Running an e-commerce business is far more complicated than it seems. It is so much more than just selling stuff online. The mere fact that you will be going up against millions of online stores should illustrate this point.
An inseparable part of an e-commerce experience is digital marketing which will bring new customers to your store and turn your existing customers into brand ambassadors.
Unfortunately, many e-commerce business owners know very little about digital marketing and they end up making mistakes that not only provide no benefits but which can even harm their online stores.
Today, we will be talking about those mistakes and how they can be avoided.
1. Ignoring UX
There are two main reasons as to why people love shopping online. The first is that it is cheaper since e-commerce stores operate with lower overheads than traditional stores. Secondly, it is more convenient.
However, in order for the shopping experience on your website to truly be convenient, your users need to have the best experience possible.
Because of this, a huge part of your digital marketing needs to be grounded in proper UX. You can spend a fortune on Google ads and SEO, but if your website is a cumbersome beast where people spend hours to find something they should be able to find in seconds, it will be for nothing.
It is a well-known fact that Google pays close attention to how user-friendly your website is, and this goes for e-commerce websites as well.
Even people from Shopify emphasize how important UX is for an e-commerce business.
2. Not Doing SEO
To someone who knows very little about it, Search Engine Optimization sounds extremely complicated, scary even. However, if you are trying to make money online in any way, you need to know at least the basics of SEO.
This is especially true for online stores since they are dealing with so much competition.
First of all, you have to do some on-site SEO magic on your e-commerce website. This entails getting your title tags, URLs, ALT tags, and meta descriptions in order. This also means taking full advantage of product descriptions and also starting a blog that will help you down the line. Of course, a proper internal structure is a must, as well as avoiding duplicate pages (e-commerce websites are notorious for these).
You will also want to do some off-site SEO as well. Building links is always a good idea and you might even consider doing some paid search marketing, if you have the money and if your keywords are not too competitive in which case it might be too expensive.
3. Doing Social Media Marketing Poorly
When you run an e-commerce business, you simply have to be present on social media networks as well. For the most part, e-commerce websites are present, but unfortunately, this is often as far as it goes. In other words, their owners handle their social media presence extremely poorly.
A very common mistake is treating Twitter or Facebook as just an advertising channel. We have all seen those accounts – promotions, ads, discounts, deals, more promotions, more ads. No one pays attention to those accounts. People know how to filter actual social media content from more ads.
Do not use your social media accounts as ad channels for your e-commerce business.
Instead of that, get involved. Talk to your customers. Share a blog post from your blog. Provide customer support on Twitter. Share some interesting images. Do a quiz. Engage with your potential customers.
Social media is about connecting with people. Connect with people.
4. Forgetting about Email Marketing
Over the years, email marketing has earned the reputation of the most boring member of the digital marketing family. Unfortunately for people who agree with this designation, email marketing also happens to be the most efficient member of the digital marketing family. While it’s sparkly cousin social media marketing sure is fun, email marketing gets things done.
A research from 2015 unearthed some truly interesting things about email marketing. For one, the ROI on email marketing is 3,800%. Also, they discovered that the vast majority of people prefer getting their promotional material in an email than on social media. Finally, more than a third of people say that they subscribe to email lists primarily so that they would get special offers.
Email marketing is also far more versatile than people think as it can be used to attract new customers, retain existing ones, retarget former customers, provide information, reward loyal customers and much, much more.
Of course, you will take some time to truly master it, but once you do, email marketing will be the best thing you can do for your e-commerce business marketing-wise.
5. Doing it all yourself
When you start reading about digital marketing, it doesn’t seem like much. Do a bit of social media, write a few blog posts and buy some Google ads. Anyone can do it, right?
Well, not exactly.
There is a reason why there are agencies like IPSSWEB SOLUTIONS and others. The reason is that digital marketing is far more complex than just spending a half an hour online every day.
This is actually the biggest mistake e-commerce business owners make when we are talking digital marketing – they think they can do it all on their own. Perhaps in the earliest days, this can be done, but even then it will not be near as effective as hiring experts.
If you are really serious about promoting your e-commerce business and if you have some money to move around, make sure to hire someone to at least do an audit of your store and what can be done for it. You will be paying for years of experience and expertise and you will get insights you couldn’t get on your own.
Then, if your budget allows it, you will hire them to handle some or all of your digital marketing.
It may cost you, but you will also be pulling in more customers than ever before.