To say that the e-commerce industry is competitive is an understatement. Many people start their own business, but few of them succeed. According to statistics, about 80 percent of businesses fail. Failure can be attributed to many factors, but one of the top reasons online businesses fail is making major marketing blunders.
Everybody makes mistakes. Even the most experienced marketers make them. However, committing these deadly sins of e-commerce marketing and failing to correct them will doom your business sooner or later.
1. Marketing to the Wrong Audience
To Whom are you selling your product? Whose needs are you filling?
A good marketing campaign will crash and burn when it’s directed to the wrong audience. It’s essentially like talking to a wall. People won’t listen or react because they don’t need or want what you’re offering.
Hence, the first step to ensure success in your marketing campaign is to find people who are interested in listening. Define your demographic. Who will be most interested in the products or services you’re offering? Once you have the answer, focus and position your marketing campaign to appeal to your target audience.
2. Neglecting Mobile Users
Nearly half of the retail e-commerce sales this year were made through mobile commerce or m-commerce. By 2021, m-commerce will generate 53.9 percent of online sales in the United States.
Failing to optimize your website for mobile means losing more than half of your potential customers. As a Google survey finds, 61 percent of consumers will move on to another site if they don’t quickly find what they’re looking for in a mobile website.
More alarmingly, over half of the respondents say that a bad experience with a website negatively affects their opinion of the brand.
A mobile-friendly website can increase the likelihood of visitors purchasing something from the site. The same survey reports that 67 percent of consumers are more likely to buy an item if the website is optimized for mobile.
3. Ignoring Abandoned Carts
Shopping cart abandonment is a common occurrence in e-commerce. It happens when a customer adds an item or items in their cart but leaves without purchasing anything.
According to the Baymard Institute, these are the top reasons customers abandon their carts:
- Expensive extra costs (e.g., shipping, tax, fees)
- Being required to create an account before checkout
- The long and complicated checkout process
- Total order cost isn’t displayed upfront
- Site crashed
- Questionable site security
- Slow delivery
- Unsatisfactory return policy
- Limited payment options
- Declined credit card
Many of the issues listed above can be resolved by making design changes on your website. These changes include allowing guest checkout, simplifying the site interface and checkout process, and allowing more payment methods.
Fixing your site and checkout process is the first step to reduce cart abandonment. The next is to follow up on customers via email. Instead of ignoring customers who “ghosted” you, persuade them with a compelling email that will remind them why they wanted to buy the item.
4. Not Tracking Results
This is one of the biggest blunders marketers and businesses can make. Without tracking your results, you won’t know what works and what doesn’t and what to focus on to draw in more customers and increase sales. If you don’t monitor your marketing campaigns, you’re just throwing money to the wind.
To monitor and measure the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns, you must identify the metrics you want to measure. Examples of metrics include the following:
- Lead conversion
- Click-through rate
- Bounce rate
- Search-engine referrals
- Form conversion rate
By tracking your marketing campaigns, you can invest in marketing strategies that are genuinely effective and prevent huge losses on the wrong initiatives.
5. Avoiding Social Media
Whether you personally like social media or not, there’s no denying that they are immensely useful platforms to reach your audience. Facebook alone has 2.45 billion active users monthly; Twitter, 330 million; Instagram, 111 million. It will be a colossal mistake not to tap into these massive markets.
Social media also provides businesses free channels to connect with their audience, promote their brand, and build their online presence. Plus, buying ads on Facebook and other social media platforms also costs much less than traditional avenues do.
6. Overlooking Packaging
Many marketers will argue that packaging is equally important as the products are. The packaging is the customer’s first impression of your brand and products, and you know what they say about first impressions.
For e-commerce, the packaging is enormously important for not only presenting the product but also keeping it protected.
A parcel travels from one warehouse to another and gets passed around so many times, increasing the product’s risk of getting damaged. When customers receive damaged items, they’re more likely to write negative reviews on the retailer’s website.
By investing in fulfillment-friendly custom boxes or packaging, you can reduce the risk of unhappy customers and save costs on returns and replacements. Proper packaging for fragile items is the best way you can secure that your products are without any cracks or damage during transport and delivery.
7. Not Rewarding Loyal Customers
Research from BIA/Kelsey reports that 61 percent of small- and midsize businesses generate half of their sales revenue from repeat customers. Still, many companies commit the mistake of disregarding their existing customers and only marketing to new customers.
Gaining new customers is vital to your business, but keeping the ones you have now is just as important. Customers who have bought a product from your site are more likely to purchase repeatedly, especially when they receive rewards for returning.
The Bottom Line
The rise of e-commerce platforms has made it easier and more affordable for anyone to start their own business. The downside is that there is more competition, making it harder to succeed. If you do it right, marketing campaigns can make a world of difference and propel your business to the top.