There's a lot of competition for ecommerce business, and rightfully so. Ecommerce sales were $4.28 trillion in 2020 and are expected to continue growing.
Businesses vying for those dollars have to develop an ecommerce marketing strategy that gets their business seen and generates interest for their products.
Types of Marketing for Ecommerce Businesses
There are a lot of marketing strategies — creativity is the only limit. The various strategies fall into overarching categories by type. Here are four types of marketing strategies to consider:
- Cause Marketing — Links a company and its products to a social cause or issue.
- Relationship Marketing — Focuses on fostering better relationships with your customers and increasing their brand loyalty.
- Scarcity Marketing — Makes customers think there is a product shortage or limited amount available, encouraging them to purchase now for fear of missing out.
- Undercover Marketing — Marketing activities that consumers don't realize are marketing. Product placement in a popular television show is an example of undercover marketing.
You can use any or all of these approaches for ecommerce marketing.
Key Marketing Strategies Every Ecommerce Business Should Use
Businesses use a ton of different ecommerce strategies. There is something for every business and every situation. And there likely are strategies that even the most creative marketers haven't come up with yet. Here are some marketing strategies that every ecommerce business should use:
The majority of your website traffic likely comes from online searches. Optimizing your ecommerce site and all of its pages for SEO means more people will continue to become aware of your business and your products will be more visible on Google.
People want to buy products they know will work well for them. Recommendations from a trusted friend are the best form of advertising, for sure. But did you know that 84% of people trust online reviews as much as they trust friends' recommendations? Encourage site visitors to buy your products by including reviews on your eCommerce site.
There's a reason the majority of companies today use content marketing. It works. About 90% of customers see the benefit of ecommerce content marketing in making them aware of products. Awareness leads to purchase consideration.
Blogs are considered the most effective way to turn casual readers into customers. You can extend your reach beyond your own site by publishing guest posts on other blogs. This drives traffic back to your site and exposes you to new audiences.
Social Media Marketing
There are about 3.8 billion people on social media. You don't want to miss direct communication with those of them who are in your target market.
Reach out to influencers who you know your target market follows and ask them to promote your brand. Product reviews work. Influencer endorsements work even better.
More than 4.1 million people in the world use email, with more than 90% of people in the United States using email at least daily. Your target audience is already using email, so why shouldn’t they connect with your brand? Email has a 1.22% conversion rate, making it the best way to turn prospects into loyal customers.
Target specific keywords with Google AdWords, to help ensure your products show up in relevant searches.
Facebook and Instagram ads allow you to target users based on categories like age, interest, and location to help them find your products. Promoted Pinterest pins allow you to place ads that pop up in users' feeds or appear in relevant searches.
Every ecommerce business should use these marketing strategies. Many of them are so common that potential customers notice if you aren't doing them (for example, social media and email marketing). Others are affordable, simple ways to create awareness for your brand.
Tips to Create a Stellar Ecommerce Marketing Strategy
You probably know how to create a marketing plan. You may even have created marketing plans in the past. That experience helps in creating an ecommerce marketing strategy. Ecommerce marketing is much like traditional marketing, but there are some key differences.
Those differences are mostly due to the change in medium and how people behave differently online. Here are some tips to consider when creating your ecommerce strategy.
There's no reason to reinvent the wheel. Seek out people you're connected to in your industry who implemented ecommerce marketing plans. Ask for their advice. What do they wish they had known beforehand? What are they glad they did? What do they wish they had done differently?
Time you spend on one thing within your business is time taken away from something else. Consider whether it's worth your time to learn all about ecommerce marketing plans or if it may be better to hire a freelance expert or agency.
You won't be able to accomplish everything with your first ecommerce campaign. Don't expect everything all at once. Start small and make measurable changes. Let campaigns build on themselves over time.
9 Steps for Building an Effective Ecommerce Marketing Strategy
Understanding everything you need to know about your ecommerce marketing strategy includes building an effective strategy. Follow these nine steps to build an effective ecommerce marketing strategy:
What do you want to accomplish with your ecommerce marketing plan? Establish a few realistic goals for a certain timeframe (i.e., six months or a year).
2. Develop Buyer Personas
Take the data you gathered on your target market and create a fact-based story about your perfect customer. You'll use this customer profile as the foundation for all of your marketing decisions. This is the person you're marketing to.
3. Identify Your Unique Value Proposition
What is it that makes your product different or better than the competition? Why does your buyer persona want your product instead of a different one in the same category? Focus your marketing communication on this value proposition.
4. Create Strong Product Descriptions
Write detailed product descriptions for your site that sell the features and benefits of each product and why the reader should purchase it instead of another option.
5. Create Offers
Offer first-time customers free shipping and/or a discount, especially if they sign up for your email list. These types of promotions will encourage the initial sale.
6. Simplify Checkout
Make the checkout process as fast as possible for customers. The less information they have to enter, the more likely they are to complete the process. Think three to five steps at most. Consider showing them a progress bar or steps to completing checkout so they know when they're almost done.
7. Make Recommendations
Recommend other products that the customer might like in a buyer's guide. Or, try recommending products that work well with those they plan to purchase.
8. Optimize the Site
Make sure your site loads quickly and is accessible from any device (smartphone, tablet, desktop computer, etc.). You want visitors to have a good experience, regardless of screen size.
9. Establish Trust
Establish trust with shoppers through site security measures, offering free returns, and avoiding extra fees (shipping, tax, handling fees, etc.) that they weren't expecting.
How Nexcess Can Help with Your Ecommerce Marketing Strategy
That's everything you need to know about making an ecommerce marketing strategy. Now that you have the basics of a marketing plan down, ensure that your ecommerce site is in the right hands.
You could fret about setting up a site that would support your marketing goals, or you can add Nexcess to your team. More specifically, StoreBuilder by Nexcess could be the right choice for you to get your ecommerce site up and running quickly.
StoreBuilder is an intelligent website assistant that helps you start and launch a WooCommerce store faster than any other solution in the market. Getting started is simple. Nexcess's easy tool helps you build an ecommerce site in four steps.
You just answer a few questions about your products, industry, assets, and whether you’ve already started an online business. StoreBuilder then uses industry insights to build a customized ecommerce site in minutes. You don't need templates, coding experience, or any technical web knowledge.
Contact us to learn more about how Nexcess's StoreBuilder can help support your ecommerce marketing strategies.