Updated: Nov 16, 2019
Learn about E-Commerce Marketing - How it is done? How is it growing? (Search Engine Optimisation, Social Networking, Amazon Advertising)
In this age of digitisation, technology has pushed the boundaries in every sector. In any sector, there is an urgent need and a tendency to go digital on any platform. Software products like Amazon, Flipkart are improving people’s accessibility to an entire shopping market, where people can select and buy any product. Marketing as goes the general term, is the process by which you advertise a product which you have developed, showing its features, capabilities and how it can redefine your lifestyle. Marketing a product aims at creating maximum impact psychologically on the customer, creating an inherent need and desire to buy and own the product. E-commerce websites are rapidly growing providing people a unique experience. For any product to sell, there always is the marketing strategy. In order to attract customer attention, there are many number of techniques adopted. The strategy of marketing a product has gone beyond the normal realms of selling a product. It has now got into the sphere of your mobiles and computers.
EVERYTHING IN YOUR HAND
On any given day, whenever you are browsing your social networking websites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram commonly you see some shopping product as an advertisement on your news feed. It maybe showing anything ranging from a mobile, shoe, watch, shirt to a platform where you can register for learning a coding language,etc. Sometimes you may get emails from these e-commerce websites informing you about a product and its offers and many times luring you to buy their product. These are some of the practical ways by which products are marketed on a e-commerce platform. These techniques out of many are considered an effective and efficient way to market a product. Since everyone has a mobile phone and an internet connectivity, the best way to reach out to people is through their phones. Seeing these kind of notifications, a person may land up buying the product and the company ends up raking good sales. Marketing is the most essential part in the cycle of a product sale. If you can’t market it well, you may end up loosing a lot on the product. The modern world requires marketing, not because the product is good or bad, but there are too many products in the market competing with each other to land up in the customer hands.
The number of e-commerce websites are huge. Amazon, NetFlix, Flipkart, Apple, Dell are some of the biggest e-commerce industries and are currently using e-commerce marketing to get huge benefits. For e-commerce apps like Flipkart or Amazon, there are large number of products which are being sold by various sellers, third party vendors and these products need to be marketed at various levels. Hence in the process of selling their products, they require various marketing strategies which needs to planned, executed and utimately producing positive results. They heavily rely upon the Marketing Specialists to chart out the marketing plans and to spread awareness about their products, services.
HOW E-COMMERCE MARKETING IS DONE:-
There are a number of marketing strategies which are planned out in order to enhance a product’s selling and profits. Marketing specialists first assess the requirements of the client, do a proper analysis of the company’s products with voluminous data and come to a conclusion to which product they want to market. They make business plans, do brand building, decide on daily frequencies of advertisements required and most importantly, decide on the time when to do. Even if a marketing strategy is excellent but gets released on a bad time, it can do colossal losses for any company. E-commerce is also a bubble, what and when the customer wants to buy, can change overnight with any trend. A trend analysis is also done on a variety of products for higher efficiency. Below listed are some of the few ways how the e-commerce marketing is being done in the digital space:-
1. SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION:-
Googling is one of the most common practises anywhere in the world. Whenever we search anything, immediately we get lots of results with it. All of us always open the first four tabs at maximum and get satisfied with the results. As is human tendency, we dont go to rest of the other tabs as opening many tabs can cause confusion. Optimising the search engine can be one of the most effective ways to boost marketing of any product. If its done, and if a search on google goes for a particular product, and your website comes in the third place, there is a strong possibility that the customer goes to that website and buys the product. This can be done by software developers by altering the website content and code in a certain way which aligns with google’s search engine. Modern techniques in the software field like elastic search has resulted in more inclination towards better results.
2. USING SOCIAL NETWORKING:-
This is the most common way of promoting your product by using social networking on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Whatsapp. Companies advertise products by placing it in the social websites which one can often see in their news feed. The ads contain a link to their e-commerce website which up
on opening redirects to the product which can be a potential buy. Companies are also roping in celebrities paying them handsomely to market their products on these platforms boosting an interest to the product. Long gone are the days where only on television screens we used to see ads about products. There are videos with creative ideas which are on the internet increasing the interest day by day. Be it Makemytrip, Flipkart, Amazon all have come full horns blazing to market their product using funky ads, creative product placements, celebrity sell among others. Each company is setting their own unique trend in the field of advertisement. There is a competition to be unique.
3. USING REFERRAL POLICY:-
Most often we receive messages via Whatsapp that a friend has installed an app in their phone and we will receive a referral bonus of some amount if we install it using the same link. That is the business model of the referral policy where both the company and the user reap benefit. Many applications have insanely got popular because of this policy. Of recent, Google Pay was one of those applications which gave a direct money transfer to your bank if you referred to someone or even if you made any transfer to any other account as part of the rewards. It led to an insane number of downloads on phones and made the app an overnight sensation.
4. CASHBACK AND OFFERS:-
This marketing strategy has been the most popular and hit formula for all the e-commerce websites and applications. Since there was a tremendous boom in the startup sector, a huge cash flow came from variety of investors as seed funding and startups started to use this policy to lure customers. Giving heavy discounts, cashback offers by tying up with variety of banks and exclusive deals gave a huge boost in sales. More and more customers started to flow into the internet traffic. This kind of discount offers worked very well in India. The middle class especially was able to buy stuff which was very expensive at a time at more than half the price and it kind of empowered them. This eliminated the process of going to a store and buying stuff at an expensive price.
5. E-MAIL AND PUSH/MESSAGE NOTIFICATIONS:-
This is one of the simplest ways by which product marketing can be done. Companies use email, app notifications, sms to spread awareness about the product or services. A person carrying a mobile phone easily is aware of it and can be a potential buyer at the end of the day.
6. PAY-PER-CLICK CAMPAIGNS AND BANNER ADS:-
Similar to the social networking advertising, this relies on posting banner ads, sponsored links which appear if you google something and appears on any blog, website. If you click that banner or ad then the marketing team owes money to the website where it has posted its ad.
7. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND MACHINE LEARNING:-
In current times, marketing campaign which is evolving day by day is heavily based on AI and machine learning. If you start playing party songs on youtube, then after a while youtube starts to automatically play party songs only which you like. If you are trying to prepare for an exam and have searched google for it, you start seeing ads related to it in different websites asking you to join their courses. If you are trying to buy something on amazon, then you start seeing ads related to it or its subpart on your Facebook id. Moreover, lets say you meet a complete stranger who may have just called you and you met that person once, you see their friend suggestion on Facebook. All this is possible only by using AI and machine learning. Machine learning uses a complex algorithm which analyses your requirements, your age, your mood, your browsing history and using predictive analysis tries to give something which is aligned to you. This creates a more personalised experience and the user is excited that the internet is so much adhered to his needs and is taking care of him. This obviously creates a happy feeling inside the customer and they readily go ahead to buy any product. Well, machine learning is providing this kind of experience to millions of customers boosting sales and driving a lot of crowd into it. Machine learning is like an evolving human being and is learning things, getting mature day by day.
HOW AMAZON HAS DOMINATED THE MARKETPLACE:-
It is no wonder that Amazon is leading the e-commerce space and it has done it brilliantly using excellent marketing techniques. Amazon occupies upto 50% of the market share having 250 million active customers. E-mail marketing was first started by Amazon recognising the immense potential it had. Plus the door to door, page to page interfaces provided by amazon are the extra cherry on top. It builds so much confidence in the customer that the customer thrives to stay loyal. Invitation mails, upsells mails, review mails all are effectively used by Amazon to thrive on the customer needs. Amazon’s personalization-based recommendation engine is one of the keys to its success not just with email marketing, but with e-commerce in general. As studies indicate, Amazon’s recommendation engine is said to be responsible for 35 percent of what consumers purchase on Amazon.com. Amazon’s emails are highly influenced by your activities on Amazon’s site as well as your interests, which ensures a higher likelihood of a customer responding to the emails. Ratings which were also started by Amazon on any e-commerce platform, has hugely affected in improving customer appreciation and sales. Sometimes when you get a bad product, there is also an apology mail coming from Amazon. Basically, Amazon has done almost everything and did it at the right time to boost its sales and make it customer friendly. It deserves to be the best e-commerce application in the market and rightfully is. If other market players need to up the game to come out in all glory, they need to bring innovative marketing strategies to the e-commerce platform.
E-commerce marketing has become the darling of digitalisation. Its use is not limited only to tech companies. Even political parties are using e-commerce marketing heavily to market their political campaign, promote their welfare schemes, promoting their work and others. The number of ways of e-commerce marketing will surely increase, as technology is evolving and new kind of ecosystems are coming up. The sales in the physical stores have significantly dropped, compelling them to tie up with the e-commerce sites as third-party vendors, sellers. Even they have experienced a significant increase in sales. The 21st century is a digital book, and we have come up with technologies through which we are writing this book on an unprecedented level, like never before. Every now and then, the book keeps changing itself making it suitable for the current world and as humans, we always need to keep in pace with it.