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7 Common Challenges of ECommerce Business & Their Solutions

Over the last 10 to 15 years, Ecommerce has entirely revolutionized retail business. It not only just developed exponentially but also progressed and transfigured over time to meet the ever-changing desires and requirements of the modern day consumers.

According to Global outlook (2016-’21) of e-commerce business, worldwide marketers can expect steady growth through 2021, when sales will total US$28 Trillion.

Statistics says, e-commerce share of total global retail sales has seen great growth and this tradition will continue in upcoming years as well.

statista-ecommerce-sales-dataSource: Statista 2018

So, the reason is quite vivid why every offline business owner feels interested in shifting the business to online.

There are multiple advantages of opting for ecommerce business.

  • You don’t need a physical store anymore. Yes, you need to host a website, but that is cheaper than paying rent for a brick and mortar shop.
  • Ecommerce store requires less staff because the entire process is automated, and the human resources are used only for high-level functions.
  • Your market will get wider as compared to a physical store.
  • Your store can be opened for any new order 24/7.
  • By implementing right ecommerce SEO strategies, you can get great qualified organic search traffic.
  • You can track your logistics easily.
  • The communication with customers also becomes easy and effective.

Is that it? The answer is a big resounding NO. The coin has another side too.

There are some challenges that every ecommerce business owners have to face at some point of time while running their self-hosted websites. Today I will talk about these challenges and how you can solve them.

So without further ado, let’s start the discussion.

ECommerce Business Problems & It’s Solutions

#1 Poor Product Catalogue

Problem

The first problem, for ecommerce businesses, is caused by having poor product catalogue. Listing a product on your ecommerce website is not enough to get high revenue. If you have a substandard product catalogue, then all your effort to launch a product will go in vain.

So when can a product catalog be considered as poor?

Actually, there are some factors that define a product catalog as poor. Let me give you a brief about these factors.

  • Shoddy Images

An e-commerce store may have numerous products listed, vary from category, style, color, material, design etc. Not all who visit an ecommerce store have the mindset to buy something particular initially. Firstly, the image of a product catches their’ attention. This is the main tool for convincing them. A potential buyer closely checks a product image by zooming it, this image gives the buyer an idea how it would suit his/her utility. Buyer also likes to see products image in all angles so make sure your product shows everything what it has.

So, if you use poor-quality images for your products, then it will be next to impossible for you to turn your online store visitors into customers and increase conversion.

  • Improper product description

By going through detailed product information, customers know more about the purchase they’re considering.  It helps in increasing conversion rate. But when the product descriptions are vague and scanty, there’s a chance that you lose valuable customers.

In online retail stores, bare minimum product descriptions are often seen. Let’s have a look at an example of such product description below:

This is a screenshot of a short sleeve denim shirt’s description from the Gap website.

gap-denim-shirt-type

This decent looking shirt appears to be soft and comfortable. But if you cannot see the image, you have to rely on the description above, which only provides the barest information.

Another problem is having incorrect or grammatically errored product description on a website. Let’s have a look at a description of a product listed on Rakuten Global Market Website.

This description is of a coin purse/coin case:

rakuten-grammer-error

As you can see, there are many grammatical errors in this product description. It does not evoke anything, and for a website visitor, it’s difficult to understand what the product is about. When your prospective customers will not be able to understand your product properly after reading its description, they will lose interest in it, and eventually, you will lose profit.

Solution

When you are selling a product, being able to appropriately explain what it does, and how it can be beneficial is very important. Also, having clear images of that product from various angles is crucial.

Here are a few practices that you must follow:

  • Review product images listed in renowned ecommerce stores and get an idea
  • Hire a professional photographer or the people who have expertise in preparing catalogue
  • Address features and benefits in a comprehensive manner in the product description
  • Double check after writing to spot any grammatical error
  • Make your product description easy to read and skim; use bullet points, subheadings, large fonts etc.

#2 Unexpected Product Returns & Refund

Problem

The second and most common challenge of any ecommerce business is unexpected product returns and refund. This problem is costing so much money to any ecommerce business because refunding the amount and product return (shipping cost) is very costly now a days.

Research says around 30% of all products ordered from an ecommerce store are returned as compared to 8.89% in a physical store. Processing return, exchanges, and refunds are some remarkable problems that most ecommerce businesses face. Even if you have a well-developed packaging and shipping system, it’s not enough to manage returns and exchanges hassle-freely. Especially some customers opt for Cash-On-Delivery (COD) option, and refuse to accept the product – it results in huge revenue losses for many e-commerce companies.

Solution

The one and only solution is having a well-thought strategy and making sure that the strategy will be promulgated appropriately. Remember, the more hassle-free your return and refund processes are, the better way you can assist your customers. And when your customer assistance becomes flawless, you get more trust from customers and it will become long time customer. Create a page on your website, detailing all your return and refund policies. Put refund and return policy page link on every product page so customer can get the information easily.

While creating policies, be transparent in your writing, use simple English and maintain clarity to make the content easy to understand. Provide your customers varied options for payments and shipping. You should also educate your customer care executives properly about your policies so, that when they assist your customers, the entire process becomes effective and fast. And finally, be prepared to face the cost of your mistakes. If a product is shipped wrong, then take extra efforts to make the customer happy. Even when the fault is totally of your customer, don’t behave harshly to make him/her angry. Keeping your customers happy will make them come back to your site again and again.

We have seen some examples in past where cost of the product is very low and when customer returns it to ecommerce business than the return cost was higher than the cost of the product. In those cases ecommerce business owner tells customer that keep the item with you and we will either refund or send another item. In this way ecommerce business earns the trust of customer and gets mouth to mouth advertisement as well (Praise from customer) at the cost of minor amount.

#3 Deal with Negative & Suspicious Reviews

Problem

It is very common for an ecommerce business to be wrapped up in negative reviews. Anyone, having a running ecommerce business, has dealt with at least a couple of bad reviews.

And if everybody who has received negative product reviews closed up store, ecommerce simply would not exist.

If and when you receive a bad review, remember that it does not mean your product or service is bad. Most likely, the review was a result of mismatched expectations or simply a bad day on the part of the reviewer.

So, what is the best way to deal with bad reviews? Get more good ones!

And what about suspicious reviews? Being an ecommerce business owner, if you have found some reviews as fake or suspicious, let me tell you my friend, you are not alone in this scenario. According to a survey, there was a huge up-tick in the number of suspicious reviews even on Amazon website in 2016-’17.

Solution

When it comes to dealing with negative reviews, as I have mentioned earlier, a negative feedback does not define you are selling something wrong. You need to keep in mind that no product can gratify every customer, and negative reviews indicate that. Do not hide your negative reviews. People always trust a business that has both positive and negative reviews on its website, because it signifies that all the reviews are real and the brand is authentic.

When it comes to dealing with suspicious or fake reviews, allow only official buyers to add reviews on your products. Encourage your customers to leave honest reviews after buying a product. And do not enter any fake reviews from yourself.

ecommerce-certified -buyersIn reality, you cannot completely protect yourself from fake reviews, but you can reward with great products, superb content in product descriptions and good reviews.

Ecommerce business should send one email to customer after 10-15 days of purchase which consists information –

  • Did you liked the product?
  • How’s the quality of product?
  • How’s the quality of delivery?
  • Would you like to add detailed review of this product?.

Business shouldn’t send instant email to customer by saying that “Would you like to add review of this product?”. Because, customer might not used that product instantly and it takes time to use it and review it.
product-review-mailThis way you can earn honest review from the customer.

#4 Transparent & Fast Communications with Customers

Problem

Lack of transparent communication with customers and slow response to their inquiries make the people distrust your ecommerce store. Also, if your website doesn’t have any separate contact us page with detailed contact information, it becomes difficult for people to follow through and buy your products online.

Solution

To instill trust in your customers or website visitors you need to maintain a transparent and effective communication with them. It would be great if you provide contact information easily like phone number, email ID and other direct contact links.

amazon-contact-us-formHow?

Here are some ways:

  • Have a skilled customer care team that can meet every customer’s need as soon as possible and in the most effective manner.
  • Avoid sending an automatic response to any customer’s email. Send a personal note.
  • Create a Contact Us page and have its link or details on the website’s home page so that people can reach your business easily
  • Stay active across all leading social media platforms and engage with your audience. You can resolve any customer’s query on social platform as well.

amazon-social-media#5 Confuse to choose right advertisement channel for ecommerce store

When you are running an ecommerce store, it’s natural for you to hope for it to be a runaway success. But no matter how good your products/services are, without a solid advertising strategy your store will not work.

Are you confused about which particular platform will perfectly be suited for advertising your business? Then, you are seriously in trouble. You should not choose any random marketing strategy without having a proper idea. Well, you can do competitor research and have a better idea. But as a matter of fact, it will take a handsome amount of time and cost you well.

Solution

OLBUZ have 12+ years of digital marketing experience and we know what will be right advertisement channel of platform for different kind of business. For an ecommerce business paid marketing platforms like Google Ads and Bing Ads are the perfect platform. Ecommerce business should run shopping campaign on these platforms because it’s quite cheap compared to display network and search network and can reach maximum audience easily. Here is the one such example of Shopping Ads / PLA Ads.

Google shoppings ads iphone xOnce you decide the particular platform than you need to finalize target audience and the budget. Distribute the budget among online and offline advertising. However, depending on your business category and the target audience, you need to decide how much money you’ll spend on online advertisement and how much on the offline ones. Harness the benefits of Google Ads that can give you a high return on a low budget. If you are using social media channels for advertising, pick the right platform according to your business genre.

OLBUZ has plenty of Ecommerce clients, and we run shopping campaigns for them with right strategies, budget, target audience and location. We have always given more than expected results to our clients. One such shopping campaign performance example is below. Check out our Paid Marketing Case Studies for eCommerce Brand here.

#6 Cut-Throat Competitions

Problem

Ecommerce retailers often compete on price. There are some sellers who may list same products on their websites. The product is same but the only difference here is the price. They are competing to sell the merchandise to increase their market share. Such competition affects especially small ecommerce businesses very badly.

Another problem is there are some manufacturers and retailers, who may sell the same products, which you are selling on your website, directly to the people. Some even build distributors which make the entire scenario even worse.

Solution

To survive the cut-throat competition in this industry, business owners need to distribute their own inventory to fulfillment warehouses, act as resourceful shippers, or offer some extremely unique merchandise.

Online buyers appreciate speedy and free shipping that also at lowest price. Thus proffering a product at less price or with additional benefits can minimize all problems and help you increase your sales.

office-furniture-free-shipping

You should restrict the manufacturers to sell the products directly to customers by applying the policies and strict regulations while making the contract.

eCommerce promotion ideas is also one of the classic example to survive in the industry. Users loves to buy products at discounted rate or with other offers. Here is the list of promotion ideas which business owners can provide to their customers.

  • Free Shipping
  • Percentage Based Discount
  • Buy One Get One (BOGO) Offer
  • Free Item on $$$ Purchase
  • Coupon Code Discount
  • Quantity Based Discount

#7 Customer’s Loyalty

Problem

Does your business still struggle despite having amazing products on a superb looking website?

If it does, then the possible reason of it is that you haven’t yet built the customer trust and loyalty.

The main reason why ecommerce businesses find problems while building customer loyalty and trust is because a buyer and a seller are unknown to each other; they can’t see each other while making a transaction unlike shopping from a physical store.

Even loyal customers may switch to other options if they faced any problem with your service earlier.

Solution

To earn customer trust and loyalty, it’s a must for you to offer great customer assistance. Make sure your customers feel satisfied with your assistance throughout the process from ordering online to shipping.

Some more ways to instill trust in your customers-

  • Your complete address, contact number, photos of your staff, customer testimonials etc. should be visible on your website
  • Add live chat option and a blog section to your website
  • Provide good offers to existing customers
  • Create loyalty programs to encourage the buyers to shop

Conclusion

Considering the factors discussed in today’s post and implementing the solutions over time will contribute to how your ecommerce business grows. So what recent challenge you’ve faced while running your online store? How have you overcome it? Do share your experience in the comment section. I ‘d be glad to know.

Tested Promotion Ideas & Marketing Platforms to Boost Sales for ECommerce Business in 2019

ECommerce business became very competitive because of many big fishes who is in the ecommerce business since ages and still expanding their business day by day. Apart from it each year many ecommerce business is being launched with new products, new concepts & unique offers but only few gets noticed. Ecommerce business will get success only if they hit the right audience with right approach & right platform. Some big Ecommerce businesses have their own marketing team or think tank team so, they do have proper channel for marketing. Here we will provide some of the verified and tested ecommerce marketing ideas for those ecommerce businesses who recently launched their business, small or medium size business or wanted to launch their ecommerce business.

There is plenty of different ways to do Ecommerce marketing including online and offline channel. Few of the popular Ecommerce marketing strategy includes

  • Run ads on TV
  • Run ads on Newspapers
  • Huge Banners across the country
  • Online Ads platform (FB, Google Ads etc)
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Influencer Marketing
  • & Many More…

One of the primary attribute in Ecommerce marketing which needs to be add in any advertisement is promotions / offers / discounts & deals. These are the important things which should be and must be there always. Here we will discuss about different promotion strategy for eCommerce businesses which needs to be implemented to get more sales.

So, Let’s start…..

Struggling to set the right promotion strategy for your Ecommerce business? Well, here we have compiled the various Ecommerce marketing/promotions strategy which you can apply on your store [Believe Us – All promotions strategy tested on various businesses]. Some E commerce businesses also raise doubts that even after applying promotion strategies, they couldn’t achieve sales as expected. So, here we are also listing the steps about how one can promote the coupon codes, promo codes or discounts to their targeted audience using various platforms.

Setting up an E-commerce website to sell products online – is doing just this enough to make money in the ecommerce industry? The answer is a big resounding No. Offering lucrative promotions and special offers to your prospective ecommerce customers is an effectual process of driving huge traffic to your site, gaining new customers, and boosting revenue. And the best part is you can harness the power of these promotions to encourage new visitors to become loyal, repeat customers of your business.

But in today’s competitive market, online consumers have become more savvy than ever and there are countless online buying options for them. Thus, standing ahead of the crowd is only possible when you can develop innovative promotion ideas. Implementing these strategies correctly with additional persuasion can help your visitors buy your products instantly and give you a great return on investment (ROI). But from the many tried, tested and suggested ways to promote ecommerce website out there, have you been able to plot the right one for your own business? If not yet, then get ready to find your answers today. So, without further ado, let’s start the discussion.

Types Of Effective Ecommerce Promotion Ideas

Just like brick and mortar stores, if you do not welcome your customers to your ecommerce store, it will take just a second for them to choose another option to make a purchase. To welcome your customers, you need to engage them. Special offers and promotions play an important role in engaging customers to an ecommerce website. There are some effective ecommerce promotion ideas that work wonderfully. Here is the list of some killer promotion ideas which you can include in your ecommerce marketing strategy.

Just Remember – “First Impression is the Last Impression”

#1 Free Shipping Promotion 

A study says, 9 out of 10 shoppers prefer free shipping when it comes to buying things online. A majority of consumers consider free shipping as an appealing offer and thus it can drive remarkable sales conversions.

office-furniture-free-shipping

There are mainly two ways through which you can offer free shipping on your e commerce business – conditional free shipping and unconditional free shipping. Conditional free shipping sets certain conditions to the free shipping offer for example.

  • Minimum order value
  • Select Items
  • Economy Delivery
  • Area-specific delivery

On the other hand, unconditional free shipping applies on every item and every order across all brands. Choose a method depending on your profit margins, shipping costs, and competition. Some Ecommerce store goes one step further by providing same day shipping, one-day shipping or free returns offers. This kind of promotion offers surely benefits to the business as people need their product as soon as possible.

#2 Percentage Based Discounts

Offering your prospective customers discounts on every buy is a way to draw people’s attention to your store and products. And eventually, this becomes helpful for your ecommerce business in increasing sales, improving reputation and boosting success. And one of the most common ways to provide discounts is with a percentage based discount. Usually, ecommerce retailers use small to large discounts as incentives to purchase. And sometimes, when it comes to flash sale or clearance sale, some brands even offer 50% or more discounts [Don’t judge, read next line]. Which discount you will choose to offer your customers completely depends on your profit margin and inventory stock.

shoes-percentage-discount

In the above screenshot, you can see that how this E-commerce business provides discount offer directly on product listing page. Apart from the discount offer, the product listing page perfectly sums up the details of the products. It has product image, available colors variants information, product name, price range, discount offer, ratings and reviews and finally, call to action button.

#3 Buy One Get One Free Discount

Buy one get one free (BOGO) offer helps ecommerce retailers allure their customers easily. Usually, this offer happens during festivals, events and major national holidays. Through this offer, you can create a perception for your customers that they are getting a great deal. And that is what drive sales for your business. The BOGO offer is designed in such a way that helps in clearing out, moving inventory and creating cash flow for an ecommerce business. To make people aware of this offer, set up a banner across your website showcasing BOGO offer through a compelling copy.

bogo-buy-one-get-one-free-promotion

As mentioned earlier, this kind of BOGO offers specially available during the festivals or holidays so, be prepared for it and announce such offers on your store a bit earlier before the offer starts to make the customers aware and get themselves for purchase. We have seen some Ecommerce businesses set up this offer specially on few product categories which directly connected to specific holiday. For e.g. few jewelry portals provides BOGO offer on mother’s day specially on jewelry items which can be gifted to mother. Ecommerce business can set up above BOGO offers during below holidays list.

  • Black Friday
  • Cyber Monday
  • Boxing Day
  • Carnival
  • Christmas
  • New Year
  • Diwali
  • Easter
  • Fall Sale
  • Father’s Day / Mother’s Day
  • Halloween
  • Hanukkah
  • Labor Day
  • Independence Day
  • Eid
  • Rosh Hashanah
  • Winter Sale
  • Valentine’s Day
  • & Many More (Yes, Holiday Season Never Ends)

#4 Get Free Item On $$$$ Purchase

free-gift

This offer applies to a certain amount of purchase of any particular product, working in various ways, such as a flat discount, a fixed percentage of discount and more. By offering these discounts, ecommerce websites can gain profit from individual customers as well as distributors and wholesale merchants. And every customer loves having free item when buying something. Thus giving away free stuff on a certain amount of purchase can certainly encourage your website users to often make bulk orders. Jewelry Ecommerce business is one of the ideal businesses to offer such promotions.

#5 Discount / Coupon Code On Sale Price

This offers the customers the chance of getting a certain amount of concession on sale or bill price by including a discount or coupon code. Just make sure your coupon or promo code is easy to remember and apply. The easier a promo code is easy to remember and apply the more it will be used and eventually the better transactions you will have over the time. To harness its maximum benefits, other than your website, share the coupon codes on third party websites as well to drive more traffic.

coupon code

Some Ecommerce websites provides coupon codes or discount for first-time users to encourage them to buy more products from the store to gain trust.

#6 Quantity Discounts

bulk-discounts-promotions

Offering lucrative discounts on a certain quantity of purchase can drive sales for ecommerce businesses. This offer can be advantageous for both the sellers and consumers when there’s any bulk order placement gets done.

#7 Reward Points

Offering reward points to customers has a significant impact on customer loyalty program in e-commerce business. And when you give importance to customer loyalty program, you get customer retention, new customers through referrals and an increased conversion. Show reward points based on affiliate sales or total products bought by your customers and give discounts accordingly.

One More Important Thing….

Each & every ecommerce business has their own range product categories or business model so, from above list it may or may not possible to apply all promotions for your business. It completely depends on the profit margin, inventory stock, ROI and other important things. So, decision is yours.

And, if you haven’t decided your range of product categories for your ecommerce business than here is the statistics of what users prefers to buy most from online.

online-shopping-categories

We hope now you might get good idea about promotions…..Now let’s talk about marketing platforms or types of online ads where you can promote above promotions to right audience.

How to Promote Promotions via Online Ads?

Confused? Don’t worry, we are here to help !

Offline businesses who owns any fashion store, toys store, mobile store or any other store still provides various promotions including discounts, BOGO offer and other benefits. They promote their promotions via different advertisements including local newspapers, local tv channels, radio, pamphlets, huge hoardings and other sources. But, here we are talking about Ecommerce website which has a large number of audience and above methods may or may not work.

By simply displaying discount coupons and freebies on your ecommerce website won’t make the cut, you will have to make potential buyers aware of such coupons and freebies. And the best way to do so is online ads. Powerful online ads not only make your offers and freebies known to your audience but also build brand awareness for your ecommerce website.

Here are some popular ways of running online ads to increase ecommerce sales:

#1 Google Ads

Google Ads are perhaps the most powerful online ads platform that allow ecommerce businesses to connect with a large audience. You have a wide range of options to run Google Ads campaigns.

Here are the main types of Google Ads:

Via Search Campaign

Google search campaign allows you to place your ads in the search engine result page. Through search advertising, you can bid to place an ad in the search results and fix the maximum amount you want to pay when someone clicks your ad. To get quality leads, make sure your ad reaches only the people who are likely to buy your products.

Ad Copy

search-ad-copyJust create a compelling ad copy and add the promotion details such as discounts, coupons, deals, offers etc. in ad title & description. This will help you reach a niche audience as compared to any other advertising method.

Search Campaign Extensions

Google Ads also provides one more feature called as extensions. Ecommerce store can promote their promotions via callout extensions which allow you to expand ads by 25 characters. So, one can set up callout extension with promotional offers.

Recently Google launched one more extension named Promotions extension where Ecommerce business can add their promotion details easily along with % discount, monetary discount and coupon code details. This extension works like a charm in search ads.

promotions-extension

Via Shopping Ads

You might be aware of Shopping ads because every online Ecommerce store runs this ad as it gives the highest ROI and very cheap. If you don’t know about these ads then you are missing a huge revenue source for your business. Don’t worry, we will explain about shopping ads here.

Shopping ads, also referred to product listing ads, feature specific products you sell in the search engine result page. To create a shopping ad and enable promotions feature to show your discount and coupon code to your targeted audience, you need to set up an account in Google Merchant Center and later you need to apply to Google team to enable the promotions feature for your store.

After enabling the Promotions feature for your Google merchant store, you can easily set up Promotions for all your products. Once you complete the set up, than users will able to view the coupon code/promo code details just below your product shopping ad which boosts chances of more sales.

merchant-center-shopping-promotion

Such ads stand ahead of the curve and help you grab attention, have a broad reach, get quality leads and gain high conversion and good CTR.

Via Display Campaign

gearbest-discount-banners

Display advertising, also known as banner advertising, conveys a commercial message visually, utilizing logo, text, images, animations, videos and other graphics. You can harness the benefits of users’ behavioral targeting and geotargeting to get the maximum advantage from display advertising.

Remarketing Ads

Dynamic remarketing ads are one of the finest features for any online ads platform. It allows Ecommerce business to display ads to those customers who visited your website earlier but didn’t purchase anything from it. For retargeting ads we can build several custom audiences to achieve maximum return.

dynamic-remarketing-adHere are few Audiences examples you can create in your online ads platform.

Audience 1 – Visited cart page but didn’t make any purchase (Average chances for sales)

Audience 2 – Visited Checkout page but didn’t make any purchase (Higher chances for sales/leads)

Audience 3 – Remained website for 45+ Seconds and didn’t make any purchase (Evaluate the average sale time and create audience accordingly)

Audience 4 – Visited particular product category page but didn’t make any purchase (High chance of product category sale)

We can build such custom audience on Google Ads, Bing Ads and even on Facebook Ads.

You can also promote your festival offers and deals through eye-catchy banner ads. Visually appealing banner ads create brand awareness among your targeted audience, give your products and offers great visibility and help you get a wide reach in an impactful way.

Note – Even if you don’t have main stream E commerce business and selling digital products then don’t worry, you can still run dynamic display ads for your business via Google AdWords using custom feed options.

#2 Facebook/Instagram Ads

Facebook and Instagram ads are a great tool to promote your ecommerce business, especially when you are targeting your products to the young generation. These are highly popular platforms to garner sales for ecommerce businesses. Report says, in 2018 Facebook advertising revenue has been amounted to 13.2 billion U.S. dollars. To stand ahead in this competitive arena, leverage all the lucrative benefits that Facebook offers.

facebook-offer-ad

Set up promo and offer ads on Facebook for your targeted and retargeted audience. Add discount or coupon code information in basic Facebook ads. Set up Instagram placement directly from Facebook ads. Post high-quality pictures on these social platforms, especially on Instagram, an image-heavy social network platform.

#3 Email Marketing

email-discount-offers

No matter what people say, email marketing campaigns (if run smartly) can increase your sales at a fraction of your marketing budget. Following are some email marketing ideas to grow your sales:

  • Send email to those users who added product in cart and didn’t purchase at least for 2 days
  • Send email to all existing customers/new customers
  • Send email prior to days/events/holidays, such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas etc.

The golden rule of email marketing is every marketing mail should offer some value to your audience. If you follow it, you will certainly taste the success.

Quick Take Aways & Conclusion

If you are an e commerce business owner or planning to be one in near future, it’s quite natural for you to find out proven tactics that will help you get a flood of sales. Hopefully, after reading this post, now you have the idea of ways to achieve that. Whether you opt for Google ads or decide to implement Facebook or Instagram ads or take advantage of email marketing – the options are many. No matter which option you choose, if you are not aware of your buyer persona, then all your efforts will go in vain.

In any case, as now that you know what should be done, get started and go through the tips above mentioned, working for your store.

So, which promotional tactic has worked for you when it comes to promoting your products and offers and boosting sales? Do share your experience here in the comment section. I’d love to know.

To make things more easy “Hire Us” [WINKED]

How to Use Micro Moments to Double Your Sales from any (Nearly) Business – eCommerce, Local or Online

Google serve over trillions of search queries every year and out of them over 15% are new search queries they never received before. Day by day the way consumers behave in the digital world is going through a huge change. Especially with more internet searches now taking place on smartphones than desktop or other devices, more shopping searches being conducted from mobile and more local search queries being conducted on the go than ever before. That is why the worldwide ad spends for mobiles have also been immensely increased.

While working with big ecommerce brands, I have seen this swift very closely, especially in last two years. Research says, “We estimate global expenditure on mobile advertising at US$107 billion in 2017, representing 52.6% of internet expenditure and 19.8% of total advertising expenditure (this total excludes a few markets where we don’t have a breakdown by medium). By 2020 we forecast mobile advertising to have grown to US$180 billion, nearly double desktop’s US$94 billion total, having overtaken desktop in 2017. Mobile will account for 65.6% of internet expenditure and 29.3% of all expenditure in 2020 – more than all the traditional media except television put together”. This reflects the amazingly rapid growth of ecommerce marketing on mobile which has brought a revolution among the advertisers and the consumers.

mobile internet growth

It has been noticed that consumers make decisions according to mobile content that serves the appropriate purpose at the appropriate moment. Content, hence, should be addressed to users intentions and accessible everywhere – throughout different device types, various platforms, and varied channels. And in this context, the importance of micro moments comes.

Are you thinking what micro moments are? Well, in this post, that is exactly what I am going to discuss today. After going through today’s post, you will come to know how ecommerce business is dependent on micro moments and in which way these moments can change the game of sponsored advertising. If you really understand these micro moments of your prospect customers, you can definitely increase the sales through your eCommerce website.

Micro Moments - The Game Changer in Online Business World

What is Micro Moments?

Google has nicely classified the Micro Moments which is an intent-rich moments, occur when people turn to a device, especially a smartphone, to act on a need – to know, do, buy, or go. This is a unique way to influence consumers or to get more customers which lot of marketers are still unaware of or don’t leverage it.

Micro MomentsLet me tell you more elaborately what these Micro Moments are:

  • “I want to know” moments – These occur when people research or explore something, but are not really in buying mode.

For example, after adopting an Abyssinian cat, a user has started wondering “what type of food should I get for this cat?” Instead of asking somebody in the family or among friends, the user intuitively picks up the phone and types “best food for abyssinian cats”.

Here the audience is still not in buying position but He may become your customer in the future. If you are looking to expand your brand reach, you can also target “I want to know” users. Here the conversion rate will be low but you can re-target such audiences during “I want to buy” moment.

  • “I want to do” moments – These occur when people require assistance in finishing a task or trying something new.

For example, a user just finished a woodwork for decorating his or her house interior. Now the user wants to stain the wood but is not aware of its actual process. Instead of taking advice from a professional, the user turns to the smartphone and type “how to apply wood stain.” If you are working on content marketing campaign to target such audiences, building such content may result in better ROI for the longer run.

This type of audience generally seeking help but sometime they may need professional services to complete the task and you may generate more business. Building DIY guides and resourceful content promoted through the proper channel can help you to reach proper audiences in specific region.

  • “I want to go” moments – These occur when people search for the local businesses or consider purchasing something or availing a service at a nearby store.

For example, if somebody from a small town in New York wants to increase some muscle mass, the person will naturally pick up the phone and type “gym near me”. This is the best moments for the businesses operating local services. Google provides tremendous opportunity for the business to target these “I want to Go” audiences through Google adwords.

  • “I want to buy” moments – These occur when people decide to buy something and probably require help in what to buy or how to buy it.

For example, on the way back to home from the office, a user feels hungry and wants to grab a bite of pizza. But incidentally all the nearest pizza places are either too noisy to place an order or have no seats available. Instinctively the user picks up the phone and types “order dominos pizza” or “order from pizza hut”.

This micro moment can be best target for an eCommerce website where you specifically run the ads for the “I want to buy” related search queries. Here the conversion rate will be higher and you can generate better ROI too. I know that Shopping ads does not provide the facility to target keywords but you can definitely control them by optimizing shopping feed and using negative keywords list.

Hope you have understood that these acts or moments help the consumers make decisions and shape preferences. In these moments, the expectations of the consumers stay at the highest pick. Thus the marketers should be aware of the micro moments to meet the ever-changing expectations of the consumers and capitalize those moments through flawless consumer interaction.

Micro Moments - The Game Changer in Online Business World 2

What Opportunities Micro Moments Bring for an E-Commerce Marketers?

Research says across numerous major industries, the volume of online searches, especially from mobile devices, is growing year after year. For example, in the home and garden industry, mobile search volume has been increased around 45% year-on-year, whereas the year-on-year growth of mobile search volumes is around 40% in electronics and apparel sector and around 30% in food and beverage industry.

This growth certainly brings a handful of opportunities for the emarketers to communicate with their target audience, build brand loyalty, make customer relationships stronger and nurture conversations. And in all these major areas, a detailed understanding of micro moments can help immensely and can be used as a marketing resource.

If you have a brand to promote, you should turn to micro moments to uplift your brand’s search marketing performance. By being there and staying useful precisely when it is required, you can utilize micro moments as the means of elevating engagement and Return on Investment (ROI).

To be successful in this process, the marketer needs to be aware of the methods to leverage the micro moments the best possible way and what those moments actually look like for their respective brands and the customers. If you make sure that you will be able to be there, give useful answers to every customer and offer a good user experience, there is nothing that can stop you to reap the benefits.

Micro Moments - The Game Changer in Online Business World 3

How to Optimize Adwords Campaign According to Micro Moments

As we already discussed four key micro moments in first part of the article. Now you need to understand that for each moment, users search for particular piece of information. Now, let’s talk about how you can optimize your Adwords campaign and map your ad to the users’ search intents in each of those micro moments.

1. Optimize Your Ad for “Want to Know” Moments

An ideal ad that maps to the query of this kind of micro moment denotes the users that they will get the information they are looking for once after clicking the ad. Such ads can comprise product comparison charts, a click to call link for more information, user-friendly information on a landing page etc. And make sure the pages, having all the information, are mobile-friendly.

comparison between

Detailed comparison data with your competitor product will do the magic here. Representation of information is the crucial part for this type of audiences.

2. Optimize Your Ad according to “Want to Go” Moments

An ideal ad to meet the query of this type of micro moment shows local result and highlights that it can be conveniently mapped out. This micro moment can give you a competitive advantage if you make your ad local in the best possible way.

Google location map

Are you thinking what are the best ways to make your ads local? Well, there are two basic strategies that you should follow:

  • Harness the benefits of location extensions. Connect your Google AdWords account with your Google Places account to active the extensions.
  • Add the location in the ad title.
  • You can also run the call only ads

This way you can tell your users that how exactly your ad is relevant to their “I want to go” micro moments.

3. Optimize Your Ad according to “Want to Buy” Moments

If you want to optimize your ad according to this specific type of micro moment, you need to provide information that matches such queries or show to the users the ways of buying directly from their own devices, especially cellphones.

You can use Adwords shopping campaign to implement local inventory ads, providing details about your business, store, and products. Here you need to user negative keyword lists to stop appearing your ads for other type of micro moments and should focus more on “Want to buy” moments.

4. Optimize Your Ad according to “Want to Do” Moments

An ad, which matches the best with the search query of this type of moment, proffers clear-cut step-by-step directions about the ways to achieve the task a user is looking for. Make sure your ad should be informative rather than mere promotional.

One of the great formats to meet such queries is video content. However, you must ensure that your ad can take a user to a properly optimized mobile-friendly landing page with particular instructions. You can also run video ads to target this type of audiences.

Believe me, this type of ad can help you attain a certain level of goodwill with the users and introduce them to your products.

Over to you

Hope this post has given you a detailed idea about micro moments and their impact on the marketing strategies. So, what are you waiting for? Take your Adwords campaign to the next level by optimizing it according to the micro moments those are relevant to your business. If you have already started using tactics to optimize it, do share your experience with us in the comment section. We’d love to know.

How Social Commerce Can Change the Future of eCommerce Industry

Opinions always matter when one is about to spend money on a product or service. According to the Google Data, mobile searches for “product review” has grown around 35% in past two years.  Here buyers want to understand what people are saying about a brand before purchasing it online. This is very similar when we ask for help from our family and friends on social media before purchasing a product. This is one example of Social Commerce where a brand is directly benefited from their existing buyers sharing reviews with their friends and families!

Mobile product review“The world is a global village” is a phrase that is commonly used when referring to the advancement of technology. Things have become easier in a way you can access services from the internet from the comfort of your house just by using your phone or laptop. But when it comes to eCommerce, most of the merchant are still not using social media to improve customer confidence. By displaying a reviews of their friends or families, merchant can increase conversion rate of their eCommerce website. Social commerce trend is growing rapidly and will change the future of eCommerce industry if incorporated properly with an eCommerce brand.

The new form of trade involves buying and selling of products and services by use of social media websites as trading platforms. They give consumers and producers a chance to interact conclusively on their brands. This concept can also be defined as the process of using shopping tools to enhance social commerce sales. The concept is mainly to give clients a blueprint of the product or service they wish to buy. These tools also advise clients on the product they wish to acquire. By connecting people from different parts of the globe, it is right to say that E-commerce brought forth social commerce.

Breaking the Norm

Since products are easily accessible once you have the internet, it is easier to know what is trending and at what price. Consequently, a huge demand for the products online is created. While browsing the internet, creatively managed dynamic re-marketing display ads also create a thirst for owning certain products.

Social commerce also has a great advantage of targeting right audiences at the right time. Lets for example, if your product is mainly targeting female audiences, you should be at Pinterest. Out of all adults who use social media in US, 38% of women are using Pinterest as compare to 15% of Men. Here you can plan a precise data driven social media marketing strategy to increase sales from social media websites.

Here is the list of popular social media websites based on their market shares. One can choose the platform by considering macro metrics of their target audiences to convert them into customers:

Source: Statista (January 2018 data)

Endowed with social media marketing tools

This form of doing business is socially driven as it has to use social media sites to further it. It is evident on sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter which are largely used for commercial purposes. Social Commerce also involves the use of platforms under which users have one on one conversation with other users and can sell their products to them. Statistics show that many customers buy products due to recommendations given by their friends. It also has a peer recommendation where the user can use recommendations of other users before making a purchase. Some also have social shopping where the user is allowed to interact with friends and other users on their opinion of a product.

With the help of social media marketing tools, you can improve the way you use social media to promote your products online.

Well-defined prospects on various Social media sites

Social media and social commerce have a mother and child relationship as they coexist. Different sites have features that make the involvement of social commerce unforgettable. Facebook, for example, has the dynamic ads as a feature for social commerce. The feature connects merchant with consumers from advertisements on the site or from the mobile application. The feature has seen more retailers use Facebook and increase their sales as it connects retailers with millions of consumers on a daily basis.

ASOS has increased their orders 3 times and their return on ad spend by 2.5 times with the help of Facebook Dynamic Ads. Checkout this ASOS case study to learn more about this opportunity:

Facebook has also launched Marketplace where anyone can sell their products like classified websites. This has allowed clients to enjoy social media as they buy products. Pinterest also offers great feature for ecommerce via Buyable pins that allows the client to purchase an item once shared on the platform. The item often comes with reviews and images that allow the customers to make informed decisions about the product.

Instagram is also testing shopping feature since long and hopefully they will launch for all business very soon. You can always run a paid marketing campaign to promote your product using Instagram ads. Once the user clicks on the button, she will redirect to the same product page on your mobile app / website and a transaction can be made easily from that. The feature is easy to use and has encouraged consumers to purchase items as a variety of products are displayed for the picking.

Instagram ad example

Unlimited benefits

Social commerce does provide opportunities to buyers and sellers as it provides a link to both. It gives both an upper hand of interacting with tons of people from all over the globe. The platform favors everyone in the supply-demand chain. Social commerce has become more social in that the purchase of a product is not only done by the buyer himself but by other parties. Traders have a social circle in which they consult one another on different deals that are about to be made.

A buyer may for example post on Facebook for advice or reviews on a product they are willing to purchase. Family and friends often give out their opinion and help the buyer in decision making. Social circles of traders have also been created as this lets them meet on the social platforms where they can easily carry out their deals. Buyers get to know from other buyers on who has high-quality products at affordable prices. Brands also have online platforms where they allow customers to post their reviews and ratings on the brands they have purchased. This gives the buyer a sense of belonging without going all out to experience this.

Some online shops have also given their clients the chance to be more confident as it allows them to fully express their experience with the brand. They are able to post their personal experience using the product on the respective platform. This shows other potential customers why they should use the product and what experience they should expect. For example, GoPro is regularly sharing their customer’s videos and experiences on their official Facebook page. Have a look at one of such video:

https://www.facebook.com/GoProIndia/videos/2015533948701456/

It is all about shopping without limits and therefore making your shopping experience memorable. It also gives brands a more global outlook. This allows traders who are buyers and sellers to connect from anywhere in the globe.

Social media is a source of money as with just a simple click millions of people are exposed to your brand. With the good reviews and exposure, your product could be sold out to millions in a short period. During the NBA championship, the Warriors were able to sell shirts worth $125,000 via Twitter. This has become possible with the presence of different social media sites.

Final Words

Finally, while engaging in social commerce, research is vital as the merchant needs to know whether they are targeting the right channel or not. Being there when your prospect needs you can increase the chance you make a sale. Effective utilization of social commerce can give you an edge over your competitors and to always satisfy your customers. It is a new dawn of commerce.  Adapting to the new technological advancements would favor your business as manufacturers and service providers so as to improve customer experience.

10 Marketing Skills To Double Your eCommerce Sales in 2018

Do you know which was the first ecommerce business? Or which eCommerce business first achieved profit in the industry? Jeff Bazos launched Amazon back in 1995 but they achieved first yearly profit in December 2001 (Fourth quarter). Amazon survived after dot com burst and became a giant player in online sales business. Each and every day new eCommerce business launches and shutting down and only they survives in the industry who knows how to grab and retain customers with effective eCommerce marketing strategies. Let’s talk about some marketing skills which help you to double eCommerce sales in 2018.

If there is any business which sells products, makes money and in most cases, even making profits; it should be eCommerce business. But this was not the case for some time. Five years ago, eCommerce was quite different from what it is today.

The bottom-line was not so robust as it is today. Ecommerce Stores have embraced new ways to market themselves. And if your ecommerce store is struggling to join the league of profit making online stores, here are some skills you must develop right away. As 2017 is already gone, it is better you start now so that 2018 can be marked as an year of record-breaking sales in your timeline.

#1 Content Marketing for eCommerce

Bill Gates predicted it in 1996 and rightly mentioned the importance of content. The truth is no different today. Content is undoubtedly the King in today’s marketing. No business can hope to win customer’s attention without content.

Why content wins?

content-is-kingImage Source

Well, there are various reasons behind this but when it comes to eCommerce, content can be helpful in different ways explained below:

  • Compared to the cost involved, other forms of advertisement are not feasible in generating leads or conversions
  • Telemarketing has literally hit a dead end, thanks to call identification and blocking mobile apps
  • Networking is soon running out of its shine as a potential mine for leads

Pro Tip:

For eCommerce businesses, it is always challenging to keep unique and compelling content for their product pages. In such situation, the right content strategy will make your website unique as compare to your competitors selling same product. Proper implementation of user generated content can be best bet for you. Here is the best example of BestBuy.com utilizing this opportunity by asking for product reviews from the buyers:

In other words, content marketing can become best marketing weapon for your eCommerce stores if planned and implemented properly.

#2 Data Collection and Decision Making

“He who wants to have pearls must dive below. “

~ John Dryden

Putting that age old adage in today’s context, he who wants to know customers up close must search for data. As the old age saying goes, if you want to know how to make customers buy and what excites them into a buying frenzy, you must first know their preferences.

Thanks to advanced web technologies like user heat mapping, Data Mining, etc. it is now easy to read customer behavior like a textbook. There is plenty of data coming in from various sources which, if segregated and analysed properly will help one find pearls, or in this case, customer behavioral pattern.

Once you have a clear picture of your customers’ preferences, fine tuning your online selling strategy to satisfy them is a task easily done.

Especially when you are marketing for specific festival, data provided by agencies on customer intent can play best role.

#3 UI/UX Design for All Different Devices

The year of 2018 will repeat like any other previous years, but with better design. UI and UX have become critical checkpoints for customers to like or dislike an online store. If your store has a brilliant UI that can deliver engaging UX, you are saved.

On the flip side, go back to drawing board and fabricate a new UI design that will delivery high on UX. keep perfecting it until the UX goes from being good to great. Be informed that missing falling short of delivering an upscale UX will cost you more than 38% of online customers (Source: Adobe). Recent study shows that the mobile sales has already surpassed the desktop sales and it is growing rapidly, you must optimize your UI for all different devices.

#4 Web vs Mobile App Version

Don’t ignore mobile app! Yes, if you are not having mobile app for your eCommerce business, you may loosing good amount of business. It will help you to stay connected with buyers with push notifications about your offers and exclusive promotion for mobile app users.

If you are having limited budget and want to manage A basic understanding of HTML and CSS can go a long way in maintaining and modifying your online store. Moreover, how long can you spend money hiring a web designer or a freelancer for every single modification?

A better proposition will be to learn few hacks in web development that will help you prep your website, both in terms of design and functionalities. Further, once you learn to code, you will be able to exercise more control over your marketing and SEO optimization.

#5 Shopping Ads + Dynamic Re-marketing Ads = Best Combination

If done right, eCommerce stores can reap several benefits from shopping ads. Although it seems to be complex on the onset, its functioning can be easily understood with some effort. Once you understand how shopping ads works and how its results can be measured you will see big improvement in conversions and can save on cost per conversions as compare to search ads.

Google shoppings ads iphone x

You can explore the various possibilities of display advertising through dynamic display ads, video ads, search network ads, display banners, etc. all of which can be done on your own using free and paid web tools. Some Internet platforms to try display advertising include eCommerce websites, high-traffic websites, blogs, video sharing websites, social networks, etc.

Pro Tip:

Start building remarketing list audiences based on different actions and serve dynamic display ads optimized for specific audiences. It can dramatically improve the view through conversions can result in better ROI. Here is the best example of how amazon is showing ads (Dynamic remarketing) of the product I visited recently.

#6 Email Marketing

Email marketing has the magic potion to lure back those customers who abandoned their carts mid-way. You can do email marketing in three modes:

  1. As regular promotions for ongoing sales offers
  2. Scheduled shooting of targeted offers to specific customer groups
  3. Re Engagement campaigns that will sustain the brand loyalty of customers

email marketing

Image Source

Now, the difficult part – should you outsource or do it yourself? In 2018, we suggest you take the DIY route. If you manage to do email marketing on your own, it will not prove to be cost-effective but will also help you pitch to your customers in a personal tone. Outsourced agents may not help you achieve that personal tone in an email pitch.

See how Petflow multiplied its conversions through personalized and targeted email marketing campaigns.

As you can see from above, they have set a fetching email subject line, a visible display of their product rating, a very prominent discount offer, product recommendations followed by real customer feedback. Now, as a customer can you resist ignoring this email campaign?

Steps for email marketing (When ecommerce store should shoot emails)

#7 Importance of SSL certificate for eCommerce

Norton, Symantec SSL Certificate, AVG Security and the other members of the online security industry are raising warning sirens about growing eCommerce frauds and scandals. If you thought cyber security is all about securing your data, you are wrong. It also has a marketing edge to it.

Your organic SEO ranking is largely dependent on your online store’s security. Google, since 2014 has been tweaking its algorithm to rank those websites with proper security higher than those without proper security measures.

That is why we recommend investing in a well-chosen SSL certificate that will encrypt your website. It will not only secure your domains and sub-domains but will also go a long way in boosting conversions.

Moreover, cyber security also earns customer trust. It gives them an assurance that their personal data is kept safe from hacker’s prying eyes. Displaying trust seals in your website will also help boost customer retention rates.

#8 Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization, popularly referred to as SEO is the cornerstone marketing tactic that is helping online businesses grab customer attention by the collar. SEO primarily revolves around the use of targeted keywords and phrases that customers commonly use for getting work done.

Why is SEO important for you? First of all, it is free! If you can create organic traffic to your website through SEO activities you stand to profit quite a lot in terms of marketing spending.

Secondly, it is highly productive. Google and other search engines have created a level field where in those web pages with the right SEO marketing tactic can rise above without any difficulty. eCommerce marketing should always have SEO strategy at first place as it drives the maximum traffic and sales.

SEO is easy to understand and master, thanks to tons of free materials available online. Right from scratch to advanced SEO techniques, you can master the Internet and make it work for you.

Pro Tip:

Traditional SEO technique will not help much when you are working to promote eCommerce website with 100s or 1000s of products. Here, formation of URL structure and categorization with highly targeted products along with properly utilization of canonical tags is very important.

#9 Video Marketing

“Forrester researcher Dr. James McQuivey estimates that one minute of video is equal to 1.8 million words.”

A video can convey a message better than a full-page article. Video production is ramping in scale across the digital marketing universe. Moreover, a video can easily communicate with a viewer easier than a written article or a designed graphic.

Video creation has become easier and affordable thanks to the many apps that are available in app stores and video sharing websites. In fact, YouTube itself offers a Video editor and Photo Slideshow creator with which one can create 1080p videos for marketing purposes.

Can it drive conversions? Unbounce reports that including video on a landing page can increase conversion by 80%. Now you know why video marketing is a skill you cannot afford to miss in the coming days.

#10 Social media marketing

Do you know? Social media has evolved as an entire marketing tool of its own. Social listening is the next Big Thing that will change the way we shop and browse for everyday things.

If you thought getting likes, retweets and favorites for your posts were nothing significant, think again. For an online brand like Amazon, eBay or even PayPal, social media is a powerful weapon to beat competition and to mark their own market share.

Here are some social media channels worth exploring to build your online presence in 2018:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram
  • Quora

Users always find it compelling to share with their immediate social circles about their recent buys or wish lists. In such a scenario, social media can also double up as a virtual platform for word of mouth publicity. Stores that provide public sharing of customer purchases have a fair chance of winning more traffic & conversions.

Conclusion

In 2018, eCommerce industry is all set to sail into a higher turnover range. Is your online store prepped to take a share of the market? Most importantly, are you in tune to market your store better? These 10 online marketing tactics will boost your store’s presence way more than what you can do with a paid agency.

Start learning right away and put yourself on the launch pad to eCommerce success. Do not forget to keep in mind the needs and wants of your end users when you are scheming for new marketing campaigns. In the end, Customer is King.

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