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“A penny saved is a penny earned” is a famous and very apt quote attributed to Benjamin Franklin.
Entrepreneurs are constantly trying to find thrifty ways to save money while growing their business. Unfortunately, there are learning curves during the entrepreneurial journey that will cost you money and time, especially when it comes to ecommerce marketing.
Since our web marketing agency, The Media Captain, has helped hundreds of brands increase revenue online, I’ve learned a thing or two along the way about saving money when it comes ecommerce marketing. I’m going to share this insight so you can save a pretty penny, just as Franklin advised.
Related: 10 Reasons Ecommerce Sites Fail
1. Desktop only bidding.
All the rage right now is about mobile, and rightfully so. Nearly 60 percent of website traffic takes place on mobile devices. It’s imperative that your site offers a great user experience along with a smooth sailing mobile checkout process.
That being said, according to SmartInsights.com, the conversion rate for ecommerce brands on a desktop in the U.S. was 3.55 percent. For smartphones, it was only 1.15 percent in Q3 of 2016. Desktop converted at nearly three times the rate as mobile. A lot of consumers do research on mobile, but take action on desktop. Many entrepreneurs don’t have the budget for people in the “research” phase. They need consumers who are ready to buy now. If you are trying to save money, adjust the targeting on your advertisements to just desktop, and you should lower your cost per acquisition.
2. Campaign segmentation.
Let’s say your ecommerce store sells products from 10 brands, and there are 100 total products on your site. If you have a Google Shopping feed, it is good to know how each brand performs.
If you just have one campaign, all of your clicks could be going to just one product, which doesn’t paint the true picture. This is a mistake a lot of beginners make when it comes to Google Shopping. You should create a separate campaign for each brand so you can see your top performing brand versus your poor performers. This will help you decide how to allocate budget and double down on your winners.
If you see that one product from a specific brand has the lowest cost per acquisition, segment this one product into its very own campaign to try and maximize the high conversion rate.
3. Display retargeting and dynamic retargeting.
I previously mentioned that the desktop conversion rate in the U.S. was 3.55 percent and on mobile it was 1.15 percent in Q3 of 2016. This means that approximately 97 of out 100 people are visiting your site and dropping off without making a purchase.
Investing money in Google Shopping and Facebook ads to lure people to your site is expensive so you want to make sure you convert on the traffic landing on your site.
Just because Vinny the videographer drops off your webpage after looking at the DSLR camera doesn’t mean he’s not interested in eventually purchasing the product. He could have had a class to attend or maybe he had to pick up his girlfriend from work and just didn’t have time to make the purchase at the moment. Life can certainly get in the way of making an online order. That’s why retargeting ads are so important. After someone drops off your site without converting, the pixel placed on the backend of the site will follow the user around for a 30-day timespan in the form of display advertisements. This will help keep your brand top of mind and help convert past website visitors.
4. Offer a freebie.
We’ve seen a lot of success when our clients offer a free item if someone were to spend a certain amount of money on the website. “Spend $100 and get a free beanie” — that beanie only costs $4 out of pocket for the ecommerce company. Since it is stylish and seasonal, it increased the average revenue by $25.
If you have a WooCommerce site, OptInMonster is a great option for promotions. The “Pop-Up Window” app is very popular for Shopify. Some people can get annoyed with pop-ups. If you’re offering something compelling, however, it should get more people to spend more money without having to invest anything in advertising.
5. Invest in SEO.
There’s a Chinese proverb that states, “the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now.”
Make sure that a year before you launch your website, you start investing in search engine optimization. All you need to do in order to get started is build a homepage for your site as soon as possible so you can start getting authoritative sites linking back to your domain.
For DermWarehouse, one of my business ventures, we had the dermatologist for the skincare and beauty product site start writing article content on well-known publications a year before the site launched. We’ve only had a live website for four months but our SEO strategy has already been in place for 18 months. We still have a ways to go on the SEO front, but the foundation has been set, and we’re already ranking prominently for some major keywords.
When you rank well organically, you don’t have to pay for each click since you’ve earned that placement. This will be a huge money-saver over time.
6. Email marketing.
For every $1 you spend on email marketing, you’ll generate $38 in return, according to CampaignMonitor.com. Your ecommerce business needs to focus on its email marketing strategy each and every day.
If you have a retail storefront, have a sign-in sheet where people can give you their email address to get entered into a random drawing. Make sure you’re collecting all of your customer emails along with inquiries from prospective customers. Run giveaways for your product on social media where consumers have to enter their email address in order to be eligible to win.
Capturing more emails is only one piece of the puzzle. You also need to deliver quality emails that resonate with your audience. Have a formula in place where 70 percent of the emails are content driven that will provide value to your customers. The other 30 percent can be hard sales pitches.
Credit: JASON PARKS