As someone who runs an e-commerce business, it is understandable that you want to boost your traffic and conversions. But how do you decide on which marketing tactics you should try?
In this post, we have put together an overview of the best e-commerce strategies that will help you gain more repeat purchases.
What is e-commerce marketing?
Before we proceed, let’s define e-commerce marketing first.
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In a nutshell, it is the practice of utilizing different promotional tactics to drive more traffic to your online store and eventually converting that traffic into paying customers and retaining them post-purchase.
An excellent marketing strategy helps boost brand awareness, improve customer loyalty, and eventually increase your online sales. You can also promote your online store using e-commerce marketing to drive more sales on specific products.
It is also important to keep in mind that your online store requires a completely different approach in marketing because of the nature of your business. That’s because it utilizes a variety of channels to communicate your message to customers.
E-commerce Marketing 101
Now that you know what e-commerce marketing is, it is time to implement it in your online store. To help promote your online store, you need to focus on the following areas:
- Search engine marketing: This includes your PPC campaigns.
- Email marketing: Crafting email campaigns to upsell, cross-sell, and to decrease abandonment of shopping carts.
- Social media marketing: Promoting and selling on different social media platforms.
- Digital content marketing: Crafting unique, original content and publishing it in various external sites as a guest writer.
Your marketing strategy will also largely depend on the type of e-commerce store platform that you are using. Some of the popular e-commerce platforms are Shopify, WooCommerce, and Magento.
Since every e-commerce store is different and unique, there is no one-size-fits-all guide for planning your e-commerce marketing strategy.
However, there are universal tactics that fit most e-commerce businesses and industries:
1. Evaluate Your Value Proposition
You should clearly explain the value of your product and service to prospects. If not, you are not giving them enough reason why they should pick you over your competitors.
To improve your online sales, take a good look at your products and services, and ask yourself the following questions:
- Are your products/services relevant to your customers’ problems?
- Will it give quantifiable benefits for those who use it?
- Does it go above and beyond in solving the problem to meet your customers’ needs?
- How do you stand your business, products, and services apart from the competition?
- Will it fill in the gap that nobody else can, or can you fill the gap more effectively?
Answering these will provide you with a clearer view of your value proposition (or the reason why customers need to choose your product or service. If you think that your sales are stagnating, it might be because you are not communicating your value proposition clearly across platforms.
However, once you make the necessary changes in your site, and your sales and ad collaterals will directly point to how your customers could directly benefit, you will surely improve your online sales in no time.
2. Upsell Your Products
For most businesses, upselling is more effective than taking steps to acquire a new prospect or customer.
Let’s say; a customer does not know yet that there is an available premium product, or that they might need more knowledge to understand how an upgrade would fit their needs better.
There are two main categories that you should take note of if you want to use upselling to increase sales:
- Ensure that the upsell is related to the original product
- Be sensitive to the anticipated price range of your customers.
Ideally, your product has to fit the customer’s main needs. Most of them are also not enthusiastic at a higher price point if they already have an anchor price in mind.
Your anchor price will be the first number that your customer sees, and it is a number that they will compare with higher price points. The new product should also be a better fit than the original and is worth it.
3. Showcase New or Relevant Items
Shoppers are also drawn to whatever is new or fresh. Well, something is appealing about products that are brand new or in season.
You can use this to your advantage by highlighting seasonal or new products in your online store. On your website, you can position it to be the first thing that your audience will see when landing on your site, and place a CTA along with it for users to click to.
It is an excellent way to pique a user’s interest and bring the shopper’s attention to certain products.
4. Enable Easy Checkout
Checkouts can make or break your e-commerce store, so you have to be careful in designing your checkout flow as well.
Checkout processes could easily get complicated and might involve numerous steps like shipping and delivery addresses, invoice preparation, newsletter info, incentive deductions, bank and credit card info, and a lot of different other things.
Generally, your goal is to create the simplest checkout process for your customers. When you offer a one-step, guest checkout, eliminating the need of having to create an account will make it easier for the customer to purchase your products successfully.
On the other hand, if you have a multi-step checkout process, showing your customer’s progress will better inform them of how many more steps they have to accomplish to complete the whole process.
5. Provide Free or Discounted Shipping
The checkout is just the first step of e-commerce fulfillment. However, there are still cases wherein customers would decide not to push through with the process.
One of the common reasons is the unexpected cost. It is the main reason why 63 percent of online shoppers abandon their carts in 2018.
By offering your customers discounted or free shipping, you can effectively boost your conversions and e-commerce sales. If you are using the right promotion, such as free shipping, once your customers reach a certain threshold, then you can really increase your sales.
To make sure that there are no misunderstandings as well, you can create a page where your customers can find answers instantly, whatever shipping-related questions they might have.
That will make them more comfortable in completing a purchase, and you would also likely end up with fewer complaints.
6. Offer Irresistible Discounts
Who does not love a good discount, right?
Bargains and discounts are a huge motivating factor for a lot of shoppers, providing them a powerful reason to purchase from you.
Business psychologist Dr. Dimitri Tsivrikos examined the brain scans of consumers that are thrilled with bargains and says that dopamine rushes to the brain if people feel an increased sense of control over a bargain.
Simply put, offering discounts in your e-commerce store is an excellent way to entice more shoppers, especially new ones.
It will only be a matter of time when people will respond to these discounts, especially if you place it in a conspicuous location ‒ somewhere site visitors will immediately see once they land on your site.
Similarly, you can also use a simple pop-up that would alert your prospects of a discount. No matter what approach you use, it is a great way to increase your e-commerce sales and your customers happy at the same time.
7. Focus on Creative Content to Drive Sales
A highly targeted content that has a deep understanding of your target market creates judgment and feelings towards your business. Over time, this helps create a mutually beneficial relationship between your target customers and the company.
So, place yourself in your customers’ shoes and dig deep on why they visit your website in the first place. Know and understand the keywords that drive people to your site. That is where market research and target audience analysis come in.
That said, you need to focus on creating high-quality content that drives your audience to where they needed to be ‒ on your website. You can also study similar brands that you admire to inspire you and to get your creative juices flowing.
8. Enable Guest Checkout Function
These days, most e-commerce sites require users to sign up first. But in some cases, this could do your business more harm than good.
Prospective buyers might avoid making an account unless they have to. So enabling your guest checkout function can also do wonders for your e-commerce site.
Adding a guest checkout option will allow customers to complete their online purchases with ease, which increases the likelihood of making more sales.
9. User-Generated Content is Gold
Most people trust reviews and feedback from previous customers and their experiences.
For most e-commerce stores, user-generated content like ratings, product reviews, and comments can generate trust and improve your sales.
So make sure you incorporate the right tools for reviews, ratings, and comments on your e-commerce site along with a valid authentication system. Referral and word-of-mouth marketing could take your business to the next level.
Automated emails to gather feedback once a product is delivered to the customer is also an important part of your communications strategy.
10. Improve Your Email Marketing
For you to get started in email marketing, actively promote your blog, newsletter, and other email capture efforts to gain as many subscribers as possible.
You also need to improve your email campaigns. Send out emails that your subscribers will actually appreciate:
- As soon as a customer makes a purchase, send out a welcome email.
- Provide free gifts and exclusive promo codes
- Share relevant content to help customers make the most out of their recently bought items.
- Send regular newsletters to alert subscribers of product tips, discount offers, and company news if applicable.
- Take time to thank your high-value customers. You can send them a personal note expressing your appreciation.
- Gather feedback. If someone visits your site and does not make a purchase, ask them about their experience and how you can improve it.
11. Make it Mobile-Friendly
Ensure that you pick a mobile-friendly theme for your online store.
As more and more people use smartphones and other mobile devices when shopping online, it is vital that your theme is responsive and will work well with different mobile devices.
12. Leverage Social Media
More and more people are now using social media platforms to discover new products and get honest feedback. That’s why it is an ideal platform that you can use to reach out to your target market.
Take note, however, that different social media platforms offer various opportunities and would require specific marketing strategies to help get your message across and generate more traffic to your store.
For instance, Facebook is a great platform to tell stories and craft engaging and fun content that is getting shared by your fans and followers.
For brands with more visual and premium products, Instagram and Pinterest provide better platforms to showcase these stunning imagery. If you want to teach customers how to use a product or make your product videos go viral, then YouTube is a great platform that you can tap to.
Learning how these different platforms work, as well as how their paid marketing campaigns will help you make the most of social media.
13. Optimize for Search Engines
SEO is a crucial pillar in your e-commerce marketing strategy. The organic traffic that comes from search engines will help you generate the highest ROI possible.
Take note that search engine optimization is all about:
- On-site optimization: Optimizing your site’s content, metadata, and alt-tags that are based on keyword research.
- Off-page optimization: This is all about building website backlinks using content and social media posts. Guest blogs, blogs, and how-to infographics are the best kinds of content that will drive backlinks and traffic to your site.
There you have it. We have talked about several e-commerce marketing strategies that will help turn your online venture into a success.
Choosing the appropriate implementations and strategies will largely depend on the target audience of your e-commerce business.
Focusing on the strategies we have mentioned will help you overcome whatever obstacles that might come your way and increase your e-commerce sales.