As an eCommerce business owner, your primary goal is to convert potential leads into loyal customers, but is inbound marketing alone enough?
It may seem that outbound marketing strategies, like trade shows, are becoming less relevant in today’s world. That is not the case, though!
Sure, inbound marketing is a seemingly more cost-effective strategy for many. With about half of the global population on social media, it is easier now to reach out to potential customers.
However, does that reduce the importance of traditional outbound marketing strategies, like trade shows? Absolutely not! Here’s why.
1. Opportunity to Market to the Potential Customer Base
There is no doubt that digital inbound marketing helped eCommerce stay afloat big time, especially throughout the pandemic. That is one of the reasons why eCommerce experienced a growth of over 30% in 2020, with a chance of market share increasing by 5%.
That does not diminish the benefits of trade show exhibitions, though, as it can have a measurable impact on your eCommerce business. Trade shows are a tremendous opportunity for increasing the customer base.
One of the criteria of entering a trade show is that you would have to register to get in. So, the customers attending are serious about this. So, they are a much more valuable lead than the ones you get from inbound marketing.
2. Chance for Faster Brand Building
The sad truth is that inbound marketing is a slow process. It might be cost-effective but requires you to constantly engage with your audience via social media, email, and other ways.
However, building brand awareness via live events is a lot easier. It is basically a gold mine for your eCommerce that relies on trust and reputation.
With an organized platform like a trade fair, you get a chance to advertise your business to countless B2B and B2C prospects. That is why even the eCommerce giant Amazon attends various trade shows annually.
3. A Chance to Measure the Competition
You can measure analytics and tally competitors online, agreed, but there is a reason personal interaction exists. Getting the chance to socialize and gauge the competition first hand is invaluable in marketing. Perhaps, this is the reason almost half of the B2B marketers allocsate a budget for exhibitions.
Ecommerce SEO optimization is a necessary but lengthy process, where you need to consider a lot of things like link building and keyword research. Despite working hard, many businesses do not become as viral overnight as they expect.
That is where trade shows come into play, as they offer a direct opportunity to analyze your competitions. You can simply scan the popular booths and do quick research by looking at their services, products, brand marketing, and customer interactions.
4. Gives You the Opportunity to Exhibit Products First-Hand
Apart from keeping a close tab on the competition, trade shows also let you exhibit your products first hand. That is not possible via digital content posting. Plus, a lot of customers still like to get the real feel of the product before purchasing.
You can promote your product in person and demonstrate it to customers. It is also an excellent chance for eCommerce companies to introduce new products or services.
5. You Can Close Direct Sales
Most customers do not respond to direct marketing via telesales well. There is a chance most of your consumer base will reject sales calls despite you providing them with value.
On the other hand, trade show exhibitions are a chance for your eCommerce sales team to access them easily.
On top of meeting with potential high-quality customers, you can also provide value by:
- Answering their queries
- Explaining the advantages of your services and products in person
- Getting customer feedback directly
All of these can help you maximize eCommerce sales while also strengthening your relationship with them.
The Future of Ecommerce Trade Shows: An Overdue Makeover
Trade shows have been around before social media, and Google Hangouts became a thing. However, this outbound marketing tactic needs an upgrade to stay relevant with changing times.
Also, various factors like the pandemic since 2020 witnessed about 73% of organizers canceling trade shows.
Therefore, the importance of virtual trade shows is increasing, and you can expect these trade shows to take center stage for:
- Better visibility across more significant demographics
- Lesser restraint on logistics
- Better analysis
- Chance to bring virtual and live marketing together
The eCommerce industry is a highly competitive one. With new websites being launched every day—simply relying on inbound marketing tactics will not suffice. Trade shows are an age-old practice for many businesses and offer the opportunity to measure and interact with B2B and B2C clients directly.
Therefore, you should never ignore this marketing device. Of course, there might be new ways to approach it with the changing times, but it will never become obsolete.