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Guest post: Top 10 ecommerce marketing ideas during COVID-19

guest-post:-top-10-ecommerce-marketing-ideas-during-covid-19

COVID-19 is definitely the talk of the town. This is a pandemic that has affected markets around the world. The impact caused by this virus is indescribable. And no one clearly knows how long it would last.

Meanwhile, businesses are curious to know if certain changes to their marketing strategies can boost sales, and drive more leads even during tough times like COVID-19. Fortunately, the answer to this question is positive. Here are a few marketing tips to help you during these tough times. 

1. Pay per click or Paid Ads

1.1. Google Shopping ads

At the moment, Google Shopping Ads are offered for free. When compared with traditional marketing methods, Google Shopping Ads are truly a wonderful creation. These ads allow businesses to showcase their products with images, deals, and more. Indeed, Google Shopping Ads is the next generation of advertising.  

To make use of Google Shopping Ads, you need to create a Google Merchant Center account. All the ads created must be linked to the Merchant Center account and added to a Google shopping feed. The process couldn’t be easier.

1.2. Retargeting Ads

Retargeting Ads is a smart way of boosting your conversion rates. This is a feature offered by several ad networks, including Facebook Ads. As online business owners, taking advantage of these platforms is an absolute must. Retargeting Ads is all about showcasing your business to viewers who have already visited your website.  

Compared to traditional methods, retargeting boosts conversion rates by two-fold. It also helps customers build trust with your brand, mainly because retargeting shows your keenness in securing their attention. 

 2. Content marketing 

2.1. Video content

Over the years, videos have turned into the internet’s most preferred form of content. More than 85 percent of businesses use videos to promote their products and services. Moreover, more than 80 percent of marketers consider this an effective solution. Video content can “move” customers who are not impressed with textual materials.  

When you create videos, focus on conveying important aspects of your business. For instance, you can create how-to videos and user reviews.

 2.2. Blog posts

Most of the time, online audiences choose to read content that is interesting and relevant. This means that no matter the length, online viewers will only read it if it is interesting.  

If you consider writing blog posts as just another item in your daily checklist, you may end up offering poor quality content. Instead, you need to consider blog posts as a way of talking to your target audience. Every word and idea on your blog should be drafted with them in mind.  

2.3. Interactive content

Most of the time, creating in-store shopping experiences will be both interactive and exciting. It is important to offer online users a perfect look and feel of your products. This aspect is espeically important for stores selling cosmetics, apparel, and accessories.  

By posting plenty of interactive content, your business will be able to build a strong relationship with customers. Soon, your online users will have a bond with your products, brand, and style!  

3. unboxing experience

3.1. Coupon codes inside the box

Have you ever wondered why businesses choose to package coupon codes and deals with their products? Doesn’t placing the order end the cycle? Certainly not! This is the beginning of a new relationship.  

When you give away coupons and deals with the product, customers will be encouraged to revisit your store. After all, they will not want to waste the deal.

3.2. Unboxing experience

Unboxing means much more than opening a box and holding a product. It is a memorable moment for both customers and the business. You will be fascinated to hear that, there are so many unboxing videos on YouTube. These videos show the significance of how “opening” the shipped product feels.

For a stronger and exciting relationship with your customers, you need to add branding to the box. As mentioned previously, placing coupons inside and having a custom box design will change the way customers see your products (especially for the first time).  

4. Email marketing

4.1. New customer email flows

Whenever a customer makes their first purchase on your website, you need to greet them. Unlike traditional email marketing, you need to send multiple emails. A steady flow of customized emails will be more effective than a single reminder. 

These emails should be coupled with deals and discounts. Also, you need to include promotional materials like a company newsletter. Above all, the email needs to be personalized and include the customer’s name.  

4.2. Browsing follow-up flows 

Did a customer just enter into your site and choose to leave without making a purchase? If yes, you need to keep them notified.

Many times, customers don’t leave sites because they found something better. Instead, they could be busy with some other chore. Or, they would have got carried away into another application. Such customers need to be reminded of their search. Try to follow up with customized emails. Ensure that the email includes the specific items they were looking for. And, to make it even more enticing, including deals and discounts in the email as well.  

4.3. Abandoned cart emails 

A major issue faced by all ecommerce businesses is abandoned carts. More than 85 percent of the time, customers add items to their carts and then abandon them. In such a situation, you need to send abandoned cart emails. Nearly 60 percent of the time, these emails will result in a successful buy.  

Abandoned cart emails should not be sent immediately. Wait for some time, and send a brand-appropriate email. If possible, include the specific items the customer added to their cart.  

4.4. Targeted offers

When you are aware of what a customer is interested in – you need to send targeted emails.  

Let’s understand this with an example: A young girl is interested in buying bags. It would be unwise to send emails regarding cosmetics to this customer. Instead, most of your deals and promotional content should be based on bags. This is a smart strategy for appealing to target audiences.  

Successfully targeted emails will help in boosting your ROI. Three points to be remembered when you send targeted emails are:

  1. Wait for some time. 
  2. Try and match the promised offer as much as possible. 
  3. Attach secondary materials with the email. 

5. On-site marketing 

5.1. Sign-up forms

If you can manage to get an online user in your email list, it increases the chances of them becoming your customer. However, the overall sign-up process should not be intrusive.  

Many times, businesses force their customers to share their email address. In such cases, your emails will go unnoticed or deleted. This is why customers should always opt-in to sign up for your emails. It must be a natural process. 

5.2. Products pages

5.2.1. Content Copy

If you are planning to start an ecommerce website, content plays a crucial role. In fact, you cannot achieve search engine optimization without the right kind of content.  

Many times, you need to build content that is truly impressive. It doesn’t have to be a thousand words long. If you can convey your thoughts in less than 40 words, the mission is accomplished. The message should be clear and you shouldn’t overthink it.  

Also, make sure that the content is easy to read on mobile devices.  

5.2.2. Product images

When compared to text-based content, product images sell better. For an ecommerce website, you need to handpick images that include users. This is why many sites rely on images with influencers. Your images don’t have to be extremely exciting. But, it should showcase the effectiveness of your products. Try to include multiple images in the form of a slider. And, have clear descriptions for each image.  

5.2.3. Product Videos

Undeniably, this is the most recent trend. Apart from quality content, the actual position of your video makes a big difference. You need to position the video above the fold line. Many times, online viewers wouldn’t go to page two or scroll down. 

This means content below the fold line can go neglected. Hence, identify a spot on your website that would not be missed by the online viewer. Also, get rid of the autoplay functionality. This violates the golden rules of user experience. 

6. Selling Through Social Media

6.1. Instagram 

Social media marketing has gone to the next level with the advent of Instagram. This is no longer a place for sharing personal photographs. Instead, this is a great channel for showcasing your products, with prices and stunning images. 

In fact, Instagram allows users to make purchases too. This means you can build a curated Instagram feed with high quality, carefully taken images. All the rules applied for picking images for your website can be improved here! Instagram calls for creativity.  

6.2. Facebook 

Facebook is a pioneer in social media marketing. It helps users network with so many other potential customers. This is why you need to leverage the platform. When you create a page on Facebook, ensure that it belongs to the “business” category.  

It would be wise to make use of Facebook’s Pay Per Click model. More than 40 percent of marketers find this method useful. Indeed, this is a powerful platform for attracting more target audiences towards your brand.  

6.3. YouTube

YouTube is strongly related to video marketing. What makes a difference in this marketing channel would be the quality of your videos. Always ensure that you post high-quality content. Your videos have to be crisp, and meaningful. It should help the user learn something more about your products and services.

YouTube marketing remains incomplete without the use of meta descriptions. Search engines look for these. And, you need to introduce a link to your business page from the video. 

 7. Market Your Business Beyond Geographic Boundaries

When you choose the internet as your destination for marketing, it is important to look beyond geographical borders. But, this is what makes social media marketing difficult. Those with ecommerce websites need to be very careful with what they present.

For example, it would be unwise to sell Asian spices to someone in Greenland! Always be aware of what your target audiences need. Your marking strategy should be customized based on their personas.  

When you engage in geo-marketing, you need to cover a wide range of audiences. This includes social media customers, mobile users, internet customers, and local customers. Also, make use of maps to categorize each of these customers. When you need to present data, filter based on the categories. Many times, customers would fall into multiple categories. You need to improve your content with this in mind.  

8. Highlight Product Reviews

Ecommerce websites need reviews and ratings. These turn into voices for your business. More than 80 percent of the online crowd reads reviews before making a purchase. Reviews help customers gather real-time experiences. And, these come from actual customers. As a result, the overall value of product reviews is quite high. 

 9. Optimize for voice search

Businesses in this modern era need to build a system that is optimized for voice search. Gone are the days when voice search was a thing of the future. We are living in this “future”. Any business that fails to invest in voice search will be a step behind in the race. It is rather difficult to capture audiences who are not interested in typing or are unable to search through textual means.  

Voice searches are enabled in both mobile and desktop devices. One of the most sophisticated platforms for voice search is Google. This means you need to design keywords and phrases that can be easily pronounced and searched.  

10.  UGC and influencer marketing

Last but certainly not the least, eCommerce websites need to venture into influencer marketing. As suggested by its name, this is all about making use of people who have made it big in your niche industry. With the help of UGC and influencer marketing – brands have the potential to grow. This is mainly because of the content these platforms can generate. When you use these two technologies, ensure that much of the decisions are data-driven.  

Next, you need to get rid of the barriers. Both these strategies need to be blended with geo marketing. Make sure that you pick “influencers” known by target audiences. Else, the entire mission goes in vain.  

To make the most of this technique, you need to gather insight from true industry leaders. Work with them, and learn more about their success stories. UGC and influencer marketing can be used in multiple ways. Hence, be agile with your strategies.  

Conclusion

On the whole, COVID-19 cannot stop you from making smart marketing decisions. If you choose to invest in the right strategies, your business is likely to grow on the online platforms. Of course, all of the points discussed in this post need to be tested against your business. Ensure that you test and try them on your target audiences. This will certainly boost your return on investment, in spite of the pandemic. 

  Additional resources

  1. What is ecommerce marketing and the right way of doing it
  2. Top ecommerce marketing automation ideas to use in 2020
  3. ecommerce marketing strategies that work in 2020
  4. How to do conversion rate optimization to your shopify store?
  5. 19 ecommerce marketing trends that are dominating 2020
  6. Google Feed-related articles collection

Guest Post by AdNabu

AdNabu helps improve sales in Google Ads for ecommerce companies. If you are running the search, shopping, or display campaigns in Google Ads, This software will be able to increase your sales. Sign up today for a 14-day free trial from here.

This article originally appeared in the Recart blog and has been published here with permission.

About the author

Steve Hutt

Steve has entrepreneurship in his DNA. In the early days of online commerce, he achieved Power Seller status at eBay, which then propelled him to become a founding partner of VisionPros.com, a contact lens, and eyewear retailer. After a successful exit from his startup, he embarked on his next journey into agency work in e-commerce and digital strategy.

Currently, Steve is part of the Merchant Success Team at Shopify Plus, where he is a Strategic Advisor helping brands continue to grow and scale with the Shopify Commerce Platform.

To maintain a competitive edge and life of learning mantra, Steve also hosts and produces a top-rated weekly podcast show, eCommerce Fastlane, where he interviews Shopify partners and subject matter experts who share the latest marketing strategy, tactics, platforms, and must-have apps, to help Shopify brands build and scale lifetime customer loyalty.