Today options are plentiful for E-commerce marketers, from instant articles on Facebook to buy buttons on Instagram.
Publishers and platforms are exhausting all their resources to improve monetization efforts and their ability to deliver more options for advertisers.
But before E-commerce brands select what channels to market their products they need to establish an effective and flexible strategy based on the goals that they are looking to achieve.
The ultimate growth strategy emerges from a complex orchestration between objectives, actions and choosing the best channels.
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Let’s start from the core and take a look at the genetic makeup of your E-commerce brand.
- Purchasing Model: How do customers buy your products? Are you offering subscription based purchasing or reoccurring purchases or both?
- Average Order Value: How much are your customers buying per transaction?
- New vs. Returning Ratio: What is the ratio between new and returning customers? Should your strategy focus more on customer acquisition or customer retention/reactivation? We need to find and understand the balance.
- Customer Lifetime Value: Identify the lifespan of your average customer and the value of their lifespan.
- Path to Conversion/Customer Journey: Identify the average number of sessions/channels and interactions that it takes for a customer from the first visit to the final conversions by analyzing all the mid touch points involved in the process
- Most Popular Products: What are your best-selling products? These can be used to attract and guide customers. Visual references (if available) will always help to drive the attention of potential new customers and generate the first interaction with them.
- Gender and Age: What are the differences between your customer gender groups? What are certain age groups purchasing and how do they behave differently?
- Occupation and Income Level: Establish an understanding of your customers’ different disposable income levels. This way we can find out what products are more suitable to market based on their projected income level.
- Marital Status: A customer’s civil situation plays a large role into what type of products they would be interested in and where they are in the purchasing cycle.
- Interests: Identifying customer interests is not only valuable for identifying product push but it also gives leads to where you can acquire new customers with similar interests.
- Behaviors: Where are your customers coming from? How are they navigating on and off your site? These are important to understand, especially if you are trading in different geographical locations. While working with one of our clients we discovered that 80 percent of conversions in France took place after 5 p.m. during weekdays. Offering the same inventory, the company witnessed that 73 percent of their conversions in Germany took place after 5 p.m. during weekends.
- Likes/Dislikes: This is a way to understand your customers general likes and dislikes while also seeing what customers might be strong influencers in their own social circles. Finding customers with strong influence gives you the opportunity to nurture those relationships into them transmitting positive feelings about your brand.
Once you have established the DNA of your business and customers, you can now identify which channels and what strategy to take, how to balance between prospecting and remarketing, and many other crucial factors for a successful multi-channel strategy.
View the inventory of your products as a pool to draw from and the uniqueness of your site to guide your strategy.
Decide if you need a more visual approach with strong emphasis on display ads, or a more rationale approach with emphasis on different value propositions related to value factors.
With this in your arsenal you can now build audience sub-groups based on the genetic information you’ve acquired.
Always consider the balance of your products when selecting channels, as more unique products will perform better using visual ad channels such as Facebook and Instagram.
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More generic products will perform better using search ads, because users will look for other places where they can find the same product, and this process will give a lot of value to SEM campaigns.
There you go. Now you have the grounding guidelines to achieve effective performance marketing for your E-commerce brand.