E-commerce growth infographic on laptop.
E-commerce has ruined the shopping scene. According to Statistica, e-commerce accounted for about 20% of worldwide retail sales in 2021. Estimates suggest that by 2025, these online stores will account for about a quarter of total retail sales worldwide.
A key factor in the evolution of this online shopping method was the COVID-19 pandemic. As people stayed indoors to avoid the virus, people turned their attention to online shopping. The Census Bureau reported that ‘e-commerce sales grew by $244.2 billion or 43% in 2020, the first year of the pandemic, from $571.2 billion in 2019 to $815.4 billion in 2020.’
As the number of e-commerce stores has increased, so has the need to stand out against competitors. Given that the e-commerce experience is virtual, digital marketing strategies are key to setting your brand apart from others. Implementing these three essential tips is the best place to start.
3 Essential Digital Marketing technique for E-commerce
1. Personalized Outreach Campaign
In 2020, CEO and founder Danielle Hixenbaugh started Bloom Digital, a fully-fledged remote digital marketing agency, and looked at the impact of personalized SMS campaigns on consumers.
“Since COVID-19, I’ve seen a lot more customers crave an emotional connection to a purchase,” says Hicksenbaugh. There are many of these persons who will appear in your SMS list. This is because SMS is intimate. Your SMS list is made up of individuals who really want to hear from you and get notified about upcoming discounts or new products. Use this tool wisely, and talk to your audience as you would a friends.
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Email campaigns are a more personalized way to invest in customers, especially for brands with smaller marketing budgets. Although some customers may say they don’t want to be emailed, the data shows otherwise. According to Litmus, email marketing has the highest ROI in the e-commerce industry. For every $1 marketers spend on email marketing, they get $45.
2. Loyalty Programs
A recent survey by Commerce Next, in partnership with CommX, studied 118 digital marketing and e-commerce executives. Results revealed that a top priority of these executives is the creation of loyalty programs that will build more meaningful customer relationships. Over half of the participants indicated that they were planning to expand or launch loyalty programs in 2022.
For brands that want to increase their buyers’ loyalty, zsuzsa kecsmar suggests focusing on the emotional aspect of loyalty programs. Kecsmar is the CMO and Co-founder of Antavo, a loyalty technology provider that recently published its 2022 Global Customer Loyalty Report. This study used the survey responses of over 320 global corporate individuals, as well as data from more than 25 million member actions on Antava’s platform, to highlight the importance of emotional appeal in loyalty programs.
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‘In an age where customers have access to a huge selection of web shops and retailers, a brand has to catch customers by the heart and not the wallet because discounts are now less effective than rewards that have an emotional component to them,’ says Kecsmar. ‘In our survey, only 20.7% of existing program owners classified their program as more emotional than rational, while 53.6% of companies in the process of launching or relaunching their program specified that their program would be more emotional than rational, signaling that in the future, much more loyalty programs will focus on generating emotional loyalty.’
‘It’s worth noting that emotional loyalty is not a zero-sum game,’ says Kexmar. You can still have transactional elements, such as coupons and collections in your loyalty program – just remember to add some features and rewards that emphasize emotional attachment.’
3. Optimizing Content for SEO
No matter the size of your company or budget, SEO is a cost-effective digital marketing strategy that allows you to connect with your audience. A website optimized for SEO also serves as a valuable tool for building brand awareness, increasing engagement, and feeding your other marketing channels.
If you’re wondering where to start for SEO, consider the content you already have. Among marketers, ‘content is king’ is a well-known phrase. Alex Valencia, President and Director of Business Development at We Do Web, even refers to content as the ‘backbone’ of an SEO strategy.
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Keep your content quality, relevant and fresh. These factors are important because they can affect how Google’s algorithms will rank your webpage. The higher your ranking, the more potential customers will see your valuable content, and the more they will relate to your brand.
“The quality of the content you create and where it appears online plays a big role in the success of your larger marketing strategy,” says Valencia. ‘Each piece of content provides an opportunity for users to get to know your brand, engage with your offering and, hopefully, turn into a paying customer or customer. With this in mind, your content should be at the forefront of your marketing plan, not an afterthought. And, in short, a tacit approach ensures that your content is on topic and relevent to the audience you are aiming to reach.’
Implementing these three tips can help boost your digital marketing efforts, and help you grow your e-commerce business. As traditional marketing shifts, consumers are valuing experiences above all else. Remember to personalize your campaigns, reward current customers with rewards programs, and optimize your content for search engines. As customers become aware of your presence and value your customer-driven approach, you will see that your efforts translate into sales.