It is not unusual for businesses to go through plateaus and declines. But the coronavirus pandemic has flipped the Irish economy in a manner that had not been imagined. The economy is expected to experience a recession of over 10% and unprecedented levels of unemployment. However, this is not the time for despair. Your business can survive the pandemic. Whether you are just starting out or have been in business for years, increasing your eCommerce sales will benefit your company.
eCommerce isn’t a new concept. It has been around for over two decades since Jeff Bezos founded Amazon in 1994. It has just peaked now as every business is moving online since physical contact restrictions were introduced to curb the spread of the virus. This means competition is even stiffer for online customers. You have to be always one step ahead of the competition. How do you outdo your competition and increase your eCommerce sales? That is what we will look at in this article.
Digital Marketing For eCommerce
First, let us look at a few digital marketing strategies for eCommerce websites. For you to increase your sales, you first need to bring in the traffic. That is where these digital marketing strategies come in. Let’s delve into them:
- Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is one of the best ways to attract organic traffic to your website. Social media platforms help you to connect with your audience and increase brand visibility. This does not mean that all the platforms are suitable for your business. Research on which platforms would best suit your business needs. For example, you can market your products on Facebook and link them back to your website. Creating a business page on Facebook can also help with boosting your reviews from customers.
A few social media marketing tips that can help include:
- Have a specific strategy for each platform as they work in different ways and serve different purposes.
- Consistently focus on your message. It takes time for your efforts to pay off.
- If possible, align your messaging to the trends on each platform for maximum efficiency and visibility.
- Create more and more video content.
- Partner with social media influencers to drive engagement.
- Involve all your employees in your social media marketing efforts.
- Don’t forget to measure and analyze the results and tweak your campaigns as necessary.
You might also want to consider paid social media advertising to improve visibility, engagement, and traffic back to your site.
- Content Marketing
Content will always be the centre of any SEO strategy. Your eCommerce serves more than just to sell your products. It also provides useful information to your audience that answers their questions. You do this through blogging and video marketing.
When it comes to content marketing, here are a few considerations to have in mind:
- Always optimize the product page copy for short, product-driven keywords including the name of the product.
- Perform keyword research. Voice search is also growing and you might want to research on how to optimize keywords for the same.
- Create high-quality engaging content that will enlighten your web visitors and help in making purchasing decisions. For example, a post “tips for planning a wedding” would be useful for a bride, the groom, and anyone else involved in the wedding preparations.
- Create guest posts on other websites. It helps in establishing yourself as an authority within your niche and improve your trustworthiness. It is also one of the ways of getting backlinks to your site.
- Create product-related video content for YouTube and other video platforms. These can be tutorial videos on how to unpack or use your products or an explainer video.
- Search Engine Marketing
Search engine marketing (SEM) refers to paid advertising to improve your brand’s ranking and visibility on the search engine results pages (SERPs). It involves the following:
- Pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns on Google AdWords.
- Display campaigns.
- Product-specific ads on platforms such as Google Shopping.
SEM allows you to pay for the top spot on the SERPs. But it will be accompanied by a banner indicating that the search result is an ad. Nonetheless, it puts your brand and products right in front of the user and increases your chances of getting traffic. According to Clutch, 33% of users click on paid search ads.
- Email Marketing
Email marketing is still the most effective form of digital marketing. You can automate your email marketing campaigns and set up a successful drip campaign that is customized to the customer’s stage in the sales funnel. The hardest part of email marketing is in building a quality email list. You should pay keen attention to how you build your email subscription list. It could make or break your email marketing efforts.
For an eCommerce website, you can use email marketing for two purposes. These are:
- After-purchase follow up- Customers can opt to receive emails during the checkout process. You can send a follow-up email after the product is delivered to show that you care beyond the sale. It helps with customer retention. You can also ask them to politely leave a review.
- Minimize shopping cart abandonment– Shoppers abandon their carts for a number of reasons. You can use email marketing to diagnose the problem and bring them back to complete the purchase. You can offer assistance to help them through the purchase journey or even recommend other related products.
You can also use affiliate marketing to help improve your sales. Affiliates are people, or even other businesses, that help to sell your products for an agreed commission. They use their platforms to help generate interest in your products.
Tips For Increasing Your eCommerce Sales
You need to not only get new customers coming to your eCommerce site but also retain the existing customer base. These proven tips will help increase your lead generation and rate of conversion:
- Define your sales cycle
No matter how many businesses you are in a particular niche, you all have unique business needs and customers. Knowing your customer base will enable you to define your sales cycle. How long does it take a customer to go through the sales funnel and make a purchase on your site? Understanding how your customers move through the sales funnel will help you to come up with effective strategies that make the purchase journey much better for them.
This will inform the decision on which platforms to advertise on, when to do retargeting campaigns, and how to structure your marketing efforts. You will need to do extensive research and testing to define your sales cycle.
- Provide helpful product descriptions
Product descriptions help customers to know what to expect of a product and reduce returns. They tell customers what the product is made of, its size, how best to use it, and other important information. For example, if you run a clothes stores then a size guide would be very helpful for your customers. Create a page for FAQs and maybe also include customer testimonials and reviews. You already know how powerful online reviews can be for your business. At least 72% of buyers won’t make a purchasing decision before they read reviews.
Product descriptions are not only beneficial to customers alone. They also help with your SEO strategy, especially if you include keywords. Higher SEO rankings mean increased brand visibility which improves lead generation and conversion.
- Let customers know what forms of payment you accept
Do you know how frustrating it is to get to the end of your purchasing journey then realize that your preferred payment option is not available? It only leads to abandoned carts and that is not a good thing for your business. So why not display the type of payment options available on your site? Be it PayPal, MasterCard, Visa, or any other payment option. This will help buyers know whether they need to recharge their PayPal or a credit card will do just fine.
If you accept credit cards, then adding the logos and security seals of the cards will give your customers the reassurance that their information is in good hands. It helps in building trust in the business.
- Show shipping costs
Being upfront with your customers in terms of shipping costs involved also helps to reduce cart abandonment. No one really wants to get to the end only to find that they can’t shoulder the shipping costs. At the start of the checkout process, let them know how much the shipping costs are. Even if you charge a flat rate.
Remember to also include how long it will take for delivery to get to them. If possible, provide a way for them to track the shipping.
- Give customers the option to keep shopping
Here’s an idea you might want to consider. Next to the “proceed to checkout” button, add a simple “continue shopping” button. Chances are they might continue browsing through your eCommerce site for anything they might have missed. But ensure that if they opt to continue shopping, it doesn’t interfere with their cart.
- Optimize your checkout process
Most businesses spend so much on building a functional eCommerce website then forget about the checkout process. They assume that at that point, the customer cannot turn back. Big mistake. A shoddy checkout process can make you lose customers. A smooth and easy checkout process increases your lead conversion rates. It shouldn’t be a long process that requires them to go through several buttons or web pages.
- Pay attention to the structure of your website
Most importantly, the structure of your website will determine whether you are getting sales or not. Is it easy for visitors to find information? How about the navigation? You should also ensure that your eCommerce is optimized for mobile shoppers. Over 20% of Irish consumers shop online via their mobile devices. When structuring your website, showcasing your top-selling items can help in giving the customers direction.
If necessary, update and upgrade your website. The government offers website grants that can help in upgrading your eCommerce website without having to dig deeper into your pockets. You can read more about the grants here.
Everything looks bleak at the moment. But all hope is not lost. eCommerce can bring back your sales and help you get back on your feet. These tips can help you to get started. But eCommerce marketing requires time and resources. If you are a small business, it can be strenuous to run other business activities while focusing on digital marketing at the same time. It is advisable to engage an experienced digital marketing agency to handle your online marketing needs.