What Emerging Marketing Tools Are E-Commerce Businesses Using?
Effective marketing requires a suite of powerful tools. Online businesses have the unique advantage of being able to constantly connect with their target audience. Furthermore, the market is rather large and continues to expand by considerable margins each year. According to the U.S. Census, total e-commerce sales for the second quarter of this year increased 4.1 percent over the same quarter in 2016, and accounted for 8.9 percent of total retail sales. The market is ripe for growth, but is also rife with competition.
Unfortunately, e-commerce enterprises are tasked with outmaneuvering their competitors. Businesses, especially online businesses, have to slog through a deluge of rival copy and content to reach customers. Creating meaningful interactions with customers is arduous work, one that requires not only immense patience, but also a great deal of help — often in the form of third-party tools and expert advice.
Tools like Google Analytics and MailChimp are perennial favorites for marketers and business owners who are focusing on email marketing. Standard tools are often not enough, however, especially for the specific needs and goals of online retailers. Tracking social media, incentivizing referrals and streamlining content creation are important tasks, greatly facilitated by marketing tools tailored for e-commerce businesses.
Here are the marketing tools e-commerce businesses are beginning to use to bolster their marketing efforts:
Building a strong brand is contingent upon constant interaction with your customers. One of the most effective ways to do this is through social media campaigns. On average, a significant chunk, approximately 6 percent, of site traffic is a direct result of social media.
Keyhole allows you to track your campaigns with actionable data. Monitoring hashtags and keywords, stacking your performance against competitors, and tracking other KPIs connected to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are the core activities that comprise the useful marketing tool.
Capturing interest is critical to e-commerce businesses. Social media presentations often need to be conjured up, but the resources to consistently produce professional-quality graphic design may be limited. In this regard, Canva has been of great assistance to small and midsized enterprises. It’s a relatively low-cost investment and provides subscribers with clean — albeit simple — designs for flyers, covers, photos and graphs.
Search engine optimization is crucial to online businesses. Almost half of your site’s traffic is derived from organic search. Search engine marketing tools have been around for quite a long time and tools such as SEMrush have enjoyed immense success.
For most, analysis isn't the problem, however. Creating meaningful content with reputable websites is far more labor intensive. Services like Guestpost are therefore in higher demand. Guestpost allows you to more easily pitch, craft and disseminate blog posts, allowing e-commerce businesses to increase their exposure and improve SEO dramatically.
There’s no better guerrilla marketing campaign than spreading your brand through word-of-mouth. Rewarding customers for sharing your company with others can be a complicated affair without software like ReferralCandy. The plugin allows for incentivizing referral reward programs as you wish with every feature necessary, such as embeddable signups and customizable rewards. The software requires a monthly subscription, but it serves as an acceptable solution for businesses that don't have the funds to create their own in-house software.
Freemium software can be a mixed bag. There are a select few products and services that have truly shined in this category. Ahrefs happens to be one of them.
Deep SEO and link building analysis is often cumbersome and unnecessarily esoteric. Ahrefs’ colossal index is updated every 15 minutes and processes 6 billion websites a day, providing users with accurate, up-to-date information on proprietary and competitor websites.
The needs of e-commerce businesses are evolving rapidly. While there's enormous market growth potential for online retailers, there are also considerable obstacles to success. Namely, building a compelling brand amongst fierce competition. Smart software, such as SessionCam, are emerging as important tools to create a cohesive brand image and voice. Keyhole, Canva and Ahrefs provide users with the data they need to motivate their online campaigns, and plugins like ReferralCandy motivate consumers to share their products. Content marketing tools akin to Guestpost help further exposure, while template design services like Canva ensure that exposure is paired with polished imagery.
The tools online businesses use will continue to change as consumer habits and business needs dictate. For the time being, there's an overabundance of marketing software. Only a handful of new technologies ever prove useful. Whether these marketing tools sustain their popularity is reliant on a myriad of factors. At the moment, these tools have proven themselves to be worth the investment.
Ellie Martin is a freelance writer that regularly writes about business, technology and startups for a variety of publications.