Online Sales Success: How to Start Preparing Today

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It also helps them to ensure that they have complete control over the entire lifecycle of their product content from creation through delivery to the post-purchase experience.

PIM and DAM streamline product content so your teams can easily create marketing collateral and post-purchase materials that enhance the buyer experience.

PIM and DAM provide more opportunities for you to drive revenue with product content. Read on to learn how!

In 2023, research projects online sales to take up 22% of all retail sales worldwide. What this shows is the overwhelming importance of aiming for online sales success, especially since traditional channels have taken a backseat in the digital world. Remember the days when you had to depend on face-to-face meetings and calls with prospects to land sales? Already, they seem so far away.

Today, brands are subscribing to the popular player on the block – digital channels – which make it easier to connect with customers at the right time. Failure to go digital will make you reactive, affecting your growth potentials. The best way to prepare is to use digital channels.

To carry out a marketing campaign digitally, you need to set specific goals, define your target market, draft a compelling content (communication message), decide on the digital channels to use and carry out evaluations to measure progress made.

How to Prepare for Online Sales

Digital marketing is becoming more and more complex each passing day with increasing channels popping out and changes in consumers’ tastes and preferences. It is important to note that one thing will always remain constant: customers will have a preference for brands that are ready to provide them with delightful brand experiences throughout their journey and will always keep coming back for more.

Online Sales via Traditional vs. Digital Marketing

Using traditional marketing channels means reaching target customers with face to face communication, telephone communication, print, and broadcast media. After all, the goal is to provide information to the public to push patronization of your brand with little or no interaction between the medium and the public.

First of all, data is harder to store with traditional media. The truth is that prominent brands are all online. So a local retailer using traditional channels will not be able to compete favorably with its larger competitors.

While traditional marketing channels can get the job done, digital can do the job more efficiently and in record time. Through digital channels, the success of a brand is not dependent on the store size as greater exposure is achieved. In other words, digital comes in to give the public variety and the choice to select the way they want to receive the content you are trying to communicate.

With digital, audience interaction with the selected medium is made possible. Prospects have the opportunity to visit your site, read product descriptions, make comments in form of reviews and provide feedback on the service quality.

Digital channels level the playing field between the big, well-established brands and those that are just starting out.

Furthermore, real-time results can be obtained on digital channels at the touch of a button to track progress and readjust on time compared to traditional channels which do not offer this opportunity.

As for generating buzz and viral sensation, digital marketing channels take the lead so much more than the traditional channels. Social media share buttons can distribute your content to millions in a matter of seconds, thus increasing the visibility of your brand. This cannot be achieved using print or broadcast medium for instance.

How to Boost Online Sales Success with Digital Marketing Channels

As a business, you need to be available where your consumers are. Most consumers today are online. Digital channels offer a way of reaching these ones in the best environment where you can effectively satisfy their needs. Through digital channels, you can connect, educate or inform, persuade and make an offer that can meet the needs of your customers.

Digital channels save cost, time and reduce the frustration that is bound to occur when using traditional channels alone. This is because it is one-on-one marketing and business can uniquely meet the needs of their customers.

You cannot talk about digital channels without content coming to mind. It is the backbone of digital marketing channels because it encompasses all communication between a brand and its customers.

The production of engaging content has the power to influence their purchase decision in your favor. Content marketing is the new flavor in the digital marketplace because marketing today is content-driven. Several pieces of product information about your business are produced and shared on various digital marketing channels.

When content is great, it is easy to spot because it will be largely informative, interesting and easy to understand. Good content is an easy way to tell your brand story and connect with your audience, and it is not going away soon. Brands alike are subscribing to the use of content to not only pitch their products or services but deliver valuable information (tips, advice and so on) to the customers, in a way that you become relevant to their lives and turn them to loyal customers.

The quality element is essential in content creation if it is to have the power to be engaging. Also, the content you produce should have a “take-action” feel to it. Your call-to-action page should be able to make them supply their details for immediate purchase.

Create a Digital Marketing Strategy for Online Sales Success

While we are not disputing the fact that traditional channels are still important, it is safe to say that digital channels have come in to complement the failures of traditional channels. This is why you need to be ready for digital channel marketing and your digital strategy can help you best prepare.

Digital marketing strategy is a plan of action that can help you achieve your business goals through the use of online or internet marketing. Buyer personas should be built because they represent the customers you are targeting. All these are explained in the subsequent points below.

Understand Your Customers Intimately

It should be at the back of your mind that everything you do in business is for the satisfaction and delight of your customers. They are the reason for your existence as a business. Do your research well by knowing who they are and the best way to market to them that can capture their attention and sustain it!

Excellent customer service should be at the core of all marketing activities so that value is assured even before a purchase decision is made. Building buyer personas is a great way to understand the target audience of businesses. The nature of your business will influence the data you collect when building your buyer personas. Information should be collected about their demographics which span from location, income, age bracket, among others.

Psychographic information can also be collected with regard to their interests, challenges or pain points as well as their preferences in a bid to intimately understand their behavioral patterns. You should go as deep as knowing the amount of time they spend on each page on your website.

All these information should be accurately collected because your digital marketing strategy will be targeted to your customer segments through the buyer personas you have created.

Establish Your Digital Marketing Goals

Your digital marketing goals are different from the overall goal of your business. However, they must complement each other. Your marketing goal should not be completely different from the overall goals of your business but should be tied back to it.

Your marketing goals should be stated in clear statements. This is very important for measurement and evaluation. The effectiveness of your digital strategy can be largely determined by the extent to which your marketing goals were achieved.

Your digital marketing goals should revolve around some specific points. It can be tailored to converting leads to buying customers (customer acquisition); increasing online sales success

by a certain percentage, to win back lost customers who have ceased to be active or to increase the lifetime value of customers (reducing customer churn and increase customer retention).

The set goals should be as specific, measurable, actionable, relevant and time-bound as possible. Each of these elements will go a long way to ensure its success. It should be properly defined to ensure that campaigns are drafted in line with them if you want successful results.

Select Your Digital Channels

There are a lot of digital channels that are available for the use of businesses, which is why it is so powerful. Remember, the digital channel selected must be one that will fit into your digital marketing strategy with the capacity to fulfill your set goals. Not all channels will be the right fit for your products and services. Hence, you need to understand the ones that are relevant to your business and the ones that are not.

You can use owned, earned, or paid media channels to generate awareness about your brand. Digital channels present an opportunity for brands to engage their prospects across multiple touchpoints. While there are so many, a few will be discussed below.

Website

It is important for you to have a website for your business if you don’t have one. You need to have a place where customers can go to when trying to access your products and services.

Before you build your website, you have to know the purpose it will serve and the impression you want customers to have when they visit. You need to know the customer segment your brand is targeting and what their needs will be, so that content included on your site is tailored specifically to them.

For those that already have one, while you may argue that you already have a website, it is important to answer the question of whether your site is fully optimized for visits done via mobile devices. Your site should be easy to understand and navigate with engaging content that will make them want to stay longer.

The design and functionality of your site is also an important consideration it should be one that can catch the attention of shoppers and have a positive effect on their view of your brand as a whole.

The reason for the unfortunate turn-out to your site could be that it is not mobile-friendly, slow load-time, or poorly structured layout. Whatever be the case, it is important for your design team to fix these problems if you want to attract more prospects to your site. Ensure your website is secure as cybersecurity is the concern of most shoppers online.

Regularly test your website to have an insight into the experiences of customers when they visit your site. This will give you insights into the problems they face and effective solutions can be implemented.

Social Media Marketing

As the name implies, it is a digital marketing channel that is used in the promotion of brands on its various platforms. Some popular ones which we are quite familiar include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube. As earlier said, your choice of this media will largely depend on your digital marketing strategy.

Social media is not used for socializing, as we are prone to thinking but helps to build rapport and engagement with customers in their social setting and with the platform of their choice. With more and more platforms developed every day, it is fast becoming an essential targeted advertising platform. Be interactive with your followers (for instance, chatting with them in real-time and promptly answering their questions and concerns); it goes a long way to show them that they are important and you value their contributions.

Social data analytics program is one that can help you collate data from social media sites for proper targeting of content to the right market.

All activities done via social media marketing should be tied to your digital strategy and the achievement of your marketing goals. Your brand voice should be consistent across all platforms used. This is a great medium to display the personality of your brand and your brand promise which will help differentiate your brand from others.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

This is not a channel per se but a strategy to increase your ranking on the results of search engine queries. It is largely connected to specific keywords used when entering a particular subject or topic. Optimization is important because it can help you drive organic search and increase your site rankings through important elements of quality content, relevant links, and social media engagements.

Beware of your page load speed and reduce anything that will slow it down. No customer is going to wait around for your website to take its sweet time loading and frustrate their experience; they will move on to faster alternatives. Always remember it is the customer that your content is tailored to and not search engines. Focus on consistently delivering quality, original and engaging content and your customers will always come back for more. More brands will want to link to your share-worthy content.

Your images matter and the right keyword should be used to optimize it for search engines. Your Uniform Resource Locator (URL) should be such that can be easily understood at first glance by your customers. Use words instead of characters if you want to be memorable to customers.

At the end of the day, always have an effective tracking system to tell what is working and what is not.

Email Marketing

This is a channel that uses electronic mail medium to market their brands and businesses. It is a very important channel that can increase the visibility of your brand because it is the most personal way brands can interact with their customers.

Email marketing is effective in targeted communications across your sales funnel. You cannot be relevant to everybody at the same time. This is why segmentation of your email list should be done here to enable the sending of targeted messages to prospects.

Don’t fall victim and become a pest to customers by sending too many emails to customers; it can get irritating and make them unsubscribe from you. Sending few emails is bad because you can be forgettable and end up in spam. This is why there should be a perfect balance when it comes to the issue of frequency and timing.

Have a clear purpose before you request the customer to give you an email address. You need to be able to give your customer something valuable which will keep them interested in more offers from you. Remember to include a call-to-action in a way that recipients will not miss it even if they are only skimming through.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising

Think of PPC as paid ads offered by search engines, like Google AdWords. With it, you can buy visits to your sites instead of solely depending on organic traffic. As a result, advertisers simply pay a certain fee at the click of any of their adverts. The beauty of PPC is that the success of your online sales will more than makeup for the cost-per-click. However, with paid ads, you will compete against other competitors who bid for ad placement on search results pages.

So that means that because you implement PPC doesn’t mean an automatic flood of sales. Just like all the other tactics mentioned, this ad campaign requires a level of keyword research, strategizing, and iterating to beat competitive bids. As such, keywords must be relevant to your business, and the landing page the PPC directs visitors to should mirror the search intent. Even after all that, engage in continual auditing of key performance indicators and keywords to ensure your PPC campaign is still driving online sales success.

Final Words

Why select a medium that allows you have just one conversation at a time when you can talk to millions at the same time at even lower cost? This is not to say traditional channels are not important in generating leads and boosting conversions because they are. Traditional channels offer a rare human touch much more than digital. On the other hand, digital channels are much more efficient, cheaper and have a wider reach.

This post is not in any way exhaustive of all the channels that can be used by your e-commerce business. Carry out more research and discover more if you want to be a market leader in your respective industry.

Your traditional marketing methods and channels should support an already solid digital marketing effort. They should both not be used in isolation. It is not advisable for companies to solely depend on a digital channel and abandon the groundwork traditional channels can play. Thus, for optimum results in their dealings with current and prospective customers, companies should combine the human element of traditional channels with the efficiency of digital ones.

The goal is delightful customer experiences that keep them satisfied. Hence, you need to make sure that your service providers are willing to go above and beyond to ensure that this is done. This means response time should be faster and complaints should be handled effectively.

Personalization of your services is important to make your brand more “human”. Customers do not want newsletter and emails from companies, but want them to be addressed specifically to them. The information gathered from your buyer personas can help you tailor your messages specifically to certain groups of people.

Evaluating channels regularly and making updates and corrections, especially where goals deviate and to enable management decisions, are extremely important. The goal remains achievement of quality interactions with customers that can root a company in the minds of its customers.

Now that you’re prepared to sell through digital channels, click here to see what Catsy can do for you.

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