A SEO specialist of the Lenta hypermarket chain, spoke at Optimization-2020 about the transformation of offline retail into e-com. On this project, Elena managed to improve her skills from an SEO specialist to a product manager. How the product-based approach to SEO has helped bring hundreds of hypermarkets online is covered in more detail in our article.
What the article is about:
- How to prepare a retailer for e-commerce launch step by step;
- How to avoid problems that may arise in the work on the site and the site’s admin area when starting e-commerce;
- How to refocus on a product-based SEO approach and calculate a budget.
Who is the article for?
- For business owners and top managers – to understand what features are important to consider when launching online retail.
- For SEO specialists – to understand how to look for points of growth of the project and what mistakes can be avoided in IT-improvements of the site.
- For marketers – to understand the role of product solutions in SEO company and synchronization of offline and online channels.
At the beginning of 2020, the Lenta website was a catalog of goods. There were many problems on the site: it was possible to get to it only after determining the user’s geolocation (by choosing a city and a store), the product could only be added to the “shopping list”, and most importantly, with a huge amount of assortment, the site had no filter functionality. To launch e-com retail, Lenta had to work hard with a general strategy, understanding business needs and changing its approach to classic SEO. How to gradually prepare for the transformation of a website into e-com, what pitfalls you need to consider and how to change your approach to SEO, we will tell you in more detail below.
The transformation of offline retail took place in 4 stages.
1. Analyzing the project
How to start launching an e-coma? The first important stage is analytics before the start of the project. At Lenta, it went through three steps: conducting competitive analysis, using business intelligence, and product SEO analysis.
- What to watch from competitors? Online assortment, winning site elements, structure, usability, content – all this will help you make decisions in your own project. You can track the competitive environment using the site visibility rating data .
- Why do you need business intelligence? Without it, nothing can be measured, calculated (we will tell you more about how to do this below), as well as analyze and visually present the obtained data on the project in convenient reports and dashboards.
- What is SEO “production”? The analysis includes not only technical, but also the search for growth points, which is facilitated by the implementation of BI reporting on the SEOWORK platform. We have already written about the profit when implementing BI reporting for business and finding new opportunities for analytics in SEO. We advise you to learn about advanced cases by reading the article.
Each stage of work involves the use of specific tools – to make processes more efficient and speed them up. The “Lenta” uses SEOWORK. It helps you import SEO data into BI systems, get it in custom dashboards and minimize the loss of useful time.
2. Building CJM
The next step was to develop the user experience on the site. Lenta has built more than 50 CJM maps to understand the logic of user routes on the site and to track behavior when performing various actions. This helped to determine where and how the user moves around the site, to decide what functionality he needs for this.
In the course of the analysis, Lenta came to the conclusion that the following functionality is especially important on the site: authorization, the ability to create a loyalty card, the correct operation of the shopping cart on the frontend and backend to promptly make changes at the request of users.
3. We work out the structure of the site and develop filters
Next, we build the site structure taking into account the following data:
- site assortment
- competitor analysis
- demand in different categories
- assembled semantic core and its clustering
4. Calculate the budget for SEO
In-house SEO starts with a budget to understand how much money is needed to complete a project. To justify, management should start with the following data:
- growth point analysis
- search for problems on the site
- understanding what the demand is
- analysis of current traffic
- calculating unit economics
- ROPO analysis
How does the in-house SEO product approach work?
The product approach in in-house SEO works according to the following principle: there are tasks that are advisory in nature, and there are tasks that are mandatory.
Recommendations include usability and design improvements that are generated based on analytics. Assortment and content recommendations are based on competitor analysis.
Mandatory work is IT-improvements and work with the structure of the site. And here it is very important to think over the admin panel as much as possible “for yourself”: the impossibility of subsequently making changes promptly can prevent a quick start of the e-com.