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E-commerce Strategy

What is e-commerce marketing and how is it different from other digital marketing? Discover opportunities for strategic optimization in an industry which has seen year on year growth like no other

2020 was the year of e-commerce. You don't need me to tell you that. Over the last decade, our marketing technological ability and sophistication has gradually improved, enabling increased e-commerce engagement and traction, as more businesses have begun selling online. However, it's the rapid change in social behaviour during the global pandemic responsible for the peaks we've seen this year - such as e-commerce accounting for 16% of total sales in the US in Q2 2020.

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Identify, anticipate and satisfy customer requirements profitably, online

So, your customer want to buy from you online, great. But how is e-commerce marketing…

Social commerce gives brands opportunities to create seamless e-commerce experiences directly within popular social channels

One of the things that has always fascinated me about social media is the way it continues to adapt and evolve to changing consumer trends. Over the last 20 years we’ve seen a progressive shift from simple, text-based updates, to increasingly visual and ephemeral content, championed by app-based platforms like Instagram and Snapchat, and at the same time, social commerce has flourished. And whilst newer entrants such as TikTok have taken this trend even further, there have also been innovations in one-to-one communication seen in the development of messenger apps such as WeChat, WhatsApp and Messenger (the latter both owned by Facebook):  It’s been interesting to see how some of these trends have converged to drive innovation in social media beyond…

Personalized marketing, as we know from our experiences as brand-lovers and as marketers, is the make or break of any e-commerce marketing strategy in a competitive environment

Personalized marketing is all about offering improved user experience (UX) by serving relevant content, or targeting key messages in the funnel, based on your customer’s e-commerce activities and behaviour. Personalized marketing unlocks tactics for retailers to form personal relationships with their customers during their online experience (CX), to nurture leads and drive more sales from digital marketing. According to SmarterHQ, 72% of consumers say they now only engage with marketing messages that are personalized and tailored to their interests. And with competition at an all-time high, value added by personalized marketing is exactly the tactic your retail/e-commerce marketing strategy needs. [si_monthly_campaign_blog_cta_banner id=156146] Despite this, customer security and privacy concerns are at their peak. A McKinsey 2020 consumer-data report…

E-commerce businesses cannot stay on one platform if they want to get ahead of the competition. This is where e-commerce multichannel marketing comes in

Channel loyalty doesn’t exist; buyers check different channels before they make a purchase. Even with promos, they still compare offerings. Take Amazon prime day for example. Some 76% of shoppers plan to visit other channels before making a purchase. Around 46% of them compare prices at Walmart, 40% use Target, 39% try brand websites. E-commerce businesses cannot stay on one platform if they want to get ahead of the competition. This is where e-commerce multichannel marketing comes in. Multichannel marketing involves promoting and selling on every channel that your customers can interact with you on. [si_guide_block id="122303" title="Download our Premium Resource – Omnichannel marketing planning guide" description="Our omnichannel planning guide will outline the differences between omni and multichannel marketing and then help you…

Depending on what business you’re in, typically anywhere from 2%-15% of your online visitors convert into customers. That means 85%-98% don’t. So, wouldn’t you like to know why?

You can, by gathering some critical customer feedback with some very affordable methods and tools. Best of all, all of these analyses can be done for less than $1000 (USD).

I call this ‘taking the pulse’ of your prospects and customers — from two angles, and using multiple methods. By two angles I mean doing both quantitative and qualitative analysis. And the methods include:

Reviewing your analytics data Reviewing your visitor clickstream data Gathering ‘voice of customer’ data Running an eye-tracking study Launching a one-question poll Getting expert conversion review [si_monthly_campaign_blog_cta_banner id="150538"]

Why so many methods? Well, your medical doctor doesn’t just check your blood pressure, then say, ‘OK, we’re done,’ and send you on your…

... and what they might mean for 2020

Seasoned visitors to the Smart Insights blog will no doubt agree that there’s an abundance of, well, smart insights to take in on a daily basis. With digital and marketing constantly evolving, marketers have to work hard to keep up with the rapid pace of change and Smart Insights plays this role perfectly, providing up-to-date guidance, tips and advice on a huge range of topics. There’s a handy function on the Smart Insights blog that lets visitors sort posts by both recency and popularity. But rather than talk about what others have found most interesting in 2019, I thought I’d outline some of the insights that have educated and inspired me this year and how they’re likely to influence my thinking further in 2020. [si_blog_banner_cta]

Stories and stats that stood out in 2019

Looking back over the last twelve months, I was surprised by the breadth of…

Only 16% of companies focus on retaining a customer when all data points to the fact that acquiring a new one is at least five times more expensive.

In this modern digital world, with fleeting loyalties and diminishing attention span, brands and businesses are continuously trying to come up with new plans and ideas to keep their customers in the fold. Today, this is largely driven by the data an organization can collect on its customers. Thanks to the proliferation of the internet and social media, much of this information is available freely. Brands are now studying customers’ behavior, expectations and motivations to learn more and more about what goes into their purchase cycle. A large part of this is trying to engage with the customer once the purchase has been made. One common mistake that most brands (especially those in the e-commerce sector) make here is assuming that the customer will re-enter…

You should strive to add concierge-level service to your e-commerce website’s user experience

We all want to be cared for.

On a business trip to Winnipeg, Canada, Michael Scott’s character in the popular sitcom ‘The Office’ is over-the-moon excited to learn that his hotel has a concierge (a concierge is a hotel employee whose job it is to assist guests with their every need). If you’ve seen the episode, you know that later that evening the concierge’s services far exceed his logistical support needs. It’s human nature to want to be cared for, especially in this often impersonal world. So you should strive to add concierge-level service to your e-commerce website’s user experience. To make your service ubiquitous and consistent, you should extend this higher level of service to your other customer contact channels.  [si_guide_block id="125181" title="Download our Resource – E-commerce personalization buyer’s guide"…

Headless commerce is rising its ‘head’ in the e-commerce space, empowering marketers to deliver extraordinary customer experiences. Here’s what you need to know about this new e-commerce strategy

Online shoppers seem to be embracing the Internet of Things (IoT) era like no other. The introduction of connected devices, applications, and touchpoints has brought about a drastic change in customer behavior and expectations. In-store interfaces, smart voice assistants, and Amazon Dash buttons are offering customers innovative ways to know about the product, read online reviews, and shop. [si_guide_block id="79186" title="Download our Free Resource – 12 common e-commerce marketing mistakes" description="Your e-commerce channels will already be a major contributor to your profit, but you need to avoid making these common mistakes."/] E-commerce sites like Amazon and eBay are staying on top of this digital trend by embracing headless commerce that allows them to deliver relevant experiences to their audience.

So, what is headless commerce, anyway?

Headless commerce…

Videos are the second most lucrative form of content, leaving behind blogs, webinars, infographics and case studies. This year, to dominate your competition, use videos to increase conversions, attract a new audience, create brand recall, explain a product service and for customer support

Videos have taken the marketing world by storm. By 2021, video traffic will be responsible for 81% of all consumer internet traffic, reports Cisco. Think about where you go when you want entertainment or information about a product? I bet, one of your go-to-solutions is YouTube. Not only are people seeking more videos to consumer information, but they also remember them more. Around 80% of customers can recall an advertisement they watched last month, according to Vidyard, which analyzed 250,000 videos from 600 businesses. [si_guide_block id="23343" title="Download our Individual Member Resource – Video and YouTube marketing guide" description="Our guide shows you how to…