Read on to learn about eCommerce marketing, the strategies you can use for your business, and some resources you can access to grow your knowledge.
What Is eCommerce Marketing?
eCommerce marketing is the act of using promotional strategies to drive traffic to your website, turning them into paying customers, and retaining them post-purchase.
eCommerce Marketing For Dummies
Since eCommerce marketing is such a broad topic, it can be overwhelming for new business owners to know where to start. However, it's easier than you'd expect.
Here are three easy ways to start eCommerce marketing:
First, use an online marketplace. These are websites where multiple businesses run online storefronts. They're a great option for businesses as their primary source of revenue or as an additional sales channel. This is because they reach a much larger audience with less effort.
Second, focus on customer satisfaction. One of the most successful forms of marketing in the digital age is customer reviews. In fact, more than 90% of shoppers read reviews before making an online purchase. By focusing on the customer experience, you're more likely to receive positive reviews that will increase your sales. It will also make customer retention easier.
Third, set firm eCommerce KPIs, or key performance indicators. These are data points like conversion rate, average order volume, return on investment, and profit margin. By setting specific goals and tracking the data, you can adjust marketing plans on the fly to optimize results and grow your revenue.
Best eCommerce Marketing Strategies
While there is no single best way to market your eCommerce site, the key to an effective eCommerce marketing strategy is keeping costs low while maximizing impact. That is, driving visitors to your site and converting them to paying customers.
Here are five of the most effective eCommerce marketing strategies:
Optimize Your Site Using Technical SEO for eCommerce Sites
One of the best online marketing strategies for eCommerce websites is optimizing technical SEO. Luckily, there are quite a few ways to maximize your site's search engine value by structuring it correctly. These include starting with the best eCommerce platform for SEO, writing SEO for eCommerce product pages, and performing an eCommerce SEO audit. These will ensure search engines understand what you sell and let you rank more favorably for relevant searches.
Writing digital content has been a valuable eCommerce marketing tool for years. Today, that still holds to be true and search engines are very favorable to websites that have strong, easy-to-read content. This is an easy place to invest your time and money to attract new visitors to your site. It also establishes you as an expert in your field and lets your customers know they can come to your site to answer any questions they may have.
Try Your Hand at Social Media
Social media can be daunting for business owners, particularly if they don't use it in their private lives. However, many brands have embraced social media and found great success. It's a great way to build and grow relationships with customers and gives you access to a very large audience. Focus on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest to highlight your products and engage with customers and prospects. This is a good area to invest in for both DTC marketing and B2B marketing (see what is B2B marketing).
Focus on Email Marketing
In 2021, email marketing continues to be one of the most effective forms of digital marketing. It has the highest click-through and conversion rates of any form of eCommerce marketing. It can even be personalized based on customer type and location, so there's a lot of flexibility with the channel. Emails are the place to promote offers like expedited shipping and discounts.
For food suppliers, BlueCart eCommerce is a great choice. It lets you send emails right from the platform. It even has a built-in promotional function, so you can set up a deal and send out an email blast in one place to make DTC or wholesale sales.
Invest in PPC Marketing
PPC, or pay-per-click, marketing is a form of paid advertising that a majority of eCommerce businesses use. You create ads that are displayed on search engines and social media, but only pay when someone clicks through to your site from the ad. It can yield great results, but costs can add up quickly if you aren't properly tracking and adjusting your strategy as you go. It should also be paired with eCommerce SEO to achieve the best results.
eCommerce Marketing Tactics
For best results, follow a set of tried-and-true eCommerce marketing tactics, regardless of the channels you use.
Here are the three best tactics for eCommerce marketing:
First, listen to the data. The most important tool in a digital marketers' toolbox is analytical data. Knowing what is and isn't working will let you make informed decisions with your marketing plans. Instead of trying random things, you can make small adjustments to attract and serve your customers in the way they want.
Second, stay in contact with your customers. Your relationship with your customers should end after the sale is complete. Follow-up regarding their purchase, send them marketing emails, and foster the relationship. It can lead to further purchases as well as make them advocates for your brand and customer service.
Third, collect leads whenever possible. Many visitors to your site aren't yet ready to make a purchase. They're still valuable, however, so you should make sure to collect their information whenever possible. Use email sign-ups, demo requests, and any other opportunity to get their email so you can send them marketing materials that will turn them into customers.
eCommerce Marketing Plan: eCommerce Marketing Plan Example
An eCommerce marketing plan is a roadmap that you follow to direct your marketing efforts and increase sales. You should write a thorough plan before starting any marketing, so you don't waste effort or money. They are highly tailored to the individual company, but are generally structured in the same way.
Here are the six sections you'll need to include in your marketing plan:
- Executive summary. This section will summarize the following sections and serves as an overview of the full marketing plan. It is generally written last, but is the most important section.
- Mission statement. Here, you will express what your business is and what problems you solve for your customer. You can think of this as the "why" of your business.
- Goals and KPIs. In this section, you need to define what key performance indicators, or KPIs, you intend to hit with your marketing. Set individual goals for each channel you will market through. This will make it easier to judge the success of your marketing and discover areas for improvement.
- Target market. Here, you define the ideal customer of your business. Learn "What is a niche market?" so you target the right people, and more importantly, know why you're targeting them. List out your ideal demographic, economic status, and customer location. The more specific you are about who you want to sell to, the easier it will be to personalize your marketing efforts.
- SWOT analysis. A SWOT analysis is a breakdown of your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats. It gives you insights into how you rank against your competitors and highlights areas that you can invest in to perform better. Here’s an example of SWOT analysis for restaurant.
- Promotion strategy. Finally, you need to outline the overall strategy you will use to promote your business. List out what channels you will use, how often you will publish or send content, and what form it will be in. Break this section down by digital vs traditional, organic vs paid, and online vs offline channels. The more specific you are, the easier it will be to follow in the future.
eCommerce Marketing Course
The more knowledge you have about eCommerce marketing, the more likely you are to succeed. Our first suggestion is to read more of our own work on eCommerce marketing. We cover topics like email marketing, eCommerce marketing automation, realistic eCommerce manager salary expectations, and more.
After that, check out some eCommerce marketing courses. Here are two of our favorites:
HubSpot eCommerce Marketing Course
This course from one of the biggest names in eCommerce covers everything you need to know to start an inbound marketing plan. This includes attracting customers, increasing conversions, pushing repeat sales, and more are covered. It's a great course for beginners and old hands alike.
Coursera Digital Marketing Specialization
This free specialization actually contains seven separate courses: Marketing in a Digital World, Digital Analytics for Marketing Professionals, Digital Media and Marketing Principles, Digital Media and Marketing Strategies, Marketing in an Analog World, and a Digital Marketing Capstone. It's taught by professors from the business department at the University of Illinois, so you know it's backed by experience and statistics. If you have the time to dedicate to the program, this is a great option for the burgeoning digital marketing specialist.
Take It to Market
Conducting eCommerce marketing can feel like a daunting task, but there are many ways to make the most of your marketing plan. Focus on providing superior customer service, highlighting the benefits of your brand and product, and using data to make informed decisions. Then, check out our comprehensive eCommerce business guide for even more tips on how to improve your bottom line.