Selling online is not as simple as many think. It is not enough to create a website and go online to sell your products. The first step to take to grow your business is to identify the goals to be achieved (ambitious yes, but as real as possible), establish the economic resources to be dedicated (proportionate to your business reality) and plan a clear strategy for marketing. The management of an e-commerce requires time and skills (in addition to the time for the study if you do not want to rely on professionals).
As you surely already know, there are many ways to sell online:
- Sales through marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, AliExpress (these are just some of the best known);
- Sales through the development of a personal e-commerce site;
- Sales via e-commerce platforms such as Shopify;
Today, in this article, I will talk about the 5 marketing strategies useful for growing your e-commerce site, even if you have a small store, which will help you increase sales and revenues.
Let’s start now!
5 Marketing Strategies To Grow Your E-commerce
There are many marketing activities that we can decide to implement in an e-commerce site, among those that are considered to be among the most important and which I will talk about today are:
- Quality content to generate traffic on the website (blog);
- Free delivery;
- Effective loyalty program;
- Care for customers who buy offline,
- Immediate discounts for new customers.
Let’s see them in detail
1) Create quality content to generate website traffic
Associating a blog with an e-commerce site is the easiest way to start giving visibility to your online store. The blog is a section where you can discuss and discuss topics relevant to your customers, a place where you can create engagement (point of contact with the customer) and where you can develop a healthy relationship of trust. Don’t fall into the error of thinking that for your business it is more complicated to develop quality content than many others, any business sector may be able to develop useful content for its customers, for example:
Do you own a shop that sells coffee, espresso machines and accessories? Create content like: how to make a good coffee; how best use your own espresso machine (here you can make real guides for each model sold); which accessories are needed for an excellent taste experience; how to drink coffee (cup, glass cup, large cup); what are the differences between the mixtures etc.
Do you own a fashion store? You can describe the latest trends of the moment; how to match colors correctly; how to match clothes with accessories; which accessories are essential for every outfit; the right outfit for every event etc.
Do you own a beauty supply store? Recommend the products to buy based on the season; suggest how to solve some imperfections with your products; talk about how to combine makeup with different outfits; create makeup guides etc.
Do you have a spare parts shop for cars and motorcycles? Create mini guides on how to easily maintain your car or your bike (for example: change a light bulb, a windshield wiper, an object holder); talk about what are the essential accessories for your car or your bike; make a guide to the coupons; creates reviews on spare parts sold etc.
As you can see, each sector has its own content and the challenge of the content manager is to be able to get the customers to love reading their articles as much as possible. The goal must be to create quality content in order to get more traffic on its website, even indirectly (via social networks) to strengthen brand awareness and improve search engine rankings.
2) Enter free delivery
People love free delivery! Nearly 8 out of 10 users think that free shipping is one of the incentives to successfully complete the order. On the other hand, whether they are 5 dollars or 20 dollars, the shipping cost is seen as an indirect price increase and therefore appears to be one of the critical points that lead to the abandonment of the trolley.
Surely right now you are thinking that shipping freely will be a cost for you! You are absolutely right though, but if instead of considering it as a cost, you considered it an active part of your pricing strategy or promotional strategy and therefore as an investment? The results could be surprisingly in your favor.
A study by Stitch Labs has examined more than 1 million Shopify orders and found that retailers offering free shipping are able to increase sales by 10%.
So how do you cover shipping costs? There are many ways to do this:
- You can decide to offer free delivery as a short-term offer (30 days) exclusively to customers who register on your online store. This way you will be able to test the validity of this strategy and how it affects your sales. Based on the results you can decide to extend it for a longer period.
- Another way would be to offer free shipping for orders above a certain value, so as to encourage customers to spend a little more to get free delivery.
- You can decide to promote the purchase of an annual VIP Card which gives right to free shipping as well as the possibility of being able to receive exclusive benefits (reserved discounts, early access to discounts, early access to the purchase of the new collection, etc.).
As you can see, there are many ways to cover shipping costs and those just described are only a few.
3) Build an effective loyalty program
As mentioned above, customer retention can take place through various marketing activities. Always remember that keeping a customer is much cheaper and easier than acquiring a new one. Implementing a targeted and effective loyalty program will ensure that your customers continue to regularly visit your online store and even the physical store. A good loyalty program must be able to keep the attention of the customers already acquired and ensure that others become so thanks to word of mouth and the degree of satisfaction generated by loyal customers.
A good loyalty program should offer:
- Exclusive discounts,
- Free or discounted products when certain spending thresholds are reached,
- Early access to the purchase of new products (new collection),
- Early access to discounts,
- Free delivery.
Also in this case the marketing strategies to be implemented can be several. What can be more laborious is to find the strategy that best suits your business.
4) Take care of customers who buy offline
Despite the many advantages offered by e-commerce, many people still prefer to shop in traditional stores. The trust placed in the merchant and his collaborators, or the possibility to touch the goods first-hand, still has a very strong value for many customers.
What to do then? A good approach is to be able to use the online channel to keep the customer’s interest in your physical store alive. The advice is to take advantage of a hybrid marketing strategy between online and offline! The goal must be to be able to bring the customer from the physical store to the web and from the web back to the physical store or, alternatively, to the virtual store.
Then take advantage of the direct relationship within your store to acquire, with their explicit consent, the data of your customers (name and e-mail) offering registration to a loyalty card. From here on you can take advantage of all the potential of the web to start a loyalty program for your customers. For example: send an e-mail with a discount voucher to customers who have purchased in your store; offer a free gadget with or without a minimum purchase threshold in order to increase traffic on your point of sale; offer a discount to use for purchases on your online store.
5) Offer immediate discounts to new customers
Have you already started an e-commerce site? If the answer is yes then I’ll ask you a very simple question: have you ever analyzed how many visitors come to your website every day and how many of them leave after a few minutes without making a purchase? 60%? maybe 80%? In some cases even 90%?
If you find yourself in this situation you will surely think that the problem may lie in the structure of your website or in the products sold. In some cases it may even be true! Not infrequently the failure of many e-commerce is caused precisely by the very low dedicated budget, the use of unprofessional software or without fundamental extensions and by the bad positioning of the products. Very often, however, the main culprit is the wrong approach to visitors. For the former the discussion becomes more complicated and expensive, even economically. If, on the other hand, you see yourself in the latter case, the time has come to change something in your action strategy.
The fastest way to solve this problem is to insert a pop-up with an immediate discount of 15% or 20% reserved for new visitors or visitors who register. This simple promotional activity will allow you to increase your engagement rate and take full advantage of it for all your future profiling strategies. Once the name of the customer has been acquired, he crosses the data with the received orders and if you realize that he has not made a purchase, invite him (with discretion and without exaggerating with the number of e-mails sent) to do so, perhaps offering him a personalized promotion or a gadget.
We have seen that an e-commerce site cannot be considered as a hobby but, rather, it must be considered a sales channel like your physical store. A good rule would be to dedicate one or more professional figures (according to need) to its management.
These just described, are just some of the marketing strategies useful for building an e-commerce site that can give you excellent results. Obviously, these activities must always be monitored to analyze the results obtained, identify any critical points and solve them effectively.
E-commerce, if well structured and managed, can allow you to significantly increase your turnover in your business.