Retail is a highly competitive sector where the lines between online and in-person shopping channels continue to blur rapidly. Adding 24/7 eCommerce online shopping complements your store operations. As a brick-and-mortar retailer, you will enhance relationships with local customers and communities by including personalized experiences like same-day store curbside pickup or free home delivery.
In today’s socially distanced world, the hard truth about retail is that if you don’t have an eCommerce, or at the very least, a catalogue website you are hugely missing out on sales opportunities. Consumers’ expectations have rapidly changed during the pandemic. An eCommerce website can help you realize your business objectives while fulfilling your customers’ expectations.
We have been successfully marketing for retail businesses like yours for many years. In that time, we have come to understand the challenges local retail companies often face, such as:
- Standing out in a cluttered online marketplace
- Creating advertising that works
- Attracting new customers
- Meeting customers’ expectations
- Balancing B2C and B2B customers
WE CAN HELP MAKE YOUR WEBSITE A PROFIT CENTRE
In these days, it’s common knowledge that every successful business should have a website, no matter what sector they are in. It’s especially crucial for retail businesses. But simply having a website isn’t enough to set you apart in today’s cluttered marketplace. Investing in eCommerce website design is a gamechanger.
Particularly since COVID-19, we know that retail customers search and purchase online more than ever before. It’s critical to have an accurate representation of your product offerings available online for your customers to view and purchase at their leisure. For most retail businesses, updating products never stops. There is no true off-season, so you can never really take your foot off your marketing gas pedal.
Because your website is the hub at the center of all your marketing activities, it takes several facets of combined activities to drive business growth. Integrated digital marketing strategies for retail focus on gaining new customers, nurturing existing relationships for repeat business and referrals, building overall brand awareness and customer reviews. All strategies support goals to increase sales revenues.
Some businesses that sell products online have offerings for consumers as well as businesses. Some manufacturers and distributors now want to retail direct-to-consumers on their eCommerce website. Difference audiences require different marketing strategies. Our Edmonton digital marketing agency will advise you on which strategies work best for your industry, business model and goals.
WE HAVE HEARD IT ALL BEFORE!
In our many years of successfully marketing for many types of retail businesses, we think we have heard every concern and question relating to online marketing for retail eCommerce! Here are a few of the most common obstacles we routinely help solve:
OUR WEBSITE DOESN’T WORK PROPERLY
If your retail eCommerce website has ongoing technical issues, provides visitors with a poor user experience, or doesn’t represent your business anymore, it’s time for a new website. With the recent shift to online shopping, many retail consumers may choose to never go to your brick-and-mortar store. They now love the convenience of shopping online, quick curbside pickups, and home delivery.
This means your website is EVERYTHING! It’s how many new customers can find out that you exist and purchase your products at their convenience, 24 hours per day! An eCommerce website opens the door for many sales opportunities that you might never see with only your brick-and-mortar store.
If your website isn’t working for you, we are happy to take a look at your existing site. We can identify fundamental web design issues regarding website structure, organization of information, and platform and also offer suggestions to optimize performance.
If you already have an eCommerce site and are disappointed with performance, it might not be the website itself! You can have the coolest, most functional website on the internet, but if you lack the right integrated marketing activities for your audiences, it still will not be effectual.
OUR WEBSITE ISN’T ON PAGE ONE FOR OUR KEYWORDS
Let us tell you a little secret. There is no “secret recipe” to showing up on page one of the search engine results for your keywords. No one can promise first page rankings. This is because Google’s algorithms are constantly updating, and it’s absolutely impossible to keep ahead of them. That being said, there are a few little tips and tricks that SEO experts like ourselves can apply to help get you closer to the top of the SERPs.
- Technical errors: If your website performance is impeded by technical errors, these should be fixed immediately. If not fixable, you need to invest in a new modern website design with top performing technology.
- Poor content: Content is king! An ongoing content strategy including regular blogging and social media posting can help increase your keyword rankings. The ins and outs of keyword placement for effective SEO have many little nuances, and strategy is best left to the pros.
- Insufficient social media presence: Social media can be an extremely useful tool when it’s used to build brand awareness or customer engagement. However, creating a page and not posting it’s the biggest mistake businesses make. Social media is by definition social and requires efforts!
- Not enough reviews: Let your satisfied customers help you market your business by sharing online about how you solved their problem. Ask delighted customers for reviews after every sale or customer engagement. If you don’t have time to ask, software can automate the process.
In our experience, the best defense is a planned offense. What does that mean for you? It means that your content is king! An ongoing integrated strategy of keyword rich content on your website, social media, and reviews makes an enormous difference in boosting your online presence.
OUR WEBSITE DOESN’T BRING US NEW LEADS
In the eCommerce retail industry, in addition to repeat customers, we know that you need new leads to increase sales revenues. Your website is a key piece for your ability to generate leads online.
The quickest way to generate qualified leads and target people intentionally looking for your services “right now” is through advertising. Paid search or pay-per-click (PPC) ads target consumers in your area who are actively typing keywords related to your products into the search engines. When consumers click on your ad, they land on your product page. They can call you for more information or fill out a form to request a quote or a consultation. Or, if you have a full eCommerce website, they can purchase through your payment gateway. If they abandon cart and don’t check out, they can be remarketed to again. PPC ads bring people looking to purchase now.
Other effective lead generation activities include ongoing SEO efforts and social media strategies. These processes increase your brand visibility, brand engagement, and website traffic. These activities are all part of your marketing ecosystem to generate ongoing qualified leads over time.
That being said, you can drive traffic to your website through PPC, SEO, and social media efforts, but if your eCommerce website isn’t user-friendly, you still will not generate sales. Your website needs foundational SEO and conversion architecture to optimize your return on marketing investment (ROI).
OUR POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS DON’T KNOW WHO WE ARE
Your brand awareness grows every time someone sees your branded logo, website, brand name, slogan, or social properties. Some of the most effective brand awareness solutions for retailers incorporate graphics and some variety of recognition or “display” ads targeting strategy.
- Retargeting: Shows your ads to someone who has already visited your website, so they are reminded to come back to your site.
- Geofencing: Shows mobile ads on apps already installed on users’ phones to people who enter pre-defined physical locations (such as your competitors' stores).
- Facebook/Instagram Ads: Facebook & Instagram ads define audiences by age, gender, location, job title, life events, interests, and more! This gives you a very targeted demographic!
The best brand awareness ad campaign for your retail company will depend on your business goals, industry, and local marketplace.
OUR HAPPY CUSTOMERS DON’T LEAVE REVIEWS
It seems to be true that customers who have had a negative experience are more likely to be vocal about it, without invitation. It’s also true that no matter what you do, there are always going to be those people who find something to complain about.
But satisfied customers are usually quite open to sharing their positive experiences with you in a review as well. You just may need to remind them to do it! The best way to build up a positive rating and build trust in your brand is to proactively ask your customers for a review. Just getting reviews isn’t enough.
Your goals are to maintain a good rating, get reviews often, and respond to all reviews whether positive or negative. If you need support implementing these services, you can use marketing tools like review services and automated platforms.
Overwhelmed? We get it.
Digital marketing is complex. Doing it successfully requires expertise. We are here to help you on your journey to revenue growth! If you have questions, we have answers.