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4Cs of Digital Marketing for Internet Retailers

Internet Retailers faces multiple challenges to stay competitive in digital arena. Digital Marketing plays a vital role to bring about 1000s of potential leads to webstore through paid campaign, social media, SEO and other many such crowd sourcing sites and customer engagement. But it is always a challenge to measure the RoI of marketing spends on various channels. A renowned quote by John Wanamaker: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half”. Luckily this problem is somewhat solved through Google Analytics and many other such tools that would give you precise reporting on which marketing campaign is working for you and which one is not.

The tricky part is retailers accepts internet retailing half heartily. We still have many Amazon to come to dodge many Barnes and Noble in every corner of retail sector. Dr.Page (Senior Director, global Digital Retailing Research Center at University of North Texas) stated very well: “How about thinking of opening Internet Flagship Store”.

US is reaching at 10% of retail sales to be conducted online and UK is almost to touch 20% with substantial percentage retailing done by customers outside UK. Apparently we have clear figures but, there is still a “wait and see” approach by retailers.

Digital Marketing is a key to success besides other variable like price, customer service, delivery, etc. A concept of 4C of Digital Marketing for Internet Retailers covers: Creative, Content, Campaign and Conversion. Having these 4 component in place, the retailers could increase the visits and conversion to the webstore substantially. Let’s discuss them one at the time.

Creative: It is an expensive exercise and needs lots of attention.  Creative vision complements brand positioning, customer experience and customer loyalty. Generally, we consider creative as an attractive logo with beautiful website. But it’s beyond that. Creativity should be unique, gives a rich customer experience, engage customers and retain them for very long time.

Content: It has become challenging in social media eco-system to generate content which could engage potential customers, engage loyal customers and communicate brand message. Having said that, content are developed according to various channel. A less than 2 min video for Youtube and 6 sec video for Vine. Similarly, couple of paragraph on blog post to few words of message in twitter. Internet Retailer got to come up with strategy to optimize the content for various avenue and ensure they get some RoI from it and simply doesn’t generate viral for nothing.

Campaign: Internet Retailers mostly run advertising perhaps not campaign. Therefore, most of the efforts goes in to vain. Instead, they got to think about the campaign like “Our Pink Collection”. Once campaign is strategize then it should be populated in various avenue like blog, adwords, PR and more.  So think campaign not spam advertising. Subsequently, each campaign should have clear message, clear direction and estimated RoI and it should be measure with campaign management tool in Google Analytics or any other analytic of choice.

Conversion: Those who think of conversion are successful. Conversion measurement should be an integral part of vision and strategy as it helps in finding the second half of advertising which is not working as stated by John Wanamaker.

What is vital in Digital Marketing for Internet Retailer is it should be planned, integrated, measured and sustainable. It should be an evolution process not a revolution process to generate quick short term sales. Consider marketing concepts like Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), Loyal Customers and Integrated Marketing. Digital Marketing wouldn’t do magic but, it can help you reach beyond traditional customers and geo-demography – simultaneously retain them for long time.

Amin Lalani
Amin Lalani
Amin Lalani is M.Phil in Internet Retailing with 10 years of experience in Internet Retailing arena along with enterprise experience in setting up SAGE eCommerce and is SAP MM certified. He been a faculty, mentor and SME Internet Retail experts since many years

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