In this marketing 101 tutorial, we want to discuss all the various options EasyCart can offer you as a business owner to market your website. It’s not easy, but with a lot of work and patience, you can attack each of these methods and gain more traction in the online retail world.
Marketing Basic Concepts
Social Media – Sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Digg, MySpace, Instagram, and others that allow you to post up links, pictures, and other pieces of information about things you like. Others, who are associated to you in that social media, can then see your links, pictures, and information and view them. Makes for a great marketing platform to have your products go viral.
Coupons – We refer to coupons as something the customer has to bring to your store. Typically a paper coupon in a retail store, but on websites, coupons are often shopping codes that the customer enters during checkout to get an extra discount. Coupons do not apply to everyone, only those who receive it, making it a ‘special’ offer for some.
Promotions – We refer to promotions as something that run on your website and EVERYONE receives the discount. Perhaps you have a fall sale, or a special weekend sale that everyone will get on your store because it is set for a time period or specific set of products. No entry of a coupon code is needed to redeem.
Cross-Sell – Showing one product, and then showing some related products that allow you to cross sell to another product. typically a ‘You may also like’ or ‘alternative products’ sections on a site.
Up-Sell – Taking an existing product, and then adding some extra value to it to get the customer to purchase a little bit more. Typically in the form of options, add-ons, etc.
Affiliate Marketing – Paying other people to promote your site and selling your goods. Affiliates will often link to your website with a special code, and in return, if customers come from that link and purchase goods, you will pay the affiliate a specific cut of the profit.
Volume Pricing – Offering pricing based on quantity purchased. Typically if you buy more, you can get each individual purchase at a cheaper price, especially useful tool for selling in bulk.
Customer Reviews – Ratings & customer reviews have become increasingly popular with a variety of retail goods. Give a bit of confidence to customers by offering other peoples opinions on the product.
SEO and AdWord Marketing – specifically target market to the search engines, so the will index you and you can benefit from organic searches from the search giants. You can even pay to advertise on giants like google to increase your search presence and attain higher placement on searches.
1. Social Media
There are a lot of misconceptions about social media, but it is really like any other market place. If you are there a lot, spend the time, you can attract people, but it takes a lot of time, effort, and socializing to do so. Facebook and Twitter are the highly regarded giants in this area, and you should always offer at least a page for your business to share it’s latest releases and updates. It’s fairly easy to do and posting once a week or every couple weeks is easy to do.
You can recommend your friends like the page to begin with and it will slowly gain traction. One good tip we have regarding social media is to ‘Boost’ an important post or sale you display on Facebook for a small fee. This can get your small ad in front of thousands, get more likes, and in return more visitors and often will lead to a couple conversions on your store.
On EasyCart’s side, we offer sharable buttons for every product, so customers who visit your EasyCart products can click and share links to them. No need to install another social sharing plugin into WordPress, it’s all automatic with EasyCart.
2. Coupons & Promotions
A great feature of EasyCart is you can create both Coupons & Promotions for products. Create a coupon and specify whether the coupon offers free shipping, or dollar/percentage discount. You can even specify the coupon will only apply to a specific product, all the products in your store, or to a specific manufacturer group.
Once you create coupons, it is entirely up to you how customers will receive that special code. You can develop custom email newsletter campaigns that distribute that code to specific targets, or you can post it on social media so only those folks see your coupon code. You can even run public local ads that only local newspaper or visitors will see and use.
Promotions are very similar, but you can establish time periods in which the promotion will run. Here is an example of a promotion that will offer free shipping to any order over $100 dollars.
The best part about promotions is they apply automatically based on your specific date selection, product selection and type of promotion to run. All your customers benefit from the promotion and no coupon code is necessary to enter. So based on your specific needs and how you want to marketing, coupons OR promotions can be used in a beneficial manner.
We recommend that you run a banner on your home page or other pages that display what type of promotion is running, and even share on social media that you have a current promotion running. Email campaigns are another great way to spread the word and get visitors returning to your site.
3. Up-Selling, Cross-Selling, Reviews, & Volume Pricing
EasyCart offers a vast option system that allows you to create options that change pricing for products. This makes a great way to display a product and then offer up-selling options to a customer as they add to the cart. These added value options often give the customer a sense of ‘why not’ at the product level and they are more likely to convert and add the extra options at this point rather than as separate products.
EasyCart also offers an easy way to attach like products that a customer may want to purchase. You as the business owner know best what customers may like, so offering some featured items or a ‘You May Also Like These’ section is a great way to suggest to a customer online what they may also like and keep more visitors shopping without having to restart the navigation process.
Customer reviews are another great marketing strategy to involve customers and get them to leave content on your website. EasyCart offers a full 5 star review system and review commenting section for you as a store owner to activate per product. Using this on a highly commented retail site is a great way to build confidence in customer decisions. Of course it may not fit in every businesses product line, but if you sell one or two goods and receiving a lot of praise from customers, offer a coupon code to anyone who leaves good positive feedback for you on social media, on your website review system, or other website.
Volume pricing is a great strategy if your products fit into this type of bulk distribution. Give customers an incentive to buying in bulk by using the EasyCart tiered volume pricing system. Just establish a set price, then offer what each product will cost at various intervals of quantity, it’s easy and a great way to market a few more items.
4. Affiliate Marketing (new)
EasyCart just announced a new integration with AffiliateWP and we are continuing to develop this system further with the company. The beautify of the system is you can offer affiliates a way to signup and register using AffiliateWP on your website, then affiliates use their custom link to promote your site. The more they promote, the more they make, and the more you make. As each customer purchases, AffiliateWP software keeps track of the totals and even allows an easy one click bulk pay to the affiliates at the end of the month or other payout period of your choosing.
Affiliate marketing is a great way for you to leverage other people as marketers and to only pay them if successful. Affiliates will spread the word about your products in channels of friends, social media, emailers, and websites that you would never reach, and yet you get complete control over how much affiliates take in proportion to your sales.
EasyCart even built in custom rules so that you can offer each product or each affiliate custom rates based on your specific needs. We are working closely with AffiliateWP staff on this integration and it may change shortly to accommodate even more options.
5. SEO & AdWord Marketing
One of the leading ways to market is via good old fashioned organic searches in Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Of course, you must realize you are now competing in a global marketplace and that your small retail store may have a million competitors in the search engine market, so here are a few strategies we recommend when focusing on search engine placements.
1. Don’t spend thousands of dollars on SEO companies to ‘Get you on page 1’. If you believe they have the answer to get you to page 1, we have some property on the moon to sell you as well!
2. Spend money on AdWords, not a lot, but some reasonable marketing money on google AdWords. Setup a small ad, and enter a few keywords that you really expect visitors to enter into a search to find you.
3. Keep your key words focused and unique. Don’t waste time on thousands of keywords, but really focus on a small handful of words that will bring in 90% of the customers.
4. Write content that matters. Your website must have actual words that people could read, blogs, stories, how-to’s, something… don’t expect visitors through search engines if you don’t keep relevant content on your site that is continually updating. Search engines even get bored if they see the same content each scan, so take time to write.
5. EasyCart allows you to enter each product with keywords and SEO text. Write descriptive descriptions and specifications if you can. The more unique text you write, the more relevant the products will be in searches.
6. Submit your EasyCart products to Google merchant feed. While this may not be appropriate for all businesses, nor worth the time, if you have a bunch of retail goods, get them on the shopping section of Google merchant with our merchant feed system.
7. Track visitors. If you don’t use Google analytics, get it on your website. You can see where visitors come from, what they search for, what pages they visit, and with EasyCart, you can enter your Google analytics code in our basic settings and track eCommerce sales data. How can you expect to market a site if you can’t track what is successful or what is not? Data is the only way to see what content is working, what changes are working, and where/why visitors come to your site. It’s powerful, free, and only requires a bit of knowledge and research on your part.
marketing an online site is a lot of work, and if anyone felt they were going to make millions selling online without doing anything, they may be misguided… In fact, we always felt it takes more time selling online than in retail shops because of the amount of descriptive work that goes into displaying and selling a product. But do not let this discourage you, there is a lot of potential if you use the right tools, that you can get for the right price, and not eat away at your profit margins to much. Utilizing a bit of your own time, researching your own content, finding your niche, and then following a plan can make you a marketing genius and help catapult your business into the black.
At Level Four Development, creators of the WP EasyCart, our mission has always been to provide tools that WE would want to use, at a low affordable cost to the mass marketplaces that want to sell online… and our software success is starting to show this.