Ecommerce is the future. I mean, eCommerce has been the future for at least a decade now, but as the uncertainty around the global Covid-19 lockdowns has shown, businesses need to adapt to the demands of selling online faster than they may have anticipated. Increasingly, there is no Plan B; you need to start selling online or start thinking about retirement.
But that’s not all bad news. In fact, it’s a great opportunity. Done right, transforming your business into an eCommerce business is a chance to generate more value, cut your margins and attract new customers.
Done badly, it could mean wasting your cash or even, in extreme cases, wrecking your brand.
Ecommerce v brick and mortar: the same, but different
Selling online isn’t fundamentally different from selling at a real-life store. Either way you have fixed costs: rent (for a real or virtual space), salaries etc.
But when it comes to eCommerce, there’s a much tighter connection between your marketing spend and your revenue.
You can’t sit back and wait for passing foot traffic. You need to grab distracted web user’s attention and hold it long enough to make them buy from you, and not from the other 50 sites selling similar products. And you have to do it again and again.
Every Facebook ad, every creative mailer, every paid search campaign – they need to attract attention and drive relevant traffic. And then when someone lands on your site, you need that site to convert.
Maybe you don’t need to make an immediate sale, maybe you’re going to remarket to them and get them to buy repeatedly in the future (working this balance is itself an art) but the vital point is that if you’re not converting at every point, you’re throwing your money away.
(That said, there are excellent long term strategies to increase virtual ‘foot traffic’ that can be a really important part of your marketing mix. Effective SEO being chief among them. Learn more
And when your expensive campaigns aren’t generating sales, then you panic and haemorrhage cash in a desperate bid to drive up traffic and see it amount to nothing. Or you panic and stop spending on marketing altogether, which essentially means goodbye to sales.
What you really need to do in these situations is to stop panicking and think holistically about every element of your digital campaign.
Why are your ads not working? Is there something wrong with the creative work? Or are you targeting the wrong audience? Or both? And then why aren’t people buying from your website? Again, are you reaching the wrong people? Or is your site not built to drive conversions? Or both or neither?
You can see why good digital agencies don’t just possess mastery of each tool in the digital toolkit, they understand how these fit together. Digital campaigns rarely work unless they’re strategic, integrated and continuously tested.
Don’t let the internet tell you how to run your business
An integrated strategy isn’t merely a question of achieving short term goals. It’s about preserving the integrity of your brand.
When retailers pivot to online, there’s often the temptation to drive conversions through cheesy promotions and bullying, sleazy sales tactics.
And hey, that often even works. In the short term.
But be careful. After all, What are you selling: some get rich quick scheme or … whatever your fine product is … perhaps the country’s finest vacuum cleaners?
Don’t throw your brand away because of short-sighted efforts to game the system
Ecommerce requires fresh thinking. It may require you to step outside of your comfort zone and try new things. It may push you to market more aggressively or collect more data from your customers than you’re used to.
But it’s a balance. And you never want to alienate your customers or compromise your brand for the sake of quick profits.
Call Pixel Village for a consultation, not a bag of tricks