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Attracting Online Customers, Essay Example

Pages: 2

Words: 641

Essay

There are various benefits of moving sales onto the world wide web. Ease of access, costs savings and low cost advertising are just some of the many advantages a small business can benefit from. The below overview details the most effective ways of attracting shoppers to use web based ordering and purchasing services.

Importance of Branding

Branding is important in the competitive environment of e-commerce. Becoming visible for prospects is, however, not enough. There is a need for creating a site that can generate conversions based on visits. The more successful the long-term branding strategy of the business is the stronger the customer base can develop. Still, there is a need for using online advertising and marketing methods to find and contact potential buyers and create a strong brand online. (Yan, 2001, p. 2)

Online Advertising Methods

There are several methods of online advertising, however, the scope of the current paper only allows the authors to mention the most important ones.

Banner ads. Banners are small images that appear on websites. They can be placed on one particular site, targeting the page’s audience. The price of this advertisement is usually determined per a thousand impressions. However, there is no guarantee that people would click on the banners and visit the site. The conversion rates need to be measured and monitored on a constant basis in order to determine the profitability of the campaign. Banners are usually designed by digital marketing experts and involve development costs.

Pop-up ads. While pop-up advertising used to be an effective way of advertising in the first years of the world wide web, today many ad blocking software are available to prevent them from appearing. Many web browsers come with built-in pop-up blockers. It is possible to design an unblockable pop-up, however, this can be annoying for users. Many online companies have already abandoned pop-up ads and moved towards softer, less aggressive methods.

Search engine ads. Most search engines offer paid placements in search results. In this form of advertising, the website owner pays not per impressions but per click. Still, conversions and click rates need to be closely monitored, as there is no guarantee that users who click on the advertisement will go ahead with purchasing a service or product.

Classified ads. Online companies can take advantage of the popularity of online classified sites, as well as their reputation in search engines. Still, this method used alone would not engage customers long term; there is a need for developing a long-term strategy for gaining popularity.

            Alternative online marketing methods. Some alternative methods include search engine optimization, which is effective but takes a long time to master. Article, press release and video marketing can be effective, as well as social media involvement and email marketing. Communicating with prospects through autoresponder messages is a targeted and effective way of advertising.

Further considerations. Reibstein (2002, p. 466) emphasizes the importance of market research and surveys. Understanding customer preferences, priorities and behavior will help online companies develop an effective targeting method. Yan (2001, p. 1.) mentions that branding should effectively communicate the brand identity and values. Social media marketing,  content marketing and email marketing are effective tools that can help implementing a long-term web marketing strategy. Nobre et al. (2003) confirm that online marketing’s opportunity cost is considerably lower than traditional advertising’s. According to a recent Bright Pearl publication (web), maximizing online visibility is the secret to developing a strong brand on the Internet.

References

Bright Pearl. (web) 6 strategies for attracting more shoppers to your online store. Retrieved from http://www.brightpearl.com/sites/default/files/t27/media/PDFs/

MANAGEMENT1whitepapers/InboundInsight-6StrategiesForDrivingMoreShoppersToYourOnlineStore.pdf

Nobre, H., Becker, K., Lencastre, P., Brito, C. (2003) On-line branding: analysis of market effects on brand. Business Excellence ’03. Retrieved from http://ideias.online.pt/pdf/CMB_Online%20Branding.pdf

Reibstein, D. (2002) What attracts customers to online stores, and what keeps them coming back? Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science. Volume 30, No. 4, pages 465-473.

Yan, J. (2001) Online branding: an antipodean experience. Retrieved from http://jyanet.com/cap/2001/1019fe0.pdf

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