E-commerce has taken over the marketing industry by its simple act of buying and selling products and services through online platforms to the next level.
Shopping online is an experience that helps an individual to save time and energy and is very beneficial for the end-users and brings good profits for the business.In 2019, the eCommerce industry was set to have an impressive growth compared to other marketing styles. The growth with sellings and buying goods and services was worth USD 3.53 trillion, according to Oberlo statistics.
While the projections for the upward growth of the eCommerce industry are promising, it all boils down to what they mean for your business.How can you make your online business reach newer heights, what new strategies can you incorporate to increase profits, achieve better brand recall, and get a higher consumer base?
To get answers to these questions, here is a list of strategies to grow your business this year.
Online marketing is one of the top places to sell products and services over the internet by using fewer resources compared to any other marketing style. It involves having to be creative and technical like designing, advertising, sales, and other marketing techniques on the internet.
#1. How to grow your eCommerce business?
1.1 Why is it important?
Ecommerce businesses have shifted to social media marketing/ online marketing as it reached the consumer faster than other marketing tools.
Social media is a huge industry that is highly popular among most of the well-established companies. It helps you sell products directly to the consumer without a middle man or having to give them a sales pitch which in fact saves a lot of time and money to the business.
Promoting your brand using online forums which are also known as digital marketing includes video channels, apps, banner ads on the websites, email marketing, and so on.
Digital marketing helps you increase brand awareness also to achieve your marketing objectives through self-replicating viral process word of mouth can be done by enhancing your network effects on the internet such as your website and social media platforms. Viral promotions can include flash games, ebooks, videos, and images, or even text messages or emails.Top rank companies such as Google, Tata Motors, Airtel and so on implement digital marketing as their strategies to achieve their goals. Some of these companies have evolved tremendously by growing their $27.1 billion in 2015 to over $50 billion in 2017 by using only search engine marketing.
Small businesses also find online networking to be very much valuable as an article from 2017 states that 60% of startups use social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter to market and promote their business brands and succeed.
1.2. Struggling with your E-commerce business?
Most of the eCommerce business owners seem to think that being a successful internet marketer is an easy way just by getting a website built and getting their own domain name does not conclude the success of any business. They could not be far farther from the reality of successful business brands.Being one of the successful internet marketing brands requires a lot of effort and self-discipline. By adopting some of the guidelines from the internet and books can be a meaningful move, however, just by reading articles and books does not solely provide them with enough knowledge on how to run a successful business.
Every business runs in a unique way by adapting various suitable techniques according to the business types. There is no magic button to push to have instant fame and success or massive traffic to million-dollar websites and social media platforms.
Digital marketing for any e-commerce business needs a lot of effort. It does not run in autopilot mode. It’s crucial to establish internet marketing tools and types that suit your brand.
We need a lot of researching processes to figure out marketing techniques suitable for your business. Building an eCommerce business takes time and process hence be prepared for the investment of time to achieve your success.
Some of the strategies that play an important role in running a successful business in 2020 are listed below.
- Identify and Learn About Your Customers
- Add Carefully to Product Portfolio
- Promote through Intelligent Content
- Implement Email Marketing
- Utilize Social Media Tools
- Mobile Compatibility
- Web Application Maintenance:
- Increase Trust & Credibility
- More Images, Better Desirability
- Become Logistically Sound
- Augment Customer Service
- Consider Outsourcing
#2. Omnichannel strategies
True omnichannel shopping goes beyond brick-and-mortar locations to mobile-browsing, online marketplaces, social media, and wherever your users browse online through retargeting ads.
Omnichannel retail doesn’t require you to be everywhere, just everywhere your customers are. This distinction is what separates top-performing enterprises from the rest.
Omnichannel retailing is a fully-integrated approach to commerce, providing shoppers a unified experience across all channels or touchpoints.
2.1 What is an Omni-Channel Strategy?
An omnichannel retail strategy is an approach to sales and marketing that provides customers with a fully-integrated shopping experience by uniting user experiences from brick-and-mortar to mobile-browsing and everything in between.Omnichannel is a tool of marketing cross channel content strategy that organizations implement to increase the user-friendly experience and mainly to drive a better relationship with their consumers across all platforms by uniting the user experiences from brick and mortar to browsing and everything in between.
2.2 Why Create an Omni-Channel Strategy?
The use of omnichannel experience can increase sales drastically. Having multiple channels as one point of contact, studies show that shoppers loved it when an integrated omnichannel experience was available by the eCommerce brands. The interaction with the customers by omnichannel experience was 4% more in the store than online.
According to a Harvard Business Review study, that analyzed 46,000 shoppers to determine what impact omnichannel retailing had on their shopping experience:
- 20% were store-only shoppers
- 7% of shoppers exclusively shopped online
- 73% used multiple channels
2.3 How to implement Omni-Channel Strategy for your eCommerce business?
- Firstly, analyze your business objectives and strategies for retail sales by figuring out which platforms or mediums are used by your customers on a daily basis.
- By using google analytics, you can filter out the popular channels for your business. They can give you a specific place by driving people to your site.
- Identify the marketing attribution or channels and campaigns that best deserve proper credit for driving the sales.
- Shopify Plus users will be able to add the attribution connector for step by step manual labour. It provides graphs, charts and provides data from advertising channels by comparing the customer’s activity and costs.
- Make Every Touchpoint Shoppable
- Bridge the Gap Between Online and Offline
#3. Cross-border CommerceCross border eCommerce is an online trade between a business brand and the direct consumer, between two businesses (like brands or wholesalers) or between two private people (for example customer to customer). In other words, cross border eCommerce is a trade that happens between B2C, B2B, C2C.
It’s said that eCommerce has gathered a lot of momentum in the last two years as the purchase made by the consumers from outside the border has increased.
3.1 Advantages of Cross-border Ecommerce
Cross border e-commerce helps you sell products and services online to different countries out of your border. It helps you to make more profit by selling overseas and also helps you gain brand awareness. Introducing your product to new markets it helps you increase the sales and revenue of your business.
3.2 Risks of cross border eCommerce
Although it’s a huge turn over to introduce your products to a new market it also comes with a challenge whether there is a need or demand for your product in the new marketplace? How will you handle the returns? Would you be able to ship to the given countries?
3.3 How to create a cross border e-commerce strategy for your eCommerce business
The most effective strategy that can be adopted is by adding new market places within your current selling online platforms such as Amazon, eBay, and so on.
Some of the steps that can help your strategies your success in cross border e-commerce business are :
#4. PPC Advertising
4.1 Paid advertising strategy
- Google Ads – Google ads is a marketing tool that offers paid advertising which appears on search results on google.com with the use of ads that appear also on websites through display network and google Adsense program.
- Facebook Ads – Facebook ads are similar to Google ads which in turn means both platforms help you advertise your product and service by promoting their business through the internet. However, while Google ads help you find new customers while facebook helps new customers to find you.
- Instagram Ads – Instagram ads are ads that focus on stories or posts that a business pays to promote. Unlike Google ads and Facebook ads, Instagram provides feeds to the customers that look similar to the regular posts with sponsored labels on the post. It also includes the call to action that drives the traffic and conversation among the followers.
4.2 What to choose between these PPC Platforms?
PPC platforms work on the same rule that is to promote the business in any shape or form on digital platforms. Although we have many PPC platforms to choose from these steps mentioned below will help you make the decision easier.
Steps for creating an effective PPC campaign:
- Defining Your Ideal Target Audience
- Finding the Right Optimized Keywords and Phrases for Your Business
- Expanding Your Exposure and Reach
- Identifying the Actual Costs of a PPC Campaign
4.2.1. Defining Your Ideal Target Audience
Just by using basic SEO techniques and a barebones content strategy will get you many random visits on your website. But as a business that’s trying to grow, you don’t want random visits but genuine leads. Converting those leads to returning customers starts with finding and segmenting your customers.
You can narrow down your target audience by creating a customer profile. This is the persona of our ideal customer – a person who is actively looking for your products and services.
4.2.2. Finding the Right Optimized Keywords and Phrases for Your BusinessFinding the right keywords will help to identify your target audience and reaching out to them a lot easier. Your customers should be able to find you in search engine results pages and that’s the goal. Long-tail keywords that are phrases made using three to four or more words are ideal for new businesses.
Researching the keywords competitors are using by analysing their metatags and using those in your eCommerce content is also recommended. There are many keyword research tools like SEMrush and Google Trends that help out with this. These reveal statistics about search volumes, trending keywords, and keywords that are new and not very popular yet.
4.2.3. Expanding Your Exposure and Reach
Search Engine Optimization for your website and blog posts will no doubt do wonders for your engagement and reach. But optimizing every element and the visuals that go into creating your email lists will also work. Growing eCommerce brands have mastered this craft by tweaking every element on their website. Marketers work on the content copy and make It persuasive enough for audiences to reach.
The goal should be to add value to your content and not merely push sales. Create high-quality posts and use hashtags in relevant places for your content. The CTAs, fonts, size, placement and designs for online sign-up forms and mailing lists will influence overall engagement and reach as well.
4.2.4. Identifying the Actual Costs of a PPC Campaign
PPC campaigns help you generate revenue for every sale you make for every click. For example, for every 1 dollar, you spend on your campaigns you might be looking to generate a revenue of $5 per sale.
Google Ads has a keywords planner that will help you identify your target keywords and set the budget for your bids. There are many ways to determine your monthly PPC budget after you’ve decided on how many leads you want.
4.3 How to Create a PPC Strategy for your eCommerce business?
Good PPC campaign strategies can drive traffic to your website in hours and not months, unlike inbound marketing efforts. Google displays ads at the top of search engine rankings that are relevant, offer high-value, and target the right keywords. If you use the right PPC strategy for your business, you will be getting this right.
Here are a few tips that will help you ramp up PPC eCommerce campaigns.
- Think about where to advertise
- Keep your shopping feeds up to date
- Setup proper eCommerce tracking
- Optimize your shopping ads
- Focus on Quality content
- Stay competitive.
4.3.1. Think about where to advertise
Over billions of dollars are made in sales through Google alone. You can target any niche as long as it has keywords with high commercial or purchase intent. However, Google’s not the only PPC advertising network. Marketers find that Bing and Yahoo give pleasant results too with lower costs per click for every campaign. A WordStream research indicated how Bing fared better than Google by achieving the same results but with a lower cost per click value.
4.3.2. Keep your shopping feeds up to date
Make sure the data in your shopping feeds adhere to Google’s Ad data feed specifications. Optimize your product titles, check the descriptions and make sure the images used are of high quality. Your product inventory should be up-to-date and if you need quick tips on how to update your shopping feeds.
4.3.3. Setup proper eCommerce tracking
eCommerce tracking is a feature inside Google Analytics that lets you analyse the various metrics like bounce rates, sales, billing locations, etc., with your website data.
4.3.4. Optimize your shopping ads
Shopping ads should be optimized based on the level of commercial intent the target audience has. There are just so many areas to cover in this but the best way to go about it is by reading up on Google Shopping Campaign optimization strategies.
4.3.5. Focus on Quality content
If your content doesn’t deliver value to your target audience, Google won’t show it. Make sure what you present in your ad copy and blog posts are unique and free of any plagiarism. High-quality content often includes backlinks, reports/statistics, and show evidence through testimonials and reviews.
4.3.6. Stay Competitive
Top eCommerce brands are established authorities in their respective niches. Staying competitive in the eCommerce market means being unique and not the same as your competition.
Automate your marketing campaigns and stay up-to-date with the latest consumer and technology trends for this. And narrow down your product/service niche as much as possible.
#5. Affiliate Marketing
This is a model where a company pays a third party, called an affiliate, to generate leads to the company’s services and products.
If you don’t know yet much about affiliate marketing then you should check our affiliate marketing for beginners complete guide. Also here is a list of 65+ affiliate marketing high paying programs that can inspire you. Now you should know enough about affiliate marketing so check the best 21 affiliate marketing networks you can signup.
5.1 Does Affiliate marketing work now?
Yes, affiliate marketing still does work. The things online might change but the basics remain the same.
Most successful eCommerce stores using Affiliate marketing. Amazon, eBay, The Home Depot, Zappos, and other well-known online sales platforms are now a reference for those who want to try affiliate marketing.
Affiliate Program can be very helpful to reach out to your eCommerce business :
- Direct Sales: Earn a commission from the traffic that drives a sale.
- Leads: Earn commissions for form submissions, content downloads, social media follows, email sign-ups, etc.
- Clicks: An advertiser looking to generate a large amount of traffic might pay an affiliate on a cost-per-click basis.
5.2 How to implement an affiliate marketing strategy for your eCommerce business?
There are many affiliate marketing tools you can use to grow your business like Radius, Rakuten and Amazon. You can make a solid affiliate marketing strategy to attract more affiliates who would want to work with you and promote your brand. Here are some ways to do that.
5.2.1. Indirectly grow your sales team
Using indirect sales channels is an effective way to grow your sales team. If your product has received good feedback and doesn’t require a lot of research to use, you can partner with different websites and market them through those.
5.2.2. Improve customer loyalty
Offering promo codes during signups, email newsletters and promotional offers that align with their interests are good ways to build customer loyalty. Automate your email campaigns, give samples and free referrals, and delight your audience from time to time to help them stay interested.
5.2.3. Multiple paths to conversion
Looking into analytics and reviewing every stage of the buyer journey will help you optimize multiple paths to conversion. All the elements on your website, from the landing page to the items and shopping cart – these are multiple paths to conversion.
The goal of website optimization is to get your leads take the next step to conversion throughout the different stages of the sales funnel.
5.2.4. Better budgeting and ROI
You can budget better by optimizing your bids and allocating higher budgets for eCommerce strategies that are doing well. This ensures higher ROIs but you have to define your KPIs before that. Good KPIs for PPC and affiliate marketing campaigns are click-through rates, cost per click and Google’s quality score.
5.2.5. Enhance credibility
Enhancing your credibility lets you stand out from the crowd and be genuine in your business. Leverage user reviews, testimonials, comments, and put these up on your website and Instagram feeds. You can ask influencers in the industry to guest post on your blog or write about your brand to establish more credibility and authority in your niche.
It’s important to remember and implement the given strategies for your growing business to step in the right direction and to achieve your goals by adopting these digital marketing tools and ideas.