Retail Sector Online Marketing: Tips for Success

The retail industry is one of the largest industries in the world. In 2019, retail sales worldwide were worth over 4 trillion USD.

In order to maintain growth, retailers must maintain a steady stream of customers and increase their engagement with those customers. To achieve this, retailers need to effectively utilize online marketing.

If you’re currently involved in the retail industry and looking for ways to improve your digital marketing performance, then this article is for you.

Why Retail?

The retail industry is a major player in the global economy and a goldmine for digital marketers. In 2019, retail e-commerce sales were worth over 2.9 trillion USD worldwide. Moreover, in 2022 over 90% of all retail buying will take place online. This makes marketing through digital channels significantly beneficial for retailers.

The retail industry is also a massive market, making it perfect for digital marketers to get their feet wet. In the UK, for example, retail e-commerce sales were worth over 500 billion USD in 2019 and are expected to hit 1 trillion USD by the year 2021.

The Changing Role of the Retail Sector

The role of the retail sector is changing. Once upon a time, shoppers would visit retail stores and purchase what they needed. Now, with e-commerce dominating the industry, customers are able to research and purchase the products they want online. This has had a significant impact on the retail industry. Traditional store visits by customers have significantly declined while online marketplaces have increased sales and decreased abandonment rates.

The Rising Influence of Data

The data world has changed. In the past, businesses would rely on data to support their decisions. More often than not, these businesses would be in the retail industry. However, with access to detailed customer data becoming nearly impossible to avoid, retail marketers must now rely on analytics to gain a strategic advantage.

Why Should You become involved in Online Marketing?

If you’re looking for work in the digital marketing industry, you’ll most likely be familiar with the role of search engine optimization (SEO) in marketing. However, did you know that SEO isn’t the only game in town?

Other forms of online marketing include social media marketing, email marketing, and display advertising.

Depending on the size of your business, you may not have the resources to employ specialists in each of these areas. That’s where the role of the marketer comes in. You’ll be responsible for creating an online marketing strategy and executing plans to improve brand awareness, drive traffic and leads to your website, and ultimately, convert these leads into paying customers. In this role, you may work with digital marketing agencies or in-house teams.

What will Your day-to-day involvement with online marketing consist of?

A typical day in the life of a digital marketer in the retail industry would involve:

  • Monitoring, reviewing, and analyzing performance of online marketing campaigns
  • Creating content to improve brand awareness and drive traffic to websites
  • Planning and setting up email marketing and social media campaigns
  • Identifying key performance indicators and adjusting strategy based on performance
  • Researching and analyzing industry trends and customer behaviors
  • Pro-actively monitoring and evaluating digital marketing performance against key performance indicators
  • Designing websites and apps
  • Analyzing user journeys and implementing user experience improvements
  • Creating sales funnels and landing pages
  • Setting up automated email campaigns
  • Tracking and analyzing ROI across platforms

The above list is just a small fraction of what you’ll be doing as a digital marketer. The role of a digital marketer can be extremely varied and can entail working with brands in a variety of industries.

Where do I start?

If you’re looking to enter the field, why not begin with the simplest and most obvious place? Start with Google. The world’s largest search engine dominates the digital marketing landscape and virtually all major business sectors. Moreover, Google is extremely difficult to compete with strategically. Its vast array of services and products provides an extremely attractive foundation for any digital marketing professional.

However, beyond the obvious, you should make it a goal to discover other options. One of the major issues that face retail marketers today is a dearth of data. Although it’s not entirely uncommon for retailers to keep extensive customer data on hand, the majority of businesses don’t have the time or resources to vet and analyze this data in order to make effective business decisions.

How Do I become a Digital Marketer?

If you’re looking to enter the field, the first step is to become a digital marketer. Unlike other jobs in the industry, there is no formal education or certification required to become a digital marketer. However, you should consider pursuing a bachelor’s degree in marketing or business administration. This will give you the versatility to work in a variety of roles and ultimately, open up more employment opportunities.

The Bottom Line

In today’s world, the lines between marketing and digital marketing have blurred. Retail marketers must now be familiar with SEO, but they must also be adept at utilizing other digital marketing platforms. Moreover, as the lines between marketing and digital marketing continue to blur, the marketing specialist will become more valuable to organizations.