A Dive Into The Workings Of E-commerce Marketing
Being a part of the 21st century, none of us are strangers to the word ‘e-commerce’. We all know that the market has shifted over the years from traditional and physical market-places to online markets too. Since shopping online is convenient, most brands tend to establish an online market to sell their products as well. Thus there comes a need for marketing for such spaces. E-commerce marketing is done to drive awareness to a business (that sells its products or services electronically) which then should convert to an action. E-commerce marketers use various digital means of advertising such as social media, digital content, search engine optimization, and email campaigns.
The fast-paced lifestyle of the consumers has led to constantly emerging new trends and new content consumption patterns. This sees e-commerce businesses facing numerous marketing problems. Let’s take a look at what these problems are and what e-commerce marketing solutions can help the marketers overcome the same.
Attracting The Perfect Customers
With changing times, the online content consumption and communication patterns of people have also changed and continue to. The consumers nowadays look for recommendations on social media, be it which restaurant to eat at, which soap is best for the skin, the best country for a vacation and so on. They use their smartphones to check product reviews while in the store and also use various payment methods to complete the purchase. E-commerce marketers must thus figure out where their audience is, what their habits and consumption trends are and how to attract them.
Retaining New Customers
Attracting new customers is more expensive than retaining the existing ones. However, it takes a mix of various marketing tactics to retain existing customers and this is something most marketers find hard to crack.
Converting Consumers To Paying Customers
Quality traffic and quality leads ensure a step forward in closing a sale. The next step would be converting these leads to actually close the sale. For this, conversion optimization comes into play. E-commerce marketers need to find the best means for carrying out conversion optimization and keep it up to date with changing trends in the online space.
Targeted Traffic Generation
E-commerce marketers can no longer rely on just one channel of marketing. It is a necessity for them to establish their presence wherever their audience is paying attention. It is an absolute must for them to leverage various channels in a perfect mix to generate the traffic they desire. For example, if their target audience is young, the marketer should leverage Instagram heavily with a mix of other channels. It is also necessary to craft the right message and aim it at the right audience in order to be able to convert them.
Capturing Quality Leads
Due to poor quality leads and targeting, low conversion rates is a common phenomenon. This results in the effort of e-commerce digital marketing and the budget for the same going to waste. Thus it is very necessary to capture only quality leads in order to get the most out of the marketing efforts.
Focusing on the Ideal Prospective
Active engagement with subscribers is a must when it comes to e-commerce digital marketing. However, just engaging with product offerings will not go a long way. Marketers need to understand that prospects need more than just information-driven content. Entertaining and value-adding content work wonders if implemented and crafted in the right way.
Having discussed the marketing challenges faced by e-commerce marketers, we can now go a step further and discuss some of the marketing solutions for e-commerce businesses.
Right Mix Of Social Media
From individuals to businesses, everyone launches their services and products on social media pages since that’s where their audience is. The authenticity and standard of a business are judged upon their social media pages and follower count. Thus it is very necessary for e-commerce marketers to establish a presence on social media as well. However not every platform will work the same. Finding the right mix of social media platforms is the key factor in driving traffic to e-commerce websites. Since e-commerce depends on the visual appeal of the product, Instagram is the best choice to display these products. Going further down the social media approach, e-commerce marketers should also invest in display ads, click to website ads, tags that take consumers directly to the products, etc. All this is available due to advancing technologies and e-commerce marketers should definitely capitalize on it.
Focusing On Content Marketing
E-commerce business requires good content to be noticed by today’s users. This quality content should also be optimized using various tactics. The use of product-given keywords helps the product be found to the customers in search of it. The page title, headers, paragraphs and image alt text should all have the correct keywords in order for search engines to return your e-commerce store for the right query. Writing relevant blogs related to the products can also attract a lot of traffic to e-commerce stores. Since YouTube has over a billion active users, you will find your audience there too. Thus quality product videos should be put up. Highly searched keywords along with helpful and entertaining content related to the product which bring the correct traffic to your page and eventually leads them to the e-commerce store.
Influencers are those people who already have influence over your target market. According to consumers they are considered as a reliable source of product/service recommendations. Celebrities today also come under the term ‘influencer’. These influencers have a community that trusts them and loves them, therefore, it is easy for them to gather attention towards your product through testimonies, recommendations, and subtle product integration.
In the field of e-commerce marketing, the use of email marketing is an old practice. This method still holds value. One of the key features of email marketing is that it can be automated. Email marketing can be used in two ways, first for post purchase follow ups. Here, if a user has already purchased a product from the e-commerce site, a follow-up email can be sent a few days later. This keeps the conversation going and in-time builds the confidence of the consumer for that brand. The second reason to use email marketing is abandoned shopping carts. Sending out emails to users who have stopped shopping midway will generate a dialogue with the user and diagnose the reason for the same. This is used to retain customers.
E-commerce marketers can overcome their digital e-commerce marketing through simple but effective tactics. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
Personalization requires you to find unique ways to reach out to individual customers. It involves tailoring your outputs to reflect the individual needs of the customers. This can be done in various ways. For example, putting the consumers name in the email or message, showing smart content, etc. According to BCG, personalization can lift sales as much as 10%, but the opportunity is greater than that. Only 15% of companies are using technology to its fullest extent.
User generated content is basically advertising of your products done by its customers. This type of content drives people to e-commerce stores. Contests, hashtags, and review platforms are some ways of generating UGC. For example, you can hold a contest wherein users have to post a picture of them using your product, tag the official page and also tag 3 friends. In this way, you are able to advertise to all of those particular users followers and reach out to those who do not follow your business page. 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.
Referrals usually happen when a customer enjoys your product and recommends it to their friends and family. This is the organic way referrals take place. This can be given a push with customer referral programs. The customers will be asked to simply refer your product or store to their friends and family in exchange for something of value. For example, upon a reference joining the store loyalty program, the old member gets points credited. Referrals can also be done by a user posting a picture with the product that they loved so much, with a caption saying that it’s a ‘must-have’. According to Nielsen, 92% of consumers trust referrals from people they know and people are 4 times more likely to buy when referred by a friend.
A loyalty program provides an incentive to your customers to patronize your e-commerce store in exchange for value. This value can be discounts, points, rewards, etc. This program goes a long way in building strong customer bases. For example, a loyalty program run by a clothing store can reward customers with points per check out and they can then redeem these points for a discount on the next purchase. The customers enrolled under the loyalty program will also get sales before the regular customers. 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.
The scope of marketing for e-commerce businesses is vast and one can dive into detail to get the best possible solutions. There are various tools available for e-commerce digital marketing, hence it is up to the marketer to find the right mix to get the business to new heights.