E-commerce Optimization: 7 Myths To Dispel Why It Doesn’t Sell
Have you made marketing choices dictated by hearsay?
Are decisions on investments and activities for your e-commerce the result of an analysis?
Marketing choices are often made, especially in the world of e-commerce, dictated by myths or hearsay that could limit the success of a project. On this occasion, we take seven myths related to marketing activities and try to dispel them to give you more significant earning potential.
Table of Contents
Earnings and profit are the only important performance indicators (KPIs).
In the early web era, marketers were obsessed with data that had weak or unclear correspondences to the actual market; this is because web marketing developed from groups made up of a single person, in which business decisions did not have to be explained to a committee by justifying parameters such as traffic or positioning.
When traditional businesses started using the internet and integrating web marketing within them, sellers had to relearn some things. Before long, word spread about justifying decisions based on expected revenue and earnings.
Unfortunately, the role of revenue and expected earnings has been emphasized so often that it obscures the importance of other key performance indicators. Profit and revenue are not the only parameters that indicate the success or otherwise of a company, even if they are certainly the most visible signs of the company’s health.
Here are other parameters to keep an eye on:
- Conversion rate: What percentage of visitors purchased something? Think about how conversion rates change with aggregate traffic or repeat visitors. Pay attention to the impact of campaigns, landing pages, interactions per session, previous interactions and traffic sources on your conversion rates.
- Channel Traffic: This might seem like a relic from the early days of web marketing, but it’s still very important to track web traffic today. The difference between traffic and revenue allows us to draw significant conclusions, which we can only understand by paying attention to the traffic and its origin.
- Long-term value of the asset: How much revenue does one of your pages generate over its lifetime? Which pages always generate the same revenue, and which generate revenue that then tends to decrease? Without making projections of this kind, it is not possible to determine the long-term cost-effectiveness of developing landing pages.
‘People who come from social media don’t buy’
Most of us don’t use social media every day to research products, so it’s easy to dismiss social media as an inconvenient channel, especially when the investment doesn’t pay off right away.
However, it would be a mistake to consider social media a simple waste of energy. 26% of Facebook users who click on an ad buy something, and, according to Kleiner Perkins, in 2017, Facebook saw a 62% growth in annual advertising spending.
The benefits of social media are not limited to advertising. According to recent social media research from GetAmbassador, 71% of consumers who have a positive experience with a brand on social media will recommend that product to other users.
According to a study carried out by Monetate, conversion rates from social media are only 0.71%, compared to 1.95% for Google searches and 3.19% for emails. However, social media is also the largest source of recommendation traffic for most sites, providing 31.24% of traffic for a website.
Since social visitors are upstream in the chain, they also need to be nurtured the longest before making a purchase. However, this does not mean that they can simply be ignored.
A good social strategy allows us to obtain traffic from a very heterogeneous audience and, therefore, gain visibility in front of an audience that we would otherwise not be able to reach with our brand. This is an opportunity to create questions, not simply take advantage of them.
Social media marketing campaigns generate secondary effects. Getting the attention of influencers can give us more targeted traffic, which can result in greater visibility in search engines.
With the right idea, it is also possible to ensure that visitors from social media become part of our mailing list: in this way, there will be even more chances that they will turn into buyers in the future.
‘No one uses email anymore’
This is probably the most dangerous myth of all: email is an old technology, but it doesn’t mean no one uses it anymore.
Email is still the first communication tool people use to keep in touch. A post on social media doesn’t necessarily reach our followers on our account, let alone a commercial account. Messaging apps allow you to reach the recipient more directly, but commercial messages sent via these platforms, like emails, are only sometimes accepted.
In most cases, email is our only direct line to the consumer; consumers tend to accept this contact method. The owner of the email address will read most of the subjects of the various emails received, much more than what happens with social media advertisements. Social media has no inbox to check: either a post is seen, or it goes unnoticed!
Creating mailing lists is a fundamental activity for any digital marketing strategy. Without it, you risk sinking quickly.
‘All marketing takes place off my site.’
It is a serious mistake to think that everything we do on our site is “development” and what is done elsewhere is “promotion”, especially if we consider these two aspects separate activities in watertight compartments.
To be clear, I will state an obvious truth here: “Marketing is built into the product.”
Marketing is something that happens on our site. In fact, most well-known brands do as much marketing on their site as they do elsewhere, and there are many ways to approach this goal. For example:
- Divide landing pages to maximize sales and conversion rates.
- Develop next-generation assets, such as ebooks and other resources, to convince people to sign up for the mailing list.
- Create landing pages specific to the phrases and words people use to search for our products and understand the intent of searchers to convert them into sales or leads.
- Using authoritative blog content and latest-generation assets aimed at the right audience with the right keywords to create trust and a sense of reciprocity with our customers.
- Develop an easy-to-navigate site that allows people to find exactly what they are looking for.
- Improve our site’s shopping cart and checkout system to remove all the bottlenecks that lead users to abandon the cart.
These are just some of the ways your site can become an essential part of your marketing strategy. If you think you can launch your site on the market without making constant changes, then you only have half of a successful marketing strategy.
‘The goal of social media marketing is to go viral.’
This is a central myth in the way many e-commerce sites promote themselves, and it is the prejudice that most damage the reputation and implementation of social media marketing.
The reason is that all our metaphors are wrong. The most popular content on the web does not spread virally, as we believe, with friends and friends sharing part of the content.
Research by Sharad Goel and colleagues, who analyzed over a billion events on Twitter, concludes that content becomes popular on the web because it hits the “nodes of influence” of a network.
A piece of content doesn’t go viral because of some exponential reshare effect, but when a much smaller number of influential people share it with their audience.
According to a recent Twitter study, 20% of people surveyed said that a tweet from an influencer influences their decision to share or recommend a product. The number doubles when it comes to making a purchase:
Nearly 40% of Twitter users say they have purchased as a direct result of a Tweet from an influencer.
Luckily, another path leads to exponential growth, which, however, is not based on content sharing but hinges on audience retention.
If you lost 20% of your audience every time you posted content that got a 20% boost from social media, then there was no change. This is flat growth, almost zero. If you can maintain that full 20% of your audience every time you post something, then the result will be exponential growth.
Of course, there are limits to how long you can maintain similar growth, but this thought experiment will help you clarify your true priorities: reaching new audiences and retaining existing ones.
Assuming that social media is one of the worst places to reach your audience, this is a reminder to think of social media as a source of traffic to convert to mailing lists or some other audience with whom you have a relationship and more direct contact.
‘A good product sells itself.’
Belief in such a phrase is inversely proportional to the time spent on organizing a successful business.
This is an excuse for the lack of a marketing strategy. In this case, you are relying too much on the power of the internet to communicate ideas while at the same time ignoring the incredible amount of information people are exposed to every day.
As we saw before, things go viral differently than we think. Add the fact that conversion rates are usually meagre, and we’ll start to understand that even if news about our product goes viral by some kind of miracle, we risk burning out our audience in a day with no options once it runs out.
Come to think of it, even something as revolutionary as the iPhone required millions (if not billions) of marketing dollars. The truth is simple: no, products don’t sell themselves. Good products have positive reviews and stimulate word of mouth, but they are not a substitute for a marketing strategy. The vast majority of our potential audience will hear about us with a lot of effort on our part.
‘You need to reach as many people as possible’
Deep down, we all know that we are not looking for simple site traffic numbers. Despite this, marketing experts often have prejudices in this sense. This is why it is so important to ensure that there are rational reasons behind our choices. Getting a link from the New York Times can be very satisfying, but what are the chances that some readers will then become a buyer?
Being able to reach a general audience is not bad; it should be a part of a company’s marketing strategy, as this type of attention can positively impact our contact list, network effects and search engine indexing. The basis of a solid marketing strategy is always to connect supply and demand. Never forget it.