For any retail business, whether an online retailer or otherwise, digital marketing plays an increasingly important role.
Consumer demand is higher than ever for online purchases and interactive experiences that blend the on and offline retail worlds.
Having an effective digital marketing strategy in place can really make a big difference in the growth of your business.
So what best practices should your business be following in the retail sector
Build a solid foundation – a good website
A website is the heart of all of your activities. If your website is not fit for purpose, then your customers could be going elsewhere.
Whether you are selling on or offline, you need to make sure your website fulfils the needs of potential customers, and helps them find the information they need to make a purchase as quickly as possible.
Improve the customer experience and UX
UX, or user experience, makes up how a customer interacts with your website.
Work out exactly what you want them to do, how long it takes them to do it, and what the purchase path is like.
For ecommerce retailers, UX is essential in order to ensure most people make it to the checkout and actually complete the purchase.
Otherwise, the website should have decent images, provide enough information, and everything should be arranged in a logical order. Where people would expect them to be. You do not want people hunting around for site functionality that is commonplace.
Is your website optimised for search engines?
Ensure the page load speed of your website is as close to (or ideally under) 2 seconds.
On top of this, ensure all of your pages have decent levels of content for Google to index. Check all pages have relevant title tags and meta descriptions. And make sure your pages are optimised around the key terms your audience uses to search on Google and other search engines.
This is a huge task in itself, but doing keyword research or key phrase analysis is essential in order to ensure people find your brand when they are Googling products or services like yours.
Are you making the most of Google Ads, Bing Ads and social media ads?
Google Ads will most likely be used by your competition. If you aren’t present, then they could be taking business from you.
Google Ads are a key part of digital marketing for the retail sector.
But many people underestimate Bing Ads as a channel. While this can be more effective for B2B sectors for a number of reasons, it is still used by a good proportion of the UK.
On top of that, advertising on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest or otherwise can make a big difference to your bottom line.
While LinkedIn may have more of a B2B focus, all the others are effective for B2C marketing. Whether you want to expose more people to your brand or simply sell more products online, you can achieve whatever you want. The platforms offer ways to capture leads, to advertise your product catalogue, or simply send people to your website.
Marketing via many channels, or multichannel, is vital to cast the net wide and get as many customers as possible.
Whatever your niche, you are likely to find your customers on a variety of platforms. Whether this is social media, on search engines or across the web, you can target your marketing and advertising campaigns to where your customers hang out.
On top of that, blurring on and offline marketing campaigns works well. If people hear about your brand through certain media, and then Google your brand, you can continue the messaging.
To many people, their mobile phone is now the primary device they use to access the internet. It is no longer something they see as a secondary device to use when watching TV or otherwise.
And that is the same for shopping habits. People will read up about products, read reviews, find information, buy products and leave reviews on their mobile device. Is every aspect of your site
For B2C sectors this is even more critical. Customers use their phones in the morning, on the commute, at work, after work, in the evening and right before bed. Are you ensuring your brand is found when customers are looking for a business like yours? Do you advertise to customers where they hang out? Is your website likely to be found on search engines for key terms?