Nowadays, there are a lot of online businesses that sell quality goods or services, but many of them are less successful and have smaller audience. The secret is that the latter run wrong or not so effective marketing strategies. When you start a business, bear in mind that you will succeed if you’re oriented on customers. If you can attract, engage, convince and finally, prove your customers the high quality of your product and customer support services, you will have an audience of loyal customers. It seems every successful business person should know these strategies and apply them in his or her practice, but looking through the strategies applied by online stores it is obvious that many points still need improving. Thus, with the aim of showing the drawbacks and interesting solutions on real examples, I have analysed several online stores and the techniques applied by them.
In general, all of the websites I have researched have beautiful design, are convenient to use, make use of psychological triggers both for email marketing, social media promotion and in support, but I am going to give some hints on how to make it better. So, let’s rant and rave on the marketing of online shops.
On Customer Support:
Customer support is a crucially important counterpart in any business. On the online platform, there are many customer support tools that support the proper flaw of communication and one of them is “Live chat”. At the very beginning of my journey on websites I was greeted by a customer support representative through a compact window like this one:
For website owners, it is a super-convenient tool to keep users engaged. Moreover, “Live chat” services give site visitors an opportunity to evaluate the services of the support team. For example, you can rate the product owners according to the flaw of communication – whether or not you managed to find answers to your questions. This is also good for website owners, as in case of good reviews they can show them off to other users, and in case of detecting that customers aren’t pleased with anything, they will have a chance to solve those issues. In addition, some customer support tools also give an opportunity to rate the delivery and the goods. Based on the results, online business owners receive quality badges which are placed on their websites to show the high-quality of their services.
This quality badges help business owners to showcase their positive customer support experience or else, to review their service and improve it in case of some shortcomings. The review results are transparent and you can read further what pleases customers and what leaves them upset.
Showcasing Customer Reviews
Another efficient strategy is showcasing the positive reviews made by customers. There are a number of services to support this. By the way, Google also has a relevant service. So, if you are curious about what your customers think of you, fill in a form provided by Google and send it for review. However, filling in a statement of Interest doesn’t mean that Google will accept it. In case your request is accepted, Google will analyse and calculate the data received through a survey with a specific audience. Thus, the evaluation is made by looking into client reviews, evaluation results from Google and/or Stella company and Google’s partners. One of the online stores I have researched makes use of this to let its customers know that they can trust him.
Sense of urgency as a marketing technique
The online store I spoke about above sells everything related to biking – bikes, clothing, cycling accessories etc. I have noticed that the store also uses an effective marketing trick in a small window entitled “Deal of the Day”. Here, the countdown feature is used, which creates sense of urgency in people. The deal is only for today, so let’s hurry up to avail of it.
The design and the psychological impact of this small window work wonders. You can either place such a window on your website, or use a beautiful countdown popup to catch up more attention, as well as serve as an emotional trigger which will lead the visitors of your website to conversion.
Pertaining to Presence on Social Media Networks
As a rule, people trust their acquaintances more than mere advertisements. So, it is very important to encourage your visitors to share your page with the friends and followers on their social pages. You can make offers of discounts for sharing your page. For example, during my journey through the internet, I found a store of kids’ apparel that has used a social popup to offer its customers 30% discount in case of sharing the page with their friends and followers on the social networks. And if the shared page is clicked through and referred back by one of the friends, he or she will also receive 30% off for their purchase.
What I also liked about this store is that it has a flexible return policy. So, as you can see from the outsourced picture below, they accept returns during 90 days after purchase and express readiness to give all the paid money back. This arises trust of people towards their products.
Although, when I researched and went deeper into their Facebook reviews page I found out that no one was satisfied with the delivery and the customer service. It would be just great for them to delete their reviews page at all 🙂 Consequently, in case you aren’t sure that your delivery and customer support services are good, just don’t make a reviews page either on Facebook or on other platforms.
Use of popups by online stores
Popup building is a powerful strategy, but you should make use of it correctly. To study the ways popups are applied, I have visited a number of online stores. I came across a store that sells pets online and was “greeted” by a nice image popup. They have made it super engaging by using a magnifying glass to make their “Extra offer” stand out.
For online shops, selling pets, it would be just great to use a video popup where they could show birds singing or puppies performing tricks. This strategy will make a website more beautiful, lift up its visitors’ mood and consequently increase the possibility of conversions.
During my visits, I didn’t manage to find web stores using the exit-intent popup event. Whereas applying this strategy, you receive a chance to bring back the visitors who are about to leave your page offering, for instance, a discount for their first purchase.
Actually, a lot of researches have been made that come to prove that this trick really works, that’s why I think there is no reason an online store shouldn’t avail of it.
What I liked about the online stores I visited is that they never bother you showing one popup after another or providing aggressive popup modes – the ones that do not provide the close button. After visiting an online store once and closing the popup window, I didn’t receive it again during my session. Surely, this is a correct strategy. The softer your popups, the more appealing they will be to your page visitors.
Email marketing tricks
Generally, informational websites and online stores make different offers to their website visitors so as to convince them to subscribe to their mailing list. The former more usually offer free guides, podcasts, registering for seminars, webinars, sending news and updates. The latter, that is, online stores often offer discount coupons as an incentive for subscribing. Of course, not all of the websites use popup windows to catch up users’ attention and make them consider the offers. I think it is preferable to attract subscribers using a popup because when you enter a website it is less probable that you will look for a signup link, but when a subscription popup appears, most possibly you will accept the offer and subscribe.
To wrap it up, success in marketing depends on many different factors that fall into the following categories – ensuring quality and running effective strategies. In order to yield an outcome from marketing activities, you should have flexible discount policy and opt for the more influential methods to showcase them. First and foremost, you should try to show off anything you are proud of and accordingly, try to hide the drawbacks. If you haven’t set up the proper delivery and support system, you had better avoid giving your clients an opportunity to leave feedback until you make sure that these services run smoothly. In a nutshell, make your achievements stand out in order to have an outstanding marketing performance.