The 2015 numbers for Black Friday and Cyber Monday are in, and the verdict is clear: online shopping is more popular than ever.
For the second straight year, online sales grew on Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday – even as in-store sales continued a slow descent. In-store Thanksgiving and Black Friday shopping dropped a whopping 10% over last year, while online shopping over the same two days rose by double digits. For e-commerce sites, this is great news, but it also presents a challenge to online merchants: they must stay cutting-edge if they want to beat the competition.
How do you conquer the competition in the world of online shopping? Look to the industry leaders for inspiration. Here are five key tactics used by the world’s most successful and influential e-commerce companies:
Retargeting is an ideal way to reach out to consumers who have already stumbled upon your website, and the cookies used by your company’s website can help you do just that. In addition to storing information like viewers’ theme selections, site preferences, and usernames, cookies also track what pages viewers visit on your site.
The retargeting method relies on cookies to utilize ad space on other sites your viewers go to when they leave yours. For example, if you were recently browsing the denim section on a fashionable clothing website, you may see ads with their Classic Bootcut or Athletic Fit jeans on other websites you visit. It’s an effective advertising method that draws previous viewers to your site.
2. Cart abandonment
Perhaps you’ve done it yourself – you’re shopping on a website like Walmart.com. You’ve found the perfect birthday gift for your five-year-old nephew, and you’ve got it loaded into your online cart. Suddenly, you get a text from your sister-in-law saying she wants you to get something different. But when you find that “something different,” you quickly determine you cannot afford both. Instead of deleting the first item from your cart, however, you decide it might make a nice Christmas present, so you keep it there, and life goes on. Believe it or not, approximately 69% of online shopping carts are abandoned before the consumer finalizes a sale.
Since consumers with items in their carts most likely have accounts with you, use the email addresses they’ve provided to your advantage. Set up an automated campaign that retargets those shoppers and go get that sale. But don’t do it right away! Successful cart abandonment strategies typically target the consumer several weeks after they’ve abandoned the cart.
3. Content marketing
Developing and implementing a content marketing strategy is essential for raising your brand awareness and drawing in new clientele. Ways you can do this include but are not limited to…
- Starting and maintaining a blog. Regularly posting on your business blog provides constant new content, which is more attractive to search engines.
- Avoiding sales pitches or a pitchy tone in your website content (including blog posts). Don’t take the used car salesman approach; your content should be informational.
- Keeping website content short, easy to read, and easily accessible. When users search online, they’re looking for an instant answer. If they travel to your site and can’t find what they’re looking for within 59 seconds, they move on to the next search result.
Enticing content isn’t always easy to produce, which is why many businesses hire content managers or Internet marketing companies to create and execute effective content marketing strategies.
4. Paid search
Pay per click (PPC) ads are those ads that show up in spots specifically reserved for PPC ads on a search results page. But a PPC campaign involves much more than just getting your ads placed on Google search results pages. It involves intense research for keywords and keyword phrases, creating appealing ads with enticing calls to action, and developing landing pages – a foreign concept for many businesses.
Hooking up with an Internet marketing company to create a PPC campaign can help you accomplish all that. Investing in a PPC campaign is a great way to boost your appeal as a business leader, and the best part about the PPC tactic is that you only pay when people click on your ad.
5. Social media
Social media has become an essential part of life, especially among younger generations. If you want to boost your business, investing your time in online social media platforms can help you reach audiences of all ages. Free media outlets that companies are utilizing more and more include sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Businesses are also branching out into the abyss of Pinterest to reach users looking for creative ways to approach DIY projects.
What makes social media platforms so beneficial to businesses?
- They expand your audience. Reaching out to an unknown world helps increase your brand awareness. You never know who might be in need of your products or services.
- They help boost audience engagement. Sharing a blog post from your website via Facebook or LinkedIn, for example, opens up opportunities for interaction with prospective or existing customers. Every new viewer is a potential client. Interacting with your audience shows the value you place on personal and business relationships, which can make or break a person’s decision to engage you, your products, or your services.
- They help you measure the number of conversions your shared content is generating. Twitter has a feature that allows you to see how many people have seen and interacted with your shared content, and other social media platforms have ways of monitoring “Like” and “Share” selections on your content.
Content marketing specialists can help you put together an editorial calendar that lets you create a schedule for adding blog posts to your website and share business and event updates at optimum times. Allowing content marketers to monitor this schedule will give your team the opportunity to focus on other critical areas of the business, such as customer service or production.
Outrank your competition and boost leads and sales when you combine these top five tactics for improving the e-commerce end of your business. You won’t be disappointed.
For more ways to use marketing to strengthen your business, see the free e-book The Future of Marketing: 5 Keys to a Successful Transformation.