Hi everyone thanks for coming this evening to learn more about eCommerce and the connection it has with inbound marketing. I’m here tonight to give you some insights into the world of eCommerce and walk you through why inbound marketing is the future of eCommerce.
Before we get started, let me introduce myself. My name is Katie Hudson and I am the marketing manager for demac Media. Demac Media is an award winning eCommerce agency headquartered in downtown Toronto (right around the corner from here actually). We also have offices in Montreal and New York City. We are the largest Gold Solutions Partner for Magento in Canada and one of the Top 10 worldwide. Essentially we build amazing eCommerce solutions for major Canadian and American retailers. Some of our clients include, bench, scotch and soda, ardene, boathouse, pink tartan etc. The list goes on. If you’re looking for regular ecommerce discussion check out our monthly meetup group called eComemrce Toronto. If you visit this URL here, you can request to join and become a member.
Here’s a look at what I’ll be discussing tonight. First, let’s talk some big numbers. This will make more sense in a minute. Then I’ll give you some background information for those of you unfamiliar with the eCommerce environment. Then I’ll give you some insight on how to compete. And show you 8 ways inbound marketing is perfect for eCommerce. Finally, I’ll show you how to win online using some inbound marketing strategies and some real life examples. Alright let’s get started.
$97,680.10Does anyone in this room have an idea of what this number might represent?
Well, this is how much revenue was made every minute of every day during Q2 2012 for Amazon.comPretty crazy right? We’ll find out shortly why Amazon should seem so scary to online merchants.
Buyers are not persuaded by advertising alone. They’re using the web, search, social networks, and more to educate themselves on potential purchases.90% of americans go to search engines when looking for information prior to buying a product online (emarketer)Conversion is an action taken on a site. Other conversions include: newsletter sign ups, downloadsAt the end of the day it’s sales, but if you have other goals in mind you can customize it that way.
Show how to be competitive in eCommerce without focusing primarily on product price to drive traffic and conversionsOr other wise it’s a race to the bottomJust remember: there’s always someone who is willing to make less money than you.
It’s important to remember:Don’t Just Sell, Add Value Consumers go online to find solutions to their problems. The execution of inbound marketing helps businesses present the solutions to consumer problems, enabling the business to bring in more qualified traffic to their website. Once the traffic arrives, proper inbound marketing execution will allow the business to connect with site visitors through conversion offers.. giving the business an opportunity to turn an unknown stranger into a paying customer.Offer useful content that will earn you credibility with your desired audience. Give them information that will make them smarter, more productive, more successful or the first in the know.
So remember that scary number I posted a few minutes ago? 97. 680.10? Let’s talk about that more in detail. Amazon is a beast in the eCommerce world to say the least. Some people think it’s impossible or even a lost cause to try and even compete with Amazon. And when it comes to their long tail inventory, yes they’re right it is virtually impossible. For those of you unfamiliar with the term long tail inventory theory refers to the amount of inventory that an ecommerce store can carry and offer as opposed to a conventional brick and mortar store. With amazon their long tail inventory strategy enables them to capitalize on their immense level of specific product offerings that appeal to a vast number of online shoppers. But Amazon’s main strength also comes it’s greatest weakness. Its long tail is SO massive that it’s been unable to effectively address the higher phases of the buying cycle where education to aid consumer research and optical credibility are key. Therefore amazon has been unable to address the long term value of its consumers due to their weak, price specific value proposition and inability to adequately define and target buyer personas Proving that it is possible to be competitive in eCommercewithout focusing primarily on product price to drive traffic and conversions!
According to Hubspot, inbound marketing costs 61% lessper lead than traditional outbound marketing. Why? Because inbound marketing uses more cost effective (and often free) channels such as blogs, SEO, social media etc. These channels generate leads and ultimately deliver more revenue than outbound marketing techniques. They also have the added advantage of being self-sustaining as opposed to more time-intensive, intrusive marketing measures like cold calls.Instead of allocating large amounts of money towards outbound marketing campaigns such as TV, print, direct mail etc., content marketing has the unique ability to be easily shared throughout the World Wide Web, especially when the company in question has a strong presence in social mediaAll of this directly translates to a website’s SEO being dramatically increased which ultimately means it’s much easier for potential customers to find it.
One of the major advantages enjoyed by the Consumer of today is that they are more in control of what information they receive and how. This is particularly true for Canadian consumers, as our population spends more time online than any other nationality (45.3 hours per month to be exact).An increasingly large portion of this time is being spent evaluating and researching products, and recent data has begun to show that consumers are discussing brands casually about 90 times a week.This essentially means that any serious eCommerce business needs to prioritize creating content that will attract the attention of this voracious segment of the population.
This is where we can all thank the Mark Zuckerbergs and Jack Dorseys of the world (founders of Facebook and Twitter). Social media allows businesses with the splendid (and free) opportunity to connect with the right kind of audience no matter where they are in the world (read: new markets). Additionally, even the most specific niche market imaginable is suddenly targetable thanks to the dramatic scope, scale and reach of these mediums. As a result, highly specialized companies that couldn’t hope to succeed in a medium sized city or town can thrive simply by having access to millions of sparsely populated customers all across the country (and even the planet).By giving a business the power to specifically target, engage and speak to the consumer segment that is interested in them… inbound marketing opens the door for even the most niche retailers out there.
Content marketing it all about creating value for your potential customers. It not only helps to increase your credibility but also give them information to allow them to make a better purchase decision.
This is essentially what you want to achieve online. Customer comes to your website because they are interested in product X. You create engaging and interesting content about product x. The consumer is then more educated about product x and can make a better purchase decisions. Thus leading them to be more confident to buy product x. finally the customer might have had such a great overall experience with your company that they are inclined to share it with their friends and family online, thus attracting more potential customers to your site and starting the cycle all over again. You’re creating a marketing wheel, and looping back people. Feeding them content.
ROI in eCommerce tends to be always focused on product sales but businesses also need to consider the reduced need of support agents. This decreased need can eventually translate into decreased capital costs for your business. With your content helping to address the many questions consumers have, you might find support agents aren’t needed as often. By evening setting up something as simple as a FAQ page, it’s helping to educate your customers more about your products and services online. Back to point #5 – better educated consumers, means more confident consumers, which means a higher chance they’ll check out on your site.
This theory comes from store front window displays for regular brick and mortars, which provide merchants with the opportunity to showcase their best products – or when speaking online their high quality content. The more great content that is on display the more convincing it becomes to walk through the door. Content marketing works in a similar fashion – it creates more windows for potential customers to catch a glimpse of your products and services – and it creates more doors for them to walk through. Content helps to increase the overall attention to your website, thus helping to retain more customers and increase their frequency of purchase.
With tools like Google Analytics, Google Adwords, Hubspot and SEOmoz are just a few great ways to see the actual impact and success of inbound (and outbound) marketing campaigns. With the ability to accurately measure and demonstrate the success of these campaigns, justifying the budget, time and resources put towards them is much less of an issue. There’s a lot to be said for being able to accurately and precisely evaluate how many impressions, clicks, actions and leads a specific online initiative is generating. Thankfully, the technology to do just that is more readily available than ever.
Here are just a few of the strategies to help get you started with better content on your site:Write unique content for your products. Remember: maximum information for shoppers, is not only helpful to your customer but is also helpful for Google. Helping you to achieve a higher search rank. Include product names – especially brand names to help you rank better. Along with important key words (colour, sizes,) etc, useful content for the customer!This goes without saying, but having an online presence whether that is through social media or a blog is critical. You need avenues to help push your content out on the web, these are excellent starting places. Creating downloadable buyer guides or how to videos are a great way to start educating your customer base. Home depot does an excellent job of this on youtube, by creating how to videos with products you can buy online and in store. The more confidence a customer has about actually using the product, the more likely they will be to buy it! - Encourage customers to write reviews, not only is this helping to boost your products, and show customers that people have actually bought something and enjoyed it, but it also encourages other customers to write their own reviews. Did you know that according to Big Commerce, 80% of consumers consult product reviews before purchasing a product? According to paypal 45% of americans abandon their cart multiple times per month. So set up email workflows for this. Just keep in mind that not all customers are price sensitive – so don’t be so quick to give away discounts or coupons. Sometimes all the customer needs is a little time and reinforcement that they’re making the right decision! Finally use social media and email marketing automation to very effectively stimulate repeat and recurring purchases from existing customers, thus vastly increasing LTV. Best way to improve customer LTV is through content and engagement. Remember Amazon? They rely on a somewhat lazy fallback of discounts and price incentives to drive buyer behaviour. Because of its diverse inventory, it has a massive challenge in identifying and nurturing micro personas in a highly targeted and effective way. Content nurturing in email automation (and social media nurturing) helps address the dynamic buying cyclesStats:45% of Americans abandon multiple carts per month (paypal)36.4% of visitors that abandoned their shopping cart engaged with their automated email campaign (paypal)18% of US consumers have purchased a product because one of their friends follows or likes that product on a social network (Ipsos)34% of US Adults find informational blog articles about a product influential prior to purchase (hubspot)80% of Americans age 18-34 influenced by blogs when making purchase decisions (hubspot)80% of consumers consult product reviewsFeaturing reviews increases conversion by 4.6% and sales by 18% Allow negative reviews: shoppers who read bad reviews convert 67% more (BIG COMMERCE)Consumers are 65%-85% more likely to buy after watching videos (big commerce)
Don’t focus on the number, focus at winning. Just remember that Amazon’s diverse inventory creates a massive challenge in identifying and nurturing micro personas in a highly targeted and effective way. Your Inbound marketing strategies can help to address these dynamic buying cycles of your online customers and give you the advantage to help you win at ecommerce.
Thank you very much, and happy converting!
Inbound Marketing and the Future of eCommerce
Inbound Marketing and
the Future of eCommerce
Katie Hudson, Demac Media
This is Me
• Let’s talk big numbers
• Take a look into eCommerce
• How do you compete
• 8 ways Inbound is perfect for eCommerce
• How to win online
• Average conversion rate (sales): 1% - 5%
• Traffic is self selecting
– Fairly well targeted/qualified
• Why are conversion rates so low?
• Vast majority of traffic is not ready to buy!
– Non-price sensitive phase of buying cycle
– Need secondary sources to push for conversion
• Not all customers are price-sensitive
• Buyers are not persuaded by advertising alone
A Look into eCommerce
Be competitive in eCommerce,
without focusing primarily on price to
drive traffic and conversions!
8 Reasons Inbound is Perfect for eCommerce
1. Levels playing field for merchants
2. Low Cost
3. Tailored to the consumer of today
4. Connects to the right audiences
5. Creates educated buyers
6. Decreases level of support needed
7. Window Shopping Theory
8. It’s all measurable
• Write unique content for products
– Product Names, descriptions, key words (sizes,
colours, styles), list of features, pictures, videos
• Develop an online presence (blog, social)
• Downloadable buyers guides
• Create how to videos
• Encourage customers to write reviews
• Shopping cart abandonment workflows
• Post-sale follow up emails
How to Win in eCommerce
– Facebook interaction
– Car seat product page
• Home depot
– How to videos