook these features and focus on other factors like pricing. These are the sort of inconsistencies which will compromise customer experience and impact conversion rates.

Mistake #3 – Not following SEO best practices

Creating a flawless website is only half of the battle. If you don’t rank well in Google’s search results, then you’re not going to get the best out of your marketing campaign. So having a thorough SEO plan in place will increase your chances of success.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What type of customer are you targeting?
  • What keywords are your customers using to search for items online?
  • What are the semantics of your product titles and descriptions?
  • Are your images helping your SEO strategy?

If you want to increase traffic to your website, then using Google Keyword Planner will enhance your chances of doing so. The tool, which lists the most popular searched-for words and phrases on the web, will provide you with the necessary information required to customise your SEO search strategy.

Mistake #4 – Not using images strategically

A picture is worth a thousand words. Don’t place visuals as an afterthought in your marketing campaign strategy, but rather an integral tool for generating sales. Consider the following:

  • Choosing the right series of images can trigger an emotional response from the customer, which inevitably increases the chances of a conversion. KissMetrics recently put together a great aid in terms of choosing colour and design that’s right for your site in order to generate more sales.
  • Images that are not properly optimised will affect your page loading speeds. This will not only frustrate customers and make them less likely to complete their transactions, they will also have a significant impact on your SEO ranking.
  • Also in terms of SEO, the importance of image tags should not be neglected. Used by search engines to read images, correctly optimised tags using targeted keywords can help you to rank in Image search results and obtain traffic through this alternative method.
  • Adapting image format, dimensions and weight may also be necessary for other platforms such as Google Shopping. Consider any guidelines that are in place before automatically using the same images on all channels.

Mistake #5 – Underestimating the impact security can have on customer experience

Last year saw a considerable rise in high-profile cyber-attacks, with Vodafone and TalkTalk amongst those who had their private and sensitive data accessed illegally by hackers. With this issue likely to continue in 2016, more retailers must take on the responsibility of securing their ecommerce sites. Marketers must start taking a more lateral approach to cyber security. How can you secure your ecommerce site without compromising user experience? It is important that retailers treat secure payment pages as a high priority and make sure they are using trusted providers and secure encrypted webpages for the checkout process. This is particularly the case on mobile devices, which are no longer only used for browsing products, but also to complete full transactions.

In order to get the most out of your new marketing campaigns for this year several factors must be acting together. Ensure your mobile strategy, product listing pages, SEO/ paid search campaigns, image choice, and transaction pages are all working effectively in concert in order to maximise your results and increase traffic to your listing pages.

Herbert Knibiehly

Herbert Knibiehly


Herbert Knibiehly is VP of Marketing at Twenga Solutions.