Over the last several months, due to the Coronavirus, the manner in which businesses had previously operated has shifted. As countries all over the world began to shut down, many companies were deemed non-essential and forced to close their doors to customers. Employees were sent home to work remotely, and large corporations, as well as mom and pop shops, had to find alternative ways to create revenue in order to continue functioning.
As more and more people are staying home, there is a significant online presence. Individuals who regularly shop in-store now must turn to online options. The Internet has become a crucial tool for success during this “new normal”. Many businesses already use some form of e-commerce, but how can your small business improve e-commerce marketing to accommodate this change and remain competitive.
Before picking your marketing strategy, it is important to know the different types of e-commerce:
- B2C- Business to Consumer
- B2B- Business to Business
- C2C- Consumer to Consumer
- C2B- Consumer to Business
- B2A- Business to Administration
- C2A- Consumer to Administration
THE 3 KEY STAPLES TO SUCCESS
Since many consumers are not comfortable venturing out as the economy slowly reopens, the focus of e-commerce marketing should be on three key staples: social media, e-mail and web development.
Social Media has gone from keeping people in touch when they can’t be together, to creating a space for businesses to display their brand on a whole new level. Facebook and Instagram now have ways for consumers to shop and buy your products, like Facebook’s shop tab for users to purchase directly from a page.
When you post a photo of your featured product to Instagram, the user can click on the photo to be linked to the product. The shopper also has the option to be connected directly to your website. The ability to shop and complete a purchase instantly from your Instagram page is a fast and easy way for a consumer to purchase your product.
Planning social content while working remotely can be a challenge. Although, reposting user-generated content that showcases your products is a great way to keep your consumers engaged. Consumers enjoy seeing real people and authentic reviews.
E-Mail can be used in countless ways. Set up an email campaign that will welcome and form a relationship with your consumers. Send out a welcome email when someone signs up for your service. Send email reminders!
People have a lot on their plate right now and could easily get distracted while on your website. Using a cart abandonment email is a good way to remind them to finish their purchase or to refer back to their “wish list”. It is crucial to continue to connect with loyal customers by sending them an email discount. When a customer purchases something, have full transparency from order confirmation to delivery.
When creating your website, a good user experience should be the focal point during the design process. Visitors to your website want answers in real-time. If they are unable to speak to someone on the phone, live chats can meet that need.
Another helpful hint for increasing sales is to make a sought out item more valuable to a consumer by showing when your inventory is low. For example, if a customer wants a size 8 shoe and there aren’t many left, include a “final few” notice by the item to help entice the customer to shop faster and purchase before their item is gone. What if your product is sold out? Give an option for users to leave their email so they can be updated when new sizes or products are back in stock. This option can help you see what size, style, and color of item is more popular and you’ll know the appropriate number to restock.
If your product has premiums, additions, or another product to compliment that item, give an option to add that item before the customer checks out. Some customers may not know they can expand or use another product that enhances their order.
In a time of uncertainty, be sure to keep your business relevant. Apply some or all of the strategies to see what works and watch your activity grow amongst users. Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback from your customers! Stay on top of trends, and continue to connect with your growing customer base.