The world of today has changed significantly in the last few years. If you were to ask someone ten years ago what they thought the future would be like, especially the future of the business world, no one could have predicted it. With the sudden and unexpected leaps in technology, the internet that was once considered a luxury has now become so commonplace that every phone, every computer, and every mobile device is capable of connecting to it.
So how could the businesses not evolve with it? Now you can find a 100 hundred different websites belonging to any number of different fields that have no real address or location but are still working as usual online. Businesses have completely shifted to the virtual world by taking advantage of the internet and for a very good reason. Ecommerce has many advantages but as many pitfalls as well if you’re not careful. Although it might be relatively easy to start one but for the business to remain successful there are a few things you must do, like continuing the marketing efforts for as long as you wish to make a profit.
What is eCommerce?
Any purchase or selling of products and services done over the internet is called eCommerce. This is done through a plethora of different platforms including social media or through the old school websites. The one thing in common between all of them is that just like the conventional businesses, they require a lot of traffic and conversions.
Conversions refer to any action that you want a visitor to take. For a normal business that would refer to the percentage of visitors that are making purchases. Now the question becomes how to bring in more traffic?
The most obvious answer is the solution in this case, which is through marketing. An effective marketing strategy can lift a business through the ranks faster than any other method. Even if you’re not the best at what you do, but as long as you can reach the relevant market niches and sell them on your idea, then the victory is yours.
An effective marketing strategy will not only increase your provisional sales but also further build on the brand awareness and push the brand loyalty to new heights through its efforts.
This one is pretty simple and one that you can start implementing straight away. Most eCommerce businesses ignore the email list of their customers and use premade templates, which is a huge mistake on their part. Emails, especially transactional emails have several times the open rates than promotional emails.
A good business should utilize this opportunity to add other promotions within transactional emails to get more exposure. It is completely free and won’t take a long time to implement either.
Many businesses offer discounts on future purchases, mention details of customer referral programs or new products and services that will be coming in the near future or have already been released or detail any new sales.
Create Subscriber Lists
Speaking of emails, creating a subscriber list should be at the top of yours. You can’t start selling your products or services without potential customers to market to. And as you may have guessed by now, in eCommerce email marketing is extremely important.
The best place to start gathering subscribers is from your own website or store. Place email forms in different places on your website from landing pages to carts. Pop-ups are a good reminder whenever a visitor is about to close a tab but if you don’t provide some sort of a discount or free goodies that are in demand, the interruption might backfire and leave the visitors annoyed.
Expand to Every Online Platform
As an owner of an eCommerce business you should be well aware of the importance of social media websites like Facebook and Instagram. Each of them gives users the ability to create their own stores and reach an entirely different demographic.
On Facebook, for example, the main users are people with families that are over the age of 30. It has perhaps the most varied group of individuals to choose from which is never a bad thing, albeit slightly harder to market to under normal circumstances.
But Facebook’s new algorithm has made things much easier. It can connect businesses with the right consumers that are looking at the same kind of products which is a godsend for new businesses.
This along with the ability to create your own store has made Facebook a viable source of eCommerce marketing. Its many features like the ability to integrate inventories directly with other stores like Shopify and the simple and easy to process of setting up is why it’s so popular among new entrants to the market.
Instagram with its more than 500 Million daily active users is yet another great tool to market your products. Although it doesn’t have a formal store to showcase your inventory, but the business owners have found ways around that by uploading all required information through interesting images, captions, and hashtags.
Studies show that it is anywhere from 6 to 20 times more expensive to secure new customers than it is to retain old ones. But that’s easier said than done. You need an extremely high level of customer loyalty to encourage repeat business and that takes a lot of customer engagement to achieve.
You need to regularly get in contact with your customers, offer them deals and discounts, free goodies like guides and such, create new and interesting content through blogs or post daily pictures of foods and places, anything to keep them coming back for more.
Ask your followers and subscribers for their takes and ideas on different topics and then share them on the business pages.
Challenges, Events, Contests, and Giveaways
These are always popular and almost a surefire way to increase your following. They have one of the highest rates of customer engagement and are often used by large corporations to increase their brand loyalty and brand awareness.
Contests are also a nice way to reward your customers. It shows that you care about them and that there is more incentive for them to stick around than just the obvious.
Speaking of rewarding your customers, Loyalty programs increase customer retention by leaps and bounds, keeping your brand name at the top of their minds whenever making purchases.
You, the business owner, has complete freedom over how you choose to do so. It can either have its own currency which can be turned in for extra discounts, free shipping or even gifts. Or something like a one-time payment to join an exclusive club through which they can receive early access to new products and services, flat discounts on all products, coupon codes and vouchers and even the ability to earn back what they spend over a specific time period.
If you have kept up with any recent news then you should be well aware of the existence of these new social media Influencers. From YouTube and Instagram stars to several new platforms like Twitch and TikTok, new faces are appearing every day with anywhere from thousands to millions of followers on each of these platforms.
As an eCommerce business you should be taking full advantage of the influencer that’s closest to your specific niche and using them to get access to their ‘highly curated’ clientele. For example, if you’re selling customizable gaming peripherals then reaching out to a Twitch streamer whose main job is to stream games is probably your best choice and a marketing checkmate.
By getting a review or an endorsement from someone they know and trust, you can get access to an entire community of individuals that are in line with the products you’re selling and save significantly on marketing costs.
Although depending on the size of the influencer’s community and their reach, it won’t be too uncommon that they might require payment beforehand. But even then you would be getting a lot of exposure in the right circles so it is worth it more often than not.
Optimize for SEO
Whether it is an image on Instagram, articles on your blog or the landing page of your official website, by optimizing them for search engines like google and Bing, you can gain a lot of extra traffic by doing very little work in return.
Whenever you upload an image on any social media, use popular and trending hashtags and descriptions so they can be found out by more people, even if by mistake.
Be as clear and concise as possible while maintaining the standard of quality and authenticity that you are known for. All of this gives your business an extra chance that it will be discovered by new users that were looking for something similar or closely related.
Optimize for Mobile Devices
Most people visit eCommerce websites on their phones. Either just to pass the time, because of the ease of access or one of the dozens of other reasons, mobile devices make up a large margin of usual traffic which should not be neglected.
If possible hire someone to make apps on android and iOS or just optimize your website so that it is natively compatible with all mobile devices.
Although not done exclusively online, text-based marketing has a lot in common with the majority of eMarketing methods. They are both extremely cost-effective and cost next to nothing to get started. Whereas SMS marketing can reach a vast and varied demographic that is sometimes out of reach of even the internet.
Even today there are a lot of people that either do not have the ability or the desire to go online, but they can still receive texts.
With so many interesting and useful features like MMS messaging with which you can send pictures, videos and even audio files through traditional means, the realm of possibilities is not any less than eMarketing tools.
Mass and Group texts allow you to send messages to entire clusters of names and numbers and 2-way messaging gives the recipients the ability to reply back easily. This helps business owners receive direct feedback.
Text marketing boasts one of the highest ROI’s and open rates in the entire market. No other marketing strategy can come even close to achieving the same result, especially at the offered rates. Not to mention that it is much more personal and helps increase customer engagement by a large margin due to being on a medium that most don’t even consider as a marketing tool.
Add links to social media pages within the text messages and with Link tracking find out exactly how many people clicked on them. This data can be used to further refine your other marketing strategies as well.
At first glance it might seem like eCommerce marketing does not have as many options as the more traditional methods but that is not the case. It is not only cheaper and more effective but also gives exact data in return which is immeasurably important to any business that wants to be taken seriously.
SMS or Text marketing on the other hand lets eCommerce business step out of the realm of the internet and reach places that they normally would never be able to. It can help them access hard to find niches which opens up even more business opportunities.
And with the help of Industry leaders like Express Text even small to mid-sized businesses are able to enjoy the same marketing strategies as large corporations but at the fraction of the cost. And as a responsible business owner it is not only your job but your obligation to use every avenue possible to get ahead of the competition and reach new heights that were previously considered unachievable by the common man.
The process is extremely simple with no legal obligations or contracts dragging you down for the foreseeable future. If you don’t like it then change the plans with a single click. It cannot get easier than that.