Digital marketing in eCommerce has transformed the retail industry and the way in which businesses need to think about their retail marketing strategies.
Put simply, digital marketing is a catch-all term to describe all of your online marketing efforts. Businesses can leverage online channels such as social media, paid advertising, email marketing, and content marketing to connect with prospective customers and better serve existing customers. Each of these channels would fall under the “digital marketing” umbrella.
Efficient purchase order management not only means having the right stock on hand at the right time, but also frees you up to focus on growing your business rather than getting bogged down in paperwork.
Today, a savvy and forward-thinking digital marketing strategy is crucial to the success of any retail business. Digital channels like 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 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. The proliferation of eCommerce trading means customers can more easily shop around to find the best value. The result is that customer loyalty and repeat business are harder than ever to obtain for most businesses.
Through online channels, retail marketers can overcome these challenges by directly connecting with customers and providing highly personalized service. Online marketing allows businesses to connect with the right prospective customers through sophisticated targeting - a far more advanced approach than traditional marketing methods.
Read more about how digital marketing in eCommerce has changed retail.
Digital marketing for eCommerce has had a significant, positive impact on SME retail marketers, but there are some challenges inherent to digital marketing. Here are some of the pros and cons.
Any form of online marketing where you pay for ads. It can be in the form of pay per click (PPC) advertising, where you pay every time a person clicks on your ad, or cost per thousand (CPM), where you pay per thousand impressions your ad receives. Includes platforms such as Google AdWords, Google Display Network ads, and Facebook advertising.
Covers any marketing activity you undertake on social media, such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and Twitter. Social media marketing is one of the foremost ways to gain exposure for your business and engage with your customer base.
Creating sticky, engaging content online that your customers or potential customers are interested in. Content marketing is most often in the form of blog content on a website, but includes everything from infographics to videos.
Optimizing content and the structure of your website to improve your organic (non-paid) rankings in search engines. SEO is an essential part of any organic content marketing strategy, as search engines are one of the most common ways new customers will find your business - as long as you are ranking near the top of the search results.
Performance-based digital marketing where you pay for conversions rather than clicks or impressions. Usually you pay a commission to an external website for any traffic or sales that have been referred by that website.
Sending email updates, special offers, etc. to a list of subscribers. Email marketing can be a great way to nurture and retain your existing customer base, or to incentivize potential customers to make a purchase.
Usually involves a combination of the above digital marketing strategies, which results in a fast and significant increase in interest for your business. It generally involves mass sharing of a marketing piece through any online channel, or online interest coming from other means such as TV or grassroots marketing.
Social media is an extremely popular form of digital marketing, and it’s easy to see why – it can be used to engage and nurture existing customers, and reach out to a huge network of potential customers all in the one place.
Here are some most common platforms and when they’re best used.
Considering the versatility of the platform, Facebook is a great starting point for most B2C eCommerce businesses, particularly those with a target market aged 25-34. The marketing options are vast, as is the audience base.
A worthwhile platform for eCommerce businesses with a visually appealing product or service, particularly in the food, fashion, travel, fitness or art industries. An average engagement rate of 4.21% makes Instagram one of strongest platforms for businesses.
Skews younger than Facebook or Instagram, with 46.8% of its users between the ages of 18 and 24. It also tends to be a much more expensive advertising option, so should be considered carefully before investing in.
Best utilized by eCommerce businesses offering B2B products or services. Keep in mind that the cost per click tends to be higher than other social media advertising.
Similar to Instagram, Pinterest marketing is most effective for businesses in sectors such as food, fashion, travel etc., where the product or service is visually appealing and the target market is highly engaged.
Digital marketing for eCommerce: Everything you need to knowRead more about increasing sales through social media marketing. While best practice on social media depends on the platform and your type of eCommerce business, there are some general rules you should follow.
Show that you are engaged and interested in your audience.
Try to be as punchy as possible, unless it’s a lengthier thought leadership piece or story.
How does your audience speak or want to hear you speak? Stick to a defined tone.
Consumers appreciate honesty, and it will help build trust with your community.
All your social media activities should tie into your overarching digital marketing strategy.
Don’t keep posting the same content if it isn’t working – measure your success and refine your approach continually.
Read more about increasing sales through social media marketing.
What is SEO?
SEO is the practice of optimizing your website’s content and structure to improve your ranking in Google and other search engines, and ultimately, drive more organic (non-paid) traffic to your website. When implemented correctly, search engine optimization can have a significant impact on the number of potential customers visiting your website, leading to higher conversion rates. Strong SEO can even give you the edge over competitors if you’re able to rank higher for key terms on search engine result pages (SERPs).
Alberto Rodriguez, TradeGecko’s Head of Search Marketing
However, there are certain approaches to SEO that, while still widely used, will actually be penalized by Google and other search engines – pushing you further down in search results. Read on to find out what you should be considering when optimizing your website, and what to avoid.
Everybody wants to see their website on the first page of search results. Follow these tips to ensure your search engine optimization techniques are putting you on the right track.
Read more about SEO best practices.
Read more about common SEO mistakes.
To find out how your digital marketing efforts are performing, you first need to identify the metrics by which your success will be measured. Some of the most common metrics include:
Changes in the volume or type of traffic to your website are a good indicator of whether your digital marketing techniques are effective. This includes factors such as overall site traffic, traffic sources (where your customers are coming from), time on site and bounce rate.
If you’re running paid ads or email marketing as part of your marketing campaign, your clickthrough rate can tell you which content is garnering the most clicks from visitors. Your CTR should be measured against the average for your industry.
If you are running ad campaigns, you should look at how much you are paying per click on your ad or per thousand impressions, depending on the type of campaign.
As an eCommerce business, conversions will most likely be defined as product sales on your website. Measure your sales against previous periods to see how your digital marketing efforts are improving business.
This is the cost you have paid to acquire new customers over a certain period. You can calculate it by tallying your total marketing and advertising costs then dividing it by how many paying customers you had during that time.
Setting objectives for your digital marketing initiatives and measuring performance is crucial to ensuring your efforts are successful. Here's how to create KPIs for your business:
Once you have identified the key metrics by which you will be measuring performance and understand your industry standards, you should set targets, or key performance indicators, so you know if you are meeting your goals.
You should define the following:
When you’ve locked down your KPIs, it’s important to continually check in on how you’re performing against those objectives. Record your monthly results by metric and channel, so you can identify areas where you’re achieving your KPIs, as well as areas where you need to revisit your tactics.
Read more about setting KPIs for eCommerce digital marketing.
When your eCommerce digital marketing campaign succeeds, you can usually expect that a significant increase in order volumes will follow. Here’s how to streamline your inventory and order management processes when you experience an influx of orders.
Looking at sales data from previous marketing campaigns can give you valuable insights into typical customer behaviors, your most popular products seasonally and during peak times, and any areas where you can improve your approach in the future.
Any successful eCommerce business understands the need for scalability. Before launching any new marketing campaign, you should ensure you have a sophisticated eCommerce platform and inventory management system set up. You’ll also need to make sure that the limit on store items and customer purchases is high enough to accommodate a major increase in orders.
When you’re preparing to launch or ramp up a digital marketing campaign, you’ll need to make sure you have enough inventory to meet a spike in demand and reduce the risk of stockouts. Your safety stock level should be high enough to cover your forecast increase in customers and take into account your supplier’s delivery times. Learn more about calculating a safety stock level for your business.
Once you’ve considered factors such as your lead time (how long you need to wait for stock from your suppliers) and your safety stock level, you can determine the point at which you’ll usually need to reorder more stock, also known as your reorder point.