Ecommerce operates much like any other retail business. Your business offers a product to people, if they are interested they buy it. If they are happy with their purchase, they will possibly buy from you again or even recommend the product to people they know.
Selling products online is much easier than the traditional retail model in terms of lower overhead and using your time effectively. For example, it’s much easier to learn how to start a business on an online marketplace than to open up a brick and mortar retail store.
However, challenges are still posed by your competition. There is also still a level of creativity required in order to properly present and promote your product. These challenges could be even tougher than in a more traditional retail setting since, in a sense, you are competing against the entire internet.
To create a well rounded marketing approach for your online store, there are three areas that need to be addressed individually. It’s also important to make sure that there is harmony between these three areas in order to produce successful results.
Presentation is the effort made with the development of an online storefront, along with the individual product selection. It’s important to make sure that both elements are optimized for maximum results, both in terms of technical aspects as well as psychological ones.
Technical aspects include areas such as SEO (Search Engine Optimization), which is absolutely fundamental when it comes to digital marketing. Whether you have a standalone website, a Shopify store, or you sell on platforms like Amazon or Walmart, SEO is essential to your success. It’s crucial to put in the effort to do proper keyword research and incorporate the results into your sales listings or website copy.
There is a balancing act involved with keyword research and implementing the results into SEO success. Entrepreneurs must find a way to populate their copy with relevant keywords. Relevant keywords are words and phrases typed by potential customers when they are using online searches to find products like the ones that you sell. However, it’s also important to write compelling copy containing those keywords that will highlight your product features, interest your customers and familiarize them with your brand.
The other notable aspect is the immediate visual one, using high quality product photography and aesthetically appealing, intuitive web design. This area involves both creativity and a lot of technical know-how. If you don’t have the technical know-how for these tasks, consider hiring professionals. Sometimes, to make your vision for your product and brand come to life, professional help is necessary.
It’s often a better choice to spend money hiring web designers, graphic designers and professional photographers than doing it yourself. tThe quality of your presentation is what most affects sales conversions (apart from the actual products you are selling). By employing professionals to support you, you will increase your chances of success.
There are many tools at your disposal when it comes to promoting your products online. Depending on the platform you choose, you can have multiple options available. For example, if you use platforms like Amazon or Walmart, you can use their internal Pay per Click advertising system.
Using these systems requires diligent keyword research, constant maintenance and optimization. These advertising systems are arguably most effective since the shoppers on these platforms are already there with wallets in their hands looking to make a purchase. This is why you can expect to get “more bang for your buck”.
These systems can be very specific, but they operate with their own sets of rules and mechanisms. This is why it’s important to study them thoroughly. They also tend to get constantly updated with new features, which can be great since it gives you additional opportunities to grow and expand. However, updates also require that you be constantly educating yourself about the systems.
We also have the more conventional and widely available digital advertising options such as Google adwords and social media advertising. You can, of course, make use of these advertising systems in addition to the systems in place on major platforms.
When it comes to social media marketing, it can be helpful to create special discounts or limited-time deals. Also, when using social media or Google ads, users have more space to be creative and to create content that goes along with the ads, unlike platform specific PPC ads.
There are some additional advantages to using social media marketing. Online retailers can hire influencers to promote their products. This is often very expensive, so it’s not a decision to be made lightly. However, it can be a move that effectively launches new products or brands to success in terms of sales volume and recognizability.
Online businesses are encouraged to have a social media page for their product line where they can foster a community and build brand loyalty. This is easier said than done since it requires constant effort and the ability to be creative and entertaining with content. It’s important to find a fine balance between promotion and quality content for content’s sake.
The final aspect of product marketing happens after the product is in the hands of the customer. The product needs to meet expectations in terms of quality and functionality. The time a customer will spend owning and using your products is overwhelming in comparison to their brief experience finding and purchasing your product online. Here are few things to consider:
Product packaging – Quality product packaging is a reflection of a commitment to quality and customer satisfaction. Don’t cut corners when it comes to this area. This is another aspect of a new business where professional help can be an asset. It’s also crucial to use the product packaging to display your brand and to make sure that the customer will remember the brand of the product they bought.
Additional value – The goal is to have a satisfied customer that will share their experience with your product and, if possible, come back for return purchases. A great way to accomplish this is by adding some additional unexpected value along with the product. This could be in the form of a useful pamphlet about the product or creative ways to use it or maintain it. It could also be a small recipe book for a kitchen product, or a workout plan for a fitness related item. It’s these small gestures that show customers that you care about them as well as your product.
The product itself – The product itself is arguably the most powerful canvas for promoting a brand. The type of product is a big factor when it comes to this area. Promoting a brand of product is much easier when the product itself is something that customers might use or even wear in public. It’s also not just a matter of displaying a product logo on the product. Businesses can also have a distinct design style that people could begin to recognize when they see it multiple times.
If your brand has a higher visibility, it will lead to higher sales. Potential customers will find it online, recall seeing it used by a peer, and be more likely to purchase it. Of course, product design as well as brand design are complex topics. There are countless ways that products can be customized and branded. The point is that if enough effort and creativity are behind a product design, it will sell itself.
Marketing in eCommerce is simply marketing in a new retail setting. This new setting is very diverse. It is populated with many options and systems that are at your disposal to make the most out of your product line or online store. There are no shortcuts here. New entrepreneurs have to put in the hours to learn about these various systems, and there will be a lot of trial and error before finding success.
On top of understanding the principles behind digital marketing systems, it’s necessary to educate yourself and keep educating yourself about fundamental marketing principles. By understanding them, you can effectively apply them in your own unique retail environment.
The marketing aspect of a new business is not something that can be established correctly once and then left to run on autopilot. To properly grow a business and utilize all opportunities, online entrepreneurs must get accustomed to focusing on their marketing efforts on a regular basis. Good luck sellers!