At Fluid Ads, we understand the challenges that eCommerce retailers face. Many businesses are having to adopt eCommerce or adapt their online offering in order to survive in the current climate. It’s crucial to approach marketing in the right way to enhance the performance of business.
We’re focusing on the importance of eCommerce retailers getting their marketing strategies right and to help we’ve compiled 50 eCommerce advertising tips which will help businesses to boost profits through their websites.
To help, we’re focusing on the importance of eCommerce retailers getting their marketing strategies right. We’ve compiled our top marketing and advertising tips to ensure online sellers of all sizes can begin to build high performing, tailored and personalised marketing strategies that engage with consumers, boost profits and impact bottom line.
Retargeting is essential for all eCommerce businesses to engage with potential customers and guide them through their path to purchase. However, the same blanket message simply won’t work for every user.
Tailor your Retargeting message based on the intent of the user. If they viewed a specific product, what does that tell you? They are interested in it and have potential intent to buy. They might be researching, comparing products across competitors, or simply waiting for that particular product to be discounted.
Whatever their motivation, if they haven’t purchased it, it’s critical for you to re-engage. Do this through Product Retargeting with that exact product, as soon as they leave your site.
That’s a really good start but how you approach your messaging is what will be the deciding factor to convert.
The average cart-abandonment rate is 70%. That means that seven out of 10 users that add something into their online basket or shopping cart will abandon it at the final stage.
By finding the right tactics to re-engage with these users you can boost your conversions which will positively impact your business’ bottom line.
So what are your options?
An email reminding users they left something is always a good choice, but it relies on them checking and opening their emails. Their response might therefore not be instant if at all.
Opting for product Retargeting where you can illustrate the exact products abandoned in the basket, will immediately re-engage that user as soon as they go elsewhere online. You’ll be at the forefront of their mindset as they continue to browse.
Your business will most likely have an idea of your target customers, but it’s important to use as many sources of data to define exactly who your audiences are.
Social media is also good for this, try checking out a few of your previous customers or collecting links to social profiles to tailor future offerings.
Track as many data points as possible to build a complete picture of your target customers. You can use your sales data, website analytics, previous email campaign results or reports from your digital advertising.
This helps to understand those consumers that are of the most value to your business.
Customers might need your products and love your brand or you have exactly what they need to solve their biggest issues. It’s the job of your marketing team to let them know this and to help with their individual requirements.
Your onsite content is a crucial tactic to do exactly this.
Dig into search data and perform non-transactional keyword research to understand the questions your customers are asking around your products. They may be searching for style advice for the holiday season, what cold remedies actually work or the best party supplies for New Year’s Eve.
Understanding the questions that are being asked around your products lets you tailor content to answer queries that you know your audience will have. This drives more traffic to your website, places yourself as an authority in the sector and caters to the needs of your potential customers.
Why wouldn’t they choose to purchase from you?
Do you stand out to potential customers when it comes to your delivery options? Are they speedy, flexible and are they affordable?
Crucially, are they sustainable? According to recent research, 43% of Brits say that they are more likely to shop with a rival retailer if they offer a better range of sustainable delivery options.
This could be what comes between you and your competition. How can you make your business stand out?
Whether you’re targeting a specific audience, focusing on Retargeting, contextual targeting or your brand awareness campaigns, you simply won’t create the required customer experience if your ads are out of date.
Consider this scenario. You retarget a previous user of your website, focusing on a product they’ve shown interest in, with a deal that’s sure to grab their attention. They click through to the site, only to find that the product is in fact sold out or the deal that was advertised is no longer running. You’ll lose that customer and the sale.
The customer experience you provided will have been poor and they’ll have no issues with purchasing from one of your competitors in the future. In-feed ads bring some much needed automation into your display campaigns and ensures this situation of poor CX never occurs, costs you sales or wastes your advertising budget.
If you’re servicing a number of territories with different languages, it’s vital that you engage with customers in their native language. Otherwise how will you get them to convert?
When it comes to your digital display advertising that means you’ll need to have the same ad in multiple languages and you need to make sure that the right ad is served to the right users, at the right time. Dynamic Ad creative is the way to go to achieve this.
Colours, buttons, words and images all play their part when it comes to encouraging customers to buy. Central to your strategy should be finding out what works for your users and optimising the process to drive as many conversions as possible.
An eCommerce marketing plan without any A/B testing is simply hit and hope. Run tests throughout the checkout process to understand where people abandon their carts or why they might find it difficult to pay you. It was only one change that decreased the cart abandonment rate by 50% at Asos.
Loyal customers are worth 10x more long term than the value of their 1st purchase. Whilst customers that make a big one time spend might be good for your sales figures at that moment, loyal customers will be the lifeblood of your business.
Consider sending out discount codes with first orders to promote return business, or incentivise customers to refer to their friends.
Remember, a well-thought out loyalty programme will bring customers back to a website and will make them feel appreciated for spending their money with you. It’s a win, win.
89% of consumers are willing to switch to a competitor due to poor customer experience. That means that all of your consumer touchpoints need to be on brand, reflect the values of your business, and be in your brand tone of voice.
Too many eCommerce retailers do everything right when it comes to product Retargeting, brand awareness campaigns and targeted digital display campaigns, but they fall down on the execution of their ads. Their call to action might be confusing, the images might not best show the products or the ads themselves don’t represent their brand in the best possible way.
When customer experience is so crucial for brand loyalty, your digital display ads simply have to showcase and illustrate everything that’s good about your brand and products.
Opt for award-winning, beautifully designed, mobile optimised and cost-effective digital display ads.
According to recent research, the ideal blog post should take seven minutes to read and should be no longer than 1600 words, less if you include a lot of visuals. Anything above this and the reader will begin to lose interest. This is still a must for eCommerce websites that want to generate more traffic.
This gives you a lot of room to work with and means that you should concentrate your efforts on creating long-form content. In previous tips we mentioned the need to create content in line with non-transactional keywords.
By making your content longer you can answer customer queries in more depth and with more authority.
Look at what content is already ranking in the SERPs for these customer queries and make yours 10x better. Try focusing on the length, quality, authority and the assets you include.
To market effectively, it is important to have an identity. This can assist with the authority of your content, especially if you have experts within your business that are well respected in the industry.
This is essential for retailers in industries such as health and fitness that need to be trusted. Fashion retailers will also likely benefit from a well-known and regular content creator. In fact, there aren’t many businesses which wouldn’t benefit from this type of advocacy.
Winning when it comes to your local marketing is crucial for most retailers. This is especially the case if you have a brick and mortar store, but it also shouldn’t be ignored for the online arm of your business either.
Whilst implementing a local SEO strategy might be fundamental to your approach, along with your organic social reach, digital display advertising will give you a direct line to your users in a specific local area. Geotargeting means that there’s no hit and hope, ensuring you can target a defined demographic (and only that demographic) in a precise geographic area, whilst Geofencing catches customers on the go via their mobile devices.
In tip 2 we touched on the need to re-engage with users that abandoned products in their carts through Retargeting.
This isn’t the only tactic you have to do this. Try and combine your Retargeting message with an abandoned cart email series providing gentle reminders to users that they may have forgotten about the products in their cart and how long you’ll hold them for, inclusive of any additional discount rates for purchasing within a specific timeframe.
The key to getting this right is in understanding your audience and tailoring the message for a personalised approach that engages the consumer to act.
Keeping your ads up to date across your product inventory through In-feed ads is one thing, you also need to engage with your users with the right message at the right time.
A blanket message for the entirety of your campaign simply won’t work.
Users have different mindsets throughout the day. As the hours change, so do their online habits and the intent behind their online activity. Changes in external events like the weather will also affect their mood and their desire for certain products.
The right use of dynamic creative will ensure you can display changing messages to your users across your digital display ads in line with external factors such as the time of the day or the weather.
The best technology should make the complex simple. Whatever platform you use for your eCommerce website, your ad-tech solution must integrate with your existing systems and ways of working to hit the ground running.
It has to enhance the performance of your operation rather than hinder it. Key things to look out for will be an ability to improve efficiency, boost the performance of your campaigns and impact your ROI. Cost will be another consideration to work through (look for structured pricing in line with business growth), as well as the ability to tailor the functionality to the specific needs of your business.
Your website will serve a variety of functions. The key is to satisfy your customers’ needs by keeping them onsite with relevant content and the information they need that will guide them through to purchase.
The selection of products listed on your website will of course play their part, as will your onsite content and FAQs, but sometimes customers need an answer to a very specific question, and they need it quickly.That’s where the ability to provide live answers comes into its own. Customers appreciate the ability to get answers fast through live chat or chat bots. Specifically 79% prefer it as their main source of communication with brands due to the instant response it offers.
Opting for live chat, chat bots, or even Facebook’s free tool for Facebook messenger, ticks off your customer service requirement. It also gives you an opportunity to understand more about your users as you’ll discover those problems or queries your customers continue to face.
This gives you added insight which helps you tailor your onsite content strategy.
18. Optimise your product pagesAlways evaluate your customer journeys to look for any gaps or friction that are hindering conversions and understand where any problem areas are on your website.
Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) is extremely valuable for the ongoing success of your business. While you might be testing and tweaking the final stages of the process to reduce abandoned carts, it’s crucial to look at all areas of your site including your product pages.
Look into where you’re losing sales, which customers are dropping off and why, then test changes on your product pages. These could include the amount of copy, shipping information, how the products are displayed, and the use of video for example.
Keep testing and building up detailed understanding of what impacts your conversions. Then optimise for success.
This will be similar to your abandoned cart email series in that both are designed to convince users to finally take the last step and purchase those products they’ve shown an interest in.
Has a user not checked in on their wish-list for a while? Do you have a specific sale item that’s being placed on a number of wish-lists? Will it sell out soon?
Send an email to let your customers know. Tying this in with your approach to Retargeting will also ensure you stay at the forefront of your consumers’ minds.
When your digital advertising campaigns are up and running, it’s important to have the confidence to change things up and tweak as you go to ensure you achieve maximum performance.Setting your stall out at the beginning of a campaign is necessary, but it doesn’t stop there. You need to play around with changes to messaging, product offers, targeting or timing of deals that will improve performance and increase your ROI. Having real-time data and insights through advanced insights in reporting is crucial in your ability to do this.
Flash sales are always a great idea. The goals behind a good flash sale should be to compel online shoppers to impulse buy, increase brand awareness, boost customer loyalty and encourage users to view other non-sale products on your website.
When done well, on average a flash sale will increase transaction rates by 35%.
According to recent research, 50% of flash sale purchases happen in the first hour of the sale going live. That means that you need to make the most of this limited timeframe by engaging with your users immediately as soon as your sale goes live, whether through your email campaigns, Retargeting or brand awareness campaigns. Try and get clever with your messaging and ad creative to really illustrate how quick the sale is and how time is already running out. This sense of urgency is the best way to get your customers spending.
Your messaging and branding must be consistent across all of your different marketing channels, from your website, digital display ads and email campaigns, as well as any TV creative you may be investing in.
This may seem like a costly investment when it comes to the volume of shapes and sizes you’ll need for digital display advertising, especially when employing a creative agency to reformat and tweak creative. However, you don’t have to go down that route. Opting for a solution like an Ad Builder enables you to create on brand, multi-format, multi-shape HTML5 digital display ads in minutes. It’s a cost-effective, efficient and high-performing option.
Too many brands make the mistake of wanting to have a presence across all social media platforms but then neglecting to invest enough time and resources into it. Spreading yourself too thin in this way results in your message being diluted and the fatal mistake of having exactly the same posts on all your social channels. Each channel is different with varying audiences. Your messaging must be tailored to each platform and the correct audience.
Use social analytics tools to understand which formats, content types and messaging perform the strongest on each platform and tailor your ongoing activity in line with this insight.
Automation and advance planning is key to keep your activity consistent without draining too much resource and time.
Black Friday, Cyber Monday, festive sales. The options are ever-increasing for retailers to make their mark on the big shopping days in the calendar.
For smaller businesses, the temptation can be to compete with the big boys in a race to the bottom on price. However, this isn’t a sustainable model for the financial future of a business. Instead, you need to plan well in advance and implement a targeted strategy. This involves digging into your analytics, data and reporting to understand the customers that present the best value on these specific shopping days.
Once you know your audience, compete and win with standout messaging in your Retargeting campaigns, abandoned cart email series or brand awareness campaigns in the run up to the event. Combining your online marketing with any brick and mortar locations or pop ups you’re running is also essential.
If you stick in the mind of your users, they’ll be more likely to buy from you in the choice of where they spend their cash on the big shopping days.
As voice-enabled home-tech is becoming more and more ubiquitous, the way people search for products online is changing. Specifically, by 2020 up to 50% of all searches will be done so by voice.
This necessitates a change in approach as to how you optimise your category and product pages, a detailed understanding of user intent, and increased bidding on long-tail searches. The voice search revolution is well and truly beginning; you can’t afford to be left behind.
This will have an impact on both customer journeys and conversions. When you develop the hierarchy of your website, it’s important to categorise your products in the best possible way.
Begin with an understanding of your customer, the language they recognise and what different categories mean to them. Remember, the process of finding products in your online store should be simple and intuitive.
When it comes to the product pages themselves, consider what is the strongest way to showcase your products. How big should the image be? Does the product need to be shown on a person? Is video a good idea? How many clicks are there to zoom into the product and check out reviews etc? These are all questions to work through and most-importantly, test.
withdrawal periods. Your website must appropriately notify users of their rights in these areas.
Keeping on top of this is a necessity for any business, whilst retailers in other industries must adhere to various industry-specific legislation. For example, healthcare retailers must be extremely careful about the language they use around medical claims. Specifically, medical claims can only be made around products that contain ingredients that are on the EU’s list of permitted health claims.
Anything outside of this list cannot have a medical claim attached to it meaning that retailers in this industry need to tread carefully when advertising products and listing them on their website.
Opticians in the UK have a legal requirement to provide a prescription prior to purchasing lenses. Understanding these guidelines for your industry is crucial for a seamless sales experience.
Competitions are a great way to increase brand awareness and promote loyalty amongst your existing customers, but they can get stale quickly.
Too often the format is on social media to generate likes and engagement, but for brands that think a little more outside the box the pay off can be much greater.
Consider targeting users that have already visited you in store and serving them with ads, through Geofencing, offering them the chance to win one of your newest products in an exclusive competition. This has the benefit of creating an omni-channel experience for your customers offline and online, keeping them engaged with your brand and generating brand loyalty.
Writing detailed, accurate and up-to-date product descriptions is crucial for the success of your online store, for a number of reasons including:
Too many businesses task their buyers with this job, but often this does little for the overall customer experience. It can result in a mishmash of different tones used on the site, language that is too technical for the everyday user, and a lack of keyword optimisation.
If you have copywriters in-house, use them for this task and if you don’t, consider investing in an effective freelance resource.
Order anxiety is a very real thing, especially with consumers that choose to pay for next day delivery. When a product is required by the next day, that suggests the customer is usually in a rush.
Keep them calm and ensure a positive customer experience by providing tracking numbers immediately as well as keeping them updated through regular emails and text messages.
User Generated Content (UGC) is a great tactic to showcase your brand in a relatable way while building interaction with your customers. It also doesn’t require much budget, making it a cost-effective solution to boost brand engagement. Simple tactics to get users sharing their own content involving your brand include:
How-to videos work extremely well for retailers selling tools and gadgets for example, but they can also add a little something extra to tips and advice articles for other retailers too.
Your consumers may have multiple questions about your products, how they work and how to use them which are difficult to answer in the words on your website or in the product descriptions themselves.Good how-to videos can be cheap to make and will really enhance your customer engagement.
Just as you would do when creating editorial content on your site in the form of blogs and guides, it’s important to do detailed keyword research to understand the questions your customers are asking about specific product categories. This will help you define what their needs are and will illustrate in which areas you should invest your budget to create how-to videos.
Detailed customer profiles will help you define users that are of the most value to your business. eCommerce retailers with a wide range of products will likely have a number of customer groups split on a product category level.
It’s essential to use as many data points as possible to define and refine these customer personas, whether through your website analytics, reporting from previous digital display campaigns, data sourced from any Geofencing campaigns that are running or sales data.
Never stop evaluating and refining these customer groups; you never know when they might change.
Getting your SEO strategy right is essential to the future of your business. Put simply, without it your website will have poor visibility and your customers won’t be able to find you through search engines.
Your competitors that are investing in this side of their digital marketing activity will get ahead.
Good SEO means that your website works well from a technical perspective, there is good quality onsite content that is updated regularly, and it is optimised for the keywords you want to rank for.
One of the key aspects of sites that perform well in the search engine results pages (SERPs) is a high quality link blend – that’s other sites linking back to your site where relevant. High quality links illustrate that your website is authoritative and will help you rank for terms relevant to your business.
Too many eCommerce retailers approach this by employing so-called ‘black hat’ SEO tactics by buying links. Whilst this may result in a quick increase in visibility, the long-term effect could be a penalty from Google which will harm your site and business significantly.
The creation of newsworthy and engaging content with a digital PR approach to outreach is the best way to build quality links. Again, when done well it can be a low-cost and high-performing tactic.
Your customers will have questions about your business, products and service terms. Help them answer these through the creation of detailed FAQs on your website.
Use all possible ways and means to build these out including keyword research, as well as data from your customer service teams and chatbots.
Personalising content is a huge factor for consumers when choosing which brands to buy from.
Specifically, nearly 80% of consumers will only engage with an offer from a brand if it has been personalised to reflect those previous interactions that they’ve had with that brand. The importance of personalising is set to increase in 2020, with over half of consumers expecting companies to anticipate their needs and make relevant suggestions before making contact.
Put simply, if you’re not personalising consumer experiences with your brand, potential customers will turn elsewhere. eCommerce retailers have a number of options for personalisation including in their digital display ads, Retargeting campaigns, email and social media.
A personalisation strategy is essential.
You simply won’t get things right immediately. It’s incredibly important to test and refine everything you do to ensure you’re giving your business the highest chance of success.
That includes A/B testing your digital display ads and making up-to-the-second campaign tweaks and changes to enhance performance as you go, as well as trialling new forms of content, social media posts and email campaigns. It’s also important to continue to evaluate the customer journey and customer experience on your website, through appropriate conversion rate optimisation techniques.
Are your online products relevant to users in a specific area? Do you have brick-and-mortar locations and want to boost offline sales as well as on your website? Is it important to increase brand awareness in key locations for your core demographic?
There are so many reasons why it might be integral for your business to focus on your local advertising strategy, with your business objectives defining your advertising approach. For example, Geotargeting can be used to engage with a defined audience in a local area to drive both online and offline sales, while Geofencing will encourage footfall into your brick-and-mortar stores, as well as enhancing the omni-channel experience for your customers.
The first step is to define your local advertising objectives, while the second is to use the right technology to help you execute your campaigns.
Successful businesses don’t dip in and out of marketing and advertising, they show up every single day and make sure they continue to engage with their users.
For smaller retailers and businesses just starting out, it can become a significant drain on resources and finances to continue to create blog posts, to work hard on their social media platforms and put what budget they have into advertising, but it is these channels that will be central to business growth.
That means Retargeting campaigns should be running all the time, alongside brand awareness campaigns, paid social media advertising, PPC, SEO and content marketing.
Whilst it may appear daunting for smaller businesses, it’s a question of continuing to look at creative tactics to compete with the bigger retailers, innovative campaigns to boost user engagement, and cost-effective ways to ensure advertising performance without draining your budget.
For many consumers, price matters and they will actively research and look for the best deals online. As a retailer you should always price your products high enough that you can offer discounts without making a loss.
To ensure you’re giving these users value and generating sales in the process, create discount codes and submit them to the most popular discount code websites. Consider also using them in your social media posts and Retargeting strategy as a tactic to encourage interested users to convert.
When a user first lands on your website, it can take just a few milliseconds for them to form long-lasting opinions about your brand, business and products.
Of course, your website needs to be optimised for SEO, but too often this results in websites packed with onsite content for content’s sake, resulting in a poor design with little consideration for the user journey. When designing your site in the first place whether re-designing, re-branding, or re-platforming it’s crucial to take a user-centric approach to guarantee that it provides the best possible user experience for your consumers.
This will impact the design of the homepage, category pages and product pages, as well as the site hierarchy and use of images and video.
Do you see a sales spike at certain times of year? Do you stock products that are in demand during specific types of weather? Are your best sellers seasonal?If so, the weather, and specifically changes in the weather, should feed into your advertising strategy to enhance performance. It’s therefore essential that you are able to react in an agile manner with flexibility in your digital advertising approach to ensure you can get weather-specific ads live in a timely fashion.
A cost-effective solution to build digital display ads at scale coupled with the ability to quickly change creative in line with external events, through Dynamic Creative is vital.
Cart abandonment is a huge problem for many online retailers. Whilst it’s important to try and re-engage and win these users back through Retargeting or abandoned cart email tactics, it’s also crucial to understand why this happens and to rectify the issue before it occurs.According to research, 40% of carts are abandoned at the payment stage due to either the process being too complicated, specifically having to create an account, delivery or a lack of payment options.
The solution? Offer multiple payment options and don’t force customers to create an account – alternatives for the latter include enabling them to purchase as a guest or log in through their existing social media accounts.
Wearable technology is set to be big in 2020. Previous attempts such as Google Glass may have struggled, but that hasn’t stopped the industry continuing to develop more options.
When wearables become widely adopted the opportunities for brands to connect with these users will be huge. The importance of the data from wearable technology has recently been illustrated by the $2.1billion purchase of Fitbit by Google. The industry is only set to grow and grow as we move into 2020.
Of course, it’s fundamental for the success of your business to focus on the short-term by ensuring your website is performing from a sales perspective and you’re getting the best bang for your buck from any digital advertising campaigns you’re running.
Consider playing the long game and focusing on your brand, as well as how to build an engaged community of users. Targeted brand awareness campaigns will help you with the former, while the latter will be served by your organic social media channels for example.
Consider investing in other ways to build this community, such as a dedicated website for publishing content or a forum. A well-executed forum will enable you to harvest a bank of users that align with your product values and become invested in your brand.
Remember, a loyal customer is worth so much more than a high single purchase user.
There are so many things you need to do from an SEO perspective to make sure that your website is visible in the search engine results pages (SERPs), but how do you improve your click-through rate when you do start to rank?
A key tactic is to create compelling meta descriptions. They need to be well written, descriptive and able to entice users to click through. Spend time crafting them well and it will have the desired effect on your CTR.
Your eCommerce website is vital for the ongoing success of your business, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore other potential options to reach your customer base.
Marketplaces like Amazon and eBay promise access to millions of consumers and ease of use. If you optimise your listings properly there is the potential to grow your sales on Amazon for example by 320% within 10 minutes of optimisation.
It’s well worth investing your time into your marketplace selling strategy.
Your customers want to know about your upcoming product launches, they will be interested in viewing products similar to their purchase histories and will likely appreciate reminders.Put simply, they are happy to re-engage with you and your brand. This creates an essential opportunity to upsell products whether through email campaigns or Retargeting for example. What will quickly turn off your users however will be too much of the hard sell.
Remember to tread carefully.
Every consumer is different. That means that users will use multiple ways to navigate your site to find products. Cater to this need and make it a simple and smooth process.
Some customers know exactly what they want and will type the name of the product in the search bar and just head straight to that product, while others will scroll through your product pages or browse your content to find what they’re looking for.Simplify things by showcasing new products through ‘Featured Products’ on your homepage and help them find these new products by cross-selling and up selling in your content, as well as providing personalised recommendations to users. Don’t forget point 48, however.
Your business will evolve, your target demographic may change, and your sales will hit peaks and troughs. Essential for the future of your business is to keep going with your advertising and marketing strategy but have the flexibility to adapt as and when you need to.
This includes continually looking into the data to understand your users such as your sales data, website analytics and campaign reporting; tapping into the best available technology to engage with your users; and always showcasing your brand in the best possible way in every single campaign you create.
With such a vast opportunity online it’s important to focus on the eCommerce advertising tips that resonate and will progress your current business goals and objectives.
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