Effective eCommerce Marketing for Online stores

Jul 2021

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Learning why people make the buying decisions they do is essential knowledge for every digital marketing agency or marketing department. Effective marketing strategy is ingredient of successful marketing campaigns that generate leads, conversions and ROI (return on investment).

eCommerce Marketing for Online stores

Marketing psychology is the science of understanding why consumers make the buying decisions they do. Understanding the reasoning behind your customers decision or indecision will enable you to formulate better marketing campaigns, design better user experiences, services and products and lead to higher Return on Investment (ROI).

Social Proof for eCommerce Marketing

The concept of social proof is that website visitors take cues from others to judge their decision-making skills. This includes online buying decision. Potential buyers look at people with authority including celebrities, our friends and family. If others think it’s good decision, this is perceived as social proof.

Facebook and Instagram are powerful social media platforms. Companies use influencer marketing as social proof to influence the buying decisions of their audience. Influencer, celebrity endorsements of products and experts talking about the effectiveness of a product will generate curiosity and ad recall lift for digital marketing campaign.

Customer reviews on search engines (Google, Bing) and social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or WhatApp are examples of social proof which potential customers look for before making buying decisions online.

Social Proof for eCommerce Marketing

Social proof can be separated into six categories.

The Expert

Expert is someone who is at the top of their field, industry or topic and recommends your business.

The Celebrity

Celebrity is someone who is famous and recommends your business products to followers or users.

The Existing Customer

The Existing Customer are great for social proof and recommending your business because they have bought from you already and like your products.  

The Wisdom of the crowd

Wisdom of the crowd is large groups of people endorsing your business. Social media followers count is an example of this social proof strategy. Further to this is the wisdom of friends. Whenever someone’s social media connections are engaging with your business, chances are they will get the same recommendation in their social media feed.

The Certifications

Certifications or partnerships is when an authority has given you a certificate or recommendation. For a digital marketing agency this can include marketing partnerships with Google and Facebook. For example, Google Certified Partner badge for agencies that partner with Google. Digital marketing agencies also display awards they have won for their marketing services.

eCommerce Marketing using Reviews

Getting an expert to review your product, sending samples of your products and inviting experts to attend your event, influence marketing with influencers are examples of marketing using reviews. Positive reviews help influence audiences to buy your products. At the same time this helps you generate content for your website or company.

Content marketing strategy for eCommerce Stores

Invite your audience on social media to try your products and share user generated content shout outs, good reviews and thank them for their business. Publicly share Google reviews, social media testimonies on your website. Reviews are good form of using social media proof in your digital marketing strategy.

Website Design for eCommerce Stores

The psychology of scarcity is using the concept of less to generate greater marketing interest in your products. Using terms that specify less in your digital marketing strategy will create a sense of urgency. We see this concept in social media and influencer marketing. High end luxury items like supercars, limited edition handbags, shoes and limited-edition products exemplify scarcity.

Website designers use item quantity count as a sign of scarcity. Sales timers and new user discounts are examples of portraying scarcity and urgency for the website visitors to take action.

High end ecommerce websites use “Running out of stock” and “Sold Out” labels on their eCommerce stores and show products on their websites even when they go out of stock. This is an example of marketing strategy where the companies plan to bring the product back in stock, at the same time generate the feeling of scarcity and collect emails to notify customers once the product is back in stock.

For eCommerce marketing, when consumers notice that the items are going out of stock, they are more likely to buy from the store rather than anywhere else.  Secondly, once website visitors see there are only a few items in stock, it creates a sense of urgency and pushes consumers to make an immediate decision.

Displaying a sold-out product on your eCommerce store is excellent for collecting pre-orders from website visitors.

All sorts of eCommerce websites use this form of digital marketing strategy and it gives a sense of scarcity and urgency. It gives an impression the item must be popular since it sells out easily to online buyers. Websites also display flash sales timers for buyers to get the deal. Displaying countdown timers on ecommerce store, website and Facebook, Instagram social about the final hours of online sale helps increase urgency.

Behavioral Digital Marketing for Online Stores

Psychology of reciprocity is the idea that ecommerce buyers like to reciprocate others actions.

Content marketing uses the psychology of reciprocity, since the consumer is getting value for free as they have a positive experience with your content or your brand, they are more likely to reciprocate either by making a purchase or referring your ecommerce store to their social media followers or friends.

We see this concept with “free 30 trial” offers from streaming companies, apps or digital services. When we talk about reciprocity marketing, the answer is giving something away as trial.

The trial of your ecommerce service needs valuable to your website visitors instead of something that’s of no value for examples websites use pdf cheat sheets, eBooks and case studies as free downloads for audiences.

A free version of your ecommerce product or service or if you have an app or software that is helpful for customers will enable your website visitors to experience and get used to your service. After the trial is up, your audience will reciprocate this behavior by purchasing your services.

Making your customers feel special

Customer’s birthdays are an excellent occasion to reach out and send a thank you note, making your customer feel special. Occasion marketing provides personalize experience for your clients.

Share user content

Sharing the content of your followers and website visitors is the best way to gain someone’s attention and get your marketing message across your audience. You clients will appreciate the shout out and be willing to share your posts on their social media profiles because you mentioned them personally. 

This will increase the organic reach for your ecommerce store and website to their social media users in the future.

The foot in the door

The foot in the door is the ecommerce sales and marketing principle where if you can get someone to say yes to one of your products, it’s easier to get them to buy your premium products in your ecommerce store.

Web designers create ways for users to engage with their website even before visitors buy from the ecommerce store. Recommending products that usually sell out quickly and products similar to products in the user’s cart, showing products based on past purchases, offering discounts or free products in your ecommerce store are some ideas of engaging with audiences on your ecommerce store.

Other forms of behavioral digital marketing used by ecommerce stores to get you started is showing other people who bought the product on their website. When a visitor like a product x, the store will show, you will also like y, or customers who bought x, also bought y.

Suggesting products based on past purchase history also helps the visitors to get their cart started and buying process easier.

Ecommerce websites use this recommendation where if the user bought a product before, they’ll be more willing to buy it again.

Gamification Marketing

Offer some way to unlock a special code, tokens or discount extra points when website visitors buy a product on your ecommerce store. This is gamified marketing. If it’s gamified like a scratch ticket or a prize wheel that users can spin with a time limit, it makes the ecommerce sales process more interesting.

For example, free shipping for first 100 orders in the first 24 hours. Limiting your ecommerce sales to first few orders or over a certain dollar amount will help urge a purchase. Shipping countdown timers for ecommerce stores is a good example of this strategy. Visitors who order before 2 pm get the item the next day. The impulse buy combined with loss aversion makes an easy yes for most shoppers.

Conversion Tracking for eCommerce Marketing

Anchoring bias refers to our tendency to latch on the first piece of information that we see or hear when it comes to making a decision. Later the buyers refer back to their anchor to compare and contrast new information. This concept in used with marketing in comparison tables and charts.

To help increase conversions for ecommerce store, here are some ideas.

The first is the original price, this digital marketing strategy of displaying an original price on your store is to establish a primary value for customers. Visitors will keep this in mind and be receptive to a lower price offer. When a product is listed as $499 originally, it will generate higher interest and attention from website visitors at the $299 price tag.

Price perception

Price perception compares the prices of similar items. The anchor, the cheaper the item the more it sems like a bargain on your store compared to the expensive version.

Gear acquisition syndrome

Gear acquisition syndrome strategy is used in fashion and tech.

People want the shiniest version of the thing that they have. Reminding people there is a new version out which is the latest version works really well. Every time a new iPhone is launched, even if the difference between models isn’t that much, people queue to buy the latest iPhone because of the anchor that the current cell phone isn’t as good.

The psychology of loss aversion and the endowment effect

Buyers don’t like losing things, in fact we hate losing things twice as much as we love getting things. This psychology of endowment effect is also the reason buyers tend to overvalue their loss. When buyers are given a mug as a gift, they assigned a higher dollar value to the item. Compare that to a group of people when asked how much they would pay for that same mug.

We can use both the psychology principles in our digital marketing strategy to increase website conversions.

Give out a free trial with all the bells and whistles of your product or service on your ecommerce store. This applies both to the endowment effect because we overvalue what we already have and loss aversion because if the visitors don’t upgrade the subscription they lose out on the product.

The loss aversion principle applies to digital marketing by showing features of your product or service which prevents loss for website visitors.

Phrases like “protect your sleep” or “keep your items safe” helps enforce this principle for lead generation, conversions and return on investment (ROI).

Display a progress bar for your website forms shows your website visitors what they’ll lose if they leave without completing the form.

The decoy effect

The decoy effect refers to buyers changing their mind after deciding between two options when a third option is added. This psychology marketing strategy is meant to nudge visitors to buy more expensive of the two options. Website pricing tables are used for this strategy. When you compare two similar items and the less expensive item is actually a better choice but when a third option is added that’s more expensive then the second option makes for better choice.

To make use of decoy effect for your ecommerce store, the first thing is to choose your prime product. This is your flagship product that you want to sell the most in your ecommerce store and provides good value for customers.

The psychology of priming

Priming is setting the mood and creating the ideal setting before that romantic dinner with someone special. It’s a subconscious effect meaning most of us don’t realize when it’s happening.

Online Branding is example of digital marketing strategy and priming people for an exclusive experience. If you want to sell more items in your bakery, then think about playing French music. Playing the right music nudges your customers in to buying more from your store.

Asking your website visitors, a direct question is priming. If you sell computers, then asking your customers is your computer fast enough for 2022 will get them to start thinking about computers?

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