E-commerce tricks that used to work previously and are no longer relevant.
Online retailers would likely agree that some previously effective ecommerce tactics are now outdated and counterproductive.
By avoiding certain outdated tricks and optimizing for the modern user experience, ecommerce sites can increase conversions in 2023.
In this post, we'll review five ecommerce tactics that are no longer relevant, including annoying pop-ups, misleading discounts, keyword stuffing, lack of mobile optimization, and no personalization. We'll explore why these approaches are now ineffective and discuss more positive strategies to connect with today's customers.
Ecommerce has evolved rapidly over the past few years. Tactics that once worked well for driving conversions and sales may now be outdated or even detrimental for stores in 2023. As consumer behavior and expectations change, merchants need to adapt their strategies to stay competitive.
Some previously effective tricks are no longer as relevant due to things like increased regulation, banner blindness, and shifting consumer attitudes. Tactics perceived as manipulative or dishonest can actually damage customer trust now.
As we'll explore, tactics like intrusive pop-ups, misleading discounts, and exaggerated claims tend to frustrate customers more than convert these days. By focusing on transparency, value, and consent, merchants can take a more sustainable, long-term approach to success.
Pop-ups and Interstitials
Pop-ups and interstitials were once seen as an easy way to grab attention and collect emails. But many customers now experience "banner blindness" and instantly close annoying pop-ups without reading them.
With increased regulation around getting consent for marketing communication, intrusive pop-ups often do more harm than good now. They frustrate customers and make stores seem desperate rather than professional.
A better approach is to focus on value first rather than aggressive lead generation. Providing an excellent product, service and overall experience builds trust and earns permission for marketing in sustainable ways.
Misleading Discount Tactics
Tactics like fake countdown timers, exaggerated claims of discount sizes, and pressure tactics around scarcity have also lost their edge. Savvy modern consumers can see through the manipulation and feel resentful rather than excited.
Trust is the currency of modern commerce. Tricking or pressuring customers to make a purchase might work in the short-term but destroys long-term relationships. A better approach is to focus on real value - through competitive pricing, high-quality products, and excellent service.
In the past, some websites would try to rank higher in search engines by stuffing keywords throughout their content, without regard for the actual user experience or quality of the content. However, this type of over-optimization is now penalized by search engines.
Simply adding keywords randomly or excessively is ineffective today. Search engines can detect keyword stuffing and may penalize sites that do this. Quality content that provides value to users is now required. Stuffing keywords without good user experience or informative content often leads to lower rankings.
Unnatural Link Building
Buying links or obtaining links from low-quality sites used to be a common SEO tactic. However, search engines can identify unnatural link building patterns and may apply penalties as a result. The focus today is on earning links naturally through high-quality content that sites want to link to because it provides value for their own users.
In summary, over-optimizing and keyword stuffing is now outdated. The priority is on creating content that serves users first while naturally integrating relevant keywords. The same applies to link building - earned links pass value, while unnatural links may incur penalties. Providing a good user experience by focusing on quality and value is key in today's SEO environment.
Lack of Mobile Optimization
With most traffic now on mobile, not having a mobile-friendly site seriously impacts conversions and user experience.
Poor Mobile Load Speeds
- Images, scripts, and other assets can significantly slow down site load times on mobile devices if not properly optimized. This leads to high bounce rates as users quickly leave a slow-loading site.
- Newer web development best practices like lazy loading images or removing unused code can help improve mobile site speed.
- Faster mobile load speeds have been proven to directly increase conversions and revenue. Site speed should be a priority.
Bad Mobile User Experience
- On mobile devices, users expect easy navigation with large tap targets, comfortable to input text, and pages that automatically resize/reflow content based on screen size.
- A poor mobile UX frustrates users, hurting conversions. Simple fixes like increasing font size or spacing out elements on mobile can dramatically improve usability.
- Responsive web design that adapts sites for mobile is now a must. Ensuring a seamless user experience across devices should be standard practice when developing sites today.
Lack of personalized communication and recommendations misses sales opportunities.
One-size-fits all messaging struggles to convert visitors into buyers in today's market. Previously, generic emails and product recommendations may have seen some success. However, modern consumers expect and demand personalization.
Sending the same generic emails or showing the same generic products to all website visitors fails to account for individual interests, needs, and preferences. This impersonal approach means messages and product suggestions likely miss the mark for many potential customers. Without tailoring communication and recommendations, conversion rates suffer.
Lack of Recommendations
Failing to suggest relevant products leads to a poor user experience. In the past, some ecommerce stores got away with showing all products or random selections to all users. But now customers expect intelligent recommendations catered to their taste.
Not utilizing data and algorithms to showcase products the specific user may like is a missed opportunity. Lacking personalized recommendations means users must sift through irrelevant items, making it difficult to discover products they want to purchase. This frustrates users and causes them to leave the site instead of exploring further or adding items to their cart. The lack of intelligent recommendations directly translates to lost sales.
The ecommerce landscape is constantly evolving. Tactics that used to work well in the past may now be outdated or even detrimental to success. Here are some key tactics that are no longer as relevant:
Disruptive pop-ups - Pop-ups used to be an effective way to capture email addresses or get visitors to take a desired action. However, most people now find disruptive pop-ups annoying. They can drive visitors away rather than convert them.
Manipulative discounts - "Order in the next 10 minutes to get 50% off!" countdown discounts put pressure on customers. But many now see these tactics as pushy rather than enticing. It's better to focus on the actual value being offered.
Keyword stuffing - In the past, cramming a page with keywords, even awkwardly, may have helped with rankings. Modern search engines now prioritize natural language and semantic search. Keyword stuffing can get your site penalized.
Lack of mobile optimization - With most shopping done on mobile devices now, not having a mobile-friendly site severely limits reach and conversion potential. Mobile optimization is now a must.
Lack of personalization - Generic one-size-fits-all content no longer cuts it. Customers expect and respond better to personalized recommendations and tailored messaging based on their interests and behavior.
The focus now needs to be on creating genuine value, building trust, and improving overall user experience through quality content and ethical practices. Manipulative tactics usually backfire. This evolves as technology and consumer behavior shifts, but keeping the customer at the center rather than short-term growth hacking tends to serve better over time.