hello world!

eCommerce Marketing

Written by: Devin Schumacher  | September 5, 2021

There is still huge potential for success with an eCommerce store. Perhaps more so than ever!

More and more people are buying online every year. As many as 2.14 billion people now buy online.

But with this huge market comes plenty of competition, too. As frustrating as it might be, it means that we are going to have to invest the time into making sure that your eCommerce store and digital presence are fully up to scratch.

That is exactly what today's guide is for. We are going to talk you through the best strategies and tools for helping you stick out from the rest of the crowd.

These strategies and channels include:

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Email Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing
  • PPC Advertising

But before we dive into that, let's outline what you need to plan out first.

Building an eCommerce Marketing Strategy

So, when you want to think about eCommerce marketing tactics, you'll have to make a plan first.

Like in the old quote, ‘failing to plan is planning to fail.’

It doesn't matter whether you're a multimillion-dollar enterprise or a small mom-and-pop store; here are some things that you should research and consider before making eCommerce marketing strategies.

1.  Decide on the main goal for your eCommerce business

As Stephen Covey, the author of the book 'Seven habits of highly effective people says you always must begin with the end in mind.

So, the first step to building a framework for your eCommerce marketing plan is to know what your end goal is, to know where you want to end up.

The reason this is so important is it's going to help you stick on track with digital marketing. Your end goal can relate to anything. For example, you might want to create a positive brand or generate more sales, which is the most common goal for an eCommerce business.

You might want to increase your social media following, which is perfectly valid. Maybe you want to establish yourself as an expert in your industry, or maybe you want to use social media to build healthy individual relationships with clients. With digital marketing the opportunities are endless.

No end goal is better or worse than another. All that matters is that whatever you pick relates to your business and that you have solid reasons for wanting to do so.

2. Study the competition

As the old quote, ‘Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.’

The same thing applies when it comes to eCommerce marketing. Carrying out good, in-depth research about your competition will help you shed a light on the areas that you can grow your business faster.

But to benefit from this step, you must take it a step further. It's not enough just to study the competition. You must study the customers of your competition.

This is where most businesses will go wrong, and you don't want to make the same mistake with your eCommerce marketing. Customers always know what they want better than you do and better than your competitors do.

It's easy to find this out, all you have to do is read the reviews on their website on Amazon to see things that could be improved. You can even go as far as checking out online forums relating to your industry to see what you can improve your own eCommerce marketing.

Studying where the competition goes wrong is so crucial in building any eCommerce marketing plan.

3. Set goals based on the benchmarks of your industry.

In eCommerce marketing nowadays, everything is tracked.

Almost any number that relates to your business or your competitors can be tracked on any eCommerce marketing platform.

Whether it's conversion rate, web visitors per month, content views, or even any other kind of eCommerce metric that you can think of, it's probably available for you to find out.

These standards can be tracked and used to measure your goals against industry benchmarks. The benefits of this are that it allows you to see exactly where your eCommerce marketing strategy might be feeling.

This shows where you can divert resources and attention to fully maximize your eCommerce marketing efforts and get one over in your eCommerce competitors.

screenshot of SMART approach

4. Break your whole strategy down into smaller segments.

If you're designing eCommerce marketing strategies, there is a whole range of different paths that you could follow.

But the issue that comes with this is that you can become distracted so easily, and it becomes very tempting to divert from your original path.

New ideas and different pathways can be tempting, but to succeed, you have to stick to your original plan.

The best way for you to create an effective eCommerce marketing plan is to focus on a couple or a few key strategies that you believe will bring the most value back to your business. From there, you begin to create action items for each one.

So, for example, let's say that you want to gain more website visitors every month. The best way to do this would be to focus on SEO and PPC advertising. It wouldn't make much sense for you to begin focusing on cart abandonment or follow-up emails, would it?

So, when you decide the strategy that's best for you, you have to break it down into smaller segments. For example, in the example above some of those could be:

  • Setting Up Google Account   
  • Keyword research     
  • Set up ad spend    
  • Monitor and adjust

It might sound too simple, but it's the number one mistake that I see eCommerce business owners making when they're trying to grow their online business.

The Main Ecommerce Marketing Channels

Once you've read through the most important aspects of setting up your eCommerce marketing plan, it's time to get into some of the details.

In this section of the guide, we're going to go over the most popular methods and strategies of eCommerce marketing.

Each one of them is unique and has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. Some of these options will incur expenses, whereas some of them are completely free to set up.

On top of that, each of them has its unique purpose and goal. Read carefully to see more about each strategy before deciding as to whether it's the best decision for you.

Don't forget the example from the section above!

It's important to know what your end goal is and why you want to achieve it. Then by breaking it down into smaller segments you can make it less intimidating and set yourself on the way to a successful eCommerce marketing strategy.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

screenshot of SEO

As an eCommerce business & online store, ranking higher on Google and other search engines is a must-do.

Regardless of whether you just getting started in a new E-commerce business or improving your existing website, this guide should provide some tactical suggestions on how to step up your search engine optimization.

After all, if you're missing and clicks you can be sure that you're missing out on sales.

Step 1: Do Your Research

Before you begin to optimize your business using SEO, the first thing you have to do is most important: collect research.

This involves two kinds of research:

  • researching your keywords
  • researching your competitors.

The reason it is so important is that it can make or break a campaign.

If you target the wrong keywords, you'll get low-quality traffic and almost no conversions, which would be a waste of time and money, wouldn't it?

Keyword Research

The first step to researching new keywords is to brainstorm. What you have to do, is brainstorm what we call ‘seed keywords’.

Seed keywords are so crucial because they define what your niche is and help you identify who's a competitor of yours.

Every SEO research tool that you use will ask you for an initial seed keyword to generate many other options.

The process is easy, all you have to do is think about what people might type into Google to find you.

For example, let's say that you sell dog toys. Your seed keywords would be:

  • Dog  
  • Pet      
  • Dog toys      
  • Toys for dogs

Do you see what I mean?

These seed words aren't necessarily worth targeting on web pages. They are going to be used for seeds for the next steps in this process.

There's no need to obsess over them too much, they should only take a couple of minutes. Once you read it you can be a move to the next step.

Using Keyword Research Tools

Even if you brainstorm all day and study all your competitors, there are still some keywords that you just might never think of.

This is where keyword research tools can come to save you.

Keyword research tools work the same way as the seed example above. All you have to do is plug in a seed keyword that you thought of, and they will pull all the very best keywords for you based on their database.

The most common tool for you to use would be the Google keyword planner. It's free and easy to use.

Of course, there are many keyword tools available. But if you’re on a budget you might struggle here. Most keyword tools offer very limited functions for free users since at the end of the day, they won't need to pay for their services.

If you're serious about doing SEO research and want to take your website performance to the next level, then you can use a professional tool, the best of which is Ahrefs.

There are three main ways that keyword tools like Ahrefs can identify the best keywords for you. Here are the most common ways they do that:

  • Keywords that have the same terms
  • These are keywords that contain the exact words from the seed word that you provided.   
  • For example, if you put in dog toys, then 'toys for dogs' would be a match.
  • Phrase match
  • This is for keywords I have the same wording as the seed word that you provided.
  • For example, if you enter ‘dog toys’ then ‘female dog toys’ would be a match but toys for female dogs would not be since it doesn't use the exact phrase from the seed word.
  • Questions
  • Keywords that contain terms from the seed word in any order plus a question.
  • For example, if ‘dog toys’ were your seed the word you would have examples such as ‘what are the best toys for dogs’ would arise.

Now, this might seem like a lot if you're just starting with SEO Marketing. Once you dig into it, it's not as intimidating as it seems. All you need to do is have a general idea of what your business can offer and brainstorm some seed keywords, and you're good to get started.

Step 2: Fix Any Problems With Your Website

So, once you're happy with the keywords that you've chosen, it's now time to turn towards the website itself.

If you have an E-commerce business everything is done through your website. This means that any problems will seriously impact the performance of your website.

Here are some of our top tips for quickly finding errors and problems with your current website to improve SEO:

  • Improve Your Website's Speed
  • Use Tools To Identify Coding Issues
  • Improve Your On-Page Optimization

Website Loading Speed

Website speed is perhaps the number one most important thing when it comes to SEO on your website.

If your website takes too long to load, the truth is the visitors are not going to hang around and wait to load, no matter how good it is or how great your offer is.

Nine times out of 10 they load Google and click on one of your competitors instead.

A study shows that two of every five users will abandon a site that takes any longer than three seconds to load.

It’s painful to lose customers to a slow website

This problem is easy to fix, though. All you have to do is search online for a website speed test. Google offers a nice free one here.

After all, you don't want to have your website reminding users of this guy:

Use Tools To Identify Other Various Website Issues

Now the way to do this if you're not a coding expert is by using this tool called Screaming Frog.

This app is free and will value all your CSS script and app's webs length and images from an SEO perspective.

After that, it provides you with a summary of data including and duplicate pages missing header tags and errors. It really couldn't get any easier.

Screaming frog is super easy to use and will help improve the overall usability of your eCommerce website in your essay or performance.

On-Page Optimization

Home page optimization refers to any action that you take on your page to help it rank better in search engines.

We're going to gloss over the most important aspects of this to help you optimize your eCommerce website like the website structure, internal linking, and mobile optimization.

Website Structure

Information architecture isn't talked about a lot, but it's easily one of the most important aspects of on-page optimization.

Architecture can dramatically affect usability conversions and the ranking of your eCommerce business.

A flat architecture on your website indicates that it takes the least amount of clicks possible to go from the homepage to the product page.

Think of it as logically organizing your site.

You can check out a little bit more about this in this great article, which summarises it.

Internal Linking

The next step is to link pages internally. If you haven't heard of this before it simply means to link pages of your website with other pages on your website.

The reason this is useful is it allows you to establish an anchor on your webpage which will help you rank for the best keywords in your industry.

The best advice that we could give is that you don’t overuse this feature.

If you start linking all of your websites too much Google will get suspicious, and the algorithm will pick up on this Make sure you only use internal links when it's natural to do so.

Optimize for Mobile

In 2021, we don't think we need to talk about how important mobile shopping is. So many people not only browse the web but make important purchases using their hand-held phones.

Depending on what platform you created your eCommerce website on may have mobile optimization available to you. Otherwise, you might have to hire help from a coding expert or web developer

Search engine optimization can be intimidating, but extremely rewarding.

It's not easy to fully set up especially if you want an expert but the price that you paid in the beginning, is head back in dividends in terms of improved ranking more clicks, and more conversions.

Email Marketing

screenshot of email marketing

Now onto our next point, email marketing is so important for E-commerce businesses.

Many people would think up by 2021 email marketing would have died out in the world of online shopping. But truthfully, the opposite has happened.

Email plays such an important role in many marketing tactics, including advertising, and generating brand awareness from your customers.

So, in this guide, we're going to show you how you can create an effective email marketing strategy for your eCommerce site.

Setup An Online Subscription Form

The first step you have to do to truly optimize your E-commerce business for emails is to set up somewhere where you can get the customer's email address.

A subscription form is the best way to do this. It's easy to gather customer's information by asking them to subscribe to your business have the latest updates and news about your products and offers.

You can create the most eye-catching forms that are easy to fill out for maximum Opt-ins.

Send out a welcome email instantly

Once you get a new subscriber on your list, you have to take immediate action to thank them.

After all, they've given their email address and trusted you with other details about them, you should thank them in some way by sending them a welcome email.

You can set this up manually from your provider or you can do it automatically, meaning you'll never miss out on the opportunity to update your customers.

There are many platforms that can do this on, and send pre-written templates immediately when a new user subscribes to your list.

Make Your Layout Mobile Friendly

If you read the above section on SEO, you know the importance of having an SEO-optimised layout for your E-commerce website.

Nowadays, more than 70% of people will read emails from their phones and this number increases year on year.

E-commerce business owners can use ready-made email templates that are mobile-friendly.

If you don't optimize your emails to be read on a small screen, then it's likely to be deleted by customers.

Send Cart Abandonment Emails

If you have been involved in the E-commerce business for a long time now, you'd know that most items in carts don't convert to sales.

As many as two out of three items placed in an online cart are completely abandoned before checkout.

Of course, there are several reasons why this might happen. But only one way to make it stop.

That is sending card abandonment recovery emails to remind customers of why they added to the cart in the first place. This is extremely useful for rescuing sales that otherwise would have been lost.

Check out some of the most common reasons why users abandon carts:

screenshot of Statista report

Make sure your online store lists all included prices and is as transparent as possible; not keeping anything back from the customer that might influence their buying decision.

Don't display hidden prices or any additional costs to your online store, to reduce cart abandonment in the first place.

Encourage Customers To Promote On Social Media

People love to brag on social media, especially to their fans.

It's super effective to target your existing customers by giving them an incentive to share their posts with their friends on social media.

You can easily add these sharing buttons to your email marketing campaigns and let customers share on social media.

It's even been estimated that almost 90% of businesses across the world were encouraged by their customers to share information about their purchases with their friends, family, or colleagues online.

If you're not sure where to get started, don't worry, it's easy to do it. All you need to do is check around on your email provider, they’ll offer instructions on how to get it set up.

Ask For Customers Reviews

It's so easy to rack up more positive reviews on your E-commerce business. One of the easiest ways to do it is by sending an email to existing customers asking them to leave a product review.

When you’re marketing your eCommerce business: reviews and social proof are so important.

It's unlikely you'll be able to sell much with just a bare image and some basic information. You need to prove the customers are satisfied to rack up your sales and conversions.

So, to get it to get this social proof, you have to reach out to existing customers and incentivize them to help you. It's not difficult to do and a small incentive such as a small discount or free delivery will suffice.

It’s a great way to increase your product reviews and encourage new customers to sign up and buy your product without incurring any additional costs

Design Upsell Campaigns

It has been shown many times before that selling to an existing customer is a heck of a lot easier than selling to a new customer.

When prospective buyers come across your online store, they are simply afraid to purchase because they're not sure whether they can trust you or not.

Whereas if you have somebody who's already bought from your online store before, it becomes easy to convince them to buy another.

This is where these upsell campaigns become so useful. They use this feature to generate more sales.

To make this work, you need to have appealing, eye-catching, and dynamic content & templates to get customers' attention.

Send Confirmation Emails

The reason we have left this one for last is that most businesses have it set up anyway.

Automated personalized confirmation emails are a great way to build trust with new customers. It’s a great way to make customers feel special by sending them a personalized message.

These emails can be used to send confirmation details including returns, delivery tracking, or any kind of post-purchase issues.

You could even go as far as sending SMS messages to your customers regarding their post-purchase information if they add it to their email address. This is extremely effective for delivery updates and returns information.

Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing Guide [Definition, Pros & Cons, and Resources]

Here we are then, this is probably what first comes to your mind whenever we talk about E-commerce marketing.

Social media has grown from being a tool for allowing people to connect with their friends to perhaps the biggest blessing online shopping brands could have.

Social media allows brands to build personal relationships with all their customers, but only if it's used right. Even with the huge popularity of social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, most e-commerce businesses still haven't taken full advantage of this amazing tool.

In this guide, we're going to outline all the amazing opportunities that brands have using these platforms.

Here are some of the best practices for using social media for eCommerce marketing.

Don't Self-Promote Too Much

This is critical if you're using social media to promote your brand.

It's always important to remember that you have to add value to your user’s experience.

People won’t follow you on social media to hear about your facilities upgrade or your new partnerships.

You always have to think of what customers want to see. Not doing this will lose your engagement and followers.

Social media platforms are the perfect opportunity for you to engage on a personal level with your customers and answer any of their questions or queries.

Don't forget that if you can engage people on social media effectively, you can successfully engage them into becoming an advocate of your brand. Don't promote yourself too much but in turn, let other people do it for you.

Don't Only Stick to the Conventional Social Media Channels

This one is important if you want to stand out.

The best eCommerce marketers know you shouldn't just embrace all social networks without reason or just because your competitors do.

If you want to get ahead of your competitors, the only way you can do that is by trying something a little bit different on experimenting more.

Now what I'm NOT suggesting here, is that the likes of

Facebook and Twitter aren't worth your time. That's not what I mean.

All I mean is that you should thoroughly examine why you're using the social network before you begin to invest in a plan for it.

You can check out some of the most common social media marketing channels here, and the advantages of each of them.

Facebook

  • super-targeted audience reach       
  • superb advertising targeting       
  • great for testimonials.

Twitter     

  • great for customer support     
  • great for relaxed laidback marketing       
  • an open platform with real-time updates

Instagram

  • great for a younger target audience
  • ideal for project products with a visual appeal     
  • great call to action features

Snapchat

  • real-time updates for customers    
  • Behind the scenes footage   
  • great for engaging with customers and promoting brand awareness

TikTok 

  • great for short funny amazing clips   
  • great for the product with a visual aspect     
  • super-platform for influencer marketing

Integrate Your Social Media Platforms

This one is a must if you have an E-commerce business.

It's super easy for you to integrate your social media presents with your e-commerce brand. It's easy for any business owner to add buying options to a social media page. You can check out this video here to do that.

The presence of these buttons will encourage your target audience to check out your E-commerce site more often.

It could be the difference between a customer who buys from you and not, allowing for a higher conversion rate than before.

It is extremely effective when it comes to retargeting, which can be set up through Facebook marketing.

PPC Advertising

PPC advertising stands for pay-per-click advertising, it’s a form of online paid advertising in which you pay whenever a user clicks on your ad.

It is completely irrelevant how many people see your ad, or how many times it is displayed in someone's news feed. If they don't click, you don’t pay.

Almost every ad that you see on Google and Facebook uses this form of advertising. Like these ones below.

screenshot of PPC advertising from Google

For eCommerce businesses, this is practically gold dust. There is no better way to reach out to customers than PPC advertising.

It's an incredible model of advertising and is data-driven.

You have unlimited optimization testing and scaling, which is perfect for any e-commerce business.

How Does PPC Work?

PPC is straightforward to set up. There are a few different steps that you need to take to create your first campaign.

Creating The Ad

Ad creation is pretty simple for PPC campaigns, most of the advertisements are made of an image, a few lines of copy, and a headline.

If you're making use of the Google Ads platform you won't even need an image, just a link, and a line of copy.

Also, on the Google platform, you'll have to include keywords. These are keywords that will trigger your ad. Like in the section we discussed above, these keywords are used to determine when your ad will be shown.

So, for example, going back to the dog toys example, your ad will only appear whenever a user searches terms that relate to ‘dog toys.’

Pretty simple to understand, isn't it?

Bidding

So, when you create your ads and select your keywords, you're going to have to think about money. You’ll have to consider how much you're willing to pay for a click or conversion.

It's difficult for us to give an indication here since it depends on how competitive the keywords that you selected are. For example, high volume keywords such as ‘iPhone case cover’ will cost a heck of a lot more than a low keyword such as ‘hats for dogs.’

Reasons to Use PPC for eCommerce

It’s completely data-driven.

This is perhaps what makes PPC advertising so special. Especially for e-commerce businesses.

Every single penny that is spent on PPC advertising can be tracked, traced, and optimized to make sure you get the most value back for money.

With PPC advertising, you can track your entire marketing strategy on a single spreadsheet.

Also, if you have experience in optimizing your website for design, you shouldn't have any problem using your PPC campaign for more clicks and conversions. It’s the same principles just experimenting and testing until you find something that works best.

You can spend as much or as little as you want.

This is the beauty of PPC advertising. Regardless of whether you're a multimillion-dollar business or even just a small business trying to rake in a couple of sales per month, you can adjust your PPC marketing strategy to your budget.

You don't even need a massive budget to reap the benefits of e-commerce advertising. Even if you have less than $5 per day you can still experiment and test until you get results.

What makes PPC so great is that you only pay-per-click meaning you pay per result. With traditional advertising, you pay first and then get the results. Whereas with PPC you get the results and then pay.

It can be used for almost anything.

Another thing that makes PPC so awesome is the fact that regardless of what you're selling in your E-commerce store, there's somewhere you can use it to optimize your e-commerce marketing plan and get more sales.

Thanks to advanced targeting methods like Facebook and Instagram, you can track users based on literally anything. From how many kids they have, their favorite soccer team, you name it and you can probably target someone on Facebook with it.

Not to even mention the vast range of markets you can appeal to using influencer marketing on the likes of Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, then, the power of digital eCommerce marketing cannot be understated.

There are a variety of ways for you to promote your products, gain new followers online, and get more sales in the process.

No matter what kind of business you have, there are ways to adjust your strategy to make sure that it is right for you.

Think carefully about the channels you choose, and why you choose them. If you follow the guidance above, then you can know you're on the right track.

Thanks for reading, we wish you the best of luck with your eCommerce marketing.

Get Your Free Report

This FREE Report reveals the most powerful growth strategies we have ever created for radically growing businesses with extreme precision & predictability.

GET REPORT
Resources

Marketing Resources

Guides
Industries
Locations
Specialized
© SERP Co 2021 . All rights reserved.
chevron-down linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram