In our latest guest post, the team from AMZ Scout bring their best tips for eCommerce businesses building their marketing strategy. Being a market leader in Amazon Product Research, they really know a thing or two about marketing your online business.
We hope you enjoy this post.
Ecommerce is much like any other business. You offer a product to people, if they are interested they buy it and if they are happy with their purchase, they will possibly buy from you again or even recommend the product to people they know. Selling products online is much easier than the traditional retail model in terms of overhead and using your time effectively. For example, it’s much easier to learn how to start a business on Amazon than to open up a brick and mortar retail store.
On the other hand, the challenges that are posed by your competition or the level of creativity necessary in order to properly present and promote your product are still a challenge. In fact, this might be even more challenging than in a more traditional setting since, in a sense, you are competing against the entire internet.
When it comes to creating a well rounded “marketing package” around your online store, there are three avenues that need to be addressed individually. It’s also important to make sure that there is harmony between the three avenues in order to produce the most powerful combination that maximises your potential.
1. Presentation and Optimisation
Presentation is the effort you've put into both the development of your store front and your individual product selection in order to make sure that they are optimised for maximum results both in terms of technical aspects as well as psychological.
Technical aspects includes things like SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), which is absolutely fundamental when it comes to digital marketing. Whether you have a standalone website, a Shopify store or you sell on platforms like Amazon or Walmart, SEO is essential to your success. You must put in the effort to do proper keyword research and incorporate it into your listing or website copy. There is a balancing act to doing this properly. You will need to find a way to populate the copy with relevant keywords (meaning words and phrases people actually type when they are looking for the type of products that you sell) while simultaneously writing a compelling copy that will highlight your products features, interest your customers and familiarise them with your brand.
The other important aspect is the immediate visual one. It’s all about high quality product photography and aesthetically appealing, intuitive web design. This part involves both creativity and a lot of technical know how. It is recommended that if you don’t have the technical know-how to make this work that you should consult and hire professionals. You must know what your vision for your product and brand is. However, making that vision come to life is often best left to the professionals. It’s often much better to spend some money hiring web designers, graphics designers and professional photographers than doing it yourself, since you want the maximum results for your products as soon as possible, and the quality of your presentation is what most affects sales conversions (apart from the actual products you are selling).
There are many tools at your disposal when it comes to promoting your products online. Depending on the platform you use, you can have multiple options available. For example if you use platforms like Amazon or Walmart, you can use their internal Pay per Click advertising system.
Using these systems requires diligent keyword research and constant maintenance and optimisation. These advertising systems are arguably most effective since the shoppers on these platforms are already there with wallets in their hands looking to make a purchase, which is why you can expect to get “more bang for your buck”. These systems can get really specific and operate on their own sets of rules and mechanisms. This is why you must make an effort to study them thoroughly. They also tend to get constantly updated with new features, which is great on one hand since it gives you additional options to grow and expand. However, it also requires that you be constantly educating yourself about the systems.
We also have the more conventional and widely available digital advertising options such as Google Adwords and social media advertising. You can, of course, make use of these advertising systems in addition to the system they have in place on major platforms. When it comes to social media marketing, you might find the most success when it comes to creating special discounts or limited time deals. Also, when you use social media or Google ads you have more space to be creative and to actually create content that goes along with the ads, unlike the platform specific PPC ads.
There are some additional advantages to using social media marketing since you can actually hire influencers to promote your products. This is often very expensive, so it’s not a decision to be made lightly. However, it can be a move that actually launches your products or your brand to new heights in terms of sales volume and recognisability.
You can and probably should have a social media page for your own product line where you can foster a community and build brand loyalty. This is easier said than done since it requires constant effort and the ability to be creative and entertaining with your content. It’s important to find a fine balance between promotion and quality content for content's sake.
3. User Experience and Brand Presence
The final aspect of your marketing happens after the product is in the hands of the customer. Of course, the product needs to meet expectations in terms of quality and functionality. However, in terms of the overall time a customer will get to actually interact with your brand psychologically, the time spent owning your products is overwhelming in comparison to their experience finding and purchasing your product online. Here are few things to consider:
Quality product packaging is a reflection on your commitment to quality and customer satisfaction. You should not be cutting corners when it comes to this. This is another area of your business where you should be considering professional help. It’s also crucial to use the product packaging to display your brand and to make sure that the customer will not forget the brand of the product they bought.
What you want to accomplish is having a satisfied customer that will talk to others about their experience of using your product and, if possible, coming back for return purchases. A great way of doing this is by adding some additional value along with the product that was not expected. This could be in the form of a useful pamphlet about the product or creative ways to use it or maintain it. It could also be a small recipe book for a kitchen product, or workout plan for a fitness related item. It’s these small gestures that show your customers that you care about them as well as your product.
The product itself
The product itself is arguably your most powerful canvas where you will get a chance to show off your brand. The type of product is a big factor when it comes to this, since promoting your brand of your product is much easier when the product itself is something that your customers might use or even wear in public. It’s also not just a matter of displaying your product logo on the product. You can also have a distinct design style that people might start recognising when they see it multiple times. Then if they actually come across one of your products available for purchase they will already have the knowledge that a number of people have it already, using this as a sort of “seal of approval” from their peers. Of course, product design as well as brand design are complex topics and there are virtually endless ways that you can handle the issue with your own product. The point is, if you put enough effort and creativity behind your product design it will literally sell itself.
In conclusion, marketing in eCommerce is simply marketing in a new setting. This new setting is very diverse and populated with ample options and systems that are at your disposal to make the most out of your product line or store. There are no shortcuts here. You will have to put in the hours to learn about these various systems and you can be sure that there will be a lot of trial and error involved. Finally, on top of understanding the principles behind the digital marketing systems, it’s necessary to educate yourself and keep educating yourself about some core fundamental marketing principles as well, and learn how to best apply them in your own unique environment. The marketing aspect of your business is not something that you can just do right once and let it run on autopilot. If you want to properly grow and utilise all opportunities at your disposal, you are going to have to get accustomed to dedicating yourself to your marketing efforts on a regular basis.
Good luck sellers!