There are many challenges for e-commerce sites despite the fact we are living in the digital age. Competition is fierce with millions of shopping options. It’s no stroll in the mall. As well, thanks to Google, people can check prices quickly, compare your products with your competitors, and decide what to buy before they even reach your site.
With a vast digital landscape growing every day, here are 14 digital marketing strategies to help you capture your share of the $2.8 trillion annual online sales.
1) Boost Product Visualization
Consumers have come to expect access to just about any kind of information at any time. Not only that, but they’ve become very visual. Using exceptional product visualization allows you to quickly and effortlessly show off your products so consumers can look at the details without necessarily having to read about them.
Leverage tools that allow people to zoom in, spin your product for a 360° view, and add roll-over, pop-up info tools. If 3D technology is available, use it to increase engagement and enhance the shopping experience. According to Fourth Source, their customers reported an increase in sales by 25% to 30% when using 3D over flat imaging.
2) Add Video
Although not all products require video, if you’ve got something to show off, show it in action. HubSpot reported that 81% of consumers say video provides confidence in making purchases. If you can show how well your product slices and dices, people will understand what it does and why they need it.
3) Leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI can make a significant impact on your e-commerce sales. It has the ability to collect info and use it to accurately predict how a customer will react based on past behavior. Measurable metrics such as conversion rates, bounce rates, and engagement rates provide valuable insight into the effectiveness of your site and how people use it.
You can gather data to provide the clues you need to improve your site and encourage conversions and loyalty. The better the experience for your customers, the more likely they will be to return, recommend your products, and provide positive reviews.
Algorithms predict what products return visitors might want to purchase making it easier for them to shop your site. The products are presented front and center. You can also use AI to improve your back-end logistics for a satisfying customer experience from purchase to delivery.
4) Cutting-Edge Product Filtering
The more products you offer, the more you require advanced product filtering. No one has time to search your site based on a convoluted inventory plan that doesn’t make sense to them. Instead, you have to provide them with the tools to shop on their terms and find what they need quickly.
Considering that 42% of major e-commerce sites are not using advanced filtering, you could gain by having the considerate site that enables customers to find what they need effortlessly. The more attributes you offer, the easier it is to shop.
5) Automate with Chatbots
Yes, this is AI, but it really deserves its own strategy. Chatbots may be the first point of contact that can make or break your customer experience. Being available to answer questions now, makes shopping so much easier. You can instantly resolve issues allowing them to make their way to the shopping cart.
These friendly little bots make it easy to converse with customers in a very human manner and, in turn, offer a personalized experience that can significantly influence purchases.
Chatbots are not just excellent customer service reps. They can also make great salespeople. They provide up-selling options on the spot while letting customers know when a discount or deal is available.
Chatbots are also inventory savvy, and they can track top sellers so that you never run out of stock.
6) Flexible Delivery
A great way to increase cart abandonment is to limit delivery options. Forty-five percent of online customers have abandoned their carts when they find out the delivery options don’t suit their needs.
People want to pay and know their product will arrive quickly. At the same time, they might also want to know that if they don’t need their order now, they can pay less for delivery if they choose.
This doesn’t mean you have to jump on the drone delivery bandwagon. It just means you need to consider ways you can make speed and efficiency your number one priority while keeping the price in mind.
7) Reduce Cart Abandonment
As mentioned above, cart abandonment is most likely to occur when a customer gets to check out and finds the delivery options do not suit their needs. More than 69% of the time this is directly related to additional fees such as shipping.
Other reasons for abandonment included overly-complicated checkout processes, needing to set up an account, and poor website performance such as slow loading and crashes.
One of the most effective ways to address cart abandonment is to introduce an email recovery strategy. When someone abandons a cart, you can send a series of emails encouraging customers to complete their transactions. According to Sales Cycle, close to half of the recovery emails are opened, and almost one-third result in a completed sale.
8) Leverage Wish Lists
Having a wish list on your site provides you with a gold mine of information. You can leverage those wish lists by sending personalized emails to customers to encourage them to buy. Emails can include sales notices, clearance warnings, or low inventory counts to create a sense of urgency.
9) Encourage User-Generated Content (UGC)
Nothing sells a product better than a happy customer. UGC provides hands-on experience from past customers who are living in and using your products. Fifty-four percent of customers are more likely to trust a fellow consumer over your own marketing, according to Salesforce.
Here are two of the easiest ways to leverage UGC:
- Using hashtags on all of your social
- Providing an easy way for customers to post reviews on your site
10) Mobile Friendly
According to Outerbox, 7% of mobile users had made an online purchase using their phones within the last six months prior to their survey. It is crucial for your website to be mobile-friendly.
Some nice-to-haves would include:
- A shopping cart that scrolls with the customer, so they don’t have to scroll up to find it
- Add-to-cart buttons that are easy to find so customers can instantly add items to their cart
According to Adweek, Google found 73% of consumers will leave an unfriendly mobile site to use a site designed for mobile use.
This is not to say you need to develop an app for your e-commerce site, but being aware of how customers shop will help you provide the visuals they need to make purchases easily.
11) Personalize, Personalize, Personalize
Anticipating needs creates value. With AI available to make everything simpler, personalization is key.
By understanding your customers, you can more reliably predict what they want, and where they are. All of this information makes their shopping experience easier.
A big part of personalization should include local approaches that make people feel at home. This is also a strategy that can help you improve delivery based on the location of your customers and their proximity to your warehouses.
Personalization and localization can also help you leverage the seasons. You can show customers in the south one set of items and those in the colder north something more suited to their current climate.
12) Use Re-targeting
Re-targeting is central to the success of any e-commerce site. It allows you to follow customers while they are online and to keep them aware of your products and services. Once they visit your site, your ads can show them what they are missing with a quick link back to where they can complete their orders.
13) Improve Checkout
Cumbersome checkouts slow down purchases and lead to frustration. Just how many steps and pages do you actually need to get someone to pay? By making your check out simple, you will reduce cart abandonment by making transaction simpler for your customers.
If you can do it on one page, then that’s all the better for your customers’ shopping experience! If a single page is not possible, at least make it easier for customers to take a step back if they change their mind or make a mistake. Having a highly visible progress bar will help.
14) Encourage Social Purchases
Lastly, but not least, use social channels to encourage purchases. Instead of trying to compel people to go to your site, let them purchase your products directly from their feeds. This option is available on Facebook and Instagram.
E-commerce marketing strategies are essential to generating more traffic to your site and encourage purchases. These 14 strategies will help you up your game and get more of that elusive market share.
Source: Digital Marketing Institute