Top 20 Ecommerce Tips for FMCG and Retail Businesses

Continuing Collingwood’s series of blogs, here are some further market insights and tips from business leader’s and industry experts on how you can grow and develop your FMCG or retail business.

Collingwood recently attended Spring Fair 2016 at the NEC Birmingham. It gave us the opportunity to learn about the trends and opportunities in the FMCG market for 2016 as well as learn how the FMCG market is adapting and changing to meet the needs of the consumer.

We spent some time listening to a variety of seminars at the Spring Fair. One that particularly interested us was the session led by David Herington of Etail Systems, a provider of eCommerce solutions and design.

David discussed his top 20 tips and insights on how to develop and maintain a strong eommerce website:

1. Unique quality copy for customers and SEO 

Make sure that your copy suits your target audience.

2. Frequent updates to keep the site fresh

Have a plan in place for the year and link to your marketing and promotion plan.

3. Make sure your site displays clear delivery costs

If possible provide free delivery and display your costs clearly.

41% of shoppers don't buy because of hidden costs.

4. Give lots of payment options

Provide a variety of payment options such as credit and debit cards along with highly recommending Paypal.

With Paypal on your site, you will see a 30 to 40% increase in your orders. 40% of shoppers have more confidence with multiple payment options.

5. Display trust symbols

Are you a member of any trade associations or won any awards?

80% of shoppers feel safer when sites display symbols.

6. Don't force registration

Use the option of a ‘guest checkout’ or offer registration after purchase.

29% of shoppers drop out due to forced registration.

7. Use high-quality images

If possible use professional designers for banners. Don’t be afraid to do your own product imagery and ensure you repeat the quality. You could consider360-degree rotation of imagery. 

Amazon and Google Shopping insist on white backgrounds.

8. Use multiple images

Look in to the use of a hover over zoom. Use images for each different sku option (colour variants).

93% said visuals are the most important factor when shopping online.

9. Add video content

YouTube is the second largest search engine.

31% of people are more likely to buy after viewing a product video.

10. Live chat

Live chat is your online sales assistant. Shoppers are able to leave messages outside of hours.

11. Product Search

Conduct test searches on your own site. Can you find what you were looking for? Look in to the use of predictive search. Display product images in your search. Ensure you are able to filter your search results. Make sure your product titles are clear and explicit.

12. Customer Reviews

Reviews give confidence. This provides unique page content, helping build your SEO.

59% of shoppers leave reviews to warn about bad service.

13. Email marketing

Go for quality over quantity. Plan out your campaign for the year. 

14. Mobile site

Have you got a mobile responsive site? This is now essential for SEO and will score you negatively with Google if you don’t have a mobile site.

Over 50% of emails are opened on a mobile. M-Commerce transactions are growing at 200%. Over 30£ of traffic will come from mobile devices.

15. Offer flash sales and offers

Give customers reasons to come back. Offer 1 day or even 1 hour flash sales. Put a plan in place for the year ahead.

16. Have a blog

Helps to build your brand. Blog around events and holidays. Blog around local charities and community work that you are involved in.

17. Social Media

Can you afford to not be on Twitter or Facebook? Ensure you properly integrate it in to your site. Don’t always do the hard sell on Twitter and Facebook. Make sure you respond to any messages.

18. Consider B2C and B2B

Should you be selling B2B? Do you control the brand? Do you need to have two faces for each market? Do you need different websites for each? Can you drop ship for your trade customers?

19. PPC Advertising

Use long tail search terms and monitor them. Are your landing pages perfect for your PPC campaigns? Try Google Shopping. Repeat what you are doing on Google on Bing. With a smaller cost on Bing you will see a larger ROI.

20. Personalised shopping

This is the future of ecommerce! Look to upsell and cross sell. Personalise based on your customer behaviours. Reduce site abandonment with pop-ups. Use trigger and basket abandonment emails.    

Over the years Collingwood have assisted a number of FMCG and retail businesses to headhunt the best senior e-commerce talent to assist them with the development of their e-commerce offering.


Collingwood recently partnered a home décor business to headhunt a Head of Ecommerce with the brief of developing and executing a new e-commerce plan from scratch.

For more information call us on +441829 732374.