Digital marketing offers significant business potential, helping businesses generate awareness, traffic, and leads. A digital strategy, however, must also drive revenue by convincing people to purchase your products.
To optimize your e-commerce marketing strategy for sales, you must improve the purchasing process. This means focusing on customer engagement at the point of sale, which is influenced by both the website user experience (UX) and bottom-funnel messaging.
This article helps you optimize your digital marketing for sales conversions by:
- Refining your buyer’s personas
- Developing trust among consumers
- Reducing friction
- Simplifying your point of sale
- Reminding customers with relevant promotions
1. Refine Your Buyer Personas
Buyer personas are fictional representatives of your ideal customers and include their age, interests, gender, education level, relationship status, interests/hobbies, just to name a few. Creating these fictional characters helps your business clarify the target audience and create relevant campaigns for consumers that will ultimately lead to more sales.
The buyer’s journey is complex and evolving, so revisit your buyer personas to ensure that you’re offering a relevant purchase experience.
Start by evaluating your efforts by channel and squaring them with your business goals. Which channels drive the most website traffic? Which channels drive the most sales? Where do people bounce from your site? Where do people spend the most time on your site?
Try to understand your audience’s motivations, and identify any friction points near the point-of-sale. Diving deep into your customer segments helps you create a more detailed persona and even discover new personas.
Use these insights to create a detailed map of the customer journey for each persona, including any interactions and messages that are likely to encourage a purchase. A customer journey map visually represents every experience your customer has with you, from going to your website and receiving an email to making inquiries or visiting your physical store.
A customer journey map helps you visualize all the interactions a customer may take on the road to making a purchase.
Finally, identify elements of your campaigns that can be tweaked to boost sales, such as email subject lines, promotional copy, or calls to action (CTA).
Refining your buyer personas allows you to design the most compelling path to purchase for your target audience. After all, you want your business to appeal to the people who are most likely to make a purchase
2. Develop Trust Among Consumers
People only buy from brands they trust. This means that every path to purchase must promote your brand as transparent and trustworthy.
Trust should be developed along the path to purchase and highlighted at the point of sale. To indicate your trustworthiness, invest in:
- A professional website that indicates your company’s credibility and success. According to Clutch, 83 percent of people appreciate when a website looks attractive and up-to-date.
- Bottom-funnel content that demonstrates the quality of both your company and your product. Encouraging customers to leave reviews on Yelp and Google and maintaining accurate information on local directory pages ensures that customers always have up-to-date information about your company.
- Social proof in the form of customer testimonials. Quotes from and images of happy customers can be used throughout the funnel to generate trust. Being active on social media by responding to customer inquiries, both public and private, can show followers you’re responsive and trustworthy.
Emphasize your brand’s reputation and integrity toward the bottom of the funnel to drive sales. People who trust your brand are more likely to become loyal customers; on the other hand, people won’t buy from you if they don’t trust you.
3. Reduce Friction
Commitment creates friction, which buyers experience as doubt during the sales process. To optimize point-of-sale engagements, lessen the hesitations people feel when considering a purchase. The more doubt people have, the less likely they are to make a purchase.
The best way to resolve the doubts of your customers is to address their concerns and let them decide for themselves. An FAQ page, for example, can help ease customer concerns by answering their common questions; it’s easier for customers to see their question answered on an FAQ page rather than contact your business directly, which saves them time and, therefore, increases their likelihood to convert.
According to Econsultancy, many online purchases are not completed due to lack of information such as hidden charges (71 percent) and lack of contact details (33 percent). Anticipate your audience’s questions and offer sufficient details about your products as well as evidence to substantiates your claims.
Use your sales page to create a sense of security with shoppers. Shoe company Allbirds, for example, removes all ambiguity from the purchase process while at the same time reinforcing the value of the product.
Each page element on Allbirds provides information and mitigates uncertainty, from including customer reviews directly on the product page to including a chatbox at the bottom for if customers have further questions they need answered before purchasing.
Allbirds is a great example of reducing buyers’ doubt.
Website usability, detailed product information, and an easy checkout process are key to making prospects into customers. Reducing this friction is essential.
4. Simplify Your Point of Sale
When people feel overwhelmed by choices, it’s easiest for them to choose nothing.
Consider that 71 percent of people say they’ve switched to a company’s competitor because the competitor made it easier to find and choose the right product, according to Zoovu.
Simplifying the point-of-sale process helps defuse the “anxiety of choice” many people feel when considering a purchase.
If you offer lots of products, provide filters such as categories to help people narrow down their options. Guidance from chatbots and live customer support can also help people overcome decision paralysis.
Toward the bottom of the funnel, minimize the page layout, and remove extraneous page elements. Options are noise during the final conversion process, so identify the single on-page action that will advance the sale and remove the rest.
On the checkout page, get rid of anything that doesn’t directly contribute to a conversion. The closer customers get to purchasing, the fewer distractions there should be.
Make it easy for customers to hit the “confirm purchase” button, not harder.
5. Remind Customers With Relevant Promotions
Your digital marketing strategy must present people with multiple opportunities to buy.
Don’t expect shoppers to follow up on a purchase after visiting your site or adding an item to the cart: Nearly 70 percent of all shopping carts are abandoned on average, according to the Baymard Institute.
Encourage qualified prospects to make a purchase with relevant offers via their favorite channels. It’s important for these messages to seem genuine, so justify your messaging by referring to a behavioral or life cycle event, such as an email sign-up or a customer anniversary.
In the following example, J. Crew uses its seasonal sale to remind customers of items left in the cart.
Pointing out that abandoned items are now on sale is a plausible way to bring back customers without seeming overly promotional. The reminder email is effective due to the detail product description, the large photo, as well as the “Sale Surprises” that await those who click.
Urgency is another powerful motivator, as people hate to miss out on a good deal. Time-sensitive offers are most effective when they’re both believable and relevant, such as when:
- Supplies are limited (“Item restocking”)
- Promotions have a set end date (“Ends July 1”)
- Offers are event-specific (“Mother’s Day only!”)
For your promotion to work, you must offer immediate value without appearing too salesy. Promotions are a great way to re-engage customers and encourage them to make a purchase.
The Wrap Up
The fundamental idea you want to keep in mind when planning an e-commerce marketing strategy is to put yourself on the other side of the equation as the customer. Is your website easy to navigate to place an order or are there a lot of unnecessary clicks? Are all your questions about the product being answered before you purchase? Are other customers saying positive things about your brand? If you can answer yes to all of these questions, then you’re on the right path.