3 Ways To Boost Your E-Commerce Marketing Strategy

E-commerce has taken the spotlight in recent months as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted traditional distribution channels and businesses scrambled to identify new methods of achieving their sales goals. 

With rising technological adoption among consumers and a surge in online transactions, it’s obvious e-commerce isn’t going anywhere. Whether you’re an Internet start-up or brick-and-mortar retailer, there are creative ways you can use an e-commerce marketing strategy in varying levels to reach more customers and increase sales. 

Read on to find out how you can maximise digital opportunities, build your online presence, and ultimately set your company up for success with a strong e-commerce marketing strategy.

Understand online opportunities

There are many benefits to bringing your business online – consumers can learn more about your products and services, engage with your brand through interactive media formats, offer feedback, or make purchases via convenient online transactions.

Online metrics from platforms such as Google Analytics, Facebook Insights or your preferred email marketing software can also provide valuable insights into both your current and prospective customers. For example, which geographical region your customers are from, what kinds of content they interact with, and which of your products or services they find more appealing. With this knowledge in hand, you can develop holistic customer personas to ensure your digital marketing initiatives are targeted at the right audiences.

Expand your digital presence

Taking your business online opens the door to a myriad of opportunities, but with so many means to reach out to consumers, it is easy to lose focus. Keeping specific business goals and target audiences in mind, it is crucial for e-commerce companies to create a user-friendly website that introduces a seamless shopping experience and is optimised for purchase-based conversions, before carefully selecting the channels that would be most effective in driving customers to the company’s online home.

Some common methods of online promotion and engagement include:

  • Search engine optimisation (SEO) – on the marketing side of SEO, incorporate target keywords and have purposeful content on your website that aligns with target audiences’ search intent to improve your website’s unpaid ranking on search engine results pages.
  • Search engine marketing (SEM) – bid for keywords relevant to your brand through a platform such as Google Ads, in order to advertise to people typing in specific keywords on search engines.
  • Display advertising – use a display ad network to show advertisements on third-party websites, raising brand awareness or retargeting customers who have visited your website previously to nudge them toward making a purchase.
  • Organic social media – keep your brand top-of-mind, foster engagement, and cultivate a loyal community through strategic and regular posts on social media.
  • Paid social media – invest in paid boosts to maximise the impact of organic posts and set up structured social media advertising campaigns with clear calls-to-action for sales or lead generation.
  • Influencer marketing – collaborate with key opinion leaders who resonate with your target audiences to generate online buzz around your business.
  • Email marketing – run email marketing campaigns to your customer database to promote special offers, announce noteworthy events and nurture customer relationships.
  • Messenger marketing – from launching a Facebook Messenger chatbot to creating a dedicated Telegram channel, messaging applications can be used to automate customer support, share content and build customer loyalty.

Align marketing touchpoints to the customer journey

E-commerce businesses (or any other type of organisation for that matter) often adopt a combination of digital marketing tactics to connect with consumers across multiple touchpoints. The key to identifying the right mix of online touchpoints to focus your marketing efforts on is by understanding the customer experience. When it comes to e-commerce, consumers are likely to engage in distinct stages throughout the online shopping journey. Using an e-commerce marketing funnel or a similar principle such as the “See, Think, Do, Care” framework, map out the customer journey and align your marketing touchpoints to connect with customers where they are.

Once your touchpoints are active, remember to keep communication relatable and engaging, providing consistent value every step of the way. Evaluate your customer journey map and touchpoints on a regular basis, too, to check that they still resonate with target audiences. This strategic approach ensures your brand maintains top-of-mind awareness, creates ongoing positive perceptions among consumers, and spurs people toward making a buy (or more!)

Case study: Through a strategic combination of PR, organic and paid social media campaigns, we helped Greek restaurant BAKALAKI double their daily order volume online.

Digital marketing is a crucial component of any e-commerce growth strategy. Apart from e-tailers, businesses of all kinds can also adapt the foundations of a strong e-commerce marketing framework – leveraging online opportunities, expanding your digital presence and aligning marketing touchpoints with your customers’ purchase journey – to navigate the digital world and set the company up for success.

Need help with your e-commerce strategy? Write to us at hello@mutant.com.sg

How To Keep Content Available During COVID-19

It’s 2020 and the rules have changed. Due to the global pandemic, content that may have worked for businesses last year may no longer work this year. Events are now highly restricted or banned, business travel is curtailed, and face-to-face meetings are discouraged, pushing many businesses into unusual circumstances. 

The economic disruption may also tempt some companies to suspend all marketing activities and “go dark” but this would be is a mistake. According to a survey of 25,000 consumers globally by Kantar, only around 1 in 10 consumers think brands should “go dark” during this time. And brands that do disappear from view saw a decline in awareness, posing an additional challenge of regaining lost ground.

With that in mind, here are a few ways your business can keep a stable content pipeline as we grapple with the new normal. 

Prioritise health and safety

People who engage your brand want to know what’s being done to keep them safe and healthy. 

Prepare a list of concerns people are likely to raise and address them right away. For example, you can share about additional steps your employees are taking to ensure customers’ safety, changes to your operating hours or processes, or actions you will take in case of an outbreak linked to your business. 

Include this in your social media posts. Place it on your website’s landing page as an FAQ section. Mention these health and safety guidelines in your brochures, videos, and other marketing and communications collateral. Assure people they have nothing to worry about. 

Update stakeholders on how you’re helping and adapting

Inform people how your business is making a meaningful difference in the community during this difficult time. It can be about how you’re sharing company resources for free, discounts and concessions offered to customers, or how you’re providing support to your own employees. 

Alternatively, you may also have products and services that can help make people’s lives easier during the new normal. If so, share how your products and services are making a meaningful difference and being a solution. 

Regardless of the format it takes, remember to show empathy and compassion. It’s a sensitive time for many people, so avoid any action or content that can be seen as trying to take advantage of a difficult situation.

Share insights about the new normal

Amid all the changes this year, you or your business may have gained new insights. Why not share it with your stakeholders? Businesses and consumers constantly want to know how the landscape has changed from last year. You might have discovered a radical approach to a unique challenge, statistics about new customer behaviour, or an observation about a specific industry. 

Raise awareness about your business by collecting and analysing these insights and sharing them with your stakeholders. Use what you’ve learnt to tell a story, be it through case studies, narratives, or facts and figures. 

Realise that 2020 is not just about COVID

While the pandemic has been a constant background presence this year, an overemphasis on this issue may result in COVID fatigue. Help people take their mind off the pandemic by focusing on non-COVID current issues or life after recovery. 

For example, as a result of the Black Lives Matter movement in the US, many companies have begun to lead conversations about promoting workplace diversity and inclusion. You can also inspire your stakeholders to think about and start preparing for life after the recovery phase. 

Collaborate with others

Consider finding a trusted partner to help extend your reach, complement your weaknesses, or develop synergies. For example, you can partner with firms that can help you establish an online presence and build up your digital capabilities. It doesn’t have to be limited to just companies: Partnerships can happen with known personalities, non-profits, and government agencies.

Want to build a steady content pipeline of content and do not know how to go about it? We can help — write to us at hello@mutant.com.sg.


Say no to cold calls: What the Do-Not-Call Registry means for your business

You might have heard of the new Do-Not-Call (DNC) Registry, which kicked off on 2nd January 2014, enabling Singapore consumers to put an end to those irritating unsolicited calls, text messages, and should anyone still use them, faxes. While the much-anticipated DNC Registry rids the everyday Joe of pesky sales calls, concerned businesses that regularly employ telemarketing tactics now have to find new ways to reach out to consumers.

Under the new rule, organisations will generally be required to take the following three steps when contacting consumers:

1)   Check their marketing lists against the DNC Registry unless they have obtained consent from individuals or an exception applies.

2)   Provide contact information about the organisation that sent or authorised the telemarketing messages.

3)   Make sure the organisation’s identity is not withheld for voice calls.

An exemption applies to businesses that have existing relationships with customers, and they will still be able to share marketing offers related to the subject of the ongoing relationship through texting or faxing, but not voice calls, with the caveat that there’s an option for consumers to unsubscribe.

Fines and fine-print

The costs of phone number checks rack up – businesses have to purchase credits to run numbers through the database and each phone number costs between one and two cents depending on the bulk of purchase. 500 free credits are provided annually. From now till 31 May, the results of each check will be valid for 60 days, but will transition into a 30-day validity period after that date. This means businesses that choose to conduct telemarketing will have to run routine monthly DNC Registry checks.

Delinquent business will have to pay the price, with maximum fines of up to $10,000 per offence bound to make even the most unwilling of business owners acquaint themselves with the DNC Registry.

You can’t spam, but you can preach

Although consumers will spend less time politely refusing unwanted sales calls, non-sales related communication including service calls, reminder messages, market surveys, and messages related to religious or charitable causes are still allowed. Other businesses are also not exempted as B2B marketing calls are still given the green light.

In the grand scheme of data privacy, the DNC Registry falls under the Personal Data Protection Act, which protects consumers’ personal data and ensures it’s used responsibly by businesses. Enforcement for additional data protection rules will begin in July this year.

More details on the DNC Registry and its application in different scenarios can be found in the Advisory Guidelines.

What this means for your business?

The establishment of the DNC Registry reaffirms two facts – consumers value their privacy more than ever before, and most people dislike hard selling through cold calling. On the day the DNC Registry was launched, 400,000 numbers were listed, according to The Straits Times.

But many marketers still prefer to pick up the phone and speak with strangers on the other line, even though it’s proven to be ineffective most of the time. Cold calling doesn’t work 90.9 per cent of the time, costs at least 60 per cent more per lead and results in meetings only 2 per cent of the time, according to an article on Hubspot.

Help your customers find you instead

Consumers today don’t appreciate in-your-face marketing advances. Just think about the times you’ve hovered your mouse impatiently over the “Skip Ad” button on YouTube, or contemplated hanging up on a cold caller. The very people you’re selling to are smart, discerning individuals who can easily find out all they need about your product through Google, social networks, the media they choose to consume and your very own website.

Instead of bugging your potential customers, it’s more effective to let them come to you – and they’ll only do so when they trust your company and your products. That’s where content marketing comes in. There’s a deluge of information out there and you’ll not only need to be interesting, but also relevant to both your potential and existing customers for them to look to you.

What exactly is content marketing?

Creating engaging, targeted content to establish your company as a subject matter expert and thought leader is the way to go. This could take the form of social media posts, company blogs, how-to videos, opinion articles for the media, targeted newsletters for your existing customers, and much more.

The DNC registry marks the descent of cold calling and hard selling in Singapore. But businesses that have traditionally relied on such methods will find themselves better placed marketing through good content people want to read, watch, listen to and share – and this applies to any kind of business.

Just consider real estate agents, who frequently rely on mass texting. They can leverage other outlets such as social networks to share tips and answer questions on property investment, blogs to comment on the housing market, and relevant media to offer thoughts on the industry and position themselves as thought leaders. Keen property buyers are much more likely to seek real estate experts who have demonstrated industry knowledge, rather than blindly trust a name at the end of a text message.

There are numerous outlets available for you to share your brand, products and services, and the demand for interesting content and commentary isn’t waning anytime soon. Instead of slamming it down their throats when they least want and expect it, get creative and help them find you, on their own terms.

To find out how Mutant can help with your content marketing needs, get in touch with Joseph at Joseph@mutant.com.sg