The effects of the pandemic are fading for e-commerce merchants, with people eager to return to in-store shopping. Economic forces are also playing a role in consumer spending, as evidenced by major retail brands reporting a decline in e-commerce activity. These challenges are forcing merchants to seek new approaches to boost customer engagement and conversion and improve client experience while keeping a close eye on their budgets.
Additionally, paid media campaigns have become more expensive and less effective, especially with major browsers planning to block third-party cookies and Google removing them in Chrome by the end of 2023.
Merchants can scale their marketing efforts on a tight budget using three proprietary channels: email marketing, SMS marketing, and native mobile apps.
Advertising by e-mail
Email marketing, using cutting-edge tools like Klaviyo, is one of the most popular opt-in e-commerce strategies. But email is only as good as how the merchant personalizes it for shoppers. It’s important to focus less on volume and more on personalizing messages related to buyer behavior and intent. Personalization uses available customer data to ensure that the content they see on an e-commerce site or in marketing communications meets their specific desires. If a customer was looking for black boots, for example, but didn’t find the exact pair, the merchant can send an email acknowledging the search and offering additional recommendations. For example, one of our clients who tailored their retargeting emails with automated personalized recommendations generated a 250% increase in revenue.
Short Message Marketing (SMS) is an accessible and valuable mode of direct marketing that merchants can use to connect personally with customers. Mobile phones fuel our culture of immediacy, where people demand information at their fingertips. Almost every American has a smartphone handy wherever they go for all their daily needs. By 2025, nearly 200 million people will use their smartphone to shop. Since SMS requires users to register, they can control their direct access to their favorite brands, whether it’s for customer support, member-only offers, or to stay up to date on their order status. SMS keeps communication simple, in one place and measurable for merchants. Notifications can reach customers 24/7, at peak times and at optimal trigger times. Tools like Attentive allow brands to use critical metrics to send customers timely, personalized messages triggered by their buying and shopping behavior.
Native mobile apps
With a large percentage of e-commerce sales being made through mobile phones, e-commerce sites should either have an app that facilitates this or a mobile-friendly website layout. This strategy builds customer loyalty and loyalty while maximizing the convenience of the shopping experience. Apps like Tapcart specialize in turning an online store into a functional and impressive mobile app. Research has revealed that 51% of users prefer to shop on mobile devices. Benefits of an app include easy installation, push notifications to customers, and automatic updates. In addition to improving the user experience, a mobile application does not have to involve slow site loading speed. Being able to complete an omnichannel purchase increases conversions and improves customer satisfaction.
Merchandising across channels
Whatever channel retailers use, merchandising is evolving to meet digital conditions. Given the different marketing approaches, the focus is on buyer intent. This means noticing what customers want and adjusting strategies to inspire them. Like a knowledgeable seller, good organization, categories, and research provide a direct line to products. Inventory and sales optimization keeps new and existing customers coming back. Setting the stage with merchandising strategies provides a perfect opportunity to connect with shoppers through email and mobile channels.
As post-pandemic life emerges, the art of e-commerce continues to emerge, and merchants must consider new ways to maintain customer engagement, loyalty, and trust using channels they can control.
Personalization and merchandising are essential elements for merchants to reinforce best practices and apply shopper behavior and patterns for long-term success.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Zohar Gilad, Co-founder and CEO, Fast Simon
Zohar Gilad is an experienced technology entrepreneur and leader. In 2013, he co-founded Fast Simon, Inc. (formerly InstantSearch+), leveraging his experience to deliver cutting-edge site search to millions of online publishers and retailers at an affordable cost. Throughout his career, Gilad has been the engine behind more than 20 software products for millions of users worldwide.