If you're doing this well then your ecommerce platform should be one of, if not the, major revenue drivers for the business as well as the main touch point for communications to and from consumers. It is therefore critical that your website delivers the core marketing message across the various communication channels it offers.
So how do you make this happen?
Marketing should run the website not IT
In too many businesses it is the IT department that runs the site and as much as they might try they are never going to deliver the message as well as the team responsible for coming up with the strategy in the first place. Ensure that marketing has complete control over the messages going out from the site by implementing a suitable CMS platform with support from IT on functionality, servers etc.
Strategy should not be led by technology
There are lots of great tools out there that are tempting to use in order to interact with consumers, some of which will make a real difference to results. The word of warning however is that you should decide if the technology really helps improve communications with your target consumer sector and or carries your message better than other channels. If not then don't use it just because it's cool, or worse tailor your message to match the technology! Trust your strategy and deliver with purpose in a way that your consumers will trust and they will give back through increased loyalty.
Keep standards across all channels
Don’t let your web platform fall behind your in store experience, or use a different voice in your emails to those in your catalogue. Consistency is key to engaging with consumers across all channels and making an impact. Remember the old adage that it takes a minimum of 7 views to reach a consumers consciousness, with clever positioning you can achieve results within hours not weeks.
Review analytics regularly
Keep a close watch on where your messages are resonating and use this information to inform your future activity. If you see an increase in retweets for a particular product and a pick-up in sales then look at increasing this range or using it as part of a promotion. Consumers like to feel that they have been listened to and that they can influence their surroundings, reward them by making it easy for them to see that you are listening and tailoring your approach to better match their needs.
Reward consumers for following you across multiple channels
Quite a new concept as the opportunity to see a consumer jump from one channel to another has been difficult to track. However if you promote a consumer to engage with you across two or more channels not only will they absorb your message more completely but their attitude to engagement will drive them closer to a purchase. As an example a T.V. advert promoting you to like via Facebook and then a promotion code to use used on your website. Consumers will love you for directly rewarding their loyalty and by getting them online you will maximise conversion into immediate sales.
Your ecommerce should be the final destination and the home of information regarding your brand/promotional messages with 1st,2nd and 3rd connections across channels such as email, social media, sponsorship, PPC, content marketing and PR. If they all carry a relevant co-ordinated message then you will see more traffic and greater sales which can be measured against your overall strategic approach.
Whether you use us as partners in your new marketing strategy make it work for you and your board will reward you for your hard work!
By Nick Charles, Business Development Manager