Customers buying via the internet are nameless clients with their user identities revealing little about their personality or appearance. Since no face can be assigned to the names appearing in the list, approaching them through marketing efforts becomes difficult. But they do display distinct likes and preferences and data collected about their online buying habits reveals their interests and perspectives. Analyzing consumer behavior online, is one great way of improving business potential, by addressing specific needs at the most appropriate times. Marketing is all about accomplishing this, albeit online.
The year 2011 saw online businesses using more effective advertising techniques to reach out to a targeted audience. These techniques were evolved with the aid of research data available about consumer preferences, and the principal idea was to increase brand awareness, make online buying a hassle free experience and also ensure that shopping carts are not abandoned midway due to some site navigation issues. The use of data to fine tune marketing strategies helped to ensure that customers evince interest in products on offer.
Gauging Customer Buying Habits
The purchasing habits of customers can be picked up from their buying history, which shows which products are bought regularly and what they look for. On the basis of this they can be offered rewards or encouraged to join loyalty programs, to ensure that they become repeat, loyal customers. Discounts offered, make him return for more purchases.
Once a loyal clientele has been built, each one of the customers will work as better brand ambassadors for the business, spreading word and sharing their experiences. This word of mouth advertising is being touted as the most effective marketing tool, and the best method of advertising. But products have to be very superior to be shared among groups, since people are reluctant to share information about an average product.
Target advertising will help the right information reach the right customers at the right time. The underlying principle is to ensure that information and updates about relevant products reach the right customers, on the basis of their buying history. Thus senior citizens can be sent information about comfort footwear while high-heeled shoe designs can be sent to the younger age group. This requires data analysis, and taking into account other parameters like demographic location, climate, age, gender and lifestyle of the customers. Only then can the marketing effort be targeted and effective.
Using email marketing
Email marketing can be incorporated into the online marketing strategy since it will help to make online selling more effective. This will again require the use of customer data, but the right data has to be picked up for this purpose. Email marketing again requires expertise to ensure that it carries the message home and is able to successfully convince a potential customer.
The success of online marketing thus depends on data collection, analysis and the deployment of the right strategies to ensure that the business is successful.