The pandemic has left an indelible mark on the consumer market. Due to the restrictions, people actively switched to online shopping. And soon, they appreciated its benefits.
According to the Grand View Research study, online sales will reach $3.369.8 billion by 2028. This growth will amount to 28.4% annually. It implies that the influx of new customers and sales growth will depend on digital marketing strategies and technological advancement.
However, not all stores have adequate technical capabilities. Some of them fail to reorient to direct-to-consumer online sales quickly. They have to rethink their online store’s convenience and the speed of the purchase process, not to mention the need to upgrade or replace close-to-outdated means with modern solutions.
For example, this concerns data transmission via fax. While you may recall it in TV series of the early 2000s, many companies, especially pharmacy-related ones, still can’t do without it. As online purchases increase, so does the need to organize, process, and protect customer data conveniently. As a result, many companies use CRM systems and take steps to integrate faxing in Salesforce or something of that kind.
But what can you do to boost your online sales? How can you make your brand stand out in the crowded eCommerce space? I suggest five digital marketing tactics to address the online retail challenges.
Five Digital Marketing Tactics to Increase Your Sales
1. Work on SEO and Check for Compliance with Changing Trends
How do users navigate the web? How do they find your website? They may enter a query into the search and explore the results.
What they see first are paid ads that appear due to running pay-per-click campaigns (or PPC). Everything following the results marked “Ad” is regular results.
Why do I need to spend time on SEO if I can pay to be at the top of the search results, you ask? The answer is that PPC bears fruit as long as you pay. When you stop investing, your traffic drops.
SEO gives you a constant source of almost free organic traffic to your site. As long as your pages answer to the users’ intent, are relevant, and high quality.
Where do you start? You need to perform an audit and improve whatever you can in terms of your website’s SEO. These efforts include:
- checking meta tags;
- writing Alt tags for images and media;
- reorganizing page content and rethinking site design for readability and usability;
- tuning keywords to relevant requests;
- polishing up snippet data;
- interlinking site pages;
- creating new relevant content.
These are the basics. The problem is that search engines regularly change the “rules of the game”: algorithms get updated, new filters emerge, and new ranking factors appear. Recently, Google’s Core Web Vitals update has placed site usability high on the pedestal that determines its ranking.
Just as it happened with mobile-friendliness, there’s no room today for websites that aren’t optimized for mobile search and use. So you need to live up to the current trends to outperform your competitors.
2. Personalize Your Communication
Do you still practice a one-size-fits-all approach? Then, you need to try personalization. An example of personalization is when a barista writes your name on your cup. Yes, I’m talking about Starbucks here. But how can you implement it online?
Personalization takes the good-old cross-selling and up-selling of related products up a notch. It involves a deeper understanding of your customers. What do they want? What are their interests? You can add “Other Things You Might Like” sections, for example.
How are such sections compiled? For instance, you may use this user’s browsing history or collect data of other visitors who bought this item and pitch what they also purchased and searched. The system automatically picks these behavioral tendencies. Then, it recommends things that it considers the most relevant to customers’ desires.
The profits of this move are as follows:
- it speaks of your customer care;
- it encourages shoppers to spend more;
- technology never stops learning and improving user behavior.
To illustrate what I mean, I provide an example of personalization in the Ariat online store. Do you need a pair of jeans? What about a top or some accessories to complete your look?
3. Raise Credibility with User-Generated Content
Real-life customer photos and videos strengthen brand identity and consumer confidence. If thousands of clients chose your brand, then it’s not a coincidence, is it?
For example, utilize social media to repost user photos and magnify your social reach. If Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter users express their approval for the product, make it known to the whole digital community. It’s a unique opportunity for you to attract loyal customers and save money on advertising. Here the clients themselves become your advertisers.
Pinterest is an excellent source of user-generated content. People are looking for renovation ideas there, posting pictures of food, clothing, and furniture, tagging brands. Half of Pinterest users explore this platform to shop as well. Therefore, brands can collaborate with purchasers to attach their products with shoppable tags.
4. Leverage the Growing Role of Influencers
Influencers have a large following of loyal advocates receptive to their opinion. Therefore, retailers suggest various ways to collaborate with them and raise brand awareness among the target audience.
Some companies offer influencers free products for the collaboration; others pay money. But the ultimate goal is to convey product information in the most favorable light to the user.
Of course, paying influencers to get good reviews is a big “no-no”, as your deception will soon be revealed and may hurt the reputation of both the blogger and yours. Instead, invite opinion leaders to your presentations and events, or offer to hold a contest.
In short, exercise different levers to integrate influencers into your brand’s digital marketing strategy. I am enclosing an example of collaboration between the ban.do store and a blogger as proof of my words below.
5. Is Your Call-to-Action (CTA) Convincing Enough?
The fear of losing a good bargain encourages a visitor to buy. That’s where your compelling CTA comes into play.
You can use texts, photos, banners, and other site elements for placing the call. If we discuss eCommerce, in most cases, it’s order buttons. You can find them on the home or product pages. They stand out from the rest of the page interface, are brightly colored, and give reason to purchase right now.
A great example of incentivizing customers to buy is to create a sense of limited time and quantity. The Overstock screenshot below depicts both of these cases at the same time.
To buy a belt with a special discount, a customer should purchase it within 24 hours. In addition, the quantity of goods is limited, and you may lose your chance to buy the item of the desired color and size.
As we can see, this technique works as there are only three black belts left in size 32. And there are almost 22 hours till the discount ends.
Some digital marketing strategies and techniques could have brought you results and converted visitors to buyers a few years ago. But now they are no longer working. So, to successfully advance in digital marketing in a changing environment, store owners need to understand the new trends.
It isn’t only the SEO requirements that are transforming. User preferences and habits are shifting too. How do you attract prospects and ensure their engagement?
For instance, the growth of the m-commerce share is pushing merchants to prioritize mobile site optimization now more than ever before. Companies also invest in personalized customer experiences to better compete with retail giants.
Some utilize UGC and establish trust and loyalty. Others expand their audience base with the help of opinion leaders. Whatever you choose, digital marketing methods for increasing sales are as diverse as the things available online.