The Ecommerce industry is booming at the moment. Reports show remarkable growth on mobile and desktop through the first five months of 2020. While this boom may have been coming down the line at some stage, there is no doubt that the COVID-19 lockdown has expedited the process.
It’s vitally important that retailers consider their online marketing strategy given the current situation we’re seeing worldwide. There is much that can be done, whether it’s developing a digital strategy from scratch or optimising your Google Shopping campaigns. We have come up with a short list of marketing tips to supercharge your online marketing strategy.
Tip #1 – Google Shopping
Google’s influence in the ecommerce sector has been steadily growing over the last few years. That has become even more pronounced in the last few months with new features and pricing options rolled out.
Firstly in November 2019, they rolled out a ‘personalised shopping experience’. Initially trialled in France and the USA, this allows user to sign-up to receive personalised product recommendations from Google. As well as that users can track prices of selected items, use localised searches and most importantly make purchases through the Google Shopping portal. Advancements like these mean they are a real competitor for Amazon in the ecommerce world.
More recently Google has introduced even more radical changes in April 2020 with the introduction of free listings in the Google Shopping results page. Again this is being trialed in America but is expected to be available in the rest of the world by the first quarter of 2021.
So, it’s clear that Google Shopping will play a key role in sales generation for ecommerce outlets but how can you take advantage of this great platform?
To add your products and your website to Google Shopping you will need set-up a Google Merchant Center account, link product feed data from your site to the account and then link this to your Google Ads account. After this you will be able to create a Shopping campaign and build ad groups around selected keywords and locations.
It’s not a straightforward process but it’s definitely worth it. We have created and managed Shopping campaigns for ecommerce clients in many different sectors so get in touch (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like to discuss a new Shopping campaign for your business.
Tip #2 – Website Optimisation
It has become clear that many retail websites focus on social media and PPC to generate customers without consideration for their website. It’s true that these are great marketing techniques and ones that we encourage (see above) but you still need to include regular website upkeep in your marketing schedule. You will be left behind if you think having a live website is enough for the modern customer.
Your website is usually the place that a customer takes their final and most important action with your business – the sale. Website optimisation covers a lot of areas – webpage speed, SEO, image optimisation and site security to name a few. Also consider special additions like live chat and offer pop-ups.
Again this is a time intensive task. We always recommend a full site audit which identifies the key areas for improvement. Maintain a content schedule and review your site regularly to take advantage of new trends and SEO advancements.
Tip #3 – Customer Management
Just like a bricks-and-mortar retail establishment, customer service is key. The techniques for customer management are slightly different online. Everything you do should have the goal of improving the customer experience and ultimately getting them to buy your products.
There are a couple of things to look out for with regards to customer management.
- Email Marketing
- Social Media Presence
- Discounts for Return Customers
- Customer Reviews
Email marketing is a staple for any business but it is crucially important in the online retail business. You can use email to provide personalised recommendations for your customers. Email automation also allows for more relevant touch points between you and potential customers. For example, if a customer leaves items in their cart without completing a transaction – you can automatically email them with their items and a discount to encourage the sale.
Your social media profiles help you establish a tone of voice and brand identity. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram are great for promoting your products and interacting with potential customers.
Don’t underestimate the power of loyalty either. A repeat customer is worth so much to your business. Not only will they return to your site to make a purchase but they are more likely to recommend your site to friends and family. Keep them coming back with loyalty programs such as a point system, discount codes or special offers.
Finally, customer reviews are a great way for people to interact with their site and encourage other to do the same. This is sometimes known as ‘social proof’ i.e. people trust and copy the actions of others because they see it as the ‘accepted behaviour’. Reviews also help in the search engine rankings so keep them at the front of your mind when marketing your site.
These are just a few of the strategies you can implement to improve your ecommerce site. You should also consider things like brand collaborations and app development which has proven popular lately.
For Irish-based ecommerce sites, we recommend liaising with Enterprise Ireland and your Local Enterprise Office to stay up-to-date with all the grants and funds available to you. Don’t forget the closing date for your Online Retail Scheme application is the 27th May.