Startup E-commerce Businesses: ‘Backup social media marketing by cost savvy traditional media’!

People see hundreds of startup E-commerce business advertisements on various social media platforms everyday, but rarely click on FEW of them to check out their services or product offerings. Also, clicks on those few Startup E-commerce business’s  advertisements are influenced by factors like- If ad mentions that one of their friend/contact is using or used the services, If they found the ad display attractive, etc.

Out of these factors, one important factor is – If people (target audience) have previously seen that start up’s advertisement on newspaper, TV, etc. in other words on ‘Traditional Media’!  Having already seen the advertisement on ‘Traditional Media’ influences target audience’s decision to check out, what your start up has to offer, when they go online. Now, Reasons behind that influence varies like- curiosity, etc.

SMM+Traditional Media

Now,the question arises – For Startup E-commerce businesses, ‘Capital’ is already a big challenge and on top of that, spending money on social media doesn’t left them with much budget so as to invest in Traditional Media, so how can they follow this advice?

Well, the answer is – invest in ‘ lower cost Traditional Media ’, key here is –

Go Local: – Instead of advertising on national TV channels, Newspapers, Radio, Magazines etc.  where cost is really high, focus on local TV channels, Newspapers, Radio, Magazines etc.  all of which will be cost savvy to target your niche audience.  And, once your business starts generating revenues, you may further enhance your marketing efforts to target bigger audience.

Often, startup e-commerce businesses direct all their marketing efforts on social media only. Social Media Marketing is a great platform for startup’s marketing activities, but if it is supported by cost effective ‘Traditional Media’, it can boost startup e-commerce’s marketing efforts and help in accomplishing startup’s goal!

What do you think are some other important factors which can help startup e-commerce business’s marketing efforts?!

Copyright©2012RahulKPandey

Secret for e-commerce businesses in India!

If you are doing e-commerce business in India and want to tap the hidden clientele base to emerge in your business! Read on…………

I like to bring your focus on one interesting phenomenon! Many people in India resist paying for online  products through credit card (though many people are also there who do online transactions through credit cards). And, due to this reason, many e-commerce businesses failed to tap that hidden potential market.

My suggestion is; provide them ease of purchasing! Here are 2 approaches, I believe, can influence the purchasing decision of those potential buyers.

Direct Cash Approach – Don’t force people to pay online, instead when customers order something online; ask them to provide the billing information including Landline Number! Call on their Landline numbers (No Cell number!) to confirm the order (to check out if it’s fake or genuine). And, once order is confirmed, send them product and your delivery guy can get the cash from customers directly!

I believe more companies should try this method in India so as to be more customer friendly.

Flexible e-Cash Approach

InDirect Cash Approach – Have one or two ‘Store- houses’ in Tiers 1 and Tier 2 cities depending on your business and majority of customer base (Geographically).  Idea is; if you think that sending a delivery guy for each order is not a feasible option, than what you can do is; when customer places order online than as mentioned above, confirm order through landline number provided by customer.

Than dispatch the products from your main warehouse to that city’s storehouse (where order was placed) and within say 2-3 days (sort out number of days as per your calculation),customer can directly come  to store house in his/her city, pay the cash and get his/her product( store-house staff can call the customer when product arrives).You may further enhance the flexibility of picking up products by customers, for example-within 5-7 days!

Your turn! What do you think about the feasibility of both approaches?!

Suggestions/Feedbacks are welcome!!

Copyright©2012RahulKPandey

Don’t Do Social Media Marketing!!!

Don’t do Social Media Marketing, IF-

1)  If you can not keep up with the changing ‘TREND(S)’ in social media and its various platforms. Before 3-4 years, companies didn’t care much about their LinkedIn pages, and after that with increasing popularity of LinkedIn, every company started building up its page on LinkedIn and is actively involved since then. Same applies for Pinterest, ……………Well, Do I need to say anything about popularity of Pinterest?! (If you don’t know what I am talking about, you might wanna reconsider your social media strategy/efforts again!).

It’s not only about adopting new trends; SMM efforts should also keep the pace up with the changes (new features, changed appearances etc.) in existing Social Media. For ex.-  Facebook’s new  Timeline. Your company’s page should have already modified its page as per the new Facebook’s Timeline features before reading this article!

2)  If you don’t know what do you want to ‘ACCOMPLISH’ through your Social Media Marketing?! In other words, if you don’t know what is the ultimate goal of your Social Media Marketing! Having clear understanding of your ultimate goal of SMM campaign; whether it’s to increase Brand awareness or Introduction of new product/services or something else helps you to not get lost on different social media platforms! Blindly following SMM won’t serve any purpose.

3)  If you can not continuously provide one strong ‘REASON’ to Engage Entertain the visitors/customers on your Facebook/G+/LinkedIn/Twitter and other social media pages. There are pretty good chances that ones people like your company’s pages on Facebook, G+, LinkedIn etc. They may never come back again to check it out UNLESS you provide them one strong reason to visit the page! It could be anything like – games, contests, apps, challenges, quizzes etc. And, it doesn’t necessarily have to be related to your business (but if it is, nothing could be better than that!). Main focus should be that your target audience visits your company’s social media pages quite often through that reason and because of that; you can keep the communication alive with the visitors.

4) If you don’t have ‘RESOURCE(S)’ (Like- SEO, social media managers, executives, Dept.).  It’s not like you should have all of them but you should have at least some of them to devote to your social media strategy and if you are  START UP or SMALL level business, you should have at least a single person devoting sufficient time to SMM activities.  Message is; you should not treat your social media marketing as a side activity!

5) If you Can not devote enough time to ‘RESPOND‘to fans/customer‘s comments/ queries on different social media platforms in ‘timely manner’. A criticizing comment(s), if hangs there for some days before you respond/solve the query, can hurt your company’s reputation!

*Response should be in professional manner, whether it is for query or complaint!

‘TARRR’ (TREND, ACHIEVE, REASON, RESOURCE, RESPOND) are crucial factors for any social media campaign to succeed!  Needless to say, Success of any social media campaign depends on many other factors.

MORAL of the article is- Social Media Marketing, if done wrongly, can hurt the company as much as it can benefit!

“Social Media Marketing” if aim and execute correctly, will result in forms of Brand Recognition, ROI, customer Database, etc. BUT, in case of improper aiming and execution, it will not only end up missing the target but it can also lead to ‘ruined online image‘!

What do you think, are some other crucial factors for success of a ‘Social Media Marketing’ apart from ’TARRR’?!

Copyright©2012RahulKPandey