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How traditional retailer can create their online marketing strategy

The online marketplace has grown exponentially in the last decade. The online marketplace is changing how traditional retailers are marketing their products online. As online shopping becomes more popular, it can be difficult to create a strong online marketing strategy for retailer.

Traditional retail make more than 90% of their revenues with their physical stores, but online sales only account for a fraction of these revenues. Even though the world is changing and digital sales and online marketing have become part of our everyday lives, retail chains need to change their approach to online marketing and develop an effective strategy that will help them stay competitive in this new era where customers expect instant gratification when they shop.

Why retailer have to invest in an online strategy

The customer’s online purchasing experience is important to online marketing success for retailers. Retailers should ensure that their e-commerce sites load quickly and are easy to navigate so as not to lose the online shopper before they complete their online purchase.

Online shopping has become a part of the customer journey. According to a study in online marketing, online shoppers in general have an average of 17 online shopping sessions a month with an average time spent per session being 25 minutes. The online shopper is going online instead of going into the store because they want to be able to get what they want, fast.

As online shopping becomes more popular, it can be difficult for retailers to create a strong online marketing strategy. Online sales account for such a low percentage that retailers don’t put enough effort into online marketing and it decreases the effectiveness of their online strategy.

What retailers can do

What retailer can do to develop an online marketing strategy, here are some ideas:

1. Retailers have to embrace online customer relationship management (CRM).

2. They have to use Web analytics tools to identify the online shoppers.

3. They have to focus online marketing on online store traffic and online sales conversion rates, rather than simply measuring online ad clicks and impressions.

4. Retailers have to drive online traffic through search engine optimization (SEO).

5. They have to use persuasive content in their social media campaigns for online marketplaces.

6. The online strategy for retailers has to be cross-channel, that means they have to maintain online presence and support online sales with their offline marketing efforts.

7. They also have to use live chat platforms that enable online shoppers to get a fast answer when they need one.

8. Finally, online retailer have to use online marketing channels such as social media, mobile apps, online ads and email campaigns strategically to drive online sales.

Where to get started

The biggest challenge in setting up an online marketing strategy for retailer, is the organizational setup. Since online only account for a small percentage of sales, the organizational structures do not show the full potential it might have. This is a problem we see in most organizations.

It is important to recognize that online sales will continue to grow in the near future. But, it is impossible to neglect the strength that physical retail and stores have.

An omni-channel marketing strategy is the first place to start. You have to make sure that digital sales and advertising become just as important as the promotion of the brick and mortar stores.

Online belongs in the board room. Make sure that it is on the agenda at every C-Level meeting. And do not underestimate the long term effects of investments that have to be made, today.

Why retailer should invest in online

  • Retailers should invest time into developing easy-to-use mobile sites so that customers can purchase items on the go.
  • Retailers should also monitor online reviews to see what customers have to say about a particular product and respond to their customers online with online surveys or webinars.
  • Online videos can also help retailers connect with their online audience and share product information, demonstration videos, and industry knowledge online .
  • Another way in which online marketing is advantageous for retail stores is online advertising. Retailers can target online ads by location, interests of customers and time of day.
  • Retailers can also build relationships with online influencers to promote their online brands.
  • In general, online marketing can be an important tool for retailers to develop but it requires a lot of planning and effort in order for it to succeed.
  • Last but not least, online shopping has become a part of our every day lives. When you are a retailer, you will know that your customers expect a good online purchasing experience.

Contact me

If you would like to work on your digital marketing strategy as a retailer, or brand send me a message using the contact form below.

Remco Livain
I’m a digital entrepreneur, online performance marketeer, founder and CEO of the digital innovation consultancy GANDT Ventures (based in Switzerland). We support organizations (SMBs, corporates and later stage ventures) in their digital efforts. I learned the trades of the (online) business at Venture Stars (MIFLORA), Rocket Internet (Westwing Home and Living) and Insparx (C-Date and be2).

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