The best eCommerce companies are always obsessed with metrics. Fact.
If you’re obsessed with any of the following metrics, you’re doing something right.
- Cost per acquisition
- Average daily/monthly sales
- Average order value
- Conversation rate
- Refund rate
- Shopping cart abandonment rate
- The average number of visits before purchase
- Customer lifetime value
- Repeat purchase rate
- Revenue per visit
The question we want to ask you is: how do you think marketing helps you achieve positive results for these metrics?
We know eCommerce is all about the sale — and making the sale with minimal fuss and quick timing. However, you do need a focus on marketing to make your sales metrics better.
If you’re unsure, let’s reinforce the idea that good marketing improves sales.
- Generating more leads
- Providing higher quality leads
- Providing leads that are ready for sales
- Providing content for customer acquisition and retention
- Promoting sales offers
- Sharing data and reports with sales
- Engaging prospects and customers
- Creating a connection to your brand
Okay, great. So you’re focused on metrics, and you know marketing increases sales. But what type of marketing do you need to do to increase sales?
Every industry is different; that’s why we’re going to tell you the marketing ideas that matter in the eCommerce industry.
Your mentality determines how successful you are, go in with the wrong one and you’re already off to a bad start. Here are a few ideas that’ll help you get off to a great start.
1. Adopt an Inbound Mentality
The way people buy has changed. It doesn’t matter whether we’re buying a new dress or a lawnmower — we have more choices, and we’re more informed buyers.
Twenty years ago, the power was with the seller. Before the internet, there would have been a few local retailers that stocked what you wanted to buy.
The internet and eCommerce changed the status quo — you can buy from anywhere in the world.
The question is: do you understand buyer behaviour?
B2B buyers are slightly different from B2C buyers, but the same method applies (it’s called the buyer’s journey).
The buyer is aware they have a problem or a goal. Let’s say you want to buy a new pair of jeans, but you’re concerned about fit. You type a query in Google ‘best jean fit for tall women’.
Now you’re aware that ‘wide leg’ jeans are suited to tall women, so you start searching, comparing different styles and browsing on different websites.
You narrow your search down based on factors like price and brand. And finally, you make your decision!
The above is an example of an inbound user journey, where buyers will come from a resource like a blog, video or social media post.
Remember, all buyers are different.
B2C buyers are prone to impulse decisions. You buy a perfume because it smells good, or a DVD because you saw an ad on TV.
However, B2B buyers are more cautious and require more information, so they can make an informed, sensible decision.
B2B buyers are spending someone else’s money, B2C buyers are spending their own.
2. Don’t Ditch Outbound Marketing
While it’s vital you have an inbound mindset, it doesn’t mean you can’t experiment with outbound marketing methods, but be smart about it.
Traditionally, salespeople were given a list of contacts, told to call them at will and deliver a cold, irrelevant sales pitch. It’s the wrong approach, yet it still happens.
Instead of creating pointless lists of meaningless data, start digging into your analytics.
You're a phone company. You’ve got two customers. One has taken their last two contracts out online, the other on the phone. It’s coming up to the last two months of their contract.
Marketing decides to create a list of people who are in their final two months, who have all taken at least one contract out on the phone. The list is passed to sales who call these ‘warm leads’.
There’s more chance of conversion because you understand the customer's behaviour. Also, notice how we use customers as an example; they need marketing to as well.
Here’s Serafini’s trade show stand at Euro Shop 2017, a retail trade fair.
The job of this stand is to generate interest in the brand. Once people become attracted to it, it’s up to the salespeople to try and close deals. It’s a harder sell, and on that takes you out of the online realm, but it’s worth it if you secure deals.
Also, the purpose of the stand will be to generate B2B business; the company will want to attract retailers, so they buy stock from them. You wouldn’t spend all this money on a stand for a few consumer trainer sales.
3. Creating Customer Profiles With Depth
Target markets and target audiences are vital, but buyer personas will help you add another layer to your customer identification strategy.
You're a B2B business that sells building goods. Your target market is building site managers; your target audience is building site managers in the UK.
Where’s the why? There has to be a reason this manager buys your goods.
Your buyer persona tells you their goals: aren’t fixated on price, they find better quality lasts longer.
And you also know their challenges: dealing with companies that provide inferior goods at premium prices and finding a UK-based supplier they can trust.
The information in those last two points is crucial as it determines how you market to that person.
Conversely, if you supply cheap goods, it could be a negative persona or someone you don’t want to buy from you.
Here are some generalisations:
- Browsers — casual searchers, not looking for immediate purchase
- New subscribers — intrigued by your business, subscribed on a page on your website
- Hesitant buyers — looking for a reason not to buy
- First-time buyer — someone who’s bought something for the first time
- Repeat purchaser — someone who buys on the regular
- VIPs — people who spend a lot of money with you
- Impulse buyers — random purchasers who usually come from ads
- Discount chaser — always buys in the sale, rarely outside of it
- Dormant customers — those that are subscribed but aren’t engaged with the brand
This persona is a match for the ‘discount chaser’.
You need your overview to be correct, but you also need different tactics to help you close those customers. Here are some of our recommendations:
4. Create Buyer Focused Content
We talked about the buyer’s journey earlier; now you have to put it into action by being available at each stage of that journey.
Let's say you want to create awareness about your brand, how could you do it? Let's focus on Purple, and eCommerce mattress manufacturer.
Their marketing strategy is video-focused, and they rely on these videos to go viral on social media sites like Facebook on YouTube. Viewers will then click through to their website to find out more information (consideration).
Here's an example of one of their videos, which has over 12 million views and contains footage of a man sitting on an egg to prove it's flexibility.
5. Content Personalisation
Putting a name on an email or sending them a birthday discount doesn’t count as content personalisation. Recipients won’t be blown over by it.
Basic personalisation can be interpreted as tokenistic because it doesn’t provide any value. And that’s the key here, provide value if you want personalisation to work.
For example, when I sign into Asos, it redirects me to the men’s section because they know I shop there. It’s little touches like this that go unnoticed, but they make the user journey simple.
6. Embrace Social Selling
Once upon a time, people thought eCommerce was a ridiculous concept. A trend that would fizzle out. How wrong they were. Worldwide eCommerce sales are in their trillions.
The same doubts will be cast over social media selling, on Instagram and Facebook. However, if it’s easier, people will buy.
30% of online shoppers say they would be likely to make a purchase from a social media network like Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter or Snapchat.
We would only suggest this if you have an active social media profile. There’s no point doing it if your audience isn’t on social media. This buying method will appeal more to younger generations who aren’t as security conscious.
Here’s an example of Birchbox’s Facebook shop. You still have to check out on the website, but you’re already completing a portion of the journey before you reach it.
7. Start Telling Stories
Just because you're an eCommerce company, it doesn’t mean you can’t tell a story. And if you want more conversions, you should start telling yours.
"People don't buy what you do. They buy why you do it." — Simon Sinek
We sell quality tools, mattresses, glasses… blah blah. Who cares? If you can’t tell people why you do what you do, you’re not creating an emotional connection to your business.
Deliciously Ella is a master of creating emotional connections with their audience.
In 2011, the owner (Ella) was diagnosed with a condition that prevented her from controlling her heart rate, which led to her hitting rock bottom mentally and physically.
She faced three obstacles: she couldn’t cook, she had no idea about plant-based food, and she had lost all her drive and passion.
She started to cook plant-based food, developed a blog, which turned into an app, a recipe book, a deli and a food line.
Their message is simple: Live better. Be useful. Make vegetables cool.
Here’s a list of things to think about when telling your brand’s story:
- Focus on the why
- Use emotive language
- Communicate your values
- Be authentic
- Talk about your beginnings
- Focus on UX and design
- Solve a problem
- Build and write with passion
- Make your founder the brand ambassador
Are You Ready to Test These eCommerce Marketing Ideas?
If you want to improve your sales metrics, focus on your marketing metrics first. The aforementioned ideas will help you grow your company, so you can sell more products and delight your customers.