To compile our Ecommerce Report 2017, we have researched the web analytics data of 93 online stores from Central and Eastern Europe. Primarily, we focused on key performance indicators of ecommerce projects as well as on their dynamics.
Among other things, the research has shown that referral marketing generates around 8% of online sales on average. Increasingly, thriving online stores have rather more traffic than their less successful counterparts.
In general, referral marketing is aimed to attract customers to e-stores through other online retailers, including marketplaces, partner programs, opinion leaders, price comparison sites and so on.
Let’s take a closer look at the referral tools which are used in ecommerce.
Marketplaces and Comparison Shopping Engines
Online marketplaces, like Amazon or Alibaba Group, are used by independent sellers to sell their goods trough. There are typically 2–3 large marketplaces in each country. So, your ecommerce store can significantly boost sales by joining their partner program.
Marketplaces are known to provide a number of advertising tools – ranging from premium goods placement to email marketing campaigns.
Comparison shopping engines (known as ‘price comparison websites’) can help enquire product prices in different online shops, as well as marketplaces which are very popular with customers. Getting into the search results of comparison resources is key to engage some extra customers to your e-store.
Coupon Services and Sales
Discounting is not always the best marketing strategy. Nonetheless, bargain online stores are popular, particularly with married couples and parents. If this is your target audience, try to use such services to promote your online store. You could start by engaging your customers with the current season or pre-holiday sales.
Such services provide automated solutions in most cases. They offer daily discounts and sales for a wide range of services turning a one-time customer to a subscribed member. Find out the principles of such services performance in our case study.
Cashback is a form of refund and incentive to spend a certain amount on a purchase or group of products from which a customer will save money within an online store. Though this formula is far from being the most profitable in e-commerce, it can be used for continuously generating extra sales.
Partner Programmes and CPA Networks
Often you will find that e-commerce stores have a partner programme, which provides fee earnings per engaged customers. A partnership can be established with organisations as well as with particular individuals. The second option is performed through CPA Networks (Cost Per Action Networks).
Webmasters will use a full set of Internet marketing tools to increase your site traffic: from SEO and PPC through to social networks referrals. Here you pay only for a completed purchase within the online store.
‘Affiliate marketing’ is referred to as a partnership between an e-store and opinion leaders who advertise goods to their audience. These can be celebrities, famous bloggers or well-known individuals within a certain niche.
There are separate websites where e-stores can place offers of promoting their goods through opinion leaders accounts for a fee.
If you haven’t used the above-mentioned ways of engaging traffic to your ecommerce store yet, don’t hesitate to start doing that right now. Referral marketing is not only good in e-commerce promotion but other opportunities as well.