Google for eCommerces: 8 tips to properly do business today

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A leap forward of 10 years compared to the standard flow: the Coronavirus effect has created an unpredictable scenario on the consumption habits of Italian people, for instance, that had to rely almost inevitably on digital commerce for the purchase of any kind of good during the lockdown. The trend has also been similar in the rest of the world, and Google has therefore published some best practices dedicated to eCommerce sites that want to intercept new users and do business in this new reality.

Google’s support

As mentioned, this trend has also been observed on an international level and Kevin Fried, Industry Leader, Specialty Retail at Google, says that the American company has promptly got in touch with about forty of its customers retailers, in order to discover the worries, new habits and challenges they were facing (for example, the closures of their physical shops or restrictions in place), so as to understand how to be of help.

Even consumers are faced with uncertainty, writes the Googler: more than 50% of US buyers have searched on the search engine “what is open or closed” in their vicinity last week.

The pressure is now on eCommerce sites

So the pressure has now moved on the new main stores of the retailers: their eCommerce sites. Online stores are no longer just showcases to sell products and generate revenue, but must become a channel to support, inform and reassure customers along their path.

The 8 strategies for a positive experience with online shopping

A complicated goal, the result of a delicate balance, but not impossible to achieve, and Fried has “worked with my team to identify eight strategies that retailers can apply to offer their customers relevant buying experiences, frictionless and useful at this time”.

  1. Prioritize your business challenges

It’s likely that your team is flooded with requests and new ideas, you can read on Think With Google, but we cannot think of dealing with it all at the same time. The key is to prioritize: “assess whether there are aspects of your site’s messaging system or design that harm your brand or have a negative impact on your customer experience”, and improve these aspects first. Then we can devote ourselves to optimizations “that can improve the experience or enhance the performances”.

Aspects to consider include the performance of the site and the correspondence between communication/ messaging of marketing channels with those of the site. It could also be the case to “examine ways to optimize customer support and promotions, as well as to manage the volatility in website traffic and in the volume of transactions”: in general, the advice is always to focus attention on projects that generate the greatest impact, also trying to assess and measure their success.

  1. Optimize site speed

“With the current closure of stores, more and more people are shopping online”, confirms Fried. These new spikes in online traffic make it essential to properly equip our sales site to handle a greater volume of requests, and there are some interventions that we can put into practice.

  • Check CDN (content distribution network) providers for settings that can enable faster requests.
  • Many site resources do not require updates on subsequent visits: we can adopt simple HTTP caching methods that improve loading times for returning users and reduce server load with minimal code changes.
  • Make the site faster by compressing text and optimizing images without compromising visual quality.
  • Implement font-display:swap so that customers can read the site text even if the main font d