Sunday 19 March 2017

5 marketing techniques to promote your Online Retail business
We are no strangers to various marketing campaigns launched by online retail giants like Flipkart, Amazon and Myntra. At the same time, it is quite interesting to switch on the TV and look at ads promoting online retail startups and app-based online stores like LimeRoad and Pepperfry catering to a niche market.
Clearly, marketing is a serious part of online retail. Of course, most of these marketing campaigns are crafted by experts and require a large capital to be executed. From TV and print ad space to hoardings to social media promotions, everything is meticulously planned so that the buzz around the brand reaches its crescendo around its next big billion sale.
How does a small or medium scale entrepreneur match up against a barrage of words and images of this scale? How to cope up with the competition of not only these giant conglomerates but also of the thousands of other online retailers? This is what we are going to talk about in this article.
First things first – big brands are not always the enemy. A typical online retailer would go for a multi-channel model of retail – they would list their products on various online sales channels apart from having a dedicated website. How to strike a balance between brand identity as provided by the dedicated website and the reach provided by the online sales channels is a question that must be dealt with specifically according to the scenario.
In any case, there are some tricks that online retailers can employ to create a brand identity for themselves and promote their online retail business. Here are some of them.

Marketing Techniques for Online Retailers

  1. Focus on Upselling and Cross-Selling

We have written about upselling and cross selling before here. The idea behind upselling is to convince the customer to buy a product that costs more than the one they have chosen already. The idea behind cross selling is to convince a customer to buy products that complement the one that they are in the process of buying. Both these strategies have been integral parts of the design processes of most mainstream online retail websites already. It is up to you to create the right product matches and provide suggestions to your customers in a way that they get convinced.
  1. Do Something About the Abandoned Carts

Research conducted by the Baymard Institute shows that around 67.45% of all shopping carts end up being abandoned. This means that in reality, only one in every three potential sales is completed. This should give you an idea of the colossal size of the online retail market and also of the importance of converting the abandoned carts into sales. The best method to do so is email marketing. Only you and the customer know the constituents of the abandoned cart. Therefore a personal, one-on-one mode of marketing like email works best in situations like these. Draft a crisp, fun email to convince your customers to retrieve their abandoned cart and finish their sale.
  1. Use Instagram for Endorsements

Instagram has risen above all other social media sites as the dominant mode for image-based marketing. In fact, recent research shows that Instagram provides brands with 25% more engagement than any other social media platform. Instagram can be a great way to showcase your brand, especially for a small and medium-sized retailer. An easy way to do this is to get an Instagram celebrity to endorse the product for you. The right way to do this would be to approach the person and ask them to try your product out and let them decide whether they would like to endorse it. Having your own Instagram page for your product and treating every image as a visual advertisement for it, is the key.
  1. Selling Your Product on Facebook

Now that we are talking about social media, let’s come to the biggest of them all. Having Facebook is such a necessity in today’s times that we are surprised that President Obama took so long to get one. The important aspect about Facebook that distinguishes it from the rest of the crowd is the fact that you can directly list and sell your products on it. Selling through your Facebook Store bridges the gap between sales and marketing precisely because your customer feedback and experience suddenly becomes much more visible. It is therefore a very bankable way to promote your online retail business while conducting sales.
  1. Start Shifting Towards an App

If you are not seriously thinking about building and relocating on an app, start doing so right now. Reports have been showing a steady rise of mobile e-commerce, which now accounts for almost 50% of all e-commerce traffic. This means that if you are not on the mobile environment, you are losing out on half of your potential sales. Of course, building an app is an expensive job, but there are other ways one can adapt for the mobile market. We have written about mobile websites before. It is not a bad idea to make sure that your webstore has a responsive, mobile friendly webpage, if not an app.

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