It is easy to think that anybody can do ecommerce, but, to be competitive, you need more than just courage and money. No matter at what stage of business development an ecommerce shop is, there are always some things that our marketing agency can help with. We will go through the most important aspects a marketing director or an entrepreneur should consider outsourcing when running an ecommerce business.
Before starting the business, a marketing agency should help an online shop with the following:
Offer insights about the market
Here is some valuable information that any ecommerce business should analyze before launching:
- Who are the clients, what are their needs, expectations, their buying journey, their pains and frustrations?
- Who are the competitors and how could the shop differentiate from them?
- Which are the trends in the market?
- How competitive is the offer and positioning of the business analyzed?
A marketing agency can get the needed insights to help the ecommerce business have a clear overview of the market. This information will help in the planning phase and also in the ongoing implementation of the marketing communications. The research it is the most important thing to do before going into “battle”. As Sun Tzu wrote:
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
Create a plan
No matter what are the business objectives and strategies, a marketing agency can help create the online marketing plan. The end result of the planning should be a marketing calendar with all the marketing campaigns, actions and budgets.
Easier said than done. For us, it takes at least 4 weeks to create a good plan, but at the end of the process our client has a clearer view of which will be the action steps for at least one year.
Find the best partners
A marketing agency is well connected to the market and should already have the best partners and tools to implement a marketing plan. It is smarter for any ecommerce business to work with a marketing agency that can save them months of research looking for collaborators. Also the agency has already put in place procedures for most important aspects an online shop would need to get started.
Our wise advice is to start working with an agency from the beginning and learn your way into the business. It is much easier when you have an experienced partner to guide you.
Create the best online presence
After the planning phase is done, all the ecommerce businesses should work on their online presence before launching. This means building a well-optimized online shop, that loads fast and is mobile friendly, easy to navigate and transmits the right positioning.
Imagine that for the same budget invested in attracting new clients, if your website has 2% conversion rate instead of 1%, you are doubling your sales. Just make sure that before exposing your sales channels to potential clients, these are ready to close the deal better than any competitors.
But the website is just the foundation. The next steps are to create a social presence, build a blog and an e-mail marketing funnel. Also, the paid channels should be prepared for “battle”.
It takes knowledge and years of experience to do everything right from the beginning. If you want to skip the struggle by learning from mistakes, get help from an agency.
Launch in the “waters”
After having a well-prepared plan and a strong online presence, the ecommerce business will need to launch and start making money. A marketing agency should help launch in the waters and start getting leads and clients from the beginning. The “starting party” could be with a BANG or just a smooth entrance. It all depends on the strategy.
If you have done the 4 steps mentioned above it means your business is up and running and ready for growth. But not all e-shops are growing fast… or maybe not growing at all. Find out below what a marketing agency can do for your business if you need solutions for scaling.
If the ecommerce shop is already running, a marketing agency can help with:
Lack of growth of an ecommerce business can mean that it is missing out on something (the conversion rates are low, there is a low engagement on social media, the business is not attracting the right customers etc.). When a person has a health problem, hewill go to the doctor. In the business environment an entrepreneur could take anxiety pills but it won’t help as much as if a marketing consultant will give the right solutions to the problems. It takes years of experience for a good expert to know to point at the leaks. And when he does, the problem is not solved, but at least the most important step has been made.
A consultant can also give practical advices on how to fix the problems, but the real results are seen after testing one or two solutions. This leads us to the next point.
A marketing agency can give help on the implementation
To have a complete online marketing team, an online shop would need designers, programmers, copywriters, advertising specialists, SEO specialists, client service team, and a marketing manager. For a BIG ecommerce business it makes sense to have all of these specialists in-house. But for small and medium businesses, many of these roles (or all of them) can be outsourced to a marketing agency.
The advantages of working with a marketing agency are:
- The agency experts are already trained and experienced, so they will save the time and energy of any marketing manager/entrepreneur to prepare a new team.
- The agency has already in place procedures for anything that needs to be done in the ecommerce business. This will speed up the implementation process and also will help in doing things at a professional level.
- The service costs is lower when you don’t have to hire all those specialists in-house.
- The agency can be paid with a fixed fee but also depending on results. At least we have a more flexible pricing plan.
From our experience, the best collaboration formula is to have a Marketing Manager and a Client Service Specialist/Expert in-house, and outsource the rest of the services.
Help with creative campaigns
Many times, an ecommerce business can hit a wall of “no inspiration”. To jump over the wall, it may need some external help. Agencies are known to be creative and have a solid foundation in creating campaigns.
But, sometimes, the devil is in the details and you need a magnifying glass. Even if you have the most brilliant idea, if the implementation is done wrong, the value of the company earning will be close to nothing.
We already mentioned the necessity of planning in the early stages of the ecommerce business.. But if a business is already running, that doesn’t mean it’s on the right track. From time to time, it is important to take a step back and reevaluate things, see the big picture. This will help you find out if you are in the right forest before starting to cut the trees and head towards a steep.
Take into consideration asking for expert advice and planning at least once a year, to establish your next steps. Our agency has marketing planning at is core. We like to do the right things perfect, instead of doing wrong things right.
Many times, entrepreneurs are jumping into the ecommerce world without investing in building a solid brand from the beginning. With a little luck, some of the businesses will grow anyway , but at one point it will become very hard to continue without a clear brand direction. To resolve this problem, the marketing agency can help you by redesigning the brand identity and can set the brand vision to be ready for a bigger success. Take a look at our brand manual. Maybe it will inspire you.
Imagine that you are going at a restaurant and you don’t have a menu. Will it be easy for you to choose what to eat? For sure it will be a matter of asking and guessing. This should not happen in business.
Now you know what a marketing agency can do for you. Just think well of what you want to order, what are your budget and expectations, then let the kitchen do the magic. Bon appétit!