Businesses today are becoming increasingly dependent on their online sales, as more customers are choosing to make their purchasing decisions from the comfort of their own homes. Online shopping offers consumers a wealth of benefits that are making this method of shopping more popular and marketers that fail to take these trends into account are making a big mistake. To create an effective online marketing strategy, it is important that marketers better understand why consumers are choosing to do their shopping online, and from this information, helpful strategies can be used to develop an effective online marketing strategy.
Why Marketers Need to Be Concerned with Online Shopping
Each year, more customers are taking their business online rather than spending the time and effort to get to a retail store. Unfortunately, this means greater competition for businesses, as consumers will have access to a wealth of retailers with just a few keystrokes. Online shopping offers the public a variety of great benefits that make it essential for marketers to consider this shopping method when developing their advertising strategy.
Online Shopping is Available 24/7
We are living increasingly busy lives, and marketers have to take advantage of the fact that some people simply don’t have the time to shop in stores during the traditional open hours. Online shopping allows customers to do business anywhere in the world, 24/7. So, if a busy mom isn’t able to get to the store after a long day of working and caring for her children, she can go online to make her purchases at 11:00PM. Likewise, someone that travels frequently for work, but needs to get make a purchase doesn’t have to worry about working around flight and meeting schedules. Online marketing allows for the ability to sell any product that can be found in a traditional retail store, and time zones, holidays, weekends, and nights won’t be barriers.
Consumers are interested in technologies that will make their lives easier. For example, in the business world, web conferencing programs like UberConference are becoming more and more popular because they allow team members from around the world to meet from wherever they are without expensive travel costs. Retailers have followed a similar example, and marketers are using the convenience of online shopping to drive cyber sales.
Online shopping gives consumers’ greater convenience than they would ever enjoy in a traditional retail setting. Shoppers can make their purchases from the comfort of their own home without having to worry about paying for gas, standing in long lines, or dealing with crowded parking lots in order to get to the store. Parents with young children won’t need to worry about getting separated from their little ones, and consumers who may have mobility issues or other limitations won’t need to worry about jeopardizing their health or safety. With just a few clicks of the mouse, shoppers can get exactly what they need and have the items shipped right to their front door.
Online shopping will give your customers more options and a greater selection when it comes to potential products. They will have the opportunity to compare the prices and reviews of a variety of retailers in order to find the exact item that they are looking for. This is an experience that cannot be easily replicated in a traditional retail environment.
Unfortunately, more choices for customers can be a business nightmare. Customers can easily find another product that better suits their needs or is less expensive at a different online retailer, causing another business to miss out on a sale. For this reason, marketers need to be giving constant attention to their marketing strategies to drive sales and increase their customer base.
Benefits of Online Marketing
Just like online shopping provides benefits to customers, the use of online marketing also offers several advantages to businesses and marketers:
- Convenience. Consumers are the only people that can enjoy better convenience with the increased prevalence of online shopping. Internet marketing itself is convenient, as marketers can offer services and products around the clock without having to worry about paying staff overtime.
- Customization. With a variety of resources and tools at your disposal, you can easily customize your marketing messages to reach any audience.
- Influence. Internet marketing will allow you to reach and influence a much larger audience than traditional commercial promotions. You won’t be restricted to working within a specific geographic region.
Marketing Tactics to Drive Online Sales
After marketers have gotten a better understanding of the benefits of online shopping and why so many consumers are choosing this method for making their purchases, it is important that they take an initiative to market to this group. There are several important strategies that can help to drive online sales:
- Instill a sense of urgency. Customers have a tendency to respond to urgency and make quick purchase decisions. For example, if you are offering a sale or special promotion, add the text “ends today” to the ad or place a countdown clock in the shopping cart. This can encourage your customers to follow through with a purchase rather than abandoning items in their shopping cart.
- Use upsells. One of the best ways that you can increase your sales per transaction is to include an upsell strategy in the shopping cart function. Offer accessories or related products at discounted prices, or suggest a more expensive alternative for your customer to choose.
- Inspire confidence. Shoppers today, especially those within the millennial generation, often rely on peer reviews to make purchasing decisions. Take advantage of this by including customer reviews on your site, as you will reduce purchasing anxiety and drive sales.
Online shopping is only expected to gain in popularity, and because barriers are lower than ever, there’s no reason that marketers shouldn’t be able to increase their cyber sales figures this year. While there are certainly challenges associated with online marketing, there are a variety of resources available to help businesses in order to drive online sales. If you have other tips for what has helped your business to increase your online sales, we’d love to hear from you!