A crash course in marketing
The online world is known for moving at the speed of light and almost no-one has all day to research the best ways to create your own marketing strategy. But have no fear – we’ve done it for you with these 10 must-follow tips for marketing your eCommerce store!
1. Be where your customers are
You can have the best ads, amazing products and excellent customer service, but it won’t do you any good if your customers never hear about you. Figure out what sites, communities or social media platforms your target customers are mad about because that’s where you need to be – and yes, you can almost ignore everything else. Be an active presence with daily posts or updates that promote your products in a tasteful and interesting way that isn’t just a picture and a price. Share, don’t sell.
2. Talk directly to your customer (or make them feel like you are)
There is nothing like the personal touch. And these days it is surprising how easy it is to automate. Send your customers personally addressed relevant emails, not just random spam. Suggest items that are similar to their previous purchases or point out upcoming sales on items they have looked at or have previously had in their cart but didn’t buy. By putting in this extra effort you’re not just making your customer feel special, you’re genuinely guiding them to items they are likely to buy as opposed to throwing a bunch of things at them and seeing what sticks.
If there’s one thing that helps customers feel like they’re getting a deal, it’s a bundle. When you know a present giving season is on the horizon (Christmas, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentines, etc) start putting together appropriate bundles or gift guides. Your customers feel like they saved time and money and they likely end up being upsold on an extra item or two in the bundle.
4. Let the people be heard
We all like to know what we’re getting when we’re a customer, and product reviews are a great way to make sure your customers are making informed decisions that won’t end in the hassle of a refund (for you and them). Try using an add-on or create your own form on your product pages to give your customers a place to leave their feedback. Keep track of it as well, respond to all feedback negative and positive, as quickly as possible. It’s also a good idea to give them the option to edit their reviews in case someone changes their mind after your awesome customer service team fixes their problem.
5. Repost, Reblog, Retweet
Your happy customers are your strongest marketing tool when it comes to social media. While a great post from you gets you some clicks, a post from one of your customers gets you some real clout. Use the posts your customers make (with credit of course). Not only are you getting some free and unbiased publicity from the best and most trusted source ever, you’re developing a relationship with your vocal customers, people that will come back to you and keep singing your praises if you treat them right.
6. Create a community
Speaking of return customers, building a community around your brand does more than just generate business, it tells a story. As you respond to and support your customer’s online presence, you encourage people to think of your business not just as a brand but as a group of people with similar values and aspirations to them. And then it feels much more like the right place for them to be shopping.
7. Give them something to play for
Creating online contests with real, fun prizes motivates your customers to get involved in that community you’re working so hard on. Get your followers to create style or lifestyle pictures with your products and post them on social media. Give significant gift cards to the best or most creative ones, they’ll likely post about what they use it on anyway giving you double the publicity.
8. Reward Loyalty
Loyalty programs have the dual benefit of ensuring return customers and getting people to create accounts rather than checking out as a guest. Even a simple points system or sending a gift with purchase or special discount on their birthday gives people some incentive to keep up with your offerings.
9. Have a site that speaks for itself
So much of what’s communicated to us is visual. So make sure you think about that when designing your site. Not only does your site need to be easily navigatable, it also needs to communicate what your brand is all about and it needs to incite action in your customers – i.e. to get them to buy. Do a little research on colour theory, figure out which basic colours communicate what you’re trying to say and how you want your business to be perceived.
10. Make them feel something
At the end of the day, your customers are people. They don’t want to buy a series of facts or features, they won’t buy something because they think it will give them a good feeling – they’re buying benefits and those benefits are usually driven by how they want to feel as a result of that purchase. Maybe that’s feeling safer in life, more attractive to that guy/girl, etc or better prepared for their next big meeting. Regardless of what that feeling is, you need to imagine ways to work that emotional narrative into your product page and even your site as a whole. Give your products titles that indicate its use if you can. Instead of advertising a ‘gold bangle’, try something like ‘summer nights golden bangle’ – you get the idea.
So that’s how you get things sold. Then, let us help you get them shipped! If you’d like to have a chat about your eCommerce marketing strats (or all things 3PL!) we’d be delighted to help. You can always give us a call on +61 2 9828 0111 (Sydney), +61 3 9240 6300 (Melbourne) or +64 9 263 8855 (Auckland) or drop us a note via the form below. Alternatively, you can find a full list of available services here.