How digital marketing helped an eCommerce business double their sales
Digital marketing is instant and affordable. Here’s how one e-commerce business owner in Singapore doubled online sales in one year.
With many consumers owning at least two digital devices and internet penetration increasing every year, online marketing has become indispensable for businesses to promote their brands and products. It requires relatively low investment to start, offers many channels, and promises quick results.
One company that managed to successfully implement online marketing as part of its overall business growth strategy is e-commerce retailer The World Is Mine Shop. Its founder, Maribel Colmenares Martinez, started the online shop in June 2017, while writing her book.
Creating an e-commerce business for travellers seemed a natural choice, Maribel explains.
“The idea of offering high quality yet budget-friendly products to travellers came very naturally to me. When preparing my business plan, I knew that I wanted to do something that allowed me to share my passion for traveling, as well as my experience from having lived in more than 6 different countries and being a globetrotter.”
“On top of that, I was writing my first book called How I Saw The World On A Budget, where I share 15 ways for people to travel without budget excuses (it is due to be published mid-end 2018), so everything made sense,” she adds.
You need more than just a website
Just having the business idea and launching it was not enough to attract customers and generate sales. The entrepreneur needed to figure out how she could consistently bring in sales and grow the company.
“I needed more than just a website,” she says. “I had to have a strategy and set goals that were SMART. By that I mean Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timed.”
One of her SMART choices included a digital campaign. Maribel started the process by building sales and marketing funnels and implemented different ideas.
“One of the things that I decided at the beginning of my digital campaign was not to pocket any of my profits just yet, because I believe that if I want to grow my business. I need to invest the earned money into advertising. As the saying goes –‘You have to spend money to make money’.”
Make sure your website is search engine friendly
To create a successful multi-channel marketing campaign you need to have somewhere to send customers. You need a search engine-friendly business website.
“Having a website with the right keywords allows you to implement sales funnels that can generate targeted traffic with tailored campaigns to specific audience demographics, such as gender, location, age and interests,” she explains.
“I wanted a way to create awareness, credibility and trust for my brand. But I also wanted to compete with larger corporations as part of my marketing strategy. So I decided to go ahead with building an effective Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) of my product offering in popular search engines, particularly Google.”
SEO requires updating and optimising the content on your website so it appears when customers search for your products or services. The strategy isn’t always simple.
“One of the challenges I faced when I first started was not knowing what to prioritise. I had tons of information that seemed relevant, which limited the time I had each day,” Maribel says.
“I felt I didn’t know where to begin, which was frustrating.”
Feeding the search engine giant’s appetite on a consistent basis takes time and patience, a fact that Maribel discovered as well.
“I’d say I’ve only recently understood the importance of regular updates and having a website with accurate and consistent keywords, to improve my rankings. I’m now working on increasing my rankings organically on a regular basis,” she says.
Social media advertising is a good start
For her initial advertising, Maribel focused on the major players Facebook and Instagram. It was an important move, she explains, given the billions of potential customers. To get started, she used a free virtual assistant for e-commerce businesses.
“It helps me to market products, run business reports, update fans about my latest products, set new goals, as well as create and send marketing emails. It helps me to post messages on my Facebook page, which I really love.”
Can you trust a robot to market your e-commerce business?
Virtual assistant apps have their pros and cons. Maribel found the she chose only works well if you have at least 100 page likes or 100 sales. Also, you cannot create ads that target audiences beyond your current reach, including friends of fans of your page or fans of your competitors.
Despite these disadvantages, Maribel believes it’s a good place to start your digital marketing, especially when cash is tight.
Once business owners have more knowledge of online marketing, she says, they can employ professional online advertising platforms for better targeting and management of campaigns. Adtiq, for example, is a one-stop-shop platform that helps businesses to simply the process of planning, creating, managing and optimising Facebook, Instagram and Google Ads campaigns.
Doubling online sales in one year
By employing social media and SEO strategies The World Is Mine Shop was able to connect with travellers worldwide. Experimenting to find what works yielded some successful results for Maribel.
"I managed to double the sales of my online store within the first year of its existence,” she explains. “However, since I am still relatively new to this business, I need to closely monitor the outcome of my digital marketing strategies. I expect that by doing so, I will be able to reach a level in which I can consistently generate a steady flow of targeted traffic that will in turn convert into sales."
Digital marketing is a journey not a destination
Ultimately, although there many strategies and channels that businesses can choose from, one thing all marketers have to keep in mind is that digital marketing is a journey of learning and change, whatever the experience level.
“As an entrepreneur, your work is never finished. Identifying the steps to take in order to optimise my store for immediate sales and long-term growth has been an ongoing process,” Maribel explains.
“As in life, change is the only constant in this business, and the ability to adapt fast is key.”
- The World Is Mine Shop is an e-commerce retailer started by Maribel Colmenares Martinez in 2017
- The first part of the SME’s digital marketing journey was developing a SMART strategy
- Improving your business website SEO is a regular part of business
- Maribel’s chose to first advertise on Facebook and Instagram because of the reach offered by the social media platforms
- Digital marketing is a journey, not a destination