8 Reasons Why Ecommerce Digital Marketing Fails and Tips for Success
Traditional marketing can be expensive and cost-prohibitive. Many small and medium-sized businesses simply can’t afford television, radio, or print advertising. And while the cost of traditional marketing continues to increase, returns are slowly decreasing as new technologies offer ways to skip or ignore these tactics.
Thankfully, there’s another way to get your message to consumers that won’t break your budget and allow you to effectively compete with larger retailers: digital marketing.
What Is Digital Marketing?
Ecommerce digital marketing is an online marketing strategy that uses the power of the internet to target customers and potential customers. Today, studies show that every $1 spent on digital marketing averages a return of $44! With an ROI like that, it’s no wonder that everyone wants in on the digital marketing action.
A few of the most popular digital marketing tactics include:
- Affiliate Marketing
- Banner Advertising
- Content Marketing
- Email Marketing/Automation
- Inbound Marketing
- Pay Per Click (PPC)
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Social Media Marketing
How Ecommerce Digital Marketing Impacts Sales
Digital marketing is not only less expensive than most forms of traditional marketing (often with a higher ROI), but it helps attract traffic to an eCommerce website, expanding brand awareness and growing brand loyalty over time. Here are some other benefits of digital marketing.
Unlike, say, a 30-second commercial airing at a specific time on a specific channel, internet marketing is “airing” 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Your website and some of your advertising tactics are visible to consumers, in any part of the world, day and night.
Sure, you can focus your digital marketing efforts on a specific demographic or territory, but you don’t need to limit yourself. With traditional marketing, reaching a global audience would cost a fortune, but online, the world is your oyster.
Most traditional marketing is a one-way street: Consumers see or hear your advertisement and form an opinion about your product or service. The relationship may end there.
Digital marketing is a whole different animal, as it allows companies to communicate directly with consumers who see their content, notably through website comments, messages, reviews, and social media posts. Interacting with consumers shows that you care about what they think and helps create a community feeling.
Keep Up with Competitors
Today, consumers expect all products and services to be online, even small businesses and startups. If you’re not online, they’ll likely find a competitor who is. By having an online presence and engaging in eCommerce digital marketing, you can help ensure your brand gets noticed.
It can be difficult to measure the impact of traditional marketing campaigns, whereas online efforts are much more trackable. Powerful analytics tools, such as Google Analytics, allow you to easily see how people are responding to or interacting with your digital marketing efforts.
Electronic marketing allows businesses to customize their advertising techniques at the individual level. Based on demographics (age, gender, geographic location, income or education level, past purchase behaviors, etc.), companies can provide a unique customer experience (CX) which increases conversions and spend.
A clever campaign or product, or even just a unique package design, has the potential to go viral (that’s when an image, video, or link spreads rapidly to people across the internet). For example, there’s a whole genre of YouTube videos called “unboxing videos” in which people open up packages they’ve received to reveal the product inside. In 2017, the term had 60 million searches and 3 billion views on YouTube!
8 Common Ecommerce Digital Marketing Mistakes
Digital marketing may seem like a no-brainer, but there are some common mistakes that marketers make that can hurt their results. Here are a few things to be sure to avoid to make the most of your eCommerce digital marketing strategy.
1. Not Building Trust
Studies show that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. When you don’t allow your customers to leave a review, potential customers may think you have something to hide.
If you are confident in your product or service, be sure to allow reviews on your website and on third-party review sites. This also lets you interact with customers (thanking them for their kind words, answering questions or concerns, and trying to right any wrongs).
2. Not Leveraging Upsell Opportunities
Upselling has been a part of traditional marketing for a long time (“Would you like a large for 25 cents more?”), but it can be forgotten when it comes to digital media. Don’t let that happen!
When a customer is making a purchase, your shopping platform can automatically try to upsell them to the next level item (such as a newer model phone). Pop-up ads can also be used to alert buyers of better offers.
3. Not Embracing Word-of-Mouth Advertising
Online reviews and social media offer some word of mouth advertising, but it’s not always going to be positive. One surefire way to get positive recommendations is through a referral program.
By offering incentives to your current satisfied customers (special pricing, free shipping, etc.), they will have a reason to refer others to your company, in essence doing your marketing for you!
4. Not Personalizing Your CX
Today it’s all about personalization. Customers no longer want to be treated like a number; they know they have a lot of options and they will go to the company that treats them special. That’s why more than two-thirds of companies compete primarily on the basis of CX over product and price.
So, be sure to deliver customized recommendation offers and emails. If customization can also be translated to physical things, such as your packaging, this can have an even greater impact.
5. Not Creating Engaging Product Pages
You may have a good eCommerce digital marketing strategy that drives traffic to your website, but if you don’t have engaging product pages, it’s unlikely that someone is going to make a purchase.
To get their attention, be sure to have good product descriptions (this will also save you from having to handle a lot of returns), high-quality images (at least five) with magnification options, and perhaps even a video if it’s a complex product or service that warrants one.
6. Not Following SEO Best Practices
There’s a lot to learn when it comes to eCommerce SEO, but it’s worth it when you do. Too often, eCommerce retailers ignore SEO completely or simply do it wrong. Some eCommerce SEO best practices to keep in mind include:
- Aligning content with search intent (are they looking to knit a sweater or buy a sweater?)
- Creating compelling meta descriptions (a brief summary of a webpage that shows up in search)
- Using internal links (links to pages within your site) and external links (links to other related outside resources)
- Using keywords (the words that people would use when conducting a search)
- Creating long-form content (blogs pertaining to your product or service, etc.)
7. Not Using Automation Tools
Digital marketers often try to do everything on their own, when automating marketing activities is so easy to do! This includes sending emails, posting to social media – even creating entire ad campaigns.
Not only is this more efficient, but it can also be more personalized. HubSpot is one of the best-known platforms which lets you automate just about everything. Read more about digital marketing automation in this HubSpot blog.
8. Not Having a Clear Ecommerce Marketing Plan
The biggest mistake digital marketers make is having no clear eCommerce marketing plan at all. Rather than have a well-thought-out strategy, they may do a little of this (say, an occasional social media post) and a little of that (a fly-by-night email) and measure nothing. Ultimately, they burn through their budget and realize very little returns.
To make the most of your eCommerce digital marketing, you need to have a documented strategy with what you’re going to do now, the results you hope to achieve, and what you plan to do in the future.
6 Digital Marketing Tips to Help Increase Sales
Now that you know some of the digital marketing pitfalls, here are some quick tips to help you improve your digital marketing ROI.
1. Create Buyer Personals for Each Target Market
Personas are a semi-fictional representation of your customers based on market research and real data about your existing customers. This includes demographic information, behavior patterns, motivations, and goals. Understanding your personas helps you better target and market to different groups.
2. Create a Realistic Digital Marketing Budget
You need to be realistic about your digital marketing budget, and that means asking yourself a lot of questions (not just what you can afford, but what you hope to achieve). JB Media Group has put together a good blog and video on the topic.
3. Use Responsive Design
People shop from a variety of screens, including desktops, laptops, tablets, and phones. This can pose problems for some websites; when elements of a page cannot fit the screen, images and words get cropped or completely disappear, creating a bad CX.
Responsive design allows website pages to display properly on any device or screen by automatically rearranging themselves, shrinking or expanding as necessary.
4. Create an Omnichannel Marketing Strategy
By focusing on one channel only, digital marketers do themselves a disservice. For example, say you create an ebook, post it on your website, and call it a day. Unless you get a lot of website traffic, not too many eyes will see it.
So, you should email your customers about it, post about it on social media – perhaps even conduct some paid advertising campaigns around it. That’s what is called an omnichannel marketing strategy: Having multiple channels all working together.
5. Focus on Each Touchpoint in the Customer Journey
It’s important to reach customers at all stages, and customize your digital marketing content to address which stage they are in. There are three main stages in the customer journey:
- Awareness. Customers have determined that they have a problem or a need. They search for solutions that your content highlights (blogs, ebooks, tip sheets, etc).
- Consideration. Customers understand their options and are weighing them. Your content explains what makes your solution best (free webinars, case studies, product catalogs, etc).
- Decision. The customer is ready to buy. Your content pushes them in your direction (free consultations, coupons, quotes, etc).
6. Test, Test, and Test Again
When it comes to digital marketing, you should always be testing. Ask yourself some of the following questions:
- Which landing pages get the most conversions? The ones with a lot of copy or the ones that are light on copy?
- Which subject lines get the best open rates? The funny ones or the serious ones?
- Which image attracts the most eyeballs? The kid or the cat?
- Which offer gets the best results? Free shipping or 20% off?
- Which color CTA gets the most clicks? Red or green?
One important thing to remember: Don’t try too many variations at once or you may not know which change resulted in the improved (or worsened) results.
Go From Digital Marketing to Fulfillment Marketing
Digital marketing and eCommerce have become quite an art, and the more you do it, the better you’ll become. Some digital marketing tactics can get you quick results, such as paid Google or Facebook ads. Other techniques like SEO can take time to “mature.” Either way, remember to be patient. Your ROI will come, but it may take some time and some testing before you’re marketing like a well-oiled machine.
A great way to complement your digital marketing efforts is through fulfillment marketing. Fulfillment marketing, a concept invented by third-party logistics company The Fulfillment Lab, combines fast shipping, transparency, and customization—without sacrificing scalability.
The Fulfillment Lab allows you to leverage insights collected through marketing data to deliver a personalized experience (even at mass volume) that will keep your customers happy. Learn more about The Fulfillment Lab and fulfillment marketing here.