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eCommerce Marketing: A Comprehensive Guide

July 16, 2021
Table of Contents

Marketing plays a vital role in helping a business increase eCommerce sales and grow their bottom line.

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Creating an eCommerce marketing strategy is the first step business owners should take to make the most out of their efforts. But, there are a lot of moving parts and sales channels that need to be taken into consideration.

So, let's take a look at the basics of eCommerce marketing and how to create an eCommerce marketing strategy.

What Is eCommerce Marketing?

The act of eCommerce marketing using a variety of strategies to drive traffic to your website and turn them into customers.

These strategies are aimed at exposing your brand to your target audience across a variety of channels. They may be made up of efforts taken on your website, off, or both.

How to Do eCommerce Marketing

There are many ways that you can invest in your eCommerce marketing strategy. You can look to focus on on page SEO for eCommerce, SEO content for eCommerce, pay-per-click ad campaigns and more. With so many options it can be difficult to know where to start.

The most important thing is to focus on customer satisfaction. Customer reviews play a vital role in the success of an eCommerce company. More than 90% of web shoppers admit that they read customer reviews before a purchase. If you can keep your current customers happy, it provides both a greater customer retention and opportunity to convert new customers.

Best eCommerce Marketing Strategy

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 the five most effective eCommerce marketing strategies:

  1. Technical SEO for eCommerce Sites. Investing in building your pages with search engines in mind will pay dividends. Your site itself will serve as a marketing tool that will only be bolstered by other efforts.
  2. Social Media Marketing. Use the channels that your target market uses. Create social media posts that highlight the value of your brand and speak to the needs of your market.
  3. Email Marketing. Email marketing is the most effective form of marketing with a high conversion rate. Sending well-crafted emails to existing and prospective customers can lead to strong revenue growth.
  4. Paid Advertising. Though more costly than other strategies, paid advertising can help you reach more customers much faster, thus increasing your sales sooner. This is a great area to invest in for both DTC marketing and B2B marketing (see what is B2B marketing).
  5. Content Marketing. One of the easiest places to start your eCommerce strategy is with content marketing, and we'll go into more detail below.

What Is eCommerce Content Marketing?

Content marketing is a type of marketing strategy built around writing and publishing long and short-form content. Generally these are in the form of blog posts, listicles, white papers, eBooks, and more. It's a great way to tell your company's story and highlight your knowledge and product value.

Here are a few reasons to use eCommerce content marketing:

First, It draws in website traffic. The biggest draw of content marketing, and the general purpose of marketing in general, is that it attracts potential customers to your site. As long as your articles are written with SEO in mind, they will show up in various Google search results and send visitors to your site.

Second, it makes your brand more visible. Standing out in a congested marketplace can be very difficult, but well-written content can help you stand out. You can establish your business as experts in the field who understand their target audience's needs and wants. This will increase your reach and draw in more new customers.

Third, it's great for customer retention. Many customers, particularly of the Millennial and Gen Z kind, want to engage with their favorite brands. By posting informative and entertaining content regularly as well as engaging with comments, you can increase brand loyalty and overall customer lifetime value.

How to Write eCommerce Content

Writing content for eCommerce can be accomplished by following a proven set of steps and using well-researched data to create robust and informative articles.

Here are the three steps you should follow to write eCommerce content:

  1. Research your audience. Try to understand your audience's particular needs and wants. See what their lifestyles are and how your brand can fit into it. If you understand the type of content they want to read, you can write in a way that speaks directly to them.
  2. Choose the medium. Before writing content you need to choose where it will be published. Try to write for the channels that your target audience already uses, so you can get your work in front of them more easily. Some channels have limits of the length of content, so make sure to stay within the pre-approved limits.
  3. Write the content. Start by conducting keyword research using a tool like SEMrush. Pull all the terms that you want to target and write a compelling and informative piece that your audience will enjoy. Then publish it and get ready to engage with readers.

Now that you have content marketing down, the next area we're going to look at is also one of the most effective, eCommerce email marketing.

What Is eCommerce Email Marketing?

ECommerce email marketing is the delivery of promotional materials via email. It is one of the most important tools in a digital marketer's toolbox that has a very high click-through and conversion rate.

Best eCommerce Email Marketing Strategies

Running a successful eCommerce email marketing strategy is reliant on sending well-designed emails to your customers often. You can choose to automate your email sends or specifically targeting certain segments of your customer base.

Two of the most effective email strategies are sending abandoned cart emails and a welcome series. These are automated emails that are triggered by certain events in a customer's journey. Abandoned cart emails are sent to customers who have left the website with unpurchased items in their cart. Welcome series emails are a set of emails that go out in the first few days after a customer gets added to the email list. These emails have the highest click-through and conversion rates of any automated eCommerce emails.

Another great way to use email marketing is by sending promotional emails. Though sales and discounts are always beneficial to increasing sales, you can optimize this through email segmentation. By sending different versions of the same promotion to different groups you can use the most effective text, imagery, and buttons to increase sales even further.

eCommerce Email Marketing Software

Since email marketing is so impactful, using software is a great way to increase your sales. You can choose to try out a free option or shell out a sizable monthly payment, but stick with a plan and platform that fits your business needs.

Luckily, BlueCart eCommerce is an all-in-one digital sales platform that fits the bill. In addition to it being the best eCommerce marketplace for SEO and the robust digital storefront, 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.

With email marketing under our belts, the final area we'll go over is pay-per-click (PPC) management. It is the most costly form of marketing, but also one of the most important.

What Is eCommerce PPC?

PPC, or pay-per-click, advertising is a form of eCommerce advertising where you pay each time a prospective customer clicks on an ad. It is the go-to strategy for many eCommerce businesses looking to attract customers and drive sales.

However, the market can be very competitive and understanding how to manage PPC budgets and analyze ad data is key. This lets you determine the best areas to invest your budget to maximize ROI and maintain a good profit margin.

One thing to note is that there are multiple ways you can pay for advertising. In addition to PPC, there is also PPI and CPM. With PPI, or pay per impression, you pay every time your ad is seen regardless of if it's clicked on or not. With CPM, or cost per mille, you pay per 1,000 impressions. These types of ads are riskier, but are generally priced lower.

eCommerce PPC Strategy

Determining the best PPC strategy for your business relies on setting firm goals. Whether you want to increase your click-through rate, incentivize conversions, or build customer loyalty, you'll need to know how to take control of your efforts.

Here are three ways to make the most of your PPC strategy:

First, perform a PPC audit regularly. If you're running ad campaigns, but not paying attention to their results, you're likely wasting money. You need to routinely check the data to see what is and isn't working. This will let you adjust your strategy intelligently and maximize your conversions.

Second, target terms with more intention. Focus on long-tail keywords, or multiple word keywords, rather than broader terms. Competition for the terms is lower and the user is usually further along the sales journey and more likely to convert. It's truly a win-win.

Third, test everything. Getting the best results out of your PPC marketing efforts requires vigilant testing. Try different variations of every ad you run to see what works best. Then shift your budget to the better performing version to get the best results.

Now that we've covered the major forms of eCommerce marketing, let's look at the best way to optimize them all: eCommerce marketing automation.

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What Is eCommerce Marketing Automation?

There are many tools available that allow you to automate your eCommerce marketing to improve processes and hit your eCommerce KPIs. You can choose to invest in a new eCommerce platform, email marketing service, or customer relationship management (CRM) software.

Benefits of eCommerce Marketing Automation

Automating your eCommerce marketing efforts can have a dramatic effect on your ability to attract and convert customers. It also saves you valuable time and money.

Here are three ways that marketing automation can benefit you:

First, it helps you attract new customers. Using automated email marketing is a great way to reach new audiences and grow your sales. Welcomes series emails in particular allow you to start fostering your relationship with a customer immediately and push them through the sales funnel more quickly.

Second, it increases your average order volume. The use of automated emails and product widgets that display products based on customer data lets you increase your order volume. They can showcase products for upselling and cross selling to sell more and higher-priced products.

Third, it lowers customer churn. Existing and returning customers offer a lot of value to your business, but only if you can hold on to them. Sending abandoned cart emails or automatically reaching out when there's a gap between purchases can make all the difference. Luckily, BlueCart allows you to automate email sends to customers who haven’t placed an order recently to remind them to shop.

Finally, let's take a look at the role responsible for creating, implementing, and overseeing all of these marketing efforts.

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What Is an eCommerce Manager?

An eCommerce manager, or eCommerce marketing manager, is a mid-level manager that oversees an eCommerce team and is responsible for planning the marketing strategy.

The responsibilities of an eCommerce manager can vary by company, but most of them will have the following in common: 

First, they must create the overall marketing strategy and calendar. This is accomplished by conducting market research and analyzing data to determine the most effective course of action. They pick marketing channels to use, establish budgets, and determine what eCommerce software that will be used.

Second, they will direct all team activities and manage daily operations. An eCommerce manager will delegate work to their staff in line with the marketing strategy and follow-up along the way. They are expected to deal with interpersonal conflicts and lead all marketing efforts.

Third, they need to analyze data regularly. Customer trends, website analytics, ad conversion rates and more must all be reviewed. They will use this data to determine marketing effectiveness and adjust the strategy accordingly. They must also report on this data to upper-management.

eCommerce Manager Skills

When hiring or applying to be hired and make that eCommerce manager salary, there are a few skills that the candidate needs. Since the role has such an impact on the company's ability to make sales, these two main skills are vital.

First, an eCommerce manager needs to have leadership qualities. They need to be able to effectively guide employees and hold them accountable for their work. They should set realistic, but valuable goals and ensure they are reached. While many skills can easily be learned, leadership is more difficult, so a lack of this skill is a deal breaker.

Second, an eCommerce manager needs to stay on top of eCommerce trends. Since the digital world never stands still, an eCommerce manager needs to invest time in keeping up with the market. This also shows that they are capable of learning new things and will be able to adapt marketing efforts as needed to hit established KPIs and grow sales.