How has digital marketing in eCommerce changed retail marketing?
Digital marketing in eCommerce has transformed the retail industry and the way in which businesses need to think about their retail marketing strategies. These days, a savvy and forward-thinking digital marketing strategy is crucial to the success of any retail business.
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Let’s take a look at some of the ways in which digital marketing for eCommerce has changed customer behaviors, business opportunities, and overall retail marketing approaches:
Digital marketing allows businesses to reach new customers
80% of digital marketers think Facebook is an effective use of resources for small businesses, and it’s easy to see why: social media marketing and paid search have allowed retail businesses to reach more customers than ever before.
While previously retail marketers would need to rely on persuading customers to go to their physical store locations as a basis for their marketing efforts, today customer geography is spread out over a much wider area, sometimes even on a global scale.
Because the pool of potential customers is larger, there’s also a need for more precise targeting via channels such as paid search and social media to ensure leads are of a high quality.
Retail marketers should put the customer first
The proliferation of eCommerce trading means that customers can more easily shop around to find the best value. With customer loyalty and repeat business being harder to obtain, retail marketers need to be smarter in utilizing channels such as social media to directly connect with customers and provide personalized responses and service.
Customers’ purchasing behaviors are also being driven less by advertising and more by word-of-mouth recommendations. In a recent study, 67% of consumers said that online reviews were “fairly, very or absolutely important” to their online buying decisions.
In another survey, 45% of respondents aged 18 and older said that reading reviews, comments and feedback on social media influenced their online shopping decisions. . Retail marketers now need to consider surfacing customer-generated feedback like positive reviews and testimonials through online channels, as a complement to more traditional marketing efforts.
Pros and cons of digital marketing for small-to-medium eCommerce businesses
Digital marketing for eCommerce has had a significant positive impact on SME retail marketers – smaller businesses are now able to compete with large companies in terms of customer reach online and driving leads. Similarly, online inventory management systems have also allowed eCommerce SMEs to streamline operations and stock management, making the buying cycle more efficient.
However, as the demand for personalized customer experiences grows, small-to-medium eCommerce retailers need to better utilize data and analytics to understand their customers’ habits, preferences and needs. In a recent report, 48% of SMEs said they didn’t know whether their digital marketing efforts were effective. It’s clear that there’s a need for smaller eCommerce businesses to be more diligent about defining their marketing objectives and measuring their results.