At FÁS, a significant–and growing–amount of our work is helping clients establish and/or expand their reach on third-party ecommerce platforms, while also achieving ecommerce growth and improved profitability on their own website. Our ecommerce experience is broad, and deep.
Since there are a million articles that repeat basic ecommerce best practices, we are going to skip parroting these well-worn items and focus on a combination of deeper insight, as well as broader workflow development that we’ve found to be fundamental to successful ecommerce marketing and revenue growth.
Calibrate & Communicate
Consumers have gone multi-channel. This isn’t breaking news, but it’s critical to understand and grasp what it means: there is no single answer to solve your problem.
If you are struggling with Amazon, or with your website’s conversion rates, or with SEO, or Google Shopping, then the issue is almost surely one level deeper than the superficial pain. We frequently encounter fundamental issues like:
- A marketing team (in-house & vendors) that doesn’t have the right mix of skills.
- A marketing team (in-house & vendors) that works in silos, doesn’t coordinate efforts or share insights or deploy complementary strategies.
- Misalignment between the company’s growth goals and the scope of the marketing effort.
Although at first glance they may appear so, these are not necessarily simple problems to solve, and if you don’t get busy solving them now, you are putting your future growth plans at serious risk.
Never Stop Building Your Brand
Your brand is the most important asset you have.
Your brand should be a competitive advantage that is present at every customer touchpoint. Brand strength helps you launch new products effectively, maintain your market share for your mature products, and contributes to your margins across your entire product line.
It follows that your biggest efforts, your best work, and your strongest assets must invoke your brand, as well as strengthen it.
While citing brand building may seem trite, it is shocking how many companies look for quick solutions to problems and fail to properly invest in their most important asset.
Amazon Waits For No Brand
We have to address the elephant in the room.
Amazon isn’t just the goliath of ecommerce, it is the most important product search engine in the world. Right now, if you aren’t succeeding on Amazon your brand is likely a non-factor in a huge percentage of the consumer product evaluations and transactions taking place in your industry.
Simply speaking, you need to find a way to succeed on Amazon. But, anyone who has sold on Amazon will tell you it is no cakewalk.
Over the last two years, our team has helped our clients exceed their revenue growth targets on Amazon. We’ve had clients increase revenues by hundreds of thousands of dollars per month, at YoY growth rates of 20-40% by month.
The fundamental practices of Amazon optimization are well-known, however, we’ve encountered a shocking amount of companies that are undermining their own Amazon performance by not understanding the importance of key elements of the Amazon consumer’s experience.
- You need to have outstanding product images.
- You need to have excellent copy.
- You need to find the Amazon Ads strategies that work for your products.
- You need to have active product review & ‘Q&A’ management systems.
- You need to dig deep into the overly simplistic data Amazon provides.
- You need to monitor your competitors, and intelligently position your products to stand out from the crowd.
Become the Master of Your Data
This isn’t a call to become a statistician, or a master of all your data. But, you need to use your data to deliver actionable insights to every team in your organization, at every level of your business.
Fully Embrace KPI’s:
While we can’t say exactly what KPIs you should be using for your business, we can say this: You need to be a KPI evangelist.
KPIs should flow upwards as a means of grounding communication within your marketing teams, between your marketing teams and your CMO, and between the CMO and the C-Suite.
Everyone involved in your marketing efforts should be working in unison to improve your KPIs, which means everyone involved in your marketing efforts needs to know the importance, and the omnipresence, of the KPIs. Start your meetings with a KPI update, send regular emails highlighting KPI trends, encourage KPI analysis, report KPIs to your vendors.
Don’t think of KPIs as a secret to be protected, they are a powerful alignment tool–if you guard them closely, or only discuss them when they are positive, you are directly undermining their most important function.
Don’t worry that KPIs will limit deep analysis of your data. Every company has access to more data and metrics than they could ever fully discuss. In a world awash in data, KPIs aren’t meant to dumb-down your internal communication, they are necessary to focus your communication. With the discussion anchored by KPIs, all involved will begin to self-edit their insights (quantitative and qualitative), and prioritize insights that contribute to KPI growth.
KPIs are your data-driven North Star. This doesn’t mean you can’t explore different paths on occasion, but setting a North Star for your marketing efforts will keep everyone from getting lost.
Define Your Attribution Model:
Products like Google Analytics give us the ability to track site usage in great detail and obsess over metrics like return-on-ad-spend (ROAS). Frankly, your marketing team should obsess over ROAS, but you also need to acknowledge that even the best analytics platforms have some fundamental attribution leakage, and that most companies won’t get close to stemming this tide.
So, instead of setting forth on a Quixotic journey to eradicate conversion attribution leakage, in our experience, it is better to use the data you have to estimate the approximate leakage, and recalibrate your conversions to create a custom attribution model that ensures your marketing budgets aren’t disrupted by overly simplistic data.
Make the Best, Data-Driven Decisions Possible:
…and move onto the next problem. But, don’t get in the habit of making cavalier decisions that you can’t support with some data, because those sorts of decisions don’t work well at scale.
Improve Everything That Scales
And improve your ability to scale.
Why is proper calibration so important? Because real success in marketing comes when you start to harvest economies of scale. And marketing in a multi-channel world requires scale.
Excellent product copy, outstanding photography, amazing creative work, all carry a price tag. But, if you deploy great work across all your important marketing channels, suddenly, almost magically, paying extra for great work becomes a bargain.
As a multi-channel marketing agency, executing efficient multi-channel marketing is one of our specialties. Our goal is to help you to achieve yours. Therefore, this is our plea to you—think like a marketing consultant and break down the silos within your organization, and between your marketing department and vendors start creating marketing economies of scale before it’s too late.
Seize the Day
After all, the competitors that aggressively acted yesterday, are investing again today deploying more resources to even greater success. While the issues you face today will only become more glaring with each passing day.
If you’d like to learn more about how to advance your growth through multi-channel marketing, feel free to get in touch by emailing: