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Essential marketing features for online shops



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Essential marketing features for online shops

Eccomerce success is a hard nut to crack and ensuring success is a long-lasting battle between the choices you are going to make and the actual stuff that works for you.

You might find yourself investing time, effort and money into the wrong technologies, without turning a profit around.
This is why it is highly important to understand and implement the right marketing features right from the start.

Here are a few essential features modern eCommerce platforms should use:

1. Personalized Emails

Long and gone are the times when a simple promotion email was sent to a huge list of people without knowing exactly their preferences and without offering a solution to their problem. Nowadays, unpersonalized emails are basically spam.

You need to analyze your user's interaction with your website, understand their needs and look at their past transactions to figure out what to put into the emails you are sending them.

Of course, automation is the key element here; you won't be able to do it by hand, especially when you have a lot of data to analyze and a lot of different users with highly specific buying patterns.
Trigger emails for people that put products in the cart and then decided to abandon it, make them a special offer and try getting them back. The primary purpose of email marketing should convert more of your current website users.
Tools that can help you with all of this: Constant Contact, InfusionSoft, HubSpot and of course MailChimp.

2. Reviews systems

It astonishes me that is almost 2018, and there are still a huge amount of online shops out there without a review system!
Reviews are vital for any eCommerce based websites. Studies after studies show that people trust other people and overall trust online reviews.

Give buyers the possibility to review your products! Having reviews will increase the conversion rate and will generate more organic traffic because Google loves content coming from reviews and loves reviews in general, its a sign of democracy and popularity.

3. Google Analytics might not be enough

Using Google Analytics at the moment? Good. This is an excellent analytics tool, but for eCommerce success, this might not be enough. I suggest you start looking for an additional tool that provides more rich analytics and audience insights than your standard GA.
Such an example might be Magento's business intelligence with analytics features capable of GA integration as well as providing the kind of metrics that you only dream about, stuff like the average number of products a user buys per order, how long does a user stays around a customer (lifetime) and other similar performance metrics.

4. Blogs

Having a blog is essential for any modern online shop. This should be an extra way to attract visitors to your shop.
Having an integrated blog without the need for a second management system might be even better.

A blog can help drive the kind of organic traffic your product pages and listing pages can't. Make sure you exploit this option to it fullest, ensuring additional customers.

5. Discount Codes

Having a discount code feature will help you convert those users that need that extra intent to make the purchase. It is a key element of any modern online promotion.
Studies have shown that discount codes had convinced over 80% of new customers to try a specific product.

I personally used this feature here in SC with a lot of success. Being able to add a discount feature for every user on every service offered here was a stroke of genius from the SC staff part.

6. Live chat feature

Have you ever used a live chat feature on any type of eCommerce website? Me neither.
But that doesn't mean that other people have the same opinion.
I've seen live chats in action on websites I thought such a feature was useless. You will e surprised how many clients need guidance on their conversion path.

With live chats, you will also get a huge chance to improve your site user experience. Why? Because the people that use the live chat usually have a problem. You can figure out where they got stuck and improved the user experience in such a way that features users won't ask the same question.

It's a win-win situation. On the one hand, you are converting users that otherwise had just left, and on the other, you are fixing website problems you never thought off.

Comments

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Barida

Good information for anyone planning or already have an online store. The good part of it is that having reviews of products bought increases confidence in the mind of the buyers.



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vinaya

I am thinking to setup an online shop. I have a done a research and found my niche. My online shop will be selling maternity items. I have a domain for this purpose it is called http://maternityeshop.com I also have a hosting account. However, I am dilly-dallying. First of all, I need products, since I don't manufacture products, I will have to procure products. Secondly, I need to set up a website. I will remember your points when I am ready to launch my website.



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Barida

I would suggest you make that one of your 2018 goals in life. In as much as you might not have it perfect when you start, there is no harm in giving it a try at the end.



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vinaya

This is one of my goals for 2018. However, it is not an easy goal, I will have to procure products, and this is going to cost me a lot of money. Secondly, I also need to spend a good amount on marketing. Without marketing, how would people find my store?



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Corzhens

In my experience with selling, the most important aspect in the start up is the supplier and not really the buyers. What will you sell if you have to products to speak of? When I had my retailing business of clothing and personal accessories, I only started it because of the offers of products to sell from the suppliers that I know. This is not to say that getting clients is easy. I just want to emphasize the importance of getting suppliers.



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vinaya

Whether you are dropshipping or selling directly, you need to have a reliable supplier. having a reliable supplier is very important because your business entirely depends on the kind of products you are selling. If you have good products and offer a competitive price, selling become easy. Another important point to consider is marketing your online shop. Free marketing may never give you the kind of traction you are looking after.



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Judas2018

Discount codes are definitely the key. You'd be surprised at how much sales can pick up just by slashing $5 to $7 dollars off the retail price of an item. Really helps people out - especially during the holidays.



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Martinsx1

This is exactly what I'm talking about, people always love to get a discount on anything they are going to purchase. So therefore, the moment they are aware of a certain discount on products they are going to procure, the chances of increased sales is always higher.



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Baburra

I agree. The best part about this is that you get to trace where they got the codes and you can apply the lessons on your next marketing tactic or just your whole strategy in general. Doing this really allows you to do a lot more for the small price of giving the people some discounts and ultimately I think it really is worth the expense you make by giving away a bit of your profit.



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overcast

I know a business where people are working as chat support people. And they seem to be doing good. They seem to be supporting plenty of business in the market. And it is something that is being promoted in many shops as of now. I'd say if you are serious about the work then you should consider starting something like that widget on your store too. I think that can work for instant support purpose. And does not take much time off your hands.



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Martinsx1

Chat support is a great one, I have ran into some online business that I was redirected immediately with a pop up of their chat support asking me if I need any assistance that I shouldn't hesitate to contact them.

At first I thought it's just an ordinary software robot but I decided to ask a few questions about the site and one representative attended to me. I felt so happy and relaxed about my dealings on the site.



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overcast

I think most of the modern business these days are making use of the chat support. Not sure how that helps with conversion of product. But almost every random tech business have that widget on the site. And I am guessing it was added to get more people to like the service or product. Think of it as a before sales service. And after sales service too.



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TimothyAlex

I would also add contents and sweepstakes. These are great tools that will keep people coming back to the site, signing up for newsletters, and generally engaging with the site.



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kgord

I would agree with contests and sweeps. It seems like a number of the major blogs include these. People love the perception of getting something for nothing, and whether or not they participate in them or not, I think they should be available.



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Martinsx1

Content is good when it comes with a great title head, it makes a catchy presence to people's first sight on. And signing up for newsletters will give these people immediate updates once you have published a new article. I love that very much.



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augusta

Having reviews is the most important points,Personally, before doing anything online,I first check out reviews,it from reviews one get the truth about a product or service.By the time they're no reviews I dump the idea of buying such a thing, so businesses must take reviews and feedbacks seriously so as to push in new customers.Owning a blog is another good one, people would be willing to read and this means organic traffic.



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kgord

Yeah, I agree with that. I check out a number of reviews before I purchase or do anything online. The more reviews the better, and even better if they all say about the same thing. You don;t know if it is someone reviewing their own product or others..so a multitude helps.



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Martinsx1

Reviews are good because it's going to be like an insight into the product you intend purchasing, whether it's a good one or bad one. It affords you the opportunity to make your choice from other user experience and not to be taken unawares.

Although some reviews can't be trusted because some now pay people to do reviews on their products just to get people to patronize it but once it's a good genuine review it's a good one.



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Martinsx1

This is really an interesting and informative write up that would definitely be of a great assistance to anyone planning on setting up online store. It gives a quality insight on steps to follow and get one's online store up and running with less hitches.

I find the tips on making use of blogs and discount codes very interesting, because they are both likely to get the online stores more traffic and possibly more patronizers. This is a good one, I like it.



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potentialwriter

For online shops, creating or using a blog is one of the greatest features essential for online marketing. Your blog stands for or represents your online identity which must be unique in the whole wide world. Enabling live chat is another great tool or feature needed or essential for online marketing.

When a visitor needs to make some quick inquiries who might be a potential buyer, he gets instant replies through the live chat feature and may be convinced through this to take actions with immediate effects.

Discount codes can really help to make sales sooner than expected. People love discount which means reduction in payments and can easily be convinced to buy on time.



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overcast

I agree blogging is a good option too. As content marketing is where most of the people getting lead in today's times. And having blog helps with that. I'd also say that in some cases being on social media and posting those blog links helps too. That seems to be the most common thing among people these days. We have to think about that part.



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DarthHazard

Reviews are so essential especially for online shops because it can mean the difference between a sale and your user leaving your site. Reviews create trust between the store and the user and it allows them to buy the product (if the review was good of course). Not having a review system is just a bad move because what will happen is that your users will be unsure whether to trust the store and the product that it is selling and they will end up just moving to another site to buy



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Judas2018

Reviews are important but with so many people buying fake reviews these days to boost the profile of their online businesses - you can't always trust everything you read. Unfortunately.



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Martinsx1

Reviews are good for any business establishment, be it online or physical store, it's certainly going to make customers believe in the selling firm from what they read or watch in the review. It's a good trust and confidence booster for patronizers.

But care should be taken by any business firms not to do a misleading reviews, with the bid to probably influence the customers decision on buying a particular product. This will have a serious out fall in the business should the customer find out they were being misinformed.



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kgord

I agree, I think it is just a fundamental thing anymore to create a review onsite. People always read reviews and to have them available is just the best thing in terms of being able to create a positive buzz about your product or products.



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Martinsx1

We all forget about the need for incorporating feedback to the operational activities of the online shop. This is one of the features I believe that makes any patronizers and users of the online shop to feel valued.

This helps both the online shop owner as well as it customers, it aids in encouraging quick responses and resolving any issues that may crop up from product sale or otherwise.



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overcast

I agree feedback form or the contact form can be a good idea. Also the chat widget is another option on the online shops. I have seen that working. I have not observed some of the testimonials page though. Not sure how that worked out in that case. You can see that in such context it'd be reasonable to see things would be different. As in how the comments may work out in favor or against the shops.



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Martinsx1

Exactly what I'm trying to say, feedback is definitely of good benefit to those that make use of it. It shows you flaws to take care of and put it right.

Testimonials are good as well because it's from there people are really influenced to join the platform and experience their own.



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overcast

Yes the sites like Amazon, Ebay and other websites are going to be with some of the reviews and the testimonials. So this can be something we have to understand that part. You can see that its bad to get the fake reviews. Because on consume side we lose in that case.



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Martinsx1

I totally agree on this, bad reviews don't consumers any good and it shouldn't be encouraged in any way because it kills companies corporate image.



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Baburra

Great tips as always but things are a little bit different where I am from I guess, or maybe our shop is just not big enough to necessitate those things. We are able to run the online shop with just an Ebay store and a Facebook page and even the Facebook page we don't really pay much attention to at all. As a consumer though, I would have to agree fully as those are the things I look for in a big store that I shop with. Maybe for the smaller sellers it's not as much of a requirement.



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anwebservices

All of these are really essential and important. I find that honest reviews by previous buyers making really good influence on further potential buyers, so i always ask my customers for their feedback and spreading the word out to their social friends or local friends, family members or whatever. This can really boos sales and yet having more 5 star ratings is such good influence on all visitors



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DarthHazard

I disagree with the blog actually. It might work for certain niches but for most online shops it just isn't needed. Very rarely will you have people visit an online shop because of the blog and not the products on that site. I just think that it would be a waste of time to spend on writing content because you could use that time to focus on various different aspects of your online store like discounts or marketing.



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Everett

2. Reviews systems
I do not believe I would ever purchase from a website that didn't have a review feature. Even though I necessarily do not believe all the reviews I read online (because I know some people like to buy reviews for products) I still think an online shop should have a review system. This is what makes a shop online, because if there is reviews potential buyers would feel more relaxed, and secure if the shop they were about to buy from utilizes such a feature. However, with my own little online shop, I do not have a review feature and yes I know I probably should get one but the theme I am using (this is wordpress) offers a review system in which I would have to pay for, and I do not like paying additional money for plugins. Perhaps sometime in the future when my shop is more successful I will eventually go ahead and buy the plugin but not any time soon. This probably does affect my sales, but as I said before I am not going to pay for it unless I totally need it and if i an afford it. This sounds very hypocritical from me since i dont have one but state it's more secure for buyers, however i am such a small shop that i dont need one now.



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cmoneyspinner

If it's an eCommerce site, all of those features are a must! It's one of the reasons I hesitate to start an eCommerce. That last feature about the Live Chat is a feature I can't offer. But this post is a great checklist for if I do decide to start a site.



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Judas2018

Live Chat is a great feature. It's nice to have someone there when you have an issue at a particular website. Most sites still don't offer it though. Due to the difficulty of finding someone who can handle the workload, or be online to answer the bell when called, or can speak multiple languages.



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jaymish2

I agree if you have an E-commerce site, you need to make sure that you have aggressive, marketing campaigns. They are many times I have wanted to buy something online but because of the variety, end up confused.I agree with the importance of reviews. This helps people to differentiate your products from the rest. In your marketing budget you should set aside, products that you send to people to review,so that you have genuine reviews online. I would advise you to send them to people who have review authority online. A simple search will point you in their direction.



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rhombus

I have mixed feelings on the chat option on websites.Unless there is an actual informed person you are chatting to, it serves as more of an annoyance. I am referring to automated messages back and generic replies. Agree that customers should have a platform where they can post their reviews and a sign of a trustworthy supplier is the way it handles negativity.



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Corzhens

My idea of a blog for purposes of marketing for the online shop is a separate entity. That’s why you have the advantage already if you have an existing blog with a good number of readers. You can create another blog and invite your present readers to that new blog that is for the purpose of promoting your business interest. And what better way to market than get the existing readers of your blog?



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