Six eCommerce marketing tactics to drive sales
In a saturated market, how do you make your product, your store, your brand stand out online? Discover eCommerce marketing strategies that can help you to be seen in a crowd –ultimately boosting your sales
Do you have an online storefront? Want to build traction on your website and increase conversions – i.e., sell more? Then it's time to look at your marketing strategy, identify what's working and what's not, and decide which marketing tactics and eCommerce tools you should try. The following tactics can take your business game plan to the next level.
What is eCommerce marketing?
ECommerce marketing is the use of promotional tactics to drive traffic to your online storefront, converting traffic into purchases and, ultimately, retaining those customers long-term. It harnesses marketing opportunities on your site and beyond. A sound strategy helps you to build brand awareness, drive customer loyalty, and increase online sales.
1. Content Marketing
All marketing requires content – be that blog, infographic, video, podcast, image, or other. Online, quality content can improve your website's ranking in search engines, drum up interest in your industry and your product, and broaden your reach. Efficient, right?
To be effective, it's worth developing a content marketing program that covers your various channels – your website, social media platforms, media coverage, paid advertising… the list goes on. Content should include areas of interest for existing and potential customers and provide useful takeaways that engage them.
Optimize your copy: copy should promote your business and add value to your customers – by providing accurate and valuable information that shows you are a thought leader in your area. Consider SEO (search engine optimization) keywords to ensure that you're turning up in the right searches.
Don't just blog, guest blog: if you have a blog on your website, it’s likely you have the resources to guest blog! Blogging on other websites builds awareness, broadens your reach, and generates backlinks, which the SEO-gods happen to love!
2. Search engine marketing
Search engine marketing (SEM) is an effective growth strategy that utilizes paid advertising to ensure that your business' products appear in search engine results pages (SERPs), supported by SEO. SEO directs organic (unpaid) traffic to your website by ensuring your business' site ranks well in SERPS (i.e., Google).
To be heard amidst the noise, you need to make your online presence count! SEM involves pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, display campaigns, and product-specific ad campaigns, which all put you in top spots on SERPs. Your SEM campaign should be planned as part of the broader marketing strategy and rooted in well-researched goals.
SEM tools: the internet is awash with useful tools and resources designed to help businesses take full advantage of SEM. Check out HubSpot's comprehensive list of SEM tools.
Don't just focus on traffic, focus on conversions: the return on investment on SEM isn't based on traffic generated but on how many visitors you can convert – and what each conversion is worth to you. Tracking and analyzing this data is vital to improving your campaigns and your outcomes.
3. Email marketing
Email marketing is a staple in digital marketing – it continues to hold value. A study by Campaign Monitor asked small business owners where they see the most potential when gaining new clients and building brand awareness. While social media came first, email marketing was a close second.
Email marketing has been around a while, and new tactics and trends are always emerging. For example, machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) are changing the game. ML helps simplify analytics models by supporting a deeper understanding of subscriber behavior – making it easier to process data and make informed decisions that optimize campaigns and drive sales.
AI is similar in its handling of data; however, rather than focusing on optimization, it creates next-level email personalization. Together, ML and AI can help drive an unstoppable email marketing campaign that delivers the right message, to the right subscribers, at the right time!
In terms of content, the first rule is quality over quantity – a viewpoint for all facets of your marketing strategy. Increasingly, brands are opting for interactive content in their email marketing to provide a more engaging experience.
Personalization is key: Campaign Monitor says that personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened, and 74% of marketers say personalization – targeted messaging – in emails increases overall customer engagement.
Generating loyalty: loyalty programs are gaining momentum, helping businesses acquire new customers and retain existing ones. PLUS, loyalty programs enable you to capture customer data – information you can use to understand your audience better, tailor your offers, and personalize future marketing campaigns.
4. Social media
You probably already have a business social media profile – across multiple platforms. Social media puts your business in front of your audience. Connect and build relationships with your customers by bringing your unique brand personality to the fore. Aim to post relevant and engaging content that resonates with your audience.
Get the visuals right: eCommerce websites are highly visual. Use high quality visual media to showcase your product at its best! Success on social media depends on the imagery that you use to catch attention and drive traffic to your site.
Choose your platform wisely: examine the channels that your audience will use, how they use them, and how a platform works to promote your business. For example, Instagram is the dream platform for visual representations and a perfect platform for eCommerce marketing, especially in retail.
Shoppable content: is content (videos, articles, images) that gives customers a simple, direct purchasing opportunity. Users find what they want on their feed and are taken to the product page or directly to the shopping cart – eliminating most obstacles in the buying process.
5. Reducing 'abandoned shopping cart'
A potential customer peruses your shop's website, casually filling their virtual cart, only to abandon it moments later. Every time a visitor abandons their shopping cart, you're losing money and, according to research by Baymard Institute, a staggering 69.23% of shopping carts are abandoned.
Understanding why customers abandon carts is essential to reducing it. Consider identifying obstacles in your purchase process – such as unexpected shipping costs, cumbersome sign-up steps, or glitches in your site's security.
For customers who abandon your site, consider an email recovery campaign that encourages visitors to return and complete their original purchase.
Sharpen the buying experience: Test your site's navigation – is it user-friendly and does it accommodate an online shopper's needs? In the age of convenience and 'on-demand', most visitors don't want to figure out where to find what they're looking for – you need to make it work for them.
Prioritize engagement: Big Commerce suggests that when it comes to recovery strategies, keeping a longer-term connection is very valuable. At the end of your 'abandoned cart email sequence', offer your prospect to sign-up to your mailing list instead.
6. The post-purchase follow-up
Question: Who is a business' most valuable customer?
Answer: The repeat customer.
When developing your marketing strategy, the overarching goal should be more than acquiring customers. It should be to retain them. Let your customers know that you value them and are interested in their success with a post-purchase email. Thoughtful considerations like these can make a big difference.
A tailored and engaging message encourages customers to return, keeps the conversation going, and gauges interest in future purchases. There are several approaches you can take – from requesting feedback on the purchase experience or the product to notifying customers about deals.
Segment your customer list: when it comes to customer interests, it's not one size fits all! To effectively tailor your post-purchase emails, it's crucial to segment your email list. The following is the recommended recipe (according to Campaign Monitor):
Received an email
Opened an email or series of emails
Opened and clicked an email or series of emails
Converted from one of your emails.
Armed with these eCommerce marketing tactics, your unique business qualities will stand out in the crowd, helping to nurture long-term customer engagement – and ultimately drive sales.