In e-commerce, campaigning is crucial. Every online store and business is different, and no two campaigns are alike – nor should they be!
Here is a list of steps that can help you build the campaign that’s just right for your online store.
1. Break your campaign goal into smaller pieces
Campaign goals are typically expressed in euro terms. An online merchant may already have an expectation of the sales figures the campaign will generate. However, it’s a good idea to approach these figures with healthy realism: these expectations may be strongly based on emotions.
These figures and questions will help you get started:
- How many visitors does your store get on normal days?
- What does your conversion percent look like for the past 90 days?
- Will you use the campaign to market one product? Compare how well the product has sold compared to the number of times the product page has been viewed.
The figures give you an initial situation you can use as a basis for envisioning scenarios of how the campaign might go.
You can also build the campaign by aiming for more traffic while assuming the conversion percentage will stay the same. That way, you can predict sales during the campaign.
A campaign rarely turns out in such a black-and-white fashion. An extremely successful campaign typically has the features of viral marketing: word gets around in unexpected channels.
Increasing the average purchase sum may also be at the core of a campaign. This means ways of encouraging customers to add a second or more items to their shopping baskets are crucial.
What other use can a campaign generate?
Campaigning demands resources of an online merchant, so it is worth seeking other benefits that the same effort can generate. These benefits can include finding referees, enticing people to buy again, and gathering feedback. One option is to give purchasers a discount code for the next campaign. That way you can create expectation value. You can particularly exploit this method with seasonal products.
Why is the campaign important for your online store and how does it fit in with your marketing plan? And how does it link in with following campaigns? So, don’t do single campaigns on a whim: see how they fit in with the entire ecology of your online store plan.
2. Plan and preview the campaign purchase path
When you’ve broken down your campaign goal, plan and preview the purchase path of your campaign. Think about all the factors that can affect your campaign success and thus your conversion percentage. Are the factors that affect your conversion percentage along the purchase path, in the product price or in some enticing extra offer?
When your potential client goes to your site during the campaign, the landing page plays a critical role. The journey from the first page to the “add to basket” button should be as short as possible. The rule of thumb is that adding a product to the basket on a product page should not take more than three clicks. If it takes more, then we are talking, for example, about a customizable product or a product that needs extra details to order.
Your own online store will always be your own online store. You probably won’t find a lot of bad stuff to say about it at once. However, it’s good to get to known other stores from time to time. Think about something you need to buy now: do a dry run of searching for and buying it in other online stores. You may notice that paths to purchase are different, and when you put yourself in the consumer’s shoes you can see where there is room for improvement.
If you use a product group page as your campaign landing page, think about how the campaign looks precisely on this page. Are there places where you could do some upselling? The shopping basket is a good place to recommend more products to customers. These functions demand some development work, however. The Shopify Appstore has apps which allow you to add features to your online store. For example, a suitable app for cross-selling may require you to modify how your store looks and, thus, some coding skills.
3. Re-marketing plan & brand metrics
The aim is to bring lots of traffic to an online store during a campaign, and that traffic will certainly include first-time visitors. In such a case, the effect of the traffic on your conversion percentage may be negative. Don’t stress about this, though – with a good remarketing strategy you can target knowledge about your online store to new people.
How do you measure your brand? You should choose at least a few ways brand metrics for your campaign. During a campaign, your store will typically get new visitors who are not buying anything during those specific visits. For example, if the product costs more than €100, between two–three months can pass between the first visit and the purchase. The higher the product price, the longer making the purchasing decision takes. New visitors are valuable, however! As a part of your re-marketing strategy you can target your advertising on people who have viewed your product page.
Every visitor is valuable to the online retailer, even if the visitor doesn’t decide to buy anything during a visit. The most important thing is for your online store to have a functioning re-marketing system. When you do a re-marketing plan, it’s smart to test the ads on a small sample.
During a campaign, re-marketing may be a way of getting visitors to come back to the store, even before the campaign ends, and make a purchase. Ways of doing this include sequence flow, sending reminder messages about abandons shopping baskets and re-marketing in Facebook and Google channels. You can also use a chat function in your online store to offer more opportunities for re-marketing.
4. Make time to allow the campaign to happen
A good plan above all else! Draw a timeline for your campaign on paper. Running the campaign itself takes its own time, but you also need time for advance preparations, gathering materials and processing them.
Shopify Plus customers can make use of the Launch Pad features to time their campaign for a specific period and to automate processes with the help of Shopify Flow and Shopify Scripts. Various pricing apps are also available. They time your online store’s prices for your chosen time of day. These apps work when your campaign is based on discounts.
Make sure you also make time for making materials. This is often one of the most laborious stages. But remember that not everything needs to be perfect – you could, for example, cheaply make a campaign-related video. In addition, there are nowadays many kinds of apps which allow you to modify the campaign materials. You can also consider a live broadcast on your chosen social media channel during the campaign.
One good tip for running the campaign is to talk to other online retailers. No two campaigns are probably alike, meaning you can get inspiration and more ideas from them. Networking is important in this field, too.
5. Testing the campaign
Retailers often forget about testing the campaign, even though it’s an important stage. You can, for example, chose a random group from among subscribers to your newsletter. The group size could be 200 people, for example. Send 100 recipients one message and the other 100 another. From the testing perspective, a campaign duration of two weeks is recommended. On the first few days, you could test the campaign advertising from various angles. You can finish your campaign with the option that turns out to be most effective.
There are, of course, campaigns that last just a few days. They can use a sense of urgency as a boost. Nothing, however, stops you from running the same short campaign again for a chosen target group.
With a longer campaign, you can try A/B testing on the contents of your online store. If you do this, it’s good if your campaign lasts one or two weeks.
6. Track, interpret and react
It’s easy to track campaign figures. If the campaign needs changes while it’s still running, don’t hesitate to take the bull by the horns! Many people just sit back and watch the campaign proceed, even though it can be developed while it is running.
Remember that running an online store means constant testing and that if the campaign does not start out as expected, you should react to the situation. Schedule time for making possible changes to your campaign while it is running.
Pinja Kuitunen, Customer success manager, Woolman