A little work can go a long way in the world of ecommerce — here are a few quick tips on strengthening your position in the competitive ecommerce landscape. You don’t always need to invest large amounts of money or weeks of your valuable time in research and development — little and often can help move the needle. Here are some actionable ways to improve your ecommerce strategy in just sixty short minutes.
Review your social analytics and performance
Tweeting into the void won’t help you get new eyes on your products. Review your social analytics dashboards and tools to help you spend your time more productively on social media.
A strategic approach that’s founded on engagement and audience data will bring you so much more than a purely reactive or creative approach. Don’t get sucked into the unproductive side of social.
Here’s your one hour plan of attack:
- Look at your most popular social posts from recent weeks and months and schedule them to be reposted in order to maximize social engagement.
- Respond to a few comments people have left on your posts, or thank people for retweets. Haven’t got any? Go and comment on a few posts yourself — try to identify people with concentric audiences. Commenting and two-way conversations are often neglected by brands in the favor of broadcasting — to their peril.
- Ask more questions. Questions are proven to increase engagement levels, so come up with a list of 10-15 pertinent ones that will speak to your audience and spark conversations. Schedule them in over the course of a few months.
In the long term, you can leverage influencer marketing, and encourage avid fans of your brand to spread the word, leave reviews and comment on your products. This allows your brand to grow through the power of a social proof, using a trusted voice to build the visibility of your brand.
Create video content
No, seriously. Video content is that easy to create.
Brands need to stop seeing video content as top of the funnel, ‘hero’ content that sits on a siloed webpage, and start using video as an everyday way to communicate with their customers.
From thank you videos, to products demos and live-streaming pop up stores, there are plenty of ways that ecommerce brands can start to make the most of video content. If you are running Facebook ads, then pivoting them towards video is a quick and easy way to increase ad reach and engagement levels.
Spend sixty minutes planning out your next (or first) piece of effective video content today.
Update your store visuals
The best online retailers are constantly changing their homepage to reflect seasonal trends, sales figures, etc. Don’t stagnate! Do the same with yours.
Even if you don’t have seasonal collections or lookbooks, you can easily pivot the look and feel of your site by choosing the colors and products to highlight carefully. A few quick clicks in the backend could be all you need to make your store seem shiny and new again.
Another thing to consider: are you pushing the right products? Keep circulating and changing the “recommended items” section. This allows people to quickly find the products most relevant to them. It also allows you to show off some of your more premium items that they might be tempted by, and highlight the benefits they would receive from purchasing them.
Don’t forget about social media either as this will help create a coherent brand across all your potential sales channels. A seasonal social hero image is easy and quick to mock up using design tools.
Implement automated email marketing
If you haven’t quite come to grips with your automated email funnel — now is the time to do so. A proper email funnel will help you scale your marketing and customer service operations and is easy to implement with tools and plugins.
In an hour:
- Look at the emails you send on a regular basis — what proportion could be automated, or at least semi-automated?
- Select the email technology you want to use, or at least create a shortlist of 3-4 you want to test once you’ve figured out how your online store integrates with them
- Start building out email templates — start with the easy ones like “back in stock”, “you left something in your bag”, “thanks for your email”. Focus on both the copy and the design elements. A service like MailChimp makes email template designs easy if you are short on time and/or resources.
Rethink your sales funnel
With the growth of subscription-based sales models, this is a great time to explore whether this could work for your business. For example, if you fill a niche market with a wide range of items, you can easily create a limited edition subscription pack. This is a form of scarcity marketing, driving sales by creating a sense of urgency, and exclusivity. It also gives long-term customers new options to explore giving them a reason to come back to your site. (Another seasonal development is the rise of product advent calendars — could you jump on this trend?).
Also, look to introduce a referral system, it can really boost the growth of your business.
These initiatives can not only help you find a foothold and begin branching out in your market, but also improve your reputation with customers, by giving people benefits when they spread the word on your behalf.
In an hour, you can pick which model is likely to work for you — and start finding the tech to help you make your sales funnel dreams become a reality.
Time is of the essence for busy brands and marketers. Sometimes approaching your tasks in finite chunks of time can help introduce a bit of pressure — a good thing for anyone who fears their ecommerce strategy may have stagnated over time.
Don’t be afraid to make small, incremental changes, as well as implement larger overhauls. Every little tweak is a step in the right direction.
Victoria Greene is a branding consultant and freelance writer. On her blog, VictoriaEcommerce, she shares tips on ecommerce and how writers can hone their craft. She is passionate about using her experience to help other businesses grow their brands online through great content.