During the festive and holiday season, people and brands alike, loosen their purse strings. More so this year, in somewhat with a vengeance owing to the pandemic forced lockdowns and spending curbs (again). As a consumer, it’s a great time to shop, but as a brand or a small business owner, it’s a tough balance between increasing ad costs and having to dole out discounts to keep the sales intact. Very few, if any, have the kind of advertising budgets that the big e-commerce giants operate with.
But all is not lost, and if I may add some football metaphors, for every Chelsea and PSG, there is Liverpool and Dortmund, who, against the odds, compete in their own way against deep pockets. As a brand, these are some of the ways in which you can still manage to keep your sales figures and profits on track and manage the impact of rising inventory costs and shopping bonanzas.
The best way to avoid the pitfalls of the glitzy new world is to get back to the basics and answer the key questions. Maintaining a healthy ROAS (return on ad spends) with fewer things rather than trying to experiment a lot. This doesn’t mean you don’t evolve with the world, it just means that you experiment with what you know will not affect your bottom line, consolidate and build from there. If the CAC (customer acquisition cost) is increasing because of ever-increasing advertisers, think of ways to increase AOV (average order value) and LTV (lifetime value) to nullify the effect of high ad rates, without compromising the ROAS, Depending on what your product is. For example, bundles and subscription packs are a great way to extract higher AOV and LTV from a customer you have already spent money to convert.
SEO is your secret sauce: We are living in the world of instant gratification and if there is something that doesn’t give us instant results, we usually think that it’s not working. In many senses, SEO is like compounding wealth, you get to see significant results of your persistence 10, 12, 15 months later. But the key is to stay invested and keep chipping away. Finding and updating the high-volume keywords, writing blogs/content that helps the crawlers. After all, you don’t want to be over-dependant on paid media to drive revenues.
One of the best tools in your toolkit is customer advocacy and good customer service goes a long way in increasing and improving the viva voce. That doesn’t mean that the customer is always right or you have to adhere to what the customer says because let’s face it, an Indian customer is a pampered child and no one will understand the pain that comes with every NDR and every RTO like a small business owner does. But assisting, guiding, and just hearing out your customer goes a long way in ensuring 2 things. 1) you can get the feedback of your processes from the horse’s mouth, and 2) you may find ways to further optimize your process. And most of the time, the customer will behave quite the opposite of how they sound on a tone-deaf medium of comments
Believe it or not, even in today’s day and age, email marketing, if done right can work wonders. And there are tools like Klaviyo which have proven to be highly effective when it comes to email marketing. The idea is to develop more personalized communication with your customers and reduce dependency on the platforms.
Parting thoughts: This space is only going to get more crowded with more and more advertisers joining the party of seemingly unlimited inventory on social media platforms. But no matter your media budget, there still are ways and means to build a profitable e-commerce business in the coming year.
Are you a small business owner who is looking to advertise effectively online to increase your sales? Get in touch with us on email@example.com, we are experts at running profitable performance campaigns. We have helped sell everything from steel rolls and turnkey homes to jewellery and nutraceuticals online.