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Five Digital Marketing Basics for Retailers and Etailers

Cappy Pratt Social Media Leave a Comment

Ready to launch a digital marketing program for your business? Asking yourself “Where do I get started?” Well, this is the bare minimum that you, the Retailer or Etailer, need to do to scale your business. These basic actions will have both immediate impact and position your business for better performance in the future.

We’re going to assumes that you have a basic web presence–a domain, an e-commerce storefront, and so forth. If you do not have those setup yet, you’ll have to do that first. Once you do, this list should be your next stop.

Best of all, these bare minimum basics are all free.

1. Configure Google Analytics

Smart marketing needs smart measurement. You need a system of record to track and evaluate your performance. Your goal is to identify where you generate the most sales, and focus your energy–and dollars–there.

Google Analytics still offers the best (free, widely adopted, easy to use) analytics package available. And, since you’ll be using SEM as a core component of your advertising, this works well.

Because Google Analytics is so widespread it ought to be easy to find a setup guide for your e-comm platform. Here are guides for Shopify, Magento, and BigCommerce.

Now you know how consumers are getting to your website/storefront, and what they are doing once there.

2. Setup Facebook Conversion Pixel

As consumers, if we aren’t using Google oftentimes it’s because we’re using Facebook. Facebook reaches more than 1.5 billion people monthly, and more than 70% of the US adult internet population. You can build a very successful e-commerce business without venturing any further than Google and Facebook advertising.

Facebook’s conversion tracking pixel is a powerful advertiser tool and the key tool for targeting your audience on Facebook. Regardless of when and how you plan to use it, install Facebook’s conversion tracking pixel immediately to begin collecting information about your audience.

You can use the data collected to target your Facebook ad campaigns down the road. It’s important to do it now, though, so by the time you launch retargeting campaigns, you’ve built up a pool of visitors to retarget. Here’s our setup guide.

Facebook retargeting and lookalike targeting has some of the best ROI and potential scale we’ve seen. Now you are ready to take advantage of that.

3. Integrate Social Into Customer Service

Social is a thing now. Your customers use Facebook and other social platforms to talk about your business, and you need to be there to respond. We have repeatedly seen significant performance improvements for our advertisers simply from interacting, replying, and solving customer service issues that are shared on social media. Facebook publicly ranks brands on customer service responsiveness, for instance.

We suggest first identifying the primary networks your consumers use (as simple as doing a search for your brand name on each, in most cases). Next, review your normal customer service processes and adapt them to a social medium (remembering your responses will be public). Lastly, assign a team member to obsess over customer service issues on social.

Here’s a great post from the team at Buffer on how to deliver exceptional customer service.

Customer service doesn’t just happen in your store–it happens wherever your customers are. Now you are set up to support them online, too.

4. Create And Curate High-Quality Content

In combination with an integrated customer service approach, the best thing you can do for your business is to publish and curate high-quality content. People want to learn about your product, how its made, and the design ethos. Sell the sizzle and the steak.

The content you create can take many forms: catalog photos, editorial spreads, blog posts, how-to videos, interviews with designers, etc. In our experience, the best content you can produce will be consistent with what you are already doing. Have a catalog business? Test adapting and including photo layouts. Create custom designed products? Tell the consumer about your design methods. Sticking with what you know increases the quality of the content and minimizes the marginal cost to create it.

Here’s an article we put together covering Instagram creative, for example.

On the technical side, Google’s, Facebook’s, Pinterest’s–heck, everyone’s–algorithm loves original, high quality content. By feeding those networks a steady diet of new stuff, your rankings will increase, more people will find your brand, and more people will buy.

Content is really the meat and potatoes of your business. Make it a priority and your customers will reward you.

5. Weave Social Media Throughout Your Customer Engagements

Advertisers need to keep in mind regardless of what marketing channels they do or do not use, consumers are integrated across channels. We use Facebook, Google, television, Netflix, etc on a daily basis. Make it a practice to ask your customers to leave a (positive) review on Yelp or Facebook, for example. Though difficult to measure, over time the benefits will accrue in the form of better conversion rates and return on advertising spend.

A client who has had a positive relationship with your business will be more than happy to give you a recommendation. Asking them to do it on your main social pages gives that referral legs and makes it persist over time. It’s as simple as just asking!

What’s Next?

The digital world, and digital marketing, can be an amazingly complicated place. Fortunately, its easy to simplify by keeping your business focused on core principles: know your product, love your customers, and go meet them where they are.

We think the basics outlined here are a good “starter pack” for retail and e-commerce businesses. We’ll cover getting more advanced paid advertising tactics in future articles.

Meanwhile, good luck with your digital marketing program and drop us a note or leave a comment with questions.