What Are Common Issues with Social Media Marketing Plans? The Best Social Media Marketing Tips, Tricks, and Techniques to Build an Ecommerce Brand

social media marketing strategies for e-commerce

Social media is one of the essential promotional tools for ecommerce brands. It gives a chance for ecommerce businesses to share their story, reach new customers, and hopefully guide potential customers down their ecommerce marketing funnel

Social media platforms are constantly evolving. Some of the most popular platforms are virtually non-existent today (think, MySpace), while others seem to emerge out of nowhere and become the next big thing (think, TikTok). 

Leveraging social media paid and organic channels is imperative for ecom businesses to build an audience and increase ecommerce revenue. Fortunately, Jess McPhail, Nogin’s top Social Media Manager, dives into how ecommerce brands can use social media to grow their business and create positive customer experiences. Check out the full, Nogin Chats episode below:

Top 5 Social Media Marketing Strategies for Ecommerce

Whether you are a luxury ecommerce brand or starting a dropshipping brand from scratch, make sure to save Jess’ top 5 social media strategies to grow your ecom brand. 

1. Understand the Goals of the Social Media Platform You’re On

Every social media platform is different, but most algorithms reward content that keeps visitors ON the platform. For ecommerce businesses, this can be tricky because most of the time, we want to take them off the platform and get them shopping on the brand’s website. 

It’s also more challenging for brands to get data on their customers after the iOS update. If you want to run paid ads on social media platforms, understand that your reach will be lower, and the customer acquisition cost may be higher when you direct customers outside the social media platform. 

To reach customers and get the most ROAS on their paid efforts (if you aren’t familiar with that lingo, check out our top ecommerce KPIs guide), make sure to incorporate tantalizing offers to make it worth your viewers’ while to check out your store. Leverage scarcity and urgency to drive them to take action. 

Offer discount offers, use gated content to capture their contact info and continue communication through email, or use captivating product photography or leverage celebrity collaborations to make an impression. Experiment with old-school advertising strategies and product listing strategies to hook customers and get them to convert. 

At the same time, don’t saturate your social media presence with pure sales content. Incorporate compelling brand stories, testimonials, or fun posts for your audience to enjoy. Remember, people scrolling on social media want to be entertained, not sold. 

“The biggest challenge is understanding the goals of the social media platforms and seeing where they conflict with what we’re trying to do and then finding creative workarounds. The goal of any social platform is going to be to keep them on the platform. Our goal is to get them off the platform.” – Jess McPhail. 

2. Focus On Messaging and Connect With Your Customer

Social media allows brands to communicate with their customers directly. Having dedicated team members active across social media platforms to chat with customers, respond to comments, and interact with them can increase brand presence and equity. 

For instance, MESOA offers premium skin care products to men. They utilize TikTok, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to educate men on their products. For many cosmetics ecommerce brands, simply telling them some of the ingredients in their products and conveying the market superiority and differentiation is sometimes enough to make a sale. 

“I think the most important thing that most people don’t think of when they think of social media is messaging related, so getting into DMs, getting into comments, that is where you make real connections with your customers. The reason that brands struggle with it is because it’s hard to do it on a mass scale in a genuine way.” – Jess McPhail. 

3. Stay Active on the Top Three

Social media platforms all reward consistency. Brands will receive higher reach as they post regularly on social media platforms. Stay on top of your social media channels and subscribe to a social media management tool like Sendible to schedule and send posts to all your channels from one location. Also, make sure to respond to comments and interact with your audience. 

“The three top ones right now are Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. You’re going to get the most discovery on TikTok, and ad spend is probably a little bit better there right now too. Facebook ads used to be the gold standard, but now with the iOS updates, it’s really hard to target customers, so you’re seeing your return on investment that return is going down and investment going up.” – Jess McPhail. 

4. Follow the Kids

You can always count on the kids to know the next big thing. Younger generations will gravitate towards new, cool social media platforms months before older generations even know they exist. 

Actively research the latest ecommerce trends, and social media platforms teens and young adults are on. Although they may not have enough money to shop, it will indicate the next big platforms for advertisers to reach customers. Best of all, the newer the social media platform, the easier it is for brands to have higher reach, engagement, and affordable ad costs. 

“You have to follow the kids. It’s not just because the younger generations are spending that money, but it’s because if they’re going there, that will be the next thing, and then the older generations follow, the people with pocketbooks. In addition to that, it’s a more relevant space. It’s good to see what is relevant to the next generation because that’s your future customer; even if they’re not your customer right now, that’s your future customer. So knowing what is important to them, knowing what kind of content they like to consume is key to any brand that wants to survive.” -Jess McPhail.

5. Follow Your Competition

When it comes to business, it’s always important to monitor what the competitors in your space are doing. Whether it’s their marketing strategies or the keywords used for their product pages, brands can take the best approaches and incorporate them into their social media efforts. 

Follow your competitors on social media and monitor what posts receive the most shares, likes, and engagement. See what your competitors are doing and take the winning strategies and incorporate them into your social media strategy. 

“Research what other people in your space are doing. Follow your competition and see what’s hitting for them.” -Jess McPhail.

You Need Help Socializing?

Plug into our intelligent ecommerce platform to gain the tech and expertise you’ll need to reach your customers on social media. We have the tools and people to provide outstanding social media marketing to deliver a superior brand experience across the platforms that resonate with your target customers. 

If you are unfamiliar with Commerce as a Service (CaaS), learn why it’s the best option for mid-size ecommerce retailers to scale their business. Find out how you can compete with Amazon, what marketing automation is all about, and download part two of the Coresight Research report for free about the evolving state of ecommerce. 

If you want to check out more excellent ecommerce expert content, click on a link below to become an ecommerce master:

Ecommerce Fulfillment Solutions to Help Brands Increase Profitability

ecommerce fulfillment services

Fulfillment is one of the biggest challenges for ecommerce brands trying to scale their business. It’s almost impossible to compete with Amazon and their network of fulfillment centers that offer Prime members free, two-day shipping. Brands leveraging warehousing and fulfillment services struggle to maintain profitability due to storage, packaging, and fulfillment costs. They cannot offer free, two-day shipping to customers that don’t wholly eat into their profit margins. 

Nogin offers a better approach to fulfillment using a Commerce as a Service (CaaS) business model. Our omnichannel infrastructure and headless commerce platform allow our clients to connect all their efforts from one succinct dashboard intelligently. They gain the transparency and flexibility to view the entire scope of their operations. Machine learning and AI allow our clients to lower their marketing, operation, and fulfillment costs constantly. 

dropshipping-solutions

Our EDI software integration and 3PL ecommerce fulfillment solutions are the best scalable option to allow independent brands to stay in control of their business while gaining the tech, support, and infrastructure to grow their business. Hear from Henry Henderson, the Director at one of our Fulfillment Centers, on how Nogin solves common ecommerce fulfillment challenges and how our order fulfillment software works. 

Dropshipping and Fulfillment FAQs

Before we dive in, let us answer some of the most common questions concerning ecommerce fulfillment: 

What is a Fulfillment Center?

A fulfillment center is where companies send their inventory to a third-party logistics provider to handle the storage, packing, and fulfillment of orders placed for their ecommerce business. It is often larger than typical warehouses that an individual company would rent. 

What is Fulfillment in Ecommerce?

Fulfillment in ecommerce encompasses the entire process behind getting an order to a customer once it is placed online, including storing inventory, processing orders, picking and packing them, and shipping them to the customer’s address. 

How Do Fulfillment Centers Work?

Fulfillment centers handle every aspect of inventory management and allow brands to scale their business as they grow. Brands connect their ecommerce business platform with their fulfillment provider to coordinate efficient and seamless fulfillment. Fulfillment centers help reduce shipping costs and handle every aspect of inventory management, including picking, packing, and shipping.

Top Ecommerce Fulfillment Challenges and How to Conquer Them

Hear from Henry on how to solve common fulfillment challenges: 

Consistency

Brands must deliver consistent shipping and fulfillment to satisfy customers to provide positive customer experiences. It is one thing to bring customers down your ecommerce conversion funnel. Still, once they make a purchase, you must provide superior shipping solutions to avoid negative reviews. Your 3PL must also handle return solutions and transparent tracking of orders. 

“One of the biggest challenges is providing that consistency from a standpoint of predictability and service. As we work through that, that’s what we do, and that’s what we’re good at. That’s part of the thing we’re challenged with every day to be able to provide that predictability and consistency and providing service to the customer when they place the order.” -Henry Henderson.

Connecting Your Channels

Out of all the latest ecommerce trends, one of the most prevalent changes in the integration of omnichannel shopping. Brands must connect all their shopping channels, and leverage intelligent ecommerce software that maximizes customer data to deliver superior messaging that resonates with customers at every stage of the shopping experience.

“There’s ecommerce where the order is placed by the customer online, and then there’s the aspect of B2B like Macy’s and Nordstroms of the world, and then there’s another channel out there in the boutique fashion like a small mom and pop store that is taking a larger quantity than an ecom order or a little less than a big major retailer. Our ability to be able to service really all those channels is what differentiates us from a Nogin standpoint. We’re able to hook into those channels technology wise to be able to take the orders in all aspects and be able to provide the right information as it pertains to the shipping side of it because B2B is slightly different than the ecom world… Having that ability to provide that service to a brand is significant because there’s not a lot of technology out there that can do it… Nogin gives us a suite of being able to move product in different ways to drive revenue.” -Henry Henderson.

Focus on Customer Experience

Whether you are using traditional marketing strategies or experimenting with new customer retention strategies, brands must deliver a superior customer experience once someone makes a purchase. Amazon has set the standard, and shoppers expect fast shipping times, easy tracking, and responsive customer support if needed. Check out some of our go-to guides to help elevate your customer shopping experience below: 

“Amazon has set a standard across the board from the standpoint of ecommerce and fulfillment, and that is providing the best customer experience. My biggest piece of advice is to find a business partner that can help provide the best customer experience… From the time they place an order online to the time that they get it, it really has to be fast and efficient and cost effective, and I think that’s the biggest challenge.” -Henry Henderson.

Some Fun Before You Leave: Check Out Our Fulfillment Center Robots!

Now that you are a certified ecommerce fulfillment expert, thanks to Henry’s advice, check out another huge innovation in dropshipping and ecommerce fulfillment: robots! Learn how Nogin lowers shipping costs and improves fulfillment times thanks to our fulfillment center robots. 

Ready to Ship Smart?

If you need comprehensive ecommerce fulfillment along with the tech and ecommerce support to scale your business profitably, you need Nogin. Plug into our intelligent ecommerce platform to gain the tech and expertise you’ll need to deliver an omnichannel shopping experience that lowers fulfillment costs and customer acquisition. 

We also offer an enterprise-class fulfillment service for SMBs that deal primarily in the DTC world. SmartShip is an end-to-end fulfillment service That gives businesses the visibility to see the entire scope of their shipping operations from one intelligent dashboard. (Learn more about SmartShip.)

Shipping is one of the biggest profit killers for ecom brands. Learn how a Commerce as a Service (CaaS) business model solves profitability issues from the brand new Coresight Research report.

Ecommerce Merchandising Strategies From a Certified Expert

ecommerce merchandising strategies

Ecommerce merchandising isn’t as simple as just having products in stock. For an ecommerce business, the difference between great and subpar merchandising is the difference between excellent and poor conversion rates. Elevating your customer experience through advanced merchandising strategies will help your customers find the products they want and help your business increase average order values and revenue along with other essential ecommerce KPIs.

Most ecommerce strategists love to focus on the ecommerce conversion funnels, product listing strategies, and customer retention strategies they can use to entice visitors to purchase inventory and keep them coming back. Although all of those are crucial to an overall marketing strategy, the evolution of ecommerce has seen the rise of omnichannel experiences, machine learning, and the need for brands to create truly personalized user experiences through advanced machine learning and artificial intelligence. 

If independent brands want a chance to compete against big retailers like Amazon and the endless competition, they don’t need to work harder; they need to work smarter. Nogin offers omnichannel infrastructure and technology to all our partners. Our tech automatically deploys marketing campaigns based on customer data to create predictive commerce. 

Along with continuous research and development, our tech automatically deploys the most profitable tactics from each of our clients’ stores, so everyone wins. Along with lower shipping costs, increased ROAS, and ecommerce experts available to manage your store, brands can finally focus on doing what they do best: growing a brand. 

Hear from our Director of Buying, Merchandising, and Planning in Brand Management, Gaby Haffer, on the Nogin difference and the best merchandising tips you can use to grow your business. 

What is Ecommerce Merchandising?

Ecommerce merchandising encompasses how ecommerce businesses sell their products to visitors, including branding, images, and placement to increase customer engagement, satisfaction, and conversions. 

Brands should focus on merchandising to position their products in a natural way that entices customers to complete a purchase. It’s not only about how you display products but utilizing a compelling call to action, pop-ups, offers, browsing history, and other messages or sequences to keep customers engaged and on the path towards a purchase. 

At Nogin, we constantly A/B test different merchandising techniques across our brands to determine what works and what doesn’t. We can continuously run different merchandising strategies thanks to our tech’s machine learning and AI capabilities. Our platform automatically determines what works best and ditches merchandising approaches that don’t work. 

Our partners benefit from the information from other brands under the intelligent commerce suite, so your store will automatically implement the most effective merchandising techniques that convert customers and improve profit margins. 

Ecommerce Merchandising Trends

Ecommerce changes every day. Although utilizing traditional marketing strategies is essential, brands will need to invest in the tech and talent required to deliver a superior online shopping experience. 

Online customers expect convenient and personalized shopping experiences. Brands will need to integrate an omnichannel infrastructure to compete with online shoppers. Utilizing social media or PPC ads to convert a shopper into an impulse purchase is one thing but keeping them engaged and coming back is another challenge. 

Let’s discuss some of the top ecommerce merchandising trends and how your brand can evolve with the times. 

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

We are just at the beginning of the AI revolution in ecommerce. Brands will have to leverage AI tech to elevate their stores. Brands integrated on an intelligent commerce platform with AI and machine learning capabilities will deploy the most effective product page optimization and user experience strategies that automatically show personalized product recommendations, offerings, and experiences that convert customers. 

Headless Inventory

Headless commerce platforms offer many advantages to ecommerce brands, but one of the biggest is headless inventory management. Headless inventory management analyzes inventory data and transactions across a brand’s omnichannel network to inform buying and merchandising decisions. 

Personalization

Creating a personalized experience is essential to connect with customers and increase sales. For a truly personalized experience, brands must utilize an omnichannel platform that integrates all their channels to collect data on which customers are engaged and where and how to reach them best. Messaging to a new customer versus a loyal, frequent shopper is much different. 

Intelligent commerce collects customer data on all parts of the user journey. Using machine learning and AI integrated into your website and all other customer touch points allows brands to deploy curated and unique messaging tailored to each customer. 

Whether it’s a particular Facebook ad they viewed, a PPC ad they clicked, or a blog they read, our advanced ecommerce software takes that information. It automatically implements effective messaging to continue to drive customers down their marketing funnel towards a conversion. 

Ecommerce Merchandising Challenges

Brands can face several tough challenges when it comes to online merchandising. Gaby Haffer, Nogin’s Director of Buying, Merchandising, and Planning in Brand Management, lists her top three ecommerce merchandising challenges. 

1. No Physical Stores

One of the biggest challenges, especially for apparel brands, is that customers can’t try out or try on products before purchasing them. A fundamental obstacle for an ecommerce brand is building trust with visitors. Many luxury ecommerce brands will rent a physical store to create tangible brand experiences or pursue celebrity collaborations. Ecommerce brands must have the right content, testimonials, and marketing collateral to entice visitors and lower their action threshold to complete an online purchase. 

By utilizing an omnichannel system to reach customers at the right time, nurture them down your funnel, and leverage smart data to elevate their shopping experience, brands can develop a viable connection and enlist loyal brand enthusiasts using intelligent commerce. 

Gaby Haffer expands on this fundamental challenge, noting, “I think one of the most challenging parts of our jobs in an ecom business is that we don’t have any physical stores for our brand. So that makes it a little bit more challenging because the customer is not really able to go into one of our stores, touch the product, feel the product, and really fall in love. For us (Justice), the customer is a 10-year-old girl, so the nagging factor is very important where she makes sure that her mom buys her what she wants. Without having a store, it’s a little harder to build some of that loyalty we have. Nogin is very helpful because we are able to use our blog to communicate our mission statement, and we’re able to communicate our fit through our platform. The photography we use definitely uses a diverse customer so that every girl can see herself wearing our product.”

2. Affordable Shipping and Average Order Value (AOV)

Shipping is always a costly challenge to conquer in ecommerce. Amazon is big enough and has the infrastructure to support fast shipping solutions for customers. Prime items are eligible for free, two-day shipping, and they’ve scaled to a level where expenses still result in profitable outcomes. 

Unfortunately, many mid-size brands must leverage 3pl fulfillment or dropshipping companies. It is not only expensive but often, holes and inefficiencies drive up costs. Not to mention, affordable free shipping is rarely a tangible option. Brands also need to try to increase average order values to receive workable margins. If customers purchase $5-10 products, brands can’t afford to ship them out for $2-3. 

Gaby expands on the issue of fulfillment, mentioning, “One of the biggest profit killers for ecommerce business is shipping. Obviously, with the state of the world, shipping is just more and more expensive. The good news is that the Nogin venture has so many brands that they service and partner with that we can use those mass scales to definitely get the best rate out there for shipping.”

Nogin has several fulfillment centers, the omnichannel infrastructure, and tech to deliver affordable shipping costs to our partners. Brands on our headless platform are plugged into our 3pl EDI software integration. Our tech uses machine learning and AI to optimize shipping coordination to lower costs and maximize profitability continuously. 

Agility

Many independent ecommerce retailers are stuck when it comes to tech. The enterprise solutions are expensive, inflexible, and require manual specialist oversight to execute tasks. Nogin offers the agility of smaller shops with the enterprise capabilities brands need. Our team and tech make it a breeze to implement new promotions, shift categories, and handle all things merchandising efficiently. 

Gaby expands, saying, “I think in the retail sector, agility is key, and what I think Nogin’s technology does better is offer us the agility to make changes in real time, and that has been a real blessing for us. For example, we are able to change a promotion in real time. We are able to change pricing if we see some things that aren’t right. And that really has helped us. Also, within merchandising, we are able to merchandise by choice as opposed by the entire style, which has also been very helpful to really drive better results.”

Ecommerce Merchandising Tips and Best Practices

Here’s a quick list you can save that details our expert ecommerce merchandising tips:

  • Invest in Intelligent Browsing Solutions: Make it easy for your customers to find products that align with their customer data using modern site search solutions. Invest in modern autocomplete and Natural Language Processing (NLP) algorithms.
  • Use Omnichannel Infrastructure: Migrate on an omnichannel system that continuously uses customer data to deliver products and a personalized brand experience for each customer. 
  • Save Returning Visitor Products: Have previous visitors view their browsing history and list recently viewed items when they come back to your online shop. 
  • Geolocation Capabilities: Utilize visitor IP addresses to offer personalized offers based on customer data. You can also use geolocation to show products applicable to their environment. For instance, displaying winter jackets and beanies to visitors browsing your website from Canada in November.
  • UTM Parameters: Personalize landing pages by establishing UTM parameters to segment traffic based on customer behavior. 
  • Dynamic Pricing: Plug into intelligent software that can intuitively display dynamic pricing to beat competitors and increase conversion rates. 
  • Filters and Faceted Search: Break down and filter results into manageable subcategories that allow customers to find the products they want faster and easier. 

Learn More About Nogin’s Intelligent Commerce Suite

Plug into our intelligent ecommerce platform to gain the tech and expertise you’ll need to deliver an optimal merchandising experience to your customers. Learn more about the proven research behind Commerce as a Service (CaaS) and why it’s the best option for mid-size ecommerce retailers to scale their business. Download Part two of the Coresight Research report for free to learn how to solve profitability issues in ecommerce. 

Ecommerce Marketing Automation Software and Services: Why It’s Essential

ecommerce marketing automation

The evolution of ecommerce has accelerated rapidly. The post coronavirus ecommerce marketplace is exciting. Many brands have shifted their focus from physical to online storefronts to sell their products and reach their audience. eMarketer estimates that the global ecommerce market generated $4.89 trillion in 2021. In 2019, online purchases comprised only 13.6% of sales, but in 2021, 19.5% of sales were generated online (a 48.5% increase). 

As consumers continue to shift to online marketplaces to buy anything from a new Kindle to groceries, many businesses are lost on how to capitalize on the shift or even where to start. A brand may know the ins and outs of selling their products from a mall storefront but coordinating 3pl fulfillment, mobile responsive website design, or EDI software integration can sound like a foreign language. 

Digital Marketing: Where to Begin?

Perhaps the biggest challenge for most businesses is online marketing. Social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, or Snapchat are powerful tools ecommerce businesses use to reach their target audience. Google PPC campaigns help brands connect with their ideal customers based on the keywords users enter in search engines. 

Although brands can still leverage traditional marketing strategies, many companies still want to utilize the latest marketing analytics to guide their advertising campaigns. Platforms like Facebook and Google analyze user data through cross-site tracking and third-party cookies to guide campaign targeting. However, the new iOS 14 update adjusted the App Tracking Transparency (ATT) policy, allowing users to choose whether or not they want to share their personal data with advertisers. 

Businesses will have to get smarter with their marketing efforts, and marketing automation is the ultimate solution. Marketing automation is one of the fastest-growing technologies, and it has become more practical for small or medium-sized businesses. Marketing automation technology shows a 14% compounded annual growth rate over the next five years and solves dozens of challenging ecommerce problems. 

There are many ecommerce business platforms to use, but if you want the best marketing automation software and marketing automation software, an intelligent commerce solution is the best option for independent brands. Part of our Commerce as a Solution (CaaS) infrastructure is the world’s first multichannel automation tool. It helps create better customer experiences through automated campaign management, machine learning, and A/B testing. It will help with customer retention and reaching your ecommerce KPI goals. 

Let’s discuss the ins and outs of marketing automation, how it works, why it’s essential, the benefits, and why you’ll need it to stay competitive in your retail space. 

What is Marketing Automation?

what-is-marketing-automation

Marketing automation uses automated messages and workflows from email, web, social, and text touchpoints. Marketing automation saves time and money while increasing both revenues and maximizing your marketing efforts. 

Marketing automation is ideal for helping businesses scale, but it also helps create more personalized marketing experiences while increasing the overall ROI of your campaigns. Brands can streamline and automate marketing efforts while gathering rich segments of data. Excellent marketing automation software automatically assesses and refines campaigns based on data collected. 

Automated marketing will segment audiences to create ideal nurture sequences to increase lead generation. Coupled with an ideal ecommerce marketing funnel and product listing strategies, brands can expect better marketing returns and more conversions from their customers. 

How Marketing Automation Works

Marketing automation starts by collecting data across your various marketing channels, including email, website visits, social media interactions, or app engagement. Once enough data is collected, your marketing automation software will begin to analyze the data and segment audiences based on how they interacted with your content or how they fit within your ideal marketing profiles. The software will deploy customized messaging tailored to each customer across your marketing channels with supreme efficiency. 

Partners on the Nogin intelligent commerce suite leverage our multichannel marketing automation tool that maximizes returns based on their goals and budget. Our software integrates with Shopify and other ecommerce platforms and uses intelligent campaign management. It combines real-time and historical inventory, sales, and traffic data to maximize sales and customer acquisition. 

Our proprietary marketing automation tool uses continuous testing and machine learning to automatically refine your social and paid media campaigns. The software analyzes consumer behavior and shopping interactions to execute optimal campaigns that maximize conversions and marketing returns without the need for an expensive marketing team. The intuitive dashboard makes it simple for partners to view their campaigns without any marketing expertise. Simply put, it’s your own supercharged marketing agency without the conflated costs and errors. 

Workflow Marketing Automation

Marketing automation uses workflows that automate manual tasks based on the conditions and criteria the marketing manager sets. For example, suppose a visitor performs a specific task such as downloading an ebook or clicking on a link. In that case, a workflow can automatically perform a response based on the action, such as sending a follow-up email. 

Workflows use the touchpoints in the brand’s marketing funnel to trigger an action that coordinates with the user’s behavior. Marketing automation is effective because it can test various follow-up actions based on the conditions and refine the sequence that reflects the campaign’s most effective results. 

Why Marketing Automation is Important

Marketing automation is essential because it allows brands to quickly scale their business and execute highly effective campaigns without an expensive marketing agency. Most brands have to outsource their marketing, which means they have to pay for the marketing budget fueling their PPC and social media ads and the agency overseeing and managing their campaigns. There is also a learning curve for marketing agencies to learn about their client’s industry and the ideal way to reach their audience. 

Marketing automation software leaves out the guesswork. Brands can integrate our intelligent commerce suite directly with their Shopify or ecommerce shop. It will automatically run an AI-powered marketing audit to assess the client’s industry and, using statistical modeling and machine learning, develop the most effective marketing campaigns. The powerful marketing tool runs hundreds of test campaigns to determine the most effective advertisements to reach your customers while boosting your conversions and lowering your marketing costs.

Cut the expensive costs of a marketing agency while maximizing your budget using advertisements you know will work. Use your Nogin and more effectively run:

  • Email marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • PPC advertising
  • Lead generation 
  • Website personalization
  • Audience segmentation 
  • Cross-channel marketing campaigns

Is Marketing Automation Easy to Use?

Marketing automation is effortless to use. You can create campaigns from your marketing dashboard. After the automatic marketing audit, all you have to do is specify your budget, and the campaign automation tool does the rest. It will assess your brand’s current marketing spend and returns to determine the best growth opportunities. 

Brands can also plug in their specific growth goals, and our marketing automation tool will use predictive analytics to determine the budget needed to meet them. It uses cross-references of historical revenue to generate a customizable campaign calendar that will meet your monthly revenue goals. 

Schedule promotions and adjust your campaigns based on recommendations that align with your goals. Our tool creates assets across your multiple ad channels, which are deployed automatically. Our intelligent commerce suite tests your campaign tactics and adjusts your plan based on the data to refine your marketing collateral until it is a conversion-generating machine. 

Simply put, Nogin’s intelligent commerce suite is like having a marketing agency work for you 24/7 without human error. Increase conversions, maximize your marketing dollars and do it at a fraction of the cost of a traditional marketing agency. 

Can Small Businesses Use Marketing Automation?

Marketing automation is the best option for small businesses. It is an effective way to produce effective marketing advertisements across advertising channels that don’t drain too much time, money, and other resources. 

Some of the top reasons small businesses should use marketing automation include:

  • Build rapport and trust with your audience. More personalized messaging and workflow sequences that align with visitor interests develop stronger relationships.
  • Keep potential customers engaged and increase the likelihood of future conversions. Workflows with follow-up sequences can encourage visitors with abandoned shopping carts and keep users in your sales funnel. Automated reminders, exclusive offerings, and other tactics will help facilitate site transactions. 
  • Advanced analytics and machine learning better track customer journeys. Syncing your marketing channels into your marketing automation software allows brands a complete view of their customer journeys. From your dashboard, you can easily access how long your customers interact on your site, what landing pages lead to higher conversions, what keywords drive clicks, and other crucial information to lead to better marketing ROI. 

Benefits of Marketing Automation

There are numerous benefits of marketing automation. Let’s discuss the five biggest benefits and why you should invest sooner rather than later.

benefits of marketing automation

1. Better, More Personalized Customer Journeys

Marketing automation allows brands to tailor their customer journeys to fit each visitor. By utilizing workflows and customer data, brands can engage users with content and offers that maximize conversion opportunities. Automatically generate ideal product recommendations for each user and reach individuals with content that resonates with them at each stage of their journey. 

Marketing automation uses retail pricing strategies, retail markdown strategies, and other pricing tactics without actively adjusting your campaigns. Customers will receive relevant content at the right time through omnichannel touchpoints integrated directly into your storefront. Visitors will automatically receive the right correspondence from mobile messaging, emails, push notifications, group messages, and more to convert prospects into loyal customers. 

2. Free Up Internal Marketing Resources

Marketing automation allows brands to free up internal marketing resources. Automated tasks mean that marketers don’t have to spend hours creating, testing, and executing campaigns. Brands can create their campaign goals, budget, and workflows and let their marketing software do the rest. 

Machine learning and artificial intelligence will analyze the data for you and generate ideal test campaigns. Once workflows and campaigns are tested, your marketing automation platform will refine them until they generate maximum results to meet your ecommerce KPIs. 

3. Limit Marketing Inefficiencies and Get the Most Out of Your Budget

Automated workflows based on specific criteria of customer interactions ensure your marketing messaging resonates with each visitor. Marketing automation uses buyer personas and omnichannel messaging to create personalized communication at each stage of your conversion funnel. 

Your staff will no longer have to review touchpoints and parse through dense marketing data manually. AI and machine learning will ensure your marketing is the best it can be while boosting your bottom line. 

4. Track User Engagement and Deliver the Right Content at the Right Time

Digital marketing automation software tracks user engagement across your marketing funnel. You’ll be able to capture, manage, and assess leads and implement marketing messaging based on their engagement. Machine learning will determine all your marketing touchpoints and processes and deliver the ideal content at the right time to increase the chances of conversions. 

You can also use retargeting and recirculation to engage with consumers hovering around in your funnel. 97% of visitors leave without buying anything or returning to a website, but retargeting helps continue the conversation. Retargeting ads receive 10-times higher CTR than regular display ads, and retargeting can increase conversions by almost 150%. Marketing automation is the easiest way to launch retargeting campaigns and the most effective. 

5. Better Qualified Leads

Finding qualified leads is the biggest goal of marketing, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. 37% of marketers cite budget restrictions limiting their ability to create an efficient marketing automation strategy, and 61% of B2B marketers claim the acquisition of highly qualified leads is their biggest challenge. 

Marketing automation is a scalable solution to lockdown qualified leads and gain conversions through personalized offers, content, and interactions. Delivering the right messages at the right times through the proper channels based on segmentation and machine learning ensures your online storefront becomes a magnet for qualified leads. 

When Is The Right Time to Invest in Marketing Automation?

There is no better time than now to invest in marketing automation but to make sure you are set up for success, follow our quick checklist:

  • You have mapped out your ideal marketing funnel. 
  • You have optimized landing pages following SEO best practices.
  • You have informative, long-form content that qualifies leads and builds rapport and trust with your readers. 
  • You are struggling to capture qualified leads. 
  • Your marketing resources are exhausted and costing too much money. 
  • You are spending too much time on tedious and repetitive marketing tasks. 
  • You have comprehensive marketing channels set up, including email, content, social, and PPC accounts. 

How Do I Choose the Best Marketing Automation Solution for My Ecommerce Business?

ecommerce marketing automation software

Nogin is your ecommerce partner that offers comprehensive enterprise solutions. We offer superior ecommerce talent combined with a full-stack ecommerce platform that includes R&D, sales optimization, and machine learning, along with artificial intelligence-driven marketing and fulfillment. Known for helping global brands keep pace with big retail and drive predictable profitability, Nogin gets brands to be world-class and profitable within 90 days of putting them on their platform. 

We’ve helped notable brands, including Honeywell, Hurley, Bebe, Justice, ModCloth, and Kenneth Cole, not only meet their goals but exceed expectations in all facets of their ecommerce business operations. 

Soon, we will offer new marketing apps for smaller businesses to leverage our intelligence commerce to drive exponential results, including: 

  • Ship Genius: Intelligent ecommerce order storage and fulfillment.
  • Smart Payments: Customizable subscription and dynamic pricing options to boost sales.
  • Nogin X: The world’s first multichannel marketing automation tool. Automate and optimize your marketing campaigns at the click of a button. Integrate Nogin X with your Shopify shop and access real-time and historical inventory, sales, and traffic data to craft advertising campaigns that maximize sales and customer acquisition. 

In the meantime, if you’d like to learn more about partnering with our company of ecommerce experts (AKA, Nogin Nerds), contact us to see if you qualify for a free consultation and site audit. We will come up with a game-winning ecommerce strategy to increase revenue and lower internal operating costs. Take the headache out of ecommerce and use your Nogin. 

How is Amazon Beating the Competition and How Your Brand Can Finally Take the Lead

How can retailers compete with amazon

Before we talk about Nogin, let’s talk about Amazon. You may have heard of them. Started by a guy named Jeff Bezos who wanted to sell books online. Ecommerce has become a standard for many American consumers, but back in 1994, when Amazon started, the idea of buying something over a cumbersome computing device that beeps and boops when you start it was about as alien a concept as civilian space travel. 

It turns out that more than a couple of decades later, ecommerce has become a norm for American consumers. Today, you can purchase just about anything online, from groceries to household appliances to anything that can be shipped in a box. Oh, and the same guy who started Amazon has since retired and become a civilian astronaut who likes to wear cowboy hats. Welcome to the 2020s.  

How is Amazon Beating the Competition and Who Can Stop Them?

Just as Walmart drove out Mom and Pop businesses throughout the country during their rise to brick-and-mortar dominance, Amazon has become a seamlessly unstoppable force in the ecommerce world. They may not have a technical monopoly on selling goods online, but their monolith business has virtually every advantage over independent brands trying to scale and grow their ecommerce business. 

Amazon and its third-party merchants encompass 43.5% of digital spending in the United States in 2021, an increase from 41.8% in 2020. Unfortunately, their dominance will most likely continue to grow as the decade progresses. Independent retailers operating on their own cannot match the convenience or prices Amazon offers. Since they have fulfillment centers across the country, they can offer free, two-day shipping at affordable rates for both their merchants and customers. They have billions invested in research and development to ensure they integrate the latest ecommerce technology to make their shopping experience optimal for their customers. 

Although customers enjoy the Amazon shopping experience, merchants and sellers are beholden to Amazon’s exorbitant referral, seller, FBA, and shipping fees. Although sellers may sell a ton of inventory on Amazon’s marketplace, the retailers rarely win. Amazon’s referral fees range from 6-45%, along with other expenses like their 3pl fulfillment that shrink their profit margins to a fraction of what they could be. 

How Can Retailers Compete? The Problem With Staying Independent and Growing an Ecommerce Brand

Independent online brands have been between a rock and a hard place for too long. If they sell independently on their website, they must manage their inventory, hire ecommerce experts to oversee marketing efforts, purchase expensive SaaS, find a practical fulfillment solution, invest in research and development, and manage the countless other tasks needed to run an online brand successfully. 

Operating a simple Shopify website can be profitable and scalable when brands are smaller. They can steadily make a name for themselves and target their consumers with ads or invest in PPC campaigns to drive customers to their websites. They may waste money along the way to test campaign strategies and connect with their ideal customers, but as long as they are mindful of costs, they can steadily grow their brand and lower acquisition costs. However, once many independent brands reach the $1-2 million annual revenue mark, they are faced with a grim reality. They can not maintain profitability.

Independent brands handling their own online marketplace face numerous challenges that destroy their margins, so they can never make it to the next level. They are forced to utilize inflexible, slow, and expensive enterprise systems, such as Salesforce and Magneto. They must not only license the SaaS but hire dedicated specialists to use the costly tool and hope they do a good job. 

Often, independent brands don’t have the budget to purchase the SaaS, team, and services needed to even remotely compete with Amazon. Most people instantly go to Amazon when they want to make an online purchase. If they consider buying the same product on another marketplace, they will inevitably get it from Amazon because they offer cheaper products shipped faster 49% of the time. In fact, 53% of consumers start their online shopping on Amazon. 

Amazon doesn’t have to invest in PPC, SEO, social media campaigns, and other marketing efforts since they have superior brand recognition and a magnetic marketplace. They’re already the default option for most online shoppers. Customers can quickly set up an account and enjoy one-click purchases for whatever products come to mind that arrives in a couple of days. It’s hard for any independent brand to compete with that level of convenience and selection. 

However, their third-party merchants will invest in Amazon advertising to get their products prime real estate in search results for various competitive keyword queries. Amazon doesn’t need to invest in Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) campaigns to sell its products. They have thousands of third-party merchants paying them for prime positions to sell their products, and if they make a sale, they take another cut from the pie. 

How Amazon Always Wins

Amazon keeps its vendors’ data under lock and key for a reason. Third-party vendors must bend the knee and pay the fees to earn the privilege of selling their products on Amazon. While vendors hustle to optimize their listings and invest to beat other vendors, it’s a win-win-win for Amazon. They collect all user data on their shoppers’ behavior, leverage their analytics to improve the Amazon shopping experience, continuously scale and grow their business, and rake in endless fees from vendors advertising and selling on their platform. 

Third-party vendors are pitted against one another to push inventory while their profit margins are snatched in various fees to Amazon. They can’t even install a tracking pixel on their Amazon landing pages to learn about their customers. Third-party vendors aren’t much more than medieval peasants renting a plot of land and handing their profits to their feudal lords. 

The Problem With Trying to Compete With Amazon On Your Own

If brands want to go the indie route, they will need a considerable budget to get their ecommerce brand up and running. Unfortunately, they must rely on multiple SaaS solutions to improve their shopping experience, oversee re-platforming their storefront to adhere to the constant innovations in online commerce, invest in multiple marketing channels to reach their customers, hire expensive and in-demand marketing talent to oversee and launch their campaigns, warehouse fulfillment, customer service, and so much more. 

When it comes to marketing, extensive testing is needed to reach a profitable return on ad spend. Since independent brands start from scratch, they will need to begin with fairly open targeting and cast a wide net to narrow down their target audience and identify customer avatars. 

The more money they spend, the more accurate they can assess their ideal shoppers. Still, the catch is they have to pay a lot of money not only on the social media and PPC budgets but also to the specialists maintaining and launching their campaigns. This leads to another problem where specialists operate in silos, and multi-channel marketing efforts are not integrated effectively. 

For instance, strategists overseeing an Instagram campaign will need to manually chat with the PPC team to work together to improve campaign performance. It is not only an inefficient and ineffective way to approach marketing, but brands must pay for their team and marketing costs which will further eat into profit margins. 

Average brands overspend 40% on their marketing efforts, and to entice customers to click on their ads; they must offer high discounts and promotions to convert users. They also have to spend 11% on free shipping and fulfillment and return costs.

Even some of the biggest apparel brands globally are barely profitable, if profitable at all, due to the overwhelming powers of Amazon and big online retailers. Amazon offers more selection, better pricing, faster and cheaper fulfillment, and most Americans already have an account set up so they can purchase items will one click. 

If you want to stay in control of your brand and fight Amazon’s monopoly over ecommerce, it starts with a smarter approach. 

Plug Into Intelligent Commerce and Take the Headache Out of Running an Ecommerce Brand

If you want to fight against big retail, you’ll need the same tools as big retail. Commerce as a Service (CaaS) allows our partners to deploy on our intelligent ecommerce platform. Powered by machine learning, AI, and our data lab, our proprietary tech deploys the best strategies across our brand partners to scale businesses faster while lowering operating costs. 

Each of our partners receives the infrastructure, tech, and ecommerce-specialist support to ensure their business grows. Our partners never have to worry about re-platforming again, and our partners do not need to invest in upfront costs to get started. Our approach to ecommerce allows our partners to liberate themselves from the endless responsibilities and oversight required to scale a brand. Stay in control and view your operations from our integrated dashboard and focus on growing your brand while we handle the rest. 

To dive deeper into how Nogin solves profitability issues and allows our partners to scale faster and compete with big retail, download the second Coresight Research report. 

Check out more of our in-depth ecommerce guides to learn the strategies to scale your ecommerce brand below:

The Ultimate Keyword Research Guide for Ecommerce

ecommerce keyword research

Keyword research is essential to any successful ecommerce storefront. Identifying which keywords to use for your product listings will help you increase traffic to your site and generate more qualified leads. The new coronavirus ecommerce environment has dramatically changed the retail environment, and marketers should focus on SEO and content creation sooner rather than later. 

If you are new to search engine optimization (SEO) or would like to discover an easy-to-use guide to help you research, choose, and implement the best keywords for your ecommerce website, check out our helpful guide. We will give you the scoop on the best tools to use, our simple process, and the ultimate keyword research strategy you can use for your business. 

What is Keyword Research?

Keyword research is the SEO process to discover and select the best keyword options to implement for a website. Marketers should conduct keyword research in the early stages of content creation and draft their pages around keyword targets. It is an ongoing process, and online merchants should continuously optimize their website with new keywords for poor-performing pages. Keyword research will also help marketers identify topics and search queries to incorporate into fresh content. 

The four most important components to analyze for any given keyword include:

Keyword research components

1. Monthly Search Volume (MSV)

The average number of monthly searches for a given keyword over 12 months. At least 71% of search traffic clicks are on first page results in Google, and 25% of people click on the first Google search result. Therefore, if a keyword has a MSV of 1,000, 710 users will select a website on the first page of search results. Marketers must identify searches with sufficient search volume and publish high-quality, in-depth content to climb the ranks and land on the first page of search.

2. Keyword Difficulty

The keyword difficulty index (from 1 to 100%) measures how hard it would be to outrank your competitors in the Google organic search for a given keyword. The higher the percentage, the harder it is to rank for a targeted keyword. Ideally, you want to pick keywords with high monthly search volume and low keyword difficulty. 

Keywords with high difficulty scores often indicate there are many competitive pages indexed on the web that match the search intent behind the keyword and the landing page that ranks for the term exists on a site with high Domain Authority (DA). The ranking page is in-depth (2,000+ words), incorporates aligning queries relevant to the keyword search, and links to other websites or pages on the site relevant to the topic. Suppose you want to rank for keywords with high keyword difficulty. In that case, it is best to develop an in-depth pillar piece of content (2,000+ words) around that keyword topic and develop sub-pillar pages (600-1000) that align with the topic and include internal links back to the pillar page. 

3. Cost-Per Click (CPC)

Cost-Per-Click (CPC) is the average price in USD advertisers pay for a user’s click on a Google ad triggered by a given keyword. For instance, a keyword query for “red leather jacket” may have a $10 cost-per-click. An apparel company may want to bid on that keyword search to generate traffic to their website based on that query. If the company chooses to bid and run ads to a landing page based on that query, Google will charge them $10 per click generated from that query. 

Clients are often willing to pay for Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns as a fast way to generate traffic and qualified leads to their site. However, PPC campaigns are only worth the investment if they see a sufficient return on their investment. 

CPC is a valuable metric for keyword research because it is an excellent way to quantify the value of a business’s content. If a page ranks organically for a keyword query, you will not have to pay for the clicks generated from your ranking landing page. Let’s say that the apparel company develops an in-depth piece of content or an outstanding product page, and it generates an average of 20 clicks a month in search for the query “red leather jacket.” The landing page will save the company $200 per month ($10 CPC X 20 monthly clicks)! Also, it will most likely rank for other similar keyword queries, such as “men’s red leather jacket” or “real red leather jacket.” SEO tools such as SemRush will quantify the monthly traffic cost for your landing pages in PPC value: 

Businesses should target keywords with high CPC and develop landing pages that align with the query to save money on expensive PPC costs and rank for valuable keywords organically. The better and more in-depth landing pages you develop, the more likely the page will rank for valuable keywords, which will equate to more organic traffic and conversions. Not to mention you won’t have to pay a dime for the clicks! 

4. Competitive Density

Competitive density measures the level of competition between PPC advertisers bidding on any given keyword. It is measured on a scale from 0 to 1.00, with 1.00 being the most difficult to rank for the keyword search. 

Competitive density is often confused with keyword difficulty; however, they are pretty different. Competitive density measures paid competition in Google AdWords campaigns, while keyword difficulty measures how hard it is for content creators to rank for a search term organically (SEO). Marketers should utilize both metrics to determine whether they should target a keyword through organic or paid efforts. 

Best Ecommerce Keyword Research Tools

Every online business should use keyword research tools to find the best queries for their products and services. Let’s discuss some of the best free, paid, and rank tracking tools.  

Free Keyword Research Tools

Free keyword research tools
Some of the best free keyword research tools for ecommerce include:

1. Google Analytics

For any online business, connecting your website to Google Analytics is a must. Google Analytics will give you access to crucial SEO information concerning your website performance, traffic metrics for your site, and user behavior. You can investigate the keywords driving traffic to your site and analyze the performance of each landing page. Content creators can revise pages with poor average session duration, high bounce rates, low traffic and can incorporate more relevant keywords onto the pages to improve performance.  

2. Google Search Console

Google Search Console is an essential tool for any ecommerce online marketing manager. Once you connect your website to it, you will gain access to amazing capabilities to help you investigate your mobile usability, site coverage, and, most importantly, the exact keywords that generate clicks to your site. GSC gives website admins the ability to access information on each keyword, including:

  • The Total Clicks: How many times a user clicked through to your site from organic search.
  • Total Impressions: How many times a user saw your site in search results.
  • Average Click-Through Rate (CTR): The percentage of impressions that resulted in a click.
  • Average Position: The average position of your site in search results for any given keyword).

Once you begin to collect data on the keywords generating clicks to your site, you can revise your content to incorporate keywords resulting in more organic traffic and dump any poor-performing keywords. You can also select each landing page on your site that generated organic traffic and view every keyword that yielded results. 

3. Google Trends

Google Trends is an excellent way to investigate the popularity of keyword searches over time. Once you enter a keyword into the search function, Google Trends will break down the search’s popularity. Users can modify their search function to analyze the term across regions, categories, and types of web searches. 

One of the most beneficial functions of Google Trends is that it allows marketers to assess interest by subregion. Suppose you notice that a particular keyword search is most prevalent in specific states. In that case, you can modify your product pages or paid ad targeting to cater to the most engaged area. Lastly, it will also provide you with related queries and topics to further improve product or site pages. 

4. AnswerThePublic

AnswerThePublic is an excellent free keyword research tool to help marketers discover popular questions around any root keyword search. Enter your keyword into the search bar and presto! You’ll find a sheet of top questions around your keyword search. You can organize the data in columns or a visualization wheel and download the results in a CSV. Although there is a premium option available, users can use the tool several times a day.

5. Soovle

It may not be the prettiest tool, but it’s an excellent free option for marketers interested in discovering new related keywords around a topic. Enter a keyword search into the Soovle search engine, and it will display top search results around your root keyword. Best of all, it will break it down based on popular channels, such as Amazon, YouTube, and Google. 

Premium Keyword Research Tools

Premium Keyword Research Tools
Although there are many great free keyword research tools, every online business should invest in some premium keyword research tools for more advanced features and data. Some of our favorite paid keyword research tools for ecommerce include:

1. Semrush

Semrush is one of the most popular and powerful SEO tools available for marketers. Marketers can use SemRush for not only keyword research but also site analysis, local SEO, link building, backlink audits, and more. 

The keyword research function is astounding. Enter a keyword into the Keyword Overview tool, and you will access a bounty of incredible information to help you identify the best keywords to use for your site. You can quickly see the monthly search volume, keyword difficulty, CPC, and competition for your searched query, along with keyword variations, questions, and related keywords around your search. Select keywords to add to your specified keyword lists to easily organize your targeted keywords for new product pages. 

Best of all, you can investigate the pages that rank for any given keyword search and analyze that page to discover their top organic keywords, top position changes, and keyword trends to help you craft a landing page to compete for your target keywords. If there is one premium SEO keyword research tool I would recommend for ecommerce, it’s Semrush. 

2. BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo is an excellent keyword research tool to discover trending topics and research the most engaging content for any given keyword search on social media. This powerful tool allows you to discover topics, keywords, and questions for any search. You can also research related influencers on Twitter, YouTube, and authors for any given topic to help you craft a PR campaign. Dive into published articles around your search topic and build engaging ecommerce landing pages to mirror your niche’s most successful content. 

3. Keywords Everywhere

Keywords Everywhere is an excellent premium option on a budget. Install the chrome extension on your browser, and you can purchase keyword credits. Each credit equals one keyword, and you will see the MSV, CPC, and competition for each keyword populated based on your root search. To use the tool, enter a search in Google, and you will have a related keyword list presented with metrics. Download the list to a CSV and pick the ones you want to use. Organize your list in a Google spreadsheet or Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.

4. Moz

Moz is one of the top SEO toolsets for marketers. In addition to keyword research, users can conduct site audits, backlink analysis, and more. Like SemRush, enter a root keyword into the keyword overview function. You will see keyword suggestions, SERP analysis, and other data to help you create keyword lists for a new site page. The platform is intuitive and easy-to-use for inexperienced search-engine marketers, so if you’re new to the game, it’s a great option. 

5. Ahrefs

Ahrefs is an excellent premium keyword research tool and over SEO powerhouse. Users can conduct site audits, research competitors, explore top-performing content in their industry, and of course, conduct keyword research. The user interface is very similar to SemRush. Both SEO tools share similar features and capabilities, so make sure only to pick one and save money on your marketing budget! 

Rank Tracking for Ecommerce Tools

Rank Tracking Tools
Keyword ranking tracking is one of the most important ecommerce KPIs for your business. Some of the premium tools we mentioned earlier, including SemRush, Ahrefs, and Moz, all have rank tracking capabilities. However, some of our favorite tools that have much more informative and dynamic features include: 

1. SE Ranking

SE Ranking is an excellent SEO tool, but its keyword rank tracking capabilities are why marketers flock to purchase it. Users can purchase plans based on the number of keywords they want to track and access a bounty of information on each targeted keyword. Marketers can track keywords across up to five search engines and measure rankings in specific cities and locations. 

Along with keyword rankings, SE Rankings tracks Google Maps results, Google Ads rankings, and specific SERP features, such as featured snippets or videos. You can also add track competitor rankings and access visibility scores based on particular keywords. Other features include social media management, website auditing, and backlink checkers. 

2. Conductor

Conductor is a pricier keyword rank tracking software option, but if you can spring the cost, it’s worth the investment. Conductor allows you to monitor your search position daily across locations, languages, and devices. You can easily adjust the keyword parameters to filter searches based on keywords that moved to the top page, dropped off the top page, and more to visualize areas of success quickly. 

Marketers can also compare their market share to competitors and easily find competitive picks to create new content based on keyword opportunities. Lastly, filter your keyword list based on a specified time frame to help you make monthly reports to track progress. 

3. AccuRanker

AccuRanker is my last keyword rank tracking software recommendation for ecommerce. Marketers can purchase keywords to rank in intervals of 500. They’ll have access to integrate Google Analytics and Search Console into the platform and begin selecting the keywords they want to track. Refresh the keyword rankings whenever you please and access daily updates and advanced data. 

Filter your rankings based on SERP features to gain insights into how users find your ecommerce storefront through organic channels. Segment and filter data and organize your data based on categories to guide content and SEO strategies. Gain access to historic data for keywords you track and utilize unlimited domains and users in AccuRanker. 

Why is Identifying Keywords Important for Research?

Keyword research is one of the most essential components of SEO. It is the driving force behind content marketing. Marketers should implement a keyword research plan before content creation to ensure the site copy and pages discuss relevant topics around queries that match their target audience’s searches. 

Marketers should conduct thorough keyword research and implement target keywords in relevant sections of their site and product pages, such as title tags, meta descriptions, product titles, and body copy. A search engine’s job is simple: provide the best site pages that match the user’s search intent. Identifying keywords with proven monthly search volume ensures that they are the best picks to use throughout your site. 

It helps Google understand that your landing pages match the search intent of its users. The better, more-in-depth content you can create based on the keywords you discover, your site will more likely appear in search results for the valuable keywords you want to rank for in Google, Bing, and other search engines. 

Identifying the best keywords for PPC campaigns is crucial to discover selected queries that will maximize your budget and result in a better return on investment. Developing killer organic content that incorporates your targeted keywords will increase your chances to climb the rankings. Once you start to rank well for your targeted keywords, continue to develop supporting content and save money on paid-media efforts. You’ll create a money-making making machine that brings your customers right to your front door. 

How to Perform Keyword Research for Ecommerce: 3 Step Guide

If you’re new to keyword research, we’ll give an easy process to research, identify, and implement the best keywords onto your website. Many SEO keyword research tools give the user an abundant selection of information to dissect and interpret, which can quickly become overwhelming. 

Don’t worry! Whether you use a premium or free keyword research tool, our simple process will ensure you can research, catalog, and utilize the best keywords for your business to improve organic traffic, rankings, and conversions. 

1.Conduct Broad Research Starting With Root Keywords

Always begin your keyword research journey with your target root keywords. A keyword root is the main keyword you want to dominate in the search rankings. It is a broad category topic that can come in many long-tailed keyword variations. 

For instance, a root keyword for an ecommerce store could be “leather jacket.” However, if your site lacks a strong domain authority and content on your website is sparse, you’ll find that ranking for root keywords is a challenge and will take considerable effort. 

You want to do your best to develop product and site pages to target root keywords. Still, you’ll quickly discover plenty of keyword variations, questions, and related keywords you can target that will be easier to target. 

2. Select Long-Tail Keyword Variations, Questions, and Related Keywords

Begin selecting long-tail keywords, questions, and related keywords and categorize them based on your root keywords. For instance, you can categorize the following search queries under “leather jacket”:

  • Long-Tail Keywords: black leather jacket mens, leather jacket with hood, mens leather motorcycle jackets, and vintage leather jackets.
  • Questions: how to style a leather jacket, how to wear a leather jacket, how do you clean a leather jacket, and how to break in a leather jacket. 
  • Related Keywords: leather coat, leather coats for men, black leather dress jacket, and dress leather jackets for men. 

Begin adding your selected keywords to a keyword list and categorize them based on your root keywords. Try to choose keywords with sufficient monthly-search volume, low keyword difficulty percentages, and a CPC price. The best way to start getting momentum for your site is to target keywords with low keyword difficulty since you will have a better chance to rank for them. 

3. Utilize Your Target Keywords and Implement Throughout Product Listings and Create Supporting Content

Once you have a good keyword list, begin outlining new product pages and site pages based on your research. Utilize your related keywords and long-tail keyword variations in your product titles and descriptions. Make sure to include plenty of related keywords that align with your product to capture the widest net of search queries. 

Develop content pages that answer queries around your root topic. Use the questions you’ve identified in your research as headers and draft your content to answer the queries sufficiently. Supporting content pages are also an excellent way to link to your relevant product pages. Use your targeted keywords as the anchor text to link to your product pages to help signal to Google the relevancy of that page relating to the keywords. 

The average first-page results on Google contain 1,890 words, so make sure to draft through content to give your website the best chances to climb the rankings, especially for luxury ecommerce websites. Sites with rich and informative content provide instant value to their visitors, elevate their website’s quality, and build rapport with their audience. Great content and product descriptions also help lower return rates since visitors will have more information to understand your products, so they know what to expect when it arrives. 

Now that you are a keyword research expert, dive into our quick retail pricing strategies guide. 

Elevate Your Ecommerce Brand with Nogin’s Intelligent Commerce Solutions

If you are ready to take your ecommerce brand to the next level, Nogin’s ecommerce platform will help accelerate your growth, increase revenue, and lower operating costs. We deliver exponential results in customer acquisition and retention, traffic rankings, logistics, and 3PL ecommerce fulfillment, and much more. 
Our partners see an average 300% increase in brand growth, a 40% average reduction in inventory and overhead costs, and best of all, you’ll never have to replatform again. Learn more about our ecommerce software and enterprise ecommerce solutions and contact us below to let us know how we can help. A member of our team will chat with you about the current challenges you face and create a customized plan to catapult your business’ success. We hope to chat with you soon!

Headless Ecommerce Platform: Why It’s the Secret to Massively Successful Online Stores

headless commerce guide

As headless commerce and ecommerce platforms continue to gain traction, many online merchants wonder what exactly headless ecommerce is all about? The new post-coronavirus ecommerce accelerated the growth of online shopping, and whether consumers shift their behavior to regular shopping habits before the pandemic is still a mystery. 

However, one thing is clear: brands must focus on building superior online experiences to beat the competition and maintain market share in their industry. Headless commerce is flexible, agile, and customizable and brands should shift to a headless commerce platform sooner rather than later. 

Let’s discuss how a headless commerce platform works, the benefits of headless commerce software, and why it is essential for enterprise ecommerce businesses. 

What is a Headless Commerce Platform and How Does It Work?

A headless ecommerce platform separates the front-end systems (head) from the backend to allow developers maximum flexibility for designs and create custom experiences for users. A headless ecommerce solution stores and delivers content without front-end constraints such as templates or themes. By separating consumer-facing (head) from the commerce engine (body), brands can create unique shopping experiences fitting to their needs. 

Backend developers can manage all content elements on a site, including product listings, blog posts, and customer reviews separately from front-end developers. Traditional ecommerce platforms have rigid constraints on front-end and back-end development. Headless ecommerce platforms have independent backend functionality, so brands can incorporate their commerce elements on any digital marketplace. 

It forces ecommerce businesses to operate within the rules of the ecommerce platform they use which can lead to expensive workarounds. Many ecommerce businesses have to make changes to their site and even simple design shifts can cost a fortune in development manpower to get the job done. 

A headless ecommerce platform uses Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) on a cloud-based infrastructure to connect the front-end and back-end elements. Leveraging a headless ecommerce architecture, brands can incorporate their content on endless distribution channels, including smartwatches, Alexa platforms, kiosks, smart mirrors, vending machines, and any new emerging content distribution medium. 

Best of all, content managers can easily update the layout, design, and copy from frontend applications without need for back-end modifications. On the other hand, developers can modify and upgrade backend elements without messing with frontend customer experiences. The content elements of your site are completely separate from the business processes like orders, payment processing, and shipping. 

Perhaps the best way to describe headless ecommerce is that you have the flexibility to do what you want and create the online experience that matches your vision. 

Is a Shopify Headless Commerce Platform?

Shopify Plus is a headless commerce platform. Retailers can link their storefront API to a monolithic platform. However, Shopify Plus only provides the frontend elements to a headless ecommerce system and merchants would have to attach a backend content management system (CMS). 

Merchants can use a selection of APIs to build custom functions at checkout, and retailers can use other Shopify apps to produce content. Although brands can use the Shopify Storefront API and JavaScript software development kits, they still have to invest in developers to manage systems which can lead to heavy expenses. 

Nogin’s managed services and enterprise ecommerce solutions allows brands to freely develop their brand while our expert ecommerce team handles all expensive development needs. Our partners are not only integrated on our headless ecommerce platform, but they have access to our 3pl ecommerce fulfillment, advanced marketing analytics and machine learning, creative agency, client support, and more. Our mission is to unify ecommerce operations to save our partners’ internal operating costs, maximize their marketing budget, and become more profitable and stress free. 

We invest in continuous research and development to ensure our efforts work. We leverage data and artificial intelligence from our catalog of partners to implement the most effective solutions to make our brands more profitable and meet their ecommerce KPIs. Incorporating a headless platform is only the beginning of how Nogin uses intelligent commerce to achieve exponential results. 

What’s the Difference Between Headless Commerce and Traditional Commerce?

A traditional ecommerce platform uses a rigidly coded database on a monolithic architecture that connects both the frontend and backend. Traditional ecommerce systems are great for small businesses and startups without the developer resources. They can create a storefront on traditional platforms easily but the fixed architecture limits their ability to integrate their content and reach on new shopping channels. 

Headless commerce platforms, on the other hand, allow ecommerce businesses to adapt to new innovations in the online marketplace. They can speed up their ability to leverage on new avenues to reach customers. Merchants leveraging headless commerce platforms have a clear competitive advantage since traditional commerce platforms are slower to adapt since they do not have the flexible architecture. Also, headless systems are cloud-based to avoid single points of failure and reduce the risks of a data breach to access critical customer information. 

Traditional commerce systems take considerable effort to revise content elements that do not fit within the core design of the templates. Developers trying to make upgrades and updates will take considerable time and effort, which will lead to expensive internal operating costs. Developers on headless systems can create their client’s ideal user experience from scratch without having to worry about messing up backend databases which is safer, faster, and more cost-effective. 

Headless Ecommerce Framework and Architecture

Headless ecommerce architecture separates the frontend templates and themes from the backend. Merchants can use APIs to show their products and contents on any screen or framework while leaving the backend alone. As we move into the age of Internet of Things (IoT), headless commerce is the only architecture that makes sense. 

As each year passes, rapid new advances in the functionality and capabilities of devices means that ecommerce merchants must be nimble, effient, and cost-effective to take advantage of the latest shopping trends. The restrictive and rigid capabilities of traditional ecommerce platforms will cripple merchants operating on their framework. 

Also, most enterprise ecommerce brands must invest every couple of years to replatform their online storefront, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Nogin partners never have to replatform again, saving our partners a massive headache and bill. 

Headless CMS will become essential to deliver content. The high development costs will cut into the profits of ecommerce merchants, restricting their ability to scale. Headless ecommerce architecture separates backend and frontend elements, so businesses can safely and securely manage their storefront. 

How Headless Commerce Supports Omnichannel Retail

Omnichannel retail gives shoppers the opportunity to shop from ecommerce shops online or offline from any device connected to the internet. User experience is paramount for online retailers and creating a seamless and easy shopping environment for their potential shoppers to explore will not only increase conversions but also the value of your brand. To truly leverage omnichannel retail, headless commerce is the only option. 

Omnichannel shopping is quickly becoming the norm. Brands that fail to create meaningful experience across digital channels, physical stores, and other devices will lose market share and revenue. Harvard Business Review conducted a study with 46,000 customers and analyzed their shopping behavior and results concluded:

  • 7% were online-only shoppers
  • 20% were store-only shoppers
  • 73% used multiple channels. 

Using an omnichannel approach, businesses can engage with their audience continuously to create an effective customer retention strategy. Their ecommerce conversion funnel is much broader to capture more repeat transactions and new customers. 

Made.com experimented with a ‘try before you buy’ using touch screens and fabric samples. They were able to track consumer interactions to better understand how their audience interacted with their products. While customers created shopping lists in the high end London showroom, Made.com engaged with their audience through email with personalized recommendations based on their unique preferences. Needless to say, it was a very effective sales campaign that leveraged an omnichannel approach. 

5 Benefits of Headless Ecommerce

We’ve already touched on some of the benefits of headless ecommerce business platforms. Let’s dive deeper into the many advantages merchants have using a headless ecommerce architecture and why it is the next evolution of ecommerce.  

1. Customization

Traditional platforms have pre-existing themes and architectures that developers must work from. Headless commerce platforms allow developers to customize their storefront to create an ideal customer experience. Control the appearance and presentation of your store to entice your target audience the way you see fit. 

2. Flexibility

Headless commerce platforms have separate frontends and backends to allow developers the flexibility to implement changes. Traditional commerce platforms have a tight coding infrastructure which limits how merchants can customize their online shopping experience. Merchants using headless commerce platforms can create custom checkout sequences and test endless product listing strategies and retail pricing strategies that fit within their custom online framework. 

3. Maximize Content for Conversions

Headless commerce allows for merchants to create truly unique content experiences that flow seamlessly on their storefront. Shoppers have become more interested in brand stories and the fine details behind their product purchases. 

82% of mobile shoppers research products on their phone that they intend to make in stores. Information and easily digestible content helps build rapport and trust with shoppers so they can make purchases with confidence. 

Headless platforms not only can feature the most capable mobile responsive designs, but merchants can create an omnichannel content distribution network to engage customers from any possible touchpoint. Developers can add new frontend components efficiently without backend coding modifications. As new technologies continue to emerge, merchants can stay ahead of the competition and reach their audience. 

4. Experimentation and Testing Capabilities

The ability to modify content elements on the front end leads to unrivaled testing capabilities not available on traditional commerce platforms. Experiment with content designs, text, and elements without interfering with backend processes. Best of all, the decoupled, modular architecture means your tests are not only responsive but secure and stable. The APIs used on headless commerce frameworks only use the data necessary to run the test to reduce variables that will interfere with the effectiveness of your test. 

5. Better Security, Less Errors, Lower Ownership Costs

Separating the frontend and backend architecture allows for better data security and a reduction in the risk of data breaches. The use of modular coding and read-only APIs make it harder for hackers to employ malicious attacks. 

The use of microservices also reduces errors by processes under the headless architecture. It also is easier to replatform and ecommerce merchants can quickly modify their shop to adapt to seasonal promotions without expensive migration expenses. Traditional ecommerce platforms are not only harder to replatform but they are costly and prone to errors. 

Headless Ecommerce Solutions: Why You Need It

Brands can’t compete online with big retail. They have the resources, funding, and capabilities to steamroll brands online. Worst of all, brands that leverage big retail distribution lose control of their brand, profit margins, and access to data around their customers. Companies must rely on expensive outsourcing to support their endless development, fulfillment, and dozen other aspects of running an ecommerce business without the reassurance that they will deliver. Put simply, ecommerce brands can’t compete with big retail on their own. 

Digital Transformation in the CPG Industry: Why DTC is Essential For Your Brand to Stay Competitive

CPG DTC Strategy Guide

What the post coronavirus ecommerce landscape will look like is still unknown. However, one thing is clear: it accelerated a shift in the Consumer-Packaged Goods (CPG) industry. Even the largest CPG brands suffered significant dips in consumer sales, including Coca-Cola. Many CPG brands relied on sales from vending machines, stores, and entertainment events. In order to survive, many CPG brands began their shift to Direct-To-Consumer (DTC) ecommerce channels. 

Many large brands have started to focus on developing diversified distribution channels and pivoting to DTC strategies to compete. To remain relevant and maintain growth, CPG companies must adapt to the digital transformation and invest in DTC models that create dynamic and engaging experiences with their customers. 

Let’s discuss the best strategies CPG brands can employ for their ecommerce and DTC strategies and why it’s imperative to start pivoting now before your brand becomes obsolete. 

Why DTC Is The Next Step For CPG Brands

Ecommerce continues to grow, and in 2021, ecommerce sales are expected to account for 18.1% of all retail sales worldwide. Although the pandemic may have accelerated the continued shift to ecommerce channels, McKinsey’s consumer-sentiment surveys revealed that US consumers would continue to spend more money through ecommerce channels even after Covid-19 passes. The CPG industry accounts for nearly 10% of the United States GDP, and consumer shopping habits continue to shift towards ecommerce channels. CPG companies must adapt.

CPG brands face many challenges. CPG brands spend 24% of their revenue on marketing compared to the 13% industry average. However, many CPG companies struggle to access informative data to guide their initiatives since many brands sell their products to retailers and marketplaces. DTC strategies allow CPGs to access consumer data to better understand their consumers and cater a strategy that appeals to them to increase engagement. CPGs must begin to cultivate a strong brand affinity online and generate brand loyalty to maintain relevance and market share. 

CPG brands must expand their distribution to DTC to stay relevant to their audiences and compete with new DTC startups. Ecommerce expansion has steadily grown, but in 2020, there was an 18% growth, so it’s crucial CPG brands adapt to digital channels. However, many CPG behemoths are hesitant to adapt to DTC, and connecting with their audience directly is a new factor. Customer loyalty, continued online interaction, content distribution, celebrity collaborations, social media marketing, and more all factor into the success of their brands. Although many CPG brands have a lot of work to do on the digital frontier, it’s clear that those that avoid DTC ecommerce channels won’t make it. 

CPG Brands Making the Shifts to DTC

Many top brands have begun their shift to DTC channels. Failure to invest in DTC can become detrimental to brands, and fostering a rich DTC model will ensure brands continue to scale and grow. In order to succeed, brands must evaluate how they can reach customers and, more importantly, what customer retention strategies are necessary to retain loyal buyers. 

Successful ecommerce brands connect with their audience through a multitude of channels, including social media, email marketing, paid media, SEO, and content marketing. It’s crucial to develop as many ways to reach your customers as possible, especially in the digital space. 

Brands leading the way to the shift in DTC include:

  • Clorox launched Objective Wellness, a supplement company to reach customers through personalized messages around nutrition. The digitally native brand features an internal data system to store customer feedback to improve product messaging and features. 
  • Colgate launched Hum, a new intelligent electric toothbrush targeted towards millennials and promoted by a DTC approach and influencer-marketing strategy.
  • Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc. starts its Lighthouse innovation incubator to develop health-focused food and beverages to compete with DTC startups. The DTC initiative includes debuts of Tally-Ho, a line of water enhancers for dogs, and Atoka, a line of plant-based drinks. 
  • Beyond Meat introduced a new DTC ecommerce site to sell exclusive combo packs of their products and exclusive digital offerings. 
  • Nestle launched KitKat Chocolatory, a DTC online shop where customers can customize their own premium chocolate bars. 

There are boundless possibilities for CPG brands to explore new ways to promote their products in an online DTC environment. CPG companies can no longer rely on only wholesale ventures to survive. They must adapt and rethink their approach to CPG. 

Rethinking CPG: DTC Merchandising, Data-Driven Operations, and the New CPG Customer Journey

Due to the pandemic, many restaurants are closing, forcing many CPG brands to lose wholesale food and soda sales. Many packaged goods brands rely on physical retail and national marketing campaigns to promote their products, but now, embracing DTC distribution is essential. 

Brands must invest in digital distribution to connect with customers and cultivate loyalty. Although the margins aren’t as rich as wholesale, the consensus is clear that building DTC avenues is worth the time and money. Instead of investing millions into large national campaigns, CPG brands can reap the benefits of digital marketing efforts with more rich analytics and data to inform them of the success or failure of their promotions. 

CPG brands can reach the right consumers faster using DTC merchandising. They can develop content around their company’s mission and develop informative content to build rapport with their visitors. Optimizing their site with a rich keyword research strategy can help consumers find the right products faster from a quick search. Merchandising tools help retailers create a dynamic organization for their visitors to filter products based on categories and navigation. 

DTC is the new window shopping. CPGs must create an effective ecommerce marketing funnel to capture qualified traffic. Using analytical tools and data-driven marketing, CPG companies can test different product listing strategies and retail pricing strategies to ensure they not only capture leads but convert them into loyal customers. One thing is for sure, CPGs need an effective DTC ecommerce strategy to thrive in our new digital commerce environment.

5-Step DTC CPG Ecommerce Strategy

If your CPG brand is ready to make the shift to DTC, follow our ecommerce strategy to ensure success. 

DTC CPG ecommerce strategy

1. Choose the Right Ecommerce Platform

There are many ecommerce business platforms to choose from, including Shopify, Wix, and WooCommerce. Brands can manage sales, fulfillment, tell their story, and access data on the visitors coming to their site. However, for established brands looking to scale, lower operating costs, maintain flexibility with the everchanging ecommerce environment, investing in enterprise ecommerce software and technology is essential. 

Nogin’s suite of intelligent commerce ecommerce solutions allows partners to gain richer insights into their customer experiences, diagnose and implement solutions in real-time, and leverage predictive analytics to increase conversions, improve customer retention, and meet your ecommerce KPIs. Partners who integrate their existing platform with Nogin gain unparalleled visibility to their entire ecommerce operations, including product inventory, commerce, marketing automation, and order management. 

Best of all, Nogin handles every aspect of running your ecommerce storefront, so you can spend more time focusing on your brand. Our team of Nogin Nerds provides comprehensive business support. We continuously invest in research and development, sales optimization, machine learning, and more to maximize marketing campaigns, lower internal operating costs, and increase profits. 

Learn more about our enterprise ecommerce solutions and propel your digital operations using future-proof solutions, so you NEVER have to re-platform again.  

2. Set Up A Reliable Logistics Provider

CPGs should carefully select a logistics provider to handle order fulfillment. There are many advantages to using a 3PL ecommerce fulfillment provider to ensure reliable, flexible, and cost-effective service to your customers. 3PL fulfillment providers can coordinate receiving orders, inventory management, packing, shipping, and storing products to free up internal resources for your business.

3. Invest in a Customer Data Platform

A customer data platform (CDP) integrates all your data sources, including social media, email marketing, ad campaigns, website traffic, into one centralized database. The Nogin dashboard is the most advanced CDP to view how well your online efforts perform. Predictive analytics and AI process billions of data points for your business to simplify what you need to do to maximize your marketing budget, improve retention, and increase conversions. CPG brands can run tests for new products and determine which sizes, package options, and formulas generate the best results.

cpg ecommerce platform

4. Deliver Exceptional Customer Service

For CPG brands new to the ecommerce space, providing seamless customer service across all digital channels is essential for any DTC strategy. CPG marketers must deliver customer support via online chat, email, social media, and other avenues to qualify and resolve customer issues proactively. Developing a personalized experience for visitors is imperative for a successful DTC experience, and managing customer relationships is a top priority. 

Omnichannel integrations ensure that if a customer issues a complaint through one channel, a customer support representative will receive the necessary info and find a solution before reengaging with the customer. Since most customer service agents work remotely, CPG brands must provide their team with the resources required to efficiently manage customer problems and provide effective solutions efficiently across all channels. 

However, they must also help their customer service team provide personalized communications to build a working relationship with their audience. Creating a well-documented CRM with centralized records and customer information will ensure your business is ready to serve your customers through DTC channels. 

5. Develop a User-Friendly, Informative Experience on Your Website

Content creation is an excellent way to drive qualified leads to your website. CPG brands can tell their story and mission on their website and provide informative content that aligns with their audience’s queries. 

For instance, a company that sells high-end chocolate could develop content around how irresponsibly sourced chocolate hurts the environment or how their organically produced cocoa has added nutritional benefits compared to other brands. Developing a story around your CPG brand will help visitors understand the market superiority of your product and why they should purchase your products over competitors.

Additionally, CPG brands must develop a navigable and customer-first website experience. Visitors should easily and quickly jump around your website and find the information and products they are looking to purchase. Studies estimate that 68% of people do not return to a website with a poor search experience.  

Provide a rich customer experience for visitors and create an enticing journey for them to learn about your products, find what they want, and make it as easy as possible to complete purchases. Continue to nurture your audience through email channels to increase customer retention. 

dtc cpg strategy

The Ultimate Guide to Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)

3pl edi integration

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is an essential component to radically improve your ecommerce transaction process for B2B communications. Learn more about the wealth of benefits that come from EDI integration software and why it’s the best way to improve your online business. 

What is EDI Integration?

EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) is the computer-to-computer exchange that allows a company to send and receive electronic information between trading partners and eliminates the need for manual or paper-based communication. EDI simplifies sending electronic business documents, and an EDI-integrated system saves businesses money, decreases errors, and improves partner communications through faster processing. 

What Does EDI Compliant Mean?

Businesses must follow the requirements set by their trading partners to begin EDI operations and meet compliance. Every industry is unique, and each vendor will enlist their own set of compliance requirements to safely transfer critical business information with their partners. 

Once your business is EDI compliant with your vendor, you can synchronize your data and supply chain operations. Consult with your trading partner to learn how you can become compliant to leverage the stunning EDI capabilities at your disposal. 

What is API and EDI Integration?

Application Programming Interface (API) serves as a messenger to process data interactions between devices and programs. APIs allow companies to add codes to applications to enable connectivity and functionality to sell products and services online.

EDI and APIs transfer data and information for internal systems, and choosing which to implement depends on your backend ecosystem. However, both are complementary and can work in unison to enhance your ecommerce operations. For instance, businesses can use APIs to check pricing or locate catalog inventory on an ecommerce platform and EDIs for order and fulfillment. 

3PL EDI Integration and Benefits

EDI is essential to create dynamic and effective 3pl ecommerce fulfillment. Businesses can quickly scale operations by automating order processing and inventory management using EDI. Nogin’s platform uses a proprietary 3PL EDI integration for partners to improve supply chain predictability and improve internal workflows to save time and resources. 

Some of the benefits of 3PL EDI integration include: 

  • Remove slow manual data entry and human error to improve operational efficiency.
  • Communication automation to save staff time and streamline transactions. 
  • Accurate forecasting from EDI documentation and data to improve labor efficiency and guide business decisions.
  • Predictable margins to better monetize services and customer satisfaction.
  • Free up internal resources to spend less time on menial tasks and focus on business growth. 

What is EDI Technology and What Does It Do?

EDI technology is the most convenient, efficient, and secure method to transfer and exchange digital messages between computer networks. EDI is required for many healthcare organizations, universities, and other entities that need the safest forms of information exchange. However, it is quickly becoming the standard for retail brands and ecommerce businesses to implement on their sites to maintain compliant and protected communications. 

EDI technology allows businesses to use private communication channels to exchange information strictly formatted and requires no human intervention. Eliminating the need for manual oversight is more efficient because companies can automate communications. 

For instance, an ecommerce company can communicate with their shipment companies the status of shipments and destination, package weight, dimensions, quantity, and other pertinent information without needing employee supervision. It not only saves costs of labor but will help make your business operations faster and more secure. 

EDI Software Integration: Advantages and Why You Need It

EDI software integration will facilitate automated data transfer and EDI functionality to improve your ecommerce business. Your EDI software will incorporate translation, mapping, and communication capabilities to securely automate back-end symptom processes.

Some of the advantages of EDI software integration include:

  • EDI mapping converts messages into suitable file formatting applicable to IT, CRM, ERP, and logistic systems. Mapping and translation processes will automatically render EDI documents to appropriate formats, such as CSV, XML, and flat files. 
  • Secure file transfer of EDI documents using complaint organizational protocol. Managed file transfer (MFT) capabilities enhance and simplify file exchange with recipient confirmation, including with more than one business partner. 
  • Backend integration with existing databases and CRMs using API architecture to save money on potentially costly EDI implementation.

Future EDI Integration Trends

The new coronavirus ecommerce environment has shifted consumers to rely heavily on online storefronts. Businesses must focus more on their online storefronts and allocate resources to improve their ecommerce marketing funnel, product listing strategies, and retail pricing strategies to maintain market share and capitalize on consumer trends. 

There are many ecommerce myths, but one this is for sure: businesses that provide the most accessible and fulfilling shopping experience online will continue to grow, and the ones that fail to adapt to future trends will fall. Investing in the best ecommerce software and enterprise ecommerce solutions will help ensure your business thrives. 

EDI has existed for decades and is an integral part of B2B communications. Some of the top EDI trends to watch in the future include:

  • Changes in EDI payment structure and large companies bringing EDI processing in-house. 
  • IT shortages will have businesses rely on partners to facilitate EDI operations to save money and resources. 
  • The further expansion of companies to export and sell goods on a global scale will increase the need for business collaboration using EDI. 
  • Further adoption of cloud-based systems to scale resources and meet buyer demands. 
  • A shift towards omnichannel capabilities to store and ship products and allow businesses to leverage multiple distribution points efficiently. 

Supercharge Your Ecommerce and Compete Online Using Your Nogin

Learn more about the Nogin Intelligent Suite to improve your ecommerce business from all fronts. Our enterprise-class technology provides the flexibility and insights your business needs to maximize your marketing and operational efforts. We help our partners increase conversions, improve retention, leverage predictive analytics, and more to ensure your processes are efficient and your profits are maximized. 

Get in touch with one of our Nogin Nerds to learn how to catapult your business to the next level.