Young Entrepreneur Podcast: David Gregoire from M. eCommerce
The best marketing strategy when looking to both increase and retain customers requires a lengthy thought process, especially for someone who is a newcomer to the great world of e-commerce.
Capturing a maximum amount of traffic on your e-commerce website
From the outset, Mr Gregoire mentions that it is necessary to devote specific efforts in trying to capture a maximum amount of traffic on your e-commerce site. The opposite makes the marketing investment completely useless, as a prospect who is just passing through is a potential source of revenue slipping through our fingers. To avoid letting these undecided visitors leave the website without buying, David Gregoire reaffirms the importance of finding a way to collect their email address.
Although they have not made a purchase at the moment, having their email address allows you to reconnect with them later on through an email marketing campaign. Thus, the door remains open so that you can convert them into clients in the near future. The importance of maintaining a close relationship with visitors to your website is therefore essential if you want to maximize your conversion rate in the long run and be sure you do not lose any opportunities.
The young entrepreneur also highlights one crucial point: working on your traffic costs nothing and in the end, is more than useful in achieving your goals. Repeating his terms (loose translation from French), "you have to take the people for whom you are willing to pay for a customer acquisition and work to convince them, this makes the whole difference between failure and success. "
Regarding the question of distributing the funds between marketing and website development, he suggests spending 80% of your budget on marketing and only 20% on the site. A functional and unadorned site will do the job very well, whereas your marketing strategy's degree of refinement will be a decisive factor in determining the number of customers you have been able to retain.
Concerning this last point, let us specify that the improvement of your strategy involves the use of several channels including email marketing and Google Ads (Adwords), although the latter requires a certain level of expertise to be used to the maximum of its capacities and is therefore not always the ideal tool for beginners.
How to reconnect with people that visited your website
In order to give concrete examples of good tricks that work for retaining customers that are hesitating or have not made a purchase, David Gregoire discusses the usefulness of doing what he refers to as drip marketing. But what does he mean by that?
Drip marketing consists in sending a series of emails at regular intervals to offer the user interesting content or a shopping guide, the latter possibility having also proven to be a generally effective option. Nevertheless, we must avoid sending promotional e-mails to Internet users, above all else, the purpose of sending these messages is to offer content that can be useful.
As a second tip, he suggests prompt and reminding customers who have abandoned their shopping cart. To increase the chances of the customer finally proceeding to checkout, you have to go with a progressive offer: the first offer can be a 10% discount one hour after they've left their cart, then go up to 25% and so on. We must know how to create a sense of urgency alongside the offer to encourage the hesitant customer to take action.
Of course, some will be tempted to say that the entrepreneur is losing money by doing so. But as David Gregoire points out, is it not better to lose a part of the profit expected for a sale than the sale itself? Not only will you still be able to make a profit, but you will not lose the money invested in your marketing strategy.
E-commerce delivery: managing orders
Free delivery: an essential factor
According to Mr Gregoire, it is essential to have a free shipping formula for customers who make one or more purchases that go over a certain amount of money.
This is an essential courtesy to thank these generous customers for doing business with you, especially since they brought you a lot of money.
How to save on shipping charges
In terms of delivery rates for smaller purchases, there are several options available to contractors so that they can avoid losing too much of their profit margin by offering favourable pricing for their customers.
The first option that Mr Gregoire shares with listeners is to negotiate with Canada Post. However, you will have to be patient, because this institution requires that you make a number of deliveries to agree to lower the rate requested. Otherwise, you may hit a wall; Canada Post can be rather uncompromising in its pricing. It is, therefore, necessary to wait to have reached a certain level in the number of orders sent out so that you can have a convincing argument when negotiating.
The second option is to bring your parcels to the United States and send them from there. This is a good idea if the products are not subject to customs fees. This, in fact, saves about 70% on delivery costs.
The latest option on the list would be to do business with a company in Quebec or the United States, which both tend to offer preferential rates.
Delivery charges: included in the price or not?
Asked whether or not to include shipping costs in the selling price, Gregoire finds that this is a bad idea if the product you are promoting is sold by other companies. In this regard, he recalls that the usual trend for anyone who shops online is to hop from site to site to find the best price possible. If for one reason or another, your selling price is the highest of the group, it's a safe bet that visitors will decide to buy on other websites.
However, if you are selling a product for which you are the sole distributor, this may be a good strategy. Indeed, since the customer is not able to compare different prices for this product, they cannot decide to do business with the competitor.
Plug-in to calculate delivery fees: is it a good idea?
Setting up a plug-in may seem like a good idea, especially if you consider that a very heavy package will be more expensive to send than those with a lower weight.
Nevertheless, according to the founder of SnapShop, for a novice entrepreneur whose delivery rate is not substantial (for the moment at least), this can be hard to manage. This type of system requires collecting a large amount of information, which greatly complicates the pricing process.
According to him, the ideal plan would be to set up a free delivery policy when reaching a certain amount and a fixed fee for the rest of the orders.
Competing with giants
Online marketing giants like Amazon can be intimidating for a young entrepreneur who wants to make his mark on the web and succeed. Regarding the challenge represented by their presence, David Gregoire bluntly admits that it is unfortunately impossible to counteract their power on the market.
To work your way through it, he suggests selling through their sites and thus benefiting from their already established marketing strategy, which helps them to attract many visitors from the outset. You still have to be cautious, because the process can be complicated and the negative comments you may get from users can be very damaging to your reputation.
If you're thinking about using Amazon for your e-commerce business, it is essential that you maintain a connection with your customers by sending your own follow-up emails for example.
If you are not the only player involved in the entire process of marketing your product, you need to demonstrate that your company shows true concern for the satisfaction of its customers.
Are you looking to learn more? Here is the full episode of the B2BQuotes.com where we speak with David Gregoire (in French only) :
Do you like to learn about young entrepreneurs and their career paths? Check out the Podcast and collaborations category to discover inspiring stories from people that have been very successful, including the B2BQuotes.com founders.
About the interviewer:
This episode of the B2BQuotes podcast was prepared and hosted by Olivier Lambert of Tactik Media. Working in the field of web marketing and business development, he is the co-founder of Tactik Media and LeadLion. As a small business specialist, he is always looking out for new tools and technologies that relate to the internet.