B2C marketers are reaping the benefits of online shopping, but they may be missing three ingredients that are crucial to web marketing success.

Nine out of 10 B2C organizations use content marketing to reach new prospects and connect with customers, but they might be letting sales slip through the cracks if they’re committing these faux pas. The UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper study, conducted in conjunction with comScore, asked 5,800 consumers to give feedback on their digital buying experiences.

Overall, survey participants said they want flexibility. They prefer companies to offer them free shipping (and returns), they want to know when packages will arrive and they even seek out delivery flexibility. However there are three factors that can sour a person’s buying decision long before there’s any money on the table:

Siloed marketing campaigns leave digital consumers out

The survey results proved the importance of cross-channel marketing campaigns. Around 40 percent of people decide to buy only after engaging with a brand across multiple touchpoints, both digital and physical.

While a non-linear purchase pathway isn’t news for savvy marketers, it’s not always an idea they’ve fully embraced. Today’s buyers might come across a brand’s print advertisement, and then see that name mentioned on Twitter before coming across its organic content in search results when looking up product information. Unless marketers are executing campaigns across all of those touch points, they could lose those leads to a competitor.

Read more about the new purchase process, the sales pretzel.

Poor mobile experience denies smartphone and tablet users

Companies that ignore mobile marketing will lose sales and leads. It might seem like it’s too soon to make an aggressive move toward mobile, but it’s not. Over 30 percent of all web traffic comes from smartphones or tablets. While that doesn’t always mean customers are converting directly from mobile applications or websites, it suggests they’re turning to them when they want fast answers delivered via content:

  • 29 percent use smartphones to track deliveries
  • 25 percent researched products and services before going to physical stores
  • 22 percent used devices to ‘showroom,’ looking up products and services online while in a physical store
  • 22 percent visited a mobile site to check a store’s inventory or find a store’s location

With some players claiming the days of desktop computers are coming to an end, marketers need to plan for a time when their mobile sites are the face of their brands. If those pages don’t have appealing content, like graphics, videos and copy, marketers can expect prospects to click away.

Absentee social media marketing sacrifices engagement

Companies can’t afford to hesitate with social marketing, even if they’re worried about the possibility of receiving negative feedback. The truth is, the majority of brand mentions are neutral (77 percent) or positive (18 percent). As this Brafton article reported, negative posts are in the minority – they only make up about 5 percent of brand mentions.

Companies are likely to promote brands on social media when they  have positive experiences. The UPS report found satisfied customers are willing to promote the brands and products they like online:

  • 86 percent are likely to post on Facebook
  • 34 percent are apt to Tweet about their positive experiences
  • 23 percent of buyers are likely to compose a Google+ post 
  • 19 percent are likely to share praise with visual content on Instagram

It pays to be a jack-of-all trades

Comprehensive web marketing campaigns set the stage for every possible interaction between a buyer and brand, with original content across networks to ensure buyers are always armed with the answers they demand. Companies can’t just master one aspect of the digital landscape (SEO, content, social, email or videos), and expect the rest to fall in line. They need to understand how all of those pieces fit together and work harmoniously toward a result that is bigger than the sum of its parts.

Lauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.