THEE-commerce represents an online system for selling products and services that allows a business to reach an increasing number of potential customers. Nowadays realize a successful e-commerce it is the basis of any business that wishes to be economically profitable. To obtain concrete results, however, it is not enough to build a platform, upload a catalog of products and put everything online hoping to sell something. In fact, for the creation of a quality site strategies for e-commerce targeted and defined only after one large amount of work, which begins long before the actual site is built.
Indeed, we must consider e-commerce as a real business that it must therefore be managed as such. The first step to take is to frame the situation of the company, its strengths and limitations. In this analysis process i ERP systems, designed to better face the business growth and the complexities that an online business brings with it, from customer relationship management to financial aspects. ERP, an acronym for Enterprise Resource Planning , in fact, indicates a software built to manage all the resources of a company, plan team tasks and monitor company performance.
The first steps for an e-commerce site
The analysis of a company allows to define a initial business plan and then of have an overall view of the market in which you want to enter and to know the competition at the brand and product level.
Il brand positioning, that is the positioning of the brand on the market, in fact, allows you to understand who you are talking to and to define the characteristics of the offer, especially the 'reason to buy 'and' reason to believe '. The latter will constitute the actual coupling for attract new customers to their e-commerce as, by focusing on the sphere of needs and the emotional one, they demonstrate why the product they are about to buy is really worth.
It is also crucial to identify your own competitors and study them marketing strategies both to get ideas and for identify the weak points of their e-commerce in terms of communication. In this way it will be possible to offer products and services on the market in a unique and innovative way to stand out from the competition.
Also the study of the target represents a very important step, because it allows you to know your audience. This will lead to growing your business by increasing the possibility of reach new potential buyers. Defining your target also allows an e-commerce to define their own Buyer personas, or a customer archetype, with certain demographic characteristics and with specific needs and desires. Identifying the ideal type of customer will help decode the behavior of these subjects in advance, to understand which communication and marketing levers are most suitable to stimulate their purchases.
E-commerce and User Experience
The analysis of your business, competition, reference customers and your objectives allows you to identify the best platform for the creation of your e-commerce.
Once you have chosen the platform that suits the needs and requirements of your online sales site, you need to pay attention to the so-called User Experience (also abbreviated to UX), that is to the user experience.
When it comes to UX, the first thing you think about is undoubtedly the design as the graphics of an e-commerce must appear attractive and functional. It must therefore entice the user to continue browsing on the website until you become a real buyer.
In the context of the User Experience, however, we must not forget about factors such as the loading speed of each page, the quality of the images used and the clarity of the contents. Fundamental are then the ease andintuitive navigation. An e-commerce site must be pleasing to the eye, but its purpose is always to make the user click on the "buy" button!
It is also good to pay attention to the e-commerce interface so that it is easily usable both from computers and mobile devices. A quality e-commerce must be able to provide an excellent experience of mobile use, for example through the development of your own App which also represents an element of distinction from the competition.
Define the promotion strategy of an e-commerce
The correct promotion strategy it must be aimed at achieving clear and well-defined objectives. The analysis previously carried out on the market, on the competition and on the targets, determines the most important element of all: the marketing strategy. This plan will have to include them all online and offline promotional activities through channels and tools that serve to increase visibility and generate traffic to e-commerce.
The purpose of an e-commerce is in fact to acquire new customers (both by expanding its target audience and by creating new acquisition channels) and retain existing customers (through initiatives that encourage their purchases).
Find the right one strategy for your e-commerce it is not easy. In fact, each sector has different needs and it takes time and skills to understand what the ideal marketing plan is and which ones are best digital tools to use.
These tools allow you to create professional communication campaigns as they offer the possibility to address your target audience. Furthermore, allow e-commerce to successfully position itself in search engines. To obtain concrete results from these tools, however, it is essential to know how to use them correctly. Our advice is therefore to turn to professional roles able to identify the right one marketing strategy for each type of e-commerce.
Optimize the contents and visibility of your e-commerce
When it comes to promoting a website, and therefore also an e-commerce, we must always remember that content is king: the content is king.
The product sheets in the e-commerce catalog cannot therefore be simple descriptions copied and pasted directly from the supplier's site. We must first of all customize the contents of your e-commerce to stand out from the competition.
The product sheets must therefore offer information that is as clear and detailed as possible, answering all the possible questions that a potential customer could ask themselves before purchasing. Furthermore, textual content must always be optimized for indexing of individual pages in search engines.
This means that everything written within an online sales site must be thought in SEO optics. It is undoubtedly a delicate and complex job that starts from the analysis of the keywords that will be selected on the basis of the search volume and their competitiveness. Once you have chosen the right ones Keyword, the task of a professional figure such as a copywriter is to create content designed for both the user and the search engines.
In parallel to the promotion strategy linked to the contents, it is also possible to resort to advertising in search engines through tools such as Google Ads.
Social media marketing for e-commerce
Nowadays, if you want to have a successful e-commerce capable of generating numerous sales, promotion through social channels is essential. Every self-respecting website must have its own Instagram page e Facebook which aim to present products and services by creating a community of followers.
The strategy of the social media marketing it also allows you to build relationships with your followers so that they turn into customers. To do this it is necessary that communication on social media is always sincere and that the original contents are capable of transmitting the true one identity of the product (brand identity).
Platforms such as Instagram and Facebook are also a fundamental tool for obtaining important personal and demographic information of one's target audience. Studying and analyzing this data allows you to structure targeted promotional campaigns aimed at your own target audience. In this, you can use a tool like Facebook business manager which allows you to create sponsored content for both your Facebook page and Instagram profile.
The social media promotion strategies of an e-commerce also includeInfluencer marketing. In fact, the influencer represents an important connection point between the business and the followers and is perceived by the latter as a sincere and reliable authority. In fact, collaborating with an influencer allows you to greatly expand the pool of potential customers and allows you to strengthen your own brand value.
Email marketing and chat bot: two fundamental tools
To always stay in touch with your customers and also activate loyalty strategies, you can use theemail marketing. The field ofemail marketing ranges from sending newsletters with discounts and promotional offers for customers to engagement campaigns through emails linked to particular personal events, such as birthdays.
Email marketing also allows you to activate up-selling and cross-selling strategies aimed respectively at making customers purchase higher phased products or products similar and complementary to those purchased by them.
Today, however, e-mail marketing is no longer enough and to make a qualitative leap with your e-commerce it is good to also turn to the technologies of Chat Bots. This innovative tool allows you to activate a customer service that is open every day, all day long, on your website. A Chat boot in fact, it presents itself as a virtual assistant that is always active and capable of answering the questions of e-commerce visitors through an automated response system.
Chat bots therefore represent a fundamental tool for improving the customer experience starting from the phase of choosing the products to buy up to their sale.
Marketing automation for ecommerce: the icing on the cake
Content marketing, SEO, Google Ads, social media, email marketing, chat ... All these valuable tools that we have analyzed in the course of the guide must be managed in an integrated way and as scalable and automated as possible.
To carry out this task that is not at all trivial he thinks about it marketing automation. Anyone dealing with ecommerce knows that the management of related marketing activities can sometimes be complex and quite time-consuming. To save precious time, to be able to devote perhaps to the most strategic and business activities, it is necessary automate those activities that are both important but recurring and repetitive.
Sending a welcome email to more users after subscribing to the e-commerce newsletter, for example, it can be an automatable activity, without losing its effectiveness and credibility in the eyes of the subscribers. Even one thank you email, to be sent after a purchase or a promotional email with the main seasonal discounts, can also be managed and sent automatically.
Marketing automation actually goes way beyond these simple examples. In fact, marketing automation for ecommerce consists of automate the multiple flows that are activated in the management of an online store and to implement, manage and (if necessary) improve them from a single control room.
Set up a marketing automation strategy useful for ecommerce
Let's imagine marketing as a large funnel or funnel, within which the entire marketing automation strategy will move. Marketing automation is essential here to accompany users from their first contact with the ecommerce site, up to the final purchase. At the top of this funnel, in the larger mouth, are yours paid ads on Facebook or Google, useful for bringing new visitors to the website.
To maximize the conversions of your ads, you may prefer to direct these visitors to an ad hoc landing page and not directly to the website. The landing page has the advantage, in fact, of drawing more attention to a single offer and is therefore ideal for bring in new leads (users who fill out forms leaving their contact details) or even new sales.
Now is the time to reach out to these leads and figure out which of them are interested in buying your products. To do this you need to activate several targeted marketing communications: thank you and welcome emails (as already seen), followup emails, up-selling and cross-selling, promotional sms, sales call. You can also assume that you "feed" your contacts with one content marketing strategy personalized. That is, offering exclusive content, such as ebooks, blog articles and whitepapers, useful for keeping engagement alive and increasing the possibility of future conversions. We are here in the narrowest part of the funnel, where marketing efforts turn into ecommerce ROI.
Imagine being able to do all this with a single tool, such as a marketing automation workflow, in which to set up and monitor all the different steps of this dense process. There are several on the market ecommerce automation software that help you implement these strategies. The advice is to get one all-in-one platform, as complete as possible with all the tools necessary to promote an ecommerce (ad management, landing page and form creation, workflow activation, email marketing, live chat), as well as easy to integrate with the main CMS for building an ecommerce site, such as Woocommerce, Magento and Shopify.
The management of an e-commerce
The perfect one management of a E-commerce passes through the figure ofecommerce manager who has the task of supervising the sales that take place through the web portal. The e-commerce manager (or e-commerce specialist) knows the needs of the business and is therefore in a position to be able to suggest the best promotional strategies. Also, she looks after i online catalogs of products and services, monitors sales trends and analyzes customer behavior within e-commerce.
For the correct management of an e-commerce they are also fundamental the maintenance and updating of the site. The changes in the code, in the contents and in the layouts represent very delicate interventions which, if not carried out carefully, risk upsetting the structure of the e-commerce. Again, it is good to rely on some web agency who deal not only with the creation of the website, but who are also available to intervene in updating the e-commerce.
Another aspect not to be underestimated in the management of an e-commerce is its warehouse. To check the products in stock e optimize warehouse organization, the advice is to use software and management programs such as Linnworks. This system makes it possible to better manage all the aspects related to the logistics of a warehouse; moreover, it allows to automate some processes and actually reduces management costs. Linnworks is therefore an excellent tool for all businesses wishing to open an e-commerce for online sales.
The advantages of an e-commerce
We defined a general overview that allowed us to understand what is an e-commerce, what strategies can be adopted for its promotion and how it can be easily managed. Now, the time has come to take stock and understand what are the real and effective advantages of having an e-commerce.
E-commerce looks like a shop always open 24/24, without however requiring that there be personnel physically present. In practice, this involves always keeping your business open without there being an increase in management costs.
An e-commerce also allows you to expand the pool of potential customers exponentially. All those who have an internet connection could in fact purchase products and services through e-commerce.
E-commerce represents a great opportunity not only for those who own a physical store and want to start selling online, but also for those who are throwing themselves into the sales sector for the first time. The costs necessary to open an e-commerce are in fact much lower than those necessary to start a traditional “face-to-face” business and management costs are also lower.
Today, it is quite simple to open your own online sales site, but remember that to have a successful e-commerce it is necessary to find the right promotion and management strategies.
And in this only i professionals in the sector they can help you!