In today’s digital landscape, distributorships must invest their resources into selling promotional products online to avoid missing out on potential sales opportunities. Our lives (and buying habits) are more virtual than ever in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, so it’s important for distributorships to have great practices in place to sell promotional products on the internet.
According to a McKinsey & Company survey, B2B sales leaders rank online sales as two times more important now than they were before the start of the pandemic. This digital shift was already occurring at a slower rate prior to the pandemic but has been heightened by the effects of COVID-19, with people protecting themselves and others by making their shopping and lifestyle habits as isolated and remote as possible.
Especially in the case of the promotional products industry, with events being cancelled throughout 2020 and potentially beyond, your digital interactions with customers are essential in reaching potential buyers and converting them into closed sales. Moving forward, promotional products distributors (like all other industries) will have to continuously look ahead and adapt to changes in consumer buying habits, which all indications point to becoming increasingly online and focused on self-service. To help you position yourself for success in the new and next normal, here are our tips to distributors for selling promotional products on the internet.
Well-Designed and Optimized Websites
If you’re not yet promoting your business online or think that your internet presence could use updating, your website is the first place to start. Your website is the 24/7 marketing and sales presence for your promotional products business, so it needs to be up to date with high quality content and easy to use if you want to continue to attract, capture, and convert those who land on your site.
Research shows that consumers tend to do more upfront research on purchases than ever before, with 88 percent reporting that they look up a product online before purchasing. This means that your website will need to be easily navigable for consumers and contain enough digestible content to complete the start of the sales process for you.
You’ll want to provide potential customers with information about the different types of products and capabilities you offer, as well as professional-looking images, and search engine optimized pages that will direct web traffic to your site. A good way to present this information to your audience is through an online catalog, which we will discuss later.
If you’re just starting out, there are a number of e-commerce platforms that can help simplify the process of website creation and design. To choose between them, you’ll want to consider the features that would be most helpful to your business. Do you need your site to be compatible with another management or tracking platform you already use? Do you want to be able to provide coupon codes or customer rewards points? Are you looking to track inventory through the site? These are good questions to ask yourself in order to choose the platform that works best for your business.
Another essential element of a well-performing promotional products website is the point of sale. Your cart must be both secure and easy to use, with enough payment options to satisfy different customers. The simpler and more accommodating the better, as users will likely bounce from the cart if it’s difficult to understand or too slow.
If you already have a website, regularly check Google Analytics to track your site’s effectiveness and see how customers are interacting with it. Which pages are driving the most conversions? Which pages are causing people to leave the site? What are the common behaviors of the consumers who ultimately convert compared to those who don’t? Google Analytics and other reporting tools can answer these questions and more to help you identify the most optimal areas of your site, as well as places in which your site can improve.
Effective Email Marketing Campaigns
Email marketing is more important now since there’s less chance for in-person interaction with prospective clients. Like website platforms, there are a variety of different email tools to choose from that accommodate different budgets and needs.
Many of these options include a connected CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system to store contacts and create segmented lists for different types of email sends. Sometimes email programs also come along with ready-made email and landing page templates, and most feature responsive design tools to create custom reusable templates that match your branding.
You can use email marketing software to regularly connect with your customers through newsletters, announcements, promotional email blasts, and more. Additionally, creating email drip campaigns that send to segments based on a specified attribute or performed action can help make sure you never miss out on a potential sales opportunity, and free up your time to focus more on nurturing highly qualified leads.
Eye-Catching Online Catalogs
An online catalog is easy to share with potential buyers on your website or by email and helps them with the research phase of their buying process, which is why creating a virtual catalog is one of the best marketing techniques if you want to sell promotional products on the internet. Tools like ZOOMcatalogs can help you create visually appealing layouts in an interactive virtual catalog.
The organization of your catalog will be especially important in driving online conversions. If there isn’t search functionality or an easily navigable menu, that may make browsing difficult for customers, ultimately increasing bounce rates and creating an obstacle to conversions. You’ll want to make sure the order of your catalog and how subsequent pages relate to one another is clear and logical in order to make the buying process as straightforward and well-guided as possible.
Your catalog is also a good place to show companies the various options for how their promotional products can be customized using differently themed examples. Showing products with a variety of logos can help companies from different industries and with individual needs to better imagine what their branding would look like on your promotional products.
How iPROMOTEu Will Support Your Online Promotional Product Sales Efforts
iPROMOTEu’s tools and support, like our partnership with a leading email marketing platform, ZOOMcatalogs, customer portal for online payments, and e-commerce offerings help our Affiliates with their online marketing initiatives. We’re here to support your efforts to sell promotional products on the Internet as much as possible, with tools and templates that lessen the burden of time and energy spent on your website, email campaigns, and catalogs.