Beginner at eCommerce? Get On With These Marketing No-Brainer Tactics
Confession: When my clients who are first-timers of eCommerce go wild with “we’re live” tweet-storms on the launch day of their e-stores, I struggle to mute the drumbeats of anxiety in my belly.
When grappling with a New York Times crossword, once the rush of filling in the 3-letter words is over, you don’t lay your pencil down on the coffee table.
You keep your brain’s synapses buzzing with the electricity of conscious thought. Because if you didn’t persist, soon enough you’ll be tempted to tear and crumple the crossword sheet into a ball. It’s not done until it’s done.
Funny how people continue finding this out the hard way.
You’d do well to temper your enthusiasm on your e-store launch day with some reservation.
To the naive, the landscape of ecommerce is a strawberry field photobombed by a rainbow. Nobody seems to interview the founders of e-stores that are among the majority that fall on their face within 120 days.
You’re in this for way more than 120 days. You need success of the enduring kind. And that demands tech-savvy, the perseverance of an ant, and a stroke or two of sheer luck.
So, can you even expect your new e-store to pay for itself within its first year?
Yes. You can, in fact.
You need two friends — patience, and a full-stack e-commerce digital solutions partner. The latter should assist you to recoup the costs of your e-store within the first year.
In the next five minutes, I’ll tell you how Neuronimbus’ clients break even on their e-stores in less than 12 months of starting up. And more important, build a well-oiled and self-governing digital marketing machine, all the while.
These tactics are a distillation of my trials, repeated tests, and experiments (mostly successful) assisting new e-stores.
The Superpower Of Eavesdropping — Social Listening
It’s 1990. A carpet retailer — let’s call his brand Sydney Stepwell — engages the best undercover detective of the town to submit a weekly report detailing:
● Who, within the 15-mile radius, said words like ‘carpet, carpeting, rugs, matting, runner, wall to wall’ this week?
● Who uttered his brand name in a conversation?
● What was said?
● Who’s talking about Sydney Classy Carpets, his competitor?
● How many topical conversations on the matter of carpets have engaged people within New South Wales? What are these conversations about?
All he’s paying for is — social listening. And what’s stopping you from doing the same?
Heck, it’s 2021, and conversations are on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Reddit. That’s where your sleuths must eavesdrop. And you’ll find the report by force of these three Ts.
● Tool: a dependable social listening software (dozens of SaaS tools you can choose from) for tracking, reporting, pattern analysis, and automated responding.
● Team: to do the responding, reacting, and participating
● Templates: to know how to respond, when the opportunity presents itself
A new e-store has unique challenges. You need
● New customers.
● Inside knowledge of what prospects discuss about the pain points that your e-store’s products address
● Notes on what your competitors, who already have tens of thousands of regular monthly e-store visitors, are doing
● Opportunities to ride on a wave of positive mentions from your customers
● Opportunities to blow out fires when someone mentions your brand in a negative comment
Social listening is the cheapest, quickest route to all these outcomes for new e-stores. Each identified social media conversation is an opportunity to get your prospect to the e-storefront and let the UX do its job thereon.
Escort Your Current Customers Through Their First Purchase On Your E-store
You’re right in pinning your future on eCommerce. But not quite right in dividing your business in silos labeled ‘offline’ and ‘online’.
In fact, most new ecommerce operators remain blissfully unaware of their immediate problem. A problem that should keep them awake past midnights. The problem of alienating or losing their current customers, who have no reason to learn how to shop from you via your e-store or app.
Treat these customers like you’d treat a Christmas candle whose flame is threatened by an infiltrating gust of wind in your home. Secure them, and do that now.
I know your current customers will be hesitant to try your ‘bigger and better’ e-store. This happened every time any of my clients transitioned from offline to online.
Our playbook for retaining and transitioning offline customers to online stores runs into 100+ pages. I can recommend three tactics with great confidence and without reserve.
● Send an irresistible promo code to offline shoppers, instructing how they can register and place an order on your e-store.
● Set up in-store terminals and train staff to persuade in-store shoppers to register on the e-store while they’re in your store (offer a benefit if you have to).
● Collect emails from all prospects, build an e-mailing list, hire a conversion copywriter to knock out a 4-stage email sequence, automate the email sending and follow up (again, dozens of SaaS tools for this) to persuade them to register and shop online
Challenge The Behemoths of Your Industry — With Social Media Ads
“You don’t sell to everyone, you sell to the MAD ones (a person who has the Money, Authority, Desire to buy from you).”
Much like most marketing truisms, this one begs the question — well said, but how do I do it?
Good question — how do you find the MAD audience you desperately need for your new eCommerce store to start breathing on its own?
The answer is — targeted ads. More precisely, Facebook Ads.
If I had to curate a list of the 7 wonders of the Internet-powered world, I’d bring Facebook Ads (essentially, all micro-targeted ad programs) on the list. It’s a miracle that you get to control whom your ad is shown to, based on the viewer’s hobbies, search behaviors, demographics, and interests, to extents that were never even imaginable with traditional advertising channels.
With a measly budget, you can expect your e-store’s ads to beam right onto the eyeballs of people who’re most likely to buy from your e-store. That’s money well spent.
Don’t let the opportunity pass. As you read this, the only gap between someone who needs your products, and your e-store, is the gap of information. Facebook Ads let you plug this gap for less than you’d imagine.
What Else Can You Try To Sprint To Break-Even Point For Your E-store?
A lot. For almost 20 years, I’ve worked with founders, CxOs, and digital marketing masters, and learned how to experiment safely, and how to develop systems that can produce predictable positive results.
What used to be a bridleway is now a 12-lane expressway. The route to success with e-Commerce is well and truly marked out. And it’s okay to enjoy the journey as soon as you hit the road.
Write to me for a conversation on how we can get your e-store on the fast lane to success.