Ecommerce Marketing For Beginners
Ecommerce marketing is a relatively new term for many Australian business owners. Ecommerce refers to the sale of goods from an online store opposed to a physical brick and mortar retail store. A physical retail store can also participate in ecommerce, this just requires the ability to sell products online.
Selling one product or multiple products, it doesn’t matter ecommerce works for every business that wants to sell online. Having a physical product does not limit you from selling it online, in fact it doubles that opportunity of selling the product.
Running a business in the physical world is much different from running the same business online. When we provide suggestions to store owners about optimising for their UX or user experience we see a lot of blank faces. To simplify this Ill use an image below.
Simplified website product navigation
Why this type of navigation menu works very well in ecommerce is because it uses:
- Clean images of each product type
- Image & Text combination
- Simple comparison at a glance
- Types of products are easily defined
You should avoid confusing your visitors by providing a very simple to use product navigation menu for experienced browsers and those new to shopping online.
HOW CAN YOU MARKET YOUR STORE ONLINE
One of the biggest problems businesses face is getting exposure for their online products.
The storefront used to be the prime real estate when it came to selling products and services. People are online and shop online, the biggest shift in business transactions has come from online sales.
Digital marketing is not suitable for every type of business, but it is a benefit to most businesses. How you market in the real worlds is slightly different when marketing online. Search trends for products can be impacted by several factors and will change over time, products can go through popularity cycles and seasonal cycles. Knowing your products peak performance metrics can help you know when to spend on paid advertising and really scale your Ecommerce business.
Understanding the customer acquisition discovery funnel.
TYPES OF MARKETING SUITABLE FOR ECOMMERCE
- Influencer Marketing
- Using social media
- Paying for Facebook Ads
- Google Product Ads (shopping)
- Search Engine Optimisation
- Email Marketing
- Gamification using Quizzes, spinners and surveys
This isn’t the exhaustive list of what works for ecommerce businesses but it is a very solid starting point. Truly successful ecommerce stores have a well-defined lead magnet and sales funnel in place to cycle customers through their products maximising the spend per customer.
Using these methods of digital marketing, ecommerce stores will see an increase in sales and bring customers back for more sales.
We suggest a mixture of paid ads and SEO for organic growth to get a real solid foundation for all stores selling online.
Steps To Take Before Launching A Digital Marketing Campaign
Branding and brand identity are key in standing out in a crowded marketplace. Customers forget brands that sell the same thing with no memorable feature extension or unique selling position.
Brands lead the way in customer acquisition and retention, not all brands are the same. Brands that are memorable and provide quality products and supportive customer assistance grow at double even triple the rate of brands that are still identifying their identity, audience and setting up processes and systems.
Referring back to a very prominent comment made earlier you need to know what sells and what doesn’t sell. The key products that you want to promote should be products that make you money, are higher revenue and are somewhat popular with your brands audience.
A key component of ecommerce marketing working for a brand is a growing social following. Another key metric is to analyse website traffic using direct brand search on Google & social media platforms. Understanding your audience, who they are, where they hang out online and how you can engage with them is crucial in a online marketing campaign.
Integrated Ecommerce Store Functions
To enhance the user experience and customer acquisition for your ecommerce store, there are several (hundred) integrations that can be used. The main goal before going overboard with these integrated apps and functions is, What do you want to achieve.
This section of ecommerce marketing can be an expanded section on its own. Software and technology are changing and adapting to consumer needs. The ecommerce store of the future if not the now, includes full API integration for almost all online softwares. API’s allow for an extended functionality of the main platform, for example adding email marketing and responding functions from Mailchimp.
Ecommerce store popular integrations
- Email Marketing
- Coupons and Contests
- Shipping & Handling Automation
- Stock & Inventory Automation
- Product Reviews
- Subscribers & Optin Forms
What Platforms Work With Ecommerce
Having quality products to sell is not a problem, the bigger problem is where you can sell them from. The ecommerce CMS or content management system is the backbone of the ecommerce selling platform.
Types of ecommerce platforms:
My preference for ecommerce content management systems is as follows:
WordPress with WooCommerce can be a very robust pairing and I do recommend WordPress websites for ecommerce stores of any size. It does get tricky at the 200,000 product range mark. The functionality of WordPress allows for almost any combination or integration to be setup. I do highly recommend this CMS for ecommerce store builds.
Magento CMS I recommend for ecommerce brands that have 8,000+ SKU’s the bigger the product list the more I would recommend that Magento be the platform of choice it can handle huge product lists and is built for enterprise level stores. The marketplace behind Magento allows for even more functionality making Magento a real beast for ecommerce.
The Shopify platform is a very easy to use platform handy for businesses with 20 product up to 3,000. I dont recommend this platform for stores with a bigger SKU list than 3,000 as Shopify’s greatest functionality can easily become its biggest flaw. The bigger the inventory the bigger the headaches is my experience with large ecommerce stores running on Shopify.
I’m really excited about where Shopify is heading after seeing Shopify Unite 2019. They are one to watch, the app ecosystem is growing extremely fast and isn’t slowing down. Shopify is more of a total ecommerce marketing platform than the others that require more modifications (plugins or extensions) to allow a similar amount of marketing offerings as the out of the box Shopify plan.
Australian retail can expect some fierce competition in 2018 from American behemoth Amazon setting up for business on Australian soil. The way businesses can grow sales and scale revenue potential is by incorporating ecommerce into their existing business.
Online retail is booming right now and set to increase as technology improves. Australian consumers primarily have been buying from brands and Ebay, This will change drastically when US giant Amazon opens its doors in Australia in early 2018. We predict a shift towards Amazon as the preferred marketplace online once this happens. Plan ahead and ask us how you can use Amazon to work with your business
You own an ecommerce store, and sell amazing products that help people. The problem is that you fall into one or all of these categories
• Website visits and no sales
• Products added to cart but no sales
• People buy and don’t return
• Bad reviews as customers don’t know how to use the product
This is a common occurrence and one that can be fixed by applying some attention to your ecommerce store. This may be in the form of the website build, website design, product listing, buy buttons and customer journey or come in the form of email marketing and attracting the customer back to your store after purchase.
In order to set a good foundation for your online store, you need a good store front. You should ideally have an online store, that attracts buyers and presents your products clearly. The quality of your website hosting plays a big factor in the buyer experience, imagine that your page loads in 9 seconds but your competitors page loads in 2 seconds. I hate to be that guy but, I would be spending my money with your competitor and not watching the load icon on your store.
Once you have A grade hosting sorted you need to look at a good website design that incorporates something called user experience and user interface. Ensure that visitors can navigate the ecommerce store with ease and find products easily.
Product Image Tips
• Clean & Clear
• Multiple Angles
• Highlight Product Features
Provide visitors with a clear reflection of the image that you are selling, it often helps to have an image of that product being used by a person and not a stock image but an actual person.
The image below is clean and clear, this product listing only required 1 image to display the message to the buyer.
Make Great Product Pages
One of the first steps you need to make is to ensure that your product pages are convincing enough for people to buy. A good tip is to make it easy for users to browse your website so that they can easily find new products wherever they may be.
The Baymard Institute recommends utilising breadcrumbs that are based both on your product hierarchy and history. Another way you can improve your product pages is by having catchy, optimised titles. This is one way you can ensure your pages will rank in search while also helping shoppers find what they need.
You may also use video to inform your shoppers how your product works and how it looks like in action. Product descriptions can also be used to fulfil the same role, albeit by text. The trick here is to craft your own unique product descriptions so users won’t be bored with them. Your product listings should reflect the benefits of the product and what problem the product solves. Describe the product in a summary overview, and the technical markup of the product as well. Doing this covers the basic information interest but you should also include some more beneficial information about the product including best uses, pro’s and con’s to help reassure customers.
Here are some other ways you can enhance your product pages:
- Use product details so you can flesh out specifications
- Take advantage of reviews, ratings, views and likes so you have social proof of your products’ popularity
- Give them the right price (more on this next)
Optimise Your Product Pricing
You need to set the right price for your products or no one will be interested in buying. There are several techniques you can employ so you can earn more. Here are some that can make solid changes immediately.
Are you aware that putting two products side by side can improve the chances of sales for the product that is priced lower? If you’re having trouble selling your items, you can put them in an image together with another, more ‘premium’ version. The idea here is to let people see the value in the lower-priced item so they will prefer it over others.
Include a Good CTA
You have to tell your visitors to buy if you want them to do so in the first place. This is why it’s crucial to prepare a good call to action (CTA). Make sure your CTA makes use of action words and lets people know what to do next. You can inform them by putting an “Add to Cart” or a “Get This Item” message next to your products.
If you have your CTA on a button, ensure that its colour stands out so it is easily visible to readers.
There are times when users will simply feel overwhelmed by the options that are presented to them. That is why on your pricing page, it’s important that you keep your copy brief and your preferred choice highlighted to minimise this as much as possible.
Use Charm Pricing
Another tactic in ecommerce to get more sales is to apply charm pricing. Making use of numbers that end in 9 can enhance conversions and even double them at times. You can test this out first by trying different versions of a product and see which of them is preferred more by your customers.
Take Advantage of Live Chat
Live chat is also a great idea for pricing. This is because people will have the opportunity to discuss any inquiries with a real brand representative. One study, in fact, reveals that having the ability to ask presale questions increases conversions by up to 38%.
Some additional ways you can optimise your pricing include:
- Highlighting the benefits of your products
- Offering your visitors with free trials
- Developing trust with secure payment logos and trust seals
The ability to personalise has become a popular topic in the world of ecommerce. Personalisation means that you want to show your customers customised content and offers that are relevant to them. You can base this off of data from the web and social analytics which shows who they are, what their preferences and which areas of your website they have visited.
Highlight Related Items
A great way to increase revenue on your other items is to have a shortcut that highlights recommended or related products that you have. Research shows that 68% of ecommerce revenue is obtained by recommending other products to users using the language “visitors who viewed this product also viewed”.
Modify Site Navigation
You can be smart with your personalisation by adjusting your site’s navigation depending on the interests of your visitors.
Customise Marketing Emails Depending on Behaviour
You can change your ecommerce marketing even as people leave your website. What you can do is to modify emails so that they will show users about products and deals related to what they have browsed on your site.
Optimise for Mobile
An ecommerce channel that you don’t want to ignore is its mobile aspect. This is because there are now more people using mobile devices compared to desktops. This is also a critical way for people to research products and services they are interested in.
That is why improving your mobile conversion rate is a must. Here are some tips to do just that:
Increase Site Speed
Mobile users don’t have a lot of time on their hands and if your website takes more than three seconds to load, many of them will leave. An important aspect to look into is the render start time of your website – which is how long it will take for your first content to show up properly. Websites that have a good render time can improve engagement by up to 50% compared to slower websites.
Other tips to speed up your site can include using a responsive team, checking your speed using Google’s checker and leveraging a caching plugin to serve content faster.
Take Advantage of Videos
Many consumers are watching videos with their mobile devices so taking advantage of this avenue is a smart choice. Using explainer and product videos make for a good start. You can also use a video popup to grab user attention.
Enhance Mobile Search
Mobile SEO is an essential part to gain conversions. With the mobile-first index from Google, this is definitely something you don’t want to miss out on. Some things you can do include:
- Optimising page titles and descriptions so it is responsive for mobile search
- Finding search terms that mobile users inquire about and then integrate these into your content
- Optimise your content for voice search
Deploy the Upsell Technique
Upselling is a tactic that has been proven time and time again to increase revenue in ecommerce. Once a visitor is comfortable to buy one of your products why shouldnt they want to buy 2 products or more. McDonalds has been doing this method for years and they do it better than anyone else.
Some of the places you might want to use the upsell offer:
- During checkout
- After checkout
- On your product page
It’s also possible to upsell to your existing customers. In fact, it can be easier to sell to current customers compared to new ones. Aside from that, targeted recommendations are known to bring about at least a 30% increase in revenue.
In order to upsell effectively, you need to ensure that you’re showing why the upsell is a great deal. Besides that, you also have to get the price right and leverage social proof as much as you can. This brings us to the biggest gapping hole in any ecommerce business, the shopping cart.
Minimise Cart Abandonment
One of the major problems that ecommerce retailers face today is shopping cart abandonment and bringing people back into the sales funnel. A study by the Baymard Institute notes that the average abandonment rate sits at 69%. Even if this may seem like normal, any business would still want to make this better and earn more. That is why this is an aspect that needs to be optimised as much as possible.
The following are some tried and tested techniques to reduce cart abandonment.
Get Rid of Surprises
Shoppers who are ready to check out hate surprises, especially those that come with an additional cost. Shipping expenses, among others, are among the main reasons why people abandon shopping carts. So if possible, try to offer free shipping as it is one of the best incentives you can give to users as they shop online.
Have Multiple Payment Options
Another big turn off when you’re about to buy something is finding out later on that the retailer doesn’t accept the payment option you desire. If you have several payment options, however, you can increase your conversions up to three times.
The most popular payment options are credit cards, debit cards, PayPal and cash. You should also look into mobile payment solutions as they are growing in popularity as well.
Make Your Cart Visible
Another approach in keeping potential purchases from straying is to have a persistent cart. This allows your shoppers to see this wherever they are on your website. It also acts as a reminder that they have items they were interested in buying earlier. A good way of doing this is to simply have a cart icon at the top of the page.
Offer Checkouts for Guests
Quite a lot of shoppers get turned off with the idea of having to sign up to shop. What you can do instead is to offer them a guest checkout process. Allow people to buy whatever they want and later offer them the chance to have their information saved for easier processing. After all, shoppers will be more open to this after successfully purchasing something.
Send Out Emails
One way you can get people to finish their purchase is to remind them that they have something in their cart. Abandonment emails work great if you have the chance to get their email addresses. However, you will want to plan how frequent you send these out to avoid being annoying.
Making the purchase function smooth and hassle free is one way to increase conversions. One tip from Be Media, is to consider being mobile responsive in your ecommerce website design.
Especially for the checkout cart buyer journey, minimising hoops that buyers need to jump through increases money spent in your store.
An absolute MUST is having a secure shopping cart, our web team suggests moving to a secure version of your website if you take online transactions on your ecommerce store. Taking a proactive step towards secure shopping by using https or HyperText Transfer Protocol helps show shoppers you are serious about protecting their data.
Taking that extra step paves the way for more trust with not only shoppers but with Google. Using an SSL or also known as Secure Socket Layer increases protection of consumers data during the transaction process.
If you are confident that your ecommerce store represents your brand confidently, well done and kudos to you. The next step you should consider is investing in digital marketing services mentioned in this beginners guide. Increase the online visibility of your ecommerce store and improve your product listings for maximum exposure.
Taking action on this advice places your store on a solid foundation for growth.
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