5 Ways Online Retailers Are Handling Marketing All Wrong

Established e-commerce brands are the model all marketers should aspire to, hoping to achieve the booming success of the e-commerce sector, where sales as a proportion of total retail have risen by a factor of seven since 2002 and a compounded 10 percent growth rate is expected right through to 2017.

Or so you’d think.

Thing is, though, e-commerce growth is stagnating due to an ever-growing number of participants. While big players like Amazon.com and eBay have businesslike marketing that gets the job done, and smaller guys like Naked Wines or Dollar Shave Club exhibit flashes of brilliance, most online retailers aren’t seeing anything like the revenue they could. Why? Their marketing just isn’t good enough.

So, what are e-tailers doing wrong, and what should they be doing instead?

Social media can be extremely effective at generating leads, driving traffic to your website, nurturing leads and even has (indirect) SEO benefits. But most online retailers are using social media all wrong, flailing and failing when they should be planning to succeed.

Too many e-tailers “pay and pray” — i.e., using too many channels, uncoordinated with each other and with no clear objectives. Your starting point should be to build a clear social media plan based around achievable objectives.

Rohan Ayyar is the regional marketing manager for India at SEMrush. His blog, The Marketing Mashup, covers digital marketing from the perspective of B2B, B2C, lead generation, mobile marketing, SEO, social media, content marketing, database marketing including predictive analytics, and conversion rate optimization. In addition, he'll look at emerging marketing technology and how marketers can use it. Reach Ayyar at searchrook@gmail.com.