Four Pillars of Interactive Marketing
By Gian Genovesi, Briteskies
When it comes to interactive marketing, too many retailers myopically focus on site visits, hits, or traffic. SEO and SEM are the most popular areas of focus, and I equate this to sports teams’ exclusive focus on scoring as many points as possible. Increasing the points your team scores, similarly to the traffic your site obtains, is a factor of success, but in no way the end-all-be-all in e-commerce success. After all, of the top 10 scoring offenses in NFL history, only one has won the Super Bowl.
While SEO and SEM are effective ways to drive traffic, traffic is only one variable in the e-commerce equation and should not be the lone focus. There are four aspects to consider when creating tactics for increasing the revenue of your e-commerce site, and paying attention to all of them together is far more impactful than honing in on just one.
In its most basic sense, traffic is simply visitors or hits on your website. However, it is important to consider where this traffic is and should be coming from just as much as its volume. Are you attracting the right kind of traffic? You’ll want visitors coming to your site from related or otherwise beneficial sites, which helps turn visits into conversions.
SEO and SEM will have a big impact here, as will inbound marketing and external content strategy. This boils down to making sure you are marketing to the right sites and getting views from the right places.
2. Conversion Rate
This is, of course, the number of people buying out of the number of people visiting your site. The industry standard is 1%-3% of visitors becoming buyers, but it is also important to consider who is buying and what is incenting them to buy, not just the percentage alone.
A user experience catered to your target audience is the single most important aspect of conversion; it helps visitors know that they can trust your site. Sites that are designed and branded to relate to their visitors are much more likely to entice a user to purchase. Effective marketing is also crucial here, including promotions and, to a lesser extent, social media. The key is to ensure your online experience is one that resonates with its users, builds trust, and ultimately encourages them to buy.
3. Average Order Value (AOV)
Now that you have your site visitors becoming customers, how do you entice them to buy more? Increasing AOV on your site plays uses many of the same principals that you use in getting people to convert.
AOV can be increased with:
• Discounts and promotions
• Free shipping after X number of dollars
• Target email marketing
• Complementary and/or replacement items
• Appropriate merchandising, among other strategies
If you are offering the right products, and if you can offer related items, customers are more likely to purchase them from a site they trust rather than from separate ones. This is where complementary items and appropriate merchandising can be the most beneficial.
4. Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
If a customer has trusted you enough to purchase from your e-commerce storefront once, how do you get them to buy again? They chose your product and gave you their credit card number, so how do you entice them to keep coming back?
CLV is increased rewarding customer loyalty, whether that is through a reward program, email campaigns, subscriptions, or members-only sales. It’s incredibly important when re-engaging previously converted customers to be memorable, but not annoying. If you know your customer is running low on an item and should be reordering soon, reach out to them and remind them to come back to your site to purchase, but don’t be too forceful or frequent in your communications – there’s a fine line between reminders and noise.
Focusing on these four pillars of Interactive Marketing – instead of developing a singular focus on one – will significantly improve the chances of your e-commerce site seeing success in the online marketplace.
Gian Genovesi is the eBusiness leader at e-commerce integration company Briteskies. Contact Gian at [email protected] or on Twitter @GianniG.
Bed Bath & Beyond says weather affected Q4
Union, N.J. — Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. has provided preliminary information on its fiscal fourth quarter 2013, including the impact of adverse weather conditions during the period. The company’s same-store sales for the fiscal fourth quarter increased by approximately 1.7% as compared with its previous model of an increase of approximately 2% to 4%.
For the fiscal quarter, the estimated resulting impact due to the disruptive weather on same-store sales was in the range of 2% to 2.5%, and the estimated impact on net earnings per diluted share for the quarter was approximately $.06 to $.07. The impact of the disruptive weather included 464 times a store was closed for a full day and 1,923 times that a store was closed for a partial day. Although it is early in the process of its financial close, Bed Bath & Beyond now estimates net earnings per diluted share of approximately $1.57 to $1.61 for the quarter as compared with its previous model of $1.60 to $1.67.
"Despite the weather related challenges, we are pleased with our quarter,” said CEO Steven H. Temares. “Absent the disruptive weather, we believe we would have been comfortably within our sales and net earnings per share ranges of our model. Our store associates continue to perform admirably and we thank each of them for their extraordinary effort. We continue to make excellent progress on our omni-channel initiatives and stay on course for the execution of our long term strategic plan."
McDonald’s U.S. same-store sales drop 1.4% in February
Oak Brook, Ill. – U.S. same-store sales dropped 1.4% at McDonald’s Corp. during February 2014, with global same-store sales declining 0.3%.
Other segment same-store results for McDonald’s during the month included a 0.6% increase in Europe and a 2.6% decrease in Asia-Pacific/Middle East/Africa (APMEA). The company cited severe weather and challenging industry dynamics in affecting its U.S. same-store sales performance.
"McDonald’s global growth priorities – optimizing our menu, modernizing the customer experience and broadening accessibility to brand McDonald’s – are the foundation of our customer-centric approach to building our business for the long term," said McDonald’s president and CEO Don Thompson. "We are intent on improving our business performance by thoughtfully evolving our approach to ensure that we are delivering the most compelling value, service and convenience to each of the approximately 70 million customers who choose McDonald’s each day."