Marketing your product online isn’t what it used to be. In fact, it has gotten a whole lot more difficult to get consumers to notice your business among all the competition. Without a sound marketing strategy to guide you, you’re certain to face an uphill battle simply to establish long-term customer relationships. Yet, hope is not all lost when it comes to reaching your target audience. There are still a few tips and tricks that could help you connect with consumers. Here are a few ways you can effectively market your product. Continue reading “8 Best Ways to Market a Product Online”
Whether you are just getting started on your eCommerce journey or you have already begun building your company, everyone comes to a point where they have to form a solid marketing strategy. There are a ton of do’s and don’ts on the internet regarding this stage in the game and you want to make sure you are following the most up-to-date advice. Continue reading “What is an eCommerce Marketing Strategy and Why You Need One”
Whereas businesses with a brick-and-mortar location naturally centralize their marketing efforts on their physical presence, the world of eCommerce faces an entirely different set of challenges. As much as having an online retail business provides significant flexibility, it also means that a business essentially lives or dies by how much it connects with consumers; a feat made far more complex given the ubiquitous role of eCommerce in everyday life. However, with the right planning and detailed eCommerce marketing strategy, an eCommerce business can break through and reach its target audience. Continue reading “8 Ways to Create an Unstoppable eCommerce Marketing Strategy”
Dropshipping seems to be a no-brainer for retailers in a world that jumps at any opportunity to make a business transaction quick and convenient. It may appear that, now, your only concerns are acquiring your product and marketing with a bit of savvy. Yet, you cannot forget about the customer’s experience if you want to keep your business afloat. True, you may be able to pass on the tedious tasks of inventory, order filling, and ensuring shipment. Continue reading “8 Common Dropshipping Mistakes to Avoid”
Because consumers have come to expect personalized service in virtually every area of the retail experience, live chats have become an increasingly popular way to connect directly with existing customers and prospects alike. Naturally, eCommerce sites are particularly well-suited to this approach, and live chat is an invaluable tool to develop brand loyalty and long-term customer relationships. Continue reading “How to Turn Live Chats into Customers for Your Ecommerce Store”
With each passing year, eCommerce is further cementing its status as consumers’ preferred way of shopping. The number of new and existing sites committing the bulk of their marketing efforts on online retail has increased dramatically, and due to this growing competition, eCommerce marketing optimization is more essential than perhaps it ever has been.
Yet, despite the development of so many online retailers, a number of misconceptions continue to persist. Let’s review some of the most egregious myths that may be holding you back from realizing your site’s true potential and uncover the facts you need to truly leverage the possibilities of the eCommerce space. Continue reading “Facts & Myths of Ecommerce Marketing Optimization”
In the world of eCommerce, many new stores struggle to get even a small piece of the market. When you are running an eCommerce store, marketing is the biggest part of your job, and it has the most direct impact on your bottom line. As any seasoned eCommerce veteran will tell you, your online store needs a sustainable, long-term marketing strategy in place, instead of short-term growth hacks. With this in mind, here are 10 solid startup marketing ideas to bootstrap your ecommerce store.
Marketing Ideas for Startups
1. Launch contextual marketing campaigns
Contextual marketing campaigns are aimed at nurturing prospect relationships, and making people more likely to buy. Any info that you gather about your customer’s profiles, behaviors, and context can help you deliver highly relevant, and personalized content to the right person at the right time.
You can gather this data by:
- Setting up analytics on your online store and tracking user behavior
- Asking your store visitors and customers to fill out a form/survey
- Using a marketing automation system in the back end
2. Promote user-generated content
Online consumers tend to place more trust in reviews, ratings, photos and other forms of user-generated content than they do in the traditional modes of marketing and advertising like TV and radio. Shoppers want first-hand experiences of customers who’ve already purchased that product. This is primarily because they people believe user reviews are more authentic and credible than an ad-campaign.
3. Build more relationships and partnerships
Do you know any online store owner or offline business that sells a complementary product? Partnering with them to sell packages/bundles could help new customers gain awareness of your store, and drive new traffic to your site. It won’t cost you or your partner anything extra, and yet you will both benefit by bringing new customer awareness to each business’s online presence.
4. Create videos that show customers how to use your products
YouTube channels are certainly a fun way to connect with your potential customers. People love the interactiveness of how-to videos, tutorials, and glimpses behind the scenes. Peeking behind the curtain makes people feel like they are getting to know you, and therefore they’ll be more confident about buying from you.
5. Give away products, and create a buzz
You can offer your products for free or dirt cheap in exchange for a glowing testimonial or review. Think ‘review bloggers’! The more of a following these reviewers have, the better. For just the cost of your product, you’ll be able to reach a wide audience. You can also host giveaways on social media to generate buzz. Something as simple as asking people to share a photo of your product in exchange for an entry to win said product could create a pool of raving fans. Speaking of social media …
6. Drive engagement with your audience on social media
You don’t need to spend hours on end daily to promote your online store via social media channels. In fact, some of the best social media campaigns take less than an hour per day to execute. Keep it simple by beginning with the platform your target market is most likely to hang out on. The key is not to have a dormant site. Respond to inquiries, comments, and reviews.
7. Segment and target key audience personas
Identify who is visiting your online store, and then cater directly to them. You can then create ad campaigns that speak to this type of person, showing them relevant content that would make them more likely to buy.
8. Launch an affiliate program
Joint venture and affiliate marketing campaigns encourage other people to sell on your behalf. They take a commission and you get more customers. It’s a win-win. Some affiliate marketers have large email lists that you might not yet have. By giving them a portion of the proceeds, they are doing all the heavy lifting for you.
9. Build your own email list
Email marketing is one of the best marketing channels for driving targeted traffic to your store. For someone to give you their email address, they are likely already interested in your product, making it that much easier to convert them into customers. And, email gives you enough space to mention things that you just can’t fit into a post on social media.
10. Launch your store on multiple platforms
From Ebay to Amazon, Etsy to Shopify, there are many options for hosting an online store which can act as an extension to your main store. Large platforms such as these may make it easier to spread brand awareness, while allowing you the opportunity to drive traffic back to your personal website.
While running marketing campaigns isn’t the only way to guarantee your online store’s success, it’s a great way to put your brand name out in front of hordes of potential customers that are still out of your reach. If done correctly, you can leverage the store’s brand awareness by launching unique digital marketing campaigns. Always remember that ideas for marketing campaigns, especially for startups, should aim at inviting, encouraging, and rewarding customers for engaging with your business. Keep relationship building at the forefront and your marketing efforts will be rewarded in no time.
In the most basic terms, the marketing mix definition is placing the right product, at the right place, at the right time, and at the right price in front of your potential customers to see and buy it. The trouble lies in doing it well, in order to make the most sales possible. How can you define the right marketing mix for your retail store?
Let’s break this down a little further, shall we?
Have a Plan
Your first priority in defining your marketing mix is to create a plan. Now, this plan isn’t necessarily set in stone, it may evolve as you go along, but creating a road map will at least give executable steps to follow in place of spinning your wheels. In the plan you’ll want to include things like sales goals, anticipated timelines, metrics to measure success, and information about the product you want to sell. For each product you plan on selling you want to know who your target market is, the value of the product, the price of the product, how and where you are selling it, and how you will promote it.
Product and Price
Things you should consider regarding the product are:
- The value and price of the product, and potential discounts that could be offered
- When people will want it (for example, can it be a gift for the holidays?)
- How often they will want it (i.e. a repeat purchase product)
- Accessories or bundle purchases that work well with the product
- Sizes and colors, etc…
Promotion and Placement
Odds are your product will be placed on your retail shop’s website, but if there is a specific product you are trying to push, will it be given special treatment? By that I mean, will it be prominently placed on your homepage? Will it have a separate landing page that you will drive traffic directly to? Will this product be featured as part of a set? Then, how will you promote the product?
Factors to consider for promoting your product include, but are not limited to:
Paid vs Organic Search
In truth, we could write an entire article on the pros and cons of paid vs. organic search, but the best marketing mixes include a blend of both. The idea is to get as many eyeballs as possible on the product’s page, and fill that page with as many relevant details as needed to get the customer to click the purchase button.
Social Media Promotions
Where are the people that would be most likely to buy this product hanging out? For example, if visual promotions would work best for your product Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram may be good choices. However, if your best promotions are going to be an article or blog post explaining the product, links via Twitter, StumbleUpon and LinkedIn may be better options.
Is it possible to get your product on the news or in a local publication? If so, can the outlet link back to your product? What makes your product newsworthy?
Do you have a mailing list of leads? Perhaps creating a strategic email campaign for promoting the product is in your best interest.
Partnerships for Promotions
Perhaps an affiliate program or some other joint venture campaign would be best to promote your product. Thinking outside the box could generate more sales.
Consider the Sales Process
One of the biggest mistakes retail shops make is not in promoting their products, but in the sales process after the customer visits your shop.
CBS News reported that “nothing can kill sales success faster than a lousy sales process.”
If you’re too pushy, they leave. If you’re not informative enough, they leave. If you don’t guide them along in the process, they leave. If it’s not incredibly simple to purchase, they leave. Are you seeing a pattern here? For people to part with their money, they want the entire process to be as seamless, and pain free as possible. They don’t want to guess or worry about any step of the sale.
Once they buy, the ending stages of the sales process should be seamless as well. Products should be delivered as promised, and in a timely manner. Any errors or issues should be addressed promptly, and courteously so the client will come back. According to Forbes Magazine, as many as 49% of people find alternate companies to purchase from due to poor customer service. Don’t let that happen to you.
Finally, once the sales process is complete, don’t forget to follow up. People want to know that you care about them. So, check in and make sure they are happy with the purchase. It also doesn’t hurt to offer them an invitation to return for more purchases and/or to ask them to refer customers to you.
When it comes to transforming prospects into paying customers, there’s no way we can underestimate the significance of your marketing team. After all, this is where the difference lies between a quality product that crashes and burns to one that becomes a household name as well as an industry standard.
From spreading awareness of your product, to persuading consumers that the value your company brings is worthy of their attention and money, marketing tackles it all one step at a time. So incorporating the newest innovations in retail marketing strategies into your business is an absolute must.
Cutting Edge Retail Marketing Strategies
Here are a few key concepts that should absolutely be part of your ecommerce marketing game plan going forward, if they aren’t already.
Automated Marketing Analytics
We’ve previously praised the advantages of automation to optimize multiple aspects of your business (such as pricing) and save you time in the process. However, when you use automation in concert with your market analysis, you can also gather intelligence that will drive other business decisions. With each passing year, more and more companies are incorporating automated analytics into their future plans. Roughly half are already onboard, and it’s about time your business does the same, lest you fall behind industry trends. The power that can be harnessed by automation is truly something that can elevate the performance and precision of what your business is already doing and make it exceedingly easy to take it to the next step.
The Customer Experience
First and foremost, your marketing campaign should cater to your target audience, but taking this philosophy a bit further might sweeten the appeal of your product enough to boost engagement. Design with the customer experience in mind, including everything from personalized messages to incentive programs and special offers to help prospects blossom into long-term customer relationships. Moreover, employ an omnichannel approach to your marketing that incorporates mobile apps, desktop websites and other forms of media, encouraging loyal customers to get involved in all sides of your business.
Content to Win
If you’re still unconvinced of the pertinence of content marketing in boosting business, allow us to put an end to your uncertainty right now. The past few years have incontrovertibly proven thedifference that regular content generation can make in getting the word out about your business. In fact, over one third of all traffic to shopping sites comes from search engines! Blogs, ebooks and whitepapers are among the most popular forms of free content that you can use to help prospects find you over search engines and/or entice them to sign up for your mailing list. However, what works for your specific niche may differ. Perhaps new media marketing like podcasts or a YouTube channel will suit you better. Regardless, you’re missing out if you’re not releasing some kind of content on a regular basis.
Introducing Proximity Marketing
Thanks to the location tracking capabilities now made mainstream via mobile devices, proximity marketing is a major part of many successful companies’ current strategies. With the localized data you receive, you can adjust your advertising content accordingly, speaking particularly to the physical location of your customer. Perhaps you might pitch them a relevant offer based on their shopping habits or attempt to sway them to check out a new offer on your website instead of visiting a the brick-and-mortar location of one of your competitors.
Research to Develop
In order to keep your company’s evolution running strong, be sure to devote a significant segment of your resources to market research. Whether these duties are assigned to a dedicated team or scattered among your business, it’s invaluable to gauge customer response — through surveys, direct messages or other means — as well as stay up-to-date on what companies both in your industry and beyond are doing to connect to their prospects. Oftentimes, this can be as simple as setting up alerts or connecting to relevant companies, publications and websites on social media and other networks for the latest news to be delivered to you directly.
Go Forth and Strategize
To remain competitive in the retail space (but particularly in the technology-centric world of eCommerce) is essentially impossible without remaining closely in tune with the latest and greatest approaches to spreading your company’s message.
The above techniques will help to make your marketing team that much stronger, but these alone aren’t enough to keep you on top for long. Marketing means never settling for the status quo, and so constant evaluation, testing, and implementation should always be in place to ensure that you’re providing the best service to your customers and doing justice to your products. The long-term life of your business may ultimately depend on it.
For more invaluable insights into how you should approach marketing your eCommerce business, check out our eBook, “Key Automated Marketing Strategies for eCommerce Store Success.”
One of the worst things you can do with regard to your business is to insulate yourself from the industry you serve. In the case of eCommerce, the technology and tools you use to foster growth move along at such a rapid pace that you’re bound to become outdated unless you’re closely attuned to the latest retail marketing trends.
The eCommerce space may be constantly evolving, but with the right knowledge to guide the future of your business, you can benefit from emerging trends and retain a significant lead over your competitors.
Examples to Lead
In recent years, eCommerce has grown by leaps and bounds, and though we understand that the advancements involved may seem overwhelming at first, we can’t stress enough just how vital it is that you make a concerted effort to implement the latest practices. After all, the performance of your business would only benefit with the most popular and powerful marketing trends in your back pocket. Here are a few tips to follow based on what approaches are currently conquering the retail space.
1. Leverage “micro-moments”
Mobile technology has largely reinvented the business landscape across the board, and consumers are constantly checking their smartphones for updates and to stay connected. By tapping into “micro-moments” with push notifications and other messages, you can reach consumers on a whole new level catered specifically to their lifestyle.
2. Embrace omni-channel marketing
Customers nowadays expect fluidity between mobile devices, laptop computers, phones and physical locations. Your business functions at its finest then when all these channels are united. Feeding leads from one to the next creates a unified experience that offers a pervasive awareness of your business. Take a look at where your supply chain can improve, and consider introducing an app to support your new omni-channel structure.
3. Incentivize consumers to promote you
You may have noticed that many successful businesses have turned to exclusive discounts and rewards for premium customers who sign up for a free program. Now these incentive programs are expanding outward, encouraging frequent patrons to spread the word about your business on social media and elsewhere. Believe us, satisfied customers are the best marketing tool you have.
4. Don’t delay automation initiatives
Few methods to streamline your operation will ever prove as effective as automation. From scheduling outreach emails tailored to each specific customer subset to dynamic pricing that adjusts to the market, countless possibilities await your business. In fact, did you know that there are ways to even automate discount pricing strategies to stay one step ahead of your competition? The Incompetitor software platform monitors all of your competitor’s pricing strategies in real time so that you can stay ahead.This more intuitive approach to the industry is precisely the time-saving tool you need to foster fresh growth.
5. Kick up content marketing efforts
Content marketing may be more important than ever before, particularly in the eCommerce space. This approach, of course, offers consumers a value-added bit of content that will hopefully boost awareness and ultimately sales. As content marketing continues to evolve, more innovative and competitive ways to capture leads are coming to the forefront.
6. Promote your site’s personalization
Today’s consumers have been groomed with customized interaction across their technology, and your business too can leverage this as part of your marketing strategy. Users expect an experience that is designed specifically with them in mind. For your business, that fact could have great impact on users’ purchase decision and allows you the chance to guide the shopping experience, perhaps even using location-based marketing and other sophisticated technology.
The Path Ahead
Of course, the trends detailed above are only some of the directions that the eCommerce world is heading down. However, we’re confident that you now have a better grasp of where your business needs to be in order to become or remain at the forefront of the industry.
Once you are on top of the latest developments, you’ll need to keep a close eye on what may be waiting just around the corner and anticipate how your business can continually innovate. Your customer experience should always remain paramount, and one of the best ways to ensure that this is the case is to never let your business slip behind the times.
For more invaluable insights into how you should approach marketing your eCommerce business and use automation to drive future success, check out our new eBook, “Key Automated Marketing Strategies for eCommerce Store Success.”