Helloooo, we're over here! The e-commerce marketplace is crowded with sellers like a bazaar twisting through the maze of streets in an old city. You can buy anything you can imagine... from hundred of different sellers. So how do you make sure your business stands out among the competition? The art of attracting attention is ever-changing.
Times have changed. Very few people read printed newspaper ads or direct mail. It's coming to the point where fewer people even notice email marketing. In fact, Gen Z consumers tend to avoid television and print, spending more time on YouTube and social media. On top of that, they block ads. Clearly, traditional advertising is not the best bang for your business buck.
What the New Consumer Wants
Save the whales and sell some soap... Does your business have a cause? It's a good time to choose one and don't be shy about it! Selling isn't just about money anymore. As a general group, modern consumers are more concerned about environmental and social issues than corporate success.
Not only does the owner/management get to support a cause that they care about, but the customer gets to make a choice for the cause as well. It's a great way to build relationships between customers and brands.
In one poll, 74% of millennials said they would buy from a company that supports a cause they believe it. With those numbers and the good you could do, don't waste any time letting your mission be known.
It's a really positive development in commerce today. Corporate responsibility can be a useful point of differentiation.
Where to Find Your Target Market
In short, they are everywhere. It's no longer sufficient to have a company e-commerce website. The evolution of retail has resulted in a complex omni-market. To find consumers where they are, stick in their minds, and develop a relationship that leads to high customer LTV, businesses need to take an omni-channel approach to marketing.
Super shoppers are the most valuable group of consumers in the modern landscape. In fact, “superconsumers" – consumers who used buy-online, pickup-in-store (BOPIS) at least twice in the last 12 months – bought more items in the store 51% of the time and they spent more per average shopping trip. These consumers use every retail chain. What is the major takeaway? Create a reliable presence to help build your customer base.
Brand Recognition Across Channels
Very few consumers purchase the first time they see a brand. To break the barrier, companies should be present, active, and maintain a consistent message across channels. Focusing on brand recognition and reinforcing the key differentiators help the brand become a familiar and trusted company.
Avoid Being Creepy
Always a good idea. As marketing platforms allow for greater personalization, it's important to avoid being creepy. Those ads that follow you from browser to browser, device to device, site to site? That's what we're talking about. These ads can be successful, but there is an art to re-targeting consumers without seeming obnoxious and pushy.
As fulfillment and shipping evolves, the creep factor will be an issue in home deliveries and orders. Some people might like having a robot bring in their packages or reorder bread, but this is still a new idea and not everyone will adapt immediately. The key is to walk a fine line, providing real value in shared content and not come off too commercial. Consumers want fun interaction and helpful resources, and they want to know what friends, celebrities, and even complete strangers think about the products and brands they select.
From the First Look to Engagement
Yes, the business-consumer relationship is a real thing. And so are the breakups! About a third of millennials will not interact with online ads, so it is even more important to build a relationship. But not as a generic company. The consumers want to get to know you first.
Social media marketing and social commerce had a rocky beginning, but today's social media sites are big drivers of e-commerce sales. “With an estimated 246.7 million social media users and counting, there’s no time like the present for merchants to develop your social commerce fulfillment strategy.”
Influencer campaigns can be a big factor in this approach since over half of all surveyed millennials are likely to buy through friends' advice or influencer recommendations. The top platforms are now Instagram and YouTube, although Facebook still has a place at the table, many adults deleted it after the recent privacy breach.
Don't Be Too Serious
Since these are social media, the approach is different. Of course the key selling points should be mentioned, but the most successful ads use humor and information. It's just no good to be uber polished and promotional these days. Let the consumer know what your brand cares about and how the product/service can solve their problem or improve their lifestyle. Be straightforward, but don't be afraid to be silly. Think about the most memorable YouTube ad you've seen. Usually if you watch a whole one it's because it's funny, engaging, and not just a sales pitch, right?