Director of Content
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Optimizing an ecommerce marketing strategy can seem like a daunting task these days. With countless new tools, plugins, and software platforms it can be difficult to know where to start.
Luckily, it doesn’t have to be so complicated. Sure, every ecommerce business is different, but there are certain key areas that, when optimized, are guaranteed to boost the marketing performance and revenues of any retailer, large or small.
In this article, we’ll look at five easy and effective things that you can do to get your ecommerce marketing strategy in great shape. From the more technical, website-related fixes to marketing automation tactics and good old-fashioned customer support, these tips are not only a breeze to get up-and-running but they’ll begin to reap immediate results, too.
Ready? Let’s kick things off with some website checks, and make sure that your visitors are getting the shopping experience that they expect.
1. Optimize Product Pages
Product pages are the centerpiece of any ecommerce website and are where most of the magic happens. Because this is where customers go to browse, compare, and ultimately make their purchase decisions, even the most comprehensive marketing strategy in the world won’t be able to save you if your product pages are unclear.
Consistency is important in everything regarding your brand, but maybe nowhere more so than the product page. Be sure to keep all of your images and text the same size and style across all sections, and add the following key elements to make your product page as professional and enticing as possible:
- Product photos: Offer images from several angles that accurately display the product so customers can have the best possible feel for what they are about to purchase. You can consider adding Zoom-in and 360-degree functionality on your images for even more detailed viewing.
- Clear pricing: As well as including any price discounts that might apply, clearly state your shipping policies (e.g., free shipping over a certain amount) and display shipping, taxes, and other additional costs on the product page. With unexpectedly high shipping costs cited as the number one reason for cart abandonment, it’s important to eliminate any nasty surprises before the time comes to check out.
- Easy modifications: Make changing things like size, color, and quantity as seamless as possible. The ability to easily add an extra item is a great upsell opportunity, and customers will appreciate being able to see their product in a variety of different colors with the click of a button.
- Detailed product descriptions: While you’ll never be able to replicate the in-store experience completely, you can compensate by delivering as much detail and inspiration about your products as possible. From technical details like size, function, and specs to vivid description detailing use cases and examples of social proof, you can give your customers an excellent understanding of what to expect from their purchase, and reassure them that others are enjoying the product too.
- A bright, visible CTA: Make it easy to add items to the cart with a simple click. Make your CTA button bright and easy-to-find, and include a simple, actionable text like ‘Buy Now” or ‘Add to Cart.”
A well-optimized product page will help to make your ecommerce marketing more effective by streamlining your customer towards their purchase. Be sure to A/B test your product pages regularly to make sure you’re not losing sales.
2. Reduce Abandoned Carts
Seven out of ten shopping carts are abandoned. No matter who you are and what you sell, cart abandonment will always be an issue.
However, with your marketing automation software, creating a simple cart abandonment workflow is easy and can help to recover a good percentage of those lost sales. Ecommerce businesses are quickly beginning to realize the effectiveness of these automated messages—according to Omnisend’s Q3 2020 email statistics report, cart abandonment messages generated a conversion rate of 42%.
Type of Automation
Lift Over Campaigns
With consumers clearly responding to cart abandonment efforts, we recommend a multi-touch omnichannel workflow to recapture abandoned cart sales. Here are some useful tips to help you nail your abandoned cart messaging:
- Opt for a supportive tone: For example, “Just A Reminder, Your Cart Is Waiting” Remember, you are helping people to finish what they started by giving a gentle reminder. Customers will appreciate this and view it far more favorably than an in-your-face sales tone, which can come across as too aggressive.
- Include a product photo: Give an attractive and tempting reminder of why your customer fell in love in the first place, and include photos of the abandoned product(s). But don’t leave it at just that. Include product recommendations for similar items, too, just in case it wasn’t quite the product they were looking for.
- Add in some social proof: Social proof in the form of reviews, testimonials, social media posts, and unboxing videos can help to build trust with your customers. As an inherently social species, we tend to trust and value our peers’ opinions and experiences, so the knowledge that other people have purchased and enjoyed products from a certain brand goes a really long way—especially as we become increasingly wary of overt advertising.
- Include a CTA back to their cart: Make it easy for customers to go right back to their cart with a simple click of a button. This may be all that’s needed for those who abandoned for more benign reasons to complete their purchase.
- Experiment with other channels: Emails are ideal for abandoned cart messages because you can include so much information in them, but they can often get lost in the inbox clutter. To mitigate this, try using more immediate channels like SMS and push notifications, which deliver an instant reminder directly to their phone or browser screen. Drop a link straight back to the abandoned cart, and watch your conversion rates soar.
- Offer a discount or incentive: Offering something that presents a tangible value to the customer, such as a percentage discount or free shipping, can be an effective tool in recapturing abandoned carts. However, try not to rely on this tactic. Offer incentives as a situational tactic, such as the final message in the series or specific customer segments.
For more on creating the perfect abandoned cart series, check out our piece here.
3. Capture More Email Subscribers
We talk a lot about email marketing and the incredible revenue potential that it has. It remains the go-to channel for promotional messages, boasting an incredible ROI, and consumers love its opt-in, permission-based nature.
Of course, this makes collecting permission and contacts for your subscriber list a top priority if you want to harness email’s vast potential. By leveraging your own site traffic, you can easily build and pre-target your subscriber list by implementing static and dynamic sign-up forms, an exit-intent pop-up, or using a landing page to encourage customers to sign up.
Here are a few key ways to build your list:
- Use a standard opt-in form for passive newsletter subscriptions: These types of forms come as standard templates with marketing automation platforms and are effective for passive list building. In this study by Omnisend, standard static sign-up boxes converted 1.28% of the time, so they are recommended as a default option.
- Use timed pop-ups and exit-intent pop-ups: These forms appear at certain touchpoints in a user’s visit to your site and are much more dynamic in nature. You can set them to appear when a user has visited a certain type or number of pages or just as they are about to leave. Pop-up forms are more effective than static forms, converting 4.22% of the time.
- Create an interactive sign-up form: Taking things a step further still, gamified sign-up forms like a ‘Wheel of Fortune’ can give customers an engaging experience and serve as a great differentiator for brands. The ‘Wheel of Fortune’ example asks users for their contact details in return for a chance to spin the wheel, with discounts and other incentives up for grabs. Statistics prove the effectiveness of interactive forms, with conversion rates rising considerably to 12.74%.
- Offer incentives: Some people will require a little extra to commit to handing over their contact details so you can offer a small incentive on the side. Consider offering a percentage discount on the first purchase, a gift or free sample of one of your products, free shipping, or another type of value-add. This may be why welcome messages convert over 50% of the time.
|Type of Automation||Conversion Rate||Lift Over Campaigns|
4. Embrace Personalization
Let’s face it, consumers are becoming increasingly tired of being advertised to. You can see it with the wide-spread use of ad blockers and the lack of clicks on social media ads.
However, this doesn’t necessarily tell the whole story. What people really dislike are ads that aren’t relevant or interesting to us personally. When something comes along that relates closely to what we want or need, it doesn’t register as an ad at all.
This is where personalization comes in. Ninety-percent of today’s shoppers expect a personalized experience. Once ecommerce businesses focus their communication to reflect customer behavior and send relevant messages at just the right times, their engagement statistics and marketing revenues rise rapidly. This relevance is seen with automated messages, which generate a conversion rate of 34%, a 349% improvement over standard promotional email campaigns.
The key to effective personalization lies in effectively segmenting your customers. Rather than sending out the same, generic messages to all of them at once, it is much more effective to segment them based on:
- Sign Up Source: This way, you’ll know which sign-up forms, and types of products, are bringing in the most subscribers, and you can customize your offers and messages accordingly.
- Customers Who Purchased in the Last 30 Days: Repeat customers are extremely valuable. They already know and trust your brand, so they should become your main priority. Post-purchase messages see conversion rates 160% greater than generic promotional campaigns. Having these customers segmented means that you can target them with recommendations based on their previous purchase, loyalty programs, requests for reviews, and much more.
|Type of Automation||Conversion Rate||Lift Over Campaigns|
- Customers Who Haven’t Purchased in the Last 90 Days: These are the potential repeat customers that you risk letting slip away, so a small incentive as part of a reactivation series is useful here. Lapsed-purchase messaging sees conversion rates greater than 23%.
|Type of Automation||Conversion Rate||Lift Over Campaigns|
- High Average Order Value (AOV) Customers: These are your highest-spending customers, so it makes sense that a little extra effort should be put into keeping them. Give this segment a little extra love in the way of incentives, rewards, or even the odd gift, to show how much you value them!
These are just a small sample of the audience segments that you can create—the more detail you go into, the more personalized your messaging becomes. Consider introducing channels like SMS and push notifications into your personalization plans to create a true omnichannel strategy.
5. Engage Online Store Visitors with Live Chat
As we mentioned previously, you can’t hope to fully replicate the real-life shopping experience. But one aspect that you can offer, which customers really value and appreciate, is live assistance from a real human being. Live chat can become your ticket to higher conversions by helping provide your customers with instant answers.
Much like a helpful in-store associate answering questions from your customers, live chat can reassure your customers, answer questions, and give them the information that they need to make an informed purchase. The knowledge that someone is online to get advice from builds trust and leaves customers with a really positive image of your brand.
Of course, not all businesses will have the time or resources to offer 24/7 live chat. In this case, you can consider using chatbots, which are used to answer common questions. Although they can’t replace the warmth and goodwill that human-to-human contact can create, chatbots can address immediate concerns and can point customers in the direction of human assistance at a later time.
Whether you do it all yourself or install a chatbot, offering some kind of live assistance for your ecommerce store is a great investment that will ultimately save you from unnecessary returns and refunds made by ill-informed and uncertain customers.
Marketing for ecommerce businesses is a complex undertaking that requires you to manage several mini-strategies across different channels. However, by breaking it up bit by bit and mastering the basics, you can easily create an immersive, helpful, and personalized experience for your customers.
Take your time to review your strategy and try to implement some of the above tactics to get your foundations in good order. If you’ve got these basic aspects of your business fully-optimized and running well, you’re sure to be rewarded with a healthy bottom line!