Since eBay and Amazon made e-commerce a household word in the past two decades, it has grown to a three trillion-dollar industry. The number of consumers in the US who would use e-commerce is projected to reach 230 million by 2021.
Even the tiniest slice of this enormous pie would make any business owner prosperous beyond their wildest dreams.
But how do you reach those customers? Being an industry with almost zero barriers to entry, you have to contend with the enormous competition.
Everyone knows the usual ways to do digital marketing. Use an email list, have a website, a blog, presence on social media, update the posts, optimize SEO, and the rest of the bucket list.
But everyone is using the same bucket list. How do you stand out? We list the tips that will come in hand for the digital marketing of your e-commerce business in 2020.
Top Ecommerce Marketing Tips for 2020
TikTok for e-commerce
TikTok is the latest social media phenomenon. It is confusing to keep up with never-ending changes in the social media landscape, but it is a pain you have to bear for low-cost marketing to millions.
Every marketer wants to connect to Generation Z. Young customers are the major driver of sales, and you have to move where they move.
TikTok began as a video sharing platform in China known as Douyin. It allows users to share short videos between 3 and 60 seconds long. As of now, it is said to have over a billion users (it is not known how many Douyin users are there in China) spread across 150 countries.
In the US, it has close to 15 million active users, and most of them are in the 18-24 age group. There are four principal ways to use TikTok.
- Create a channel, much in the same way as YouTube, and share your videos.
- Use influencers to spread the branding message.
- Paid advertising on TikTok has just begun. It is not yet a well-targeted practice as on Facebook. But the algorithms are considerably better than at the start of 2019.
- TikTok also has communities that run hashtag challenges. As a brand, it would not take much imagination to initiate such a challenge. However, it will probably require an influencer to provide the impetus needed.
For businesses such as restaurants or travel, you can encourage users to use TikTok to share their experiences in using your product and brand.
IGTV and Video Marketing on Instagram
IGTV or Instagram TV can be used as a stand-alone app or with Instagram. It is the equivalent of YouTube, and users can launch channels and share videos up to one-hour long.
Where Instagram is known for images and 60 second long videos, IGTV is for longer content.
How to use it is rather apparent?
You could just repurpose the YouTube channel that you have and its content into IGTV content. Of course, the big difference is that unlike YouTube, IGTV does not support the horizontal format, and the material has to be adapted for use with a lot of “pan and scan” editing.
While the YouTube content can give you a head start, it is best if you develop IGTV content since the audience is far younger.
The core need is exciting storytelling. Go behind the scenes and show how the process of product development works. Don’t edit too much since the raw uncut feel of the footage brings in a look of authenticity and energy that is hard to match.
Of course, IGTV can also be used as a product manual. It is unparalleled in training your customers about how to use an app or a product. Being an hour-long, you can easily record an engrossing webinar and encourage users to share it. You can visit here to check how you can promote your video on Instagram.
Influencer marketing is growing and expected to hit $15 billion in 2022 from $8 billion now.
After SEO and social media advertising, Influencer marketing is expected to the third pillar of digital marketing initiatives.
At its core, it has been around for 70 years ever since the first celebrity endorsement by the then actor Ronald Reagan (later the 40th President of the United States from 1981 to 1989) for Chesterfields cigarettes.
Football star Cristiano Ronaldo and pop sensation Selena Gomez have 360 million Instagram followers between them. Top non-celebrity influencers include the likes of Huda Kattan with almost 24 million followers and widely reputed to be the most well-known blogger about makeup and cosmetic products. Huda has built a billion-dollar empire in six short years and has been featured by most news outlets.
In plain dollar terms, partnering with an influencer is more expensive than any other form of social media advertising. An influencer with a half a million followers routinely charges $3,000 per post.
To give your brand the extra boost it needs, have an influencer use your product and the record an unboxing video. Custom packaging services like iCustomLabel help you make your products stand out from the clutter, whether it’s in an influencer’s unboxing video, or on the retail shelves.
Of course, even the best influencers can, at most, sway 5% of their followers to buy a product, and it is up to you to figure out if you want to spend such a large amount. Before you spend, have a plan ready to extract every cent worth of benefit from the endorsement.
You must have downstream marketing plans ready to use the content generated being repurposed in every possible way before you light up the runway.
B2B Marketing or Referral marketing
B2B marketing through referrals is a tried, tested, and definitely not so glamorous way of generating sales.
Referral marketing costs very little and produces solid leads.
Why does it work so well? Open Google on your smartphone and type in “best gyms near me.”
Among the two dozen answers that pop up in tiles, which five are the ones, you are most likely to call and check out with a visit?
The ones with most reviews (and Google places those at the top of its Google My Business SEO).
Peer review remains the most trusted marketing message. Influencers and endorsements can be purchased. Expert reports can be manipulated. Peer to peer feedback is untarnished.
What can you do to make it smooth?
- Make the customer experience flawless.
- Request your customers to leave positive feedback when they use your brand and to recommend your product.
- Offer rewards liberally for those who refer.
- Never forget to show your gratitude with incentives and discounts.
- Use social media tracking software to track this process and find how and when leads are generated.
Digital marketing keeps on changing. A year from today, the advice will be very different. But at the cusp of 2020, these are the most effective ways to lend momentum to your e-commerce sales strategy till well into next year.
Of course, not all businesses can adopt all the strategies. The perfect plan would largely depend on your brand, scale of operations, and revenue growth expectations.
This does not mean that the old bucket list has to be discarded. All that was working, on the whole, and with minor tweaks continue to be as useful as before.
These four recommendations are the catalyst that will generate escape velocity for your business.