As more businesses shift away from brick and mortar stores towards websites, ecommerce marketing becomes more relevant than ever.
If you’re an ecommerce store owner or considering becoming one, you should ask yourself some questions before working on your ecommerce marketing plan.
- What channels are best suited to marketing your ecommerce store?
- What are the most up-to-date ecommerce marketing strategies being utilized?
- What best ecommerce marketing practices should you inculcate for your business to grow?
So warm up your cup of coffee as you look at some of the trending strategies you can use to reach your audience through your ecommerce marketing channels.
- Strategize your Ecommerce Marketing Channels
- Ecommerce Marketing Tips That Help Build an Audience
- Best Ecommerce Marketing Practices You Should Adopt
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Strategize your Ecommerce Marketing Channels
First of all, understand how to set up your marketing and sales funnels to guide your potential customers through their buying journey. At this point, as an ecommerce store owner, you should also acquaint yourself with different ecommerce marketing strategies and channels through which you can promote your brand. By now, you’ve already set up your marketing and sales funnel to achieve your goals and objectives.
Email marketing is a great way to connect with leads and bring them to the product pages of your ecommerce store. This channel comprises newsletters, new product updates, and promotional campaigns to promote your products.
You can also ecommerce marketing strategies for this channel to re-engage with your customers to upsell, cross-sell, target abandoned carts, and customer loyalty opportunities. For example, you can send out a monthly newsletter about your most trending products to get them interested.
Here are some ecommerce marketing strategies that you can apply to your email marketing.
- Welcome new subscribers who have signed up to your newsletter through an email series to familiarize them with your line of products/services. When sending out this email series, mention some of the top trending products on your ecommerce store, since your subscribers are likely interested in these.
- Grow your email subscribers
Add opt-ins on your blog and landing page to increase your email subscribers. One of the most effective places to get email subscribers is during the checkout process. You can add a checkmark for your potential customer to sign up for your newsletter.
- Use email templates to create visually appealing, mobile-friendly designs. Attractive emails improve the likelihood of your subscribers landing on your ecommerce landing page and entering the funnel.
- To make your ecommerce marketing strategy more effective, segment your subscribers based on the target audience that you’ve created. This helps personalize your message better, and lets you offer the audience products that they’re most interested in.
- Dedicate a section to showing loyal customers the benefits they can avail themselves. This encourages more people to join your loyalty program to enjoy exclusive discounts and offers.
- Your email newsletter can become more engaging if you add a customer reviews section at the bottom as well. This will help your new subscribers provide feedback on your ecommerce store.
- Use email marketing automation tools that help send out personalized emails to a certain segment of your audience. This way, email subscribers are likely to revisit your landing pages or product pages as it piques their interest.
Let’s take a look at Birchbox’s email marketing strategy.
The New York-based company sent its email subscribers a followup email, reminding them to include their unique offer code to “Rent a Runway“ dress. If they had included this in their run-of-the-mill promotional emails, this code may have hit the rock bottom of the subscriber’s inbox. As it stands, this strategy helped them get the clicks they needed.
Source: Convince & Convert, LLC Global HQ
When it comes to ecommerce online marketing, the umbrella of PPC advertising includes display ads, search ads, and campaigns.
You’ll find Google ads, Bing ads, and Amazon fruitful networks for advertising as part of your PPC strategy. Let’s have a look at some ways you can optimize this channel.
Improve your product pages by removing outdated products, updating the status of products that are out of stock, and monitoring customer reviews regarding certain products.
Make this a part of your ecommerce SEO optimizations, focusing on keywords and page optimization to ensure sustainable SERP rankings as part of your ecommerce marketing plan.
Considering the ubiquity of social media channels, think about increasing your PPC ad spend budget for Facebook and Instagram. This will help you target your product to the niche you’re looking for.
You should consider using Instagram in your ecommerce marketing strategy to promote your ecommerce store, but that topic has a separate blog post on its own. You can read more about it in our blog ‘10 Effective Instagram Ecommerce Strategies to Adopt’.
When the profits start coming in, use this influx of money to increase your ad spend budget, which ultimately improves your conversions.
An increase in ad-spend budget would mean you can spend more as a sponsor, get higher benefits, and ultimately target more customers. This will help you catalyze your business growth and improve your business bottom line.
Use Google schema to get your product listed on the first page of Google.
Google Schema pushes your products from your store to the google search results page.
Source: Google Developers
This ecommerce marketing strategy helps get your product out there to your target audience without them even coming to your page – ultimately giving you a significant advantage over your competitors.
- PPC ads focus for the most part on outbound efforts. But making efforts on inbound marketing avenues can also help attract potential customers to your landing page.
Inbound marketing efforts are where you’re pulling your audience towards your website through social media marketing, Google search results, push notifications, email marketing, etc.
Content marketing involves an ecommerce marketing plan using formats such as blogs, infographics, videos, and podcasts to connect with the audience.
Effective content marketing requires an understanding of ‘top of the funnel’, ‘middle of the funnel’, and ‘bottom of the funnel’ strategies. The diagram below is a quick guide for you to see what content to plug into various stages of your funnel appropriately.
Content marketing and SEO work in hand in ecommerce marketing strategy. SEO strategies have been covered at great length in our article on “Actionable Ecommerce SEO Strategies to Rank Quickly”.
Your content should be engaging enough to keep new visitors reading all the way through; a high bounce rate will result in lowered search results ranking, as Google deems your page to not be relevant for the people searching for certain products. To counter this, you’ll have to increase your ad spend to get the same number of visitors to your page.
You can read up more about ecommerce marketing ideas in our blog “Get More Sales With This Ecommerce Content Marketing Guide”. However, I have placed a few take-aways from this article.
- Focus on storytelling to address your audience as it greatly improves website traffic.
- Build your story and brand image on user-generated content. When you’re just starting off, you’ll be reaching out to your audience through your blog posts. However, once your brand starts building tractions, designate a section for customer reviews and ratings. Most potential buyers base their buying decision on the opinions of people that have already bought the product/service. You can also sponsor influencers to create content around your products.
- Don’t limit your content. Repurpose it to improve your reach.
- Create product guides for a better user experience.
- A blog to build awareness about your product range.
- Collaborate with industry influencers to increase word of mouth about your brand.
That being said, when influencers promote specific products with a promo-code or a specific link, they have an incentive in making that sale. This is called affiliate marketing, where they can earn through a commission model.
On YouTube, you’ll find a plethora of influencers talking about their personal experience when using certain products such as makeup, fitness apps, interesting food recipes, or even softwares that helps them in social media marketing.
This helps ecommerce platforms like Amazon, eBay, and Ali Baba promote their products through their ecommerce merchants. These ecommerce merchants make commissions based on new conversions that take place through their affiliate links. These links are provided by these platforms when a merchant signs up for an affiliate program.
Here are some factors to help you decide whether an affiliate program is what you need to promote your ecommerce store and your product line.
- Who are the affiliates you’re trying to target to get to promote your brand?
- Are your expectations from affiliates measurable?
- What is the upper range of commissions you’re willing to dish out for affiliate marketing?
According to Business Insider, about 15% of digital marketing revenue is brought in through affiliate marketing. Additionally, a lot of industry influencers earn through affiliate marketing which means that your product is likely going to have a lot of social media mentions.
It’s a win-win scenario here, as referrals from your affiliates are more likely to make a purchase from your ecommerce store, as opposed to your regular website visitors.
Let’s look at some affiliate marketing strategies that can push your ecommerce store a long way.
Affiliate Marketing Strategies
- Smoothen your sales funnel so the traffic your affiliates bring in face the least amount of friction.
- Consider the feasibility of building an affiliate program versus joining an existing affiliate network. If you require more control over all aspects of your affiliate network, along with a direct line of communication with your affiliates, then you should opt for building an affiliate program.
- Work on the policies, terms, and conditions of the affiliate program you build. This will take up additional time but will save you the hassle of resolving conflicts with your affiliates in the future.
- Join an existing affiliate network for access to high-quality affiliates and influencers in the industry. You’ll be using an intermediary platform that provides you with the performance metrics of your marketing campaign. You can also automate payout and focus on other aspects of your ecommerce store with this option.
- Once the affiliate marketing plan starts rolling, find the affiliates that are the best fit for your program. These affiliates promote your products without making it look like a sales pitch, and can become great brand ambassadors. Maintain a long term relationship with these, and find more affiliates of similar nature.
If you’re looking for more strategies to boost your ecommerce store, we’ve extensively covered some of the strategies in our blog post ‘Ecommerce Optimization Guide to Ramp-Up Sales’,
Ecommerce Marketing Tips That Help Build an Audience
These ecommerce marketing tips help you reach your audience more easily and expel efforts in ways that spill over in promoting your brand. If you’re new to ecommerce marketing, they’ll help you pick up on what’s trending in 2020, and where to focus their efforts.
#1 Develop a Loyalty Program
A loyalty program gives your regular customers an incentive to become long-term customers. Loyal customers receive exclusive discounts and loyalty points that they can enjoy.
These long term customers can show their loyalty through mentions and sharing your content on their social media channels, if not making repeat purchases.
A loyalty program lets you set the foundations of your own affiliate program. Your ‘Loyalty Program’ customers could transform into paid brand ambassadors, and earn commissions by referring more customers to your ecommerce platform.
#2 Focus on Branding via Packaging/Repackaging
Invest in re-packaging your products with your brand name to improve word-of-mouth advertising about your brand.
Where digital marketing brings the relevant audience to your landing page and product pages, branding repackaging contributes to offline marketing. Your packaging can attract more people and raise curiosity about the product line that you’re offering and can make for exciting content to share on your channels.
#3 Organize and Execute Flash Sales
In recent times, you’ve probably noticed ecommerce platforms promote their products intensively during a certain time of the month. For instance, in the technology industry, you’re likely going to notice Black Friday Cyber Monday deals.
You can use these seasons to greatly boost your sales as part of your ecommerce marketing strategy. To make proper use of this, acquaint yourself with holiday spending statistics for the type of audience you’re catering to.
Understand what audience your ecommerce platform caters to, and audit your competitors. This can give you a good insight into when to plan your marketing expenses so you can spend more during the flash sales season and reap the benefits of this flux of new customers. Just make sure you have decent ecommerce website hosting, because the influx of traffic on a flash sale can have an impact on page speeds.
#4 Build Relationships with Influencers
Influencers make great brand ambassadors. Giving out gifts and free giveaways to these influencers will get you brownie points as they’ll love working with you long-term.
Choose your influencers wisely so their personalities align with your brand image.
#5 Expansion and Integration
The digital world is dominated by social media channels, so expand your ecommerce online marketing efforts here. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest have a lot of traction.
Integrate your ecommerce marketing plan efforts with email marketing as it helps decrease abandoned carts, and retarget campaigns to your existing audience.
That wraps up the tips that should help you get the ball rolling when you’re new to ecommerce marketing. Now let’s look at some best practices that you should consider adopting in your current workflow. You might want to invest in abandoned cart recovery plugins to create retargeting campaigns.
Best Ecommerce Marketing Practices You Should Adopt
Ecommerce marketing practices comprise certain tasks that you should consider adopting. You can schedule these tasks according to your current calendar to help you monitor your ecommerce store, while also highlighting areas of improvement.
#1 Focus on SMART Goals
Your goals should be SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.
Keep the goals of your ecommerce marketing strategy specific concerning what you want to accomplish and its significance. Highlight who’s involved in helping you achieve this, along with the resources involved in achieving this goal.
Make sure you can measure your goals. For instance, you can measure your ecommerce store’s reach by running Google Analytics to monitor new users that have come to your landing page.
Your goal should also be realistic and attainable; think of factors that may restrict or catalyze your business growth so you can gauge whether your progress has been organic or assisted.
When it comes to relevance, see if the task is within your control and whether it is applicable to the current socio-economic environment.
Finally,l draw a timeline of the tasks you have assigned to yourself, and whether they can be achieved in that duration.
#2 Automation: Simplify the Shopping Experience
As the owner of your ecommerce store, focus on and prioritize the user’s shopping experience. For instance, a lot of ecommerce stores automate processes that allow new customers to create their account by signing in through their social media account.
#3 A/B Testing for Improved UI/UX
It’s important to run constant A/B testing on your ecommerce platform to improve the overall shopping experience for your customers. This not only makes it easier for your potential customers to reach their purchasing decision but it also helps you stay ahead of your competition.
Source: Google Images
Audit what your competitors are doing on their landing pages and test out such experiments to see what works best for your audience. This will help improve your conversion rate, along with decreasing your abandoned carts.
Let’s look at an example of this. A latex mattress company collaborated with MECLABS Institute to run an experiment on portraying the credibility of the mattress on its landing pages. It did this through A/B testing, where the control landing page didn’t emphasize on the credibility certificate of the mattress, while the other landing page did.
The company found that adding the GREENGUARD credibility to the landing page triggered a 46% increase in conversions.
#4 Create an Experience
Similar to brick and mortar shops, your ecommerce landing page piques the interest of your potential customers.
Build your ecommerce page for people that already know what they’re looking for and can easily reach the relevant product. Construct your pages with new customers in mind, who don’t know much about the product and will seek more information.
A great example of ecommerce website marketing would be Apple’s online store. Each product has a unique story of its own, along with a link that directs customers seeking technical details to a page dedicated to their requirements.
#5 Analyze Your Ecommerce Store
Get a week by week overview of what your ecommerce page looks like, where you spend your efforts, and the overall look and feel you’re going towards. This should help you gauge where you stand against your competitors, and where you need to focus your efforts in the upcoming weeks.
#6 Have a Data-Driven Strategy
When it comes to ecommerce marketing strategies, the decisions you take on your landing pages, product pages, opt-ins, banner ads should all be backed by hard data. A data-driven strategy is likelier to get your favorable results, and it’ll be easier to identify the factors that affected your results.
Run surveys through emails and on-page widgets, and see what sentiments your regular visitors would have about the changes. See whether these changes cater to people unfamiliar with the layout of your ecommerce store.
#7 Focus on Consistency
It’s unrealistic to expect large pools of new customers waiting in line as soon as your store goes live. These things take time and they need a constant push.
Create a schedule and focus your efforts when they have maximum output. For instance, scheduling email outreaches to promote fast food family deals on a Friday would be more effective as the second half of Monday (the first day of the week). Hence, gauge the best time to perform certain tasks based on the response you get.
That’s a wrap!
That wraps up some of the ecommerce marketing strategies and best practices and tips you should consider adopting when promoting your ecommerce store.
If you like what you read and feel that I’ve left out an important tip or practice, feel free to feed the comments section below!
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