Business Development: The Online Retail Marketing Role

The development of eCommerce has provided businesses with the opportunity to go online and sell their products or services to a mass audience. The emergence of social media has further fostered this growth, as people can now share their experiences and connect with businesses they might not have found otherwise.

Many companies are now using the internet to gain traction and create awareness for their brands. However, although this might seem like a no-brainer, in order to grow and prosper, business need to go beyond simply selling their products online. They need to understand the many different roles and responsibilities that come with establishing an online store.

There is typically a lot of focus placed on the online retail marketing role, as it’s the role within the organization that is most likely to draw in customers and convince them to make a purchase. In this article, we will explore the various elements that make up the successful online retail marketing strategy.

Marketing Research Is Essential

The starting point of any marketing plan is to understand the existing customer base and establish solid metrics that can be used to track and evaluate performance. When it comes to eCommerce, this typically means diving into the online marketplace and analyzing the data that is presented there. This can be a labour-intensive process, especially if there are a lot of competitors mushrooming all over the place.

Having an understanding of how consumers behave on your site will give you a significant advantage when coming up with engaging marketing strategies and content that will attract and retain customers. Marketing analytics can help here too, as you can set up automated alerts to be notified of any changes in behavior that might indicate a problem area or opportunity for growth.

Product Research

Product research is usually a key component of any business plan, as it can help you determine the right pricing for your goods, the level of customer care that should be provided and much more. In the absence of a physical store, this element is even more crucial in ensuring that your business runs smoothly and that your products are represented accurately online. In addition to this, it’s also imperative to make sure that your products are of a good quality and will last for a long time before needing to be replaced.

When it comes to online retail, this means investing in a robust product testing program to ensure that your products are flawless before going live. There are a lot of pitfalls that one can fall into if they rush this process and poor quality products are launched to the public. So, by setting up a systematic testing program from the very beginning, you can rest assured that your company will not only survive but flourish too.

Pricing Strategy

Many businesses skip this step entirely, as they assume that their products will sell themselves, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. In a competitive eCommerce marketplace, where a lot of companies are battling for a share of the pie, understanding and being flexible about pricing is of the utmost importance. If you are unable to provide excellent customer service and meet the demands of your increasingly digital customers, you might find that your products just aren’t selling well enough to warrant the time and effort that you are putting in.

By establishing a clear pricing strategy from the beginning, you can ensure that your customers know exactly what they’re getting into and have no complaints later on. Furthermore, as a business owner, it’s also important to keep your costs low and the quality high to ensure that you can continue providing excellent customer service while staying profitable.

Social Media

If you’re reading this article, it’s probably safe to assume that you’re already on social media and using it to great effect. However, did you know that 70% of consumers have made a purchase after learning about a brand or product through social media? This represents a significant opportunity for businesses to grow and prosper by engaging with their customers on a daily basis through social media.

On social media, you can set up automated campaigns that will help you engage with your customers on a regular basis and allow you to target the right audience, regardless of whether or not they’ve visited your website.

Product Management

Product management is responsible for taking the raw material that comes from the product research phase and turning it into a finished product that can be sold to the public. In the digital age, this typically means taking a prototype, preparing it for retail and making sure that all the quality control procedures are followed, from taking the photos, to editing them, to labeling and packing them for shipment.

This element is crucial as it ensures that all the groundwork is done before the product can be launched to the public and also has the potential to save you a lot of headache and heartache down the line. It’s always better to over-plan than to rush this stage and have to start from scratch. So, even if you feel that you’re ready to go live with your product, take some time to make sure that all the bases are covered first.

Operations And Logistics

Operations and logistics are essential no matter what, and in the case of online businesses, this means taking care of the ordering process, customer service, shipping and receiving, returns and much more. It’s always preferable to have a team of people who are specialized in each area, so that you can rest assured that your business will not be jeopardized by anything.

Creating a seamless experience for your customers, who have likely traveled a good distance to get what they want, is also vital for increasing sales. In order to do this, you might have to consider using shipping containers that are specifically designed for the transition from manufacturing to retail. This will give you a better chance at creating a desirable product experience and matching customers with the right products, no matter where they are in the world.

In addition to this, it’s also important to research the best possible delivery channels and figureheads that you can use to promote your business. This will vary from SEO to social media to email marketing and much more. The key is to find the ones that work best for your company and brand and make sure that you utilize them on a regular basis.

Research And Analysis

As a business owner or marketer, it’s important to constantly be analyzing and reviewing the performance of your company. In the case of eCommerce, this means diving back into the product research phase to examine how customers have interacted with your website and how these actions have affected sales. If you’re using a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool, this process will be a lot easier, as you can set up automated email reminders to review key performance indicators and analyze trends.

In the digital age, people are more inclined to leave feedback online, so gathering this information is a lot easier. It might also be a good idea to hire a customer service specialist to answer any questions that your customers might have and also to learn from their feedback, as there will inevitably be something they could do or say that would help your business grow.

Distribution And Retail

As a business owner, it’s important to bear in mind the various points of sale that you might have down the line. In the case of online retailers, this means figuring out where your products will be sold and ensuring that these locations are equipped with the necessary POS (Point of Sale) systems. Once this is done, it’s a matter of coordinating with the different store owners to make sure that the products are available for purchase and that the ordering process goes smoothly. In addition to this, it might be a good idea to have a team of people who are dedicated to order fulfillment and ensuring that the orders arrive in a timely fashion, without any mix-ups or errors.

In the digital age, consumers will typically turn to online resources for both research and shopping, so aligning these resources to maximize your sales is a good idea. In addition to this, it’s important to make sure that these resources are kept up to date with the latest trends and information that might affect your company and its bottom line. Research from HubSpot indicates that 75% of business owners and marketers are concerned about the future of their online presence, as it hasn’t yet caught up with the digital age. This is why it’s so important to stay abreast of the latest trends and information regarding your industry.

Mobile

Mobile phones have become a part of everyday life, as people now rely on them for much more than just making calls. This has presented business with the opportunity to reach consumers wherever they are, rather than just relying on desktop and laptop computers for online activity.

If you’re an online retailer, this can mean getting your products delivered to mobile phones, which has significant advantages, as customers can now place an order from almost anywhere and receive it the next day.