E-commerce MarketingE-commerce marketing is all about enticing web surfers to your site and, once there, to entice them into becoming a customer. While overall similar to marketing a physical business, e-commerce marketing has some unique ingredients. For instance, marketing a physical store requires substantial enticement to move a customer to take the effort to physically come by your store location. It also means that the customer has an "investment" in the visit. They have expended time, energy and money to get to the location.
On the web, "visiting" your store requires far less effort. A single mouse click and there they are. Unfortunately, the minimal effort to get to your site also means that the customer has nothing invested in the visit. It took almost no time or effort to get to your site so there is no "client side" investment in the process. They can just as easily move to another site. In fact, they can visit a dozen sites in as many minutes.
Customers who "invest" in visiting a physical location can generally be said to have a "higher motivation" for making a purchase. The specific need of the customer was great enough to overcome the investment of time, energy and money necessary to make the visit. This investment means that they are far more likely to make a purchase. After all, if they don't purchase from you they will have to increase their investment by going to another location. The need must be relatively higher for this to occur.
Conversely, the online customer has almost no investment in the visit. Going to your site requires one click of a mouse. Leaving your site requires one click of the mouse.
Many e-commerce marketing companies look at this and use it to justify increased spending on getting new traffic to the web site. For the small and medium business the cost of increasing traffic to the site is substantial and will continue to increase. Just five years ago it cost almost nothing to bring new visitors to your site. As the competition has increased, however, this has fast become the most costly aspect of having an e-commerce web site.
Our view of e-commerce marketing is somewhat different. We look at Internet marketing success as the total cost of converting visitors into customers. This allows you to measure the effectiveness of your total marketing program including getting new visitors, web site design, customer service and after sales marketing.
After all, what good does it do you to get thousands of visitors to your store if you don't have any inventory to sell?
E-commerce Marketing PrioritiesWe divide web site marketing into three primary divisions:
Enticing visitors (non-customers) to come to the site
- Search engine registration (natural search results)
- Public relations – news releases, articles and stories
- Online advertising (banners, links / cross-links, directories, newsletter placement, etc.)
Converting visitors (non-customers) into customers
- In-site promotions
- Sales / Special Offers
- In-store Coupons
- Associated Products
- Customer Recommendations
- Opt-in Email Promotions
- Enticing appropriate visitor behavior
- Establishing emotional context
- Building relationships
- Increasing per-customer purchases
- After sale marketing
- After sale relationship building
Enticing visitors and converting visitors work hand in hand. One without the other dramatically reduces the opportunities for creating new customers. You have to get the new visitor to the site and you have to provide sufficient incentive to turn that visitor into a buying customer.
In many cases the visitor has almost no investment in visiting your e-commerce web site. With no investment your site needs to provide sufficient and immediate enticement/reward to keep the visitor from clicking the back button and going to another site. This requires a very close relationship between the keywords they used in their search (or the information in the advertising) to the content on the web page they view. The closer the relationship the more chance you have of enticing the visitor to continue looking at your site.
For more information on enticing new customers to your website, visit the Search Engine Marketing Services section of our website.
For more information on enticing new visitors to become new customers, visit the Effective Web Design section of our website.