Four steps to thrive e-commerce business in 2020

2020 has been a rough ride for every entrepreneur. While COVID-19 is taking its toll on the global economy, the crisis has inadvertently stimulated the growth of e-commerce. Customers are changing their shopping behaviours as self-isolation and social distancing measures become the norm. By doing away with the bother of physical contact, online shopping can be adaptive in the face of the challenges brought by the pandemic. With the right marketing strategies, developing e-commerce could be a lifeline to sustain or even expand the current business.

For anyone who decides to take a step further on your online business, here are some award-winning strategies to master an e-commerce marketing campaign:

1. Transform offline footprints to online targeting opportunities
Most marketers employ first-party data such as CRM and offline sales data to construct custom audiences on Facebook and Instagram to re-engage with their customers, but these valuable resources can actually be harnessed on more than just social media platforms. With the use of banners or video formats, applying CRM data to programmatic channels gives marketers access to a much larger inventory to reconnect with customers.

As for targeting and attribution, marketers can also walk the extra miles by applying third-party data. For instance, data partners such as Factual can help reach offline customers by matching their historical location data. Based on offline footprints behaviours of visitors, historical location targeting is capable of excluding outliers including employees, one-off shoppers, and passers-by to spot frequent offline store customers, of which real-time location targeting is not able to fulfill.

If FMCG businesses wish to pinpoint family grocery shoppers, they can simply target those who frequently visit supermarkets or daily necessity chain stores. Retail businesses can even use this technology to get in touch with audiences who have visited their competitors' stores. Other data providers such as AlikeAudience and Lotame can also come into play by providing audience segments to target specific groups, such as affluent customers by looking into categories of luxury brands and credit card types.

At a time when people avoid going out to shop in fear of coronavirus, converting offline customers with potential purchase intents to the online world brings high value to the audience pool.

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2. Create valuable first touch
Before investing media dollars in acquiring new customers, it is crucial for marketers to identify and understand the audience profiles of the higher potential segments. Through an array of data sources such as Facebook Audience Insights, Google Analytics, and DV360 Audience Analysis, marketers are able to conduct in-depth audience analysis with regards to online interests, behaviours, income levels, and geo-demographic segments, and thereby discern key characteristics of high-potential audiences.

After learning customer profiles, communication strategies in visual or communication messages can be devised to appeal to the audiences. Designing data-driven creatives to deliver impactful and personalised messages for various audience segments is a compelling way to instantly create bonds with the audiences. For example, if marketers aim to target workaholics, ad messages can be customised to address work and life, and scheduled to deliver the ads before or after working hours to resonate with the characteristics of this audience group.

Unlike generic creatives, data-driven creatives have high relevancy to show the value of a brand and build a more intimate relationship with potential customers, thus enhancing their willingness to consider the brand and take action to make online purchases. Through optimisation along the way, marketers can scale the delivery mechanism as well as tailor-made content to, ultimately, accelerate the process of acquiring new audience segments.

3. Minimise wastage on retargeting
Not all conversions take place on the first visit to online stores. As such, retargeting is crucial to reaching out to these visitors again before losing them forever. From the moment audiences set foot on the website, each of their footprints contributes to the final “thank you” page. To invest in retargeting with maximum cost-effectiveness, marketers can filter low-quality traffic and segment audiences based on the lengths of their journey on the website.

Marketers can prioritise and allocate their ad budget to each audience group based on visitors’ footprints, such as investing less on those who have merely viewed catalogue pages and more on those who have clicked “checkout” before leaving the website. While observing their online journeys, marketers can even look into the causes of purchase dropouts and perform optimisation in website designs, communication messages, and promotion offers, to name a few.

By understanding visitors’ hesitation, retargeting strategies can be improved to shorten their consideration periods and raise their purchase intents. As for those who have already made online purchases, marketers can step up their game and try increasing basket values by up-selling or cross-selling through dynamic ads or Facebook Collaborative ads with retailers and merchants like HKTVMall.

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4. Generate sustainable sales
Converting is indeed the ultimate goal of e-commerce campaigns, but focusing on the final conversion can only promote short-term growth for online business. Sustaining the growth of a healthy e-commerce business involves sophisticated setups of marketing strategies. It is of paramount importance that marketers get a clear grasp of the customer experience as well as audiences’ decision-making process to facilitate media investment and compile insights, reviews of which assist in improving marketing tactics and even business decisions.

The current COVID-19 pandemic has created a paradigm shift in shopping behaviours that prompts the uptick in e-commerce sales. For more winning strategies to unlock the potential of e-commerce marketing, FABCOM is an independent digital media and consulting agency with solid experience in implementing e-commerce campaigns.

As the gold winner and Local Hero for the categories of e-commerce agency of the year and programmatic agency of the year at Marketing magazine‘s Agency of the Year awards 2020, FABCOM offers a one-stop solution throughout the marketing journey from devising creative and communication strategies including programmatic, social, SEM, and direct media buy, to data-driven marketing performance optimisation and analysis. FABCOM aims to serve you with our professional insights and expertise. Get in touch now to ride the waves of digital marketing.

The article is sponsored by FABCOM.