We have gotten incredibly used to- even addicted to, in some cases- buying stuff online. I mean, who bothers to call up fast food joints when you can simply use their website to place your order? It took some time for people to get used to this though, and there are still more than a few people who don’t feel safe paying for anything in the online environment. But as time passes, this number is going down significantly.
Hence, conditions for online sales are optimal and everyone is attempting to make a profit. What the majority of people do not realize is that eCommerce isn’t easy. Quite the contrary, the fact that the conditions for online sales are so good can make it difficult to get spotted in the crowd.
The vast majority of websites out there are attempting to sell something to the people that land on their pages, whether directly, through an affiliate, or banners. Regardless, the prevalence of these kinds of techniques leaves customers reluctant to pay attention, making marketing an integral component of achieving eCommerce success.
1. Keep in mind that you are marketing to people
A lot of people who are new to online marketing might be confused by this first point- but it’s no joke. After a couple of years of active participation in online marketing endeavors without seeing a single face, you may start to grow detached from reality. People start perceiving their traffic as just stats that need to be improved through taking mechanical, predefined steps. This is a hole you need to get out of since no real eCommerce business success story ever came from disregarding the wishes of the audience. In an era where the strongest online empires, like Google, are doing their best to cater to the needs of users, doing the opposite makes absolutely no sense. This is especially important for eCommerce marketing since the only way you can sell anything effectively online is to truly engage your customers.
2. Content is a necessity- regardless of what you sell
The phrase “content is king” has been dragged around the web for so long that it has started to losing its impact. This doesn’t make content’s crown shine any less, though. Its role in the online marketing environment has become crucial for businesses of all profiles and sizes. So many good things come from great content if you know how to use it. Here are some of the benefits that great content can provide:
- SEO visibility
- Enhanced customer engagement
- Social media signals
- Enhanced traffic
- Referral links
Wondering if you have produced great content? Once you have your final version of the content in front of you, ask yourself if you would read it- or even better, put yourself in your target audiences’ shoes, and ask the same question. If the answer is no, you are still not there yet. Don’t allow yourself to start coming up with excuses for your content’s shortcomings.
3. Social media presence needs to be more than just a bot
If you want a prime example of this go to Twitter and start adding people who are promoting a commercial interest and have somewhere between 500 and 5,000 followers. The only interaction you will manage to get from them is a bot response: an automated message with a call-to-action twist or a simple introduction message. Since everyone is using this approach the whole interaction boils down to bots communicating with each other, ultimately benefiting no one.
4. Proper targeting is essential for conversion
Regardless of what combination of online advertising approaches you decide to use, in order to be able to sell anything online you have to find the people who have the biggest chance of being interested in what you have to offer. By doing some market research you can easily optimize your marketing budget and increase your sales. It is a good idea to see what others are doing to reach their customers and optimize their targeting, in order to implement the approaches that fit your needs best. Don’t get set in your ways once you’ve done your first round of market research. Test things all the time and continue honing your scope. This is a process that includes continuous testing; it’s not just a matter of applying a mathematical formula.
5. Pay-per-click is not enough
A lot of people start out their journey into eCommerce by hypothesizing that they can invest in a decent website and boost it through pay-per-click (PPC), in the process earning a profit. Sadly, this almost never works and they subsequently realize that they need to modify their approach or sink completely. The problem is that as an approach PPC doesn’t give you optimal conversion rates on it’s own. To succeed you need natural traffic, people that are really searching for a solution to a problem that you are able to help them address.
6. Product photos sell
Shabby, amateur product photography is OK for selling used products, clothing, and other stuff on eBay or Amazon, but if you want to foster a legit, strong eCommerce presence, you really need to use professional product photography. As a form of content, good photography has a lot of engagement potential and is in second place, right behind video content, when it comes to social media shareability. Furthermore, when deciding to buy a product online the photos mean the world to the customer. He or she don’t get to hold the product in their hands; charts, specifications, and text descriptions are great, but without photos they don’t have enough information to make a final decision. The pricier the product, the better the photos need to be.
Making yourself visible is a top priority when trying to achieve eCommerce success. But you don’t want to just be another person in the crowd. Taking a step further and actually engaging your customers, instead of hoping that they will randomly decide to click on your advertisement is the difference in attitude you need in order to achieve success.