eCommerce marketing is a growing industry, and it is a concern for many online businesses that are looking to boost their sales. While the pandemic has opened the doors for many to go online, it's easy to believe that not a lot of eCommerce websites are not harnessing the power of eCommerce marketing strategies.
Why Do You Need Planned Strategies for eCommerce Marketing?
Do you have a Shopify store? Do you have an eCommerce store on WordPress? Or do you just have an eCommerce store? If the answer is yes for any of the above, then you need a sound marketing strategy that will help you drive your business.
With the right strategies for your online store you can achieve the following:
- Increased conversion rate
- Low cost per acquisition
- Decreased cart abandonment
- Higher website traffic
- Increased returning customer orders
- Increased new and returning visitors
- Better email open rate
And there are dozens of other performance metrics including sales, marketing, customer service, etc that you can improve with thoughtful strategies.
Before we dive into the strategies, let's take a look at the eCommerce marketing plan you can follow for success.
How to Build an eCommerce Marketing Plan
Building an eCommerce marketing plan, will help you go a long way executing the marketing strategies in the right manner.
You cannot win a race, if you are not sure about the finish line.
Your goal should be both measurable and attainable. If your goal is to promote your brand, then by having specific metrics such as number of brand mentions on social media, Net Promoter Score (NPS), and others will keep you aware when your goal is achieved.
In order to clearly define your goals, divide them into segments such as marketing goals, customer service goals, etc to keep track of the overall performance for your brand.
Define Target Audience
You cannot sell your product to everyone, since not everyone can be your target audience.
When starting with the marketing plan for your online store, defining your target customers, and their persona will help you not to waste your efforts on irrelevant audiences.
There are different ways you can use to define your audience.
- Analyze competitors
- Conduct a market research and identify trends
- Use Google Analytics to review the data of your existing visitors
- Define who is not your target audience
- Create personas
Now that you have a target audience for your business, you can reach them at the right time in the right place.
Determine Sales Strategy
When it comes to sales, you need to be very clear about how you are going to generate revenue for your business.
You can play around with different sales strategies to boost your revenue. A few of the recommended strategies for increasing sales are:
- Upsell your products
- Giveaway coupons and discounts
- Offer money back guarantee
- Make it easy for the visitors to get what they want
There is not one strategy that would work, you need to test and repeat. This takes us to the last part of an eCommerce marketing plan; rinse & repeat.
Rinse and Repeat
Marketing is not a static process, therefore you need to always test, and measure what is working and what is not delivering results.
What is working the best for your online business, should be used again and again until it stops working. If you have the right performance metrics defined in your marketing plan, you can easily filter out what is working and what needs to be improved.
Now that you have established an eCommerce website marketing plan, let's take a look at the eCommerce marketing strategies you can use in 2021.
7 Best eCommerce Marketing Strategies for Growth and Profitability
The goal of an eCommerce website is to make profit, and increase customer satisfaction. With the following 8 marketing strategies for an online business you can thrive to success.
Search Engine Marketing Strategy for eCommerce
You can spend thousands of dollars on Google Ads or Social media ads, and drive zero ROI, or you can generate tonnes of revenue with just a few hundred dollars.
The 3 best and reasonable networks you should be using for your eCommerce business in 2021 are:
- Google Search Ads for eCommerce stores
- Google Shopping Ads for eCommerce marketing
- Google Display Ads for online stores
Google Search Ads for eCommerce Stores
Search ads will help you reach your potential customers, at a very low cost, if executed correctly. By bidding on your product related keywords, and phrases your ads can be placed in different spots in the search results.
There are a few marketing strategies that you can use to drive value with search ads for your eCommerce store.
Branded Google campaigns are a must for established online stores. They help users discover your products with the brand name alongside your product name. Running such campaigns have low cost per conversion and a better conversion rate.
Non-branded Search campaigns are the staple type of ads that every store owner should run to increase their sales. You can easily convert interest based traffic into potential customers.
Google Shopping Ads for Marketing an eCommerce Store
Google shopping ads are specifically designed for online store owners, to promote their products in Search, YouTube, Images and other relevant places where your shoppers are present. The advantage of using these types of ads is that it brings better qualified leads, increased ROI and a broader reach.
The best way to utilize shopping ads is to create a relevant and well structured product feed. Make sure you are optimizing the product titles as it is one of the most important aspects in your product feed. With this type of ad you have the power to control the devices your ads are displayed on. So if your eCommerce store is not well optimized for mobile experience, make sure to exclude it by doing a bid adjustment of -100%.
This will not only help you drive quality traffic to your website but also minimize the wasted cost associated with targeting incorrect devices.
Google Display Ads for Online Stores
Display ads are a popular form of advertising which happens on Google Search, YouTube and GMail. This form of advertising is intrusive and shows up to everyone who is searching or not searching for your products. Therefore customizing a few things will help you generate more clicks and conversions for your eCommerce store.
You should target only relevant audiences for your product. If you think the product is not ideal for males, then you should exclude them from the ad group. And if it is only recommended for a specific age group then you should target them instead of targeting everyone.
Another customization highly recommended for eCommerce stores is to decrease cost and increase revenue is to target topics related to your products. For example, if you are a hiking gear store, you should target the topic/interest of “Adventure travel” and a few more around that.
These minor tweaks will help you reduce wasted marketing costs and increase overall profit for your business.
- Google Ads
- Google Keyword Planner
- WordStream Advisor
- Google Ads Editor
Social Media Marketing Strategies for eCommerce Business
I don’t really want to stretch on the importance of social media marketing. It is the most powerful medium for eCommerce marketing in the 20th century.
With the right social media marketing strategies for eCommerce store you can increase your brand reach, sales, and engagement rate.
Create Shoppable Instagram and Facebook Store
A lot of eCommerce stores just create their page on Instagram, and Facebook and leave it there. However the right way to extract value from social media for your online store is by creating shoppable Instagram and Facebook stores.
You can easily create collections and manage your shop across different channels. If you are using Shopify for your online store, then you can easily manage them both in one place.
If you are short on budget you can simply create shoppable posts which include product tags and a smooth checkout process. On the other hand, if you have access to a budget, you can simply utilize Facebook advertising for your eCommerce store.
Utilize the Power of Influencer Marketing for Quick Results
You have the product, while the influencers have the audience.
By leveraging the power of influencer marketing, you can get a quick start on your brand reach and awareness. Initially you should target micro influencers, who have limited but highly engaged audiences on their social networks. They tend to drive the highest engagement rate and more traffic for your website.
- Facebook Ads
Increase eCommerce Organic Visibility with Search Engine Optimization
SEO is the buzzword in the world of Digital Marketing. This is mainly because it has the power to drive free traffic to your website and more importantly, a lot of potential customers.
The overall optimization of your eCommerce website matters a lot for better visibility in the search engines. We have put together a SEO checklist for eCommerce websites to help them grow their organic traffic.
Other than an overall SEO strategy for your website, you need to make sure that the product pages are well optimized with the right keywords in the title and the product descriptions. By making longer product descriptions, you can easily rank on secondary keywords.
Once you have everything set up in terms of technical SEO, optimized eCommerce product pages, then you should dive into setting up the structured data or more commonly known as Schema Markup.
Schema will win you rich snippets in Google search, that will help in improving the click-through rate of your pages. Following are a must have Schema types for an eCommerce website:
- Product Schema
- Reviews and Rating Schema
These eCommerce markup will give you an edge against the competitors and you will see huge improvement in the CTR of your product pages.
- Google Search Console
- Screaming Frog
Utilizing Content for Promoting an Online Store
Content marketing for eCommerce is one of the finest mediums to scale your online business. There are various ways to execute an effective content strategy for an eCommerce website.
You should invest in video, as 86% of businesses use video as a ecommerce marketing tool to grow their brand. By using product video marketing you can attract a lot of customers. You can use humor, demonstrations, and anything you prefer to demonstrate your product.
Writing a newsletter is pretty dull and boring. eCommerce newsletter campaigns can be made interesting by using different types of media such as video, animated GIFs, countdowns and more. These kinds of newsletters have better engagement rates.
Displaying your product reviews on each product page is a great way to build trust and eventually improve conversions.
- Google Docs
Email Marketing Strategy for eCommerce
A lot of marketers feel that email marketing is dead, however a whopping 4.03 billion people use email in 2021. With such a huge audience, missing a channel for marketing your eCommerce store is a big NO!
You need to be very smart with email marketing, and create campaigns that keep the customer engaged. Following are a few things you can do to optimize your email marketing campaigns for your online store.
Recover Potential Sales with an Abandoned Cart Email Flow
This is one of the most popular tactics that can bring quick results. An abandoned cart email is sent to new and repeat customers, who added a product to their cart and left it without completing the purchase order.
You can create a series of emails which remind the target customers to complete their purchase or offer some discount as a motivational factor for them to complete the purchase. There are a lot of tools that allow abandoned art automation, but we recommend using Activecampaign as it is smart and easy to use for eCommerce marketing campaigns.
- Constant Contact
Send Personalized Emails
Personalization is one of the most important eCommerce marketing strategies. If executed well, it can help you stay ahead of the competition.
Personalized email campaigns are behaviorally triggered email campaigns that are customized for different audiences. A shopper who left earlier in the sales funnel, would like to receive a browse abandonment email, a shopper who went on to a specific category on your website, buyt never landed on a single product to make the choice and so on.
You should send personalized emails to such shoppers targeting their behaviors. This will generate a lot of engagement and skyrocket your sales.
Post-Purchase Email Follow Up
This may sound like over killing yourself with dozens of campaigns, but existing customers are 9x more likely to convert than a new customer.
The usual post-purchase email series looks something like this
- Order confirmation emails
- Shipping confirmation emails
- Product satisfaction survey email
You can go an extra mile and improvise this series by adding two more emails that include a discount email for the next order or if they re-order the same product, and a review request email, for them to help you increase your brand trust.
Affiliate Marketing to Increase Sales and eCommerce Brand Awareness
Affiliate marketing, shares the load of sales generation among different publishers. It is simply a way to promote your products in return for a commission for the sales they generate.
Affiliate marketing for eCommerce is a solid marketing strategy that will boost your sales. A lot of eCommerce brands have already started their affiliate programs. This form of marketing is both trackable and scalable. It is exactly why this marketing strategy is so popular across so many industries. For example, many higher education institutions run online courses affiliate programs to get new students to enroll in their programs.
The publishers who sign up for your affiliate program, have the audience and organic traffic to direct to your website. You can either have your own tracking system in place or use platforms like Tune or ShareASale to track and promote your affiliate program respectively.
Before you begin affiliate marketing for your eCommerce store, make sure you have a sound plan of action to reap the benefits.
Recommended tools & platforms
- Post Affiliate Pro
Hiring an eCommerce Marketing Agency vs. In-House Team
This is a question many business owners would seek answers to, but it totally depends on your expertise. There are several benefits of hiring an eCommerce marketing agency, and a lot of benefits to do it in-house.
An in-house marketing team would be more familiar with the brand, whereas marketing your eCommerce business via agency is more scalable.
An eCommerce agency has access to software and tools to execute several tasks, on the other hand in order to build an in-house team you will need to purchase a lot of softwares and tools to execute the marketing strategy.
Therefore neither is right and neither of it is wrong, it totally depends on your goals and long term strategy.
By planning out your eCommerce marketing strategy, and making use of the right tools, you can grow your business
Whatever you choose for your business, at the end of the day it should be effective and reliable for long term success.