With nearly every marketing operation shifting base online, e-commerce is getting tougher by the day. One has to be quick to adapt, bold to take risks and swift to grab every opportunity to be on the cutting edge.
E-commerce marketing is the mechanism to build awareness and mobilise people towards a business that features its products and service online. Every online business person wishes to increase traffic and conversions. However, despite putting in all effort to strategise, it can still be challenging to make an indelible mark.
Trial and error is the best tutor. We’ve compiled a roadmap of effective marketing tactics and e-commerce tools along with ideas to help you implement each approach. Try each of them based on your market’s requirement and take stock of the impact to figure out which approach worked best to drive new sales.
Simply put, e-commerce marketing is the application of promotional strategies to attract traffic to the online store, convert that traffic into paying customers and retain those customers. A well thought-out marketing strategy can generate brand awareness and increase online sales.
To survive the cut-throat competition in e-commerce, you need three things: in-demand products to sell, the skills to market them and the passion to succeed. Below are 10 practical ideas that can be maneuvred to suit every business need.
1. Target existing customers
Most businesses focus on acquiring new customers, but it may not be the most effective way. It is a more costly affair and time-consuming as well. So, it is advisable to encourage the customers you already have to come back and make a repeat purchase. It is easier and more effective as they are already aware of your products and services.
2. Customer service to improve customer loyalty
Customers should be at the core of your business strategy and keep checking ways to optimise them because your business depends on them. By providing prompt service, satisfied customers will keep coming back and by word of mouth, you can add new customers to your database. Live chat is another way to clear queries instantly and increase sales. Devise interesting offers for loyal customers to retain them.
3. Offer more discounts
The terms ‘discounts’, ‘season sale’, ‘flat off’ catch the fancy of customers even before the brand name or product. That is the human psyche. So, offer your customers what they want, without compromising majorly on your profit margin. Everyone loves to make purchases when they see a price drop and they feel they are getting a good deal, so this is the perfect way to drive sales. Apart from seasonal discounts, another great pulling element is to ramp up promotions during festivals and holidays. People tend to shop more during festivals and handsome offers certainly attract. During this time, create a sense of urgency, a FOMO (fear of missing out) effect with a timeline for products or mention how products are selling like hot cakes and how they don’t want to miss out by delaying or procrastinating.
4. Visual impact
Visuals often attract users and have a lasting impact, be it videos or photographs. Video demonstrations of your products will help customers get a greater sense of the product and its features. The narrative has to be such that it is relatable, short and in the form of a story. Most sites have customer testimonials, but to make it more realistic, try adding photographs of the users to establish authenticity.
5. Mobile-friendly site
As smartphones have become more accessible to all demographics, and with the rise of E-commerce, it’s certainly inevitable that mCommerce will not only grow rapidly but become the norm. Not all customers make purchases on their PCs. For on-the-go customers, you need to devise ways to help them make purchases on their phones.
6. Email marketing
Emailers are a great way to connect and inform different segments, but be sure to not spam their inbox. Personalised promotional emails to all subscribers should be visually appealing for customers to actually want to open it and browse through. Be very crisp and creative with your emailers because the customer won’t spend more than a few seconds if it doesn’t appeal to them. Don’t forget to send ‘abandoned cart’ emails to customers to get them back on your page.
7. Social media
With the tech-savvy customer base increasing, it is important to tap every sector to promote your products. Social media is the ultimate platform. From Instagram to Twitter to Facebook, the visual impact of each platform should be capitalised in the form of advertisements. Advertisements are shown based on audiences that are similar to the ones you’re already targeting.
8. De-cluttered checkout page
Getting customers to the checkout page is just job half-done. You lose out on customers at this stage so the key is to keep this page absolutely simple. Summarize what the user has added to the cart and provide a very obvious next step. Declutter the page, keep it visually appealing and include fields that are absolutely necessary. Ensure that all payment fields are included and customers have the option of checking out as guests.
9. Ensure trust seal on your site
A trust seal is a badge, logo or icon displayed on an e-commerce site which confirms its authenticity. With users becoming more tech-savvy and with credit card fraud increasing, a ‘secure’ tag helps build a trust factor with the customers. A survey conducted by Matthew Niederberger on Actual Insights found that these trust logos actually increased the trustworthiness factor in over 75% of respondents.
10. Data analysis to improve strategy
At each stage of the funnel, you need to assess and understand which factors, channels and tactics worked. An in-depth analysis is pertinent to better improve the user experience and your figures. After each experiment, analyse its impact and how it can be improved further or if it should be stopped completely.
These pointers should certainly have you covered about how to up your e-commerce business. Try them, one at a time, weigh the pros and cons of each move and soon you’ll find yourself easing into e-commerce.
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