The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the ecommerce industry, with many people turning to online shopping as a result of lockdowns, quarantines, and social distancing measures. Because of the pandemic, There has been a sharp increase in demand for ecommerce. With physical stores closed or operating at reduced capacity, many people turned to online shopping as a way to purchase essential and non-essential goods. This resulted in a forced change of consumer behavior and shopping habits. The pandemic led to an accelerated adoption of shopping habits, with more people now preferring to shop online even after restrictions are lifted.
With strengthening of supply chains, concepts like Instant Commerce took roots. Some ecommerce sectors, such as groceries, home goods and online pharmacies have seen a particularly strong growth through this. In response to the increased demand for online shopping, many businesses and venture capitalists have invested in their ecommerce infrastructure, including their websites, mobile apps, fulfillment systems and delivery personnel.
Additionally, some other supportive factors for this growth include :
- Increased internet and mobile penetration: The widespread availability of the internet and the increasing use of mobile devices have made it easier for people to shop online.
- Improved payment systems: The development of secure online payment systems, especially UPI, and deeper penetration of credit and debit cards, has made it easier and more secure for people to make purchases online.
- Greater selection: Online retailers often offer a wider selection of products than brick-and-mortar stores, which can be a major attraction for shoppers.
- Competitive prices: Online retailers can often offer lower prices due to lower overhead costs, such as rent and utilities.
- Personalization: Ecommerce companies can use data about customers’ browsing and purchasing history to personalize their shopping experience and recommend products.
Before diving into the best Ecommerce digital marketing strategies, let us take a look at different types of Ecommerce businesses:
- Business-to-consumer (B2C) ecommerce: These businesses sell products or services directly to consumers through an online platform. Example : Ikea.
- Business-to-business (B2B) ecommerce: These businesses sell products or services to other businesses through an online platform. Example : Software as a Service companies like Zoho.
- Consumer-to-consumer (C2C) ecommerce: These allow individuals to sell products or services to other consumers through an online platform. Example : OLX.
- Consumer-to-business (C2B) ecommerce: These allow individuals to sell products or services to businesses through an online platform. Example : Fiverr.com
If you are in charge of promoting an ecommerce brand, the growth of the market seems bright. At the same time however, because of steep competition, there is a need to offer a differentiated solution for your customer and engage in a mixture of conventional and unconventional ecommerce marketing strategies. Here is some ground work you need to do before diving into the marketing strategies:
- Research if there is really a demand for your offering : The reason behind the failure of a lot of failed ecommerce businesses is very simple. There just isn’t enough demand for the offering in the market. Through primary and secondary research, make sure that your potential customers are willing to pay for your offering. This exercise of a few weeks will help you save on hundreds of thousands of dollars and several years of effort and frustration.
- Build a strong product differentiator : Simon Sinek says, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” Therefore, having a clear differentiator about your offering and how it will positively impact the lives of your customers, vital.
- Understand your target audience : It’s important to have a clear understanding of who your customers are, what they are interested in, and what motivates them to make a purchase. This will help you create targeted marketing campaigns that are more likely to be successful.
- Create a strong online presence : This includes having a well-designed website that is easy to navigate and use, perhaps a mobile app, or presence on social media platforms and other online channels where your target audience is active.
- Offer a seamless customer experience : This includes making it easy for customers to find and purchase products, providing clear and accurate product information, and offering excellent customer service. An Elevated Digital Experience at every touchpoint for your customer is the key.
- Use data and analytics : Collecting and analyzing data about your customers and their behavior can help you better understand their needs and preferences, and allow you to tailor your marketing efforts accordingly.
Now that the foundation for marketing has been laid, let us look at some conventional ecommerce digital marketing strategies which will give you results in 2023 :
- Search Engine Optimization : Use search engine optimization (SEO) or app store optimization (ASO) to improve your website’s visibility in search results. SEO or ASO is still here. Users will prefer organic ranking and love the process of discovering platforms on their own.
- Paid advertising : Utilize paid search advertising, such as Google Ads and Facebook Ads, to target specific keywords and drive traffic to your site. This still remains the fastest means of promotion digitally.
- Social Media Marketing : The platforms may change, but the need to engage in a community is here to stay. Use social media platforms to promote your products and connect with your audience.
- Video Content : Create and distribute valuable, relevant video content to attract and retain customers. Video remains the most powerful form of content. Short videos between 1-2 mins are great for reels whereas longer videos are suitable for more DIY kind of offerings.
- Email Marketing : Every year, experts predict the death of email marketing, and every year, it seems to bounce back. Utilize email marketing to stay in touch with your customers and promote your products or services. Serious users open email, spend time on reading them and engage with them.
- Affiliate Marketing : Some ecommerce products are best sold through affiliate networks. Utilize affiliate marketing, where other websites promote your products in exchange for a commission.
- Ad Retargeting : Remember, the awareness-to-conversion funnel is painfully long. There are some schools of thought which say that an ad needs to make an average of 7 impressions before a potential customer even starts taking it seriously. Use retargeting ads to show ads to people who have visited your site but haven’t made a purchase.
Here are some unconventional ideas which you can build upon :
- Offer chatbot via Whatsapp : The penetration and trust that Whatsapp enjoys is second to none. Offer customer support via a powerful Whatsapp bot which not only resolves queries before the purchase but also helps customers make payments, track their orders and give feedback.
- Create a customer loyalty program : Offer rewards or incentives to customers who make multiple purchases or refer their friends to your site. There are several loyalty-program platforms available in the market which you can easily plug into your existing ecommerce setup.
- Offer a subscription service : You would be surprised to know that even seemingly unrelated ecommerce companies can be great candidates for a subscription service. Consider offering a subscription service where customers can receive regular deliveries of your products. This will shoot your LTV through the roof.
- Host a contest or giveaway : Contest marketing is a great way to generate engagement and word of mouth. Run a contest or giveaway to generate buzz and attract new customers to your site.
- Humanize touchpoints : Having a high cart dropout rate? Record a video which reassures users that the decision they are about to make is the right one. Another example of humanized touchpoint can be a video thanking the customer after the purchase. Seeing human faces makes customers feel valued, and therefore prefers sticking to the platform.
- Use personalized content : Create interactive content, such as quizzes or polls, to engage with your customers and gather valuable data about their preferences and interests. Furthermore, personalize your touchpoints by using technology.
- Offer personalized recommendations : Use customer data and machine learning algorithms to offer personalized product recommendations to individual customers.