eCommerce has achieved explosive growth in the last decade, and a key contributor to that growth was the ease with which sellers could reach out to potential customers. The same factor has now enabled millions of online retailers and sellers to compete with one another for the online market share in their respective product fields.
If one has to survive in the cutthroat and highly competitive eCommerce market, online marketing becomes arguably an essential tool of all. With efficient, optimized, and smart eCommerce marketing, you will be able to reach out to thousands of potential customers and drive your sales and revenue.
If done right, eCommerce marketing has enormous returns on investment as the financial resources spent on online advertising often pale compared to the income that can be brought in. However, the opposite also holds true.
If eCommerce marketing strategies are not well-planned and executed, there are very high chances that you will not get the desired returns from investment. To help you plan your strategy better, here are ten eCommerce marketing mistakes that you should avoid in 2021.
There are several approaches to eCommerce marketing and multiple choices that every online seller can choose from when it comes to advertisements, targeted platforms, costs, etc. However, despite the high levels of flexibility afforded by online marketing, some eCommerce marketing mistakes will undoubtedly prove costly must be avoided at all costs.
#1. Not knowing your target audience
It is improbable that you are selling a product that interests every user out there, and therefore, it becomes essential to understand precisely who your target audience is. Knowing your target audience and understanding what appeals to them about your product will help you optimize your existing product marketing strategies that will further push your product’s reach among similar groups of users.
For example, a seller selling bodybuilding supplements must target gym-goers and, therefore, design a marketing strategy that will help reach those users. Suppose such a seller fails to distinguish between those who would be interested in his offerings and those who would not.
In that case, the marketing strategy will tend to be unfocused, and therefore, returns on investment in terms of conversions and revenue are sure to be unsatisfactory.
Product descriptions contain everything that you want your viewers to know about the product and why exactly they should buy it. A good product description pre-empts potential customer queries and tells the customers what they would want to know before deciding on whether the product is right for them or not.
Suppose you do not offer all the necessary and relevant information about the product to a potential customer. In that case, you are likely to cause user frustration which leads to a lack of sales.
An excellent example of an inferior product description would be a multivitamin health supplement that does not tell potential customers what its components are and how it helps boost overall health and fight off possible illnesses.
#3. Not using social proof
Even with highly optimized and well-designed advertisements and product listings, social proof tends to provide potential customers with the push needed to buy your products online.
Social proof, in simple words, refers to the recommendations given by influencers, peers, or industry experts that help convince viewers that the product is genuine and of good quality and can be trusted. With an increase in social proof engagement online, customers can easily separate honest recommendations from the paid and dishonest ones.
Therefore, it is essential to keep all the reviews and recommendations authentic and indisputable. An excellent example of good social proof usage is when a company that sells protein supplements gets the seal of approval from a research institute stating that it allows for optimal muscle repair and growth.
This recommendation gives the customer the confidence to purchase the product. Not using social proof might severely hurt your online marketing prospects. Suppose your brand or product lacks endorsement from verified users, the industry’s leading experts, or influencers.
In that case, you might not be able to convince potential customers to purchase your product and build your brand’s image and reputation.
#4. Improper product feeds
Whichever eCommerce marketing platform you choose to advertise your products on, your product data feeds are essential. Product data feed must include all the critical keywords and SEO-optimized product descriptions and attractive product images to ensure that your product listing looks fantastic on the platform and genuinely piques customer interest.
If you have an improper, unoptimized, and lazily put-together product feed, you are unlikely to see positive results from your online marketing efforts.
If creating your product feed seems daunting and you are unsure if you can handle it yourself, consider outsourcing it to a third-party service or use a paid software to eliminate all possible product feed errors and get the best out of your online product listings.
#5. Substandard user experience
Nothing hurts your brand and the general public opinion about your product more than poor customer experience. The platform on which your products are sold must be optimized and offer a smooth user experience without any bugs or glitches since this can be a turn-off for potential customers. Additionally, bad word of mouth spreads like wildfire.
Suppose you do not have a good customer service team to talk to your disgruntled and dissatisfied customers and address their concerns.
In that case, for example, if you have a product on your website on which customers have left negative reviews, quick and prompt customer service action would be able to reverse them and turn them into a positive experience.
#6. Lack of multiplatform support
The world runs on smartphones today as they are an integral part of the lives of billions of people around the world. Many users might prefer to browse shopping websites or product listings on their mobile gadgets. If your marketing listings are not optimized for mobile viewing, you stand to lose out on valuable customers and sales.
Therefore, it is essential to ensure that your product listings are accessible not just by computers but also by smartphones and tablets. The user experience on mobile platforms must be smooth and hassle-free.
Following a ‘mobile first’ policy in terms of product listings and marketing to ensure that they are mobile-friendly may help avoid the downfall of poorly optimized websites and sales platforms.
#7. Ineffective content marketing efforts
Any focused online eCommerce marketing effort relies heavily on the type and quality of the content used to rake in more sales and revenue. Suppose your content lacks the quality and requisite optimization required to attract potential customers and make a good impression on your product listings.
In that case, you are unlikely to see results irrespective of how well-thought-out your eCommerce marketing strategies are. Content is crucial, and it is an accepted fact that people respond more to visual stimulus than mere text-based advertising.
Try to include video content in your marketing efforts to pique consumer interest and call for action to encourage interested users to visit your website and learn more about the product.
Moreover, the content on your product listings must not be overly self-promoting or in-the-face aggressive. Users are sure to respond better to targeted and good-quality content that seeks assistance to potential consumers and explains the need for such a product or service.
An excellent example of effective content marketing would be sporting equipment advertising by the leading manufacturers in the world, such as Nike and Adidas. These brands spend lots of time and effort in coming up with attractive and engaging visual content that attracts potential customers and showcases the quality and durability of their products.
#8. Lack of efficient automated email marketing
The wonders of email marketing are still efficient and relevant in today’s eCommerce market. If applied correctly, it could significantly increase returns on your advertising investments.
Setting up an efficient and optimized automated email marketing system will help you keep track of interested customers, send in-cart reminders, offer promotional discounts, and so on and thereby improve your sales and conversions.
However, most traditional promotional emails are viewed as spam by most recipients across the world. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that the emails are not unnecessarily repetitive, monotonous, or annoying.
Instead, they can help customers make informed decisions with non-intrusive reminders and attractive offers. Another essential aspect of email marketing is personalization.
Impersonal emails of the same templates tend to be annoying and intrusive. In contrast, personalized and customized emails designed to cater to a customer’s interests are more likely to achieve positive results.
#9. Poor social media management
With billions of users on social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and so on, social media management for your brand’s presence is almost indispensable for online retailers and sellers.
For maximum reach among potential customers, having a regular and consistent social media presence is essential. Social media platforms also have advertising features that you can opt for.
You need to keep in mind two critical things in terms of social media engagement; your content must be consistent and follow the same color scheme, language used, and so on to set your brand apart from the rest.
Secondly, your social media content must be tailored for your target customer base. Giving your target audience what they like and respond to is more likely to get the desired online marketing results.
If you lack a consistent presence on social media and are unaware of your target group, you are unlikely to benefit from social media marketing.
#10. Not analyzing the results of your efforts
Apart from eCommerce advertising and marketing itself, analysis and in-depth understanding of marketing results and performance are crucial for any successful business model.
It is unlikely that the first eCommerce marketing strategy you develop is flawless and perfect, so analytics becomes vital. Set up real-time analytics for your online marketing campaigns with the help of third-party software applications to give you insight into how your marketing efforts are converting into sales and revenue and whether or not you are achieving your predetermined goals and targets.
One of the worst eCommerce marketing mistakes you could make is failing to track and monitor the performance of your online advertising and marketing efforts since neither will you be able to ensure a loss of resources by identifying unsuccessful campaigns nor will you be in a position to optimize and improve the results of your marketing efforts.
eCommerce marketing is, in fact, not that different from physical modes of marketing and advertisement. An efficient, well-thought-out, and well-executed marketing strategy is a must in both instances, and your marketing efforts could make or break your product and brand.
Unoptimized marketing strategies that fail to recognize the target audience involve substandard and poor-quality content and are not customer-centric often fail. The same applies even to eCommerce marketing.
Committing the mistakes mentioned above is almost sure to cause significant harm to your eCommerce marketing efforts. The best thing you could do for your business and brand is to make sure that you avoid all of them while planning and executing your online advertising campaigns and efforts.
Spend adequate amounts of time on research and strategy discussions and, if needed, involve third-party service providers to cover all your bases before investing in any eCommerce marketing strategy.
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