With 2020 being such an incredibly difficult year, it is no surprise that many of the small and medium enterprises (SME) online can’t wait for the end-of-year sales season to start. From creative social media, content, and remarketing campaigns to tempting emails and persuasive landing pages, digital marketing teams are already hard at work trying to figure out the best ways to communicate deals and discounts to potential customers and boost sales before the year ends.
However, while all these promotional efforts are vital, if they are to achieve their full potential, they need to be paired with technologies that can help identify and action strategic insights at each level of the marketing funnel. Fortunately, these technologies are available and affordable, even for online SMEs.
So, what are these technologies? Regardless of whether a business is trying to get new website visitors, convert new visitors or get repeat customers during a seasonal sale, to achieve the returns it wants, it needs to focus on technologies that can assist in 5 critical areas: data gathering, acquisition, engagement, retention, and multichannel execution.
Growing revenue and scaling an online business starts with data and the ability to track and measure the entire customer journey. Proven tech like Google Analytics, Mailchimp, WebEngage, and ZohoCRM are helping many SMEs track and manage their data. Additionally, this kind of tech can help brands further integrate their web analytics with ad platforms, email automation applications, and customer relationship management (CRM) systems for better growth online.
With tracking and measurement in place, digital marketing teams should invest in technologies that make it simple for them to use the data they collect to grow and scale. Affordable and easy-to-use marketing analytics applications, like Alavi.ai, integrate with ad platforms such as Facebook and Google to improve targeting across the marketing funnel and shorten the customer journey.
A good example of this is how Alavi.ai has helped retailers increase their acquisitions. By continuously analyzing ad platform data, Alavi.ai identifies new audiences who have a high probability of making a purchase from a retailer’s brand (not just their product categories) within two weeks. This more sophisticated approach to targeting allows retailers to focus on their most profitable audiences and improve return on ad spend (RoAS), even while increasing their ad spends.
With more and more people shopping online because of COVID-19, a technology that improves customer engagement has become very important. Customers are drawn to brands that not only communicate well but are also easy to communicate with. As a result, this festive season, many online SMEs are working to improve their customer engagement through chat and push notifications. Applications like WebEngage and PushOwl are helping them do this by creating and enhancing communication channels to build stronger connections with users and improve conversion rates.
Another major focus of the upcoming end-of-year sales is customer retention. Online SMEs are increasingly using technologies for predictive analytics to reduce churn and boost revenue from existing customers. Versatile applications, like the previously mentioned Alavi.ai, not only calculate which existing customers will make a purchase in the next 30 days but also which ones are most likely to churn if the brand does not engage with them within a specific period. The potential for predictive analytics is huge and businesses would do well to use them to increase their marketing ROI, especially from audiences who have already purchased from them before.
Last but not least, technology now makes it possible for online retailers to launch, optimize, and expand campaigns across multiple channels, including ad platforms, email, push notifications, and SMS. This is very important during a sale as it creates a rich and varied communications experience, which can be very persuasive if used correctly. Also, with more AI and automation being incorporated into these technologies, SMEs will get the insights and tried-and-tested workflows they need to run multichannel campaigns as effectively as any enterprise.
Today, with marketing technologies becoming more affordable and accessible, online SMEs can save money and stop using critical resources to build tools in-house. Applications are now being designed and developed specifically for smaller businesses, so they can communicate with far greater precision at every level of the marketing funnel.
With the right tech in place, online SMEs can eliminate the guesswork from their workflows and focus on what is important, growing their revenue profitably during the end-of-year sale season and overcoming the COVID-19 crisis.
This article was published in the ‘Technology’ section of IndianRetailer.com on October 29, 2020.