10 Marketing Goals Your eCommerce Business Needs for 2023
Community Commerce4 MIN READ
The world keeps changing.
Just as PPC experts improve conversion rates and retargeting, operating systems throw out third-party cookies. A global pandemic creates pent up demand, and then that demand drops in the face of war in Eastern Europe, supply chain failures, and the worst inflation Americans have seen in decades.
Marketing strategies since 2020 undergo sweeping changes constantly. eCommerce business growth is perhaps more susceptible to economic volatility, since the technical capabilities of virtual marketplaces iterate with the habits of erratic consumer behaviors and social commerce trends.
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But not all of these changes are bad. In fact, many of today's consumer market challenges actually expedite wholesome, affordable, and organic marketing methods. Emotionally intelligent brands are lowering their acquisition costs and driving powerful growth through Community Commerce.
The Rise of Community Commerce
Community Commerce is a strategy that brings people together around shared values and goals for genuine connection, relevant content, and a more fun and trusted buying experience.
Word-of-mouth drives purchases far more than any other buying factor. Even a great ad campaign enjoys a critical element of referral power from friends, family, and influencers, or rides the "viral" wave for organic growth (unfortunately, PPC platforms are still going to charge you either way). Consumers telling each other about their purchases underlies every successful marketing campaign today.
Within WOM, key relationships impact the authenticity and trustworthiness of product recommendations. Creators that consumers deem authoritative cultivate online hangouts where the occasional plug for a great product or service elevates the brand to the next level.
“Community is a powerful force in social commerce, and community commerce in particular, providing a space where creators and brands can build the high levels of engagement that drive inspiration and purchase. Creators boost discovery, motivate audiences to try new products, and help make a brand relatable.” - WARC/TikTok Industry Report
As brands examine their marketing mix going into the New Year, the most valuable objective shifts will embrace a Community Commerce approach where consumers and their community leaders take the drivers seat in brand growth.
10 Critical Marketing Goals for eCommerce Brands in 2023
1. Identify and activate community influencers who genuinely love your brand.
Community influencers differ from typical influencers in that they...
- ...are usually micro influencers (creators with fewer than 500,000 followers)
- ...attract niche audiences
- ...nurture engagement with and among their fans
- ...prioritize authenticity and information accuracy over follower growth and brand collaborations
Image Source: Business2Community.com
Because of these distinctions, community influencers see the best engagement and highest conversion rates for their brand partners. These creators are uniquely equipped to mobilize their entire fan base to become brand evangelists.
2. Create a content strategy that connects emotionally with your target audience.
Brands that build emotional connections with their audience receive 3 times more word-of-mouth than other brands. - 20 Word-of-Mouth Marketing Statistics
The old way to use content is to promote product specs and differentiate from the competition. While both of these are important, consumers are only interested in that information after you've made a connection with them.
That's why compelling content nearly always resonates with people's deeper needs. It's also vulnerable, honest, and unexpected.
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Brands today are challenged to expose their values, emotional differentiators, and the micro moments that create sparks between themselves and their best customers. This approach to content marketing attracts committed buyers instead of wearing down hesitant shoppers.
3. Use paid media to amplify high-performing content.
Paid amplification is a more intentional approach to paid advertising boosting content that already proved itself successful organically. After knowing that an image, video, blog, or Tweet resonates with the right crowd, brands can throw money behind it to reach more people in an efficient way.
With the cost of ads going up, paid amplification is the smarter way to boost awareness on a tighter budget and still achieve great results.
4. Leverage active community influencers as brand community leaders.
Building brand community is a real challenge for most brands. For eCommerce businesses already working with the right community influencers, nurturing brand community is at their finger tips.
Community influencers are professional community-builders. The next steps are simply to partner with those creators to add value for brand community members, establish safe spaces for niche groups to bond and develop, promote brand values from the bottom up, and even establish thriving referral programs among a highly engaged group of brand fans.
5. Educate and inform your audience.
Concerns over misinformation create much suspicion among buyers. So while brands tap into consumer communities and emotionally-relevant content, informing audiences is critical.
Image Source: Customer Think
To do this well, eCommerce marketers need to add value wherever possible, thinking beyond the immediate needs that their products solve. Educating people on how they can improve their quality of life in ways relevant to the brand nurtures trust and brand loyalty.
6. Create a seamless feedback loop between product design and power users.
Power users push the product limits. Their insights on how to improve and optimize what they already consider to be a great product helps brands leave competition in the dust.
In 2023, customer-inspired product improvements will shape online buying. Brands must take steps now to invite valuable user feedback from their ideal customers and develop ongoing, collaborative interactions with those customers.
7. Grow your search engine optimization (SEO).
SEO is not new, but it's as critical as ever to eCommerce growth. Black hat tactics are out, and white hat web page copy and schema is the key to customers finding the products they need on top marketplaces such as:
Well-crafted blogs, landing pages, product description pages, post captions, and even digital price tags are among the top ways eCommerce brands are boosting their sales while lowering their customer acquisition costs. (Read this real-life example of an Amazon seller that dropped his paid ad budget altogether in favor of powerful SEO initiatives.)
8. Improve customer care and customer success performance.
Closely related to #6 (seamless feedback loops between top customers and product design) is elevating customer care in eCommerce. When buyers know that they can get help with their purchase, they are more inclined to buy again and refer the brand to others.Image Source: Business2Community.com
Great customer service also makes eCommerce brands smarter than their competitors. Non-defensive, active-listening brands are the future of commerce. They bend over backwards to make customers successful and empower people to solve their problems with the best possible solutions.
9. Increase customer lifetime value (CLV).
It's no secret that incentivizing repeat purchases is far easier (and less expensive) than acquiring new customers. Community Commerce trends focus on bringing buyers "into the fold" rather than overworking to force a first purchase.
eCommerce brands enjoy more data than ever before, and this information tells them how then can increase the average purchase and drive future purchases from a single customer. Modern CLV data is customer loyalty and retention intelligence like the world has never seen before.
Building brand community is one of the best ways to increase CLV and grow organically. Buyers want to feel apart of the brands and groups they identify with.
10. Look for partnerships with complementary brands.
With a growing sense of community and connection, successful eCommerce brands are no longer stingy with their target audience. Rather, they see similarities with complementary brands that make for strong partnerships.
When a brand shares audience segments with a non-competitor brand, they can join forces through content creation, co-branded product design/packages, cause promotions, and so much more.
Traditional marketing tactics that intrude on the lives of buyers are a bust in today's socially-driven environment. eCommerce brands are radically shifting their marketing strategies as they approach 2023. Most of these shifts demonstrate that people long for connection and that that connection can thrive among social media influencers, followers, and emotionally-intelligent brands.