Think of e-Commerce sales as an archer’s target and every physical and digital touchpoint you have available is a quiver in your arsenal. They should not all be the same arrow. They should be diverse, just as you have arrows for practice, for sport, for hunting; some are made for a short distance, and some for longer. Each has its function and purpose, just like the digital and physical channels you have at your disposal to hit specific targets with specialized results. Like anything else, e-Commerce, each platform, each touchpoint is a tool to be mastered with skill, and as with any skill, you increase your acumen with increased practice and experience.
What is the current state of B2C e-commerce, and are you in it? In a recent global survey by Shopify, 84% of customers shopped online. Is e-commerce a secondary sales channel to your organization, maybe even a tertiary one? Think about that! 84%, over 3/4 of consumers worldwide, shopped online in the last year! Or has it – like it has become for many of us during an era of accelerated digital transformations – become your primary source of revenue? Think about that and ask yourself where the majority of your sales originate. If you don’t have the world knocking down your digital doorway, ask yourself: where are they, and why haven’t they found me yet?
More Than Just A Platform
Gone are the days where you could simply add a cart system to your site and proudly announce that “We’ve got an online store!” Today you need a more robust approach that encompasses your current content strategies, social media strategy, and so much more. Let’s begin by naming the bare minimum of available touchpoints. Then at the end of the list, ask yourself if that sounds daunting or overwhelming. If it does, then you most likely need a comprehensive strategy and tactical plan to ensure success at every touchpoint, or you are likely missing out on satisfying customers, beating expectations, and ultimately you are losing sales revenue.
Seems like a lot, right? And this is hardly a comprehensive list. Now think about the first one, Social Media. Youtube, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, and more are emerging all the time. The social media list could almost equal the list above with as many channels. So again, is this a little daunting? If so, then to reiterate, you surely need a new e-commerce B2C strategy session and most likely an experienced and proven digital marketing partner.
Brand and Value Story
What is your brand story? How do you communicate your story and connect it to your audience? More importantly, what do your customers say your brand story is? Why should they care? Customers want a connection, and consumers connect with stories and look for companies with similar values. Customers call electricity providers about green energy plans. They research sustainable brands, fairtrade products, locally sourced, or environmentally-friendly consumables. Are you sharing your values as a part of your brand story? Brand management needs to be a top priority in this new digital age because your brand’s reputation is just a click away! The important question to face is, are you informing and directing those clicks, or are you leaving it to chance?
When you’re speaking directly to the end customer, it’s crucial to communicate clearly who you are as a brand and why they should buy from you. People buy directly from brands that they relate to and feel good aligning with and supporting. When you find yourself in a competitive market, helping them understand your story and the value you/your product offers over their other options will be important in helping them click ‘yes’ to the purchase.
All Hands On Deck
You’ll need buy-in and contributions from your dev teams for smoother implementation (keep those pages loading quickly, please!). You must task your SEO team for relevance and reach (are our products showing up when people search for them?). It is imperative to tie in your content teams (how can we tie in content with product pages, vice versa) and many others. Can your customers seamlessly move from one marketing channel or platform to another and pick up where they left off? Enilon can help you develop a seamless omnichannel customer experience, giving customers a personalized experience at every touchpoint. The benefits of which streamline customer service with a fully integrated interaction experience and created engaged customers, and increased brand loyalty.
Have you viewed a product via an Instagram ad and been frustrated when you follow the link? Instead of going straight to the product or point-of-sale option, you end up at a company website like a cruel online easter egg hunt? It is time to implement a 360 Marketing Plan that makes sure you have a clear, consistent message spread across multiple customer contact points. Driven by data, analytics, and a deep-dive into your consumer’s actions, we would build out content customized for each channel’s unique audience variables while still presenting a unified, singular brand message across the campaign.
Digital Geography and Digital Storefronts
Not everyone shops on a product’s webpage. And not everyone wants to leave their current Instagram session to buy something necessarily. Assessing who your audience is and their buying habits will ensure investment in the right digital properties. Perhaps that means setting up a shop on Amazon, Facebook, Instagram, and/or building a Shopify store. No matter the platform or digital space, customers demand speed and efficiency. The eCommerce space is a space that will only grow with time. Walmart, the long-time dominator of box store brick and mortar retail sales, is even sensing the shifting landscape. They recently launched Walmart+ to compete with Amazon directly. Plus, they plan to expand their business model to monetize their large, almost limitless amounts of consumer data, leverage their supply chain and logistics knowledge, and even expand into financial services.
In a time when the cost per click (CPC) is rising, you can’t afford to spread out your online marketing budget across multiple platforms and lose customers along the way with an inefficient sales funnel. It would be best to:
All while presenting a unified marketing message and brand identity across multiple channels. Without a clearly defined marketing campaign roadmap, a business could end up chasing its tail. And its customers will certainly move on if they become frustrated or alienated with a cumbersome or confusing purchasing process.
Utilize Big Data In A Big Way
Data is your second-most important currency. What are you gleaning from every transaction? Sure the bank funds keep the lights on, but are you leaving data out there that your team could use to generate more of those funds? Take a hard look at your customer journey/buy-cycle and see where you can track their behaviors. Then use those insights to revise your map and strategy to make things easier for them. Here are a few opportunities to look for:
If any of the above are not currently being tracked, ask yourself: how much am I leaving out there? How quickly can I get a digital partner to help me address these blind spots?
CX For the Win!
If and when you get the data and insights mentioned above, you’ll want to look at your audience’s buying experience and identify any hurdles you can remove. How many clicks from product selection to confirmation? Are they being served related products, even bundled discounts if they add one other item that carries significant relevance? Etc.
Having a comprehensive understanding of your product and consumer data brings clarity of vision that will drastically improve your customer experience across channels. To do this, you should look at the ability to synchronize product inventory and update information in real-time.
What do you do to ensure your audience remains your audience? What follow-up content do you serve them? What assurances (90-day money-back guarantee) and services (here’s a link to our official unboxing and set-up tutorial videos) are you sending them? Is it 1) relevant to their purchase and 2) designed to offer a post-sale value that will demonstrate your value to them (I’m glad I chose Business X over Company Z). Finally, what will you do with that? How will you resell them? What strategies do you have that will automate a curated sales experience for that ever-increasing “Audience of One?”
Did you know Shopify, a leader among e-Commerce platforms, says packaging plays a role in customer retention? Early we discussed brand management and communicating shared values. These also work to hold customers’ attention and loyalty for the long-term. However, you must go even deeper and create marketing content that humanizes your company.
Email is a tremendous player here. Make sure you have smart email programs in place that trigger based on your customer’s behaviors instead of treating everyone the same with the same message and offers. The welcome series of communication is critical for new customers to get better acquainted with your brand and help them become repeat customers and loyalists, even brand evangelists. It is important to note that personalized email campaigns can drive upwards of an 18% increase in e-commerce revenue.
Arrowed! Hitting A Bullseye On Every Target
E-Commerce is not the future; it is the here and now. Are you hitting your sales goals and revenue targets? If so, can you rest assured that you are not missing out on more? More customers, more engagement, more sales, more growth, more revenue?
Enilon is here to help you maximize every arrow in your quiver. We have an incredible team of experienced, professional digital marketing and e-commerce veterans equipped with the knowledge and tools to take all your data, all your channels, all your content, and create a one-of-kind, industry-leading strategy to help you rise above the crowd of competitors.
Are you ready to draw back your bow and start letting your marketing arrows soar? We can help you hone the skills to start hitting sales target bullseyes–rise head and shoulders above your competitors. Call Enilon today or set up an online appointment for a discovery meeting. Let us help elevate your sales and customer loyalty.
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