It’s the time of the year when we see the Internet flooded with trends and crystal ball predictions on what the future of e-commerce marketing will look like in the coming year. While there is a lot of excitement and anticipation, most of us forget to follow up on these market predictions.
With this in mind, we thought of giving e-commerce marketers a tried and working list of tips that will help them stay ahead of the changing trends, and more importantly, interact better with their audiences and have a great marketing year in 2017.
- Personalized brand experience – If you’re an online retail brand, your website and your mobile app are your most important assets. Almost all of your customer transactions will happen out there. Beginning right after a visitor lands on your website, till the time the customer receives the product and even after that create a positive experience. Convert the “virtual” into the new “real” by adding a personal touch to your products and services. For example, sending a one-line written note with each delivered product is a pleasant gesture and makes your customers feel really special. Using a recyclable branded packaging to deliver goodies may encourage the customer to preserve the package. Even your ads and marketing communication must be super-personal (we mean beyond the first name). Include relevant offers and recommendations and connect better with your users across touch points. Here’s an example of super-personalized Push Notifications sent to a user across desktop and mobile.
From website load times, to product images CIO gives you 12 ways to enrich user experience on your website.
- Create how-to videos of products to increase customer interest levels – Video consumption has been on the rise since the last couple of years. We expect this trend to catch up and take new shapes this year. Nobody’s got time to read up lengthy manuals. But a nicely created and interactive video will do this job well. Include embed product videos to describe key features, usability and storing instructions. This will simplify purchase decisions for shoppers and will encourage repeat customers to your website or app. Here’s one such video. For more examples, check out this list by Big Commerce
- Develop an effective content marketing strategy – It is important to keep your audiences engaged and especially for e-commerce brands it makes total sense to stay in touch with drop-offs, new visitors and buyers. Focus on creating engaging content for your users. Pick the right channels that gives you access to high-intent users, this could include offline channels as well. Pick the right online channels to help you target wider audiences while they are light on your budget. Emails, Push notificationsfor website and apps, display ads, Facebook are some ways to do this. Constantly update your website and app content. Make your home page interactive and super-fresh. Simply put, your website and app should be be able to meet your customers’ needs. A well-thought content strategy can bring in 3X more leads at 62% lesser costs says Lemonstand.
- Localize – When you are a part of the e-commerce business, it essentially means you will be virtually interacting with people across the globe. Therefore, it is a great idea to be able to make your website and push notifications translate product descriptions into different languages, so that customers who may not be comfortable in English will also be able to learn about the products and buy them. Moreover, this will leave a positive impact in the minds of customers, who will rate your website very highly for being customer-centric. This also ensures your marketing channels, such as browser push notifications, guarantee maximum reach and impact by resonating well with your customers.
- Keep updating your product line – User interests are constantly changing and to keep pace with that, e-commerce businesses must refresh their product lines frequently. Use the data that’s gathered on your website and app to understand trends in user interests, shopping patterns, price points and so on. For example, your online sale of smartphones might have been a big hit in 2016, but doe that mean that 2017 will generate the similar or greater revenue on smartphones? A customer who bought three smartphones in 2016 may be looking forward to get a good deal on smart TVs in 2017. Understanding these trends will help you stay ahead of competition all through 2017. This article by Entreprenuer talks about how a good e-commerce platform could help you achieve this.
- Increase discussions and social media engagement –
Writing blogs on age-old traditional topics of retail business, or creating ad campaigns to promote your products and services might be too mundane for customers to spend time on. If you want to catch their attention, you need to think out of the box. For example, you could start an online discussion about the positive impacts of protectionist policies on e-commerce within a particular country or talk about what you think will be top selling products during the next holiday sale. Sharing not selling s the key to a successful social media strategy says Magento.
- Reward your loyal customers – It’s always cheaper to drive repeat purchases rather than new users. Remember that customers that are loyal to you are there for a reason. They probably like your products, the convenience of buying, timely delivery, your exchange policy. It is important to understand why users love you so much and continue to perform well on that. You must also surprise loyal customers with complementary products, additional discounts and festive gifts. A hand-written note thanking them for being a repeat customer can really melt some hearts. Retain users that love you and bring more users into that group.
- When it comes to social media, be omnipresent – To grow your customer base, you must concentrate on building your valuable presence on all social media platforms. Do not be indifferent to any medium since you never know which customer of yours uses which facet ofsocial media. When you are sharing a post on Facebook, let the same message be shared on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and so on, though it may change from text to a graphic to an image etc. This way you can ensure none of your social media-savvy customers lose out on any information.
This article by Volusion tells you more about using different social channels to grow your ecommerce business.
- Maintain an SEO-optimized webpage – SEO is easier said than done. Most companies push SEO activities to the backburner and try to focus on direct revenue-generating actions. But like we all know, ranking among the top five websites for your category of e-commerce business on any search engine page is a constant challenge for e-commerce retailers, especially when there are new e-commerce companies mushrooming everyday. Follow ethical SEO practices diligently and keep updating your Google AdWords account regularly to drive relevant users to your website and consequently grow your website sales. Similarly focus on App Store Optimization and ratings that will help user spot your app easily. SEO for apps are something you cannot ignore if you are looking at growing your mobile user-pool. PracticalECommerce has some useful advice for this.
Got any more tips you would like to share? Drop us a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below