Has your business benefitted from the e-commerce boom? In this article, Jonathan Birch from Glass Digital shares his marketing tips for scaling your business to suit this growing industry.
E-commerce has long been on a path towards taking over retail from the high street. But, with the pandemic restricting us to our homes and forcing more transactions online, this progress has been exacerbated even further. According to recent data, over 2.14 billion people worldwide are expected to buy goods and services online in 2021 (Statista). By 2040, 95% of retail purchases are likely to be made online.
This presents a variety of fantastic opportunities for businesses with an online presence looking to scale alongside e-commerce. The question now is less how to grow a business online, and more how to grow safely and reliably. Fortunately, the right approach to digital marketing can support your scaling business and ensure you keep getting the customers you need to support this growth.
Below, I’ll share five marketing tips for boosting the scalability of your online business.
Use your marketing to tell an engaging story
If you work in marketing, then you’ll have heard time and time again how important it is to advertise solutions to problems rather than products. More recently, however, shoppers have become more conscious about brand identity than ever before, and they are more likely to be invested in your journey and values. That means you should be using a large chunk of your marketing to tell your story, demonstrating how your brand is a solution and not just the products you sell.
Of course, you should also spend time making sure your message is in line with customer wants and needs. For example, the sustainability angle is a must nowadays, with consumers becoming more aware of the environmental and social impact of their purchases. If that’s important to your brand too, let them know — it could give you an edge over your competitors.
Streamline your channels and focus your efforts
There are all manner of tools out there for managing omnichannel e-commerce, so it’s easier than ever to cast a wide net and reach a broad scope of consumers. This can help you make sure you have at least some presence on all the most appropriate platforms to reach your specific audience: instead of trying to bring them over to your preferred medium, you can seek out and find them in environments they’re comfortable using.
However, to scale safely and consistently, you need to streamline your efforts and produce quality marketing where it matters. For example, if your products and services are visual-based, then social media marketing will suit you well. For others, you may need to be more demonstrative through video and podcasting.
Make sure your website is flawless
While having fingers in a lot of different pies is great, you still need to make sure your website is a flawless portal for customers to access your brand — and that includes mobile. Around half (48-51%) of global web traffic is generated by mobile (Statista), so if you’re still relying on desktop to deliver the best user experience, you could be excluding a large portion of potential customers.
Other aspects of UX and design to consider include ease of use and reliability, including clear navigation and loading times. It’s all too easy for users to look elsewhere if they’re having problems finding what they want and checking out, no matter how great your brand is.
Use e-commerce features as marketing techniques
Convincing customers that they need your product is one crucial part of marketing. The other is getting them to hand their money over to you rather than a competitor. As the e-commerce industry grows, so does the scope of competition your business faces. So, don’t forget that seemingly selfless offers such as free delivery and the provision of multiple payment options are all effective marketing techniques. When effectively deployed, they can contribute towards conversions as well as improving your brand image.
If you don’t feel like you can confidently provide the transactional marketing elements that are holding back the growth of your business, don’t be afraid to integrate third-party platforms.
Use data to determine which areas to develop
Scaling every area of your business at once to suit the growing market is almost impossible, so it’s best to pick your battles. Utilise all the data you have available to you to choose which areas of your business are doing well and focus on those first. You can do this by using software to track sales data and conversion metrics, giving you an insight into the strongest parts of your business. This can also help you identify which areas might be holding back growth. You can then make informed decisions about whether to troubleshoot these areas or scale them back to let your overall business grow.
Putting together a marketing strategy when you’re scaling a company can be difficult, but the tips in this guide can help you figure out how to do it the right way for your business.