If you have an e-commerce website, chances are that you often struggle with meeting sales goals for the month. You’re constantly on the lookout for new customers, if not guessing what your customers want and get their attention. These are all common challenges for many business owners and marketers. Here at Launchpad, we would argue that the remedy for this problem is inbound marketing for e-commerce.
Read more: What is Inbound Marketing: An Introduction
There are certain areas in an e-commerce business where inbound marketing can help. But first, how would you know if your online store needs inbound? We’re going to look at some of the indicators and then we’ll be looking at how exactly can the inbound methodology help you.
Signs you need inbound marketing for your e-commerce business:
1. When Your Sales are Sluggish
Slow sales periods are normal, even anticipated. In many consumer-based industries in Malaysia, sales usually perk up by the end of the year, with all the Christmas shopping, 11.11 sales mania and end-of-year stock clearance. Then after December, the graph goes down before picking up back again in March or April.
However, if you’re seeing your sales graph straight out flat-lines for weeks or months on end, something has to be done. Sluggish sales are some of the most overt signs for any business to be alerted with.
Where inbound marketing can help with sales is by generating and nurturing more quality leads. Using the inbound flywheel, we would also plan out a strategy that continues to delight customers after a purchase. This way, we will retain existing customers in hopes they can come back again for more, thus contributing to sales.
2. When You Struggle to Find New Customers
This another strong sign you might need inbound marketing for your e-commerce website. In the inbound methodology, the first thing that we do is knowing who your customers are. We use the Buyer Persona framework to create a semi-fictional version of our customers and identify their needs, pain points, motivations and communication channels. This way, when scouting for new leads and customers, we have an idea where to look and what to say to them.
Aside from that, you will have a better flow of lead nurturing and directing customers step-by-step before a purchase. The inbound method believes in a more human approach to marketing online, and being there only when you’re needed. Thus, the process of customer acquisition in inbound marketing is less about shoving as many leads as possible on the top funnel, but more about finding qualified leads and nurturing them until they’re convinced and ready.
Read more: What is Buyer Persona
3. When Your Website Lacks Engagement
It’s every digital marketer’s worst fear. You’ve done it all; social or search ads, daily posts on multiple social media channels, aggressive Call-to-Actions to drive web traffic. And the engagement is still disappointing. There could be many reasons why your Click-Through-Rate (CTR) is subpar. One of them might be irrelevant web content that just doesn't spark interest in visitors.
With inbound marketing though, you will know what content your target audience is looking for online. Using the buyer persona again, we should be able to know the customer’s interest and the questions they’re asking. With this valuable information, we can curate good web content that instills engagement and boosts up web metrics.
Read more: E-Commerce Strategies to Boost Your Sales
4. When Your Customers are Not Coming Back
It’s one thing to get bad reviews from one or two customers. At least they took the time to let you know WHY they’re not coming back to your web store. But what about the silent majority of dissatisfied customers who would not bother clicking on your domain ever again. How on earth would you know what went wrong?
Customers might find your website loading too slowly, or certain titles unrelated to the content. Using inbound marketing, you will focus your efforts on making sure your website is optimised for visitor traffic. This includes looking at web metrics such as average time spent on pages, bounce rates, and audience profiles. Inbound marketing would also have you try out a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool such as HubSpot CRM. This would all help you understand your website and customers better.
5. ROI on Advertisement is Too Low
Advertisements still work, especially during the first stage of awareness. But if you’re relying too much on ads to drive sales, you’re missing out on a lot of things. Advertising, sometimes called outbound marketing is a conventional method of marketing that has been used far too often. It’s not as effective anymore because people have evolved to tune out ads when they’re not needed. Many simply find them disruptive and annoying.
Inbound marketing pulls your head out of the clutter and focuses less on pushing too many ads, and more on creating a website that would suit the perfect customer. Your e-commerce store has a lot to offer, and an inbound strategy can help maximise the potential of your business.
Inbound Marketing for Your E-commerce Website
As an e-commerce business, you understand how connected we have been in the new age. Customers are doing more online and they’re shopping online more often too. Therefore, the way we do marketing also has to adapt to new customer behaviours and trends. Inbound marketing could fit right in with your e-commerce efforts.