The growth of mobile devices, changes in search engines, social media sites, and new consumer behaviors are affecting the way that online retailers market. And often the creative and dynamic marketing plans win the customers.
In this post, I’ll describe five dynamic ecommerce marketing tactics that could positively improve your business’s bottom line.
No. 1: Make It a Game
Mobile devices, Facebook, and console games are more popular than ever. And ecommerce marketers have only begun to tap into these channels as a way to both attract new customers and build customer loyalty.
As an example, Bluefly, the clothing retailer, announced last week that it is working with a startup, Badgeville, to bring game mechanics — think rewards for actions — to its website.
“At Bluefly, our customers are highly engaged in the world of fashion,” said Melissa Payner, Bluefly’s CEO. “They vote on celebrity styles and products, and passionately discuss our products on Bluefly and our Facebook and Twitter profiles. Our goal is to look for innovative ways to foster that passion and create even more opportunities for the interaction our customers enjoy. The partnership with Badgeville is a great addition to the Bluefly experience because social games reward our customers for their interactions — interactions which we see as a key component of growing and strengthening the Bluefly community.”
Consider either integrating gameplay into your site or developing actual games that familiarize players with your brand.
No. 2: Become a Broadcaster
The Internet is a broadcast media. So there is no reason to limit your ecommerce site or marketing to text alone.
As an example, check out Buy.com’s BuyTV, which is a weekly, product-focused Internet “program” that introduces Buy.com customers to products in an entertaining way.
You can also check out Newegg’s product introduction video series that has garnered more than 3.9 million views for this technology retailer.
For a relatively small investment, you can create great video content that attracts customers and builds brand loyalty.
No. 3: Build an Ecosystem
Recently, a merchant asked me why he would want to send someone from his website to Facebook or Twitter rather than keep them right there on his site. My answer was simple. You don’t just sell from your site, you “sell” every time your customer or potential customer interacts with your brand. Sure, the actual purchase will likely happen on your site, but the relationship, trust, and will to buy can be addressed anywhere.
From a marketing perspective, aim to build an online ecosystem that uses your website to connect to social media sites like Facebook or Twitter, connects to media on YouTube, and engages bloggers or vloggers (video loggers) who like your store or products.
As an example, consider linking to “haul” videos in a blog post. “Haul” videos features customers talking about the products they purchase both in terms of product quality and the deal they got when they bought the goods. These videos can get hundreds or thousands of views, and are well worth integrating into your online marketing ecosystem.
Here is an example “haul” video from TiffanyD.
No. 4: Advertising in Apps
Recently, Rovio, the company behind the popular mobile game Angry Birds, received $42 million in new investment. The company’s primary means of income is in application advertising.
Many mobile apps are free to consumers but generate revenue from in-app advertising. This platform offers a significant opportunity for ecommerce marketers.
As an example, Powermat, a company that makes wireless battery chargers, reportedly generated 15 million customer interactions and enjoyed a click-through rate 18 times the industry average for its in-app sweepstakes run on Booyah’s location-based app, MyTown.
No. 5: Reinvest in Your Blog
Finally, it may be time to reinvest in your store’s blog. Many ecommerce merchants started blogs, but failed to give these gems the attention or content they need to succeed.
Your blog can be the center of your marketing campaign. Consider diverting marketing funds from pay-per-click or search engine optimization efforts to boost blog content. Aim to mimic REI, which has entertaining and informative content on its site.