The eCommerce Issue
Description:
With annual sales topping more than a trillion dollars, eCommerce is bigger than ever. It’s also more competitive. In this issue, we’ll explore ways to give your brand an edge, so you not only attract online and mobile shoppers, but turn them into buyers, too.

The eCommerce Issue

Fall 2013

Building Awareness: The eCom Shopping Funnel: If You Fill It, They Will Come

by: Christy Belden
Building awareness graphic

Unless by some lucky chance a web user “stumbles upon” your website, typically websites and mobile apps aren’t just “found.” Instead, it takes a well-planned and executed marketing strategy for someone to discover a website. Even if a site is discovered by word of mouth, a brand’s PR or social media team has worked extremely hard for it to appear as if one just found the site by happenstance.

In the digital marketing world, we have historically called this strategy “filling the sales funnel.” When you feed your sales funnel lots of tasty treats, like search engine optimization, affiliate marketing and social media, it will result in more conversions.

GOOGLE/BING/YAHOO

Search engines, and subsequently search engine marketing, can bring significant traffic. A good SEO program can manage to drive upwards of 60% of overall traffic to a site.

SOCIAL MEDIA

The list of social media marketing options is extensive and the ability to share brand related content helps pull new customers into the funnel.

DISPLAY/BANNER ADVERTISING

This type of media is shown on contextually relevant sites for the audience. Media is bought and placed on a CPM, CPC or CPA basis. It’s traditionally used to get a massive amount of eyeballs to view your brand.

EMAIL MARKETING

Used when you want to have a one-to-one relationship with customers who have shown an interest in your brand in the past. Email marketing is very effective at moving the needle with current brand advocates.

COMPARISON SHOPPING ENGINES

These show ads on a CPC basis and compare products across brands. Products are featured on trusted sites but the sales occur on the brand’s website.

PAID SEARCH

Very similar to CSEs, paid search works on a CPC basis but the ads appear within a search engine result. Paid search advertising can drive traffic in areas where other marketing activities may not have been effective. It can also drive a lot of traffic when you bid on high volume keywords.

MARKETPLACES

eBay and Amazon are the best examples of marketplaces. Instead of solely relying on the website to sell products, products can be sold on sites with high user trust. Although this may not directly fill the funnel, it absolutely is a way for brands to build a following and drive future site sales.

AFFILIATE MARKETING

Affiliate marketing allows brands to reach customers contextually where they may not have been able to reach them before. With affiliate marketing several niche sites provide incremental traffic—meaning the whole is greater than its parts. Affiliate publishers are paid when sales are made, not when a brand’s ad is shown.

The key to building awareness is not to focus on just one of the above. Instead, use a bit of all of the functions to maximize the traffic coming into the site. An integrated, cross-channel campaign can not only drive traffic via each channel but can gain lift through the coordination and integration of the campaigns. The more traffic, the higher the propensity for sales and seeing real results for your bottom line.