In recent years, a lot has been made about whether or not the standard marketing funnel has changed for e-commerce retailers.
Traditionally, shoppers went through the following three stages:
• Awareness: “I have a problem.”
• Consideration: “What are my options for solving this problem?”
• Acquisition: “I’m ready to buy a product to solve this problem.”
The truth is that these three stages are still relevant to e-commerce retailers. To make the most of each stage, online retail marketers should consider taking advantage of the following three channels.
Pinterest: Absolutely Own The Awareness Stage
For years, Pinterest was a hit with users but wasn’t a go-to channel for pay-per-click (PPC) marketers. While there were some ways to take advantage of the visual-friendly website, those options weren’t as accessible as Google and Facebook.
Recently, that’s changed. Pinterest might actually represent one of the most exciting opportunities for retailers at the moment. Earlier this year, Pinterest launched a revamp of its marketing platform. Among other things, the new catalogs feature allows retailers to upload multiple images of the same product, organize their inventory by category and even turn their product images into dynamic product pins.
The reason this is such a big deal for retailers is that shoppers often visit Pinterest when they’re in the awareness stage. They may be looking for ideas for decorating their home this Christmas, planning a new outfit, picking the furniture for their living room, etc. Placing your products in front of them during this critical time can produce incredible outcomes.
Facebook: Introduce Yourself And Stay Top Of Mind
Today, if you’re an e-commerce marketer who isn’t taking advantage of Facebook, you likely have some grateful competitors. Facebook is another great platform for the top of your funnel because you can introduce yourself via Facebook ads, which can be targeted at users based on their interests.
This targeting is valuable since many users have problems related to their hobbies, activities and other interests. For example, if you’re currently in the market for new jogging shoes, it’s probably because you like jogging. You might have even mentioned this in your Facebook profile. This makes it easy for a retailer to send an ad your way, letting you know about their incredible shoes.
It’s worth noting that Instagram ads are similar in this regard. I find that they’re not as powerful at the moment, but given how popular Instagram is, it might be worth exploring how much potential Instagram ads have for targeting your prospects.
Of course, as every e-commerce retailer knows, most customers don’t purchase right from the awareness stage. They need time to consider their options — in the consideration stage — before finally reaching the acquisition stage. That’s why you have to stay top of mind, which can be done by leveraging Facebook’s dynamic product ads. When someone has signaled that they are interested in what your brand has to offer, use these ads to stay in front of them again and again until they’re finally ready to purchase.
Google: Level The Playing Field With Amazon
If you’re an e-commerce retailer and you’re not using Google Ads, you may be struggling to attain sales unless they’re coming through Amazon. In order to keep more of your revenue, you need to show up before Amazon in Google’s search results, and one of the best ways to do that is with Google Shopping.
On this platform, you can create image ads that show people your products, which appear right at the top of the Google Search page and bring users to your listing the moment they click.
In your listing, you can answer all of the relevant questions people have when they’re hoping to make a purchase. For example:
• Do they have this item in my size?
• Is my favorite color available?
• Can I just buy this product at a nearby store?
• Are they running any sales to save me money?
Two other options e-commerce retailers can take advantage of on Google include Google Merchant Promotions and Google’s local inventory ads.
Just like the name implies, with Google Merchant Promotions you can create “special offers” for any of your products listed in Google Shopping. So, whether you have a surplus of inventory or you just want to boost sales, it’s as easy as logging into your merchant account and dropping your prices.
Finally, with Google’s local inventory ads, you can show searchers that one of your nearby stores already has the item that they want. If they’re already at the acquisition stage and are ready to buy, you can show them there’s absolutely no reason to wait.
Google Shopping is a powerful tool no matter where your prospect is in your marketing funnel. Whether they’ve just become aware of their problem or they’ve decided to spend money, there’s a good chance they’re going to do some online research on this platform first. Meet them there.
Upgrade Your E-Commerce Marketing Funnel
Before you go turning your entire e-commerce marketing funnel upside down, introducing new stages or throwing it out altogether and starting anew, consider revamping your traditional strategies. Arm it with the three channels I’ve outlined above, and you’re on the right track to more visibility.
Feature Image Credit: GETTY
Lin is Director of Communications & PR at GoDataFeed, a multichannel platform that helps retailers sell more on e-commerce channels.
Sourced from Forbes