Every day, millions of internet users navigate from webpage to webpage, seeing content along the way that is designed to encourage them to click. These clicks are an important part of running any successful business, which is why it’s becoming more and more important to have a good internet marketing strategy that will keep customers engaged and clicking through to your products.
It isn’t always that simple, though. E-commerce creates an avenue for featuring a large variety of products and for making these products available to virtually every potential customer in the world who has internet access.
When you have so many products available in one place, your potential customers will never be able to see all of them. Especially in an industry like automotive. Users navigating to your site probably already have an idea in mind of what they’re looking for, and can use search features to go straight to it. So with the massive amounts of information in your online marketplace, how do you get your users to see the depth and variety in your product offering?
Using Banners to Drive Engagement
Banner ads are a form of advertising designed to attract traffic to a specific website or webpage. They are valuable tools that you can use to show users the specific products you want to feature — and ultimately driving them to click the banner is getting them one step closer to buying the product. At Copart, we recently began integrating special banners called “Hot Lots” into our online marketing strategy. We sell a variety of makes and models on our VB3 auction platform, and sometimes we receive vehicles that are highly desired, rare or in excellent condition. These types of vehicles are perfect to feature in a banner to both show the diversity of our lots and drive clicks and eventually sales. We may do most of our business selling pickup trucks and sedans, but it’s the Ferraris and classic Mustangs that can be the most effective at boosting member engagement.
Strategies like Hot Lots are not a new concept. If you think about the automotive industry in the context of traditional advertising, you only have enough space on a billboard or magazine page (or enough time in a 30-second TV commercial) to properly feature one car. That’s why dealers often choose to promote a single model that’s most likely to get people out to the dealership to see the rest of the cars. The idea is the same. What’s changed is the medium.
The difference with e-commerce is that you’re no longer trying to get consumers to come to your store and see all of your products. Instead, your goal is to drive people to your website and keep them engaged for as long as possible. Despite selling nearly everything, Amazon.com has always done the bulk of their business selling books. But making banners promoting their books is redundant. Banners featuring high-end tablets, though, are going to drive customers to the product page, which will lead them to other product pages and keep them shopping longer. They aren’t necessarily going to buy the featured product, but it’s enough to catch their attention and show them that this online store has a lot of interesting things to offer them. This is the idea behind Hot Lots.
Why Engagement Is Necessary
In a brick-and-mortar store, your customers have already made the commitment to physically go to the store and are therefore more likely to stay there long enough to buy something. Using the internet to access an online marketplace requires very little commitment, and the vast amount of information available makes it easy for users to become distracted or lose interest quickly. This is why keeping them actively engaged is key. And doing this is as simple as getting that first click.
At Copart, we know if we can get more members clicking on our Hot Lots banners, then that will ultimately mean more vehicles added to watchlists, more bids and eventually better sales. If you want to have a successful online marketing strategy, you have to ensure that your customers aren’t going to look at a product and leave the site. Once you catch users’ attention, keep them on the site by showing them more featured products and getting them to browse and ultimately buy. If you can find a strategy for keeping them clicking and keeping their attention focused on you and your products, you will find success in your online retail business.