According to some estimates, more than 56% of Americans prefer to shop online while 96% say they’ve made at least one online purchase in their lives. What’s more, e-commerce is growing by 23% each year, yet 46% of small businesses don’t even have a website! Since e-commerce is steadily growing, it’s no wonder that many businesses are focusing on setting up or improving their websites. The competition is getting stronger, which is why you need a strong marketing strategy to survive. Native advertising or social media, which one should you choose? Well, it turns out social media is more beneficial. Keep reading to find out why.
E-commerce Trends in 2017
Demand for e-commerce is growing with a vast majority of people preferring to shop online and an increasing number of customers who’ve made at least one purchase. It is estimated that by 2020, the market will grow to $523 billion in sales. Thanks to artificial technology now available to almost everyone, retailers will be able to gain knowledge on the most searched items and predict customer behavior.
In 2017 and beyond, we will witness the era of 99% matched recommendations on e-commerce websites. In fact, the e-commerce market is now focused primarily on big data collection and personal experience, with retailers knowing how crucial customer experience is to generating repeat purchases.
Native Advertising Doesn’t Suit E-commerce Websites
Although e-commerce is experiencing enormous growth, there are still major differences between big and small retailers. Small e-commerce websites can’t really compete with eBay and Amazon and other big names with massive budgets. In order to promote the business and get more customers, smaller e-commerce businesses have to employ the most effective marketing strategies, while not spending too much money at the same time.
A lot of e-commerce companies, primarily the big ones, are focusing on newer marketing strategies with an emphasis on native advertising, which usually relies on sponsored blog posts. Even though new strategies get a lot of attention and may prove to be beneficial for some companies, it doesn’t mean they are an ideal option for e-commerce websites, particularly when it comes to smaller businesses.
Social Media Marketing Is a Foolproof Strategy
For e-commerce websites with smaller budgets, cost-effectiveness is vital. Spending too much money on expensive strategies is a wrong move while starting a social media campaign can be completely free. The only costs here account for instances when people opt for paid ads, which are still cheaper than native advertising.
Native advertising can be quite expensive and requires tens of thousands of dollars to ensure success. That’s a substantial amount of money, which isn’t a viable solution for some businesses. Thanks to the ever-increasing popularity of social media websites, e-commerce businesses can experience great benefits from using these platforms for marketing purposes.
Native Advertising Is Not Great for Branding
Native advertising is a marketing strategy whose focus is on generating leads, but it is not overly effective when it comes to branding. On the other hand, a strong social media presence is a great way to build a reputation, reach more people, and build a brand. Before you even start driving sales, you have to build a brand that will attract customers. These websites also allow you to work with social media influencers who can promote your business, increase your follower count, generate more leads and turn them into customers.
For example, Facebook influenced 52% consumers’ online (and offline) purchases in 2015. The most popular social media platform features 40 million active small business pages and 4 million of them pay for advertising on Facebook. This is just one of many examples that social media platforms are effective ways to promote e-commerce businesses.
Native Advertising Is Complicated
If you’re just starting out your e-commerce company, you may feel overwhelmed with complicated strategies. Native advertising is complicated and difficult to understand. It requires a lot of time to analyze everything and to determine what you are supposed to do. However, most of us don’t have that much time.
On the other hand, social media marketing is easy, you can start today and easily understand every part of the process. That takes away the uncertainty and frustration, it’s easier to breathe and you’re more confident that the strategy will work.
With Social Media, Targeting Is Easier
The success of your marketing strategy comes down to the audience you target. You will experience more success if you easily target a specific group of people, rather than reaching individuals who are not interested in that particular product or service.
The truth is, the native advertising allows marketers to target an audience that visits some specific website or those from a specific region. But social media has a far better effect when it comes to targeting, which is yet another reason why this marketing strategy beats native advertising. Social media websites allow you to create an extremely specific campaign and target only a certain group of people if that’s what you wish. There are numerous parameters to choose from when posting content to ensure it will reach specific demographic. This is particularly useful for e-commerce websites that focus on a specific audience.
Social Media Vs. Native Advertising
Native advertising is a new strategy that brings significant benefits but it is expensive, focused on big companies, and difficult to understand. All these factors make it less beneficial for e-commerce websites.
Social media marketing is a cost-effective way to increase brand awareness, generate more leads, and convert them into customers. Above all, social media websites are easy to understand and use. If you have an e-commerce website that needs more traffic and sales, social media can be a huge help.