Marketing in an E-Commerce Era
In the last decade, an ever-increasing share of the consumer market has been moving online. Although e-commerce sales have yet to eclipse brick-and-mortar retail transactions, the integration of young millennials and Gen X consumers into the market has pushed the trend further into the digital world.
While many core marketing principles still remain the same in the e-commerce era, new principles have also developed that are unique to the current marketing landscape. Here are a few of the most important factors to consider:
Given that both social platforms and online sales garner some of the highest traffic and are still on the rise, it makes sense that the worlds of social media and e-commerce marketing have become intertwined.
Social media platforms, almost all of which are free to join, make their money by selling user data and partnering with businesses and advertisers. This is good news for any brand looking to expand into social media e-commerce, since the biggest social media platforms offer business accounts with extensive marketing tools and features.
Facebook and Instagram both integrate elaborate user analytics information that can inform businesses about potential new user markets, let them split test advertising campaigns, and target a variety of specific demographics with marketing materials.
Pinterest, an often overlooked e-commerce venue, can be an excellent tool for online marketing. The utilization of Rich Pins, which enable immediate sales capabilities and other actionable items, can boost sales extremely effectively.
Aside from paid ads and all the business account features offered by various social media platforms, simply having a presence across social networks can increase a brand’s exposure and name recognition, as well as consumer trust and familiarity.
The Human Touch
Humans are social creatures, as evidenced by our affinity for social media in the digital age. This connection to other people is vital in online marketing campaigns, and can lead to excellent results.
Ad campaigns without any human touch risk feeling synthetic, impersonal, and cold. Pictures of people using a product or service, customer testimonials, and a tone of voice that consumers can relate to are all part of a people-centric marketing strategy,
An excellent way to bring the human touch into online marketing, especially on social media, is by partnering with brand ambassadors. Brand ambassador partnerships are when businesses partner with social media influencers and well-connected individuals to represent their product or brand in a more organic way than an ad campaign ever could.
The same celebrity endorsement effect that makes us want to buy a deodorant when Lionel Messi tells us to is at play with brand ambassadors, but in a more deep and complex way. Similarly to Las Vegas trade show models, whose presence and association with a brand can lend it charm and credibility, social media influencers have significant impact on their devoted fans when they recommend a product.
Partnering with brand ambassadors can also be highly cost-effective, since the reach of a single influencer post can be massive in comparison to an equivalent costing ad campaign through traditional mediums. The influencer dynamic in the new e-commerce era is hugely important, and is something every business should utilize to its fullest.
In an online market where consumers have more choices than ever, but businesses deal with more and more competition, how do you stand out from the crowd?
Investing in good design is one place to start. Modern e-commerce consumers are inundated with so many options that they may only scroll past a thumbnail or your product, or spend a few seconds on your website. This means that those few seconds have to count.
Aesthetically pleasing and eye-catching design not only draws people in, but keeps them there. About 75 percent of people will judge a business’s credibility by the design of their website. By investing in good comprehensive visual and user design, you will get paid back multifold in successful e-commerce transactions down the line.
Defining a design strategy early on is also good foresight, saving the need for a redesign later. Those can be expensive, confusing to consumers, and overall something to avoid.
The modern marketplace requires modernized marketing tactics. Brands looking to have a strong presence in the e-commerce world need to make sure to embrace the new tactics of online sales.
By embracing social media and all its integrated and non-integrated business strategies, businesses can reap the benefits in many different ways. Aside from direct advertising, regular social media engagement and presence can benefit any company via exposure and familiarity. Partnerships with important players in the social media realm can also be leveraged for a great marketing plan.
Adding some humanity into your marketing campaign is crucial; after all, you’re a person selling a product or service to other people. Make sure to include the human touch in your marketing materials, partnership strategy, and overall branding.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to invest early and well in good design. Given the tough competition for gaining consumers attention, website and visual design can make the difference between getting traffic and making sales, and not. Early design investments will pay off long term by helping build an enjoyable user experience and brand identity.