Formerly the Director of Client Services and eCommerce veteran in her own right, Kim Wren now leads the Business Development and Partnership efforts for SkuVault inventory management system. Kim works with partners, consultants, affiliates, and 3PLs to assist in the growth of SkuVault.
What major changes have you seen across the eCommerce digital marketing landscape in the last few years?
In a sea of millions, it is difficult to rise up the Google ranking ladder. Google has limited space on its first page and it’s nearly impossible to show up there. For example, if you searched “round mirror” on Google, you will get 651 million results. The first page is nearly dominated by Amazon, Wayfair, Target, and other multi-billion dollar companies. As a small-mid market seller, you have to learn new ways to compete, be more creative – and be more complex.
As a player in the eCommerce space, you have to be creative. For instance, Google local and image search are underutilized avenues to improve your ranking. You have to learn how to show up in those. You may need to have influencers promote your product, create groups on social, and become an expert on Instagram, or Pinterest. Marketplace sellers have to be ready to “pay to play,” place some ads and push the traffic to their items.
Image search has gone through some major improvements recently and I’m sure it will continue to improve. Take the same “round mirror” search and look at the image results on Google. You are immediately given a selection of keywords that can help make your search more relevant such as “large”, “ornate”, “decorative”, “modern”, and so on. As e-tailers, you have to ensure you are optimizing for that space.
What advice do you have for brands advertising on Google Shopping or Amazon?
Do the research to ensure you are spending in the most efficient manner for your business. Don’t get sucked into overspending; set a budget and stick to it. Always learn. Study the analytics provided to you and know what worked, and what didn’t. Be prepared to commit a specific amount of time to test your progress: 2 weeks is not a test, 2 months is. Be patient.
Be ready! Ensure you are ready for the results. Your listings and your inventory should be prepared. Descriptions should be correct and complete. Ensure you provide enough information to allow the buyer to make successful buying decisions; sizes, dimensions, colors, and plenty of alternate product images. Keep your photos uncluttered. Lifestyle photos are great, but focus on the product for sale. Then ensure you have inventory in stock to meet the demand created from your efforts.
Where do you see the digital marketing landscape for eCommerce in the next few years?
I believe AR (Augmented Reality) and Unified Commerce will be two big growth areas, providing a lot of opportunities. With AR, consumers can see the product in use, or how it will work for them before they buy it. The more in tune the marketer is with this concept the better the experience will be for the buyer. Retailers & marketers can create a visual user story of a product or service, and virtual tours of places with products in use. Using AR, marketers will be able to drive more traffic to their website, and be able to showcase several products at once.
Additionally, BOPIS (buy online pick up in-store) is gaining traction. In a recent study, Adobe stated that over the 2019 cyber 5 shopping days, BOPIS was up 43% from 2018. Consumers are embracing BOPIS. They see it as a way to save money on shipping and to help the environment by reducing the number of deliveries being made. SMB’s that have a physical presence in their communities should embrace BOPIS by working to attract local traffic.
What are one to three books that have greatly influenced your life?
I could easily give you 20 books that have greatly influenced me in the last 5 years. I listen to Audible nearly every day, usually having 2-3 books going at a time. Some favorites that really had an impact are:
Radical Candor by Kim Scott. It teaches you how to be honest and open with people, without being a jerk.
Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis. While much of this is second nature to me it is a reminder to me in many ways to remember who I am, where I came from, and embrace it. (just finished this one)
Never Split the Difference, Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It by Chris Voss. Chris is a former FBI negotiator so I really enjoyed the insights of the different negotiation types.
What purchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted your life in the last six months (or in recent memory)? Specifics like brand and model, where you found it, etc.
For me, it’s got to be this app, after I purchased it I was all geeky and stated that it changed my life forever. The app is Duet which you can find at www.duetdisplay.com. This app was created by an ex Apple engineer. As someone who has worked from a two-screen setup for many years I find one screen limiting when I travel. I travel a lot and spend many nights working in my hotel room. This app is revolutionary to me.
Simply, Duet turns my iPad into a second screen.
Here is their tag line:
“Be Twice As Productive Ex-Apple engineers turn your iOS or Android device into a high
performance second display for your Mac & PC. With zero lag.”
Thanks for the great advice, Kim. If you are interested in learning more about Skuvault, check out their website.
To get more industry insights and tips read more of our Expert eCommerce Interviews.
Brian Roizen is the Cofounder and Chief Architect of Feedonomics, a full-service feed optimization platform that optimizes product data for hundreds of channels. He has been featured on numerous podcasts and eCommerce webinars, and regularly contributes to Search Engine Land and other industry-leading blogs. Brian graduated summa cum laude from UCLA with both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering.