By Charles Normandin
Promoting e-commerce businesses is one of the biggest challenges for small and medium business owners. With fierce competition on every market niche, it’s very hard to attract customers’ attention to your product.
Most people don’t know how to promote their sales, but it doesn’t mean that they don’t try different ways: some spend money on ads, some write reviews and blog posts, add commenting options or start building communities, and so on. Unfortunately, a significant number of these attempts are unsuccessful because authors are rushing into investments with no knowledge about what exactly will bring them revenue.
Unfortunately, many articles about promotion strategies are also full of theoretical advice without any practical examples. This article provides you with the top 10 tips to promote your online store in 2021. It also explains in detail when and why you should apply them.
I. Focus on Selling Benefits, not Features
Selling the feature is a pretty outdated way of promotion. It’s as if you were promoting your product, saying: “Our TV-set has an excellent color and sound quality.” In fact, customers are looking for how these colors and sounds make their lives better (e.g., they can enjoy more movies with family). That’s a totally different approach than just describing how good your product is.
According to digital marketing pros, the top five benefits that help to increase sales are providing support service, having a money-back guarantee policy, offering competitive pricing, having a clear and easy return policy, and showing evidence of customer satisfaction.
II. Map out your Conversion Funnel
A conversion funnel has four stages: (1) finding your website; (2) getting interested in it; (3) choosing the product to buy and making the first step towards the purchase; (4) finally, completing the transaction. You have to optimize each stage to convert your web visitors to customers as well as promote all products from one warehouse so that customers can easily make payment with a single click after entering the destination address into an automatic delivery function at the checkout page.
It’s also important to understand that different customers will react differently to different ads because everybody is different, especially when it comes to online shopping. There are no other physical features than just the product itself to help customers make a choice. Most business owners point to extra commitments as the reasons why they do not complete the primary tasks at hand.
This is especially true with those who are taking part time studies. If you’re in the same boat and struggling to focus on your eCommerce website because of academic commitments, you really don’t want to risk wasted leads. In that case, your best bet would be to hire pro essay writers so you can fully focus on your online business.
III. Start with Facebook Ads and Google AdWords
According to Statista, there are more than 4.6 billion Internet users worldwide, among them 3.96 billion use social networks at least monthly. It means that Facebook group members or pages followers have much bigger chances of becoming your potential customers than people who saw an ad on TV or read it in the magazine. Also, you can create a special offer for customers coming from Google search results which is called remarketing strategy (Google Display Network is great for such purpose).
According to Thinkwithgoogle, more than 60 percent of shopping occasions start online. This means that irrespective of where customers finally make a purchase decision, they will start their search process online – in most cases searching on Google. Multiple research reports also reveal that remarketing has the highest conversion rate in e-commerce among all existing online promotion strategies.
IV. Integrate Facebook Messenger with your store
Social networks are becoming very important for business. According to Sproutsocial research, 70 percent of customers feel stronger connection to brands whose CEOs are active on social media platforms and 64 percent want brands to connect with them.
The same customer who was shopping on your website is interested in getting updates from you via Facebook messenger – not only about sales or new products, but also they can ask you questions about product details, delivery times, etc. That helps them feel more comfortable with purchase decisions without spending much time checking other websites. Also, it reduces shopping cart abandonment, which means that customers will complete the transaction, resulting in more profits.
V. Give Special Attention to Mobile Commerce
According to Statista research, there are more than 2.1 billion mobile shoppers in 2021 alone with this figure predicted to increase exponentially over the next few years. That’s why you need to amplify your sales on the smartphone: use responsive design for better customer experience on desktop and when they shop from their phones.
Again according to Statista research: Reasons for shopping cart abandonment, retailers are losing millions every year due to site errors on mobile device screens which means that customers can’t complete a transaction because of problems with checkout procedures or payment gateways, etc. Most specifically, 12 percent of customers abandon their carts because of site errors.
Other reports say that e-commerce conversion rates are more than five times higher for sites designed responsively than those which aren’t. Also, as you can’t use the automatic delivery function for shipping costs on mobile devices, customers will need to enter destination addresses manually, so make sure that your website allows them to choose the country they are shopping for.
VI. Integrate Social Media with your Store
As discussed above, Facebook and Google are great platforms for advertising, but there are also many other places where social media help companies promote their products. First of all, it’s important to start using Pinterest because, according to report by Pinterest, 60 percent of new signups on the platform are women. Interestingly, women also spend the most time on the platform than men.
Therefore, if you want to reach a female audience, then start making pins about the sale or latest products and about different life situations where your product can be useful. Second of all, YouTube advertising is very popular with customers from 15 to 45 years old, which means that you should create video tutorials and upload them on this channel. But don’t forget that each platform has its own rules for tagging and description. Therefore, if you plan to use Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, etc., make sure to visit their websites where there are special guides on how to tag items correctly.
VII. Make a Gift the thing they were searching for
Instant gratification in e-commerce is vital because as soon as people leave your site, they tend to give up shopping online. According to Statista research in 2021, 49 percent of shoppers abandon carts due to shipping costs, and 19 percent – due to slow shipping. (Of course you can optimize your website and reduce shopping cart abandonment but gifts are a very effective way to satisfy customers).
One example from the fashion industry is when shop assistants give one free garment with every purchase. You can do the same in e-commerce: offer some gifts during the checkout process (for example, 10% discounts if a customer spends $50 or free delivery if a customer spends more than $100).
VIII. Personalize Email Communication Based on User Data
According to Email Marketing Benchmarks by GetResponse, the average click-through rate for email newsletters send by internet marketing companies is only 1.66%. That means that many people prefer to receive information about new products and sales from e-stores not by email but via push notifications on their smartphones.
Explaining why you need to personalize communication, you may also want to try remarketing strategy that helps get customers back. Remarketing is a marketing technique that allows businesses to target previous website visitors with personalized ads on other websites. This way of promotion is used mostly in combination with the Google AdWords remarketing feature, where user segments are created based on the behavior of one specific customer. Then they see tailored ads when they visit your website or any other site using the Google advertising network.
With this approach, you can attract customers who’ve already visited your store (for example, after making an order) but didn’t buy something because they needed more information before doing this. To find out more about your visitors’ behavior, you need to visit the Google Adwords website and create a new remarketing tag with additional information, which will help you, target previous customers later. As for push notifications in e-commerce, this is a very effective tool if used correctly – that’s why you should have at least two different message templates: one template when the customer adds products to their wishlist and another one after they purchase something.
IX. Automate the Sales Process as much as Possible
As we discussed above in point 5, mobile devices have become the most popular way of accessing websites, so it’s important to make sure that your website is properly optimized. Also, it’s important to use a responsive design and smart font size functions, which means that font size will be adjusted based on the customer’s screen.
The most important thing is browser compatibility. In this case, you should use responsive design and make sure your website is compatible with all major mobile browsers like Safari, Chrome, etc. Although many companies are now exploring the possibilities of creating their own apps, which can help them increase conversion rate, it’s still a costly proposition. It is estimated that the average custom software project costs $442 000 in one year.
You need an exceptional team with specific skills (application developers or UX designers) to complete the project. For small and medium-sized businesses, such a way of promotion is still unaffordable, so one possible solution is creating a mobile website with similar functionality as an app. If you decide to create a mobile website for your online store, it’s important not to forget about smartphone compatibility – in this case; you should use at least HTML5 instead of the classic version of HTML code.
X. Personalize Customer Service + be Proactive
Personalization is very important in the 21st century because people want to communicate with real people who understand their needs rather than with automated systems that can’t solve their issues (or customers simply get bored when it takes too much time to speak with a live person). When customers feel like they are communicating with real people, they don’t think they are getting automated responses—and consumers want brands to be more proactive.
Responding quickly and solving customer’s issues can have a very positive impact on your reputation. That’s why you should make sure that you have 24/7 online chat support along with phone support for big orders or any other special requests.
The Bottom Line
Online shopping is a huge trend, and there’s no doubt that it will continue its popularity in 2021 and beyond. However, it’s not enough to simply offer a wide selection of products and attractive prices. To be successful in 2021, you need to promote your online store and even better, provide exceptional customer service that customers will notice and remember. And responding quickly when they have questions is the key to keeping them happy.
About the Author
Charles Normandin is an experienced writer who also provides essay help for students in need. He speaks 3 languages and writes creative essays that students love to write their term papers on. To find out more about him, you can catch up with him on his Twitter account @Charles60104524