Sometimes it’s good to revisit the basics! Originally posted on ecommercesos.com, here are some simple marketing tips we’ve put together from our experience working with ecommerce retailers.
Just a fancy way of saying “Make sure your store looks, feels and works great!”. We’re talking about the fundamentals here. This is easier said than done, but here are some simple steps to get you started:
1: Sell good stuff!
This is at the heart of every great store, and probably what you should focus on the most.
If you’re selling clothes, your job is to make sure that they’re so fashionable your customer’s friends bug them about it incessantly.
2: Communicate your value clearly.
What are you selling, and why should anybody buy it instead of the competition?
If your customers can’t answer these two questions immediately upon landing on your page, they’re going to leave. Without buying anything.
3: Keep your store simple.
(This rule can be broken, but only if you really know what you’re doing!) You never want to overwhelm your customers with too much information.
The focus should be on your products. The messier your page is, the harder it is for your customers to figure out what and why they should buy.
4: Get the essentials right.
- What’s your return policy?
- Do you have a sizing chart?
- Do you charge for shipping?
These are important “friction points” that stop customers from purchasing, so provide them with the information they need.
Do you have an About Us page with pictures of yourself?
It’s well-established that people feel more comfortable with websites that have a human identity connected to them. It inspires trust and confidence.
5: Have good pictures of whatever you’re selling.
Pictures are the most effective way to communicate large amounts of information about your products to your customers. Use them well. You can learn a lot about taking better photos online, so read up and practice, practice, practice! Alternatively, hire a professional, or get a talented friend to help you.
6: Have a catchy slogan.
We highly recommend that you take the time to come up with a simple, “sticky” slogan that uniquely describes your brand.
A good slogan compresses your entire “About Us” page into a solid phrase or sentence. It makes it easier for your customers to tell their friends about you.
Read next: 10 Best Marketing Slogans… Ever!
7: Search Engine Optimization.
It can sound scary and technical, but it’s really just about making it easier for search engines to understand your site.
An image titled “red-pencil-skirt.jpg” is better SEO than “159dg3.jpg”, for instance.
Read next: The Way Of The SEO Master [Infographic]
Content Marketing & Social Media Marketing
Create and share content that’s useful to people, and they’ll be more interested in what you’re selling!
8: Quality is king.
You can share content produced by others if they’re up to your standards, but we highly encourage you to create as much original oontent as possible. It’s a simple matter of competitive advantage- anybody can share cute and funny pictures on Facebook, but creating original content takes real effort.
Always keep an eye out for the new and interesting. We highly recommend checking out Oreo’s social media efforts to see an example of what great social media marketing can look like.
9: Used mixed media.
You don’t have to restrict your content to one particular medium. You can do blogposts, YouTube videos, podcasts, infographics.
Document your own creative process. Interview mentors, customers and peers. Gush about others you admire in your niche. Do reviews.
Don’t spread yourself too thin, though. Try a little bit of everything, identify what works, and focus on that.
10: Interact with your fans and customers personally.
One advantage you have over large, corporate stores is the ability to communicate your personality.
People want to feel like they’re buying stuff from other people, not machines. So take the trouble to go the extra mile for your customers:
It’s your competitive advantage.
11: Do contests and giveaways.
These create an incentive for your fans to participate. Make them work for it! Encourage them to share content, and solicit their suggestions for your store. You may find that they have better ideas than you!
Set milestones, like “We’ll have a storewide discount when we reach 5,000 Likes!” Build a buzz.
People tell their friends about products they like all the time. Referral marketing accelerates this process by introducing incentives.
12: Use a customer referral program.
You could give discounts (or cash!) to your customers when their friends buy your products.
You can reward the newly-referred customers too, so everybody wins.
Dropbox famously used such double-sided incentives to boost signups. If you referred a friend to the service, both of you received additional storage space. This referral program brought in 60% of all signups!
So why don’t all ecommerce stores and web services do this? Customer referral programs are difficult to build because of their complexity. There are many issues to worry about: Tracking, bookkeeping, payments, emails… way too much for the average merchant to handle while simultaneously running a business.