As recent e-commerce statistics have shown, it is estimated that a whopping 95 percent of all purchases will be made online by 2040.
However, that’s still pretty far into the future.
Looking at the current e-commerce paradigm, Statista data on worldwide retail e-commerce sales shows that digital transactions amounted to a stunning $4.28 trillion in 2020 and are expected to grow to $5.4 trillion by 2022.
Because of how ubiquitous and lucrative e-commerce has become, ensuring that merchants are employing preeminent digital marketing strategies is critical to succeeding in the increasingly competitive retail landscape.
With that in mind, this post breaks down nine e-commerce marketing tactics retailers can use to dominate competitors and gain more market share.
In today’s digital environment, there are tons of potential tactics that sellers might employ to capture new customers and retain existing customers.
However, here are the nine most compelling and effective strategies:
1. Elevate the Customer Experience via Personalization
Personalization has become of critical importance to e-commerce success. If this weren’t readily apparent in the era of Amazon, McKinsey data on personalizing the customer experience affirms this assertion.
As the report reveals, a stunning 80% of consumers want personalization from retailers. Moreover, those who implement compelling measures tend to see “20% higher customer-satisfaction rates [and] a 10-15% boost in sales-conversion rates.”
It’s vital for retailers to implement various personalization tactics to produce a stand-out shopping experience. These may include:
- Personalized product recommendations based on browsing and purchase histories
- Localization tactics that showcase products based on consumer locations
- Continuous shopping features that allow visitors to resume their shopping session when returning to the site
2. Adopt an Omnichannel Model to Reach Customers
Omnichannel marketing strategies have become essential to thriving in the current online ecosystem.
The ability to reach consumers on a variety of important platforms and through a myriad of different devices enables merchants to more successfully stay top-of-mind, thus edging out competitors.
The first step in achieving this aim is to establish where customers live online. After all, there is no point running campaigns on TikTok if your target audience is primarily on Facebook.
This can be done by building buyer personas, conducting market research and generally understanding a brand’s existing customers.
Moreover, it is vital for sellers to be capable of delivering a consistent experience across device types. Therefore, it is essential for e-commerce websites to be responsive or even to develop a progressive web application.
3. Leverage User-Generated Content (UGC), Influencers, and Reviews
User-generated content, be it in the form of Instagram posts from influencers, product reviews, or customer testimonials, is one of the most powerful marketing tools at a brand’s disposal.
The reason for this is twofold:
Firstly, as online review statistics show, 91% of consumers between 18 and 34 trust reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Secondly, on the influencer side of things, the fact is that consumers are more trusting of social media personalities than companies. As Business Wire reports, 61% of consumers are likely to trust a recommendation from an influencer, whereas only 38% trust brand opinions.
Therefore, by encouraging and sharing UGC and partnering with influencers, retailers can drive better affinity, brand trust, and even traffic and sales.
4. Sell on Social Media
In addition to sharing UGC and influencer content, it is vital for brands to directly sell through social media as well.
The fact is that social platforms have gone to great lengths to facilitate social selling with features like Instagram Shoppable posts, the newly minted Facebook Shops and similar implementations.
As a result, consumers have grown increasingly accustomed to shopping directly through social platforms. Looking at social media’s impact on e-commerce revenue, the revenue potential of these platforms ranges from nearly $1.4 billion to $7.4 million, depending on the network.
Therefore, leveraging e-commerce-oriented social media tools is critical for overcoming competitors.
5. Deploy a Customer Loyalty Program for Retention
Given that retaining customers is a vastly more profitable venture than acquiring new ones, customer retention strategies (like a loyalty program) are key to profitability and success.
By offering shoppers a personalized customer loyalty program, retailers can effectively incentivize customers to shop more frequently, place larger orders, or both, thereby enhancing customer lifetime values and e-commerce revenue.
Through the implementation of a simple points system wherein customers can obtain gifts, discounts, and other great offers, sellers can elevate their customer experience and satisfaction to new heights.
6. Employ Email Marketing to Boost Revenue
Email marketing is one of the most profitable marketing strategies in which a seller can engage.
Highlighting this point: a 2019 Data & Marketing Association report revealed that email marketing produces an average ROI of $42 for each $1 spent.
However, for brands to optimize campaigns to reach these kinds of heights, personalization and email segmentation are critical.
Fortunately, there are many ways that brands can segment their customers and personalize email marketing campaigns. Some segmentation strategies that sellers can use include:
- Purchase histories
- Browsing histories
- Average order values
- Order recency
- Cart abandonment
By segmenting customers in these and other ways, sellers are more capable of developing personalized campaigns that drive results.
7. Build a Mobile App to Engage Customers
According to data from Statista, mobile e-commerce sales are expected to account for nearly 54% of transactions by the end of 2021.
However, mobile websites – while getting better – tend to be slower and clunkier than desktop experiences. For this reason, merchants might want to consider developing a mobile application to outpace their retail rivals.
Additionally, the usage of shopping apps is growing faster than all other app segments.
However, the downside to apps is that they are not accessible from search engines like Google and face tons of competition in app stores. Therefore, it might be wise to consider pushing forward into a new era and developing a progressive web application instead.
8. Optimize Sites for SEO and Voice Search to Enhance Visibility
Search engine optimization is critical to online success. This assertion is supported by SEO statistics which show that 53% of all traceable website traffic comes from organic search.
Plainly put, the necessity of SEO is not up for debate.
However, voice search has been growing in usage and is changing the composition of the SERPs as a result.
Therefore, optimizing a site for voice search is essential for overcoming the competition. Retailers can achieve this aim by:
- Crafting high-quality content in conversational tones
- Including clear and concise answers on pages to capture the answer box
- Utilize schema markup
- Target long-tail keywords
- Implement on-site voice search to harvest first-party voice data
9. Use PPC Advertising to Increase Sales
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is a tried and true strategy for upping a site’s awareness, traffic, and sales.
As far as e-commerce retailers are concerned, the use of PPC formats like Google Shopping Ads has shown to be massively profitable, hence their popularity.
Part of what makes PPC ads like Google Shopping campaigns such an effective marketing technique is that they essentially pre-vet consumers by showing the product image and price, thereby producing more targeted, qualified clicks.
Moreover, these kinds of PPC adverts will enable a merchant to appear above organic search results, thereby obtaining premier visibility.
When seeking ways to pull ahead of the competition, PPC advertising should not be overlooked.
While all of these marketing strategies are immensely useful for capturing more market share, they can demand a significant amount of time and energy to implement.
For this reason, it is wise to hand off some of the more tedious tasks to an e-commerce marketing automation solution. The fact of the matter is that, through marketing automation platforms, retailers reap scores of benefits, including:
- Time saved
- Enhanced engagement via AI and machine learning optimization
- Minimization of potential human error
- More significant optimization opportunities
- Higher campaign ROIs
Therefore, if sellers really want to get the most out of their marketing efforts and compete with larger retail entities, e-commerce marketing automation is a necessary investment.
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