The Covid-19 pandemic changed the whole aspect of retail ecommerce. Consumers were forced to move to online shopping and avoid traditional face-to-face shopping. The demand for ecommerce services skyrocketed during the Covid-19 pandemic. Most retail customers have realized the convenience of online shopping. Ecommerce entrepreneurs discovered this to be the perfect time to enter the industry.
Ecommerce businesses carry out all their marketing operations via the internet. It’s challenging to distinguish the best digital marketing strategy for your business. What is ecommerce marketing? How does it compare to search engines, content, email, and social media marketing? Digital marketing and ecommerce marketing aren’t mutually exclusive. With ecommerce marketing, you can use digital channels in marketing your products.
Let’s get into ecommerce marketing and discover more about the topic.
Definition of Ecommerce Marketing
The world made the first internet sale in 1994. Since then, the ecommerce industry has immensely evolved. Social media platforms have enhanced the accessibility of information and digital marketing. Online shopping has changed. Many people embrace ecommerce as the standard way of buying and selling goods.
Ecommerce marketing is strategies or actions that improve the brand awareness of a business. Strategies used by businesses selling their goods or services electronically. Ecommerce marketers use various platforms, like:
- Email campaigns
- Social media
- Digital content
All these tools are meant to attract new customers and facilitate online purchases while retaining past customers.
Is ecommerce marketing different from ecommerce advertising? Advertising falls under the umbrella of marketing, and the same case applies to ecommerce advertising. When the two are used effectively, one can reach the target market, boost conversions, and improve brand awareness online.
Ecommerce advertising refers to definite methods which a business can use to promote a product or service. Ecommerce advertising can be done using media ads, display ads, and banner ads. The main takeaway is that ecommerce advertising is a very effective method of implementing an ecommerce marketing strategy. Ecommerce marketing services are services provided by ecommerce marketing companies that are meant to grow your ecommerce brand.
Let’s look at the types of ecommerce marketing.
Types of Ecommerce Marketing
There are channels, which are used in ecommerce marketing. All these channels function differently. The common goal of increasing the digital brand awareness of your ecommerce business.
Social media has transformed to be a digital open-air market. Brands, businesses and contractors launch their product and service pages on social media. Popular social networks allow businesses to connect with their target audience by posting content relevant to their target market.
Ecommerce marketers can also use various social media platforms to achieve brand awareness. Popular social media platforms include:
It’s crucial to analyze which social media platform is best for your brand. Ecommerce websites are very visual in terms of content and how you display your products. Effective use of social media means using high-quality imagery or audio-visual content. This attracts attention and drives traffic to your ecommerce platform. For instance, Instagram is beneficial for ecommerce marketing. You can post sharp images of your products or even record a video of your services, expanding your product’s reach and popularity beyond the buy page.
You can customize your social media posts to be shoppable content. Shoppable content allows your target audience to make an immediate purchase, like strategically placing display product ads or showing prices. When the customers click the ads, it takes them to the shopping cart. Such marketing tricks smoothen the online buying process of your potential clients.
Ecommerce businesses can also use social media platforms to get customer’s feedback. Product reviews have been known to promote the purchase of products only. Request honest product reviews from your past customers. Try to give feedback to all your customer reviews.
Most businesses and companies associate content marketing with blogs and videos. The content on your ecommerce platform leaves a digital impression on your customers. Online ranking by search engines is also done by gauging the online content. Does an ecommerce business need videos and articles to market its products? Yes, it does.
How do you use content marketing as a part of your ecommerce marketing strategy?
Optimizing your product page
Customize the product pages on your ecommerce website using product-driven keywords. Include your product/ service name in the keywords. The page titles, image alt text, and headers all need to focus on the main keywords. This is so the search engines can know who to direct to your platform when there is an online query.
Writing relevant blog posts.
Create a blog section on your ecommerce website. Blog sections offer extra helpful information about your products. The extra information can’t fit the product page. User guides and buying guides are good examples of blog posts. Visitors to your website will most likely purchase after reading a blog post. So your blog post must be engaging and informative.
Creating guest posts for relevant external websites.
One way of increasing your online market coverage is using guest posts. Blog guest posts will put your products in front of a new audience. Guest posts also play an essential role in getting online domain authority. Search engines use domain authority to determine the reliability and credibility of websites. You must partner with relevant external websites. Look for websites that rank for keywords, which are related to your products. You can create new posts or decide to expand on existing posts on the guest website.
Getting videos related to your product
YouTube is one of the most popular social media platforms where videos are popular. The platform has over one billion users globally. It’s ranked the second largest search engine platform after Google. How do you tap into the broad audience of YouTube users? Use highly searched keywords in determining the best topics. Share videos, which are helpful to your audience and related to your products. Videos offer an excellent way of giving your consumers tutorials on how to use your products. Tutorial videos help build a long-term relationship with your audience. They also enhance customer satisfaction.
Having an FAQ section
Consumers always have questions related to a product. Customer support might not be available 24/7, and having an FAQ section can help. Provide all the answers your consumers need with regards to your products. Create an FAQ section, which is keyword-driven to attract more users to your website.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Search engine marketing includes both paid advertising and search engine optimization. SEO focuses on the use of Google’s ranking algorithm in optimizing content. With SEM, you focus on:
- Pay-per-click (PPC) ads and campaigns
- Product-specific ads
- Display campaigns.
With SEM, businesses pay for the top spots on search engine result pages.
eCommerce PPC marketing guarantees that potential customers will see their ads or a link. The ads are displayed on a particular search results page. The potential customers have to enter specific search terms or keywords. The keywords must match your ecommerce campaigns. Payment is only made for ads that online users click.
Most ecommerce companies register with Google AdWords and promote their products using PPC campaigns. PPC campaigns easily connect online searches with relevant business products and services when they click on the online ads. This increases traffic to your ecommerce platform and the likelihood of the potential customer making a purchase.
Email marketing is one of the oldest forms of digital marketing and eCommerce marketing channels. It still holds specific value when it comes to eCommerce marketing. Due to innovations in digital marketing, ecommerce companies can automate email marketing. Automated email marketing involves setting up a drip campaign for your subscribers, who are segmented by the buyer’s journey or interest.
Email marketing is pretty simple; however, one must be meticulous about their email list and content. It’s crucial your subscribers don’t feel like their privacy has been breached and their contact information easily accessible to everyone. Come up with a good strategy when adding website visitors to your mailing list.
Ecommerce businesses can use email marketing to promote their products by:
- Making a post-purchase follow-up. Sending an email a few days after delivering the product will keep the conversation going and enhance customer relationships. It allows you to get valuable feedback about the customer’s shopping experience.
- The abandoned shopping cart. Ecommerce marketers can use the abandoned shopping cart to find out more about their customer’s shopping experience on their platform. This helps diagnose the problem SEO-friendly and transform a lost customer into a successful buyer. You can send a polite email inquiring why the consumer didn’t make the purchase.
Influencer marketing is a new aspect of digital marketing where you target brands or people who influence your target market. Influencer marketing has become very popular in social media, where a business looks for people or brands with immense social media followers. This is the reason why the term is commonly used to refer to Instagram accounts with thousands of followers. Influencer marketing primarily targets celebrities and public figures who belong to your target audience.
Influencers on social media or digital platforms build communities or a fan base of people who love them or love their work. They can help you attract new customers through endorsement and sponsored posts.
More than 80% of businesses use affiliate marketing as part of their marketing strategy. Ecommerce websites are outstanding candidates for affiliate marketing. Affiliates are individuals or companies which sell products or services online on behalf of a brand. They earn a percentage or commission from every successful sale.
Unlike influencers, affiliate marketers generate interest in the products they are selling using old-fashioned marketing tactics. Since they earn from every successful purchase, they go the extra mile to make sure there are as many sales as possible on the ecommerce platform. Affiliate marketers will use marketing tactics like paid advertising and content marketing to drive traffic to your ecommerce website.
Local marketing is often ignored when coming up with a practical ecommerce marketing strategy. With local marketing, you give double focus on your local market, where most of your prospects are located. You offer incentives and promotions to your potential client base and help in strengthening customer loyalty to your brand.
How do you identify the geographical location of your prospects or existing market? Using cookies will help determine the location of your prospects. You can then offer them lucrative incentives like discounted or free shipping to potential customers, which will enhance the online popularity of your brands. You can use local marketing with other marketing channels like influencer marketing, affiliate marketing, and email marketing.
Every day many more brands are embracing different forms of digital innovations to expand their ecommerce businesses. By using customer data, you have the power to use the various marketing channels and create a personalized marketing experience for your prospective customers. When coming up with a practical ecommerce marketing strategy, it’s essential to consider the different types of marketing channels. It’s highly recommended you use more than one digital marketing channel.
Ecommerce Marketing Tips
There are many different ecommerce marketing tips and tricks in the industry. While your goal is to drive traffic and achieve successful sales, you need to pick the best ecommerce marketing strategies for your business. While the above marketing channels are crucial to achieving effective marketing of your business, you need to develop creative ways of using the above marketing channels. Below are some of the innovative ways you can market your ecommerce business.
Design and layout of your website
Ecommerce businesses operate online, creating the importance of having a functional, unique, and reliable website. Your website is your online store and needs to cater to your customers’ online shopping needs. If you don’t have a functional website, even the most effective ecommerce marketing strategies won’t help. When reviewing your online storefront, an experienced ecommerce marketing agency will look at the following factors:
- Pricing and Payment: What are the processing fees and monthly fees involved in the platform? What are the available payment options for your customers?
- Integrations and Plug-ins: What are the available tools and plug-ins that you can use to run your business? Popular plug-ins to look for are accounting plug-ins, email marketing tools, apps for shipping products, and a platform that facilitates rewards programs for your customers.
- SEO Friendliness: The third-party platform should boost the online presence of your business by being SEO friendly. Customer reviews, blogs, and domain names are some of the things that boost SEO friendliness.
- Mobile Friendliness: More than 60% of online product and service searches are done on mobile devices. Pick a platform that allows customers to access the website from their mobile devices easily.
- Customer Service: A successful ecommerce business must have reliable and efficient customer service support. Unlike other companies, ecommerce businesses often suffer from server downtimes or software outages, and 24/7 effective customer care can prove to be very helpful.
- Security: How secure are your customers? One of the biggest concerns for online consumers is security. Picking a platform that supports HTTPS/SSL provides a safe and secure shopping experience for your customers.
- Scalability: Every business aspires to grow; pick an ecommerce platform that you can quickly scale to the size of your business.
Every touchpoint that a potential customer has with your platform should induce the potential buyer to take action, preferably to make a purchase. Knowing what you want for your eCommerce business is crucial. It will help you in picking the perfect platform and help you find success.
There are two main options when it comes to picking an ecommerce website:
- Custom made ecommerce platform
- Third-party ecommerce platforms.
No matter the ecommerce strategy you pick, you need a responsive website design. It’s best to choose the perfect option that resonates well with your short-term and long-term business goals.
Personalization has helped companies increase their revenues. Personalization involves coming up with ways to cater to your target using the marketing materials you have. As a brand, you tailor your outputs to show and resonate with the unique needs of your target customers. Personalization in ecommerce marketing can be done through:
- Recommending products or content based on the visitors’ behavior.
- Showing online intelligent and relevant content to second-time visitors.
- Including the prospect’s name in the email’s subject line.
Personalization can help a buyer make a purchasing decision faster. Instead of a potential buyer spending a lot of time searching for a product, you simply put the product in front of them. This way it’s easy for them to make the desired decision of buying the product.
Capitalizing on the user-generated content (UGC)
A successful ecommerce business will attract many loyal customers. What if you can use loyal customers for marketing your products? User-generated content refers to practical ways of using your loyal customers to sell your products. UGC can help your ecommerce in the following ways:
- Drives more traffic to your website.
- Creates an authentic following or fan base of people who are interested in your products.
Let’s look at the effective ways of using UGC to enhance your ecommerce marketing strategies:
- Competition, where customers take part in challenges or competitions when using your products.
- Customer review platforms and share feedback of their experience when using your products or their shopping experience on your website.
- Social media hashtags, users submit various online content and use a branded hashtag.
Building a loyalty program
Repeat customers are loyal customers who are invaluable. Every business wants to attract new customers while also retaining existing customers. With a loyalty program, your current customers are motivated to continue buying from you. Loyalty programs need to be relevant and able to keep your customers. Take some time to plan and research your consumer shopping needs before implementing a loyalty program. Appropriate discounts and offers can pay off in UGC, repeat businesses, and even referrals.
Diversify how your customers can show loyalty to your brand and business. Sharing content, mentions on digital platforms, or repeat purchases are examples of acts of devotion from customers. Your loyalty program should be able to pay off your loyal customers, be it through offers, discount codes, giveaways, or exclusive perks.
Ways customers show brand loyalty include:
- Word of mouth marketing
- Positive reviews and feedback.
- Referral marketing
- Case studies.
It’s best to encourage your loyal customers to use every tool in marketing your brand.
Investing in live chat.
If you are looking for ways to upgrade your customer support and responsiveness, invest in a live chat feature. Ecommerce businesses operate 24/7, and customers want customer support that is available 24/7 and easily accessible. Chatbots are one of the most common ways of implementing a live chat strategy on your website. Depending on your business’ size, you can have a functional team available to chat with every potential buyer who visits your online store.
Regardless of the option you pick when implementing a live chat, be rest assured live chat will improve the overall customer experience for online visitors on your website. Make sure the live chat feature is visible and welcoming, especially to new customers. You can use the live chat to support the other customer support features like phone numbers, emails, and FAQ.
Catering and focusing more on the shopping cart
There are different reasons why online customers abandon their shopping carts. The most common issue is a lack of trust in your business, product, or the delivery system being used. As a business, it’s essential to make sure all your current and future customers feel safe enough to complete a purchase. There are simple ways in which you can boost the trust among your online retail customers and mitigate shopping cart abandonment:
- Offer money-back guarantees to your customers.
- Have a simplified and easy-to-understand return policy on all your products.
- Fast and superior delivery options.
- Secure and safe payment systems.
- Immediate access and 24/7 availability of customer support.
Now that you understand the ins and outs of ecommerce marketing, you can easily develop a good marketing plan. Having the best ecommerce marketing plan needs plenty of research, planning, and proper execution; that’s why it’s best to hire an ecommerce marketing agency. The competition in the industry is fierce, and you can’t afford to use primary or simple ecommerce marketing tactics. You don’t need to worry about the cost. A reliable ecommerce marketing agency will pay itself and reap untapped revenues from marketing channels like SEO, email marketing campaigns, PPC campaigns, etc.
The merits of hiring an ecommerce marketing company or agency are:
- They have prior PPC management experience, and are more professionally equipped to succeed.
- They understand the aspect and importance of having a creative design.
- Marketing knowledge of all the ecommerce marketing channels.
- Abundant SEM and SEO expertise.
- You will be offered professional level and industry-based content marketing
- It’s cost-effective in the long run.
Ecommerce marketing comes with plenty of responsibilities that can overwhelm you and your staff. By hiring an ecommerce marketing agency, you will have every aspect of ecommerce marketing clearly outlined for you and executed.