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.
Understanding the customer acquisition discovery funnel.
TYPES OF MARKETING SUITABLE FOR ECOMMERCE
- Influencer Marketing
- Using social media
- Paying for Facebook Ads
- Google Adwords (shopping)
- Search Engine Optimisation
- Email Marketing
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.
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.
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.
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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