In the world of retail sales, there could be a multitude of reasons why a business can fail, especially with e-commerce businesses.
That’s not necessarily saying that traditional marketing is better than digital marketing, it’s just that there is a big difference in the complexity of the two marketing platforms.
Composing a marketing campaign for the online market is a lot more challenging than traditional marketing efforts like direct mail.
So what is it exactly that’s causing e-commerce businesses to become a statistic and fail within the first two years of launching?
Well, the answer to that could be anything, really…
Is it your fear of not understanding or being able to keep up with the ever-changing components of e-commerce?
Or is it that you don’t know enough about what your business really needs to make the right decisions and push your business upward?
Both of those factors play major roles in the success or failure of an e-commerce business. Smallbiztrends.com discusses startup failure statistics and it stated that the top cause of businesses failing was due to there not being a need for their product in the market.
Digital Marketing Has Changed the Retail Industry and the Way Businesses Market
Do you know exactly how many businesses are in constant competition for a customer’s attention? Billions upon billions.
A customer can go to a website and search and click their way from page to page; they’ll see several things they may want but not necessarily need or see things they need but don’t necessarily want.
The key here is to have a marketing campaign so strong that it will make that customer want to buy whatever it is they’re looking at, whether they need it or not!
In short, marketing is learning the behaviors of customers and how they shop. In learning those behaviors, your marketing campaign needs to be effective and created in a way that will immediately grab their attention a sway them to make a purchase. It’s essential to any e-commerce business because it’s what gives you leads, prospects, profits, and potentially loyal customers.
So when a marketing campaign fails, nine times out of ten, that usually means that a business has lost money or had an original goal that was never met or even close to being met… and that’s dependent upon if that business had an original goal in the first place.
At the very worst, you could have a new marketing campaign with new products, and the business never launches. Now, if someone had all of that, why wouldn’t they launch their business?
That could be where that fear, mentioned earlier, kicks in.
But that’s the thing… if you’re going to take the risk of opening an e-commerce store, you can’t let fear dictate your business moves.
We’re going to take a look at what not to do so you can have a successful and profitable digital marketing campaign that will produce the results you want.
Mistake #1: You’re not asking the right questions from the start
How can you even begin to determine the right marketing campaign for your business if you don’t ask questions? And not just any type of questions either.
Who’s going to buy this product? How should the product be priced?
These questions are not going to cut it.
In order to have a successful marketing campaign, you need to be asking discovery questions.
Your discovery questions need to be detailed, specific have a focus on the goals of your business and product, determine and define your target market, and find where your prospects hang out and how to connect with them.
Try making a list of discovery questions that will positively impact your marketing campaign and make sure your questions are intentional as well. Take a look at some effective discovery questions that will help you create a successful digital marketing plan for your business:
- Who is the ideal customer that will benefit the most from my products?
- What is the main problem that my products will solve for my ideal customer?
- What advantage do I have over my competitors?
- How much will it cost to acquire a new customer?
- What target keywords will I need to increase my ranking on Google?
Mistake #2: Your offer doesn’t spark their interest
Do you remember being asked earlier in the article how many businesses compete for a customer’s attention and the answer was billions?
Well, it’s true.
There are so many businesses offering free consultations or bombarding you with the typical calls-to-action like “click here” or “call today.”
If you really want to grow your business, try getting a prospect’s email address and flooding their inbox with junk mail… they definitely shop at your online store… that was sarcasm at its finest.
Instead of those standard ways of marketing (that don’t work), think outside the box and present prospects with compelling offers that they absolutely can’t refuse.
To present a compelling offer, it’s going to take research and it will definitely require creativity. You may have an idea of what you think might sell but in order for it to sell, you have to present an offer that would be hard for a prospect to turn down.
For example, in the world of online shopping, customers really appreciate anything that will impact their purchase, even if it’s in the smallest way:
- Free shipping incentives
- Free returns with paid postage
- Promotional codes with exceptional discounts
- Social media hashtag promos: post a picture in or with your company’s product and post it with the company’s hashtag and get an additional percentage off your next purchase, etc.
Mistake #3: Driving Prospects Away
The last thing you want to do is drive prospects away from your website and the quickest way to do that is by driving your traffic to the wrong places.
If you’re driving prospects to websites that are boring, full of irrelevant content to your site, and are just not aesthetically pleasing, they will surely leave that website and probably not come back to yours.
Make sure the websites you’re driving traffic to have well-designed, clean, and easy to read landing pages; they’re what’s best utilized for conversions.
Believe it or not, landing pages are the very component that works better than sites that has extensive content, links, and other unnecessary distractions… it just comes off as too busy.
To prevent this, make sure the web pages you’re driving traffic to are relevant pages with a high possibility of converting.
All in all
These are the most common ways that digital marketing campaigns tend to fail but they shouldn’t discourage you to start your own business. Once you have the basics, like finding a credible domain name and starting the process of building your website, you can then put together your digital marketing campaign.
In doing so, just remember to ask discovery questions, present compelling offers, drive prospects to relevant sites to convert.
It probably sounds harder than what it is but essentially, you just want to think about the customer’s overall shopping experience you want them to have on your site. If you want them to have a great experience, do your research and make it happen! Good luck!
This guest blog article was written by Sarah Saker, who is a freelance writer and small business coach living in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. She loves small businesses (backbone of America!), helping them setup processes for customer support and growth, and working on creative marketing messaging. She has always loved to write, so she is now combining the passion for entrepreneurship with her love of writing to build her own small business.