E-Commerce Marketing Tip #5 - Profit or Growth?

 

Profit or Growth?

Depending on where your business is in the ecommerce cycle, people need to run a different strategy at any given time. If your business is a newcomer in the market and isn’t well established yet then you really ought to focus more on business growth above anything else and put all of the profit back into the business and perhaps more.

What about those people that prefer a profitable marketing strategy? Well then ask yourself – would you prefer to have a business taking $2000 a month and yielding a 50 percent profit or would you rather have a business doing $200,000 per month and making 10 percent profit? Which business would you rather be on?

If you already have a good market share then you might want to look at tweaking things to make the business more profitable such as increasing conversion rates, per visitor value and average sale value. No matter what level your ecommerce business is at, the important thing is that you plan your marketing strategy and stick with it for a definite period of time. Strive to get consistent results and decide which strategies actually work best for your business.

When starting out or planning your marketing strategy for the business year, you want to think about which strategy you are going to run. Are you going for growth in the next 12 months or profit? If your goal is business growth then your marketing strategy will be tied around acquiring as many sales as possible regardless of how much profit you end up with.

Although it might sound surprising, it’s not unusual for a number huge online retail ecommerce businesses to spend more in their efforts to acquire a sale than what they actually make out of it. For instance, they may spend $2 securing a $1 sale but why in the world would they do such a thing? Well there are certainly a number of good reasons which include:

  • Quickly increasing market share
  • Preparations for a buy out
  • High average lifetime client value – businesses may lose money on the front end but ultimately yield a good profit on the back end.

Don’t be caught in the trap of thinking that running a profitable model is a must when starting your own ecommerce business. It is better to ask yourself if there are any opportunities your business is missing out on. If you are going to run the profit model without enough substantial capital upfront, what is it actually costing you?

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E-Commerce Marketing Tip #18 - Google Plus

 

We all know how important it is to have one’s ecommerce website appear high up on Google. Since Google introduced Google+ in 2011, we’ve seen some dramatic changes in the way search engine rankings are being decided particularly with Google+ - Google’s social network, which now significantly influence search engine results. How exactly is this so?

As people in the ecommerce business already knows, “Likes attract Likes” and with Google+, it’s all about the number of people that you have in your circle of influence and their likes or interests. Let’s say you have friends on your network that are interested in clothing and one of them has shared or clicked the Google+ button on a fashion website. You are then more likely to see that certain website on top search engine results when doing relevant queries on Google.

Needless to say, Google+ is affecting the world of ecommerce and search engine optimisation in a great way and you can bet that it’s only the beginning. Google’s ultimate goal is to dominate people’s online experience which includes:

  • Search engine results
  • Social media
  • Online shopping
  • Ad platform

 

People need to start implementing and making good use of Google+ for their respective businesses because it’s only going to affect search engine rankings more in the future. Ecommerce businesses can start doing just that by adding a Google+ button on their webpages. If your website visitors end up liking what they see then they can just press such a button and it will help raise your rankings in Google instantly!

Another great way for ecommerce businesses to start implementing Google+ to further their business goals is to set up a Google+ page for their business. And start a personal profile for themselves as well. It’s a good place to produce quality content in a consistent basis related to your business and the problem that it solves for people.

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eCommerce Marketing Tip #13 - Search Makes Money

 

Making money with online searches

What kind of traffic sources are you targeting for your ecommerce business? Well there actually quite a number of them aside from the ones generated by Google and other major search engines like Yahoo and Bing. This includes social media, e-mail, videos and various other online sources that can be used to drive traffic and ultimately generate more sales for your business.

The great thing about search is that you can effectively and accurately predict what people are looking for and hopefully make a sale out of it. For example, users may type in “buy canon camera online” and you can tell what exactly these users are looking for and structure your campaign to target those people making it more likely for your business to create a profitable sale online.

Now there are two types of marketing – pull marketing and push marketing. Pull marketing which is also known as search engine marketing is a marketing strategy catering to people actively searching for your business for whatever they need online and coming to you.

Push marketing on the other hand refers to conventional methods of marketing a product or service which includes TV, radio and banner ads as well as social media advertisements like the ones found on Facebook. This type of marketing is also known as push marketing or interruption marketing and the name may already suggest, it involves briefly interrupting whatever the target market is doing at the moment in the hopes of catching their attention, getting them to visit your  website and make a sale.

Now the problem with push marketing is that people may not actually be at the best state of mind to pull out their wallet and spending money when they do see your ad. Thus while Facebook is perfect for push marketing as it enables you to target your prospects specifically, the chances that they are in the mindset and actually need what you have to offer at a certain time can be very unlikely.

With pull marketing, the chance of ecommerce businesses making a sale is that much higher as it caters to prospects actively searching for what you have to offer which means you’ll need a lesser amount of traffic in order to make a sale and create a more profitable business.

Just to give you an idea of the opportunity behind pull marketing – there are 19 billion searches made online every month! Now a number of them may not be actively searching for what you have to sell and some of them may simply be looking for information but the main point is that if you are able to position your ecommerce business in front of these people, you’ll literally have the money in the bag!

Looking to know exactly how many people are searching for what you have to offer online? Well you can do just that with Google’s keyword tool! Look for keyword tool on Google and simply type in the keywords relevant to the product or service that you offer and it’ll give you a clear picture of how many people are actually doing those searches online. You can use this information as a part of your market research and create content around the products or services that you are offering.

There are several great ways that ecommerce businesses can all look into in order to step in front of people that actively searching for what your business offers and are more likely to invest or make a purchase. One is paid online advertising such as Google Adwords wherein you pay each time a user clicks on your ad and visits your website. It does require considerable knowledge to set up and work in a profitable manner for your business but nevertheless, it is a scalable and has the potential to make a lot of money if done right.

Another approach is SEO or search engine optimization – a process of tweaking your website in order to optimize its chances of appearing higher on relevant search engine listings. SEO is more like renovating your house as opposed to paid advertisements which is like renting somebody’s advertising space. A tweaked and optimized website is a most valuable asset in ecommerce as it helps generate sales consistently.

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eCommerce Marketing Tip #12 - Always Split Test

 

If you are most people in the ecommerce business, you may be leaving a lot of profit on the table when it comes to all the traffic coming in to your website. Why exactly is this so? Well the answer is simple – there is always a better version of your website (landing page, call to action, checkout button, etc.)

Now how are we to know if we are already using the best possible version of our ecommerce website? Well the only way to do that is to split test. Split testing enables us to pinpoint website elements that work and eliminate or make changes to those that don’t. It basically involves setting up tracking codes serving two different versions of your website.

In split testing ecommerce websites, visitors will be divided among different versions of a certain website as they come in. The goal is to of course determine which version of an ecommerce website actually converts better and yields more profit. You can then use that version of the website more as default.

Split testing is a relatively simple thing to do and yet roughly 99 percent of ecommerce businesses forego doing it and leave a lot of money on the table. As mentioned earlier, you can split test just about any element on your ecommerce website which includes:

  • Price
  • Images
  • Buttons
  • Colors
  • Sizes
  • Design
  • Layout

 

Keep in mind that such elements can influence your prospect’s decision to buy from your or not which is why it’s so important. Let’s say that for every 1000 visitors to your website you have a 1 percent conversion rate, your business ends up with 10 sales. Without split testing, you’ll never know whether or not you can increase that conversion rate to say, 2 percent which translates to 20 sales for the same amount of traffic thereby doubling your business.

There are various great tools that you can use to split test your ecommerce website. We highly recommend Visual Website Optimizer and Zen Tester.

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eCommerce Marketing Tip #11 - Client Lifetime Value

 

Focus on the lifetime value of clients

 

All too often, people in the ecommerce business think only about the first sale and nothing more. If you want to establish a strong a profitable business presence online, this certainly shouldn’t be the case. It’s important for ecommerce businesses to look beyond simply making a sale especially if you are mostly selling low-priced items with low margins.

Think about it – just because people bought a low$5,  $10 or $20 item from you at a very low margin, it doesn’t mean that they are not going to buy from you again. If you have $10 item and you have a client buying it for 10 times in a certain period of time, you’ll end up with a $100 average lifetime client value.

Most people in the ecommerce business have it all wrong by looking solely on the $10 sale at the front end and are often easily discouraged with how little they have to play with in terms of the amount that they are investing in their ecommerce marketing campaign and what they are initially making out of it

There’s a huge difference if you are looking at your marketing budget and tell yourself that you’re simply going to make a $10 sale as opposed to saying that you are going to make sale, take care of the client and ultimately end up making a $100 in sales. Thus we urge you to shift your focus from making a single sale to the average lifetime value of a client. So how do we start doing just that?

Let’s say your ecommerce business is offering an amazing value and service for your clients that they end up telling their family and friends. You’ve only paid to acquire such a client on the front end but they may not only end up making multiple purchases from you on the back end but they can also tell their others  which helps drive more business on the front end for free and so on.

Increasing the average lifetime value of clients in your ecommerce business isn’t difficult t all and there are a number of things that you can look into in order to do just that.  For one thing, you can set up an auto responder for every purchase that will send out follow-up emails to your buyers after 5 days. That email can simply check on any problems that your clients may be having about your product or service and how satisfied they are with it. You can then invite them back to your website to post a review or recommend more of what your business has to offer.

Building a good relationship with clients and nurturing their average lifetime value is such a simple thing not to mention the fact that it doesn’t really cost you anything more other than that bit of extra effort. Besides, how many businesses these days follow up on their clients making sure that they don’t have any problems with the products or services that they sold? Not to many I reckon so it’s really not that hard at all and it’s something that your clients are sure to appreciate!

Needless to say, such efforts at improving your client’s average lifetime value will also support future sales and provides the foundation for re-engaging clients for your business.

Improving average client lifetime value with surveys

Surveys are another great way to improve the lifetime value of clients in your ecommerce business.  By running surveys, you’ll get valuable feedback from your target market itself which includes among other things:

  • What your business could have done better? Areas for improvement?
  • What are they unhappy with? Common problems or complaints?
  • What are some the things that your clients feel are missing in your business offerings?

 

The answers to all these questions will certainly help you add more value to your business and keep your clients coming back to you thereby increasing average client lifetime value ultimately putting more money in your pocket.

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eCommerce Marketing Tip #9 - Commitment To Marketing

All too often do we come across people that approach ecommerce business with a “we’ll see attitude”. They look at their marketing as something more of a hit and miss as they simply try to see what works and what doesn’t which is fine. Of course we don’t want to keep beating our head against the wall and keep doing things that are making us lose money.

Now the problem with many ecommerce businesses today is that they fail to properly define how long they are going to test their marketing strategy and how much money they need to actually put into it. The result – they only push forward when everything is going well and quickly shut everything down if it isn’t instead of being resourceful and looking for ways to improve it.

In ecommerce, you can never expect to get everything right on the first try. The only way to succeed at running a truly profitable ecommerce campaign is to push forward and modify or improve your strategies and methodologies as you go. One must define the time that they are going to stick with a particular strategy and the amount of resources you are prepared to spend testing whether its going to turn out to be a profitable campaign or not.

Let’s say you are running a search engine optimization campaign, on a rough estimate we’re looking to spend at least 6 months to properly define the effectives of your SEO strategy. With Google Adwords, you’ll want to run it for at least 6 months as well or around 300 clicks per product or category. These well defined parameters should give you enough data to assess whether running your campaign is really worthwhile or not.

Continuing to go about your ecommerce business without properly testing your campaign strategies is pretty much like running a national election but allowing only 1 percent of the population to cast their votes. It’s not going to give you a true reflection of what is really going on.

Are you still uncertain about how much resources you should put towards your ecommerce campaign?   You can go ahead and seek out someone who is already doing it or shoot us an e-mail and we’ll tell you roughly how much money you need to put into your campaign to test its effectiveness and profitability.

The important thing is that you define a specific period of time for testing your ecommerce campaign and stick to it! These campaigns always have their peaks and drops – we need to avoid reacting to small jitters in the market. In order to make an accurate assessment concerning the effectiveness of their respective campaigns, one will need to stick with what they had defined and implement everything to the letter.

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E-Commerce Marketing Tip #17 - Stalking Your Prospects

 

Everyone knows how important branding is for an ecommerce business now days. One of the best and most cost-effective ways of branding your business online is “remarketing”. Google Adwords present some of the best platforms to conduct a remarketing campaign. How does retargeting actually work though?

Retargeting or stalking your prospects in the ecommerce business essentially revolves around tagging website visitors with banner ads to “follow” them around with offers regarding the products or services that you are selling.

The goal here is twofold – one is that you want to target the people that visited your website but haven’t bought anything from you. You can target them with specific ads built around certain web pages that they’ve visited. You need to bring these people back and re-engage them with your brand as soon as possible

How do you re-engage website visitors that didn’t actually make a purchase from you? Well you can start by setting up an e-mail captcha wherein you drive them to a certain page asking them for their e-mail address in exchange for something of value to them which could be a discount coupon or a gift voucher. After getting their e-mail address, you can then market to them on a consistent basis in addition to following them around with banner advertisements.

Banner advertisements can be made to appear on various websites online including news sites, forums and even high traffic websites like Youtube.

The second goal is to of course run a remarketing campaign for people that had actually bought something from you. These people are far more valuable than their counterpart and you need to properly reinforce your brand as well as the rewards of continuing to do business with you specifically for people who’ve bought something from your in the past.

To further improve your retargeting campaign for your buyers, you might also want to think about providing special and exclusive offers that are not available to your general market. You can simply send them back to pages within your website create especially for them which clients are sure to appreciate!

These strategies for running a retargeting campaign will go a long way in helping you effectively brand your business online and maximize profits. If you found this useful please subscribe to our channel, share the video and leave a comment below. I’ll be seeing you in the next video!

 


E-Commerce Marketing Tip #16 - Touch Them Everywhere

 

 

Did you know that roughly 74 percent of your target prospects are bound to look you up online before doing any business with you? It doesn’t matter if they saw you on TV, radio, catalogs or maybe your business was referred by friends or family. People will look up your business online and what they see there will give them the perception of how successful or reliable your business is.

Needless to say, your business needs to look its best throughout these online searches. Hence your business needs to own a good portion of that online space by owning as many listings that cats your business in a good light. Such listings can come from a number of sources which includes:

  • Your own ecommerce website (of course)
  • News websites
  • Reviews
  • Social media networks – Creating a social media profile for your business presents a great opportunity for building social proof and effectively targeting prospects. Pinterest for instance is an excellent social network for targeting 16 to 29 year old women.

 

The main point that ecommerce business today should all keep in mind is that they need to do whatever they can to be seen everywhere online so that wherever they may look, they see your brand. Doing so will help reinforce your brand in the mind of your targeted prospects ultimately enabling you to sell more and acquire a larger market share.

One other great tactic that you can use to make your ecommerce business appear nearly everywhere online is retargeting with Google Adwords. You can learn more about that by checking out our next video – “Stalking your Prospects”.

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E-Commerce Marketing Tip #7 - Just Because You Can Doesn't Mean You Should

 

In the ecommerce business, we all want to maximize our profits. The latter is true regardless of what stage we are in our business may we be proven veterans or complete beginners. Thus many often presume that they’ll be saving a lot of money if they only put in the time and effort to do everything themselves.  However, many often find that such a course of action can easily yield the opposite effect.

In the real world, ecommerce businesses often stand to lose more by attempting to tackle everything themselves instead of employing the services of proven and reputable experts. Adwords is one classic example of this – Running an Adwords campaign is not at all as easy as it may seem and its many layers of complexities often demand the expertise of an experienced and reputable professional in order to navigate effectively and profitably.

Think about it – Google has made it so easy for ecommerce businesses to lose money with Adwords. There are stories of people delving into it only to lose thousands of dollars in just a few days. Hence the cliché “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should”. Anyone can set up an Adwords account and manage it themselves but should you? Most probably not!

Of course the mentioned cliché is not only applicable to Google Adwords but in truth, it can apply to any aspect of running an ecommerce marketing campaign as well. For one thing, you’ll easily find business pages on Facebook with thousands of fans but just because they have a huge following doesn’t mean they are profitable.

There may be no interactions to the content that they’ve shared on their Facebook page which only shows that they don’t really know how to effectively and properly market on Facebook and a lot of people are doing it simply because they can.

Ecommerce businesses need to focus on what they are good at and often these people have a lot on their plate already. It would be best to seek out experts to tackle areas outside your knowledge and expertise. Doing so would help you grow your business that much faster and prevent losses due to poor and uninformed attempts at tackling everything on your own.

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E-Commerce Marketing Tip #8 - Planning For Success

 

One of the worse mistakes one can make in the ecommerce business is to put off their marketing strategy to the very end. Many look to ecommerce as an easy and convenient way to make money and jump into it eager to get their business websites designed and hosted as well as finding great deals in products or services to sell and setting payment or shipping options. The truth is that all these things don’t actually matter squat unless you approach ecommerce with a plan right from the start!

Think about it – if you had a plan right from the start and understood who your target is right off the bat with actionable items prior to the launch of your ecommerce website, your chances of success at success is that much higher compared to those who delve into the ecommerce business unprepared and haven’t thought about their marketing.

Regardless of what stage you are in your ecommerce whether you are a complete beginner or an a well established one backed by a large market share, you need to consistently think about your marketing strategy and plan how to effectively and profitably go about it in the months to come.

Too often in building an ecommerce website, designers go at lengths to convince you that you need something that looks fantastic and comes with all sorts of bells and whistles which if fine and does have some truth into it. However these people often don’t have a clue about the marketing aspect of running an ecommerce business such as:

  • Up sells, down sells and cross sells
  • Good e-mail segmentation
  • SEO (search engine optimization)
  • Dynamic websites that “learn” user behavior for improved user experience

 

More importantly, these people often don’t have a clue about good search functions. It can be one of the most profitable elements on an ecommerce website and if you are not already implementing such a function right from the start, you could be losing out on a lot of money by failing to set it up in the first place.

Indeed no matter what level you are at, think about your marketing approach and your overall strategy! If you found this useful please subscribe to our channel, share the video and leave a comment below. I’ll be seeing you in the next video!