A Marketer’s Guide to the New E-Commerce World Order
It’s 2021 and the world offers more ways to shop than ever before. Brands must make an effort to integrate promotions and purchase functionality directly into the digital channels where consumers are spending time. Here are a few things to keep in mind when putting your best foot forward to boost sales and visibility in the new e-commerce landscape.
Embrace New Traffic Sources
Brands should diversify their customer traffic sources as much as possible. Whether it’s direct listings on your website, a Shopify or Magento page, or sponsored posts on social media channels, the more places potential customers can find you and click through to make purchases, the better.
Google’s new search tools and expanded Shopify integration could give smaller brands a much-needed boost in visibility for product listings, particularly if the brand isn’t an Amazon.com seller. These partner and affiliate programs are great. However, if you have savvy content creators and web designers on your team, you can often give your content a DIY SEO boost by tagging product pages with keywords you believe consumers will be searching for and selecting compelling product images to feature within searches.
Every brand has a unique audience, made up of sub-segments of customers with varied online shopping behaviors. Moving beyond traditional e-commerce sites, look to bolster your sales pipeline by exploring native ads, in-app shopping integrations, and sponsored content on social channels.
Try New Tools, But Keep Your Messaging Consistent
While you make an effort to reach unique customer populations in different venues, you’ll naturally have to tweak the look and details of your content for each platform. However, your key brand identity, value propositions and tone should remain consistent. Whether you’re putting together a 15-word product description for an in-search marketing campaign or drafting a 30-second video ad script, it should be immediately clear that these assets are connected within your brand’s larger vision and theme. The majority of marketing content is visual-heavy these days — bolster efforts by using the same color schemes, brand logos, and proprietary imagery across channels as well. The goal should be seamless recognition and familiarity for customers, no matter where they're encountering your products.
Furthermore, brands using digital customer service features, including in-app chats and direct messages to address questions and concerns from shoppers, should be arming their customer service teams with a handbook of brand and product messaging. Training these team members as brand ambassadors and problem solvers will ensure a seamless experience that solidifies your brand’s identity in customers’ minds.
Learn From Your Campaign Metrics
Once you’ve achieved a diverse, integrated e-commerce presence, gather and assess metrics on a continuous basis. If you’re placing ads in search platforms, establishing new landing pages within channels like Shopify, or running a targeted social campaign, you’ll want to gauge the impact these efforts have on sales. Set up tracking and follow links wherever possible to attribute sales, clicks, and increases in website traffic to external sources and marketing efforts.
For social media marketing content, both branded and shared by influencers, gather data on post views, follows and comments. While every view might not directly result in a sale, if a particular piece of content has high engagement rates among target audiences, it will build up recognition in that space and will lead to brand loyalty and sales down the road. By assessing the measurable impact of all these efforts holistically, you can identify where you need to tweak your strategy to improve results or decide to move away from one channel entirely if it’s not proving fruitful.
With social media, traditional online retail channels, and digital advertising, brands have more e-commerce tools available to them than ever. Don’t reinvent the wheel for every new platform or integration that comes along. Keep your brand’s strengths, identity and goals in mind when considering and implementing new e-commerce tools to determine which ones are best suited to bolster your awareness, sales and market share.
Justin Kline is co-founder of Markerly, an influencer marketing technology partner and platform working with some of the largest consumer brands in the world.
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