e-Commerce and m-Commerce – Growing at the Speed of Light
In a previous blog, Padmini talked about some of the challenges marketers face when scaling initiatives at a traditional enterprise. As an extension to that thought, I would like to specifically talk about e-Commerce enterprises, their current challenges and our proposed approach. We’ve been living and breathing e-Commerce for quite sometime now, servicing content needs for 7 of the top 10 internet retailers. Every e-Commerce enterprise is unique in its challenges, but there are a few commonalities.
There is no surprise that e-Commerce has been booming globally. According to e-Marketer, the U.S retail sales are expected to grow to $434B in 2017, compared to $194B in 2011. The U.S retail m-Commerce sales are expected to increase to $113B in 2017 compared to $13B in 2011.
Don’t Be a Run of the Mill e-Commerce
Just from these statistics, it becomes pretty clear that e-Commerce enterprises are gearing up for high paced growth and are competing for market share. Who wins? Well, there’s no straightforward answer. But, there’s one objective that drives all business and that’s big revenue from big sales. But even the revenue and sales are a function of a larger set. And, one of the biggest variables in that set is a unique online brand experience.
And this brand experience manifests in different forms – The enrichment and presentation of content, use of various social media channels to popularize top content, visually appealing pictures and videos if you are in the fashion space, well drafted product reviews or interactive guides that consumers can really use, exciting product descriptions and guides that serve the objective of vividly explaining all the features. And this content needs to be rightly enriched and optimized so you can be stumbled upon easily.
Running an Integrated Marketing Show for Your e-Commerce – The Three C’s
So now, here are some key principles to keep in mind while you are in the process of creating that ‘unique brand experience’ for your consumer. And a lot of this will stem from our previous blog but I will talk about it in the context of an e-Commerce business.
Create Content – Focus on Different Types, Process and Tools
Before there was anything, there was content. Content is the sole driver of all online marketing. You know this. So, when the foundation is strong, all other elements pretty much fall into place. There’s different types of premium content used by marketers. And, this is a 2014 survey where interactive apps and infographics were still nouveau, the story might be flipped 3 years down. But a good content calendar for the target audience with seasonal promotions etc. is imperative to your brand’s success.
Also, some content might have a shorter shelf life based on the limited insight. It is important to broaden the scope by including other ‘I am always green’ details. Also, for large e-Commerce, it is important to establish a workflow of sorts as the Chief Content Officer. A large group of content creators driven by creative thought process, researchers and curators driven by an analytical mindset and editors, driven by quality assurance mindset.
Think about content tools to make your life easy. There are several good and not-so-good ones in the market that support content through it’s value chain from creation to distribution, and it would help to invest your marketing budget there to drive bigger efficiencies and scale. Some tools like eZdia help to not only create but also enrich content through some advanced optimization features.
Convert Consumers – Make Sure It’s Resulting in Increased Traffic and Sales
Well written content that touches the heart sounds good on paper but it needs to impact the top line by bringing in conversion. It needs to be an integral part of your overall digital marketing strategy. This content should be able to cause a ripple effect and establish a viral pattern to bring in more traffic and clicks.
This is when some of the key optimization, indexing, and SEO principles become absolutely vital to understand. All of these are principles are like shifting sand, and there’s always an adjustment mechanism to change which is the norm.
For example, today visual sells, an infographic tells a better story than just a blog. A social media post with visuals brings more engagement than one without. In the business of e-Commerce especially, it is the visuals that sell. Whether you’re selling apparel or accessories, buyers want to see a proof in the pudding.
Calibrate to Classify – Make Sure You Are Measuring User Behavior and Fine Tuning Content Strategy with That Intelligence
A sound analytics strategy to continuously learn from user interaction and behavior is important to evolve your brand. And there are some very sophisticated tools in the market which help to do that, starting with Google analytics, Kiss Metrics and BrightEdge.
It is important to run pilots, learn fast and analyze that data to readjust the go-forward strategy. Because remember, time is money. Also, it is important to scout the competitors and take a peak around their promotions etc. Sometimes, it might not be necessary to reinvent the wheel but gain inspiration.
Also, it is important to set up all the funnel analytics. From the top of the funnel to the shopping cart, derive the numbers and the statistics down to the T to ensure accuracy of demand and understand the user flow.
There are quite a few thought leadership articles that we have written around making content for e-Commerce better. Take a look at these links.
We are also offering free content audit services. So if you are trying to figure out a go-forward content strategy before the holidays, we can help to gear that up for you. Just reach out to me and I can sync you up with the right eZdia representative.