An estimated 1.92 billion people purchased services or goods online in 2019 around the world — a quarter of the world’s population.
I think it’s safe to say that the e-commerce business is booming.
More and more people are moving their products online and are starting brand new e-commerce companies with the hopes of carving out a piece of the pie.
However, it’s absolutely vital that your marketing strategy is running at peak performance to beat out the heavy competition.
Here are 10 e-commerce marketing mistakes that you need to avoid to keep your business from sinking.
1. Not Defining Your Target Audience
The first and most important step in any kind of marketing is knowing who you’re talking to. Some businesses think they can “sell to anyone and everyone,” but that’s a shortcut to the bottom.
As a seller, it’s very important to clearly define your audience. Every aspect of your target avatar will impact how you design your products and services, how you write copy for your advertisements, and where you go to find people to sell to.
By knowing the demographics of your target market, you’ll gain insight into how to make your business stand out from the crowd.
Some important questions to ask about your target include:
What are their goals?
What are their fears?
Where do they hang out?
What is the main problem that you’re looking to solve?
These questions just scratch the surface of the details you’re looking for in your target audience.
Make sure to spend the necessary amount of time and resources to get to know your market like the back of your hand.
2. Forgetting About Social Proof
Social proof is the idea that people will follow the actions of other people to decide if something is right for them or not.
Generally, there are six kinds of social proof that you can use:
Expert: When an industry expert recommends a product in that particular field.
An example of this would be a famous chef recommending a particular knife he enjoys using.
Celebrity: As the name suggests, celebrity social proof is when a celebrity endorses a product.
An example of this would be an Instagram influencer mentioning a skincare product she likes on social media.
User: Probably the most common and accessible social proof for most businesses, this is when a user recommends a product based on their experience with it.
An example of this would be a restaurant-goer leaving a review after eating there.
Wisdom of the crowd: This is when a big group of people is seen endorsing a brand.
An example of this would be a company having millions of followers on Instagram.
Wisdom of friends: This social proof is when people see their friends using a product.
An example of this would be seeing your friend use a certain kind of television that they constantly rave about.
Certification: This is when an authority figure officially approves of a product.
An example of this would be the infamous blue checkmark on Twitter.
Social proof is an incredibly valuable tool in marketing e-commerce businesses. By forgetting to include it in your marketing and products, you can be missing out on a hugely important tool in giving your customers that final push into a sale.
3. Poor Customer Service
Another huge mistake for online stores is having poor customer service. No matter how much time you spend perfecting your product or delivery process, there will always be dissatisfied customers.
If you don’t have a good customer service team to interact with customers, your business can go down quickly with a bad reputation.
Some examples of issues that your CS team will need to deal with include:
- Poor product quality
- Slow e-commerce fulfillment and delivery
- Out of stock items
- Difficulty returning items
- High prices
All of these fires need to be dealt with quickly and smoothly with a strong customer service team.
4. Using Low-Quality Product Photos
When it comes to online stores, the images that you use to show your products are crucially important.
People tend to make snap judgments regarding how a website looks. Why? Because there is an unlimited amount of other places, they can go shopping for a similar product online.
Customers are subconsciously affected by the images, themes, and colors that you use to portray your brand. If your pictures are low-quality, your brand will look unprofessional and untrustworthy.
Also, they need to be able to see the product in as much detail as possible since they aren’t able to physically handle the product as if they were in a store.
5. Not Staying in Touch With Customers
Retaining past customers and building brand loyalty are incredibly important when it comes to creating an online business.
Acquiring a new customer can cost five times as much as retaining an existing customer!
People that have bought from you have already proved that they are in your target audience, so it’s a huge loss of opportunity if you don’t follow up with them with new products and upcoming sales.
One simple way to do this is to maintain an email list of past customers through email marketing.
6. Poorly Written Product Descriptions
Having well-written product descriptions is an important part of drawing your customers in and making a sale.
If you simply copy and paste the description from the manufacturer’s website, you are merely giving a plain description of the product that won’t catch people’s interest.
Good copy draws your target audience in by speaking to their desires, fears, and problems — then showing how your product benefits their lives.
7. Poor Experience With Mobile Devices
Nowadays, online shopping is almost synonymous with mobile shopping. If you don’t optimize your website for mobile, you’re cutting out a significant chunk of your target market.
One study showed that almost 40% of e-commerce purchases made during the holiday season were made on a smartphone!
8. Forgetting About Email Marketing
This goes hand in hand with the point made about following up with your customers. One of the most powerful tools you can use for digital marketing is email.
When done correctly, it has some of the best conversion rates of any online medium. There are several automation tools and email service providers that cater to different kinds of businesses.
By utilizing email marketing, you can establish and maintain a personal connection with your customers.
This can be as simple as sending a newsletter with news in your industry or giving your customer a small discount coupon on their birthday.
9. Not Utilizing Social Media
There’s no questioning how important social media has become for a strong e-commerce marketing strategy.
Good social media marketing needs to be able to face customers on several different platforms (depending on who your target audience is and where they hang out).
Of course, social media is not easy. For some businesses, it can take a whole team of marketers to be able to manage a company’s social media. Their responsibilities include:
- Creating tons of great, free content
- Promoting products
- Developing new social media strategies
- Managing advertisements
- Keeping in contact with followers
- Gaining and directing website traffic to your business
- Customer service
- Maintaining a budget
- Analyzing performance
In today’s day and age, you could be missing out on a huge source of revenue if you don’t have someone managing your social media. In many ways, social media is the face and voice of your company.
10. Not Analyzing the Results of Your Marketing
All of the blood, sweat, and tears that you put into your e-commerce marketing could mean nothing if you don’t analyze the results of your efforts.
Looking into the results of your marketing campaigns gives you valuable insight into whether you’re getting a return on investment from your time and effort.
Based on those results, you can decide what changes need to be made to help bolster your marketing efforts and get your product out to more people.
Depending on the platform you’re using, setting up analytics is usually pretty straightforward.
Whether it’s email, social media, or advertisements, make sure you periodically observe the results of your marketing to see what can be improved.
Key Takeaways: E-commerce Marketing Mistakes
Building a strong digital campaign for your e-commerce business website is essential for growth. You may want to consider hiring a professional to help you manage your marketing efforts.
Avoiding these common e-commerce marketing mistakes is a great first step to building a successful online store. As long as you keep analyzing data and learning from your mistakes, your business will be booming in no time.