E-commerce has swept the shopping scene. According to Statistica, e-commerce accounted for nearly 20% of global retail sales in 2021. Estimates indicate that by 2025, these online stores will account for almost a quarter of total retail sales worldwide.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a significant factor in the growth of this online shopping modality. As individuals stayed home to avoid the virus, people turned to online shopping. The Census Bureau reported that “e-commerce sales increased $244.2 billion or 43% in 2020, the first year of the pandemic, from $571.2 billion in 2019 to $815.4 billion. dollars in 2020”.
As the number of e-commerce stores has grown, so too has the need to stand out from the competition. Considering that the e-commerce experience is virtual, digital marketing strategies are essential to differentiate your brand from others. Implementing these three essential tactics is the best place to start.
1. Personalized awareness campaigns
In 2020, CEO and Founder Danielle Hixenbaugh launched Bloom Digital, an all-remote digital marketing agency, and saw the impact personalized SMS campaigns had on consumers.
Hixenbaugh says, “Since COVID-19, I’ve noticed a lot more customers are looking for an emotional connection to a purchase. Many of these people are the ones that will show up on your SMS lists. This is because texting is intimate. Your SMS list is made up of people who really want to hear from you and be informed about upcoming discounts or new products. Use this tool wisely and talk to your audience like you would a friend.
Email campaigns are another personal way to invest in customers, especially for brands with a smaller marketing budget. While some customers may say they don’t want to receive emails, the data shows otherwise. According to Litmus, the e-commerce industry has the highest ROI for email marketing. For every dollar that email marketers spend, they get $45 back.
2. Loyalty programs
A recent survey by CommerceNext, in partnership with CommX, studied 118 digital marketing and e-commerce executives. The results revealed that a top priority for these leaders is creating loyalty programs that will build more meaningful customer relationships. More than half of participants said they plan to expand or launch loyalty programs in 2022.
For brands that want to retain their buyers, Zsuzsa Kecsmar suggests emphasizing the emotional aspect of loyalty programs. Kecsmar is the CMO and co-founder of Antavo, a loyalty technology provider that recently released its 2022 Global Customer Loyalty Report. This study used survey responses from over 320 companies around the world , along with data from over 25 million member actions on Antava’s platform, to highlight the importance of emotional appeal in loyalty programs.
“At a time when customers have access to a vast selection of online stores and retailers, a brand must grab customers by the heart and not by the wallet, as discounts are now less effective than rewards which have a emotional,” says Kecsmar. . “In our survey, only 20.7% of existing program owners ranked their program as more emotional than rational, while 53.6% of companies in the process of launching or relaunching their program specified that their program would be more emotional than rational, signaling that in the future, many more loyalty programs will focus on generating emotional loyalty.
Kecsmar adds, “It should be emphasized that emotional loyalty is not a zero-sum game. You can still have transactional elements, like coupons and collection in your loyalty program – don’t forget to add some features and rewards that emphasize emotional attachment.
3. Optimize content for SEO
Regardless of your business size or budget, SEO is a cost-effective digital marketing strategy that allows you to connect with your audience. An SEO-optimized website is also a valuable tool for building brand awareness, driving engagement, and fueling your other marketing channels.
If you’re wondering where to start when it comes to SEO, consider the content you already have. Among marketers, “content is king” is a colloquial phrase. Alex Valencia, president and director of business development at We Do Web, even calls content the “backbone” of an SEO strategy.
Keep your content quality, relevant and fresh. These factors are essential because they can affect how Google’s algorithms will rank your webpage. The higher your ranking, the more potential customers will see your valuable content and the more they will identify with your brand.
“The quality of the content you create and where it appears online plays a huge role in the success of your broader marketing strategy,” says Valencia. “Each piece of content offers users the opportunity to learn about your brand, engage with your offering, and hopefully convert into a customer or paying customer. With that in mind, your content should be at the forefront of your marketing plan, not an afterthought. And, in short, a siled approach ensures that your content is on-topic and relevant to your intended audience.
Implementing these three tactics can help boost your digital marketing efforts and grow your e-commerce business. As traditional marketing evolves, consumers value experiences above all else. Don’t forget to personalize your campaigns, reward current customers with rewards programs, and optimize your content for search engines. As customers become aware of your presence and appreciate your customer-focused approach, you’ll see your efforts convert into sales.
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