The global pandemic has given an unparalleled push to e-commerce and many businesses have been compelled to go digital. Maybe even you are new to selling online and you keep asking yourself if you should be doing e-commerce marketing.
Every online store wants to increase traffic because that is what assures you about successful conversions in the future. But even after you have put together a basic strategy it can still be challenging enough to decide, which marketing tactics you should give a try.
That is why we put together an impression of effective marketing tactics and e-commerce tools along with various ideas to help you put into practice each approach. The ideas themselves run the range from straightforward gaining to generating more reiterate purchases from the customer base that you already have.
Between choosing the perfect e-commerce platform, constructing your e-commerce website, and trying to keep sales coming, it can be difficult to take on one more strategic task. But that is where e-commerce marketing comes in. This guide will introduce you to the concept, along with the most excellent strategies to turn your business into victorious e-commerce.
Ecommerce marketing definition
Ecommerce marketing is any promoting effort you do to market your online store and generate sales. It applies both to acquiring new customers (which is called customer acquisition) and making old ones shop again (which is called customer retention).
Ecommerce marketing does the following:
- Brings traffic to your e-commerce website
- Makes it easier for people looking for the kind of products you sell to discover your online website
- Puts your brand in front of your target audience
- Converts website visitors into new consumers
- Enhances the post-purchase experience to better customer satisfaction and drive loyalty
- Reengages people who have visited your website before to make them buy again
- Reactivates present customers with well-timed, relevant offers and data so they enjoy shopping from you
- Stimulates more regular and larger orders
Without e-commerce marketing, you would not make any sales. Launching your e-commerce website is not enough — people will need to discover you before they invest money with you.
More than this, you need to keep on reminding them of your brand so that they come back again and again, generating income.
Types of Ecommerce Marketing:
Ecommerce marketing spans almost all digital marketing channels and also in some offline, traditional ones:
- Social media
- Search engines
- Offline marketing e.g. print, TV spots
- Email marketing
- Non-owned online publications and podcasts
- Owned media like blogs
Let us look at the e-commerce marketing strategies that are most popular among e-commerce marketers. You will get a full picture of the number of possibilities to help you make a decision that best fits your brand.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is giving your website more visibility and makes it easily discoverable on search engines (Google, Bing, and more.). It is mostly about adding keywords to your website copy that probable customers would use when they are searching for products like yours. Then, the search engine will recognize that you have what they want and show will you high in the results.
This way, you detain people who possess high purchase intent — like someone searching for “a men’s green linen shirt”. It is also a chance to convert people who do not know your brand. Lastly, SEO is a free way of promoting your e-commerce business.
Ecommerce SEO must be done on product page copy, your home page, and FAQ page. Starting a blog will also give a boost to your SEO. There, you can answer potential customers’ questions.
Email marketing is an important strategy for marketing your e-commerce. It is a channel that you own as it is not controlled by a big brand like Facebook, Google, Flipkart, or Amazon. This makes it pocket-friendly and reliable.
All you have to do is select an email marketing service. Then, you can start creating your email list and sending email campaigns to them. Here are the main features you should look for:
- Transactional emails — order confirmations, logins, tracking updates, and resetting passwords
- Segmented emails — created for specific customer segments with related offers that are based on their purchase history and behavior on the website
- Automated emails — triggered repeatedly by a certain condition being met or a consumer’s action
The more you know about your subscribers, the better. As in this way, you can send more relevant email campaigns. A CRM added to your email tool will allow you to reach everyone at the correct time with the correct offer.
There are several types of emails you can drive to engage and convert your subscribers:
- Welcome email — like onboarding to your website and company
- Abandoned cart email — reminds the consumer they have added something to their shopping cart but have not purchased, a gentle nudge to complete the checkout
- Drip nurture email — a set of emails with content informing and educating about the product until the person is ready to purchase
- Post-purchase email — continue building a relationship with the consumer to stimulate more orders
- Upsells and cross-sells — email offers with products related to previous purchases
- Win-back email — re-activating an inactive customer who has not ordered anything in a long course of time
- Loyalty reward email — thank your loyal consumers with an extra advantage, a next-level discount, or a freebie
- If you are unsure where to start, here is our email marketing checklist and various tips on how to make your e-commerce email strategy.
- VIP offer email — engage VIP consumers with a special offer just for them to make them feel appreciated and cared for
- Ecommerce newsletter — a customary update on your company and products so you stay top-of-mind
Conversion rate optimization
The measures you take to convert as many website visitors as potential is called conversion rate optimization. You have worked hard or you have paid for your traffic so you want it to convert into sales. Traffic without revenue is nothing.
There are several new tactics you can use on your website to drive sales:
- Live chat
- Push notifications
- User reviews
- VR fitting and placement tools, for instance, for fashion or furniture
- User-generated content (UGC)
- Choosing guides
SMS marketing is sending text messages for marketing purposes. It is best for alerts, updates, and time-limited offers that will need to be read immediately.
For instance, an automated SMS with a special discount is going out on the morning of a consumer’s birthday. All shipping updates are another key e-commerce communication that works well for SMS.
Just keep in mind that you need the permission of the contact to send those SMS. Also, some countries regulate and control this kind of marketing heavily so check before you send those messages.
Organic social media marketing
This is your unpaid attendance on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and wherever else your potential customer hangs out. Today it is an absolute must to be discoverable on all such sites. It is a way for people to know that you are in business and often determines if they will visit your site at all or not.
When you are marketing for e-commerce, you can share brand updates, educate yourself about your products and services, and promote causes aligned with your company values. Essentially any topic related to your target audience is likely to engage them.
Additionally, you can set up social commerce, which is selling on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram directly. It is an extra online sales channel for people who do not want to go to your website to browse through and buy products and avail of the services.
Paid social media marketing
Organic social reach is always just not enough for e-commerce businesses and you might need to pay to play. This means two things in all-purpose — advertisements and influencer marketing campaigns on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, and more.
Advertise formats show a discrepancy depending on the social media platform. You will have to test them to find what works best for your ecommerce store is.
Then, there is influencer marketing — paying popular people on social media to promote your products and services. They can help you contact difficult audiences like eco-conscious moms or some hardcore perfume fans. They also represent the product as part of their lifestyle so it enhances the company image.
Some influencers charge a hard amount but others work on commission. You invest for the sales made through them, not for exposure. Try functioning with different ones with the following of a variety of sizes. You might find that micro-influencers convert better because they are more focused and are a better fit for your niche.
Apart from social media, you can invest for more exposure on search engines as well. The most popular options for these are:
- Pay-per-click that appear on top of search results for chosen keywords
- Google shopping is a free service where you can list your complete range of products with images and prices, and openly capture high-intent shoppers
- Display campaigns like banner ads on sites that are based on searches and browsing behavior so the possible customer sees your advertisement on a news site, for instance, after browsing for one of the related products.
Affiliate marketing is an appealing part of Ecommerce marketing. It completely relies on a network of affiliates, or recommenders, who bring traffic to your online store and in turn, get paid for each sale they help make.
It is usually done via blog posts where they talk about your products and services or simply list their picks in a certain category. Influencers post directly on social media and thus replace affiliate marketing. And this has been one of the ongoing ecommerce trends recently. Affiliate marketing is, on the other hand, still alive and thriving for Amazon sellers.
You can join forces with other brands in the form of joint ventures to extend your reach to their audience as well. It is an efficient promotion plan for lifestyle ecommerce brands with overlapping target consumers.
For instance, you can agree to exchange email lists so each company connects with more potential consumers. Just label the email campaign correctly so subscribers understand their details haven’t been sold. Also, another option is to build a special cross-brand offer for clients of both companies.
PR and brand awareness
PR might sound outdated in ecommerce marketing but it is not. Particularly at launch, you will benefit from getting featured in media publications both in offline and online.
It might be a founder interview, or getting your headliner that is featured in a photoshoot. Whatever fits your product or service, the goal is to increase brand awareness and generate demand.
And let us not overlook events and sponsorship opportunities. Going offline and meeting your consumers in real life is a great exercise, especially for ecommerce businesses. Pop-up stores, local fairs, and themed expos are not to go unnoticed in ecommerce marketing.
The best practice that you can do here is to choose the events you support carefully to get closer to your aim and not alienate them.
Ecommerce content marketing
Content is another promoting tactic that can bring long-term outcomes to ecommerce businesses. It comes in many formats:
- Blog articles
- User-generated content — photos, video, testimonials, and many more.
- Guides and help content
Content marketing aims to give a solution to the questions, to educate and expand the company narrative, assist people to choose a product or service, and even entertain.
It is your chance to tell your narrative, share your skills and values, overcome possible objections, and reassure potential or present customers you are a good business to purchase from.
The most excellent thing about content is that once created, it is out there working for you. When optimized for search and effortlessly be found on a website, it can give a boost to your conversion rate. It can also be reused for any other ecommerce marketing campaigns such as all the organic social, newsletters, and partnerships.
What is an ecommerce marketing strategy?
An ecommerce marketing strategy is a tactic which you plan to use to market your online store and drive more sales. The strategy is a long-term thought of where your ecommerce business is heading. It is based on your information of the market, trends, customer research, brand values, services, and product.
As for the best ecommerce marketing strategies, there is no right answer to that.
Ecommerce is a large industry, with countless products, services, business models, and aimed groups, making it almost impossible to pinpoint just one best practice of all. What works for one seller with a specific product would not necessarily work for another selling something else to another spectator in a different market.
Here are some universal marketing tips that will assist you to create and improve your ecommerce marketing strategy.
1. Define your aimed audience and market
To be able to find the correct voice, channels, messaging, and offers, you will need to understand your audience first.
2. See exactly what your competitors are doing
Some of it is almost certainly working — there is no point reinventing the wheel. But look for what you can do better too. This can become your competitive benefit.
3. Set goals based on benchmarks
Before you have information of your own, base your projections on industry benchmarks. This will give you a way to work in.
4. Research marketing tools that might help you
As you have seen, there is so much to ecommerce marketing that it can get overwhelming at times. Fortunately, some tools will help you get started with many of the tactics that are mentioned at an affordable price.
5. Personalize your communication
Advertisements, emails, SMS, and also live chat can bring in much better results when personalized and made relevant. Customers like to experience that they are being understood and not getting just another general message.
You can now see that without ecommerce marketing, your online store pretty much does not exist. The only way to get the market your brand, to bring in customers, and to generate and repeat sales is via intentional marketing activities.
The above tips will give you a better idea and it will help you get a good understanding of everything that you will need to promote your business.