What are the major elements that contribute to a high performance ecommerce business?
Well truth be told there are probably a million of tiny elements. After all retail is detail. The lesson there is that ecommerce is never quite as easy as the blogs (like this one) make it sound. You have to deal with everything from suppliers to shipping logistics to payment processing to marketing. So let’s focus on the part that I know the most (a little bit) about. Marketing.
In my humble opinion here are 7 factors that are the key building blocks to a great ecommerce marketing mix.
First thing’s first. If customers can’t figure out where to go and what to do on your website then they won’t stay or come back. By definition that means they won’t buy anything, and they definitely won’t be referring their friends to your store.
When it comes to selling things online, you don’t have the luxury of in person conversations or salespeople, so you need to fill those gaps in the customer experience with a great user experience. Remember that a great user experience doesn’t mean fancy or expensive design. It just means having a logical and intuitive workflow.
With a little bit of thought and planning you can even replicate in a reasonable way some of the elements of an in-person shopping experience on your site.
Here are a few tips we laid out in a previous post talking about how to humanize the online experience.
Your store design and user experience go hand in hand. Not only should the layout and navigation of your site be easy to follow, but the first aesthetic impression you leave on your customer counts too. Product photos should be clean and professional, your font and color selections should all work together, and everything on your site should look like some design thought was put into it.
If you’re not a designer yourself, this is an area where it pays off to bring in some professional help.
Here are a few ideas to help your store design stand out from the crowd.
Good content is one of the most strategic things you can add to your online store. Content helps users find your store and also helps users make the decision to buy from your store.
Content helps sell your business, your expertise and your products. This includes everything from the copy, to the images and video you use on your site.
Another great place to contribute content is through a store blog. If you’re looking for a hand in crafting super shareable content here is a technique we’ve come to know and love called the skyscraper technique.
If your business is online, there is one marketing tactic that you absolutely cannot afford to ignore. Search. Search engine marketing and search engine optimization are critical to the discoverability of your business.
Consumers are now trained to ask Google all of the questions they have in life. This is especially true when it comes to shopping and product questions. Knowing how to make your site easily searchable by Google and other search engines (like Bing and DuckDuckGo) should be top of mind when it comes to any online marketing strategy.
Here are a few tips we’ve picked up on how to ensure your search strategy is up to date and isn’t reliant on old advice
With the breadth of choice out there for marketers, some of the older, proven, tactics fall to the wayside. Email is an example of one of those. I‘m amazed by how often people I advise are surprised by the effectiveness and the engagement levels that can be generated by email marketing.
I think the world of business has had the fear of being called a spammer drilled into them, to the point where many businesses actually overlook their most valuable marketing asset – their opt-in subscriber list. Remember customers who have opted-in to communications from you expect just that. Communication from you ☺
More than ever consumers are reading and catching up on email through a mobile device. Here’s some advice on making sure your messages are coming in clearly.
The last thing the world needs is another blog post with advice on social media. So I’ll just leave it at that. Social media is no longer a fad, it’s a must when it comes to your marketing mix and marketing channels. Here are some thoughts on how to make the most of it.
PR and Publicity
Now we’re getting a bit more old school. Public relations (mentions on news outlets, blogs and other news outlets) can be a huge help for businesses starting out. They help to get you more search juice when it comes to Google and SEO and also more importantly help to establish credibility for your brand in the eyes of consumers.
Here’s some advice on creating a simple (but effective) PR strategy.
So there you have it, 7 elements that make up the essential components of an effective ecommerce marketing mix.