“eCommerce is the new eMarketing” — an idea that may be considered as a profanity, because it changes the natural order of things. First there is marketing, sales comes later. So how is it possible that things are not the same online? Can we replace marketing with sales?
Let’s begin with the way in which advertising agencies sell their ideas to clients.
Head of one of the biggest agencies told me: we dance on a table to sell our vision!
Maybe some time ago it was good enough, but when the same client met with the people from eCommerce, instead of ‘dancing on a table’ they got:
- numbers relevant to their business,
- possibility to start marketing cooperation with high level of ROI,
- controlled process of “going underwater” — for a specific purpose, ex. bringing new clients in,
- branding as a support for sale. A lot of companies have an excellent brand that they’ve worked on for many years and the time has come to use it,
- the end of a “agency-client” relation and instead relations that are truly based on partnership, because at the end of the day both parties benefit from the same thing — selling.
… which is why companies like P&G, Nestle, ING, Ferrari and many, many more are more than interested in eCommerce.
Selling online became a sort of the “Master Yoda” of the Internet. People from eCommerce have “been there, done that” and they “know all the answers”. Assuming that the Internet has evolved from an informative medium, through branding, all the way transactional and right now — relational media, eCommerce is in the vanguard of this evolution.
When big companies are starting to use Internet to get new clients, eCommerce is much further, already building strong relations with those clients.
Things you should learn from eCommerce
Online shops operate in a tough environment. According to Electronic Commerce by G. Schneider:
- Online stores are losing from 20$ to 80$ on each client in the first year;
- Nowadays the cost of bringing new client in is from 3 to 15 times higher than following purchase.
It forces them to improve ROI optimization by following different strategies.
Common issue is getting an “almost client”. Almost client is a person who’s interested in our offer but is not ready to buy (yet).
There are many techniques of dealing with this kind of a problem. The one that is basic and is working efficiently is to convert these people to the newsletter subscribers. If we’re able to convince them to receiving information from us, one day an opportunity to make a sale will finally present itself.
Working for a Willsoor clothing brand, thanks to an aggressive e-mail addresses collecting, we’ve enlarged their mailing base by 34% in 6 weeks. New subscribers have very often made their first purchase right after the welcome e-mail, the purchase was also greater (basket bigger by 17,5%) and more frequent (conversion higher by 255%). There was a moment when 14,07% of all sales came from welcome e-mails!
These techniques are worth trying on every website, because even 70% of people leaving your website won’t ever come back. (This statement is popularized by producent of a specialized tool which supports newsletter subscription conversion: http://optinmonster.com).
Another effective trick is to find in analytics those pages which have a high bounce rate. They are the ones in which we should concentrate on collecting e-mail addresses. These people are going to leave our website anyway, but we may encourage them to registering by proposing them contextually related eBook.
eCommerce tools in the service of media
Upworthy.com uses methods known from eCommerce. They often prepare up to 25 news subjects in order to check them in on-line tests and choose the ones that have the best click conversion. They also test arrangement of social media elements to find the scheme and form that will provide the best conversion rate. A lot of info about their work may be found in a presentation: http://www.slideshare.net/Upworthy/the-sweet-science-of-virality.
More and more often new media connect creation (making hypotheses) with engineering (testing and analysis). They can draw conclusions and adjust to customer needs. Meanwhile, Marketers are excited about Real Time Marketing. It caught my attention because it reminded me of RTB (Real-time Bidding), but while in RTB we’re talking about adjusting the message to the recipient, in Real Time Marketing we have hours, days and weeks.
Is anyone in eCommerce going to get excited about the Oreo cookies campaign that, „thanks to instant reaction on blackout during the game was able to create a picture that gained big range“..? „WOW“… exactly like trillion other pictures from 4chan that go viral and take only few minutes to be created. Is this how marketers nirvana looks like? If so, they should change their jobs, because in a few years nobody from the Board is going to talk to them.
Unique, good and valuable content rules and will rule (see our eCommerce Trends 2018 Report). Online shops, for a long time now, know that the perfect product description, counseling and inspiring a client is a key to success. Companies like asos.com build the whole navigation around content — supporting clients in their choice of something that suits them. They create professional magazines, filled with content and products. All of this is already happening and we don’t even need this trendy word — „content“ — to know that it works perfectly.
Even Google, despite all the changes in algorithms, still rewards simply good content. When Neil Patel studied what is the average page length in the Google’s TOP 10 for different words, he got the result of over 2000 words.
People from sales have learned long time ago how to make a perfect product presentation.
eCommerce knows what’s important
What is the most annoying situation in cooperation with marketing department?
My favorite quote is “enlarge our logo by 10%”.
It illustrates perfectly how little marketing departments understand the client. The client is not interested in logo, brand colors, color encoding of product lines etc. Truth be told, he usually doesn’t care.
When your goal is conversion, you learn every day to create things that are simple, so everyone could buy it, even the people who are tired and very busy. That forces you to focus on important stuff.
eMarketing in eCommerce style
Here a question should be asked:
If it is so great then how can I use all of these techniques when e.g. selling specialized products such as motor oil for trucks and tractors? No one is going to buy it online. I can use Internet only for marketing purposes, right?
Good that you’ve asked, because accidentally I have a perfect example for this sector :-) For a several months now we’re working in Divante for a company that sales this kind of a product. Sale is made via sales rep and it requires a lot of counseling.
We cannot sell online but we can organize the whole marketing in a way like if we could. We start by launching a landing page and constant optimization using Unbounce.com tool. Our goal is to collect leads and set an appointment between those people and our tradesman.
Using the A/B tests we determine that in this specific situation:
- Clients respond best to graphics presenting people and those in which the product is in the foreground,
- Changing the number of fields to minimum doesn’t affect significantly on conversion ratio.
We launch every marketing channel that comes to mind and we run multiple tests again, examining effectiveness of every channel and the cost of getting an interaction with client.
We start to collect leads. It turns out that sales conversion from the leads we’ve collected is approximately 30% a month and in the best months conversion of leads to sale ratio can reach even 70%.
We’ve just replaced traditional marketing in “we’re present online” style for a machine obtaining new clients.
Combination of eCommerce and eMarketing
Of course we don’t say that you should stop thinking about marketing. I just believe more in creating a synergy effect between these two worlds.
Using tools such as empathy map or design studio workshops we combine marketing and sales departments on one-day pre-workshop, which starts our cooperation with new clients.
For marketing, eCommerce can be:
- an inspiration,
- a path,
- a set of proven methods.
That’s what I wish to all of the marketers!
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