Beat your online competition

Beating The Online Competition

Are you looking to compete better with online retailers?
Are you a brick and mortar company losing sales to online eCommerce companies and Amazon stores?

We’ve helped companies in both scenarios by providing winning omnichannel and integrated digital marketing strategies that drive new sales. Our digital strategies and industry leading eCommerce technology will open up new business channels so you can win market share and improve product sales.

Why do you need an omnichannel and integrated digital strategy?
For today’s brick and mortar retailers and brands, not having a strong omnichannel strategy leaves double-digit sales on the table ripe for your competitors to steal just by showing up when you are not present or optimized with your execution.
Today’s new business threats may not be the traditional company you’ve faced in years past.
Your new threats may be comprised of 20-30 small newcomers capable of taking 10%-15% of market volume with strong online digital advertising and active social media campaigns.

Unfortunately, with the proliferation of social media embedded into new mobile technology, this trend will continue to increase dramatically in the immediate future. Now is the time to act to avoid losing more market share.

“I have a strong brand!” you say! Unfortunately, a brand name doesn’t carry as much stock as it once did. Think of the demise of Blockbuster Video and Border’s Bookstore. Both were once household brand names. They didn’t pay attention to the online storm coming that would totally destroy the foundation of their businesses by forever changing the way their customers both found and consumed the products they sold.

“But I don’t sell videos or books!” you say? This also affects your company too. Wholesale changes in the way consumers find and shop for products online are impacting virtually all companies. With strong value propositions, a great warranty and liberal return policies, even large purchases like automobiles and furniture that were once purchased in-store only are increasingly being purchased online with rapidly increasing on-site conversion rates.

For example, my wife recently saw a chair at Sams Club but didn’t like the color. Being convinced about the quality by viewing in person and a guaranteed return policy, she ordered her favorite chair color online and had it delivered to our doorstep. This purchasing exercise is already commonplace today and will only increase as we become used to making large purchases online that were once only made at brick & mortar locations.

Consumers have so much choice today that the brand voice is quickly diluted and easily replaced by stronger product level value propositions that speak more clearly to the customer’s emotional motivations for shopping.

So whether you are a veteran brand name or new startup company, I’m going to share a successful recipe needed to compete with those new online kids on the block.
Why am I sharing this recipe for free? Because to successfully pull it, off each company will also need the secret ingredients that make the recipe work. My company specializes in creating the recipe strategy, the secret ingredients and the right mix that makes it all work for more sales.

Here’s a four-step recipe for success in 2018:

1. Build and optimize your eCommerce website:
Customers use eCommerce sites very differently than company branded websites, but some companies confuse their branded experience for an eCommerce experience.
The eCommerce behavior is so different that these sites must be carefully optimized and tuned specifically for your customer’s shopping experience and motivational intent. Failure to optimize is a critical mistake that more often than not leads to sub-par sales and poor performance from the site.
This is the first and most important step because spending advertising dollars and labor to send customers to a poor site that they will abandon is a pure waste of investment.

2. Setup and optimize your Google local search listings:
Research shows that shoppers click the top organic listings at much higher percentages than the top advertisement spot.
The top 6 advertisement spots only achieve a 16% click rate.
This means 84% goes to the organic listings.
With the rise of mobile phone shoppers, Google has tweaked their algorithms to read customer intent and show locations within their region.
This gives preferences to sites that have optimized their local listings online and also that have optimized them for crawling on their websites.
There are several strategic advantages for companies that optimize for local markets first. After a site is fully optimized with all these steps, the traffic and conversion from this step will provide a boost for the other steps meant for gaining organic national attention and sales traffic.

3. Optimize your SEO to gain more organic traffic:
Search engine optimization has changed a lot over the last few years. Gone are the days of setting up spammy pages and link farms.
Those tactics will get sites blocked or degraded with today’s Google search.
Google now looks heavily at quality factors and how well your site content meets the consumer’s intent.
There are many areas to be optimized and satisfy the Google search algorithms. Good site optimization determines whether or not your site gets listed and customers find you in their search results.
The good news is we have many years of experience helping companies surpass their competition by increasing their products “Google relevance” through more compelling content, improved search quality, and a better sales quotient.

4. Optimize your Ad spend:
Many companies throw away thousands of advertising dollars each month without knowing it.
This is an unnecessary loss because, with a little guidance, these ads could be achieving a good return on investment.
A good example is YELP. YELP charges by impression. This means you pay when an Ad shows on a page, not when they click the ad.
The sad truth is that the vast majority these impressions are not even seen because they are at the bottom or side of a page where the users do not focus.
YELP also pushes installation of their app by showing an app installation pop-up. This is a huge turn off for visitors and suppresses precious ad content in favor of their own self-promotion tactics.
YELP pays Google for your ad to show up. Because of this, you are paying several times more per ad than programs that integrate directly with Google or social media platforms.
To make matters worse, the conversion rate for YELP ads are several times lower than Google or Facebook ads. This means there are many better investments out there.

We highly recommend immediately shifting your YELP ads over to a different blended mix based on your audience demographics and behaviors. This will provide an immediate boost for ad campaign performance.

These steps are not easy to implement unless you have expertise in each area and can integrate each of them to work cohesively together. Each area is one part of an overall puzzle needed for success.
Chances are, you will need some help in the future to navigate these ever-changing digital waters. We’d love for you to consider Ascent Digital when that time comes.

About Tom Hawkins
Tom is 20-year digital marketing veteran and President of Ascent Digital Marketing.
Ascent Digital is a full-service digital agency and eCommerce solution provider specializing in Magento eCommerce platforms, SEO, social media, advertising services and consulting for a wide variety of industries.
Ascent develops comprehensive digital marketing strategies and online advertising programs that deliver results.