Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Tools Used to Acquire E-Commerce Customers and a Look at Their Effectiveness

As an ecommerce business, what tools are you using that have helped you successfully obtain and keep customers? Custora did some research and created a report highlighting the most popular channels used to acquire customers along with which ones offer the best customer lifetime value, which is described in the report as “the future profit a company expects to earn from a customer throughout his or her relationship with the business.” The survey included 72 million customers from 86 U.S. retailers in 14 different industries and can be read in its entirety here.

The survey results show that the top channels used for acquiring new customers online are organic search, CPC (Cost Per Click), email marketing and referrals. It may be surprising to see email marketing at the top of the list given that so many of us receive and delete such messages on a daily basis, but according to survey results, since 2009, the amount of customers that ecommerce businesses have acquired using this tool has quadrupled. The other tools at the top of the list are no-brainers as most of us go straight to search engines to find the products and we are looking for along with reviews of those products.

Now, the tool used to acquire a new customer is important, but if it does not offer a strong customer lifetime value (CLV), is it worth it? According to survey results, customers acquired from organic search traffic have a CLV that is 54 percent above average, followed by CPC customers who have a CLV 37 percent higher than average and then those that become customers through email marketing have a CLV that is 12 percent above average. On the other hand, when social media is analyzed, customers acquired from Twitter have a CLV that is 23 percent lower than average and customers coming from Facebook have a CLV that is just one percent above average. Does this mean social media is a waste of time? Absolutely not; social media is a great tool that can be used to give a brand a personality and also gives customers an outlet for writing reviews or sharing testimonials.

There is no question that ecommerce will continue to grow. For some, doing business online can be a lot of work, therefore when it comes to digital marketing efforts, knowing what tools are most effective can help. Read the full report from Custora for a deeper look into the survey results.