As another year slips by, marking the end of a decade, it’s time to wax nostalgic about the evolution we witnessed in the ‘10s, and prepare for an even more energizing landscape for ecommerce in the ‘20s.
These aren’t the Roaring Twenties romanticized in history books and pop culture, but rather a digital form geared toward harnessing the avalanche of opportunity available through Internet channels. It’s not likely that anyone in the Flapper days foresaw social media – although they would have loved it – but embracing the festive, carefree demeanor of that era is not a bad way to approach your business pursuits as we say goodbye to yet another year and decade.
So what trend-setting developments are we likely to see come January? What ingenious tactics and offerings will pose tempting ways of boosting your business?
Let’s start with customer engagement. If your patrons love you, put them to good use by involving them in social media campaigns. Hashtags go a long way on Twitter and Instagram, so why not come up with a catchy phrase involving a product you sell or your business name, and let it fly?
#AtlanticTradersHolidaySale – that hashtag generates a discussion of your personal shopping space. Sound fun? Try it!
If you’re not up to speed on how to execute hashtag campaigns or even use them effectively, GoDaddy has a great tutorial.
Another way to work customers’ and potential customers’ personal lives into your web is to entice them with personal touches. Social media “customer care” demonstrates your interest in serving them in a way that matters. Put simply, it’s not sufficient to set up Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, and Instagram accounts. Reaching out to customers and being responsive to their input will get you places. Be sure to monitor and respond to ALL comments made to your Facebook posts. If someone has a complaint, apologize for their experience and offer to fix it. If someone gushes over your product or service, thank then back with equal enthusiasm.
Particles will take a little winter hiatus so we can enjoy time spent with family, outdoor adventures, and cozy relaxation during this winter holiday season.
We wish you and yours the merriest of holidays and look forward to an amazing 2020!
We'll return with brand new content you won't want to miss on Thursday, January 9th.
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:
Particles is a taking a short little break to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday.
We hope you all have a wonderful holiday spent with friends, family and all the food and festivities you love.
Check back on December 5th for brand new content!
When it comes to promoting your business, email continues to be one of the most important ways to reach customers and increase sales. Although it may seem that social media is catching up quickly, the numbers show that email marketing continues to be more effective for businesses to communicate with their customers.
A recent survey found that only 41 percent of people, and only 30 percent of Americans, trust social media. Four in ten people have deleted a social media account in the past year. Conversely, email use continues to grow, with a whopping 3.8 email users in 2018. That number is set to grow to 4.4 billion by 2023.
Let’s explore some of the reasons why your email list is still the most effective way to reach customers in 2019.
It’s Cost Effective
The average business owner reported a return on investment of $42 for every $1 spent on email marketing in 2019. That’s up from $38 for every $1 spent in 2018. If you focus on fine-tuning your message and determining what’s most effective for your audience, that number could increase exponentially.
It Requires Permission
Unlike Facebook, where people are bombarded with ads from companies they’ve never heard of, people who choose to receive your emails do so willingly. They’ve already expressed an interest in what your business has to offer. Requiring a double opt-in, or adding an extra step for customers to receive your emails, narrows it down even further. Research has shown that requiring a double opt-in can increase ROI by an average of 13%.
Having dedicated myriad blog entries to the intersection between ecommerce and the largest (and perhaps oldest) social media platform ever, we now pivot to discussing a new development that may solidify its strength as a go-to space for advertising.
Facebook is no longer floating the pretense that its primary goal is social networking. While that’s the carrot on its stick, the California-based company is creeping into every sector it sees as a potential revenue target. After buying up several ancillary companies and applications, it is now set to revolutionize electronic payments through a newfangled offering featuring currency of its own. It’s called Libra.
There are countless factors that apply, from regulatory, to profitability, to projected success. But the clear picture takes a shortcut for ecommerce vendors, and that is one that makes Facebook rise again to the top of the list of advertising venues you should consider.
The Bitcoin-like currency, which may be called Facebucks or Coin, won’t be exactly like crypto. And it won’t be shady and underground, susceptible to nefarious use. Libra will be woven into a payment system designed for the 2 billion worldwide Facebook users to centralize a monetary source within the Facebook platform by purchasing “tokens” to use for purchases outside of Facebook.
The good, and the better
For vendors who peddle online, this is intriguing. It means that in addition to the bevy of payment transfer options now in place, this is accessible through an app they may be using for multiple hours per day.
But payments may be made to any participating vendor, and if you’re smart, you’ll consider getting on board with Libra. Here’s why:
Facebook says it intends to eliminate the conventional transaction fees associated with credit card and debit card use. This will need to be absorbed into Facebook’s revenue structure, and presumably they have confidence that is doable without taking a huge hit.
It’s a windfall for merchants who are already comfy advertising on Facebook, and an enticement for others to hop on board.
Envision a Facebook user perusing their news feed, and coming across your sponsored ad. They see the photo; they click through to your site. Already having accessed you through Facebook, they may, according to Facebook, be in a FB State of Mind, and have no qualms remaining signed in and making a purchase using their Facebook currency.
Who doesn’t remember the first purchase made from your ecommerce business? It was likely a high point, and not to be forgotten. No matter how many subsequent transactions you’ve processed, you’re always hoping for a way to hook in a stream of consistent repeaters. Right?
So here’s a way: set up a subscription service.
Increasingly, larger e-tailers have gone to a model that arranges automatic shipments of products commonly replenish, such as shampoo, vitamins, and food. The ability to build this into an ordering system is extraordinary; it mirrors the way non-profits solicit a reliable stream of donations by the month or quarter. Dropping the price at a level you choose offers incentive for dedicated shoppers, and may be a great offset to the fairly good potential of repeat business.
The big players in subscription services tend to be niche products. Home delivery entities such as Blue Apron, Dollar Shave Club, and Itsy are singularly focused on a single product line. But there is no reason it can’t apply to particular products in a larger inventory.
Aside from replenishment, the curation model is another way to land future business. Delivering a curated collection of items, usually within a specific product category, forms a perma-relationship by offering discounts on collection items that endure and increase as the customer stays on board.
Sustainability matters to people–particularly to Millennials. A Neilsen poll of over 30,000 people found that 66% of consumers– and 73% of Millennials– are willing to pay more to support companies who commit to sustainable, environmentally-friendly business practices. With Millennials set to overtake Boomers as the largest living generation in 2019, it’s crucial for businesses to pay attention to this growing trend.
In this day and age, it’s more important than ever for online stores to reduce their carbon footprint - not only to use as a selling point, but because it’s the right thing to do for our planet. And let’s face it. From gas-guzzling delivery trucks to layers of wasteful packaging, ecommerce isn’t exactly the most environmentally-friendly business model out there.
Going green may seem like a daunting task, especially if you’ve been in business for a while. The good news is that the more this trend catches on, the more opportunities there are for online stores to minimize their environmental impact. And this comes with the added bonus of gaining customers’ trust.
So, what are some easy steps your ecommerce business can take to become greener?