Internet trading has never been more attractive. In Germany alone, 50 of the 83 million inhabitants in total shop online. But if you want to be part of the e-commerce wave of success, you need a sophisticated marketing mix. So a robust foundation, a sound strategy and the right channels.
The foundation of successful e-commerce
The most important entity of successful e-commerce is your own online shop. It is the visual appetiser for customers. Its ease of use and design determine whether a potential customer converts into an actual customer. It is also your free platform for self-advertising. For your e-commerce business to be a guarantee for success, you should consider the following aspects:
Your online shop’s search engine optimisation or your product ads on ebay & Co. generate organic traffic. Organic means that the customer is not redirected to your website through an advertisement. Instead, a search query takes them to your offer. The prerequisite for this is that your online shop is presented to them as one of the first search results – search engine optimisation ensures this. You don’t pay anything for customers who access your website this way.
Tracking is just as important as your website’s search engine optimisation. It is best to track every single step of users on your website. What did they click and which sub-pages did they access? Which articles did they look at for a particularly long time? By tracking customers, you can conclude what interests them. This is the only way you can successfully play them personalised advertising.
An important point to make your online shop successful is gamification. Thus arousing the potential customer’s instinct to play. A true expert in the field of gamification is the auction platform ebay. In the end, bidding on an item on ebay is like betting on a number at the casino, with less risk of course. Nevertheless, the user experiences a thrill in both cases. If they buy the desired item at an auction, their reward centre is also activated. Another method of gamification is the wish list. Give customers the opportunity to store products that they cannot currently afford in their accounts. This will awaken their inner collector. You will also find out first hand what customers really like.
Customer Relation Management System
The information you collect about your customers is the key to emerging e-commerce. A good customer relation management system stores all the important customer data and gives you an overview. In addition to information from tracking, CRM archives your correspondence with the customer. Each customer therefore gets their own history with which you can individually respond to them. In other words, a CRM system justifies and facilitates the maintenance and retargeting of your existing customers.
The perfect marketing strategy in e-commerce
There are various marketing strategies for online trading: from direct to influencer marketing via storytelling. All of these strategies are essentially aimed at strengthening the brand itself. These strategies are important for long-term success in e-commerce marketing. But they are initially expensive and it takes for them to pay off. But there are two strategies whose goal is an immediate increase in sales.
Cross-selling is the most important multiplier for your conversion in e-commerce. The principle of cross-selling is simple: offer your customers products that match the products they have already purchased. These can be products that complement the previously purchased product, for example, a pencil case matching the new backpack. Or, you advertise a product that is relevant for the same scope of use. For example, if the customer has purchased a fully automatic coffee machine for their office, you can offer them other office equipment. The best thing about cross-selling is that it works through various channels. The basic prerequisite for successful cross-selling is that your data is well prepared. Otherwise, you will advertise products to the customer that they already own and waste your budget. In this case, clean tracking and proper CRM are the be-all and end-all. An example of good cross-selling in e-commerce is Amazon’s section “Customers who have viewed this article have also viewed” – learn from the big players.
While it is fatal to advertise the same product in cross-selling, this is the goal in up-selling. However, you offer the customer a higher quality version of the previously purchased product. For example, if your customer has bought a standard mixer, you offer them the modern, expensive version at the end of the warranty period. This strategy has proven itself not only for products, but also for services and subscriptions. Amazon and Zalando also use the up-selling strategy for their subscriptions. Both offer customers a premium membership, for a monthly fee. In return, the customer benefits from incredibly fast delivery, without delivery costs. Of course, they are ultimately paying for delivery with the monthly flat rate. But they pay the monthly fee even if they don’t order anything. In the end, the trader always profits. Perhaps you also have a premium service for your customers?
The right channels in e-commerce
At the end of the day it is crucial which channels you use to distribute your advertising material. The old saying applies here: “Less is more”. Only use channels with which you can reach your target group.
Social media marketing
Social media has become one of the most important marketing tools. Millions of potential customers spend them time on Facebook alone every day. Social media also allows you to enter into direct dialogue with your customers. Respond to comments, show the customer that you take them seriously. Consider your target group when selecting the channel. For example, you are more likely to reach a young audience on Instagram, while Facebook has the potential to reach older customers. In general, advertising on social platforms is expensive, and usually only profitable for branded products. Use social media instead to make your online shop known as a brand.
Email marketing is a strong channel because an email is more likely to be paid attention to than an advertisement. Email marketing also has one great advantage: it doesn’t have to cost anything. After all, you have countless email addresses yourself. Cross-selling is a good strategy when sending emails to existing customers. Link cross-selling and discount promotions: give the customer a discount on the newly advertised product. So you are luring them into your online shop again. If the customer was satisfied with the first product, they will also buy other products from you. All you have to do is draw their attention to you. If you do not have enough addresses, there are agencies whose mailing lists you can use to send emails. Depending on the provider, you only pay a small commission per generated customer. In most cases, however, you pay for every address that is recorded.
Ever heard of “Content is King”? It’s true, as your own company blog is the cheapest and most sustainable channel. On the one hand, because it gives you the opportunity to say more about your own product. On the other hand, because every blog entry increases the probability that a customer will come across you through a product search. Of course, you also need someone to produce the texts. In most cases, however, the personnel costs are moderate compared to placing an advertisement. Your own blog also links seamlessly to other channels: send your blog posts in a monthly newsletter, or share the articles on your social media accounts. This makes it child’s play to achieve a large reach for your e-commerce business.