Lately, I have been looking quite a bit at eCommerce in Zimbabwe. As a follow up I thought to look at marketing tips for eCommerce businesses in Zimbabwe. The reason why I see this as important is that many Zimbabwean businesses are missing the point. The whole idea of starting an eCommerce business is to tap into and engage people online. It takes more than just having a website and having social media accounts to do that. You need to know the tenets of marketing, particularly digital marketing. So I am discussing some eCommerce business marketing tips for Zimbabwe.

Incorporate Email Marketing

Most eCommerce businesses in Zimbabwe are yet to take this seriously. Email marketing has been proven to be very effective in generating leads and subsequent conversions. Make sure there is an option for your customers to provide their email details. This will enable you to communicate with them regularly via email. This means you will have to regularly engage them via email.

I know most Zimbabweans take emails seriously so this can work wonders for you. Start with emails where you welcome them and highlight what they can expect from you. Periodically send emails where you share with them useful information. The idea is to not always overwhelm them with emails asking them to buy something. Periodically send them emails on promotions, discounts, special offers, and the like. In the emails, you must also solicit feedback from them – invaluable information you can get from this.

Use A Multichannel Approach

Be on more than just one social media platform. This diversifies and broadens your reach. In Zimbabwe, I would recommend you to be on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, and LinkedIn. These platforms will serve as the sources of traffic that you will direct to your landing pages. I have seen a local startup that is doing quite well in using this approach. I will discuss it in detail in a separate article so that you learn some fundamental things.

Landing Pages And CTAs Are Important

It is important to create a seamless experience for your customers. When I get onto your platforms I prefer to be taken through a seamless chain of actions. That is why it is important to have a website so that you can have a checkout process. That website will essentially be your landing page. Social media platforms will act as channels that will redirect people to your landing page. Whether they are on your social media platforms or the actual website, may your CTAs be crystal clear. CTAs refer to calls to action – when they get on your platforms what do you want them to do?

Content Creation Is A Must

In eCommerce, most businesses make the mistake of always telling people to buy their stuff. The best form of marketing is not obvious but subtle or unnoticed. That is why you must focus most on creating content than telling people to buy your stuff. For instance, you have an online store for cosmetic products. You can regularly come up with videos clips or blogs on useful information such as tips, how to’s, and the like. You should do this 80 per cent of the time and only speak of people buying your stuff 20 per cent of the time.

Stimulate And Take Advantage User-Generated Content

Roughly 55 per cent of people who buy things online rely on social proof. If there is someone who has bought what they want to buy and they sang praises about it they trust that. They actually trust that more than the respective business singing praises about its own brand. So as an eCommerce business stimulate your customers to do testimonials, write reviews, and so on. Then make sure you propagate that because that will constitute your social proof.

Make Sure Your Website Is Responsive

The vast majority of internet users do so via mobile devices. Not that many people use desktops for that so how your website comes out on mobile matters. The visual and structural integrity of your site must be intact whether it is desktop or mobile. Often time you come across websites that get sketchy and hard to read when on mobile. In getting your site developed make sure the developer can guarantee your site will be responsive. In other words, it must be optimized for mobile.  Let me also add that when including visuals such as images and videos make them high resolution.

Live Chat Or Timely Responses Are Important

Have a live chat function on your platforms. You can also take advantage of bots for quick responses to customers. The idea is that you must provide an experience that is just like in a brick and mortar facility; even better. Messages from customers should not surpass a day without being responded to. Another thing to add here is that you must always be honest in your responses. Customers cannot do with being lied to or misled; be authentic. For instance, if there is a delay for a particular delivery be honest about it.

With these 7 tips, you can go far in growing your eCommerce in Zimbabwe. As always I encourage you to test and experiment to draw insights for your specific context. No two eCommerce businesses are the same so do not be rigid. The stuff I have discussed in this article is meant to guide you and stir you in the right direction.