Post-launch- Marketing your store
Marketing your eCommerce store basically involves using promotional schemes to drive traffic to your store, converting that traffic into customers, and then making sure they become regular customers.
You have a product and a website, now you need to determine how you are going to put your products and services in front of consumers who are likely to be interested in whatever it is that you are selling.
The internet is broad, and you have a lot of competition. If you don’t make an effort to get your website in front of people, they’re unlikely to find you at all, much less buy from you. To be successful, you need to invest in marketing your eCommerce store to the world.
Earlier we discussed short term strategies that will instantly announce you in the market. While here we will be discussing some long-term procedures that will help you attract more customers and keep your store as the leading competitor in the market.
- Email marketing
- Website optimization
- PPC advertising
- Search Engine Optimization
- Start blogging
- Run a Survey
- Create a network of store owners in your niche
- Go local
- Good PR
- Build your brand social media presence
1. Email Marketing:
Email marketing proffers a good way to keep driving traffic back to your site by promoting new content and sharing company announcements. And it gives you a loyal audience to promote special deals too. Loyal, returning customers can’t use a first-time buyer offer but might enjoy an email reminder about your store’s large semi-annual sale since they’re already a fan of your brand. For eCommerce stores, recruiting new customers is a priority and has to come before anything else, but getting those customers to come back, again and again, is how you really build a sustainable business.
There are too many tweets and Facebook posts for us to keep up with, and email can offer a more intimate interaction. People are still more protective of messages sent to their personal inboxes versus their social feeds. Plus, email gives you the space to say things that can’t fit into a social media post.
To get started with email marketing, actively promote your newsletter, blog, and any other email capture efforts to get as many subscribers as you can.
It’s not enough to simply capture a bunch of email addresses. You then need to send regular, valuable emails for the channel to be an effective eCommerce marketing activity.
- Send a welcome email as soon as a customer makes a purchase.
- Provide exclusive promo codes and free gifts.
- Send regular newsletters to alert subscribers of new discount offers, product tips, and, when appropriate, company news.
- Share relevant content to help customers get the most out of their recently purchased items.
- Thank your highest-value customers. Send a personal note expressing your appreciation for their business.
- Solicit feedback. If someone visits your site but doesn’t make a purchase, ask about their experience and how you can improve it.
2. Website optimization
If your store is poorly designed, then you’re losing customers. But what exactly does a poorly designed store look like?
Besides appearing untrustworthy, the store could be suffering from some combination of the following: lacking a clear value proposition, hard-to-read font, or confusing navigation.
Even when you’ve improved the dimensions above, you could still be making a few design mistakes. Are you properly segmenting your products or are you putting too many products on a single page? Have you figured out the right balance between text and visuals? These are just a few of the many things that you should consider.
So it’s important to use a theme that clearly segments and outlines the products.
3. PPC advertising:
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising describes any marketing you do on platforms that charge for ads based on how often people click on them, rather than how many times they’re shown. Most of the ads you see on Google employ this model, as do most social media platforms.
Social media advertising also utilizes PPC models. Ads will appear on a user’s feed or timeline, depending on the platform, and you pay by CPC (cost per click) or CPM (cost per thousand impressions). Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and even Snapchat are all examples of social media channels that utilize this paid advertising model.
With PPC advertising you can set your budget, target the audiences and keywords most relevant to you, and design your ads with copy and images most likely to appeal to your ideal customer. And PPC campaigns produce a lot of data, which helps you learn what your customers respond to and improve your marketing efforts over time.
4. Search Engine Optimization:
What’s more powerful at driving traffic to a website than social media? SEO. It won’t bring you results on day one. But marketing strategies aren’t about short-term plays. It’s about planning for future growth.
Most online retailers focus on immediate gratification when it comes to building their online stores so they’ll run Facebook ads and call it a day. But if you really want to keep your acquisition costs low, SEO is your best bet.
When in search of a product or service, a lot of customers start their search on Google. Creating content on your website that will enable your store to appear in the Google search results for relevant enquires is known as Search Engine Optimization.
Doing keyword research, blogging, and implementing your findings into a content strategy for your website pages and blog can help you climb Google’s rankings, bringing you to search traffic filled with potential customers to your website.
5. Start Blogging:
If you aren’t already running a blog associated with your store or product, then you’re missing out on the limitless potential of content marketing. By producing free, valuable content, you will create trust in your brand and keep people informed. Blogging also gives you something to share on social media and helps you rank in search engines like Google.
A simple yet very effective way to get started with content marketing for your business is to think of all the starting-point queries people have about your products and industry. Using your blog, you can answer these queries as individual articles. If you can create epic content on a fairly regular basis, you’ll begin to see the power of content marketing via social media shares, search engines, and so forth.
Not sure what to write about? Gather the questions buyers frequently ask your customer service team. Generate posts that provide answers to these issues so that buyers can continually return to them when they face future problems.
Don’t forget, there are more ways to take advantage of content marketing than simply blogging:
- Start a podcast to feature your expertise or build a stronger community
- Guest post on other websites and blogs to build awareness and generate backlinks, which also help with SEO
- Create posts and guidelines on how consumers can use your products to be very effective
- Additionally, you can use your blog to offer tips, tutorials, and resources related to your products and the lifestyle around your products.
6. Run a Survey:
Being aware of common pain points that a lot of customers share will give you an idea of the plan going forward. Solving these pain points will help retain those customers and even attract more to your store.
Consumer surveys are an ideal tool for obtaining honest feedback and criticism. Unlike your friends and family, consumers have no qualms about hurting your feelings by picking at your web design or your marketing material.
To run your very own survey, you can make use of online apps like Survey Monkey and Qualaroo to create online surveys. E-consultancy has picked up on some important practices to be used when conducting e-commerce consumer surveys, which can help you get the most out of your feedback.
It doesn’t stop at just running surveys, working with the result is the survey is paramount. Fixing and improving your overall site aesthetics, product, and service delivery is what better your brand.
7. Create a network of store owners in your niche:
Sometimes it’s nice to have some support. A small online cartel or organization could be just the trick. Find a group of complementary (but not competitive) retailers and agree to promote and support each other. It’s a brilliantly simple way to gain traction in a variety of ways.
For example, if you run an online clothing store, ideal cartel candidates might include jewelry and footwear outlets. Essentially, the stores you would partner with are similar enough to be able to cross-promote and share advice, but not similar enough to create a conflict of interest.
You can opt for a completely private setup, keeping things small and tight-knit, or you can branch out and publicize your online cartel in order to attract more members to help build a supportive community of online merchants.
Take ‘The E-commerce Group’ for example. Operating via a Facebook group, they have over 2,500 members sharing advice, giving feedback, and providing a helping hand whenever possible.
8. Go local:
Brick-and-mortar businesses aren’t the only ones who can jump on the local promotions. Online retailers can also take a local approach to their eCommerce marketing tactics to increase online sales.
To figure out what local means for you, here are a few ways you can look at it:
- Identify where you have large concentrations of customers and run a promotion for that location. Look at which products those customers are buying and other spending behavior indicators, and consider local events or seasons to appropriately time a promotion.
- If you have a warehouse or multiple warehouses, consider a promotion with free, discounted, or expedited shipping to customers in the vicinity. This will make it easier for your operations team to execute and also help you promote sales in a cost-effective manner.
9. Good PR:
The realm of public relations (PR) covers everything from media coverage to branding to content marketing. PR is about maintaining a good public image and brand promotion. On the one hand, PR is about preventing and putting out fires that can harm a brand’s reputation. And on the other hand, it’s about showcasing the good things your brand does such as corporate social responsibility.
- Host customer appreciation days. Trying out different customer service ideas can help you strengthen your relationships with customers. But the sales aren’t too shabby either. You could easily create a one-day customer appreciation sale with a steep discount or outright giveaways to loyal customers, to entice customers to shop. Whether you offer a discount or a free gift, it can help incentivize purchases while making your customers happier.
- Monitor what people say about your brand. While customer reviews can paint a picture of what people think of your products, they don’t tell the full story.
10. Build your brand social media presence:
Building a brand makes it easier for existing customers to stay connected. It also helps potential customers find and learn about your store, brand, and the products and services you offer. To this end, you’ll want to create accounts on major social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even TikTok.
By using social media, you can harness potential customers that are already using those platforms. You can grab their attention and create positive feelings towards your brand while creating and sharing relevant (and engaging) content.
Attracting an audience through social media is a very diverse strategy as every platform has its own uniqueness and technicalities. In short, you’ll want to begin by doing some audience research, and deciding what platforms to focus on. Then you can start sharing content and promoting your products, linking followers back to your e-commerce site.
Also, don’t forget that many social media platforms have groups formed around specific interests and topics. Joining these groups can help you connect with relevant potential customers and generate interest in your band. A great place to start is by signing up for and posting on Facebook Groups that are centered on your niche or brand. Also while tweeting on Twitter make sure you use the appropriate hashtags to make your post available to a larger audience.
In conclusion, be aware these are long them plans and will require consistency and commitment, so you can see the store or brand as one of the leading competitors in the market.
With eCommerce growing and competition amongst sellers peaking, putting effort into your online store marketing relentlessly is paramount. With that said, implementing this guide’s strategies takes time. The tactics cover different channels that all need to be routinely checked, and results won’t come instantaneously.
However, spreading your effort over different strategies is the key to long-term marketing. Using a diverse set of tactics increases your chances of marketing success — if one fails, you have other strategies to rely on as you improve your efforts in other venues. Being willing to use multiple tactics and improve your methods as needed enables you as a seller to reach more buyers and drive more sales through your campaigns.