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Invest in eCommerce Marketing You Can Control

Post-pandemic all businesses are changing their marketing strategies, and so is e-commerce. How can e-com merchants find new ways to retain their consumers?
Fast Simon

The effects of the pandemic are waning for eCommerce merchants, with people eager to return to in-store shopping. Economic forces are also playing a role in consumer spending, as evidenced by major retail brands reporting declines in their eCommerce business. These challenges leave merchants searching for new approaches to boost customer engagement and conversion and enhance the customer experience while keeping a close eye on their budgets.

Adding to the mix, paid media campaigns have become more expensive and less effective, especially with leading browsers planning to block third-party cookies and Google removing them in Chrome by the end of 2023.

Merchants can adapt their marketing efforts on a tight budget using three owned channels: email marketing, SMS marketing, and native mobile apps.

Email Marketing

Email marketing, using leading tools like Klaviyo, is one of the most pervasive opt-in eCommerce strategies. But email is only as good as how the merchant customizes it for shoppers. It is important to focus less on volume and more on personalizing messages that relate to shopper behavior and intent. Personalization uses available customer data to make the content they see on an eCommerce site or in marketing communications address their specific desires. If a customer was searching for black boots, for instance, but did not find the exact pair, the merchant can send an email acknowledging the search and offering additional recommendations. For example, one of our customers that scaled their retargeting emails with automated personalized recommendations generated an uplift of 250% in revenues.

 SMS Marketing

Short message service (SMS) marketing is an accessible and valuable mode of direct marketing that merchants can use to connect with customers personally. Mobile phones fuel our culture of immediacy, where people demand information at their fingertips. Nearly every American has a smartphone in hand everywhere they go for all daily needs. By 2025, almost 200 million people will use their smartphones to shop. Since SMS requires people to opt-in, they can control their direct access to their favorite brands – whether for customer support, member-only offers, or to stay informed about their order status. SMS keeps communication simple, in one place, and measurable for merchants. Notifications can reach customers 24/7, at peak times and optimal trigger moments. Tools like Attentive allow brands to use critical metrics to send customers timely personalized messages triggered by their shopping and purchase behavior.

Native Mobile Apps

With a significant percentage of eCommerce sales made through mobile phones, eCommerce sites should either have an app that facilitates this or a mobile-friendly website layout. This strategy builds customer loyalty and stickiness as it optimizes the convenience of the shopping experience. Apps such as Tapcart specialize in turning an online store into a functional and impressive mobile app. Research has found that 51% of users prefer shopping on mobile devices. The benefits of an app include easy installation, push notifications to customers, and self-updates. In addition to improving the user experience, a mobile app doesn’t have to involve slow site loading speed. Being able to finish a purchase omnichannel increases conversions and boosts customer satisfaction.

Merchandising Across the Channels

For any channel retailers use, merchandising is evolving to meet digital conditions. Given the various marketing approaches, the focus shifts to the shopper’s intent. This means noticing what the customers want and adjusting strategies to inspire them. Like a knowledgeable salesperson, good organization, categories, and search provide a direct line to products. Optimizing inventory and sales brings new and existing customers back. Setting the stage with merchandising strategies offers a perfect opportunity to connect with buyers through email and mobile channels.

As post-pandemic life emerges, the art of eCommerce continues to emerge, and merchants must consider new ways to maintain customer engagement, loyalty, and trust using owned channels they can control.

Personalization and merchandising are vital components allowing merchants to reinforce best practices and apply shopper behavior and patterns for long-term success.

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Zohar Gilad, Co-Founder, and CEO, Fast Simon
Zohar Gilad is an experienced technology entrepreneur and executive. In 2013, he co-founded Fast Simon, Inc. (formerly InstantSearch+), leveraging his experience to bring state-of-the-art site search to millions of publishers and e-tailers at an affordable cost. Throughout his career, Gilad has been the driving force behind more than 20 software products for millions of users worldwide.

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