E-commerce is 1 of the most powerful and fastest-growing industries in the world today. It is predicted that 95% of sales will occur online by 2040.
NielsenIQ data shows that 67% of all consumers report changing the way they shop due to COVID-19, and this figure is poised for further growth. The move to online and omnichannel shopping is set to go from strength to strength, particularly in light of the pandemic and concerned shoppers’ preference for zero-contact transactions.
While it would be nice to believe that your offering and branding are so solid that you need to do little more than kick back by the infinity pool and watch those sales roll in, the reality is likely that a little more work is required. Without creating a solid online presence, hassle-free online ordering, fool-proof fulfillment, and supply chains that adapt to fluctuating conditions, your sales might get you a kids’ paddling pool but little else.
This article will provide an extensive list of tried-and-tested marketing tactics and tools to help inform and implement an ecommerce marketing strategy that gets you the results you desire.
Table of contents
- What is ecommerce marketing?
- What are the different types of ecommerce marketing?
- 25 proven ecommerce marketing strategies to implement right now
- Frequently asked questions
What is ecommerce marketing?
Ecommerce marketing employs tools and tactics to promote your brand, reach new customers, foster brand loyalty, and increase sales.
The ecommerce sales funnel has 4 stages.
Ecommerce marketing hopes to drive traffic to your online store and move customers along the 4 stages of the sales funnel:
- Attract – the first step in the sales funnel is to attract customers. This can be achieved by employing marketing techniques such as PPC advertising, email marketing, social media marketing, creating engaging content, and general search engine optimization (SEO).
- Convert – leads are considered conversions if they complete the desired action, such as clicking a website button or signing up for your newsletter. Conversion rates generally increase by creating enticing CTAs and leading potential customers to specifically designed landing pages or forms.
- Close – closing is the process of a lead becoming a paying customer and generating revenue for your business.
- Retain – customers who make repeat purchases, recommend you to others, and support your brand are hugely valuable. They enable companies to make predictions, invest further, and create new sales goals.
In 2020, in excess of 2 billion people made purchases via online platforms, and in that same year, e-retail sales surpassed 4.2 trillion U.S. dollars worldwide. Any thriving ecommerce business will want a piece of that pie, and a robust ecommerce marketing plan is critical to securing a slice.
Done well, the ecommerce marketing strategies outlined below could have a massive impact on your business success. Take Dollar Shave Club, for example. It proved that it knew how to entice its target audience and cement its brand identity with its quirky, comic video advertisements, which helped them earn 12,000 customers in just 2 days.
What are the different types of ecommerce marketing?
Understanding the different types of ecommerce marketing can help you discover what works (and doesn’t) for your unique business.
Some of the most commonly employed ecommerce marketing tactics include:
- Pay-per-click advertising (PPC) – where you create an ad campaign to appear in Google search results. You only pay for said advertising when the advertisement is clicked.
- Search engine optimization (SEO) – the organic process of increasing website traffic by being listed in search results for particular keywords.
- Email marketing – emails sent directly to potential or existing customers’ inboxes, promoting particular products and services and tempting them with great offers.
- Content marketing – creating and sharing content to stimulate interest and awareness.
- Social media marketing (SMM) – utilizing social media platforms to drive sales, increase brand awareness, and boost website traffic.
- Chatbot marketing – using AI and computer programming to automate conversations with customers, direct them to landing pages, solve problems, and answer FAQs.
- Influencer marketing – a branch of social media marketing that involves working with influencers (individuals or brands with a significant social media following) to endorse products and services or create posts with product placements.
- Affiliate marketing – where a business will pay a commission to a promoter every time they bring in a new lead or are linked to a sale.
These marketing techniques can be used to discover new cohorts of customers and entice old ones back. When employed thoughtfully and strategically, these marketing methods can enhance the customer experience and feed into the business CXM.
25 proven ecommerce marketing strategies to implement right now
Ready to start seeing real results from your marketing efforts? Try these strategies now.
1. Build up your email list
Email marketing can be a powerful tool for engagement and customer retention. Build your email list by:
- Encouraging subscribers to share and forward emails
- Adding CTAs to your social media pages and employee email signatures
- Creating contests and giveaways
- Asking for feedback
- Hosting webinars
- Collecting email addresses at checkout
- Offering promotions throughout your site in exchange for information
2. Encourage customer loyalty with rewards
Customer loyalty will affect your revenue and brand recognition, allowing sustainable growth. According to eMarketer, more than 80% of consumers reported buying a different brand than usual in mid-2021. Customers can have their heads turned easily, and keeping them loyal to your brand is no mean feat. However, by offering discounts and rewards, you can keep them returning to your site time and time again.
3. Implement live chat
Answering customer queries in real-time and offering preemptive support can ensure customers find what they are looking for and have all the information they need to purchase.
4. Set up a blog
Useful, relevant content can attract customers, position your business as a market leader in your industry; answer questions, and improve SEO through keyword ranking and backlinks. A well-crafted and up-to-date blog can help establish a loyal and engaged online community that will continue to keep customers returning to your website.
5. Personalize communication
The better you know your customers, the more successful your one-to-one marketing efforts will be. Your customers may have various interests, motivations, and preferences. By understanding their nuanced behavior, you will be better placed to personalize communication so that it lands effectively and inspires action.
6. Adapt to the competition
Knowing your main competitors means seeing what they are doing and doing it better. Your customers and industry may change over time, so it’s essential to always keep an eye on your competitors and industry trends and news and use this to drive your marketing efforts.
7. Invest in social
In 2020, social commerce sales were $26.97 billion in the U.S, and they continue to increase. Therefore, investing your marketing efforts and budgets in SEO campaigns is smart.
8. Run an influencer marketing campaign
Influencers have massive social media followings; if they say something is worth buying, their followers want to buy it. Team up with an influencer to endorse your products and services, and you should see your sales soar.
9. Sell on marketplaces
Online marketplaces are all excellent platforms to leverage. Selling via online marketplaces can help you connect with new customer cohorts. Find ones that align with your brand and tap into their large customer bases.
10. Create a TikTok marketing strategy
In 2021, consumer spending on TikTok reached a massive $824.4 million, and with over 1 billion active monthly users, marketing your business via TikTok is worth taking your time on. You can advertise on the platform, engage with influencers, and post your own TikToks to build a following and encourage brand engagement.
11. Run PPC campaigns
PPC ads appear on search engines, social media networks, and websites. PPC for ecommerce can massively impact your sales because the ads display to shoppers that are primed and ready to buy.
12. Cross-sell & upsell your products
Upselling is the practice of encouraging or tempting customers to buy more expensive or higher-end products. Cross-selling encourages them to purchase additional related products or services.
13. Integrate Instagram
Setting up Instagram shopping means making it easy for Instagram users to buy your products. HootSuite released marketing statistics revealing that 80% of Instagram users follow at least 1 business on the platform. With 70% of users more likely to purchase via mobile, there is a massive opportunity to showcase your products to eager buyers.
14. Set up cart recovery campaigns
The purpose of cart recovery campaigns is to send messages to customers about what they’ve left behind in an abandoned cart and encourage them to return and complete the purchase.
An abandoned cart means you miss out on lots of potential revenue. Setting up abandoned cart automation will help tempt shoppers back and hopefully convert them into paying customers.
15. Send text message campaigns
Text message campaigns are short, snappy, and super effective for ecommerce marketing. Reserve your text message campaigns for attention-grabbing news, offers, and discounts that they’ll find difficult to ignore.
16. Capture more email subscribers
The more email subscribers you have, the easier it will be to create targeted campaigns to entice and engage your subscriber list to buy your products. Building your email list often feels like a labor-intensive task, but it will pay off in the long run. Running competitions and promotions, offering something of value, or asking for information at the checkout are good ways to build up your list.
17. Segment and personalize your email campaigns
Marketers say investing just $1 into email marketing can generate as much as a $36 ROI. In the context of email marketing, businesses can leverage any information they have about their customers to create an email campaign with tailored content designed to motivate them to act.
18. Take advantage of seasonal opportunities
As the seasons change, so will customer behavior. By tapping into the changing seasons, holidays, and events, you can adapt your marketing tactics to keep your offering relevant and appealing.
19. Anticipate future sales
Setting sales goals and making evidence-based projections can help you manage your financing needs, identify future risks, and manage your production costs effectively.
20. Create a content marketing strategy
A robust content marketing strategy will help you streamline your communication and create a focused approach to distributing valuable, relevant, and engaging content to attract new audiences and maintain a loyal following.
21. Leverage user-generated content
User-generated content is any content created by people, such as images, videos, blog posts, and audio posted online. You can also leverage content that mentions your business directly or aligns with your image or ethos. Just make sure you ask permission from the content creator before you do.
22. Think local
Create a localized, customized experience for shoppers in your area to create a loyal customer base that will return to you repeatedly.
23. Optimize your product pages
Optimize your product pages by ensuring your content is slick and engaging, using lots of high-quality images, keeping lots of white space, using headings, and including customer testimonials and reviews. The better you optimize your web pages, the more likely they will appear higher on search engine results pages (SERPs).
24. Utilize analytics
Analytics provides businesses with the data they need to understand how visitors interact with their websites. The more insight businesses have into positive and negative customer experiences, the easier it will be to uncover future improvement opportunities.
25. Use customer feedback and reviews
Encourage your delighted customers to leave reviews. Customer feedback and reviews can be a great way to build trust in your brand and generate FOMO. You can share your positive reviews on your social media platforms, in advertisements, or incorporate them on product pages.
Frequently asked questions
How do you write an ecommerce marketing plan?
A robust and effective ecommerce marketing plan will include a digital marketing strategy, complete with a clear mission and objectives. It will assess how to improve your reach and grow your audience online and detail your goals for growth, budgets for implementing marketing solutions, and a definitive target audience.
When will I start seeing results from a digital marketing campaign?
You should expect to see results between 6 and 12 months after launching your campaign. Meaningful, lasting results will come from creating a robust online presence and continuously analyzing and tweaking your campaigns for the best results.
How important is setting up an abandoned cart series?
Ecommerce customers who receive a series of abandoned shopping cart emails are 2.4 times more likely to complete the purchase than those who receive just a single reminder email, so setting up a series of well-crafted emails can make a significant difference to your revenue over time.
By investing in your ecommerce strategy and going through a process of trial and error can better understand which tactics will bring you the best ROI.
Implementing email marketing, marketing automation, and CRM tools will play a significant role in enabling your business to create incredible customer experiences. ActiveCampaign’s customer experience automation tools help you gather real-time customer data, build customer profiles, and attract, engage and retain your customers for the long haul.
We combine tools for email marketing, CRM, and marketing automation to provide a one-stop shop for businesses looking to improve their ecommerce marketing strategies through innovative email campaigns. For more information or to request a free demo, get in touch with a CXM expert from ActiveCampaign today.