As the online retail space continues to rapidly grow, it gets harder to make your ecommerce marketing strategies stand out. For many new stores, this can be incredibly daunting. Trying to compete against the big retail giants and other new stores is no small challenge. In many cases, online stores end up being lost in a sea of competing stores. This can be devastating for any store – new, old, small or mid-sized. Even larger, well-known stores are not immune. We have seen the impact that online shopping has had on traditional brick and mortar stores that have been unable to stay ahead.
That doesn’t mean that your store has to face the same fate. In this guide, we share some ecommerce marketing strategies that will help you stay ahead of the competition.
Ecommerce Marketing Strategies to Give You a Competitive Edge
A common mistake made by many online stores is thinking that ecommerce marketing strategies are limited to just one or two channels. Your store may be killing it on social media but struggling to show up in the SERPs. You may be running successful SEM campaigns that are bringing in traffic while overlooking potential opportunities found in lead generation and email marketing. Another mistake is assuming that you have to be bigger, bolder and better in every way to stand out.
In reality, having a competitive edge does not mean trying to emulate or one-up stores in your niche. Here are some of the ways that you can stay ahead of your competitors organically and simply.
1. Keep your focus on your customers
Your competitors may be cropping up all over the place, every time you’re on Facebook or Google. They may have massive Insta followings and campaigns that seem way better than anything you could achieve. That does not mean that they are bringing customers back, however. Even if you’re in a saturated niche, your customers have chosen your store. Having a smaller number of extremely happy customers is far better than having a bigger number of people who follow you without actually purchasing anything.
Your customers are the most important thing. As such, you should be putting your focus on what you can do for your customers rather than get distracted by what other stores are doing. Putting more effort into audience targeting, buyer personas, customer loyalty, customer service, overall experience, and anything else that adds value to your customers is essential. Consistently putting customers first will always deliver results. Building customer intimacy and using a human-centred strategy is equally helpful.
2. Know what works for your brand
You know your brand better than anyone. You may be selling similar products to other stores. Those stores may not be using the same strategies that you are using. Trying to compare your store to other stores is pointless. It can even set you back when you try strategies that are not right for your brand.
Developing a strong brand and a USP that makes your store different from others is key. For example, you may have a pet accessories store. There are many, many stores out there right now selling pet accessories. Some may be getting traffic from their campaigns. In most cases, if you visit one pet store, you’ve visited most of them. Knowing what makes yours unique is the best way to know how to position your store in the best way possible. You could target niche audiences instead of broader pet owners. You could develop highly personalised campaigns that make customers sit up and pay attention. This will set your store aside from the many other pet stores.
3. Grow a loyal community of fans
When you provide the best level of service and you have a unique positioning in a crowded market, you can start to grow a community of loyal customers. Using our pet accessories example, you could create an experience for customers that goes beyond their time on your site. You could offer custom harness and leash sets rather than the usual mass-produced sets. Although these may take a few days to deliver, your automated emails, check-out, product descriptions, and social media presence is enough to make customers happy to wait. Customers are kept updated on their orders.
When their order arrives, it is packaged with branded wrapping paper, with extra touches such as a bonus for their next order or a thank you note for shopping. A card with a hashtag encourages customers to share their pet in the new harness and leash. Other customers who have also purchased get involved, too, sharing their own images. Soon, you have a loyal following who don’t only love your products but also the experience your store provides. That following will not want to shop for generic products at a larger store because they have fallen in love with your store. These customers are your greatest assets. They are potential brand loyalists who serve as informal brand ambassadors. They don’t have to be influencers who are given free goods to get excited about your products. They genuinely love your products and want to tell every pet owner about your store.
Ecommerce Marketing Strategies in a Competitive Market
There is no doubt that an integrated multi-channel ecommerce marketing strategy will help you grow your store. That does not mean that you need to spend a lot of time and resources trying and competing. Getting back to what is important – your customers – will help you stay ahead.
When you put your energy into doing what you do best instead of trying to do what everyone else is doing, you have the best chance of developing highly personalised, targeted ecommerce marketing strategies designed for success.