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A technology startup has developed pioneering software to make e-commerce more accessible for people with disabilities such as those who are visually impaired. Web accessibility is a trending legislative topic worldwide, yet most websites are failing to adhere to accessibility standards.
accessiBe1 is an artificial intelligence (AI) powered solution which comprehensively scans websites and automatically makes changes to the code and content so that they comply with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. Such changes include color and text adjustments to assist those with visual impairments, and screen reader optimization to translate on-screen information into speech so that the visually-impaired can listen to verbal descriptions of images – crucial for e-commerce sites which typically rely on product images to sway customers.
accessiBe’s CEO Shir Ekerling believes the service – which already has more than 43,000 clients including BigCommerce2 – is a win-win for all involved: “By making websites accessible, we don't only make services and products available to persons with disabilities and help businesses expand their market, but we also improve overall online user experience.”3
Online marketplace Etsy4 has achieved blockbuster earnings this year, recently posting a second-quarter profit that was up more than 400% from a year ago5a. The site’s home furnishings category led the way, with their Etsy shop sales growing 125% – perhaps unsurprising as people spent more time at home amid the coronavirus pandemic. The jewelry and apparel categories also enjoyed strong growth.
The site now boasts 3.1 million sellers, up 34% since last year, and more than 60 million active buyers, a 41% increase5b.
Online marketplaces can connect your e-commerce business with millions of customers around the world. Check out our guide to the leading marketplace platforms to find the right one to help your business grow.
Influencer marketing is big business these days, allowing lesser-known brands to quickly raise awareness of their products by leveraging the popularity of someone with a more established digital presence.
Now, a new shoppable video service is helping online merchants who sell through Shopify’s e-commerce platform to easily integrate influencer marketing into their sales strategy. Spin Live6, which is available through Shopify’s app store, lets e-commerce sites sell products directly in shoppable videos from influencers, working as an influencer marketing platform. A simple, two-click process grants influencers access to a merchant’s products which they can then sell via livestreams on Spin Live. The merchants can sync their product information, inventory and fulfilment to the new sales channel.
Spin Live has seen impressive results already, with a live conversion rate of 26% – a vast increase on the industry average of 2-3% for e-commerce. The app’s CEO, Brian Wiegand, attributes this success to the convenience of the platform: "We saw a huge gap with livestream selling, where shoppers were forced to leave the video completely in order to follow a link which led to a multi-step checkout on a completely different site. By keeping the user engaged in the video experience and making it easier to buy, we've quickly demonstrated conversion rates increase significantly”7.
What could influencer marketing do for your business? Learn how to use it to increase your sales in our quick guide.
Revuze8, an Israeli market research startup, has launched an e-commerce product listing optimization tool to help sellers on online marketplaces improve their rankings. It uses AI technology to analyze clients’ product listings to research and upgrade keywords, optimize product descriptions, and monitor competitors’ keywords and customer activity.
Learn more about why Product Listing SEO is crucial to keeping you ahead of your competitors with our best practice tips.
Findings from a recent survey9 suggest the change in consumers’ online shopping habits caused by the pandemic is likely here to stay – at least in Europe. 6,000 consumers from France, Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, Italy and Spain were surveyed by software specialist Capterra10, and over a quarter said they will continue to shop more online than they did before the coronavirus started.
The number of online shoppers ordering between 6 and 10 products per month has increased from 10 to 17%, and the number of shoppers ordering between 11 and 20 products per month has even doubled. Despite many stores across the continent reopening, 10% of consumers said they will continue to avoid physical stores for the time being until the risk of contamination reduces, instead taking advantage of online shopping.
Ensure your e-commerce business is in the best position to survive – and thrive – in these times of change by following our top tips.