E-COMMERCE SALES ARE EXPECTED TO CLIMB TO $476 BILLION BY 2024. AGAIN, THE FIGURE COULD BE HIGHER AS THE E-COMMERCE BOOM IN 2020 SAW SALES INCREASE TO $374 BILLION. SO WHAT ARE THE MOST EFFECTIVE MARKETING STRATEGIES?
With such growth, e-commerce stores have to work harder to stand out from the crowd. This requires unique and effective ecommerce marketing strategies.
Think about it. Within a minute, savvy customers are accessing discount codes on apps. Follow influencers on social platforms, click on Facebook ads, read promotional emails, compare shopping marketplaces, spend billions online, etc.
Therefore, to capture the customer’s attention, marketers need to take note of e-commerce marketing trends and strategies that are not only gaining traction, but are proven to increase business sales.
WHAT ARE THE ECOMMERCE MARKETING STRATEGIES FOR 2021 AND BEYOND?
The Internet offers marketers; a myriad of effective ways to connect with potential and existing customers. For example, high-quality, informative content can foster brand loyalty, helping customers make informed buying decisions.
In turn, omnichannel marketing can open new channels of communication between the company and its customers. So can smart retargeting ads, influencer marketing and the use of machine learning technologies to analyze data and make predictive decisions.
The Internet is content – from funny GIFs on Twitter to mind-blowing articles and thought-provoking webinars. As such, consumers spend more than a third of their day interacting with digital content on multiple devices.
Content marketing is about creating digital material; (e.g., videos, blog posts, GIFs, etc.) that attract, convert and retain the target audience. This strategy educates potential customers about your services/products while establishing your brand as a thought leader on a given topic.
SO HOW DO YOU USE CONTENT TO YOUR ADVANTAGE ?
The logic is simple: you provide informative, problem-solving content to your prospects for free. This, in turn, makes you their thought leader. It also highlights your expertise, which means your products and services will be the obvious alternative whenever your prospects can’t DIY. In addition, content creation offers you a free chance to promote your products/services.
Thus, whenever you see e-commerce sites, add a blog section on their sites, open a YouTube channel, etc., they try to take advantage of these benefits. They are trying to take advantage of these benefits.
IDEALLY, THE CONTENT SHOULD BE WELL RESEARCHED, IN-DEPTH AND USEFUL. QUALITY CONTENT INCLUDE :
Proven content such as testimonials and case studies
Interactive content such as quizzes that help match your prospects to the right products
Informative content such as webinars, e-books and white papers
And educational content such as videos and blog posts
APPLY CONTENT MARKETING TO YOUR BUSINESS
Search engines love content. In fact, content is one of the top three ranking factors on Google. So, create quality content with high search demand. Send traffic to your site. Generate leads and demand for your products.
To do this, look for targeted keywords with high search volumes, and develop content around them. Note that the term “high volume” is relative – while 1,000 searches/month may be worth it to some people. Others consider these numbers worthless.
Here, think of phrases that describe your products. For example, yoga pants, yoga or meditation, for a yoga store and beards or razors for a store selling beard products. Then, use keyword analysis tools such as Ahrefs, SEMrush, Ubbersuggest and others to generate content ideas, determine keyword difficulty, and keyword popularity/search volume.
PRIORITIZE THE IDEAS TO BE ADDRESSED FIRST AND CREATE CONTENT AROUND THEM.
When generating content, try to match the search intent as much as possible. (To identify search intent, research the topic or keywords and identify the content type, content format and content angle of the top 10 ranking content on Google, and other search engines.) Experts recommend not straying from what works – at least not too much!
Also, create content that is better than what is out there. In other words, better match the intent, add what is missing, provide unique value, etc. Once complete, edit the content, publish it and distribute it via email and social platforms frequented by your target customers. Finally, rinse and repeat.
Although underrated, referral marketing is a powerful e-commerce marketing strategy. You see, we are social creatures who like to share experiences and be part of or identify with something. We want our loved ones to avoid terrible experiences, and encourage others to support brands that offer great experiences.
To benefit from referral marketing strategies, therefore, consider influencing the referral / word-of-mouth process by i. encouraging more sharing and ii. Ensuring the sharing is positive.
APPLYING REFERRAL MARKETING TO YOUR E-COMMERCE BUSINESS
Set up a referral program; by installing a referral program application or by having a software developer, custom design an ambassador software for your e-commerce site. While you’re at it, make sure the program offers the right incentives.
For example, a coupon will work for frequently used products, while cash incentives are ideal for a one-time type of product/service purchase. Next, promote your referral program to your readers, email list and social connections – extensively.
COLLABORATE WITH YOUR INFLUENCERS
You can also collaborate with influencers in your niche. In other words, people with popular blogs, YouTube channels or influential social media accounts who can effectively reach your target demographic. For example, if you sell food-related products, consider partnering with influencers in the parenting, food or lifestyle industries.
When collaborating, opt for influencers on platforms where your target customers hang out. Ideally, choose nano and micro influencers with direct engagement with their followers. Yes, celebrities won’t do it here!
OMNICHANNEL E-COMMERCE MARKETING
While it is possible to determine which channel offers the best ROI and maximize it, it will limit your chances of connecting with your customers. Thus, omnichannel marketing is a must.
When in doubt, an Adobe survey concluded that: 59% of consumers search and compare online stores on a marketplace before making a purchase. Meanwhile, 48% turn to brand websites, 40% in stores, 38% in reviews, 22% in social networking sites and 19% in video channels. You see, customers are already omnichannel, hence the need for e-commerce sites to keep up.
WHAT IS OMNICHANNEL MARKETING?
Note that omnichannel marketing is not about being present on all existing marketing channels. No. It’s about focusing on the marketing channels your target audience frequents, maximizing your online visibility on those platforms and creating opportunities to interact with your prospects.
APPLY MULTI-CHANNEL MARKETING STRATEGIES TO YOUR BUSINESS
When launching a product, partner with influencers or use product demos on YouTube or Vimeo, email campaigns and online ads. Assuming the consumer has clicked through to your website, they should find helpful tips on a blog post, an online chat to answer their questions and video testimonials to remove any doubt.
OF COURSE, THIS IS JUST A SUGGESTION.
To ensure successful cross-channel marketing strategies, strive to understand your target customers as deeply as possible. Use AI and machine learning-based algorithms to analyze consumer behavior data and predict group behavior.
PERSONALIZE YOUR MESSAGES
Next, personalize promotional messages and product recommendations to each prospect. Note that 42% of consumers are annoyed when presented with irrelevant information and offers. So, refer customers by name in your emails, send them promotional offers for birthdays and other special days, provide pop-ups of relevant product recommendations, which should be followed by personalized emails, private chats or direct messages on social networks.
Also, recognize loyal customers with coupons, smart retargeted ads, personalized appreciation videos or social media announcements.