As an ecommerce agency based in Salt Lake City, we have had the pleasure of working with a long list of online sellers looking to increase sales and improve brand reputation. We can’t tell you how many times we have encountered retailers who have never attempted ecommerce marketing before contacting us. They just assumed that setting up a website would lead to customers visiting and buying.
It doesn’t work that way. Just because you are selling something online doesn’t mean people will visit your site. The ‘if you build it, they will come’ mentality just doesn’t produce results. You still have to market. You still need to introduce your ecommerce site to as many potential buyers as possible. That’s where ecommerce marketing comes in.
Ecommerce Marketing in a Nutshell
The principle of ecommerce marketing is simple enough to understand. It is marketing designed to do two things: attract customers to an ecommerce site and convince them to buy something. Do it right and a retailer enjoys the added benefits of improved brand reputation, better name recognition, and long-term customer engagement.
No doubt an ecommerce operation can still succeed without an effective marketing strategy. It would take an awful long time, though. It would also take some dumb luck. A number of different things need to come together in order to succeed in ecommerce without engaging in any form of marketing.
Key Reasons to Not Ignore Ecommerce Marketing
Whether an online retailer handles marketing in-house or contracts with an ecommerce agency, some form of marketing is necessary. Retailers need to get their names out there. They must reach customers with their brands and messaging. If you are not sure why, consider the following key reasons as they relate to your business:
- You Need Traffic – Website traffic is to ecommerce what foot traffic is to brick-and-mortar retail. Without traffic, there are no sales. Without marketing, you are not generating as much traffic as you could be.
- You Need Awareness – In addition to traffic, you also need brand awareness. Customers need to know that your brand represents what they want. But they will never know about your brand if you don’t market it.
- You Need Sales – Though it goes without saying, you need sales to keep your ecommerce operation up and running. Not selling means being stuck with overhead you have already paid for. And if you cannot cover your overhead, you are out of business.
One last thing you need – and effective ecommerce marketing delivers, by the way – is a consistent stream of qualified leads. A qualified lead is a specific type of customer that should prove to be the bread and butter of your business.
Qualified Leads in a Nutshell
Qualified leads are customers who are more likely to buy because they visit your site already knowing what they want. They are not window shoppers or tire kickers. They need something, they know what they are looking for, and the only question remaining is from whom they will buy it.
An ecommerce operator with a strong base of qualified leads tends to enjoy stronger sales compared to a competitor whose leads are more random. One of the primary goals of ecommerce marketing is to generate the qualified leads that more easily translate into sales.
Even if you sell it, they might not come. Merely setting up an ecommerce website and linking it to a popular shopping cart doesn’t guarantee sales. If you want to sell, you need to market. We think your best bet for doing so is partnering with an ecommerce agency with a proven track record.