According to Gennaro (2020), there are 12 to 24 million e-commerce websites on the internet, and each day, more and more are being created. From these numbers, we can infer that there is also an overwhelming buying market presence on the internet. Other than the straightforward e-commerce websites are social media sites that later on also became another platform where both big and small businesses flock to reach their potential customers and communicate with them. Facebook is the most popular social media turned e-commerce platform. Facebook is a snug fit for product marketing and customer prospecting since it has ad features that you can control so that your promotional materials are directly and only exposed to your preferred or target audience. Others include YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter which also fairly contributed to the list of internet spaces where business mushroomed, thrived, and survived.
Worth noting, in a study conducted by Herhold (2019), businesses that are owned by millennials aggressively promote and advertise through various mediums including the internet while the older generations prefer the traditional approach to marketing.
This did not come as a surprise since on Statista (2020), it was mentioned that millennials are also the same age group that leads the buying market. People who are young and outgoing prefer e-commerce shopping than those who are older. Thirty-eight percent of online shoppers in the United States are below 35 years of age and only 14.4% are within the 65 years or older age group. As expected, the biggest in percentage is taken over by the millennials whose age falls within the 25 to 34 age group. Despite this glaring variance in statistics, it is, however, easy to assume that people of various age groups take part, whether as a seller or buyer, in the virtual shopping world.
With this, careful considerations are needed to improve your digital marketing strategy. Research must be done to identify consumer needs, wants, and market demands. Especially now that we are being challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic, e-commerce is directly affected. The news shed light on business-related issues: the mass lay-offs, closures, and financial fragility.
Positively, social media help in bridging consumers and businesses to keep the trade rolling and somehow get along despite the disruptions. Being a shelter to struggling businesses, the competition in the new normal marketplace only gets tougher every minute so businesses need to continuously innovate ways. Here are some suggestions you can try:
1. Do a self-check.
Revisit your marketing strategy because if you are not getting enough sales to cover your overheads with the number of people present on the internet, take this as an opportunity for you to craft and tailor a new marketing plan. Be meticulous about details and elements. For example, in your promotional posts on social media, ensure they are readable, striking, and attract market attention. In cataloging or presenting your products, employ color psychology — this is also good for your branding. These materials need to be complete in terms of details so consumers can make a purchase decision right away. Time your release when most of the people are online so they can see them. On a more serious note, do an analysis of your product, are they in demand? Do customers look for them? Is your pricing reasonable? There are plenty of ways a product and its advertisements can go wrong and you should always be on the lookout.
2. Show your support for a cause.
These days, consumers have become more conscious about the products they purchase and the brand’s advocacies. Social causes and advocacies are something consumers also want to participate in and knowing your online store does too only makes them think they will be hitting two birds with one stone. Sustainable businesses or green businesses are a sure crowd pleaser but it does not mean you have to establish one although you can throw in a few efforts in your business approach that can wow your customers. Perhaps you can replace your plastic shopping bags with eco-friendly ones and make use of bamboo straws as freebies. Bamboo cutlery can also be useful. Presenting yourself as a store with a heart for sustainability can bring more sales to you.
3. Use an influencer.
An influencer is someone who has an established product-specific industry. He or she should have an access to a pool of audience, an impressive follower count, and have the silver tongue to persuade others. The good part is that most influencers are willing to do an exchange deal, trading their service for your supplies, goods, or your services. Be careful with who you hire though as it may also have an impact on your branding image.
4. Personalize your packaging.
E-commerce shoppers love items delivered to their doorstep. That is the whole point of online shopping. For most people, there is a feeling of fulfillment or satisfaction when they open a package or simply receiving it. Capitalize from this experience by making personalized packages and shipping labels. Be kind and thoughtful enough to include a short thank you card as well. Simple gestures of appreciation make them feel special and this can guarantee a positive review or a simple photo upload of your product on their social media. Word of mouth marketing, it is.
5. Reach out to them.
Sometimes, they do not know they need your products or services. On your website or social media page, ask a timely and relevant question that can elicit responses and foster interaction. This can provide you information about who is viewing your page. Ensure that you reply to all their answers and make small chats with them so whether or not they are buying, you are presenting your brand in a good light.
Whatever step you think is worth taking, ensure that you can fully commit to it. It usually takes a while to see results but with perseverance, consistent effort, and acknowledgment of areas to improve, you can make your business go beyond borders. All the best of luck!
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