Forced to transition to e-commerce? Here are some strategies for success

Worldwide retail closures have turned marketing plans upside down for thousands of businesses. Many were slowly making the transition to e-commerce and are now forced to play catchup to support the increase of online purchasing that saw soaring gains of almost 50% in April. Even when restrictions are lifted and retailers start their transition to opening fully, the amount of foot traffic and in-store sales will not return to pre-COVID levels for quite some time.

This is our new reality. But it is not all bad news. More than ever before, brands from different industries have an opportunity to maintain and grow their market share by selling to millions of people who never bought online but now have no choice but to do so. Businesses that do not make the transition to e-commerce will be left behind. Although it may seem daunting, here are 3 strategies that will help accelerate your transition to e-commerce.

Optimize your website

Of course, who wouldn't think of this? A lot of people. 60% of small business websites are not optimized for mobile. That means your website is at an immediate disadvantage for any potential buyer on their mobile device. 80% of traffic from Facebook ads will come from mobile. So, if you are planning to advertise on Facebook without fully optimizing your website you are setting yourself up for failure.

Many tools allow you to split test different areas of your website. This will help with optimization. Our favorite is VWO. It allows you to create iterations of your website without having to hire a full-time developer, saving your business time and money. Changes to things like site speed, font, color and hero image can lead to a significant improvement in conversion rate.

Fun Fact: Did you know that Amazon's site speed study found that a 100ms increase in load time cost them 1% in sales? While Google found .5 second slowdown in search results dropped traffic by 20%

Brands become so focused on their creative and media buying but forget to take care of the place where all the sales are happening. Think website first and sales will follow!

Build and test made for digital creative

It is not one size fits all. What works on TV, print or your website will not work on paid social. So, what is "made for digital creative"? They are videos or images that encompass the correct orientation, length, and calls to action for each platform.

For video; the creative needs to be in a 1x1 or 4:5 ratio. It should be short in length, 7-30s and it needs to feature a strong call to action or wow factor within the first 3 seconds.

For images; the creative should be in a 1x1 ratio, contain a maximum of 20% text, and be colorful enough that it stands out from all the other clutter that is on social media.

Made for digital creative iterations never stop. Paid social campaigns spending 5 figures plus per week will need 3-5 new creative iterations each week. Thankfully there are many tools like Facebook's dynamic product ads that allow you to test multiple iterations against the same audience.

Never stop testing.

Hire an expert Facebook buyer

"My son handles our Facebook ads". Is he currently managing 10 other accounts? Spending 5 figures a day? Attends advanced training courses? Tests new techniques and strategies daily? If the answer is no, then you need an expert to buy your Facebook media.

There is no better time to start buying Facebook ads then right now. CPM's are lower than they have been in 5 years and there is less competition for share of voice as thousands of advertisers have been forced to cut all advertising budgets. Not only is it the best advertising tool for e-commerce but it allows businesses with varying budgets to have success. The cost of entry is low and their conversion optimization tools ensure that you are only spending money that will drive ROI. 

Facebook, while a great option, is an advanced media buying platform. There are hundreds of factors that go into building and maintaining a profitable campaign and it cannot be mastered overnight.

At Kingstar Media we can help you optimize your website, build made for digital creatives, and create a profitable Facebook campaign. Contact us today for a quote and let us help smoothen your transition to e-commerce.

By Geoff Crain
Director, Kingstar Media