Five Digital Marketing Channels to Increase Sales on your eCommerce Website in Egypt

So, you have built your online store, now its time to drive traffic of people to shop and buy.

In this post I am going to list five digital channels, I have practically experienced with eCommerce brands in Egypt, and I believe you should leverage these channels to send people straight to your eCommerce website. There are around 58 million Internet users in Egypt, surfing the web, most of them on Social Media platforms, the question is, which audience should be your target? You don’t have to reach all Egyptians, right? Hoping that all of them will fall in love with your brand and your products, it will cost tons of money, and it will consume useless efforts. Targeting the right audience and executing remarking tactics is one of the fundamental parts in the process of developing a successful online store in any market.

Once you figure the magic behind digital marketing and advertising you will think, why didn’t I start selling online three or five years ago?

Channel #1: Google

People search on Google when they have a problem needs to be solved, especially young audience, they tend to trust search engines and online reviews more than people who never met before, they are more likely will ask Google. Your potential customers search for a keyword that is related to your products, or your competitions, in this case, your brand has to pop up and state that you have a product that can solve their problems, and make them a happier version of themselves.

Two things you should know about Google Search, first, they are a business looking for a profit from other companies like yours, they sell ads to brands who want to sell products or services to their customers, that’s their core business. Second, they own the best data algorithm on the planet about your potential consumers.

So what?

When you launch your online store, you should guarantee that your online store is in the top 5 results on the first page on Google.
Well, if this is the case, you need to think in two directions, first, the prompt direction, in sort of text ads, which will cost you once the user clicks on them. Second, the long term direction, to rank organically (without ads) on the first page, to attract more people that wouldn’t cost you paid clicks, this called SEO, Search Engine Optimization.

Optimizing your eCommerce website for Googe search engine is a long process, that needs an investment with time and money to get better ranking results in the future. Good news, Egypt is still in the beginning with SEO, so there is a considerable room to rank fast with related keywords for your online business.

Don’t ignore SEO after your store launch event, dedicate some money from your yearly marketing budget for SEO, because organic traffic could easily count more than 50% of your total traffic in the future, especially that Google ads are getting more and more expensive, yet you need them at the beginning.

Channel #2: Social Media

We all know the power of social media, there are around 40 million people on Facebook in Egypt, some of them are moving to Instagram, enjoying to watch stories, photos, and videos on IGTV.

Some of the brands may think; we already have an outstanding presence on social media platform, we have thousands of fans and followers engaging with the daily post we are feeding them. Well, when you have an online store, your perspective on social media will take a different approach. How?

Facebook, which owns Instagram as well, sell catalog adverts to businesses like yours, so you can reach your targeted audiences who match specific interests and demographics or audience who digitally behave in a certain way that makes them suitable to consume your product.

You need to split your social media advertising budget into four stages, in a funnel shape from top to bottom:
1- Awareness campaigns: reaching a new targeted audience, telling them a story about your brand and your new products.
2- Engagement campaigns: reaching your fans, and their friends, with more specialized content.
3- Catalog campaigns: reaching people who are willing to consider your products catalog, usually people who previously engaged from the previous stages.
4- Remarking campaigns: reaching people who visited your online store but didn’t add the products to their cart or not purchased yet.

I know it sounds spooky when you visit a website and leave, five minutes later, you will find an advert from this website, trying to sell you the product that you have visited or added to your cart. We all got this ad. It is called Remarketing, and it works.

Smart Social Media Campaigns guarantee sustainable traffic of potential engaged shoppers to your online store. My advice is to apply a fixed daily budget for three months in advance and keep your eyes close on numbers, learn how people engage with your ads, then optimize and enhance your advertising plans to increase the conversions/purchases rate.

Channel #3: Direct Traffic

I know how it feels when direct traffic become a large part of your total traffic pie, you will feel good when your brand is popular and when people write the URL of your eCommerce website without Googling it or clicking on an ad from Social Media.

The more happy customers you will have, the more the word-of-mouth will spread between your audience, then the more direct traffic you will get.

To increase the direct traffic:
1- Offer outstanding customer service for your actual shoppers.
2- You need always to generate good content, especially videos.
3- Choose domain names that people can easily remember and write it intuitively.
4- Execute retention marketing tactics. More about that in a future blog post.

We at MitchDesigns manage brands who have 25% direct traffic. Guess what! Orders rate is pretty high from direct traffic than any other channels, why? Because people remembered your brand and wrote your domain name themselves to shop online, instead of clicking an ad that is trying to convince them to buy.

Channel #4: Email Marketing

Do people open their promotional emails? Yes, they do, they also click on featured deals items or new arrival products. Especially, if those people are your former customers who already bought before. Email marketing is a tremendous opportunity if you master how to use them, and how to attract people to open an email from reading an attractive subject, furthermore how to engage with them in few seconds when they scan your email promotional content.

It only works, if you send to your actual customers’ database, otherwise you spam people who don’t know you, at that time it will fire back on your face.

Channel #5: Referrals Traffic

Where do your potential customers spend time on the web, when they are not on Social Media?
They are browsing other websites, reading about Mohamed Salah on a sports website, following up with the local news, or reading a blog post on interesting trend or topic.

There is a chance to drive their attention to your brand and products, by doing two things:

A- Publishing blog posts on other websites educating your audience about a specific topic related to your products while attaching links that lead to a category of products or a particular product that match the context of your blog post.

B- Publishing advertising banners on other websites, Google Display Network (GDN) is a good way of doing that.
You should do quick research to figure out what type of websites that your targeted potential customers are spending time on, and publish advertising banners on these websites, it works well if you have YouTube video campaign running on the same time.

Well, those were the five main channels you must consider to sustain a decent amount of traffic to your online store. Some of this traffic will bounce once they arrive at your landing page, but some will take a more in-depth look on your product catalog, some will add products to cart to save them for later decision, and some will go to the checkout page but won’t purchase yet, and some will purchase.

You can always execute remarking campaigns on Social Media, YouTube, or other websites to people who spend time on your eCommerce website but didn’t purchase. These people are highly interested in your products and shopping around, but for some reason they didn’t buy yet, you need to figure out why and work on convincing them to join the conversion funnel until they land on the confirmation order thanks page.

I wish my post were helpful enough. Good luck with planning your online store in Egypt.

How to build an eCommerce Online Store in Egypt?

You are probably reading this blog post because you are considering building an eCommerce website in Egypt. If you are an established retail brand who has multiple branches on the ground or an entrepreneur who is planning to sell products online, this post is definitely for you.

I am here to share with you some stuff I’ve learned in the last ten years about eCommerce in the Egyptian market.
I usually meet with clients who own retail brands or executives who in the marketing field for their employers; I listen to their visions, thoughts, and questions about how they want to reach new customers trying to sell them goods and services. I commonly find the same doubts and challenges to start an online store that works.

One of my clients had a significant doubt that he can sell flowers online, especially that the life cycle of flowers is very short. His argument was that his customers need to see the florist making the bouquet in front of their eyes before paying the money, after a good pitch, and one year later, this client of mine is excited with the sales rate during the off-season, and thankfully overwhelmed in the Valentine’s and Mother Day’s seasons. I like stories like this, taking business from doubts to great success.

To launch an eCommerce website in a massive market like Egypt, and sustain daily orders, it could be a challenging process, it is not impossible or even hard, yet it needs a commitment and proper planning.
Egypt has over 48 million users connected to the Internet, most of them younger than 30 years old; they are using their smartphones and computers.
This population is increasing daily, and they are considered the future of the eCommerce in Egypt. There are more than 500 different online retail stores in the country and the number is growing. Payfort, a leading online payment processor, says that Egypt eCommerce will reach 2.7 billion USD by 2020; most of the transactions are in cash; however, the credit card penetration is currently developing fast, according to the central bank of Egypt.

Why do people buy from the first place?

People buy if your product will make them move to a pleasant feeling, or avoiding them a pain feeling. I believe you can categorize your products under one of those two categories. If not, so the eCommerce game is not for your business.

What do people buy online?

Everything that could be shipped quickly, in high quality, and make them happy.

If your brand in a business of food, fashion, electronics, toys, home accessories, pets products, or gifts, you probably have nothing to worry about, your customer won’t resist buying from your online store. If you already manage retail stores in malls or street, and people take the purchase decision in less than on the spot, then you are going to make it online. I’ve learned that big time during the last five years.

How you, as a brand manager, could use this fact in your sales goals? How do you leverage the Internet for your business growth?

Here are four things, you should consider before you develop your eCommerce website:

  1. Your fulfillment process
  2. Your products catalog
  3. Your platform
  4. Your Traffic

Whether you learn each of those four factors yourself or hire experts to grow your online business, remember, there are always people are willing to buy and consume your products, you and I know this fact, so don’t ignore the opportunity of selling online.

1- Your Fulfillment Process

Reversing the experience, let’s imagine your customer did submit an order already at your online store, and she or he lives in New Cairo, while your warehouse in Heliopolis. You should prepare the order and wrap it up in a cool branded packaging and ship it with a reliable courier at convenient delivery time, the one you promised on your website.

Yes, you must guarantee a delivery date in the single product page, and at the checkout process, otherwise, you are leaving your customer guessing when will he receive his order, which is not good.

Your customer is a digital consumer, he is expecting a fast delivery, when I say fast, I don’t mean same or next day delivery, however, I mean delivering on time your brand promised. If your delivery experience pleased your customer, he would buy again, and he will tell his friends about his excellent experience, and you will sell more and more. Trust me on this.

Jeff Bezoz, Amazon CEO, once said “If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful.”

2- Your Product Catalog

You customer loves diversity, loves to be in control while browsing your products online. He may trust your brand from previous experiences, maybe from engaging with your social media content. Once he clicks on advertising and land on your website; he expects to find what will make him happier, or what can solve his problems. Empower your customer to search in, filter, and compare your products easily; categorize your product in a sense that he can understand quickly, enlighten your user with a brief description about the product, the specs and the features that the product offers.

Customers buy offline by touching the product or looking closely, however in the digital era, the only way to convince them is to replace the actual tangible product with a digital visual look, photos, and videos. Work hard on making your product photo gallery looks stunning from all angles.

An online shopper buys more when the images are clear, authentic, and professionally produced, keep all your catalog photos with the same background color, same lighting setup, and same shooting angle. I know it is a pain to do this for your entire catalog; you may already take beautiful photos for your social media content, but it’s time to do it for your online store as well, it will pay off back big time — my words on that.

3- Your Platform

An eCommerce website is a little more sophisticated than a regular corporate website; it requires a robust backend for store managers to set up the products, manage the stock, manages the orders, exporting reports, analysis customers behaviors. Integrating with payment methods, like credit cards gateways, or mobile wallets. Connected with shippers and warehouses.

It would be best if you planned things right before you jump in, thanks to Youtube and Google, there are plenty of recourses that can help you figure this out, or you can always hire experts who can help with designing and developing the platform for your business.

I would say, start small, with a minimum viable website that allows your customers to make the necessary actions for them to buy, like:
1. Search on specific product
2. Filter your catalog with a category, feature, or price range
3. Add to wishlist, to buy later
4. Add to cart
5. Choose the quantity, or change the size or color
6. Checkout faster as a guest
7. Pay cash or credit card
8. Receive transactional emails
9. Track their orders

Start with this, later on, you can add more features, that empower your users, however, in the beginning, let them learn how to use your website with fewer features, and super smooth experience.

I will write another blog post soon, talking more about the technical aspects which you should consider when you choose which cart system you should use as a start, and what type of integrations you need with the payment providers and shipping companies in Egypt.

4- Your Traffic

Without sustainable traffic of visitors on your online store, no orders at the end of the funnel will take place. You agree with that too.
You and your marketing team need to invest time, effort and money to attract people to visit your eCommerce website.

However, what kind of people should visit your online store?

Well, this is the fun part, if you still reading, you are going to love the second part of this post.
Click here to know what are the five digital marketing channels you should master to send targeted traffic to your online store and start selling your products in Egypt.