Peter Phillips, Sales Director, Ecommerce @ Kenshoo
Ecommerce advertising software. As more and more shopping moves online, retail brands are following customers on to the web with their marketing. To stay competitive, marketers need ecommerce software to manage their advertising programs to drive performance, increase productivity, and arm themselves with data and insights they can use to grow their programs.
It’s safe to say that the digital revolution has transformed nearly every industry imaginable, and retail is no different.
Every generation from baby boomers to Gen Z are shopping online in some capacity, whether it’s to discover and research new products or to make a final purchase. And as customers become more comfortable becoming omnichannel shoppers, retailers are under more pressure than ever before to serve customers online as well as in brick and mortar stores. But learning the ins and outs of online advertising can be complicated, and for retailers just starting their search for ecommerce advertising software, the marketplace can be downright daunting.
Here are a few tips for retailers just beginning their hunt for the right ecommerce software:
At last count, there were over seven thousand marketing technology tools available to businesses, and of those seven thousand solutions, there were countless salespeople promising that theirs is the only ecommerce solution your brand needs. But in reality, most businesses are buying many, many tools in order to stay competitive. In fact, most enterprise companies subscribe to an average of 91 marketing cloud services, and that’s not even counting the number of services they have adopted for collaboration, CRM, cloud storage, and social media.
But the problem with having so many options is the fact that, after a while, they all begin to sound exactly the same–offering “powerful” solutions to all your ecommerce advertising software needs. And powerful is good, but if a product is too complex for your business, chances are, that ecommerce software is not going to solve any of your problems, no matter how powerful it is. The most important feature to look for when shopping for ecommerce advertising software is usability. Will your team be able to make the most of the software you’re looking to buy?
Part of making sure your team is actually able to use (often costly) ecommerce software is making sure that the company you choose has more than just a great sales team. The sales team’s job is, of course, to explain how great a product is, what solutions it can offer, and to direct customers to testimonials from businesses that have loved their ecommerce software.
But an important question to ask in the sales process is what kind of customer support and customer success programs are in place. Ask about the onboarding process and who your team will call if they have problems implementing the ecommerce advertising software.
Sales teams expect ecommerce businesses to want to “try before they buy” and are expecting to not only show you how their product works but also to let your team try it for themselves in order to make sure the product is both easy to use and actually solves the problem your business hopes to address. Ask for as many demos as you need to make your choice. Adopting new ecommerce software is time-consuming and costly, but it is even more time-consuming and costly to realize a mistake too late and then start the process all over again.
It’s tempting to want to understand every single aspect of your new ecommerce advertising software before you actually start building campaigns. However, that means months of missing out of the benefits of the software while learning its features. Instead, the best way to get acclimated to new ecommerce software is to learn by doing. Start with the basics and get a campaign ready to go live. This is where those customer support teams come in–have them look over your shoulder before you launch just to make sure everything looks good. Once your campaign is live, try out some of the advanced features and see how they work. By using the crawl-walk-run approach, you’ll be getting a return on your investment while learning the ins and outs of your new software.
One of the foundational differences between offline and online advertising is that with online advertising, digital marketers can optimize campaigns in-flight so that performance gets better as the campaign progresses. To get great at optimization, start by getting great at reporting, then analysis, then the optimization. Building a foundation of consistent, real-time reporting can help course correct a campaign that misses the mark or make a campaign that’s succeeding even more successful by giving audiences more of the content to which they’re best responding. Make sure your ecommerce advertising tools are providing up-to-the-minute campaign insights along with ways in which you can quickly optimize those insights for winning ecommerce campaigns.
Adopting new ecommerce advertising software doesn’t have to be scary, as long as you’re making sure to ask the right questions.
Kenshoo Ecommerce enables marketers to create, manage, forecast and optimize Amazon Sponsored Ads campaigns at scale. Reach out today to schedule a quick and easy demo of any or all of our platforms to see how Kenshoo can help your marketing organization shine.
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