To understand how huge ecommerce already is, and especially how enormous it will get in the years to come, you only need look at this statistical projection on Statista. By 2020, worldwide ecommerce sales are expected to surpass 4,000 billion dollars.
Just think about that number for a while.
Four thousand billion dollars. That is a four with twelve zeros behind it. That is just insane.
It is no wonder there are so many people out there trying to get a piece of this ridiculously-sized cake. In order to get that piece, they fight their competition fiercely and their main weapon is digital marketing, which gets them in front of more potential customers.
Unfortunately for the vast majority of them, they are making one digital marketing mistake after another, only later wondering why their sales are not as good as they thought they would be.
Today, we will be looking at the most serious of those mistakes and how they can be avoided.
Messing Up Email Marketing
No matter how you cut it, email marketing still gets the job done when it comes to promoting your company online. All ecommerce companies do at least some email marketing, but the problem is that many of them do it wrong.
The reason why this is such a common problem is that there are so many ways in which you can mess up your email marketing campaigns.
One of the most common mistakes in email marketing is making it too salesy and all about the sales. This will include overaggressive email subject lines, the insistence on discounts, unrealistically enthusiastic deals and an overall approach that feels as if someone was tugging your sleeve, as if in a North African bazaar somewhere.
Another way to mess up email marketing is to write copy that is not customer-oriented and which misses the point. These two often go hand-in-hand and you are left with an email that not only does nothing for the ecommerce company, but even actively discourages the customer from doing business with it.
Other ecommerce companies simply cannot hit the sweet spot when it comes to calls to action. They either make the emails all about them or ignore them completely.
It is an exhaustive subject that we could talk about for days on end. The good news is that the nice people from Email on Acid collected this great list of email marketing blogs you should check out.
Missing Out on Social Media
If email marketing is easy to mess up, then social media is even easier, especially for ecommerce companies which have to find that fine balance between being social and selling.
Once again, the most common problem is that many ecommerce companies see social media as just another channel to advertise. Every tweet, status change or Instagram post is about a new deal or a discount. This is a sure way to social media obscurity, because it is simply insulting.
Social media should be about being social (the hint is in the name). It is about connecting to the company’s customer, hearing them out, perhaps even solving their problems. It is about providing them with great content and only sparingly mentioning the stuff you sell.
Many ecommerce companies also have problems understanding what brings results and what does not. In other words, they are not tracking their results the right way and they are sticking with practices that bring them no actual results.
If you want more on social media mistakes, check out this article from the Tweetfavy blog.
Not Doing SEO
SEO, or search engine optimization to use its full name, can seem a bit esoteric and even shady, especially since you constantly hear about Google cracking down on it.
In reality, however, SEO is an integral part of any online business and especially online business in a niche that is as competitive as ecommerce. SEO is the practice of helping a website rank higher in search engines and this super-short and simplified definition should be indication enough as to why it is important.
It is also essential to point out that SEO can be done in a perfectly above-board way, where you simply make sure you are following Google’s guidelines and assisting your website in becoming as visible in search engines as possible. Perhaps the two most complete introductory readings on SEO for ecommerce companies are the ones from Ahrefs and Kissmetrics.
It can get a bit daunting and it is very difficult to do really effective SEO on your own, making it a necessity to find an SEO agency with experience and expertise to handle such a task.
Not Doing Visual
Visual is king when ecommerce marketing is in question. It does not matter if we are talking the website, the blog, social media or email marketing – all content needs to be supported by visual elements such as pictures and videos.
Without it, your ecommerce company cannot even hope to garner any attention. The modern internet user is all but blind to text and they need visual elements to even register a piece of content.
Come to think of it, it is only logical. You are selling stuff. People are not going to trust your word on it.
Be smart and methodical about email marketing; treat social media the way it should be treated; don’t ignore SEO; and always go visual.
It really is as simple as that.