Most of us use Amazon as consumers, but there might be a place for the website in your product sales strategy as well. Some 40% of product sales on Amazon come from third-party sellers. Is it the right platform for your brand? Read the full article at MarketingProfs
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Most consumers who use Amazon to shop visit the e-commerce platform at least once a week, according to recent research from Feedvisor. Read the full article at MarketingProfs
The ecommerce customer is a moving target. I mean that in more than one way:
How do you woo these “moving targets” into engaging with your ecommerce promotions, opting into your offers, and buying your products?
1. Offer coupons and discounts
Coupons have always been a staple in retail promotions so we need not question their power.
Your options for delivering coupons are many. GlassesUSA gets right to it by presenting a huge discount for first time buyers on their home page via a popup that “greys-out” the page until you respond.
2. Offer eBooks and other lead magnets
The average online conversion rate for ecommerce shoppers hovers between 2% and 3%. At least 97% bail on you. However, a failed attempt to capture a sale doesn’t mean you can’t capture email addresses.
In a Kissmetrics post that explains how SaaS marketing differs from other types of marketing, Neil Patel writes, “If you are a B2B SaaS marketer, think of yourself in different terms from mere ‘marketer.’ Think of yourself as an industry savant — the one who possesses and dispenses information.”
While blog content helps attract traffic, one of your content marketing goals should be to convert the traffic into subscribers. Offer eBooks and other lead magnets such as checklists, mini-courses, templates, tools, and more to motivate visitors to give you their email addresses.
Think value. Think relevance. What can you offer to help a prospective customer solve a problem? Think of your lead magnet offer as something so valuable it’s worth paying for—then deliver it free.
3. Offer a loyalty program
You not only want customers to buy your products; you want them to keep buying.
The first feature on the Pure Hockey homepage is information about their “Pure Rewards” program that aims to deliver bonus buying power to loyal customers.
4. Host giveaways
People love free stuff. Create buzz about your brand with giveaways.
A simple giveaway by Ginger Heat Muscle Rub encourages participants to “Like” the brand on Facebook and enter to win free product samples.
A holiday giveaway hosted by Mixed Hues offers prizes for 12 days and delivers a discount just for entering to make everyone a winner.
The examples of giveaways shown above were created with templates from ShortStack, a platform that makes it easy to create an immense variety of ecommerce promotions.
5. Conduct contests
Instagram and Facebook contests—or contests you promote on any social network or channel—are one of the best ways for ecommerce brands to generate awareness, build community, drive traffic and boost sales.
6. Create a challenge
I stumbled into a fun tactic while researching this article and found it to be a powerful idea: create a challenge. Those that join it share a common cause. They’ll welcome your ideas, are likely to share your content, and may consider purchasing your products.
At the very least, they’ll experience a memorable, personalized experience with your brand.
NaturallyCurly invited customers and fans to its “No sugar challenge.” Joining means opting in for email updates. What a great way to create a bond between a brand and its fans.
A post on the SEMRush blog wisely recommends focusing on cross-selling your products to increase sales. They offer as an example, a customer that has purchased a mobile phone being offered a screen guard or case.
Upselling works too. In fact, Econsultancy says it works 20X better than cross-selling.
9. Showcase top sellers
Ask a food server what their favorite dish is and they’re likely to respond with, “Our most popular pasta dish is the…” or… “If you’re really hungry, everyone really loves the…” — or something like that.
The suggested item might be something they’re known for, can prepare most easily, or profit the most from. Many restaurants spare you from having to ask by highlighting their most popular menu items on the menu.
Imagine knowing little or nothing about games, but you’re shopping for a gift. You’d welcome suggestions to buy the most popular games. Nutty Squirrel Games gets it and helps with this smart form of suggestive selling.
10. Create interactive assistants
Buyers value when online stores provide insights and advice to help make more informed decisions. Enter the vast array of interactive content tools such as assessments, configurators, chatbots and recommendation engines.
The “Flavour Generator” from Hello Fresh is a great example of a simple assessment tool. It’s designed to inspire cooking ideas, which clearly aligns with the brand’s recipe box products.
Help yourself to the quiz offered on the Warby Parker homepage and after answering five quick questions the site suggests frames that fulfill your preferences and offers to send them to you to try-on.
11. Create video demonstrations
Images obviously help sell products, but are merely par for the course. You can boost sales of new, featured, or popular items by creating short promotional or review videos.
Test the idea with just a few items and measure the impact to help establish if the investment in creating video pays. If you discover videos generate sales you can expand the program with more videos and experiment with different approaches to video production and different types of videos.
A number of products offered on WatchShop present shoppers with the option to watch short product videos.
12. Highlight risk reducers
Your homepage likely features “risk reducers,” that is, notices that help overcome objections and give buyers greater peace of mind, such as:
However, many visitors will arrive directly on product pages and not see your homepage. Make certain your most important risk reduction messages are also displayed in at least one prominent place on product pages. Test the messaging, design and page layout to determine what works best.
A product page on YourSuper reminds would-be buyers of its shopper-friendly policies on a sticky header bar and in another prominent element beside the call to action.
13. Present product plugs (testimonials, reviews, etc.)
I can’t decide whether to say it’s a good idea to include user reviews to boost sales or it’s a bad idea to exclude them. Both are true and it’s probably fair to say, thanks to Amazon, buyers expect to find them.
14. Provide wishlists
Ecommerce experts at Big Commerce claim that offering shoppers a wish list is an effective way to reduce shopping cart abandonment and fulfill sales from customers who showed intent but didn’t end up purchasing. They add that wishlists:
Would-be buyers will often forget about their wishlists, so send friendly reminder emails to inspire customers to complete their purchase.
15. Present trust badges
Customers often dropout of a purchase process when they have concerns about the security of their payment. Address this challenge by including one or more “trust badges” on your checkout page to convince customers the process is safe and secure.
16. Present user-generated content
“Hype up engagement,” is a piece of ecommerce promotion advice from a Kissmetrics post. The post featured this insight from of Dan Wang of Shopify:
User-generated content (UGC) can be collected and used in a variety of ways. The GentleFawn store gathers photos via an Instagram hashtag and features them a gallery on their homepage.
17. Use satisfaction surveys
Savvy ecommerce brands cater to new and existing customers by gathering feedback with satisfaction surveys. A survey done well builds goodwill. The data you collect enables you to improve the user experience. Both equate to smart marketing.
Ask questions that will help you learn:
Though satisfaction surveys are most commonly handled with email, Spartoo is an ecommerce company that takes a proactive approach by offering a survey on its homepage. A discount helps motivate shoppers to comply.
18. Present exit intent popups
Add an exit intent pop-up to your website to capture visitors on the verge of leaving. Give them a reason to join your email list by offering a free guide, discount, or some incentive that aligns with your brand.
19. Send cart abandonment email
Marketing automation platforms enable you to send customized emails to shoppers that have abandoned shopping carts.
20. Send automated emails
Prospects and customers are giving you their email addresses. Send them something in return: email. Email marketing allows you to send targeted—and well-timed messages—at various stages of the buying lifecycle.
In a great post detailing ecommerce email strategies, Nadav Dakner shares six potential automated email flows you might want to put in place in addition to the abandoned cart reminders we’ve already covered:
21. Support a charity
Ecommerce brands can take a cue from the shoe company Toms, where “Every purchase has a purpose.” Toms has built a reputation for improving lives and giving back. Their customers understand, appreciate and support the mission. Everyone wins.
22. Promote around special occasions
While Christmas, birthdays and anniversaries are obvious special occasions, you can promote special occasions year-round.
Here’s an example of simple voting poll an ecommerce company might do to attach their promotion to the Super Bowl hoopla.
23. Make customers your sales force
Influencer marketing takes many forms beyond celebrity endorsements and paying popular YouTubers to mention your products.
A clever strategy for ecommerce brands is to create a user-driven affiliate network of niche influencers. Your program might extend beyond simple financial incentives or product offers to include:
1st Phorm does a stellar job of promoting its “Legionnaires” program. Copy beneath the image and video above reads, “We interact with our Legionnaires on a constant basis to make sure they are successful in not only promoting 1st Phorm and making money, but also growing their personal brands.”
24. Send Instagrammers to your store
Instagram is for people who love images. It also appears to be for people who love to shop.
The key to Instagram marketing is engaging users and moving them to your website. How’s it done?
Stitch Fix uses the link in their Instagram bio to direct traffic to a style gallery. A “Get Started” call to action atop the page introduces how the shopping service works and a gallery of photos and videos link to various products and promotions.
25. Send shoppers to your Instagram
Next up for your list of ecommerce promotion idea is the opposite of what you just read. That is, in addition to sending Instagrammers to your store, you might also send shoppers to your brand’s Instagram account.
ModCloth features its #MarriedinModCloth hashtag on the homepage inviting visitors to Instagram where they find thousands of images created by customers.
26. Publish product landing pages
Ecommerce companies sometimes make the mistake of directing traffic from search, social and digital ads to their home page or shopping cart. Typically, neither is an ideal approach for increasing conversion.
27. Explore mobile advertising
“Mobile shopping clicks overtook desktop clicks sometime in the summer of 2015 and continue to rise,” claims ROIRevolution. The retail-focused agency makes the case retailers can no longer afford to adopt a laissez faire mentality regarding mobile advertising. In fact, many shopping sites now recognize the importance of a mobile-first strategy.
28. Expand shipping options
Who wants to wait weeks for their product to arrive? Worse yet, who wants to wonder when it will show up? These are clearly rhetorical questions.
29. Create auto-ship options
A good portion of ecommerce companies can borrow a page from various subscription businesses to create incentives that encourage auto-shipping, and automatic renewals.
Chewy offers instant savings for customers setting up an autoship option for the first time and sweetens the deal with bonus savings on select brands.
30.Optimize for buyers that are shopping for ideas
SEO and paid search need to be weapons in the ecommerce brand’s marketing arsenal. However, your keyword selection needn’t be limited to targeting buyers shopping for specific products.
Highlights from Google’s data research indicate:
31. Offer live chat
Online sellers that don’t offer a live chat option lose business to competitors who do. Live chat is a way to assist customers and is becoming the most desired method of contact—especially for millennials.
The post cited above features interesting data that reveals why live chat is preferred. Immediacy wins.
32. Bring ace media buyers to the table
In this, my last tip, I was going to get into ecommerce Instagram advertising, but then I thought about all the various types, including the emerging “shoppable ads.” It’s not easy to keep up with Instagram advertising.
Advertising can be expensive, but that’s only the case when it doesn’t work. An ace media buyer will show you where to place your chips and perpetually improve your ROI from the digital advertising programs that drive ecommerce sales.
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