The Cornerstones of a Successful Ecommerce Marketing Strategy

Ecommerce merchants face a ton of competition in achieving high search engine visibility for keyword phrases that prospective customers are searching for. That’s the harsh reality of getting noticed and making sales on the World Wide Web. The good news is that with a little research, planning, and follow-though, the goal of moving ahead of the competition and generating some targeted Internet traffic becomes surprisingly attainable.

Building an ecommerce website and then getting it indexed by Google is the first hurdle in gaining visibility on the Internet and attracting a decent number of credit card wielding customers. But with thousands, if not millions of other ecommerce merchants clamoring for the attention of the same online customers, how does the little guy on the Web stand a snowball’s chance? Well, the beauty of ecommerce marketing is that there are no “little guys” — only website owners who don’t know the basics of search engine optimization, web design, and sales conversion principles.

Wait a minute! What was that last thing — sales conversion principles? Is that something I need to go back to college for? Fortunately, no advanced degrees are necessary, although continual self-education is highly recommended! The main skill you need to convert web site visitors to customers is imagination — if you could call that a “skill”. To sell stuff to people on or off the Web, you need to have the ability to see things through their eyes. Stop being an e-marketer for a few seconds, and try to imagine what a first-time visitor to your site is going to see, think, and feel. Will their first impressions be that you’re trying to sell them something? That, of course, is your intention, but keep in mind that ecommerce is a two-way street; people aren’t going to buy what you’re selling unless several conditions are met; and the art of written persuasion is definitely part of this ecommerce marketing strategy.

If your web set has been written and optimized in a way that will bring in people that are ready to buy – or at least are predisposed to buy what you’re selling – then your only task is to convert them from a site visitor to a paying customer. Easier said than done, right? Although entire books have been written on the subject, in the interest of time, I’m going to boil it down to three C’s: “Clarity”, “Confidence”, and “Comfort”.

“Clarity” refers to the fact that you have to make it clear what you’re selling, how it will benefit your customers, and why it’s as good as – if not much better than what the competition is offering. Instilling “confidence” is your prospective customers is also crucially important – especially on the Internet – because they want to know that the transaction will be secure and that you have a customer service policy that will come into play if they have a question or problem with their purchase. The third element — “comfort” factor — is what happens when you’ve mastered the “clarity” and “confidence” portions of the equation, and have convinced the customer that they’ve made the right purchase from a trustworthy web site at the optimal time. Perception may not be everything, but it may be the single most important ingredient of a successful ecommerce marketing strategy.

What Every Business Should Know About Ecommerce Marketing Strategy

Running an integrated ecommerce marketing strategy is very important to your overall business goals and objectives. This strategy should incorporate all facets of your offline marketing and direct traffic to your site for lead generation and sales creation.

This necessitates auditing all your offline business materials to ensure that the web address is correctly referenced and considered. Most businesses that use the web as a serious marketing medium should have a formalized internet marketing strategy. This written document should scope and bound the marketing objectives, state the plans intentions and provide a basis for measuring or benchmarking progress. Here are some suggestions for incorporation into your ecommerce online marketing.

Email Marketing:

You should have a facility in place to collect email addresses and make regular contact with your subscribers. This is an approach that can be used to build credibility and allows you to keep in contact with prospective customers. When you release new products, you should use this channel to inform your subscriber base. This generates word of mouth advertising and can be a healthy form of repeat business.

Giving Away Free Reports:

By giving away free reports, both online and offline, you can incorporate sales material that directs potential customers back to your website for further information. This is a great way to generate traffic, showcase new products and generate new business. It also serves as a reminder to prospective customers who may be close to ordering.

Using Video:

Uploading free videos to your website, YouTube and Google Video provides a neat way to deliver a verbal message with a background presentation. People like to watch videos and once you are setup to create them they can be much easier to produce than writing extensive reports. Videos are a great way to showcase new products or highlight important features that can differentiate you from your competition. Using video will put you at the forefront of ecommerce marketing.

Monitoring Statistics:

Your web statistics can provide valuable insight into consumer surfing behavior. By regularly monitoring them you can discern important viewer trends. Heavy emphasis on certain sections of your site provides insight into consumer interest and can be used for additional product or content creation. Sections that are not generating interest may indicate an important area of your business that needs revival. It can also indicate an area that may need additional search engine and pay per click campaign focus.

This is several internet marketing strategies that you should consider as part of your marketing arsenal. By using a combination or all of the above you can reach a broader target market, build a customer base and expand your business activities. If you haven’t formalized an ecommerce online marketing plan then the above suggestions should provide you with a place to start.

Naked Web Marketing Part 2

The web shares

This should be a major consideration for web marketing, but instead it is ignored. A web marketer will suggest that we use Facebook, Twitter or Linked-in, among other social media because they all share. And that means that we forget about sharing through our own web site and we end up giving our best content away. And for what?

The time focus for Facebook is short. Even shorter for Twitter. Our best content should be shared from our own site first because it makes our web site stronger. Then we can feed bits to social media to attract attention. Attention from social media sites is very short lived and has to be constantly repeated, but on our own site the same information builds and attracts, and then builds and attracts even more.

If that doesn’t hit you between the eyes then you are not getting the significance of sharing. It is not just social media that can use this powerful aspect of web marketing and we would be wise not to put control of our most attractive content in the hands of social media. They can use or misuse it all however they please.

Web marketers don’t seem to get it

Web designers and web marketers are pretty much sold on letting trendy social media control your web marketing. They can make money by running your social media campaign, which may be quite alright if they also helped you share directly from your own web site.

Sharing is important for long term growth and it can be accomplished over time. Don’t rush or panic. The truth is that all your, so-called, competitors are not sharing and are not growing. Time is something you have a lot of, but there’s no time like the present for getting started. And you are probably wondering just what your business has to share with its market.

A brief list of the more important web attributes:

• No time or space limitations on web marketing

• The Internet swallowed all other media and makes them adapt to the web

• The web is a virtual reality – having many more nodes plugged in

• You don’t find your market – they find you

No time or space:

As soon as you start talking about your market’s biggest problem – You know, the one you solve – then you have all the time and space you could ever want. Your market likes that, it attracts them and it interests them. Keep going, talk about other problems they have so as to include an ever wider market.

Swallowed all other media:

The web is not like any other media. It can be your telephone, but it works differently. It can be your newspaper, but it works differently. It can even advertise and use push marketing, but most of the benefits come from using pull marketing. In fact, pull marketing is second nature to the web and has a much greater reach than trying to push.

The web is a virtual reality:

A virtual reality is no less real than a physical (material) reality, it’s just that a virtual reality has many more social, business and institutional connections all plugged in and ready to connect.

Your market finds you:

Your web market is anonymous. It is your web site that has to have attractive content in order to stand out from other sites. Web designers like to think their awesome designs attract but search engines don’t pay attention to graphics. Web marketers like to think their advertising attracts but web users (you and me included) try to ignore ads.

The biggest attraction for our market is when we share information about solving their problem. They didn’t come to our web site to see pretty web designs or to see and read our ads – they came thinking we could help them.

Attracting your market

Helping your market by sharing your information does not mean giving away the recipe to your secret sauce. Your competitors may want the secret but your market could care less. They are not going to mix up a batch of your secret sauce, instead they are going to want you to implement your secrets and pay you for doing that.

You will have many ways your secret sauce can be used and your web site can list them and hold them all. All of the problems your secret sauce has solved can be written up and go on the web. As you share all the problems and solutions you can remember you will be building a destination web site while other business owners are chasing after a market they can’t see or touch.