Ecommerce Marketing has now evolved out as the simplest way to get more and more marketing leads. Especially, without putting pressure on the company’s owner and treasury department.
Previously, we discussed in detail about online digital marketing as the process of marketing brands, products, services, or solutions using digital technologies. Especially on the Internet, but also including mobile phones, display advertising, and any other digital medium.
The reality is, people spend twice as much time online as they used to 15 years ago. And while you say it a lot, the way people shop and buy really has changed. Meaning offline marketing isn’t as effective as it used to be.
Marketing has always been about connecting with your audience in the right place and at the right time. Today, that means that you need to meet them where they are already spending time. This is where ecommerce marketing on the internet falls in place.
What is Ecommerce Marketing?
Ecommerce Marketing (e-marketing) is the practice of using promotional tactics to drive traffic to your online store, converting that traffic into paying customers, and retaining those customers post-purchase.
Actually, after the penetration of the internet in human life, everyone spends around 8 to 11 hours daily on the computer. Well, during this period, they also read several things online and get motivated to purchase from e-commerce portals too.
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A holistic ecommerce marketing strategy is made up of marketing tactics both on and off your website. A sound marketing strategy can help you build brand awareness, drive customer loyalty, and ultimately increase online sales.
You can promote your online store by using ecommerce marketing tools for business as a whole or to drive more sales for specific products.
Why is Ecommerce Marketing important?
From startups to small businesses right through to huge brands, there are a huge number of companies that can benefit from their own ecommerce website.
Whereby, they can sell their own products or services. And in today’s competitive and convenience focused society, no longer do consumers want to venture to the high street in order to buy items.
Instead, consumers want to shop from their own homes. Making ecommerce a flexible solution for both businesses and buyers.
Having said that, if you’re still on the fence about launching an ecommerce store then look no further. Below are the topmost 5 reasons why ecommerce marketing is so important for your business. And just how you can benefit from moving online this year and in the coming years!
1. It’s very scalable
As your business grows it’s very likely you’ll want to grow your product range and your target audience. As well as develop your business for customer requirements and consumer demand.
An ecommerce site lets you scale your business accordingly. While allowing you to add more lines, add more payment options, and even grow when you choose to ship to.
More so, without having to worry about changing your location. Or even moving to a larger premise like you might with a brick and mortar store.
2. Can broaden your brand
By itself, e-Commerce is an ideal way you can take your brand from a traditional brick and mortar store to an innovative, well-loved brand.
By offering great products 24 hours a day along with online customer service, blogs, and social media, no longer is your business one singular store. With an online presence, your business can be the home of your products and the general home of your business.
Allowing you to fully expand your product ranges without having to worry about moving locations. Or even worrying about not being able to expand your business.
3. It’s More Convenient
Always keep in mind, that your online store is always available all day, every day. Meaning your customers can visit your store at all times, no matter what their schedule might be.
However, these days people don’t always have the time to physically go shopping. Instead, more and more people are choosing to shop online to find the items they want or need.
And if your business can offer this for your customers there’s no way you shouldn’t appeal to a wider range of customers. After all, they’re all looking for a convenient and flexible shopping experience online.
4. You’ll get more marketing opportunities
Webmasters will always tell you that your website is one of the best marketing tools your business has. Not only can the use of SEO when building your site lead to more chances of your business getting found in search engines.
But, a huge number of marketing techniques can also work alongside your website. Including pay per click advertising, your social media marketing, and your email marketing.
All of which can include links back to your website.
5. It helps you increase your outreach
Due to the internet’s accessibility, millions of people across the world can view your website at any time. Meaning that; for those looking to expand their businesses and reach out to a larger audience, you have many more opportunities to do so.
Compare the number of people you can reach through a website to the amount you can reach through a high street store or local advertising.
And as such, there’s no reason you shouldn’t look at taking your business online if you’re looking to improve your reach.
How e-marketing is used to convert prospect leads
Surprisingly, every online store owner, product seller, or service provider out there wants to increase traffic and conversions. But, even after you’ve put together a basic strategy it can still be challenging. Particularly, deciding on which marketing tactics you should try.
That’s why I put together an overview of effective marketing tactics and ecommerce tools along with ideas to help you implement each approach. The ideas themselves will run the gamut. From straightforward acquisition to generating more repeat purchases from the customer base you already have.
As an example, personalization is a very effective marketing tactic to drive online sales. Using behavioral data, personalized experiences are served to the visitor, according to their past actions and preferences.
According to BCG, personalization can lift sales as much as 10%, but the opportunity is greater than that.
Unfortunately, only 15% of companies are personalization technology to its fullest extent. You can also account for location in personalization to create an experience catered to where your customers are in the world.
For instance, someone in southern California may be looking for bathing suits in October. While your Maine customers probably need coats, for example. That’s why Alloy Apparel shows a “what’s popular” carousel of products for online shoppers, but personalizes it with trending items local to the visitor.
Try to implement one of the following ideas every day for the next few weeks. On the last day of your sprint, take stock, and figure out which tactics worked best to drive new sales.
1. Mind what your customers want
In the first place, it’s very important that you make it easy for your customers to get what they want. If your store is poorly designed, then you’re losing customers. But what exactly does a poorly designed store look like?
Besides appearing untrustworthy, the store could be suffering from some combination of the following: lacking a clear value proposition, hard-to-read font, or confusing navigation. Even when you’ve improved the dimensions above, you could still be making a few design mistakes.
- Are you properly segmenting your products or are you putting too many products on a single page?
- Have you figured out the right balance between text and visuals?
These are just a few of the many things that you should consider. If your theme isn’t converting well, consider some of the great themes available on Shopify.
2. Start a content marketing program and Integrate Instagram
Every ecommerce store should consider blogging regularly to connect with customers and to rank better in search engines.
If you’re already creating content, consider actively featuring your blog on your online store. Don’t forget, there are more ways to take advantage of content marketing than simply blogging:
- Start a podcast to feature your expertise or build a stronger community
- Guest post on other websites and blogs to build awareness and generate backlinks, which also help with SEO
- Create long-form content and guides to help customers use your products more effectively
One unlikely brand that has used content marketing to increase online sales is River Pools and Spas. Their company blog has earned them kudos from the New York Times, but they don’t just stick to blogging.
In time for the 2018 summer season, they have a downloadable guide featured on their homepage to help customers buy the right fiberglass pool as well.
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With over 500 million daily active users, Instagram is one of the fastest-growing social apps around, connecting consumers, influencers, and brands.
If you take compelling photos, use hashtags strategically, and post at the right times then you’re well on your way to building a large Instagram following of people who are interested in your products. The key to mastering your organic Instagram presence is engagement with your followers.
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What are some ways to engage with your audience on Instagram? You may try running contests or going behind the scenes to showcase your product development process. You can also pay to play on Instagram.
For ecommerce marketing, adding products to your Instagram posts and stories gives your followers a direct path to purchase, which is key for increasing your online sales. Instagram is even an ecommerce marketplace in its own right.
3. Reward your loyal customers
Focusing on customer retention is a cost-effective way to increase online sales. Return customers account for 22% of a retailer’s revenue while making up just 11% of the total customer base, according to Stitch Labs. They also spend 15% more over the course of a year.
One way to reward loyal customers and big spenders are through a customer loyalty program. There are many ways both your customers and you can benefit from a loyalty program. They give customers extra incentive to make a purchase and they keep your brand top-of-mind through automated reminders.
You choose how to reward customers, how frequently and for what actions. For instance, you might have a point-based program, which has its own point-based currency that can be redeemed for discounts, free shipping, or free gifts.
Outdoor brand REI has a robust customer loyalty program. Members pay a one-time fee ($20) to join the program, and they receive access to exclusive online (and in-store) sales and events. They also receive coupon codes and a portion of what they spend over the course of a year back in store dividends.
4. Leverage user-generated content
In simple terms, user-generated content (UGC) is a great way to generate social proof. When prospective customers see that people just like them are regularly purchasing your products, they’ll feel more confident in doing the same.
According to Salesforce, 54% of consumers trust information from online reviews and recommendations from their peers, compared to the 20% who trust the brand itself. UGC can take many forms. Technically, even product reviews are UGC.
One of the most effective types of UGC is pictures of customers actually using your products. Pepper, a store that sells bras, features lots of pictures of happy customers in their products.
5. Engage online store visitors with live chat
Additionally, there are other high-impact ways to engage with site visitors and customers outside of email. For example, you could use live chat to engage with shoppers on your site.
Many live chat tools let you target browsers on certain pages, after they’ve been on your site for a certain length of time, or even after they’ve arrived on your site through an email newsletter.
Live chat also enables you to have direct conversations with your customers so you can answer and address customer concerns right while they’re planning to buy.
Luxy Hair uses live chat to engage prospects and inform current customers of their order status, without having to contact their support team over email.
6. Optimize your product pages for mobile
By 2021, more than half of all online shopping is expected to happen on mobile devices, according to Statista. Optimizing your store for mobile means more than having a responsive design.
It means you’re designing your site with mobile visitors in mind from start to finish. Perhaps you have a bigger add to cart button on all mobile product pages. Making it easier for the visitor to add to the cart without zooming in, for example.
You might also present your images in a different format, making it faster for mobile visitors to load product photos and easier to zoom in. By the same token, conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the practice of optimizing your website for on-site conversions and increased sales.
Practicing CRO helps you identify problem areas on your site like;
- Where are you losing sales?
- Who’s dropping off and why?
- What can you do to capture those missed opportunities?
This process is done through both qualitative and quantitative research, so you get a holistic and unbiased view of how conversion-oriented your site is.
Once you’ve conducted your research to identify challenges and opportunities, you can develop hypotheses and tests to see which approaches generate the most sales.
7. Capture more email subscribers
Dollar for dollar, email marketing is one of the most effective channels at your disposal for making sales and generating repeat customers. Roughly 17% of digital marketing spend happens in email, but it contributes 24% of revenue, according to a 2015 study by Forrester Research.
There are too many tweets and Facebook posts for us to keep up with, and email can offer a more intimate interaction. People are still more protective of messages sent to their personal inboxes versus their social feeds. Plus, email gives you the space to say things that can’t fit into a social media post.
To get started with email marketing, actively promote your newsletter, blog, and any other email capture efforts to get as many subscribers as you can. Take a look at Huckberry, which makes signing up for its email list the central focus when you first visit their site.
8. Improve on your wishlist reminder emails and email campaigns
The wishlist reminder email is closely related to the abandoned cart email. Both are designed to convince shoppers to take the final step in purchasing the products they have shown intent to buy.
- Has it been a while since someone checked in on their wishlist?
- Have an item on sale that’s been put on a lot of wishlists?
- Is it selling out?
Send out an email to let your customers know. It may just be the trigger they need to finally purchase the item. ModCloth alerts shoppers when products are nearly out of stock.
This motivates shoppers and helps minimize regret—no one wants to accidentally miss out on a product they’ve been eyeing. It’s not enough to simply capture a bunch of email addresses.
You then need to send regular, valuable emails for the channel to be an effective ecommerce marketing activity. There are many occasions that are perfect for sending emails that your subscribers will actually appreciate.
Such occasional cases include:
- Send a welcome email as soon as a customer makes a purchase.
- Provide exclusive promo codes and free gifts.
- Share relevant content to help customers get the most out of their recently purchased items.
- Send regular newsletters to alert subscribers of new discount offers, product tips, and, when appropriate, company news.
- Run a BOGO campaign in time for the holidays to promote self-gifting during the season, too.
- Thank your highest-value customers. Send a personal note expressing your appreciation for their business.
- Solicit feedback. If someone visits your site but doesn’t make a purchase, ask about their experience and how you can improve it.
Take a look at this simple email from Uncommon Goods. For Father’s Day, they sent a last-minute email to remind subscribers of the occasion, and to provide a service for the procrastinators on their list. The subject read, “The Gift that Will Save Father’s Day.”
9. Upsell your products
Most of us have heard some variation of the famous, “Would you like to supersize your order?” It’s an example of upselling or the approach of selling a slightly more premium product than the one the customer was originally considering.
For many businesses, upselling can be more effective than acquiring a net new customer. Sometimes your customers don’t know that a premium product is available. Or they may simply need more evidence to understand how an upgrade (or package) is a better fit for their needs.
For example, is one of your product models made of slightly better leather? Or does one carry a special component that’s handmade? Make sure to emphasize the difference and ask, in the right places, if the customer might want to upgrade.
There are two main considerations when using upselling to increase sales:
- Make sure your upsells are related to the original product
- Be sensitive to the anticipated price range of your customers
Uniquely, your product has to fit the customer’s original needs. And they may not be enthusiastic about a higher price point once they have an anchor price in mind.
An anchor price is often the first number a customer sees, and it’s the number against which they compare other price points. The new product must be a discernibly better fit than the original for it to be worth the additional cost. Anyone who’s ever purchased a computer is familiar with the screen below.
Once you’ve selected a particular model, companies will usually highlight upgrades for performance (upselling). Or even additional accessories (cross-selling) for you to consider.
10. Anticipate future sales
If you have the ability to expand your product line, then you should evaluate market demand and see if it’s worth the cost. You can do that through a variety of approaches:
- keyword research,
- geographic validation,
- social media trends, etc.
One more creative way to test out your market is to pre-sell items to see how many people place orders.
If you’re trying to decide which of three to-be-released products to sell, for example, create pages for all of them. Making sure that you use quality product photography and compelling copy for each one.
Then list them as “out of stock” and see which product gets the most attention. In terms of back-in-stock notification requests. That’s the one to sell.
In footwear and apparel especially, there are times when a certain size or color variants are temporarily out of stock. KEEN, which sells hiking shoes, gives shoppers the option to receive an email when the product of their choice is available again.
As can be seen, ecommerce marketing offers business a whole range of opportunities. From marketing opportunities to even increasing your product ranges to generating more sales.
In addition, with an optimized and well-developed website, you can not only achieve these goals but also offer your customers around the clock, convenient service. All of which helps you boost your business.
Brick-and-mortar businesses aren’t the only ones who can jump on the local movement. Online retailers can also take a local approach to their ecommerce marketing tactics to increase online sales. Identify where you have large concentrations of customers and run a promotion for that location.
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Look at which products those customers are buying and other spending behavior indicators. And then consider local events or seasons to appropriately time a promotion.
If you have a warehouse or multiple warehouses, you can consider a promotion. Especially with free, discounted, or expedited shipping to customers in the vicinity.
That’ll be easier for your operations team to execute and also help you promote sales in a cost-effective manner. But, if you’ll need more help with ecommerce marketing, you can Contact Us or even share your additional inputs in the comments section.
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