What is eCommerce Marketing? and right way of doing it!
While offline retailers are going on the downward momentum and eCommerce retailers are rising at an exponential scale, the question that comes up with anyone pitching their concepts to VC or an Angel Investor is “Brand Marketing Strategy”. And not many have the option of choosing to do any kind of marketing without investing a bulk of their funding to their eCommerce marketing. Offline marketing falls into the 3 categories – TV, Print and OOH, while a select few products could also be synthesized through activation campaigns.
The traditional routes could entirely be ignored by the new-age etailers if the background work on your target group is done correctly. The online route is a vast and largely unstructured sector with too many options to choose from. Choosing the right platform for eCommerce marketing and strategizing your spend is the key to beta-line development of your eCommerce portal. eCommerce marketing starts from the very moment your portal goes live. Every strategic move you make and every social media button you add on your website is a factor that contributes to monetization. Read on to find out what entails a good eCommerce marketing campaign.
What is eCommerce Marketing?
eCommerce marketing is the universal super set of all digital marketing campaigns. With the goal to drive the target group towards an online shopping website, eCommerce campaigners can employ social media, emails and Search Engines to various degrees to serve this very purpose. A good eCommerce marketing campaign is an all-encompassing journey that strategies its spend on a step-by-step basis on any, either or all three forms of online marketing. A good marketing strategy is essentially entrenched in the history of the brand.
If you are well set up on one social platform and mostly sold your products through Facebook or Instagram and are now looking to expand, your growth story will evolve differently from someone who has the bandwidth to start with a website right away. It’s very important to inculcate the historic usage of social media from the conception of the brands. Unlike traditional marketing strategies, eCommerce techniques are readily available for you to view on various dashboards- it’s up to you to choose what will work best for you further. Leveraging this freedom to choose is what makes you write your own eCommerce marketing Playbook instead.
A good campaigner knows that you not only have to personalize your campaign for the end-user but also personalize the strategy to suit your brand best, to see the best results.
eCommerce marketing campaigns
When it comes to eCommerce marketing, there’s really no dearth of stories. However, only a few brands can claim to be the story-makers behind successful marketing campaigns- an example of this is tech giant Apple. Consistent in their marketing strategies, Apple has built for itself a set of loyal evangelists through end-to-end seamless customer experience, clean and functional websites, youth programs where young people are taught to code and much more. Even their organization is structured rigidly so that nothing goes awry- marketing and sales teams are organized based on customer segment rather than the product itself because a student will use a Mac Book Pro in a completely different way when compared to an SME.
Closer home, Indian eCommerce businesses like StalkBuyLove have chosen influencers to market their products and have even put out collections curated by these influencers, as had Spoyl. Many brands, following in ASOS’s footsteps, have taken to uploading user-generated content like photographs and videos on social media and blogs as a part of their larger marketing campaigns- this not only evokes trust in potential customers, but also encourages more people to create such content and drive an even bigger conversation around the brand.
A word to the wise- eCommerce marketing is a vast and often confusing branch of marketing. Being well-versed in every basic eCommerce marketing terminology is the first, most important step towards actually building a blueprint for yourself to put into action and use on your eCommerce business.
eCommerce marketing methodology
There’s never a fixed eCommerce marketing strategy that fits all- therefore, your methodology will most likely be a hodge-podge of the best techniques out there that will guarantee you high ROI, increased sales conversions and whatever else your goal is. There are several eCommerce marketing methodologies to choose from, and these include:
This essentially involves producing written content, photos, videos, infographics and the like to engage consumers on various platforms like blogs and social media to increase leads and conversions as well as start a conversation around your brand. While the costs are relatively low, the time taken for content marketing strategies to bear fruit is long and can be quite frustrating. However, it is one of the most important strategies out there.
With this, you reach out to potential customers, in their inboxes, with content, discounts and other offers that they will find interesting. A good email marketing campaign always leads a reader to click on the call-to-action button and engage with your business platform.
SEO and Pay-per-Click Advertising:
While the others take good old hard work to bear fruit, PPC Advertising is often quicker though not ideal for businesses that are just starting out. The strategy involves paying for audience-targeted ads so that for each click you get on your website link, a fee is paid to the search engine host. SEO is more organic- it involves adding most searched and relevant keywords to your content so it’s more likely to show up on search engines for related searches.
So is there a right way to do eCommerce marketing?
In terms of specific strategies, no. But in terms of getting eCommerce marketing strategies to work well enough for your brand, yes. No eCommerce marketing playbook will ever tell you that you absolutely have to invest in one strategy, because there’s no knowing what will work for you. A clothing business will not have the same demands, goals and target audience as a men’s razor blade business so naturally, their strategies will be entirely different.
The best way to go about it is this- do not be afraid to cherry-pick from strategies and customize them to mold the most relevant marketing methodology for yourself. However, it is important to remember that, rather than spreading your cash out too thin, it is always better to invest in a marketing strategy that you are very sure will work for the products your selling, the kind of business you are, your target audience and of course, your budget. To be sure of what is a right fit, consult an eCommerce marketing plan from trusted sources online or, better still, have a professional agency design and execute the best strategy for your brand with you at the helm, so you can keep your hands free for other things and leave the marketing to the experts.
Important eCommerce marketing terms:
As mentioned before, it’s crucial to be armed with the meanings of the many terms being bandied about in the world of eCommerce marketing. Here’s a rundown of some important terms:
To build the right eCommerce strategy, you need to know your buyer- this is where ‘persona’ comes in. It is a group of people who demonstrate similar behavior while buying. The power of personas in eCommerce marketing cannot be understated- it is used to understand the motivations behind purchases of specific marketing segments to be able to tailor your strategy to the right persona. Gender, age, profession, financial capability, leisure time, interests and intent and crucial factors in determining a persona.
Return On Investment, or ROI of eCommerce marketing, is a method of measuring the efficiency and returns on an investment made. It’s a rudimentary strategy, but a brilliant one- by way of a simple formula, any business can identify which marketing strategy will give them more bang for their buck. It compares what you have after investment with what you might have if you haven’t made that investment. If this percentage is in the positive, you’re in the clear- it means your strategy is working.
Key Performance Indicators are milestones or touchstones businesses use to compare their performance relative to a goal. KPIs vary between businesses- for some, it might be the click-through rates while for others it might be cart abandonment percentages. Either way, KPI for eCommerce marketing is crucial to measure the progress of eCommerce business, set future goals and action on setbacks.
Return on Ads spend is quite similar to ROI in that it measures returns on investments. In this case, it refers to ad campaigns where there’s money involved. Costs that should be factored in include listing costs, any partner costs, production costs, and affiliate costs. The most cost-effective strategy is the best for the business. If campaign A generates half the ROAS of campaign B but at half the price, campaign A is considered cost-effective.
The power of brands in eCommerce marketing is quite obvious- it provides the face to the name of your business. Branding involves the logo, colors, tagline, copy approach even tone of voice of your business and therefore, of its marketing campaigns. Brands help understand what businesses have to offer and aims to create a mental image associated with your business.
Some interesting eCommerce Marketing Statistics:
eCommerce is one of the most dynamic yet fast-growing industries in the world today; by 2040, 95% of sales will be made online . As generations expand, so does the number of people preferring to shop online rather than at brick-and-mortar stores- millennials and GenX spend 50% more time on online shopping than the older generations. This number is steadily growing across the world- 17.5% of retail sales across the globe will come from eCommerce businesses by 2021 . It’s been seen that in 2019 so far, a lot of major eCommerce players have invested big bucks in the three Cs- Content, Commerce and Community . More and more businesses are looking to establish a relationship with their clients and potential customers through social media, blog and video content and fostering a sense of community.
With the Growth of eCommerce marketing, eCommerce marketing statistics also come into play. It’s vital that these statistics be factored into marketing statistics, to ensure that you get the best out of what you’ve invested. From the importance of product videos to the reasons for cart abandonment, there’s a statistic for everything that may go right or wrong. Use these current and future-oriented stats to get the best bang for your buck in terms of marketing investments, target the right people and hold on to more loyal customers.
eCommerce Marketing Blueprint:
Marketing strategies are not one-size-fits-all. A step-by-step, clearly-outlined eCommerce marketing blueprint is essential for any eCommerce business to succeed. However, there are several tactics that apply across strategies, regardless of the kind of business you are. First off, build a brand identity, not just a store. Think of Apple- several people enjoy their products because of their service, their positioning as a top-dollar company with products for the higher levels of society. Have a customer service desk that’s competent and ready to answer queries (and the occasional insult). Pick the right strategies for you- instead of spreading your money out too thin, double the expense on channels that are fruitful. Above all, execute all of this flawlessly so that your business becomes not just a retail portal, but a good experience, too.
A very basic blueprint looks something like this:
Step-01: Choose your product:
This is quite challenging, but building a catalog of products is key in executing the next step, which is finding target keywords.
Step-02: Find your target audience:
You don’t want to be proverbially preaching to the choir. Make sure you know what section of audience you’re targeting based on your products, as this will serve as a base for almost every other strategy you will be putting in place.
Step- 03: Setting up your business:
This factors in every step from making a business plan and setting targets to naming your brand and choosing colors for your logo. Remember, every small detail has the potential to leave a lasting impact on your potential customer, so make it worth their while.
Step-04: Launch your business:
Promote, promise and sell your products so customers will remember you from the time of your launch- this crafts wonderful success stories.
An eCommerce marketing checklist is essential to your blueprint- it’s where you put theory to action, test different marketing strategies and make sure you’re doing it correctly.
In all, eCommerce marketing strategies and methodologies are the be-all-and-end-all of running an eCommerce business in a successful and goal-oriented manner.