e-Commerce has become one of the most competitive spaces for brands. More brands are turning to e-commerce versus traditional brick-and-mortar retail in order to cut down overhead costs and reach a wider customer base. With U.S. adults spending on average 11 hours a day on digital media, and websites being accessible 24 hours every day, brands have a wide potential reach and customer base at all times.
For most brands, ad dollars are routinely spent on the most well-known tactics and media regardless of effectiveness; these rote methods include display ads, press releases, and celebrity gifting. However, with an online based business, advertising efforts yield the best e-commerce marketing ROI (return on investment) when consumer audiences are precisely targeted through appropriate social channels.
Advertising and driving e-commerce marketing ROI to brand sites can easily be accomplished when utilizing these five steps and best practices.
One of the most common ways a potential customer investigates a new brand or service is through the suggestion by a friend or trusted source. From a brand’s perspective, it may take a long time of references and suggestions from one person to another to ultimately reach a large group of people and create a sizable customer base capable of sustaining a business. In the last 10 years, the rise of personal blogging, vlogging, YouTube channels, Instagrammers, Viners, and emerging social media including Periscope and Meerkat has led to a new culture of connection and networking based solely online.
These top social media influencers have individualized themselves into experts on certain topics and as a result, these digital influencers have gained millions of online subscribers, followers, and fans. Brands can leverage these social influencers to reach an audience of millions of potential customers who are specifically following these influencers for their suggestions, opinions, and personalities. By having social influencers promote your brand in a genuine manner, brands can reach millions of potential buyers who trust the influencer’s genuine endorsement subsequently leading to new site visits, social sharing, and purchases. Influencer marketing is consistently one of most effective drivers of ROI for e-commerce brands amongst advertising strategies, due to its authentic messaging, high reach, and versatility.
Potential customers are constantly online searching for a seemingly endless supply of products and services. Using search ads is a great way to improve online presence on search engines, and ultimately drive customers towards your e-commerce site. Purchase search engine ads based on keyword terms that are relevant to your product or service to drive search engine traffic to your website. For example, by using seasonal key terms, brands within the fashion industry can target countless consumers searching for “fall dresses” to be drawn to your site for their needs prior to clicking on another site offering similar products. Knowing which keyword search terms are most relevant to potential customers in addition to your industry are crucial for search ad success.
In order to narrow your marketing focus, start by targeting specific demographics who have looked at similar sites or made similar specific purchases in recent months. Facebook ads are the perfect way to target users based on detailed demographic information provided by Facebook. From users’ favorite foods to activity interests to a specific geographic locale, Facebook provides brands a wealth of consumer data information. Drive traffic to your site by using Facebook’s countless category options to pinpoint not only the location but also the interests of your potential customers, and purchasing targeted Facebook ads that will show up integrated in users’ feeds. Getting people who are truly interested in your product to view your site improves the quality of your site traffic tenfold and results in a much higher e-commerce marketing ROI.
People are always looking for the best deal – whether it be on laundry detergent, a new digital camera, or the most current fashion trend. Once you have a customer base, transform browsers into buyers by offering an unbeatable and exclusive offer on your product or service. Email marketing allows you to use smart email tactics to increase subscribers, open rate, and even click through.
A few examples of email tactics to help drive e-commerce marketing ROI include special offers, sales and new releases. By giving your newsletter audience exclusive promotional codes, they feel compelled to jump on good deals before they go back to normal prices or settle on another brand. Offering a promo code will provide an incentive for customers to remain loyal, and for new customers to try you for the first time. Remember not to do sales too frequently, or your customers will be accustomed to never paying full price for your products or services.
For most websites, only 2% of traffic converts into a sale. After spending the requisite advertising dollars to get potential customers onto your website (not to mention both product development and the arduous website development to provide a favorable user experience), the entire experience still may not conclude with a sale. This happens hundreds to thousands of time each day on your website. So how can you ensure customers follow-through with purchases and come back to your site next time?
Retargeting is a form of display advertising that actually works, and substantiates all the dollars spent initially getting a customer on your site. Using cookie-based software, once a potential customer leaves your website, they’ll see display ads for your brand – or even product they viewed or put in their shopping cart – on sites all over the web. These images entice customers who have visited your site to come back and continue shopping, converting the other 98% of traffic that didn’t make a purchase the first time.