We understand that the retail industry is going through a transformation. For the last few years, all brick and mortar stores have been moving online and going digital. While some prefer to keep both an online and offline presence, certain companies are completely transforming themselves to a digital retail channel. While doing market research, we stumbled across an interesting Whitepaper generated by Channel Advisor. You will find the report at the end of the article, if you wish to download. However, if you do not have the time for a thorough reading, we here are offering you a brief of what we have learnt from it. Any online retailer, gaining understanding of the eCommerce market, will surely find this helpful.
Digital marketing is a vast and interesting concept that has gained prominence not only because of technology, but the positive result it yields. As a retailer, you face unique digital marketing challenges every day, and let’s face it, ROI matters. If you are unable to handle these situations properly, then things can be difficult. We cannot forget that the competitive landscape is brutal, so we are going to introduce and explain the process of developing the right digital marketing strategy.
The Digital Marketing Strategy is divided into 3 Parts:
- Part 1: Foundation and SEO of eCommerce Store
- Part 2: Building Brand Awareness and developing Social Voice
- Part 3: Determining Your Mix for better ROI
A common mistake that most retailers make while venturing into digital marketing is diving head on into advertising before adequately developing their website. This makes no sense as why should you spend tons of money to drive customers to your site only to let them have a bad experience? A site has to convert, no matter how good your digital marketing is. If the site has no conversion, your business has no ROI.
Optimize Web Store for Conversion
For a profitable web store, it is essential to achieve a positive ROI by making the shopping and purchasing process as pleasant and easy as possible. Just like a clean and organized environment and friendly customer service boosts a brick and mortar store helping to generate ROI, similar principles apply to your web store.
Your website is the welcome mat for your company. It is the first impression for many customers about your company. So, ask yourself some basic questions and act upon it.
- Does your web store look professional and trustworthy?
- Is there unnecessary clutter that can be removed to help customers focus on the content they care about?
- How well does your site display on mobile phones and tablets?
- Can your customers easily find the products they’re looking for?
- Once customers find what they need, how easy is it for them to complete a purchase?
Make Your Store Alluring
To fix the problems you have identified, here are some tips to apply universally across your site.
- Consistent navigation
- Always accessible customer service
- No surprises on shipping fees and returning policies
- Add brand logos wherever possible
- Remove any distractions from the site: this includes flash promotions
Spruce Your Product Page
After cleaning up your website, it’s time to boost the product page as this is where your sale would happen. Some techniques to incorporate on the product page to improve customer experience:
- Keep Buttons and make them visually attractive
- Use the three-second rule for better viewing
- Keep the product description to the point and short
- Use high resolution images with multiple angles
- Add video of the product
- Make sale price and the amount saved clear
- Focus on related up sells and add ons
- Have a smooth and easy checkout service
If you want to know more in detail about the plan, read the whitepaper given at the end.
A brand no longer has an orthodox definition. Today, brand stands for something more, something that is not simply a logo or a catchy slogan. Scott Cook, the founder of Intuit, has said that “A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is; it’s what the consumers tell each other it is.” In simple terms, a brand is that unique feeling or the image that a person gets when they think about a company. Brand is a powerful business tool and it has the power to influence people. Therefore, you too need to transform your company into a brand and increase its awareness among customers for better conversions. Here are a few basic steps to take:
- Know your audience
- Create a vision
- Assess yourself
- Allocate Resources
Create Your Social Media Identity
Social media is quite powerful these days for retailers and it is quickly evolving too. Understand the basics of social media and create social profiles for your company. The benefits of using social media are innumerable and should not be ignored. You need to have a game plan and then establish your voice. How you communicate online determines how your customers perceive you. Each social media site is meant for a certain age group and a specific kind of conversation. Understand the various social media channels and their reach. Make interesting posts and share them on your social networking channels for effective results. Once you have created your social media identity, posted on them and when you have reached a few customers, start analyzing and checking the metrics for effectiveness. Digital marketing is impossible without social media campaigns.
Finally, after all this it is time to understand and contribute to a successful digital marketing mix. Every retailer has only one goal, to sell more products. However, this goal is too broad and too hard to achieve without giving importance to supplementary goals. You require a proper digital marketing mix because you also need to:
- Build brand awareness
- Improve ROI
- Acquire new customers
- Attract more mobile traffic
- Expand into new digital marketing channels
- Grow social presence
- Increase site traffic
- Drive traffic to physical stores
Be SMART and set your goals as per this process. Set goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time Bound. Once done, understand your consumers and their demands. When you get to know what they are looking for, making a digital strategy and selling according to it becomes a lot easier. Customer demand is about variety, know them and implement suitable strategy.
Facts to Tweet
- People spend about 9% of their time online, researching and shopping for products
- 80% users in Pinterest are Female and 20% men
- 71% of online adults use Facebook
- About 23% of online adults use Twitter, so its traffic is significant
- 60% or so of social media time is spent not on desktop computers but on mobile devices
The digital marketing guide from ChannelAdvisor is a great source of information and help. Download the detailed report below for complete information.