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Digital Doughnut Contributor
Digital Doughnut Contributor 24 December 2021

5 Top Ecommerce Marketing Strategies to Take into 2022

Online shopping is still gaining popularity, and 2022 might be the first trillion-dollar year for ecommerce, according to Adobe. Therefore, it is clear that businesses need to continue building their online presence to meet customer expectations.

Before the year ends, online merchants still need to survive the holiday ecommerce madness and take advantage of the busiest time of the year. While a considerable part of the focus is on holiday sales, one eye should already be turned to the horizon to start preparations for 2022 and devise a marketing strategy for the ever-growing customer demands. 

Keep reading to understand which marketing strategies were successful this year and what you should apply to your business in 2022. 

5 Inspiring Marketing Strategies for 2022

The past few years have shown us that shoppers want their shopping experience to be as easy as possible and yearn for sped up processes and personalization. Also, more and more people are using mobile devices to shop online and are becoming environmentally conscious.

Relying on these insights, we have selected five marketing techniques you should take into 2022 to boost your sales. 

1. Set up Social Media Shopping

More than half of the world uses social media, and around 400 million new users have come online during the past year. The average time spent daily on social media platforms is 2 hours and 27 minutes.

This is a clear indication that if you are not already selling on social media, it’s time to get on board with creating shoppable content and enabling customers to shop where they spend most of their time anyway. 

Social media shopping refers to a process where customers can simply tap on items displayed on photos or videos on social media feeds (e.g. Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.). This action takes customers directly to a product page on the brand’s website or lets them complete the purchase in-app.

Let’s take a closer look at the benefits shoppable social media has for your business.

  • Gather useful data. By creating shoppable content, you will receive important data about shoppers helping to boost your social media marketing. For instance, your click-through-rates (CTRs) will indicate the most popular products and gain an understanding which type of posts perform well. 

  • Provide convenience. 70% of shoppers turn to Instagram’s product discovery to find new items to shop. If a customer is out there on a shopping spree and you have managed to gain their attention with your post, they are likely to convert. 

  • Start telling a story. Shoppable content is ideal for creating a story around your products and brand as it’s very visual. Storytelling engages your audience and drives emotion that will stay with customers for a long time increasing the chances of shoppers falling in love with you and making a purchase. 

PRO TIP: For social media shopping to work on whichever platform you use, make sure you are active. This does not only mean creating posts but also replying to comments and creating conversations under the photos where your business is tagged in.

2. Encourage User-Generated Content 

Social media also brings us to user-generated content (UGC), which means you should inspire your users to create content about your brand. UGC can be in the form of photos, text, videos or anything else - the key is that real people and not brands make it. 

Social media platforms like Instagram are one way to approach UGC and encourage people to create content about you by organising contests, giveaways or other types of rewards, resulting in more people finding out about you. However, another vital element of UGC that you should not overlook is customer reviews. 

In fact, the most important factor for customers deciding to make a purchase or not is the reviews. Other people's experiences help your brand be more authentic and increase trust. So make sure that reviews for your products are easy to find, like Package Free has done in the example above. 

So what’s the best way to ensure customers will leave you a positive review after having an interaction with your brand? Focus on post-purchase experiences

  • Ensure you are clear about delivery times to avoid any disappointment. 
  • Set up order tracking for boosting customer experience.
  • Use well-timed post-purchase emails - ensure that customer has had enough time to receive the parcel and try out the product.
  • Offer an incentive for a review. It’s much more likely customers will take the time to leave you a review if they get something in return, such as discounts or loyalty points.

3. Start Building SMS Subscribers List

On average, people touch their phones 2617 times a day, giving merchants an ideal opportunity to instantly reach their customers over SMS messages. Especially as receiving SMS messages doesn’t require an internet connection.

However, as text messages are permission-based and require an opt-in from customers, you cannot start contacting them this way before they have said so. The most common methods of getting SMS message subscribers are:

  1. Adding a pop-up to your store and offering a gift once a customer subscribes to receiving SMS messages from you. E.g. 15% off from their first purchase.
  2. Including a subscription option at the checkout. Once a customer reaches their cart, they have shown a clear interest in what you have to offer, and if it’s made clear they could benefit further from your messages, they will likely check the box to opt-in.
  3. Highlight the exclusivity and the benefits SMS subscribers can receive. This info can be up on your homepage and shared via other channels like email newsletters and social media. 

Once you have figured out how to get people to subscribe, you can start building a long-lasting brand-customer relationship:

  • Send updates and notifications. You can inform customers about new stock, send an update about their shipping status or remind them about abandoned carts, and encourage them to continue shopping. 
  • Create a buzz with limited-time offers. As SMS provides an opportunity to reach your customers almost immediately, it’s a great platform to send time-sensitive information - e.g. discounts only available today.
  • Offer special perks. Every now and then, it’s nice to thank your loyal customers and show that they are valued - send them a personalized offer. It could be just a discount code or a bundle offer based on their previous preferences. 

4. Provide Omnichannel Customer Support

It’s long known that customer support is one of the best marketing strategies as excellent customer service can create lifelong loyal customers. Yet, poor customer service can generate harm beyond measure.

In fact, 90% of Americans claim that customer service is one of the most important factors when deciding if they wish to do business with a company or not. 

As speed and convenience are more and more important to customers, businesses should expand from regular multichannel customer support to omnichannel customer support.

The difference between multichannel and omnichannel:

  • Multichannel customer support stands for providing support on all the channels that you are, but not necessarily connecting them to one another. Multichannel experience allows customers to reach out via email, live chat, social media, SMS but not continue the conversation from another channel.

  • Omnichannel customer support is one step further as it provides a consistent communication journey. The channels are linked together (often via helpdesk platform) and information can be shared easily between them. It means that customers can reach out via the channel of their choice and get an immediate, personalised and reliable response any time they need assistance. 

This is possible thanks to customer representatives having a clear overview of their previous inquiry history (and some tools like the HelpCenter app for Shopify even display customers’ previous purchase history).

PRO TIP: Customer service can also contribute to getting reviews. Once a ticket has been solved successfully, the customer agent can send a follow-up email asking how satisfied the user was with the support process and if they would be willing to leave a review. 

5. Participating in Green Consumerism

Shoppers worldwide are becoming more eco-friendly and focusing on leaving a smaller ecological footprint with their actions. And this applies to online shopping as well.

Online searches on the impact of online shopping on the environment went up 2250% from 2019 to 2020, Statista has found.

  • Source products from fair-trade organizations
  • Use eco-friendly packaging and packing materials. For example, H&M uses a shopping bag that can also be used as a hanger. 
  • Offer climate-neutral shipping solutions (e.g. DHL GoGreen, DPD Total Zero)
  • Create detailed product descriptions to minimize returns

However, be careful not to greenwash. Be transparent in your sustainability plans and ensure you are not false advertising and making promises you cannot keep.

Bring on 2022!

It’s clear that online shopping is here to stay and will most likely gain even more popularity in the years ahead. 

To stand out in the competition, allow your customers to shop on multiple platforms and receive support with ease. To be more authentic and have more meaningful connections with customers, share user-generated content and contact your customers over personal channels, such as SMS.

And add in your plans to start developing a greener mindset because customers are likely already one step ahead of you in reducing their ecological footprint.

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