The long and short of eCommerce marketing strategies

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Let’s get right into it…

What is an eCommerce marketing strategy?

Your eCommerce marketing strategy is the approach you will take to achieving visibility for your online store. This can be achieved through a variety of channels and can be adapted to be flexible in terms of your budget and resources.

What is eMarketing?

All the great stuff we are used to using such as website optimisation for SEO and devising a PPC strategy but it also considers relationships building. 

Not restricting yourself to the internet, your eMarketing strategy can include email marketing (getting all up in your customer’s inbox), online reviews (ask and you shall receive…), referral programmes (who needs friends?) and social media (where the good and bad are judged accordingly).

How can I promote my eCommerce business?

Good question! You can promote your eCommerce business or store through a wide range of channels. Whether you’ve got budget for days to splash on fancy ads or you’re very restricted, there are options for your online store. So, to help you out, we’ve rounded up ten eCommerce marketing strategies to increase your sales.

1. SEO for eCommerce

Vitally important and non-optional, your eCommerce SEO strategy should aim to boost your ability to be found in a Google search conducted by a user. There are lots of elements to an SEO strategy including; user experience, website layout, site content, site speed, keyword strategy, backlinks and loads more.

Regular website audits are vital to implementing ongoing improvements and ensuring you are offering an accessible and interesting experience, increasing the likelihood of a purchase or inquiry.

2. Blogs, news, thought leadership and the rest

Blogging is a favourite of successful online stores and is often a cornerstone in eCommerce promotion. It’s a great opportunity to provide users with more information that will add value to your product or service. 

For example, if you sell food and ingredients, creating a blog which offers nutritional information, recipes and ideas will likely build more brand value. It’s a pretty obvious solution to solving dropping or low engagement as it aims to directly impact the way in which they will use your product.

The content should be good quality, link out to other useful content you’ve created as well as external resources where appropriate and using multimedia can further enhance the experience i.e. podcasts, videos and imagery.

3. Promotions, offers and sales

Promotions have been around longer than the internet and can help to attract new customers by offering discounted opportunities to purchase your product.

A promo or a sale for your eCommerce company can help you appeal to a broader range of people and plays off the idea that consumers love a good deal.

4. Free samples

Although many eCommerce businesses try to avoid samples, as some believe it can ‘devalue’ your product, however, they have been proven to be effective.

It can offer you the opportunity to prove that your products are great, so much so you are willing to give away a taster for free. Ultimately, users who love what you’re doing will leave reviews and promote you via word of mouth.

5. Social media for eCommerce

As a key asset to any eCommerce business, social media profiles allow you to seamlessly interact with current and would-be customers, create engaging content and enhance your brand presence.

Billions of people access social media platforms every day and this opens up a range of opportunities for your eCommerce store to get involved. Campaigns and ongoing social media content will help to enhance and establish your brand personality. Alongside using these platforms to talk about the things that are important to your brand, using additional content to build brand value.

If you’re going to use social media to promote your eCommerce business and enhance your brand, you should spend some time planning content and establishing which social platforms are the most appropriate to your demographic.

6. Instagram integration

As the most visually lead platform, Instagram is a great location to showcase your products. Users love to tag brands in their posts when they’re interacting with their products and these are often highly aesthetically appealing. Not to mention the power of influencers, who, if they love a brand and showcase it on their feed, have the power to inspire conversions. 

Integrating an Instagram aggregator on your site offers your users more ways to interact with your brand. It can provide insights into how people use your brand and offer inspiration to customers, providing a more direct path to purchase and increasing online sales.

7. Paid ads for eCommerce

As the more pricey option when it comes to your eCommerce marketing strategy, paid isn’t for everyone. However, if you have the budget and the know-how, you can use ads to boost the awareness of your brand and supercharge your sales.

Paid ads can bring high conversion rates (when optimised correctly) and great returns. You can also choose a range of paid placements including search, display ads and social media ads to ensure that you are using the right approach to showcase your brand.

8. Product reviews and feedback

Feedback and reviews can be highly valuable in determining the future of your business. If you find you are receiving lots of unhappy feedback, you should use this as an opportunity to review your business model and offering.

Equally, if you aren’t receiving any reviews, maybe your customers either feel indifferent or are happy but don’t think to leave good feedback – after all, anger is a stronger emotion than happiness, so people are more likely to let you know when they’re pissed off compared to when they’re pleased.

Send emails, link them to your social media pages and set up Google My Business and make sure these are all visible to your customers and even ask them directly to leave a review. You could even offer them a discount on the next purchase to sweeten the deal.

9. Cut down cart abandonment

One of the most disheartening and key barriers to purchase is cart abandonment. Luckily for you, there are a number of ways to follow your nearly-customer around to remind them that nothing lasts forever and their chosen items are going, going, gone!

Emails are one of the best ways to entice visitors to return to their carts and finish their checkout. You can use carefully crafted language to encourage to infer that your products aren’t gonna be around forever. You could give them a discount code which will remove the cost of postage or knock 10% off the items they want. You could send meaningful or valuable content which emphasises the specific benefits of those products.

Alternatively, you can look at implementing a retargeting and programmatic strategy which will work in tangent with display ads to follow your would-be customers around and remind them of what they left behind at every online turn.

10. Don’t be afraid of email

Email is still a highly effective route to converting customers, even though many companies are using it less because of GDPR. However, when you understand the limitations and how to properly manage your email user base, you’ll have nothing to worry about.

Now, customers are more cautious than ever to give away their email address, so, usually, when a customer does sign up to a newsletter or opt into marketing emails, it means they have a vested interest in the brand.

To capture more email addresses, you should use your quality content to draw people in and then create even more! But this time, gate the new stuff, just offering your readers a little taster or the data, knowledge or expertise you’ve hidden away from them. 

You can then ask users to submit their email address in exchange for accessing this information. Alternatively, you can promise not to spam them and instead mention all the discounts and offers that only your email sub get. 

Also published on Medium.


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