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10 E-commerce Marketing Tips To Grow Your Business During the Pandemic

If you’re an entrepreneur, you might be asking yourself, what opportunities might be out there to grow my business?

When the economy seems uncertain and the workforce is distributed, companies look toward managing cash flow properly and finding ways to save and spend conservatively. 

Now that things have somewhat normalized, finding opportunities in a time where the economy seems to be at a stand still all around the world is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. 

There are opportunities out there, if you know where to find it. Particularly in e-commerce, now that many people are spending more time online.

So how exactly do you find opportunities and make sure you are as relevant as possible to your customers? We offer 10 suggestions on what you can start doing in order to grow your e-commerce business.

1. Know what is happening in the market.

A lot of businesses that have been affected have transitioned their businesses to cater to online customers (such as restaurants and offline retail shops). As an e-commerce business you are already positioned to reach customers online. Use this to your advantage.

As a business owner, you have to constantly inform yourself of what’s happening in the economy because that will allow you to figure out how to pivot and understand the current business landscape.

Read news, follow industry organizations, figure out how consumer behavior is changing (especially your target audience). Understand what your competitors are doing so you can position yourself differently.

If you can get granular and get your hands on trends and data specific to your category or niche, the better information you’ll have at your disposal when making business decisions.

2. Adapt to what is in demand.

As yourself the hard question: is your product still in demand? If you’re unsure, by doing a quick research on what’s currently in demand, you can strategize and figure out the next steps for your business.

It might involve a change in your product selection or business model. For example, if you are in the business of print services for business cards or event signage, you are probably not seeing a lot of demand for your product at this time.

It’s a good idea to venture into new product categories and test other items that work. Perhaps look into providing print-on-demand services so you can sell shirts, mugs, stickers. If those categories are too much of a departure from your core business, perhaps you can ease the transition by partnering with another business who needs custom printed materials for their clients (i.e. a paper products or greeting card brands).

You can determine what’s in demand by looking into Google trends and Amazon best-selling products. Have a look into what popular websites and news articles are talking about, as well as what’s getting a lot of chatter and engagement on social media.

We’re not saying to completely change your whole business and start selling the most in-demand product during this pandemic– such as hand sanitizers, or masks– if that’s not your core line of business. Perhaps you could think of adjacent products that will be useful for your audience and category during this time. 

With the print services example, you could prioritize selling notebooks, notepads or diaries, because people are likely to be at home and they probably have time to journal or to work on a project that requires material they can use indoors at home, that they can also buy easily.

3. Update your product descriptions.

Look through your product catalog, and see  if your product descriptions are still relevant.

Depending on your industry, and how your product descriptions were written, there might be an instance where some products contain descriptions such as “use this for your next event,” or “wear this at your next party.” 

While things might go back to normal and we might see more social events sometime in the future, we don’t know when that will be… yet.  But your customers are going to your stores now, and if they come across a product description that looks outdated, they might think that you’re not updating your website regularly.

Make sure that you keep your side up-to-date, because it communicates that you a current, contemporary company that manage your business well, and caters to customers in real time.

4. Focus on your metrics and trends.

With so many things happening around us, it might be easy to get distracted. But now more than ever, you should define and set your most important business goals.

Focus and clarity are the key to winning during times of uncertainty.

You have to focus on important metrics such as website visits (how much traffic are you getting), average order value (the average sales per order in dollar amount), cost per acquisition (how much does it cost to acquire a customer). These are just a few of the important metrics that you need to continuously monitor, because these are signals of the health of your business.

5. Ramp up on digital marketing.

A lot of companies have cut their marketing budget, this is actually the time to ramp yours up. Why? Because there are a lot more customers online, especially since online usage has increased an additional 2 hours per person.

That means that if  the average person was already spending four hours online, they are now spending 6 hours online.

Sounds like a lot of time? It is.

If you look around, adults and kids alike are online, on their mobile phone or on their computer, so there’s a lot more opportunity to get in front of your target audience (if you know what your target niche is)  and  communicate your brand or product.

6. Double down on social media.

Social media is here to stay. This means that if you’re an e-commerce business, you should be not only on social media, but also be active in it.

If you weren’t active in social media prior to the pandemic, then now is the time to be active.  if you had already been active, now is the time to engage even more. 

Try out different techniques, such as hashtag strategy, tagging strategy, avoiding shadowbanning, and finally creating a content calendar– there’s always an endless amount of things you can try out on social media.

Social platforms always change their algorithms and features, so experiment and have fun with it.

7. Connect with your audience.

The most successful businesses are those that have established an active audience base or community. If you are one of these businesses, make sure that you connect with your audience.

Acknowledge them and make them feel that you are thinking about them through email newsletters, discounts, and maybe even a VIP or loyalty promo.

These will remind them of your brand so they don’t forget about you, despite all the outrageous things that might be happening in the world.

8. Optimize your site’s customer experience.

Have you checked your site recently? Is it fresh, eye-catching, without a punctuation out of place? Are pictures representative of the product, and are they high-quality?

Your content is everything nowadays because that’s all prospective customers see before they receive a product.

You have to tell the story and communicate the brand promise as soon as potential customers land on your site.

Make adjustments to your site if it’s less than perfect. This might be a good opportunity to change a few pictures or tweak the layout slightly– it doesn’t have to be a drastic change if your e-commerce site is already working. You just want to keep it up-to-date and interesting.

9. Make the check out process easier.

Is the process between finding an item, adding it to the cart and checking out fairly seamless? If not, it’s time to optimize your checkout process.

The goal of any e-commerce site is to get a customer to make a purchase, and if there’s a hitch anywhere in that process, you’re making it hard for the customer to get to their (and your) end goal.

Regularly test and check your checkout process to see if it works perfectly.

In addition, consider ways to improve the checkout experience even more, such as shortening the checkout process using a one-click or one-page checkout. Or, add elements that will help you cross-sell, such as recommended products right before the checkout page.

This is all part of a great user-experience that customers expect now from e-commerce stores.

10. Continue developing your brand.

While the pandemic has been a big disruption to many businesses, your e-commerce site is well-positioned to weather the changing marketplace.

This is a good opportunity to develop your brand even further: to find audiences in new ways, reconnect with your brand values and communicate your offering in a way that will be relevant to consumers.

Find your target audience online, and determine ways you can find other audiences that are similar to them. This will help you expand your audience base.

Further, once you know where your target audiences are, engage with them online. Talk to them, offer promotions, encourage them to share your brand and store.

That way, you are hitting multiple birds with one stone– building your audience, brand, and customer loyalty, which will all naturally lead to more sales.

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