The Right Marketing Is the Basis for Online Retail Success
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Sales statistics show that e-commerce sales have experienced an annual gain of about 14.8% and now sit at about $165.4 billion per year. Even so, this doesn’t mean every online store is successful. After all whatever your product is, there are probably many other websites offering similar products and services. The key to being successful is to offer a product in an efficient, innovative and better way than other companies; it’s a matter of making your product seem more appealing, interesting and valuable. The UK’s Lenstore.co.uk is one example of the sort of progressive marketing that spells success and if you analyze their approach you’ll note that they have done several things to “draw customers in.”
Consumers are much more tech savvy than they were some years ago and they have embraced the digital world. This means online retailers need to be multi-channeled. Websites must work efficiently, be attractive and easy-to-use across multiple device times.
Effective online sales are determined by simplicity. Users want easy-to-use attractive websites with products that are easy to access, view and to purchase. They want a streamlined checkout system that doesn’t require too many click throughs and they want a pleasant visual experience with easy product viewing options. In the current online environment, its all about search-engine content marketing and optimization, the offering of video-rich content and site design that improves the customer’s shopping experience – especially when a retailer has a large number of products.
Most online retailers still don’t realize the importance of customer retention. Even in the online world keeping a customer is less expensive than constantly looking for new customers. But to retain customers in the online e-commerce world you have to offer outstanding customer service. This means answering email questions, allowing for comments and responding to these, offering online customer help, great shipping services, and offering that ‘special treatment.’ Online retailers can do this by offering small discounts to returning customers, sending out special newsletters informing customers of upcoming discounts, deals or new products. Even a special thank-you email or note can go a long way in offering that outstanding customer service.
The rise in popularity of social media is causing many changes in the way consumers behave. While social media has presented many marketing challenges it also offers many opportunities for e-commerce websites. When social media is used by a retailer correctly it can often overpower the retailer’s company website, so much that some retailers are converting customers directly from their social profiles instead of forcing the customer to visit the corporate website. In other words, ecommerce social media profiles are set up in such a way that interested fans can simply purchase the product being talked about directly from the social page.
About the Author:
Guy Ascher has been consulting businesses on their website marketing needs for over 11 years. His articles mainly appear on business website marketing blogs.