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E-commerce has grown steadily over the past few years, gradually replacing traditional retail and becoming the default way for most people (especially younger generations) to purchase items. That’s until the end of 2019, when lockdowns across the world forced most people indoors and made physical retail a rarity.
The pandemic has accelerated e-commerce adoption, with consumers purchasing $861.12 billion worth of goods from U.S. merchants in 2020 – a dramatic increase of more than 44% over the previous year and the strongest annual growth for at least two decades.
Obviously, any business that did not have a full Internet presence would have lost a significant number of sales during this time. Even if a business quickly set up a website, it would likely lack the marketing presence to maximize sales. The trend towards e-commerce is sure to continue, and every day brings new opportunities to optimize your strategy, get your products in front of as many potential customers as possible, and convert them into repeat customers to increase your bottom line. Here are three tips for doing just that.
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1. Implement social commerce
A lot of people live on social media these days, for better or for worse (an average of 1,300 hours last year, to be precise). This presents an opportunity for business owners to leverage advertising tools on major social platforms to pitch their offers to potential customers, but many people are insensitive to advertising and often simply won’t see them.
This is where social commerce comes in. This is a native ad designed to integrate seamlessly with the platform and look like another post (with legally required notices, of course). Messages also have interactive features that allow users to make purchases directly from the app.
This approach has two advantages. First, because the ads are unobtrusive, people are more likely to engage with them and learn more about the product, leading to the purchase decision. Second, engagements (likes, retweets, etc.) with posts serve as social proof that encourages others (up to 71%, according to one study) to engage with the posts themselves — and even to make purchases. When implemented correctly, social commerce works like a cycle that constantly accelerates customers through the sales funnel and helps keep them safe.
2. Implement user-generated content
Content produced by your brand can have a very strong impact on a customer’s purchase decision, but it will almost always be less than the impact that might occur when the customer sees your product endorsed by another customer. According to Salesforce, 54% of consumers prioritize online reviews and peer recommendations when making purchasing decisions.
One of the most famous user-generated content campaigns was Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign which generated millions of photos of people with bottles bearing their name. Brands like Urad have also put customer testimonials to good use. These campaigns tend to go viral more easily and they serve to establish the idea that your product is used and loved by many customers, which in turn leads to FOMO (fear of missing out) among other customers. potentials.
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3. Use email effectively
Although there has been a lot of talk about how email has gone out of fashion, it still sits high on lists of the most effective channels through which businesses can interact with their customers. According to a study by Forrester Research, although digital marketers spend about 17% of their budget on email, it contributes 24% of revenue, making it a significantly higher ROI generator than email. many other channels.
To get the most out of your email marketing efforts, it’s important to go beyond just sending emails to your list. Start by establishing segments in your list based on various factors such as how customers/prospects were acquired, their search history, if they added items to their cart, then email them by depending on their specific characteristics. The more detailed information you can get, the more personalized the emails will be and the more likely they are to convert recipients.
Ultimately, marketing will be one of the biggest differentiators among hoards of startup e-commerce businesses across all industries. Without being visible to customers, there will be no sales, regardless of the quality of the products. By using these strategies to find and connect with potential customers where they spend their time, you’ll be well on your way to building the lasting relationships needed to acquire and retain loyal customers.