Every year, more people go online. If you aren’t already focusing some of your promotional efforts on digital marketing, there’s no better time to jump into the fray.
There are around 227.5 million digital shoppers in the United States, a number expected to hit 230.5 million by 2021. The convenience of never leaving home, and having everything from clothing to groceries delivered keeps gaining popularity.
If your retail business isn’t already focusing on digital marketing, you may be missing a significant portion of revenue. Here are six clear benefits to online promotions.
1. Save Money
Marketing online can be much cheaper than throwing money at print ads. Not only is the cost per impression less, but you’ll be better able to track the results of different campaigns by creating landing pages for each advertising method you use.
With digital marketing, even a startup with a bare-bones budget can afford to take out some ads. Unlike print, television and radio ads, which require the same fee regardless of your business size, digital promotions are scalable. For example, if you create a Google Ads campaign, you can set an upper limit for how much you’re willing to spend to reach your target audience.
2. Measure Results
It’s much easier to integrate customer outreach systems and measure results online. Imagine you take out a print ad in your local newspaper. A few of those who see the ad and come into your shop might mention where they heard about you, but it’s impossible to trace every person.
Even if you use tactics such as a clippable coupon, you can’t gauge how many came into the store and just decided it wasn’t for them or to buy something outside of the special offer. With digital shopping, you know who came to your website from the ad and bought something different or just bounced away. Studying the data also allows you to refine your buyer personas.
Use split testing to see which landing page features your buyers appreciate. Set up two different types of pages or change just one or two features on each page and measure results. With A/B testing and subsequent improvements, your conversions should increase the more you test, allowing you to better target site visitors.
3. Sell Online
Online retail sales will reach $6.5 trillion by 2023. Many people start their research on the internet, even if they plan to go to a physical store to make the purchase. You need a digital presence, or you risk losing those potential leads to a competitor.
Navigating both the e-commerce and brick-and-mortar space isn’t easy. You can easily lose customers from either endeavor if you don’t learn to integrate the two worlds. Look for opportunities to cross-promote and create omnichannel experiences. Allow returns of online orders in-store. Set up physical pickup to save on shipping costs. Refer customers to the site if you’re out of a specific product, or they need a specialization you only offer digitally.
4. Create Seamless Campaigns
Plan your online marketing campaigns to run seamlessly with the help of a few digital marketing tools. Turn to solutions such as customer relationship management (CRM) programs. This software analyzes buying behavior and reaches out to customers when it’s time to reorder or if there is a new product they might want.
Look for third-party solutions allowing you to schedule campaigns ahead of time for holidays and big events. The further out you can plan promotions, the more traction you’ll gain with your target audience. Automating those promotions frees up your time to focus on customer service and improve your logistics.
Other tools helping digital marketers include inventory control measures, streamlined supply chain processes and systems improving workflow.
5. Market Across Channels
You already know you need to create omnichannel experiences. Customers should get the same level of service and tone from your store, whether they visit online or in person. However, marketing both your physical and e-commerce store isn’t easy. The key is segmenting your audiences, so you know what type of ad to deliver.
For example, you might create a campaign about an event you’re hosting and place an open invitation to people in your local community. You would narrow your audience parameters to people living in your city and then further narrow it by focusing on those interested in what you sell. Your buyer persona statistics should be your guide on how to choose demographics for your viewing audience.
Offer some incentive for people to come into your store. Provide a free service, remind them you have items in the store you don’t have online or offer free snacks. You could also team up with a local influencer, having them appear at your location and post about it on your website and social media, encouraging people to meet them.
6. Retarget Customers
Even after people leave your website or social media page, you want to stay fresh in their minds. You can improve your conversion rates by reaching out to those who’ve shown interest but not purchased from you.
The tire company Tirendo used remarketing to increase their conversion rate by 161% while also reducing costs. Retargeting puts your offer in front of people who’ve already shown interest by sharing their email or visiting your site. You might place a bit of code, follow them over to Facebook and Google and put ads in front of them again. You could also send a direct email if they’ve shared contact info.
For example, Jane Doe clicks on your Facebook post about a solution to one of the pain points your customers face. She reads the article and subscribes to your newsletter to get similar tips, but she bounces away and doesn’t buy anything. Part of your newsletter onboarding process offers her a special discount if she buys the product related to the article within a week.
If Jane Doe still doesn’t respond, she may see more ads and information as she browses social media, searches for related keywords and opens her Gmail inbox. Over time, she grows convinced she needs your product or service.
Why Companies Need Digital Marketing?
All types of companies benefit from digital marketing. The costs to test different methods have a lower entry point than traditional advertising methods. Plus, online promotions scale up or down easily based on your budget.
Even if you have a successful local print advertising strategy, adding digital ads to the mix increases the odds you’ll reach more people and remind those who already know about you when you get new products or host memorable events. It takes very little time or money to get started, so try your hand at a few ads, measure results and stick with what works best for your brand.
Author Credit: Lexie is a digital nomad and UX designer. She enjoys hiking with her goldendoodle and creating new cookie recipes. Check out her design blog, Design Roast, and connect with her on Twitter @lexieludesigner.