What, no customers yet?
As a new eCommerce site, it might be disappointing for you to see that your customer visits aren’t as high as you would like them to be. Paid advertising, as many eCommerce marketers have learned, cannot be depended on as the only way to let people know that you are open for business. There’s a lot of hard work that you will have to do at the back end, on your site and on your social media pages, that can translate to good returns in the long run. Here, we will outline some of the top eCommerce marketing strategies that major brands around the world have adopted. Try out these strategies and see your conversation rates pick up at last!
Get your basics down first
Before you begin to go through the eCommerce marketing strategies below, you need to work on two things:
- Your sales cycle
- Your target buying persona
Define your sales cycle
A sales cycle is the journey the customer goes through from the time they find out about a product to the time a sale is made. You need to define the sales cycle you typically follow so that you know what timelines to keep in mind while coming up with your digital marketing strategy.
Create your target buying persona
A target buying persona is a profile of the ideal shopper. You need to step in the mind of your typical customer and define them. For instance, if you sell fashion products, think about the items you sell and who would typically buy them. Do you sell women’s bracelets and earrings that are low priced for college students? In this case, your target buying persona would be a female aged between 15 and 24, who is either a student or newly employed. What sites would this person frequent? What sort of products would they like to see? What sort of design will they find appealing? Coming up with a detailed persona will help you create a marketing plan that works wonders for your business.
Make your eCommerce page attractive to shoppers
This might sound like the most basic step, but it is a proven fact that people have very short attention spans for websites. If a person does not find what they are looking for within the first 10 – 15 seconds of landing on the page, they will likely navigate away to a site that is friendlier on the eyes. If you’ve already got a page up, you might want to check to see if it conforms to these standards followed by other big brands:
- Consistency in fonts and brand colours throughout the site
- Easy to find categories and navigation
- Large images for products
- Accurate information for products and sizing
- Detailed FAQ section
Here’s an example from Asha Sweet Center, which is hosted on Shopnix. If you notice, you can see that there are large images that neatly lay out the different categories of sweets available for sale. There’s even an easy link to their mobile app for further marketing possibilities.
Improve the checkout process
As part of the page improvement plan, it is worth it to check to see how best you can improve the checkout process. The abandoned cart syndrome is one that is hard to beat, especially when shoppers have so many options to purchase items from anywhere else! You need to work hard to lure shoppers to stay on your site until they finish the complete checkout process. In case of an abandoned cart, you can send a couple of follow up reminders to the shoppers to log in and complete their purchase, even offer them a discount if they did that in the next hour.
The more simplified the checkout process, the more likely shoppers are to stay on the site and return in future. Your checkout page should ideally have all the information about what items have been purchased, the cost, any additional taxes, the cost of shipping, all on the same page. That and an easy way to go back and change any information before completing checkout can make it a lot easier on shoppers.
Here is an example from Meat and Eat, which is a meat and fast food store that has hosted its food delivery business on Shopnix. As you can see, the checkout process is greatly simplified by showing the customer the price they will be paying once they place the order. This will prevent any nasty surprises later on, which can then cause them to distrust the site completely.
Learn How to Sell Fast Food Online?
Optimise the site content to enjoy better search engine rankings
For shoppers to find your site, they will need to be able to just Google the product they are looking for. Ideally, your page should be found in the first page of search results if they are to make a purchase. The best way to ensure your page ranks high in Google is by getting all your meta data in place on the site. This, along with some search engine optimised content is what will ultimately fetch you more customers who are interested in your product.
Great product descriptions that will fetch you results
Hire a good content writing firm that can work on detailed product descriptions for all the items on the site. These product descriptions should be fun to read, have as much information about the product as possible, contain keywords that people who search for that product usually use. You can use marketing tools to find the top keywords that should be used. Other product information like warranty and sizing should also be detailed out on the product page so that customers know what they are buying.
Comprehensive content blog with trending topics
Besides product descriptions, the other kind of content that you will want to host on your site is blog content. A well written series of blogs on trending topics for that season is key to getting noticed by people who are searching for this information. For instance, during Diwali, you can put up a blog on the top gifts recommended for family, featuring a curated list of items that your eCommerce store caters to. This is the sort of information that will enable shoppers to easily find what they are looking for and make it easier for you to sell, too.
A great example of well written content and product descriptions is The Green Path, which has built its site on Shopnix. This site has an eCommerce store and a whole blog series dedicated to natural products and remedies and healthy living, which is exactly what its target customers would look for.
Personalise your customer experience
Major eCommerce stores make it a point to request customers to register to their site before they can continue to checkout. While this approach can be followed to get users to provide their information for follow up marketing, another reason is so that their entire shopping experience can be s within a specific price range, you can introduce coding to show those results on the landing page. A personalised experience makes a shopper want to stay on site and complete a purchase.
Follow up with customers through email marketing
Once a shopper has completed a purchase you can use their email ID to send them useful promotions and offers that they can look forward to when they return to your store. A well thought out email marketing strategy is a great way to keep shoppers hooked to your products. Your emails should include a carefully curated list of items that are available that you know your shoppers would be interested in. Include links to items so that they can buy right from their inbox. Make your emails fun to read and useful, and always full of offers. This will reduce the chances of your recipients viewing them as spam and redirecting them to their junk folder.
Target your customers where you are most likely to find them. In today’s world, that would be social media sites. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, among others, are the top places where everyone tends to discuss and share with family and friends. It is therefore the best place to get noticed by your target audience so that they can recommend you to their social circles. The way to go about this is to first of all set up a page for yourself on all the leading social networks where your customers are likely to be. Facebook and Twitter are the obvious choice. If you have a younger crowd, you can also use Instagram and Snapchat to get more likes and shares. These platforms now offer excellent eCommerce solutions to make it easier for people to buy right from the social app.
Once you have your presence established on these sites, it is important to keep reminding them that you are there! Have a targeted social media marketing strategy that will focus your target customers on your brand. They can follow you and view the latest information on your various products right on their social sites. You can also have exciting offers during the festive season and run competitions so that you trend all over the social networks. This is a strategy that is effectively followed by brands like Flipkart and Amazon for the Great Indian Shopping Festival. These brands run fun competitions on social media, use funny videos to market the festival, and basically make a very good pitch to customers to buy from them during the sale season.
If you have the budget for it, you will want to invest in a mobile app for your eCommerce store. There are reasons why you need a mobile app, besides the obvious. You may feel that it is easy enough for people to shop from your online site and there is no need for a standalone app. However, a standalone mobile app gives you an additional avenue to market your products to people who are likely to keep buying from you. You can do this through push notifications on the mobile app that will send the users a reminder to continue shopping, or an alert about an upcoming sale. It can also let them know when a product they were looking for is made available on the store.
The design of your mobile app should be seamless, featuring the same design elements from your online store. This will give users a sense of continuity and associate your brand with these elements. Get a good team to design a responsive app that is free of bugs and is guaranteed to make shopping a breeze. The last thing your users want to do is spend ages trying to click a button on their mobile app and not have anything happen. Make sure troubleshooting is done as and when an issue crops up so that your customers get a good opinion of your brand.
Retargeting to your customers
Finally, a marketing strategy that has worked for many eCommerce store owners has been retargeting. This is a process by which a user can see ads related to products recently view on your store even when they are on other sites. There are several apps and sites that offer the retargeting option to be added as a code to your page. The advantage of this method is that is unobtrusive and serves to reinforce the product and your brand’s association with it. You can see evidence of this throughout Facebook and outside it thanks to Facebook’s Pixel.
To sum it up, your choices for eCommerce marketing should be dictated by your target customers. You can invest in a whole set of marketing strategies that can get customers riveted to your brand website and make you the top seller in your domain. All you need to do is to keep up the momentum so that your shoppers know that you are serious about delivering the best quality product to them. This increases their brand loyalty, and makes you more popular as well.