Whether you are trying to grow your small store this year or you are battling to keep ahead in your ecommerce marketing goals, there is no doubt that this sector can be incredibly competitive. The mistake that many e-tailers make is assuming that they have to resort to spammy or over the top approaches to improve results.
In reality, there are a number of tricks that can not only help you stay ahead but also grow your reach organically. In this guide, we share some practical ecommerce marketing tips on how you can easily implement strategies that are designed to help you stay on top of the competition.
Ecommerce Marketing Tips to Keep You Ahead of Your Competition
Succeeding in ecommerce marketing often comes down to a combination of the right tools, the right strategy and an ability to continually adapt and grow. Having a clear digital marketing strategy in place that incorporates multiple channels is the most effective way to grow your store holistically in a way that allows you to drive sales.
Although there are no quick fixes in digital marketing, a solid strategy is the best way to grow in a way that helps you build your reputation, increase loyalty and drive retention. This is a far better way to outrank your competition, especially once you begin to overtake those who are trying to force their results or take shortcuts.
For truly holistic growth, here are some simple yet effective ecommerce marketing strategies to keep in mind.
Marketing automation remains one of the most powerful tools in your toolbox, allowing you to plan well-rounded, highly targeted campaigns across multiple channels. Automating your digital marketing efforts will save you a great deal of time and effort while allowing you to plan campaigns that are personalised, customised and targeted. From email marketing all the way to mobile campaigns, lead nurturing campaigns, video marketing campaigns, social media campaigns, advertising campaigns, and various other campaigns, this is by far the best way to connect to customers, encourage sales and sell your products.
A major part of automation is personalisation. Very few customers feel comfortable buying from faceless stores that send out generic emails and messages that do very little to inspire confidence, let alone trust. You don't have to go overboard or creep customers out by revealing too much personal information. Instead, you can simply address customers by name in your messages, tailor your content according to their interests, send subtle emails showcasing similar products, and even use the various messaging that you send out, from thank you notes to confirmations, to make customers feel as though you are truly listening.
Contextual marketing uses current events and situations to create highly relevant campaigns in the moment. This can take many forms. You could use holidays and important events, seasons, weather, topical events or even controversial topics. A great example of this is Nando's, who have successfully used topical talking points to create clever campaigns. The trick here is to know your audience very well and get your timing right to avoid missing the mark.
Don't underestimate the power of user-generated content. This is a great way to increase interaction, grow a community and get people involved and talking about your store. You could invite customers to submit photos or videos of themselves wearing or using your products, you could request blog posts, offer a community section where customers can discuss your products, and offer loyalty rewards for content. For best results, this should be managed very carefully.
On the topic of loyalty rewards, these programmes are a great way to increase customer retention. Customers love to be rewarded. You can offer rewards on purchases and also for other actions, from leaving reviews to referring friends, spending a certain amount, rating your product, following you on social platforms or any other actions.
Another way that you can go one up on your competition is to take a good look at your checkout process. A big challenge with ecommerce marketing is abandoned shopping carts. If you are not regularly reviewing your checkout, you may be missing out on a chance to reduce abandoned carts. Everything from the buttons to the content and steps can affect conversion. The sooner you are able to identify potential issues, the sooner you can remove barriers to purchase.
If your store is not fully responsive, you are also running a big risk of missing out on sales. It can be far more valuable to have a responsive website than a mobile site or even an app. Mobile engagement is essential to grow your store. Your store should be easily accessed from any device – mobile phone, tablet and desktop.
It may not seem important, but even small details such as brand face and voice can make a difference. Impersonal stores are off-putting. Stores that have multiple voices and no apparent consistency are also not likely to build trust. Stores that entice customers from the start, with a clear voice that is carried across all channels, a 'face' that makes customers feel welcome and a tone that separates them from other stores will always be chosen over faceless, generic stores.
If you have a brick and mortar store or you are a small online store with a strong local presence, local marketing can be very effective. Using local marketing and branding and tools such as geolocation and beacons as well as local search engine targeting will allow you to stand out and be found easily within search results.
If you are not using video yet, now is the time to get started. There are many ways you can use video for ecommerce. You could create useful product demonstrations and how-to videos on how to practically use your products, how to assemble your products or how to clean your products. You could also create lifestyle videos that relate to your products – food videos for your kitchen equipment, for example, or fitness videos for your workout clothing.
These are just a few of the ways that you can stay ahead of your competitors.
Investing in a comprehensive digital marketing platform that allows you to create personalised, targeted campaigns across all of your key channels is the most effective way to grow your store.