Clearly, the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly altered the economic marketplace, shuttering businesses and forcing organizations to change operational structures and processes. These changes have also driven consumers to do more shopping online, including researching and purchasing products online they wouldn’t have even thought of before the pandemic.
While some businesses forced to shut their doors during the lockdown will never recover, history has shown repeatedly that even the most extreme crisis also brings opportunity. Nimble and forward-thinking organizations have recognized opportunities and pivoted successfully to take advantage of new customer needs and behaviours.
In response to new safety protocols, many businesses adjusted by offering online shopping, delivery, and curbside pickup. And, even as we begin to resume ‘normal’ behaviour, consumers still demand these conveniences either out of continued concern about the virus or simply because they enjoy the convenience.
Either way, brands must embrace innovation and change to remain successful.
What message does your eCommerce business need to communicate?
As an operator, you’ve taken steps to help protect the safety of your staff and customers. Now it is time to tell your target audience about it.
If your organization has taken steps to promote convenience and safety (i.e. touchless transactions), it is integral to communicate these benefits clearly and concisely across all digital media.
Your brand’s website, electronic newsletters, and social posts should all make it clear that you are doing your part to offer a safe and convenient consumer experience.
Get set up for more online conversations and conversions.
As many consumers purposefully avoid brick and mortar businesses, their online purchasing has increased. With these economic and behavioural changes in mind, it is integral to optimize your e-commerce funnel by isolating and resolving challenges at every phase of a user’s purchase journey.
To optimize successfully, Rocket Digital recommends undertaking the following steps:
- Website design – First and foremost, you need to have an attractive, secure, and easy to use website that aligns with their needs, goals and pain points. Online shoppers demand convenience; if your website is confusing or difficult to use, these shoppers will go elsewhere.
- Search engine optimization (SEO) – SEO refers to a series of techniques meant to improve your search engine ranking and drive more organic traffic to your website. Some of these techniques include content creation, using the right keywords on the website, creating backlinks, etc. The higher your site ranks in the search engines, the more organic traffic you will acquire.
- Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising – Especially for businesses in an extremely competitive marketplace, maintaining the top-position ins search engine ranking based on SEO alone can be very difficult and time-consuming. PPC campaigns offer something of a “shortcut.” PPC ads are the listings you see at the top of search engine results, and they work by purchasing keywords. You only pay for the ad when a user clicks through the link. PPC ads can be extremely effective, provided they target the right audience and use the words that your customers are searching when they are ready to make a purchase.
- Social media – Social media can be a great way to engage with your customers, but you need to know which social media channels make the most sense for your business and how to create content for each platform that you use. For a more mature or professional audience, for example, you might choose Facebook or LinkedIn. To reach millennials, you might focus more on Instagram. Depending on your business, it may also make sense to pay attention to newer platforms such as TikTok as well. Find out which platforms your target audience frequents, and intercept and engage them there.
What if they are visiting my website and not buying?
Even the most effective e-Commerce sites have visitors that come and go without completing a purchase. Some visitors may be comparison shopping or simply not ready to buy yet.
That’s where an important digital marketing strategy called “remarketing” comes in.
While you may not be familiar with the term remarketing, you have almost certainly experienced it. Have you ever been browsing products on a website, and then suddenly you start seeing those same products on the websites, social media sites, and YouTube videos you are viewing? That’s remarketing. When you visit a site that does remarketing, it places a cookie in your browser, allowing ads from that business to “follow” you around the internet.
Remarketing is an excellent strategy to keep your product in front of a potential customer. They may not have been ready to buy the first time they visited your site, but when they are ready to buy your remarketing efforts can help ensure that they buy from you and not your competitor.
Is your business ready for a post-COVID market?
Whether your company has only recently ventured into the world of eCommerce, or whether it is already a major part of your business, there is always room for improvement. If you are curious about what areas of your website or digital marketing efforts could be made more effective to help the profitability of your website, contact us today. We will conduct a free, no-obligation digital marketing audit to show you where you are doing well and where you might improve.
In the post-COVID market, eCommerce is going to be more important than ever before. Make sure that your business is prepared.