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Giles Smith

(SURVEY RESULTS) The Five Biggest Problems Ecommerce Businesses Face in their Marketing Right Now

We carried out a survey of ecommerce business owners to discover the biggest problems they face in 2019. These are the surprising results. Plus, you’ll learn how Marketing automation can help.

As an ecommerce business owner, you spend a tremendous amount of time and money on attracting new customers.

You need a strong & dynamic marketing strategy to bring enough people to your shop front. Unfortunately, this is where a lot of ecommerce businesses struggle. 

In our groundbreaking survey of over 200 eCommerce businesses, business owners revealed the biggest marketing hurdles they face in growing their business. Let’s find out what these were, and how Messenger marketing can help.

Challenge #1 – Store Conversion Rate is Too Low

According to our survey, 76% of ecommerce business owners struggle with low store conversion rates.

In many cases, this is likely a store optimization problem.  Cold traffic coming from external sources is always the hardest to convert, and your site needs to educate, entice and build trust all at the same time. 

Paradoxically, your site conversion can most easily be fixed by better marketing messaging and engagement. 

A strong Messenger marketing strategy can deliver a massive boost in this regard. According to stats shared by Neil Patel, 79% of business owners believe that a live chat service helps them to improve sales.

Of course, you may not have the time or resources available to dedicate to a 24/7 live chat option. In this case, automated Messenger chat can help you.

With a Messenger chatbot, you can provide instant answers to the common questions that potential customers ask. You can also provide information and shopping guides that help a potential customer along their journey.

eBay provides an ideal example of this in action. Their Shopbot acts as a personal shopping assistant for customers who want to find something specific on eBay. Customers can enter the details of a product that they want and the bot will use those details to filter through the thousands of products on the site.

Of course, the journey of discovery starts before getting to your site. A well thought out Messenger funnel can provide a near perfect mechanism for self-discovery, remove distractions and be entice the customer such that the purchasing decision is all but made by the time they visit your store.  

When compared to the average Google Shopping Ad cart conversion of 10-30%, customers who visit the site from a Messenger link purchase at over 50%.  

Challenge #2 – Not Enough People Return to the Store

Did you know that you spend five times more on attracting a new customer than you do on keeping an existing one?

Unfortunately, that’s the situation that many of our survey responders have to deal with. 70% of them say they struggle to get existing customers to return to their store. That means they’re having to spend more money marketing to new clients.

All eComm owners focus on driving traffic, but in our experience far too few invest sufficiently in the latest techniques to lure customers back for additional purchases. 

One of the great benefits of Messenger marketing, particularly with bot systems lilke Manychat, is that you can build highly targeted dynamic audiences to remarket to, and show re-engagement messages right inside their Messenger feed.  

However, 2019 has seen the emergence of the killer repeat business strategy for eCommerce. That is, the insane open rates of Messenger combined with the stickiness of eWallet loyalty. The ability to send offers and reminders direct to your customer’s mobile phone lock screen is a stand out capability, and a huge weapon in the fight to attract past purchasers back for more.  

Challenge #3 – It’s Difficult to Attract Profitable Customers

Our survey also revealed that 68% of ecommerce business owners struggle to attract profitable customers to their business. This means that customers are either purchasing low margin items, or just as likely, the wrong people are being targeted (cheap clicks, low conversion), or its costing too much to target the right people. 

A common mistake we see is leading with low cost (and therefore low $ margin) items in the hope that it’s easier to convert.  The trouble is, the best you can hope for is break-even sales, and more likely it’ll be a loss leader in the hope that you can either upsell or attract the customer back later.  Instead, try going in with a higher cost, higher $ margin product so you have more to spend and still stay profitable. If your product is something valued by your target customers, a Messenger marketing strategy is sure to convert it for you.

Poor audience targeting is often a culprit too. Every ecommerce business should have an audience avatar that represents their ideal customer. Use your purchasing data, and really dig deep using Facebook’s amazing audience insights to really get a picture of who your ideal (most profitable) customers are. 

For example, you may find that you sell more high-ticket items to people in a certain age group who live in a specific location.

You can then use this information to create better targeted Ads, and Messenger marketing funnels that resonate with the audience.

Rising costs of Ads on all platforms is certainly a common dilemma. According to our analysis, Facebook Ad inventory is more than doubled in the past 12 months, and shows no signs of dipping in the future.  The best insurance against rising traffic costs is to build relationships with you customers to stay front of mind, and enable multiple channels to reach out to them when you have offers, not just rely on paid traffic remarketing campaigns.

Challenge #4 – Low Sales Funnel Conversion

According to 64% of our respondents, low sales funnel conversion is a major issue.

Your sales funnel essentially represents the entire customer journey. It charts the course that they take with your business from the moment they first discover you, through to an eventual purchase. More advanced sales funnels also take aftercare and reengagement into account to drive repeat purchases.

The key with a good sales funnel is to find a message that resonates with your customers, ideally at the right time for them. For example, somebody who’s just entered the funnel will not respond well to a heavy-handed sales pitch. They want to learn more about your business before they commit to a purchase.

Likewise, someone who’s at the bottom of your funnel doesn’t need to hear about the benefits of your product. They already know them and just need a final push to turn them into a customer.

Traditional funnels struggle here because they tend to assume that everyone is the same.   This is where Messenger funnels really shine. With a well crafted conversation tree, customers can manage their own journey through your sales funnel, taking shortcuts to purchase if they’re already hot, or side roads if they need to explore further before making a purchase.  Perhaps best of all, when life interrupts the journey, a simple reminder is all that’s needed to get them back on track. In fact, we often see simple ‘timeout’ reminders increasing funnel conversion by as much as 30%!

While not an ecommerce example, Molly Mahoney’s “Mollybot” shows you what this looks like in practice.

It starts by introducing itself to the user and letting them know they’re talking to a Messenger bot. This creates trust from the beginning of the relationship.

Then, the bot asks questions about what the user wants to learn from Molly. Instead of launching into a sales pitch from these questions, it directs the user to relevant content.

This drives engagement and makes the user see Molly as an authority on her subject. 

All the while, the campaign is guiding the user through Molly’s sales funnel until they’re ready to buy one of her programs.

Challenge #5 – Low Email Open Rates

Email still accounts for something like 30% of eCommerce sales, and has been the go-to reengagement strategy for over a decade. In 2019, our eComm survey reveals it’s lost some of its shine.

51% of online business owners say that they struggle to get repeat sales because their email open rates are so low.  According to Constant Contact, average open rates are down to 17%, while click-throughs often languish at less than 10%.

In these cases, embracing Facebook Messenger is definitely recommended.

By contrast, Messenger is a wonderfully engaged medium. We routinely see open rates over 95%, and almost always over 85%.  When click throughs in Messenger are typically 30-50%, that makes for a compelling case for migrating more of your eComm engagement strategy to this new medium! 

 

This is just a selection of the marketing challenges you’ll face as an ecommerce business owner.

Beyond Points can help you to put real solutions into practice fast. We can introduce you to new marketing techniques that help you to target the right people. Plus, we can show you how to use Facebook Messenger bots to improve your returns.

Chat with us today to schedule your strategy session.

The Eight Biggest Mistakes that Ecommerce Businesses Make When Using Messenger Marketing

You’ve heard that Messenger Marketing can benefit your ecommerce business. But you have to avoid the key mistakes many make to use them to their full potential.

Marketing using bots has become an essential part of the modern ecommerce sector.

With a Facebook Messenger bot, you can stay in touch with existing clients. Plus when combined with targeted ad campaigns, you can attract potential clients with offers and content. 

Not only that, consumers love them! We’ve seen open rates of upwards of 84% – as high as the “glory days” of email marketing. 

But it’s different from email. 

And as powerful as messenger marketing is, you need to understand some important principles in order to use it effectively. Here, we’re going to look at some of the key mistakes that people make when implementing a Messenger marketing strategy.

Mistake #1 – Treating Messenger Marketing Like Email Marketing

This mistake often occurs because people have used email marketing for so long that it’s difficult to comprehend another way to send messages to customers.

When making the transition to Messenger, the temptation is to send long-winded and one-sided messages to people. They don’t respond and the senders ends up wondering where they went wrong.

The solution to this is to take a more conversational approach. Think about how you use Messenger when you’re chatting with your friends. That’s the approach that you want to take with your Messenger marketing.

Design conversations that focus on engaging the user based on what they tell you about themselves. This personalises the experience and makes the user more likely to continue engaging with your Messenger bot.

Mistake #2 – Being Too Formal

Traditional marketing techniques suggest that you should try to present an air of professionalism at all times.

That leads to another key Messenger marketing mistake. Some marketers try to use professional or corporate-sounding language, but it just comes off as stiff and robotic, which doesn’t engage the user.

Again, being more conversational is the solution here. Don’t be afraid of throwing the occasional emoji into the conversation. Use gifs, videos, and images to keep the user’s interest and ensure they keep talking.

Mistake #3 – Taking the “Stamp Collector” Approach

It feels really good to see your subscriber list grow.

In fact, it can feel so good that a lot of marketers and business owners can end up with the “stamp collector” mentality. Instead of using Messenger marketing for engagement, they use it to build a list that they don’t do a whole lot with.

Low engagement and higher operational costs are the end result of this mentality.

Achieving true value in Messenger is about what you do with the audience you have rather than building as large an audience as possible. Use Messenger to re-engage your existing customer base. Importantly, weed out the Messenger subscribers who don’t want to engage with your business anymore.

Mistake #4 – Not Understanding Facebook’s Messenger Rules

Since it’s so easy to talk to a customer via Messenger, there’s a temptation to spam them with a ton of messages. 

However, there are rules surrounding how you message people that you need to take into account. The key rule is that there’s a 24-hour window for standard messaging that you need to adhere to. You can send messages outside of this window to a subscriber.

Furthermore, there are limitations in terms of how much promotional content you can send to subscribers.

Failing to follow these rules could lead to Facebook revoking your Messenger privileges.

Keep the 24+1 Rule in mind for your subscriber list. For the first 24 hours, you’re able to send as much promotional and non-promotional content as you want to the new subscriber.

After that 24 hours, you can send as many non-promotional items and one promotional follow-up item.

This resets whenever you experience an engagement with the user. Follow this rule at all times and you’re unlikely to run afoul of Facebook.
 

Mistake #5 – Not Properly Managing The Audience

Many ecommerce business owners see their Messenger bot builder software through the lens of managing flows and broadcasts.

While that’s part of the equation, this narrow view doesn’t allow you to take full advantage of a bot.

They miss the chance to build hyper-targeted audiences, which results in low funnel conversion.

The solution is to make better use of tags and custom fields with the CRM. Segment your audience based on where they are in your funnel, the products they’ve shown interest in, and any other relevant criteria. From these segments, you can create targeted Messenger campaigns that appeal directly to a specific audience.

Mistake #6 – Treating Messenger Like a Marketing Silo

Some ecommerce business owners treat Messenger marketing as a separate marketing strategy. They don’t integrate it into their other channels.

This results in them missing opportunities to more effectively market their products.

Messenger should be part of an omni-channel marketing strategy. After all, your Messenger bot collects a lot of valuable information about your customers. You can use this information to help you target other campaigns.

Of course, this works both ways as the data you collect from other campaigns can help you to tighten your Messenger marketing. 

Mistake #7 – Not Covering the Basic Touchpoints

Every customer that you have went on a journey with your business.

They discovered who you were, learned about you and your products, and engaged with you at several points before making their decision.

The key mistake that many make with Messenger marketing is to not use it to hit on all of these touchpoints. They end up having to hit them manually, which takes more of their time. In the worst-case scenario, they miss the opportunity to engage with a customer when they really need your help.

Defining your sales funnel is the first step to remedying this issue. When you know what customers need to know at each stage of the journey, you can use Messenger to deliver the appropriate messages to them. 

Mistake #8 – Not Starting Free Conversations

Many ecommerce business owners believe that they can only start conversations through Facebook ads. They have to pay to engage the customer in the first place before they can start guiding them through their sales funnel.

There are plenty of opportunities to acquire new customers without paid Ads.  In fact, you can acquire a customer anywhere you can use a URL or QR code. Think about packaging, flyers, event stands, magazines, business cards.  The list is endless. 

This mistake may stem from the thought that you can only use Messenger to attract new customers. However, there are also plenty of opportunities to start free conversations with the people who are already on your list.

Of course, you also need a strategy in place to provide instant responses to people who message your business. They’ve taken the initiative, which means there’s usually a defined interest there. Make sure you don’t miss the opportunity to nurture any new leads that come to you for free.

Create a Great Facebook Messenger Strategy

A Messenger marketing strategy gives you the opportunity to market your products to a huge audience.

But you have to avoid the mistakes covered in this article. Messenger is about so much more than blasting your list with content. With the right strategy, you can drive engagement, lower your CPA, and increase your profits.

Perhaps you need a little help with creating your strategy.

That’s where Beyond Points comes in. 

We can help you to use Facebook Messenger bots for your ecommerce business. Send us a message to book your strategy session.

How to De-Risk Your Amazon Business Using Messenger Marketing

Amazon can be a gold mine for sellers. But it comes with challenges, too. Find out how savvy marketers use Messenger marketing to grow business both on and off the channel.

There’s no denying that Amazon is one of the best platforms to find retail traffic. By the end of 2018, Amazon ranked #1 with 20.6 million users per month.

There are many benefits of using Amazon for your online business. However, there are also some pretty significant risks if you build your brand only using the Amazon platform. 

It’s certainly tempting to use Amazon to build your brand – no doubt about that at all. But one of the biggest negatives is that the customers belong to Amazon. That may prove problematic for profitability and repeat business.

The Messenger Marketing Solution

The big issue for most Amazon sellers is relying on Amazon as the sole source of business.

What happens if something goes wrong?

For example, Amazon could decide to delist or derank one of your products. If it’s a product that drives a large source of your revenue, your business faces a severe cashflow risk as a result. 

There are also occasions when Amazon has banned an entire business. Typically, such bans relate to selling prohibited or counterfeit products. However, it’s possible that they may ban you for consistent shipping issues or for not responding to messages fast enough. An overabundance of negative feedback can also lead to a ban.

While these are hopefully not current concerns for your Amazon business, most sellers lose sleep over them, particularly as with great expectations, they approach the big sales seasons.

In the absence of being able to reach out to and connect with your buyers (all purchases on Amazon are by Amazon’s customers and they go to great lengths to prevent sellers from marketing to them), the typical go-to strategy for clawing back lost ground is paid traffic. 

That’s where a Messenger marketing solution can make a huge difference. With an effective Messenger marketing strategy, you can capture your audience before sending them to Amazon, thus getting the best of both worlds. 

Three Ways to De-Risk Your Amazon Business

The goal is to take control back from Amazon so that you can build a real off-Amazon business. You can use Messenger marketing to build your own customer base for this. We’re going to look at three ways that you can do this.

Method #1 – Leverage Amazon’s Data

In the past, Amazon has been very shy about sharing buyer data with sellers. It’s still possible to extract a list of orders using tools like ManageByStats, and use that data to build a custom audience in Facebook, but the degree of data matching is lower now than it used to be.

If you’re starting from scratch with learning about your real buyers, a great place to start is the Amazon Brand Analytics tool, released inside Seller Central in February 2019. You can use this to access a demographics report. The data is still sketchy after only a few months, but there still may be some eye openers you can use to refind a custom audience, including average age, income, and even education of your buyers. Plus, you can filter the results down to gender and even marital status.

All of this is data can be used to build a strong click-to-Messenger Ad campaign, and capture more targeted customers.  From there, you can choose whether to send them to Amazon, or bring them to your own Shopify or WooCommercs store. 

This is a great way for you to build your off-Amazon revenue. Better yet, you may get to appeal to an audience who might otherwise never discover your product among the sea of other products on Amazon.
 

Method #2 – Use Messenger to Ask for Reviews

Amaaon is a review battle ground. Customers are 9X more likely to leave a review from a bad experience than if they get the result they expected – a perfect product.

The good news is that customers you’ve acquired through Messenger are much more likely to leave a review for you. To maximise your review rate, you’ll need to run an automated campaign that takes the buyer from discovery through to providing feedback.

For example, you could create a Messenger ad campaign to buy the product from your Amazon store. Follow up a few days later to see if they managed to purchase, and if so, ask then for their feedback. If you’re sending coupon traffic to Amazon, remember that discounts above 30% result in non-verified reviews, which don’t count towards your overall star rating.

You benefit no matter where they leave that review. If they post it on Amazon, you’re guarding yourself against black hatters and sales dips due to negative reviews. But you should also consider asking  them to leave a review on Facebook, Google or your own site. If they post it on Facebook, your traffic will be better and click rate from Ads can improve. More reviews on your own site will improve your store conversion (and there are no issues with coupon codes here!) Google reviews will improve your Shopping campaigns as well as natural organic traffic to your store.

Method #3 – Create Your Own Ecosystem

The ultimate insurance is to have your own eComm store up and firing. 

For example, your Messenger campaigns don’t have to push people towards your Amazon store. Instead, direct them to a landing page that relates to the specific product they’re looking for. This is particularly effective for people who have already purchased from your brand on Amazon, and therefore have already established a level of trust in your service.

Building relationships with your customers is the best way to ensure they keep your brand front of mind. Do everything you can to engage them on Messenger, both before and After an Amazon sale.  For example, why not leverage packaging iserts to deliver outstanding customer service and answer your FAQs. Deliver a unique content piece showing how to get the best from your product, or offer the ability to download a manual. 

Ultimately, unusual experiences are what stick in people’s minds, long after your Amazon listing page has been forgotten.  Messenger provides an unprecedented way to engage the customer and make memorable moments all through the lifecycle.

Eventually, Amazon will become part of a multi-channel ecommerce ecosystem. As a result, any issues that you experience with the platform will have less of an effect on your business.

Build Your Off-Amazon Ecosystem

Relying solely on Amazon for your revenue opens your business up to all sorts of potential problems. Instead of focusing solely on driving traffic there, use the platform to build an audience and have conversations to understand your customers better and create lasting memories of exceptional service.

Facebook Messenger is one of the most effective channels for doing this. The methods described above can help you to de-risk your Amazon business because they help you to build an audience away from the platform.

Beyond Points can help you to put these techniques into practice. Have a chat with our team to find out more about how we can help you to take the risk away from selling on Amazon.

[CASE STUDY] How An e-Commerce Company Uses Messenger Marketing Bots To Generate A Whopping 39% Conversion Rate

Messenger marketing can give your eCommerce business a boost in sales, customer retention, and support quality. That’s exactly what Camps Australia Wide discovered when they decided to implement Messenger marketing.

 

It’s difficult to grow an e-commerce business.

With so much competition out there, your messages often get lost in the noise. And if you’re running a small business, you may not be able to dedicate many resources to your marketing efforts.

That’s where using automated Facebook Messenger campaigns can help.

Messenger provided a highly engaged medium for attracting and converting new customers. That’s what Camps Australia Wide learned when working with Beyond Points.

How Bots Benefitted Camps Australia Wide

Camps Australia Wide is one of Australia’s leading publishers of touring and camping books. Established in 2001, they provide detailed camping guides that offer information about Australia’s many campsites. When they came to Beyond Points, they were in the midst of launching their newest editions. 

Their goal was to increase the number of sales on their Shopify store, and shift the balance away from traditional bricks & mortar retail.

Unfortunately, they faced a challenge in terms of the traditional nature of their audience. Those looking to buy camping goods tend to visit brick and mortar stores. They want to try before they buy, which makes things difficult for an e-commerce store.

The good news is that they had a large email subscriber list of 32,000 people. Unfortunately, they’d found engagement with their campaigns was on the decline.

They needed a new marketing solution that would help them to boost sales and engage their subscribers.

That’s where Beyond Points could help.

We explained the many benefits of using bots for an e-commerce store. Our goal was to help them win control of the online market so they could launch their new products to an engaged subscriber base.

They also wanted to capture new subscribers and expand their presence on social media.

We came up with two tactics.

The first was a Messenger-based giveaway to attract Messenger subscribers. 

Using a bot, linked to a boosted Facebook post and simple Facebook Ad, Camps Australia Wide received 6,000 new subscribers in the space of just five days. This was then linked to a post-draw discount offer for the new version.

The second strategy used a Facebook Ad and Messenger  funnel campaign to educate customers on the new features, and took them to the shopping cart with a coupon.

The campaign achieved 1,289 ad clicks and 507 sales. That amounts to a 39% conversion rate, which compares favourably to the 1.7% rate of the client’s email funnel.

 

 

How Can You Use Bots to Boost Your E-Commerce Business

Camps Wide Australia enjoyed amazing results thanks to using bots to boost their business.

But how can you do the same?

Here are five ways that bots could help you to grow your business.

Method #1 – Building an Engaged Customer List

As you can see from the stats above, traditional email campaigns often don’t convert well anymore. They achieve far lower open and conversion rates, which means you’re wasting money sending emails that many people don’t read.

Using Facebook Messenger, Camps Australia Wide created a targeted audience for their new product, which converted at a much higher rate than email.

You can do the same.

Giveaways are a great way to attract new Messenger subscribers based on your existing email list, Facebook fans, or even targeted ads to look-a-like audiences in Facebook.  With the right set up, you’ll be able to leverage that list into the future.

Method #2 – Winning Control

With Messenger marketing, you’re able to win control of your audience thanks to increased responsiveness. You can create an outstanding service that ensures customers get the answers they need from the moment they enter your online store or Facebook page.

Using Messenger marketing allows you to engage your customers and build powerful relationships.

Bots can assist customers with their enquiries and provide instant answers to questions that may take your customer service team several hours to respond to.

It’s all about building trust to ensure the user feels as comfortable as possible during the purchasing process. Messenger marketing allows you to hit the various customer touchpoints in the journey with consistency. Plus, the use of automation makes it easier to gather customer data and integrate it into your CRM. This means that you can personalise the messages that you send.

By doing this, you take back control of your audience because you offer speed and quality that your competitors can’t provide.

Method #3 – Encourage Repeat Purchases

According to an article published on Forbes, companies spend five times more on attracting new customers than on nurturing existing customers. 

Furthermore, another international survey revealed that repeat customers drive an average of 40% of a store’s revenue. Plus, they’re much more likely to convert when compared to new customers.

Despite this, so many e-commerce businesses neglect repeat customers in favour of chasing new ones.

You need to find the balance.

You can use Facebook Messenger bots to deliver information to existing customers and make sure they are nurtured properly. With an appropriately crafted content and value delivery strategy that works in concert with Facebook’s messaging rules, you can keep your audience engaged and alert them to new offers and products that relate to their interests.

Method #4 – Launching Products

Using a Messenger bot allowed Camps Australia Wide to achieve a 39% conversion rate for a new product.

In their case, they timed their Messenger promotion to build anticipation for their upcoming product launch. This helped to build excitement and anticipation for the launch, both among existing and new customers.

Messenger marketing allows you to communicate more directly with potential customers so they understand the benefits of your new product. You can provide notifications during development and you can tailor your offer to individual audience segments.

Method #5 – Getting Reviews

An unexpected side effect of Camps Australia Wide’s campaign is that they received a stream of positive reviews.

Integrating a well-constructed Messenger campaign into the product mix played a huge part in this. With Messenger, you can provide faster and more effective aftercare and customer service. The quality of this service encourages customers to leave positive reviews. Plus, it allows for you to build the trust required in the customer relationship to feel comfortable with requesting a review.

This is so important because many people make their buying decisions based on what other people say about your business. They’ll Google you before they buy from you. If they see a stream of positive reviews, they’re immediately more engaged than they would be if they only had sales copy to read.

It’s Your Turn

Camps Australia Wide gave their social media presence a boost, gained new subscribers, and increased sales using bots.

You can do the same.

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With Beyond Points, you’ll learn how Messenger marketing can give your e-commerce business a boost. Message us now to arrange your strategy session.