Five digital marketing and e-commerce experts share their practical knowledge and offer useful tips on how retailers can successfully target their audience and increase their conversion rates through effective advertising.
Digital presence can be as equally complex and challenging as a physical one. Α few years ago, a company had to only make sure its data was online: some basic information, a product catalogue and a simple e-shop were enough for a brand to have a complete online presence. Fast forward to today and we’re faced with a completely different situation. A company needs to track its customers and approach them using the most suitable channels, persisting for as long as needed until their interest turns into sales.
The Retailer Spotlight: Digital Marketing Roundtable that took place in Covent Garden’s Hospital Club on 23 March revolved around this subject. Five digital marketing and e-commerce experts shared their insights and offered advice on how a retail company can approach its audience online in the most effective and successful way, answering questions and offering plenty food for thought.
Phrasee’s CEO used interactive surveys to test how easily marketers can identify email subject lines written by machines versus humans, with unexpected results. Writing good subject lines, being able to test them at scale and understand the intricacies of their success or failure all becomes possible with the integration of AI. Machines have the ability to understand patterns that are imperceptible to humans, and to draw on that information to learn, adapt and test the most effective and impactful subject lines possible. From the ten lines that were offered for the audience to guess from, only one was written by humans- not identified by the marketers, and not the overall winner in terms of engagement uplift. The winning email subject line, written by AI, saw an uplift in open rates by 36 per cent, and clicks increase by over 200 per cent.
Useful tip: Better language equals better results, but language isn’t exclusive to humans anymore; testing at scale will offer you the insight you need.
Genie Goals’ Director of Strategy focused on the value of mobile presence and branding. Consumers nowadays tend to shop either physically or digitally, having previously done their own research. Bearing in mind that 25 per cent of all purchases are made through a mobile device, companies need to offer a smooth and seamless mobile experience, with a mobile-friendly website offering a great start. Purchase journey has become complicated and because of this, a company needs to invest on a complete branding strategy. Using intelligent bidding techniques, a brand can take advantage of every content type (image, video, banner, text ads, etc.), thus ensuring a maximal appearance and obtaining as much as twice the space in Google search results compared to an organic presence.
Useful tip: Set your budget and your KPIs based on each product or product category’s margin.
Facebook is the most effective promotional platform according to Nosto’s eCommerce Consultant. Half the total internet user base spends on the network approximately an hour on a daily basis, thus justifying the 26 per cent of the global online ad spending it accumulates. White marked out dynamic remarketing as Facebook’s biggest advantage: its personalised suggestions lead to 4 per cent more purchases while CTR is increased by 240 per cent compared to static ads. What’s even more impressive is the fact that ROI equals 7-35 times the initial budget, which best highlights the effectiveness of personalised content. Dynamic remarketing through Facebook should in any case be a part of a broader strategy which aims to attract, convert and retain customers.
Useful tip: Create different remarketing campaigns for browsing, cart abandonment and post purchase.
Liberty Marketing’s Digital Retail Strategist described the 3 most common problems of e-commerce websites: local SEO, keyword cannibalism and wasting ad budget. She underlined the importance of a company’s complete presence in Google Maps with up-to-date and valid information: one out of two customers performs an online search 24 hours before visiting a high street store. Keyword cannibalism is also something that should be taken care of by making sure that each page within a website focuses on specific and unique keywords, in order to avoid internal competition in Google search results. In addition to these, constant monitoring of advertising campaigns is mandatory so that budget is not spent on ads that do not lead to sales.
Useful tip: Check the availability of the products promoted, make sure your targeting is correct and fix every broken page in your website.
A retail company according to Chalk Global’s CEO & Co-Founder should demand from the agencies and the platforms it works with, full transparency in every URL its ads are placed on. Doing so is the only way to ensure its brand isn’t associated with extremist and unsuitable content, safeguarding thus its image. Being mindful of the abovementioned, a company needs to think in the most innovative way in order to approach its audience. Proximity retargeting is an effective tactic since it can be implemented not only in physical stores but also close to billboards. Alternative promotional networks can prove impressively effective; such are Spotify with its podcasts and artist-based targeting, Pinterest with its significantly lower eCPM compared to Facebook and Twitter, and Snapchat, which now allows targeting based on users’ offline data.
Useful tip: Match user IDs that have been served an ad and then entered your store through proximity targeting.