Every ecommerce vendor has a fantasy of standing out among the competition. And why not? Name recognition gains new customers and retains current customers, if you play your cards right. The way to rise above the crowd comes down to the ability to provide excellent products and service or services. It also comes down to a concept known by entities for a very long time: branding.
Brand Management involves personalizing your business with an aspect of familiarity that makes you recognizable, attractive, approachable. Marketing experts call it a way to translate emotions into behavior on the part of consumers. To get there, you have to do the heavy lifting first.
Consider large companies we all know well. Apple Computer. REI. Microsoft. Nike. IBM. Uber. All of these mega-corporations have packaged customized imaging, slogans, philosophies, and outreach through advertising that requires little attention to know whom it’s coming from.
Branding occurs with a consistent presence through all of your correspondence, advertisements, web page design, and everything connected with your business. When you have it down right, your path is practically obstacle-free. When you don’t, you’re left vying with countless others.
Marketing, marketing, marketing.
If you’re weary of hearing the term, let alone employing it in your ecommerce business, you’re not alone. It feels like a never-ending, energy-sucking pursuit. You know it’s essential, but with the vast expanse and reach of the internet and its mind-numbing competitive obstacles, it ought to be ranked among your highest of priorities.
Developers and app geniuses know this. They’ve responded to the call, rolling out a wide array of tools to assist you along the way.
Unlike advertising, marketing requires an ability to gauge your most promising audience. Real-time features of online tracking, analytics, and other tailored options that help avoid wasting too much time, are in reach. One relative newcomer is Traffic Jet, a release by SEMrush, a digital marketing firm devoted to streamlining successful marketing campaigns.
A recent study shows that more than half of all marketers indicate machine learning is speeding up their day-to-day work a bit, while just under one-third said it does so a lot. Traffic Jet, with its Artificial Intelligence (AI) process, is likely to make those numbers grow among fledgling, growing businesses.
Traffic Jet allows full automation of your traffic acquisition, or new traffic flow, offering easy access to quick numbers. Those are all words you like to hear, so read on.
If it seems as if the entire world has changed, it has. We know this. Nary a region, city, continent on Planet Earth has escaped the ravaging effects of Covid-19, now a global pandemic that has severely shifted commerce, labor, and everyday living in a social distancing environment.
As commerce is the backbone of all free societies, this is a startling fact. Here’s a jaw-dropping statistic: Global Web Index found that 80 percent of consumers in the US and UK have increased their online purchasing in the wake of this pandemic. A sudden emphasis toward ecommerce is opening up markets that in the past were strictly in-person, and padding revenues for existing online sellers. It’s critical to closely examine your business model to make the best of a dire situation. With the right information, tools, attitude, and devotion, you may get through this unprecedented time.
The most essential factor here is understanding consumer behaviors in the wake of closed storefronts and empty grocery shelves. How are average citizens choosing to replenish basic supplies? How are they spending mostly limited dollars on “luxury” goods, which were not so luxurious just three months ago?
Commerce crashes are hitting virtually every sector of the economy and society. From entertainment to education, new purchases have all but disappeared. And in the runup to a real recession, many consumers are finding themselves out of work and unable to meet their current financial obligations for basics like utility bills, rent, and credit card payments.
But not all. Some are positioned to ride out this storm with a modicum of buying power. Can you take advantage of that? Take a look at some digital marketing trends that are helping businesses stay afloat, taking advantage of the nearly captive audience of consumers stuck at home with only the internet as a source of information. It’s also their source of purchasing.
The constant stream of comparisons and differences between brick-and-mortar retail establishments and online stores may become trite over time, as more and more commercial activity unfolds in cyberspace. There are definite overlaps that call for the same basic principles, but as the internet becomes more sophisticated, and more buyers navigate there to make purchases, the differences are starker than ever.
Marketing analytics is a function made simpler for those who operate online, by sole virtue of the complex, computerized system you already have in place. Tracking sales, customers, inventory, and just about everything else is somewhat automatic. In most cases it’s not necessary to actually ask a customer how they stumbled onto your store. Identifying strategies and efforts that are paying off is also much easier when your shortcut to analysis is effectively done for you.
But that doesn’t mean it requires no efforts. Putting in place an accurate, useful, and – more important – tailored process for tracking these markers demands a plan; it necessitates putting a sensible marketing analysis strategy in place.
It’s not hyperbolic to proclaim that computers are taking over our communications. Considering smartphones and tablets are effectively mini-computers, it’s safe to say that between emails, texts, and online chatting, the days of verbal interaction are waning.
The development of the “chatbot,” a cute moniker for pop-up screens that allow one-on-one interactions, originated from old-style chatrooms and expanded to take on a more commercial application. If you’re in the biz to sell goods or services, you may find yourself gravitating to that medium in order to provide optimal customer service.
Here’s a figure to knock your socks off: In 2018 there were more than 300,000 active chats on Facebook alone. That social media platform is an ideal venue, but considering this next statistic may be even more shocking. Experts say chatbots will likely handle more than 85 percent of all customer service interactions this year.
Here’s how it works: Your potential or existing customers have a question about a product, or an existing order. A chat icon on your page opens a chat window in which you and the customer may engage in a friendly discussion.
How to leverage Instagram for your benefit
Have you wondered where all your Facebook followers have gone?
If you’re a retailer – or just an average user – you may notice that you’re seeing more ads, political content, and puppy pictures than usual. And most important, fewer younger users.
That’s because the graphics-based social media platform Instagram has swooped in and begun dominating social users.
Instagram claims over one billion monthly active users. ONE BILLION. That’s a tough figure to ignore, and it illustrates why so many smart retailers are taking notice.
Instagram’s early days offered a somewhat rudimentary vertical display of pictures. Period. Ultimately its potential grew, and combined with forward-thinking strategizing of its leadership, it now has become a major player in advertising and marketing.
What drives most of Instagram’s appeal are “influencers,” or celebrities and others who have massive followings. Not willing to mess with the litany of issues that keep making Facebook more of a chore than a pleasure, these high-profile dazzlers maintain captive audiences. Some may be compensated to plug a product, but others are self-financed, and they honestly promote their favorite clothing, cosmetics, household décor, and just about anything they think of.
In a pleasant turn of events, sophisticated consumers are no longer automatically averse to email solicitations. Perhaps the years have instilled patience and discretion, leaving them more open to opening an email even if it isn’t from a colleague, romantic interest, or their mom.
That said, there is a method of madness to employ when crafting a direct mail campaign strategy – or really, any form of communication between your business and a current or prospective customer. And it’s something few really think about.
Let’s start this with an illustration. When you open your email app and peruse the cascading list of incoming mails, what’s the first thing that catches your eye? Chances are it’s a sender address that is recognizable. This is where we start with productive, successful marketing.
A “sent from” name can be an automatic invitation to the trash bin. Consider this one:
It goes without saying that an email with this sender name isn’t exactly inviting. And truthfully, it’s more likely to come from a larger company with a robust list of email accounts linked to their domains. Even then, with the glut of spam out there, it’s not likely to be read.
Do you have a single email account linked to your domain name, with your actual name as the prefix? That’s not a winning strategy. Add a few more. Even dedicated customers may not react to an email coming from a name they don’t recognize.
It doesn’t take care of itself.
Approaching the second decade of the 21st Century, it may feel redundant to refer to “online marketing.” The bulk of commerce arguably has moved toward Internet transactions and advertising for some time, and it’s becoming rare to think of marketing as shaping up anywhere but in cyberspace. That makes it all the more urgent to tailor functions for the virtual platform; to consider the web your home space for growing a business.
Consider sectors once thought to be averse to Internet that have formed a presence online. Insurance used to observe stealth, cautious marketing and underwriting activities anywhere but in an agent’s office – or, in the early part of this century, over the phone. Now it’s possible to shop, ponder, and instantly bind coverage from an iPad.
Shopped for groceries lately? Increasingly, that’s taking place through online orders managed by third-party sites, as is food delivery. Booking travel, flagging down ride shares, and even applying for college is becoming a fully virtual experience. This has one lesson for ecommerce vendors: your business is an online entity, and must be treated accordingly.
Following are resources for fine-tuning your marketing and sales functions on the internet. Consider each carefully, assessing its value to your business in terms of affordability, comprehensive features, and ease of use.
Maybe the last thing you envisioned spending a ton of time on when you decided to become an ecommerce seller was marketing. Sure, you recognize the word. You understand there is a basic need to connect with potential buyers. But is it really necessary to dedicate so much of your precious time and energy on an intangible?
In a word, yes.
In the absence of a physical presence that people drive by on the regular, your cyber business is virtually invisible. This is not a comforting thought, and it should wake you up to the pressing need to expand outreach. Marketing your e-business can become less painful—and, dare way say, even enjoyable—with the right attitude, the right goal, and the right strategy.
Storefront businesses endure Chamber of Commerce socials and mixers, talking up their offerings. Think of digital marketing as an expansion of those with a bigger payout. Direct outreach to consumers is mostly free when it’s conducted online. All you need to do is arm yourself with the best practices.
Here are some tried-and-true tips to employing ecommerce marketing in a way that offers a good return on investment:
4 Live Chat Tips to Increase Customer Loyalty
Think back to your last live chat experience. Was it smooth and user-friendly, or did it leave you wanting to tear your hair out in frustration?
Mine, unfortunately, fell into the second category. I was trying to fund a checking account I’d just opened with a large banking and credit card company. Following the instructions didn’t seem to be working and I couldn’t find the answers I was looking for, so I clicked the live chat button in an attempt to get some help.
Though I didn’t quite get to the point of tearing my hair out, the whole experience had me scratching my head and wondering why on earth they even bothered to call it “live chat.” Each time I typed in my concern, it would link me to the same FAQ answers I’d already looked at. I couldn’t find the answer to my question anywhere, and there was no option to chat with a live person. So frustrating!
I eventually gave up, and a week later, I still haven’t funded my account. I’ll eventually get it taken care of with a simple phone call, but life’s been hectic and I haven’t found the time. (Sound familiar?)
Of course, it’s a little different for a huge bank with millions of customers who need their services to function in life. Frankly, there’s no reason for them to care about inconveniencing a customer from time to time. People don’t have much of a choice but to continue doing business with them.
But in a hypercompetitive market like e-commerce, any delay or inconvenience can be repellent to a customer and can cost you the sale and the relationship. Here are four tips to create a fast, friendly and efficient live chat experience so you can boost sales and form loyal customer relationships.