To face a market that is becoming more and more competitive, e-commerce must develop consolidated and effective marketing strategies designed to increase sales, identify and engage new customers and entice the old ones to return to the site.
It is with this in mind that the following guide fits in, which aims to provide useful tips for generating traffic, developing customer relationships, building loyalty, and recovering lost sales. So here’s how to grow your e-commerce.
1. Define Your Sales Cycle
How long does it take for a customer to make a purchase on your site? Is it daily, seven days, a month, or a year? Knowing the path that the consumer takes before concluding a purchase is useful information to create the best e-commerce marketing strategy possible.
Without a structured sales cycle, the seller risks not knowing when the customer is ready to buy, resulting in inefficiency in identifying the platforms on which to advertise and the right time to activate aggressive retargeting or send e-mails. In order to know the time it takes to generate a conversion, you need to carry out tests and research.
2. Optimize the Checkout
Checkout is the most important process for closing the sale; its optimization, often overlooked by companies, allows to reduce cart abandonment. In many e-commerce you can see how all the resources are spent before the checkout, neglecting the final moment, which is decisive on the conversion rate. The next 5 eCommerce marketing strategies are all about checkout.
3. Make the Checkout Process Easier
To prevent potential customers from leaving your site right at checkout, frustrated by the many steps required, you need to make the process as simple as possible by putting everything on one page. Those who prefer multi-page checkout should consider showing a progress bar at the bottom of the page so that the customer can get an idea of how long the procedure will take. A fundamental principle is to make the buttons easy to find, otherwise, the customer may get impatient and give up the purchase.
4. Provide Customers (and Search Engines) with Helpful Product Descriptions
For e-commerce that sells clothing or accessories, it is always useful to provide a size guide which, in addition to helping the customer, minimizes return requests for the wrong size. It is good practice to offer customers the ability to write product reviews and produce a page dedicated to frequently asked questions that satisfy potential customers’ need for clarification. The more information there is, the easier it will be for the customer to make a purchasing decision. In addition to being complete and original (Google does not tolerate copies), the descriptions should include keywords for search engines in order to allow the site to rank high in the SERPs and thus obtain greater visibility and, therefore, sales.
5. Show the Shipping Costs
Who has never found out only after typing all the information requested in the checkout form that the shipping costs were too high? From here it is immediate to understand that communicating this information at the beginning of the checkout process is a very important aspect for the success of e-commerce because it allows the customer to have a complete view of what the final cost will be. Alternatively, flat solutions can be offered based on the number of deliveries.
It is also important to let customers know what the shipping times are and to provide further details that they need to be aware of. The more information you give, the better: it simplifies the customer’s shopping experience and saves time in assistance.
6. Give Customers the Opportunity to Continue Shopping
It is a good idea to give the customer the opportunity to continue shopping before checking out. This may tempt him to double-check the catalog and add new products to the cart. To implement this e-commerce marketing strategy, simply place the “continue shopping” button next to the one that allows you to continue with the checkout, making sure that both are easy to find.
7. Let Customers Know Which Payment Methods are Accepted
Payment management is a cornerstone of the purchasing process of e-commerce. To give the customer the opportunity to have an immediate overview of the accepted payment methods, it is advisable to include the logos of the services and credit cards. Furthermore, in order to guarantee the security of transactions and transmit reliability of the financial services offered, it is also good to add security certificates, which will immediately make the customer feel at ease, demonstrating respect for his financial data.
Only 2% of users convert on the first visit; the remaining 98% leave the site without completing the purchase. Retargeting is that e-commerce marketing strategy that allows you to recover lost customers. There are several approaches to retargeting; one of the most common is to place targeted ads on other websites. Retargeting can also be done with email campaigns. With this approach, personalized ads can be created to entice customers to purchase items they had added to their cart without purchasing or purchasing related items.
9. Email Marketing and Automation
Email marketing offers an estimated average return on investment of 122%, 4 times higher than other eCommerce market strategies. The starting point of the strategy is to build the mailing list by collecting contacts through social media campaigns or on your website in exchange for discounts or coupons.
An excellent way to save precious time and, at the same time, improve communication with the user is to resort to email automation, i.e. the automated sending of emails that are triggered according to the user’s behavior. Some examples are the welcome email sent when subscribing to a list, the reminder email in case of cart abandonment, the one in which the customer is asked to write a review after the purchase, and the email that informs the customer that the items ordered by him have been shipped.
To get the most out of your email marketing campaign, it is essential to make sure your emails are optimized for mobile devices.
10. Update Your Website
Another aspect to pay attention to is updating your website. It is common knowledge that people quickly rate a site with visual impact only. In particular, the average user thinks that an old site is abandoned, and therefore less important. It is therefore very important to have a design updated on the latest trends.
11. Social Media Advertising
Social media are one of the most effective tools for advertising your site and attracting potential customers to it. However, publishing some content on the main social networks, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, without setting specific goals, is not enough to grow your business: you need to create a social media marketing campaign for e-commerce. On Facebook, for example, one of the best strategies is to create landing pages in line with the ads shown. It is also important to segment the target based on interests, thus avoiding the dispersion of advertising towards non-interested users.
12. Personalize the Shopping Experience for Customers
Personalizing the shopping experience for the consumer is a priority for e-commerce. The personalized approach, which attempts to replicate the human interaction that occurs in physical stores, allows you to create a unique bond with the buyer. To offer a truly personalized shopping experience, in addition to calling the user by name, it is necessary to focus on his behavior on previous visits and propose quizzes and surveys in order to know his tastes. This is the only way to recommend products to the customer in line with his interests. Taking the time to learn about your customers’ needs may seem challenging, but in the long run, it makes users more engaged and willing to buy.
13. Humanize Your Brand
If your goal is to gain the trust of customers, it makes no sense to leave them at the mercy of automation, you must also include the human part. There are so many methods to humanize e-commerce: showing videos with people trying a product, letting users write reviews, responding to tweets and comments with courtesy, even if they are negative, etc.
14. Invest in Mobile
Investing in mobile is one of the main e-commerce marketing strategies. 2014 was the year of overtaking mobile traffic over desktop traffic. It goes without saying, therefore, that with the constant rise of access to the web via smartphones and tablets, companies must pay more attention to the browsing experience through these means. Those who haven’t done so yet risk falling back in the SERP rankings and losing more than half of potential customers. The configuration recommended by Google is the responsive design, which allows you to adapt the site to the type of device from which it is opened.
15. Create a Mobile App
Finally, staying on the subject of mobile, an excellent strategy to satisfy the large army of customers armed with smartphones is to develop a mobile app for e-commerce that is compatible with both iPhone and Android. The App can offer added value compared to the website. First, it loads faster, providing a better user experience. Secondly, it offers greater personalization, since it allows users to set their preferences at the outset in order to receive tailored content. Ultimately, building a well-designed and performing app is a great way to increase sales and grow your business.