So why do many brands fail at ecommerce?
There are a few reasons:
Brands don’t understand the purpose of a website. Some companies treat brands like brochures. Others treat them like information hubs. And others use sites to talk about themselves. But to succeed at ecommerce, brands need to change their perspective of websites – and treat them like an online store.
Brands don’t know how to market online. The digital arena rose overnight to become fast-paced and furious. In order to succeed at ecommerce, brands with no digital experience have suddenly found themselves in a competitive arena that keeps changing. So to avoid failing at ecommerce, brands need to learn how to succeed in a breakneck digital marketing world.
Brands aren’t competitive. Customers shop around. And they are finicky. With stiff competitors, such as Amazon and Walmart, brands need to be able to generate significant value for their customers if they want to compete.
Brands treat the website as the be-all and end-all. Websites, as many people know, are only a part of the picture. And they should likewise form only a part of the digital marketing funnel. Unfortunately, that’s just not the case for many brands, who fail to realize that shoppers can enter the site from a number of directions.
So how do brands keep up with the curve and stop from failing at ecommerce?
The bottom line: websites aren’t recipes for success at ecommerce. To succeed, brands will need to attract and convert shoppers.
1. Fix Your Digital Marketing Plan
If your brand’s ecommerce strategy isn’t working, then the first place to look is your digital marketing plan.
Many companies don’t understand the digital marketing world or don’t understand it enough. To fix your digital marketing plan, you need to take an aggressive approach.
Online marketing strategies should include at least the following elements:
- Paid Advertising – Paid advertising, such as display advertising and sponsored search results, is an essential ingredient to every digital marketing campaign.
- Comparison Shopping Engines – Many brands have the idea that they shouldn’t allow third-parties to list their products. But this will only result in lost sales and lost market share. Look to comparison engines such as eBay, Nextag, Google Shopping, Amazon, and so on.
- Social Media – Social media is one of the biggest time sinks online, so make sure that your brand is present.
- SEO – Many brands focus on boosting their own brand name in search results, which is fine. But it’s less necessary than ranking for product- or service-related search terms…because that’s where your competitors are.
2. Turn Your Site Into a Sales Site
Many brands treat focus on promoting awareness – instead of closing the deal.
An ecommerce site should focus not only on product features and details, it should attempt to sell the products. Every page on the site should sell benefits and build trust with your visitors.
This is especially true if visitors aren’t long-time customers. Don’t treat website visitors as though they are familiar with you and your brand. If you do, then you’ll only end up attracting old business instead of generating new customers.
3. Make Competitive Offers
Many brands who fail at ecommerce fail to make compelling offers. People don’t buy products based on the merits of the product itself, they buy it because the offer jumps out at them.
Look to Amazon as an example: they offer free shipping with Amazon Prime memberships and they offer the lowest prices online.
To make your offer stand out, offer some significant incentive, such as outstanding quality, free shipping, limited time discounts, free gifts with minimum purchase amounts, and so on.
4. Create New Marketing Channels
Are you taking advantage of email marketing?
This is one of the biggest mistakes that failing ecommerce sites make.
An email marketing channel is one-on-one marketing, direct to the customer. Every brand can use email marketing to promote special deals, new offers, and more incentives. Email is an absolute must for maintaining customer relationships – as well as earning more revenue.
Other marketing channels can include push notifications and social media.
The more the better.
5. Be Honest About Your Strategy’s Weak Points
As the online economy continues to evolve, so too will brands and their digital marketing strategies. If your ecommerce strategy is so-so today, it will need to evolve quickly in order to stay afloat.
In the coming years, we’ll see more marketing channels and advertising strategies enter the mix, from commonplace video advertising to virtual reality, augmented reality, wearable devices, and more.
So take a close look at your current digital marketing strategy and be honest about areas that need improvement. A realistic evaluation of your strategy will help you compete, stand out, and earn more money.
Whether you’re selling B2B machine parts or a line of summer clothing, the internet represents an enormous business opportunity. These 5 tips will help any brand stand out, stay competitive, and earn more money from their ecommerce websites.