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E-Commerce Marketing Tips 2021

The Top 4 Strategies to Utilize 

E-commerce is digital marketing. This is because every aspect of online shopping needs creative visuals and copy to thrive in the competitive marketplace of e-commerce. Creative assets create impressions, and impressions lead to interest. Interest then leads to investigation, and investigation has the potential to lead to sales. 

In this ever-developing era of digital dominance, virtually everything that comes across a consumers’ screen can be leveraged to sell a product or service. This is where knowledge, strategy, and budget come in. There are a plethora of tools and avenues through which a product or service can be advertised online. The question is, which ones should you use? How? When? Of course, there are no simple answers to these questions. The digital landscape is constantly evolving, and every market is unique. However, we are confident that if you will focus on these strategies for your E-commerce marketing plan, you will be off to a successful start.

 1. Market Research

Research accounts for over 50% of any successful marketing strategy. And yet, it is all too often overlooked and poorly executed.

While there are hundreds of varying formulas out there of how to conduct proper market research, there is ultimately one primary goal: Determine EXACTLY what your customers need/want from you.

To reach this conclusion, you must thoroughly understand three things:

  • The Industry
  • The Consumer
  • The Competition

Analyze Your Industry

The industry market research should describe your industry’s current size, growth rate, and trends. When analyzing your industry, you will find information that adequately portrays the latest trends and provides insight on how to optimize your business to exceed the industry’s standards.

To get started on market research, here are some helpful resources that are updated annually:

  • Nielsen
  • Pew Research Center
  • MarketResearch.com
  • US Census Bureau

Understand Your Consumer

Once you have a firm grasp on the size, trends, and future of your industry, it’s time to get to know your consumer. This necessitates an understanding of the key demographics of the consumers in your market. 

A word of caution: Be sure to pinpoint the correct market. Your specific niche matters. For example, researching the internal makeup of consumers buying “exercise equipment” will produce far different results than researching consumers buying “weightlifting equipment”. If you proceed with researching consumers of a different market, your research will be useless, and your marketing strategy will render ineffective. Identifying the correct market is key to identifying and understanding your consumer.

 You must identify everything about the consumer in order to know how to best market to them. This includes their age, race, geographical location, socioeconomic standing, personal preferences, and even their past buying patterns.

     Here’s are some ideas to gather this information:

  • Consumer Surveys
  • Consumer Reports
  • Facebook Audience Insights & Other Platform Insights 

Research Your Competition

There will always be competition. And that’s a good thing! When properly researched, your competition will provide insight into how your company can improve processes, enhance designs, and increase overall productivity. To properly research your competition, you must begin by asking yourself these 5 questions:

How many competitors are in my market?

Who is the clear leader in my market?

How is my product/company different from its competitors?

What are my competitors’ strengths?

What are my competitors’ weaknesses?

Based on your findings, brainstorm with your team a long list of product ideas that you think would 1) serve customers better than the current competition, and 2) compel customers to switch from top competitors to your product.

 

2. Customer Experience – Make them say “WOW!”

  Online marketplaces are becoming exceedingly crowded. One key way brands can stand out is by building customer trust and confidence in your brand, while making their visit to your online store memorable.

  Exceeding customer expectations is no longer negotiable. It is absolutely necessary to “wow” your customers for your business to survive in the competitive waters of ecommerce. But the “wow” of your website doesn’t come from content overload, 10-step checkout processes, or making promises you can’t keep. Instead, focus on your message, your presentation, and your offers – they need to be enticing! Ultimately, your customers can drive your business if you listen to what they want and let them take charge with their feedback. 

Keep things clean, organized, and simple for your customer.

  According to a survey conducted by Small Business Trends, 94% of consumers say easy navigation is the most useful website feature. SBT continues, “A site which is easy to navigate allows users to find the content they’re looking for much faster. This means having a clear menu structure and the ability to navigate between pages quickly and efficiently.”

  In addition to making your online store easily navigable, the checkout process should be just as straightforward. According to a study, 46% of abandoned carts happen on the checkout page. Of that 46%:

  • 56% said it was because of unexpected shipping costs.
  • 25% said that navigating the website was too complicated and they didn’t know how to continue (or they no longer wanted to).
  • 21% said the process was simply taking too long and they left in frustration.

  These statistics shouldn’t be taken lightly. Be sure to simplify your customer’s UX experience. This will make your marketing assets more appealing and easier to grasp for the consumers

  Quick response time is critical. 

In today’s digital world of immediate search results and superspeed processing, it can be a major turn-off for consumers if they have to wait any more than 5 minutes for a response from customer service. There are all sorts of AI autoresponders out there to handle common support requests, and live chat add-ons that integrate with your website and social platforms. Find the software that works best for your company’s needs.

 

3. SEO

  Thorough research and a user-friendly website are absolutely worthless if you aren’t getting any traffic.

  SEO – Search Engine Optimization – is the practice of organically increasing traffic to your site through search engine results. The keyword here, of course, is “organically”. You don’t have to pay for SEO (like PPC). But instead, be clever with keywords to organically appear in searches. The most effective SEO tactics involve simply using the right words to promote your product or service. You can use analytics tools such as Google Analytics or Amazon Brand Analytics to find out which keywords are searched the most to find products in your market. Then, inject these keywords into your site or listing’s titles, product descriptions, photo captions, and URLs.

But don’t overdo it. Most online marketplaces will flag listings that appear to be fake or spammy.

4. Content Marketing

  Nothing beats killer content. Especially well-produced videos.

  According to a study conducted by Wyzowl, 93% of marketers who use video say that it’s an important part of their marketing strategy. 86% of video marketers say video has increased traffic to their website. 78% say video has directly helped increase sales.

  For brands selling physical products, we highly recommend putting together a well-illustrated “how-to” video. Unboxing videos are also effective in helping the viewer imagine what it would be like to acquire your product and make for good hype videos on social media.

For selling services, testimonials and step-by-step explainer videos are perfect for increasing consumer confidence.

  Whatever videos you make sure, make sure to embed them in your product page, and take advantage of the power of social media.

  But Video is only one type of content. There are all sorts of ways to convey your product or service to consumers. These include pictures, graphics, blogs, promotional ads and pop-ups, gift guides for the holidays, clear product descriptions, bulleted lists of features and benefits, comparative research of your product versus others like it, and more.

To Wrap up…

 Every business has unique marketing strategies they must implement to be successful. There are dozens of tools out there to give your brand more exposure and drive traffic to your website. You just need to find what works best for your company. It will undoubtedly take some dedicated time, resources, and research. But this process will be made simpler if you will focus on these 4 basic topics for your ecommerce marketing plan. For a free consultation on which strategies would work best for your business, contact Elemerce! 

Yours Truly,

The Elemerce Team

Best-Selling Products During the COVID-19 Era

The novel coronavirus has changed consumer shopping habits, maybe forever. Certain industries have seen a sharp decline in sales, while others saw a surprising spike, and many more are getting creative with how they market to customers and how they can pivot their product lines to meet the current market demand.

The largest growth has been in categories such as home appliances, home improvement, security and protection, sports and entertainment, and lights and lighting – essentially everything you would expect to spend money on if you were in sheltering-in-place and working from home.

What made the best-sellers list?

Here are some of the top products that have sold in the first half of 2020, as COVID-19 impacted the whole country.

  • Cleaning supplies: This is not a surprising best-seller. With everything from soap and disinfecting wipes to toilet paper and paper towels all selling out in physical and online locations across the country, the care and cleaning category has seen extreme demand during this time. The priority for many people has been cleanliness and comfort as the focus on health safety has grown.
  • Yeast: Some grocery stores and online suppliers have had a hard time keeping items in stock as more consumers picked up cooking and baking at home habits once going to sit down at restaurants was no longer an option. With fewer options for things to do outside of the house, many people took up baking, particularly things like bread, which drove up purchases of yeast way past the point of demand previously. Many stores were sold out for weeks.
  • At-home fitness equipment: Like many other businesses, gyms shut their doors for health and safety and people pivoted to working out at home. Items like kettlebells, resistance bands, hand weights, and pull-up bars all saw increased sales as people started buying equipment to support their new home gym routines.
  • Puzzles: Across Amazon and other platforms, puzzles became very hard to come by as people searched for new entertainment options and hobbies to keep themselves and their families busy.
  • Nintendo Switches: Another source of family entertainment – the Nintendo Switch – saw surging sales that saw it sold out at vendors everywhere. This was an already popular product that saw an even bigger boost in light of conditions being impacted by
    COVID.
  • Work from home tools: With a huge portion of the American workforce transitioning to work from home or remote work situations, there’s been a significant uptick in office supplies and technology. Webcams, laptops, desks, office, chairs, and monitors have also seen a spike in sales that would be very unusual outside of a pandemic.
  • Baby gates: One ecommerce report noted that baby gates and screens have seen bigger sales in the first half of 2020, likely as a solution for parents who need to crate a sudden in-home separation of their work and personal space and create boundaries for pets and kids.

If you’re looking for a way to drive more sales, we can help your business get in front of more customers. Our experience in promotion, marketing, and sales can help you connect with a wider audience and help you get the best selling results possible. Find out more by contacting our team today.

How Ecommerce Changed the Marketing Space

The marketing game has come a long way in the retail space since embracing ecommerce. With the internet providing access to a wide range of services in the ecommerce arena, it has changed the way we target customers through social media and our overall online presence. 

As a business, it is your goal to create a unique platform that allows marketing campaigns to reach the audiences you wish to target and become future investors or customers. With the right campaigns, it is possible to be successful at providing consistent messaging across all platforms. 

Retail marketing has stepped up its expectations in the ecommerce world. Let’s take a look at how it has evolved to become what it is today. 

Marketing is Essential

Whether your business is big or small, marketing has become a must. Why? With the number of companies, that could be similar to your own, it’s important to establish brand identity. With a brand identity you are: 

  • Distinguishing yourself from competitors
  • Becoming a brand that customers will remember
  • Building a reputation

Creative marketing campaigns and strategies are required if you are to make a name for your business online. 

Marketing Has Become Accessible

It wasn’t an ideal world for those in the retail space back in the day. Around 20 or 30 years ago when newspaper, television and radio ads were the only way to get your message across, you’d be faced with a pretty hefty bill. 

Today with technology making it more accessible for retailers to create ad campaigns across popular platforms and search engines, there’s no limit to what your business can achieve when it comes to customer acquisition. 

The best part? It’s not 1994 when a television advertisement would have cost you an arm and a leg to get one message across. Creating ad campaigns today tends to be more wallet-friendly and provide a broader return on customer engagement. 

Choosing the Right SEO Firm for Your Business

Every business, large or small, needs to have a well-rounded SEO strategy in place to maximize their potential for both online and offline sales and brand exposure. SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the ongoing process of maintaining and editing a website with the goal of attracting the most relevant traffic possible while improving the site’s ranking in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

While the particulars of how SEO works and what tips and strategies you should employ are best left to another article, here are a few things you can do to feel more confident about choosing an SEO firm to hire for your business.

You Don’t Need to be an Expert, but They Do

Effective SEO is a blend of art, technical knowledge, adaptability, and effective use of resources. A good SEO firm will have talented writers that produce good written content for website pages, good programmers that know current web standards, and individuals that know how to prioritize work. While you don’t need to know how all those things apply to SEO directly, it is important that you find a firm that does.

Find a firm that can clearly explain to you their SEO process. Make sure they can provide helpful and clear answers to your questions about the following items:

Writing – When asked about the content they create, a good SEO firm will put a strong emphasis on writing for actual website visitors, and not to simply trigger “what search engines look for.” The best writers know how to write for your audience first while still adhering to best practices for search engine friendliness.

Technical SEO – An SEO firm should be up to date with all the changes in web standards that impact a site’s rankings with Google and other major search engines. They should also be capable of making technical changes to your website (programming, design elements, image optimization, etc.) in accordance with current and changing web standards.

Experience – It’s easy for anybody to brand themselves as an SEO expert and sell their products. When researching and comparing SEO firms, put a lot of value in their experience and success stories. Ask them for examples of recent work and how they have helped past clients improve their SEO.

Reporting and Accountability – Every SEO firm should report regularly, at least monthly, on your progress in the SERPs and in relevant traffic growth. These reports should show gains and losses in search rankings, traffic statistics, web page audits for technical and on-page SEO needs, site performance statistics (page load speed, mobile friendliness, etc.), and a clear accounting of work performed over the past month. The report should also lay out a list of planned activities and how it relates to your current SEO strategy.

Many SEO firms will simply point at shifting rankings as evidence of work performed, but some natural fluctuation in search engine rankings will always occur. If rankings are rising or falling, the firm you are working with should have a good explanation for what is happening.
Compare and Research Reputation

As you look for companies to work with, seek out multiple bids, SEO audits, and take the time to sit down and speak with each candidate. Find out how each potential SEO firm aligns with your business plans and brand identity directly from them and then go out and do some research to see what kind of buzz each company has generated for themselves. Reputation is everything to an SEO firm, and the best firms have a deservedly good legacy.

Find a Partnership and Trust Your Gut

The most successful SEO strategies are born out of good partnerships. Look for an SEO firm that wants to work with you and not simply for you. If the SEO company says, “you can just sit back and we’ll take care of everything,” there’s reason to hesitate. What you really want is a company that tells you that they will keep you involved in the process, have open communication, and will make sure you understand their efforts.

As you compare companies and start getting close to making a decision, treat it like any other business opportunity or collaboration and make sure it passes the gut check. You should feel good about allowing a company to have the level of access to your website and business data that an SEO firm needs.

Choosing an SEO firm should also be exciting. A good SEO agency can really help your business grow and push your brand to new levels of exposure. Make sure you and everyone involved in the selection process is feeling that excitement and confidence in your final selection.