As an entrepreneur, building an ecommerce store is an exciting process — especially after investing time and effort into making your website modern, feature filled, and customer ready. But once you open the digital doors to your online shop, how do you go about generating qualified customer traffic? Enter: ecommerce marketing.
Just like digital marketing, ecommerce website marketing allows you to use multiple digital channels to promote your products and grow your business online. From social media and digital content production to search engine optimization and email campaigns, marketing for your ecommerce store is a crucial aspect to growing web traffic and driving conversions.
If this is your first time coming up with an ecommerce marketing strategy, this guide is here to help you get started. Below, we will break down the ins and outs of ecommerce website marketing. Keep reading for 14 of the best ecommerce marketing tips to help you boost online webstore sales fast — and grow your returning customer base.
What is Ecommerce Marketing?
Ecommerce marketing is the process of using promotional tactics—such as an Instagram post or a display ad on Google—to drive traffic and sales for your online store.
It all starts with generating brand awareness, which can increase website traffic. With the right strategy, you can convert that traffic into paying — and hopefully returning — customers.
No matter which type of ecommerce business you have, ecommerce marketing is a powerful and necessary tool for any online store owner. Let’s dive into some of the best strategies for generating awareness and revenue for your brand.
14 of the Best Ecommerce Marketing Strategies to Boost Sales
To help you establish an ecommerce marketing plan, we have outlined 14 of the best ecommerce marketing strategies that will help you boost traffic, increase sales, and kick-start your online business.
1. Incorporate Pay-Per-Click Advertising
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is a key ecommerce marketing tactic that allows you to place ads on major advertising platforms. As the name indicates, you pay the platform each time an ad is clicked.
Google Ads is one of the most popular online advertising platforms, as it allows you to create PPC display ads that target users based on their web searches.
A few common PPC advertisements on Google include:
- Paid search ads
- Display ads
- Google Shopping ads
Google Ads utilizes a real-time bidding (RTB) process to sell advertising real estate on the search engine results page (SERP) through private, automated auctions.
2. Optimize for Search Engines
Search engine optimization (SEO) is another crucial element to running your ecommerce business that you can incorporate even before your site launches. At its core, SEO is the process of ensuring your site ranks highly in the SERP when a user searches for a keyword or phrase that relates to your products.
While there are many SEO strategies you can utilize, foundational SEO elements like well-optimized title tags, meta descriptions, and image alt text are key tools to help your pages rank.
It’s important to remember that SEO is long-term ecommerce marketing strategy, but it can pay off if done right. To start, you will need to learn the best practices and rules for the search engine you’re optimizing for (Google, YouTube, Amazon, etc.). From there, it’s all about creating and optimizing the content on your site.
3. Design for Mobile Devices
While creating a desktop- and SEO-optimized ecommerce store with unique design is important for attracting customers, optimizing your store for mobile devices is even more important.
In 2021,53.9 percent of all retail ecommerce is expected to be generated from mobile devices, which means your website needs to function properly on smartphones and tablets of all shapes and sizes.
To ensure your ecommerce store is mobile-friendly, make sure it features a responsive design that adapts to the device it is being displayed on. Additionally, it is important to make important information easier to find on mobile, such as an “Add to Cart” button or your contact information.
4. Create Engaging Content
Content marketing is important to incorporate into an ecommerce marketing plan.
Content marketing involves creating multiple types of organic content to improve your website’s SERP ranking while answering the questions your customers are asking online. Three ways to create content that will help your ecommerce store rank higher and drive traffic include:
- Product Page Copy: Outside of your title tags, meta descriptions, and image alt text, your product pages should feature written copy that incorporates product-driven keywords. This increases the chances of your product pages showing up in the SERP for related search queries.
- Blogs and Long-Form Guides: Writing blog posts and long-form guides that are related to your products can help you connect with new customers and rank higher in the SERP. When outlining a blog or guide, it’s important to focus on creating captivating, engaging, and keyword-rich content that helps to answer your customers’ questions or concerns while showcasing how your product is the solution.
- Guest Posts: Creating guest posts for external websites is a great ecommerce content marketing tactic that allows you to get your website or products in front of new audiences. This strategy can help you increase your domain authority and traffic through backlinks from websites that already rank highly for your targeted keywords.
- Videos: Producing product-related videos for search engines like YouTube can also help you get your website or products in front of your targeted audience. Using high-volume keywords that relate to your products, you can develop topics for visual content that will be engaging and helpful to your customers.
5. Establish Social Media Profiles
Launching business pages on social media can help you grow your ecommerce store and connect with new audiences. Because ecommerce websites are highly visual, platforms like Instagram and Pinterest are great for showcasing your products and expanding your reach.
Many social media platforms also allow you to create shoppable content, such as shoppable display ads in a social feed or tags that take users directly to your ecommerce store’s product pages.
Social media networks you should consider for your ecommerce marketing plan include:
Don’t spread yourself too thin. Be sure to focus your time and energy on platforms that are best for your business’s needs and that generate the most ROI for your store.
6. Reach Out to Influencers
Influencer marketing is a simple way to boost traffic and sales for your ecommerce store, and it can easily tie into your social media marketing plan. Influencers are celebrities or members of a community that have large followings on social media platforms like YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, or Twitch.
Because they have already built trust with their followers, an organic product recommendation or a sponsored post about your brand will feel less intrusive than a standard ad in a social feed. Just be sure to find a credible influencer that fits into your product niche well, as that’s where your potential customers will be.
7. Take Advantage of User-Generated Content
Another ecommerce marketing tactic that could fall into your overall social media marketing strategy is user-generated content (UGC). Unlike influencer marketing, UGC is a free way to get your customers to market your product or ecommerce store for you. You can take advantage of UGC in multiple ways, including:
Promoting social media hashtags that users can add to their photos or videos of your products.
Creating online competitions where users are entered to win a prize when they display your product to their followers.
Incentivizing customers to leave a review or testimonial about your products or their shopping experience on your website.
8. Partner with Affiliate Marketers
Affiliate marketers are people or businesses who help sell your products on their websites for a commission. These marketers utilize affiliate links to track which customers go from their site to yours and you only have to pay a commission when a product sells on your website.
To generate interest around your business, affiliate marketers might use digital marketing tactics like paid advertisements and content creation that drives traffic to a page that features your products. Additionally, merchants can set their own commission rates for affiliate marketers, which means you can closely control your return on investment.
9. Reward Loyal Customers
Customer loyalty is a major aspect of your ecommerce store’s success. To help you capitalize on repeat traffic and sales, establish a customer loyalty program that rewards your long-term customers.
Whether you provide exclusive offers, discounts, or access to limited product runs, your customer loyalty program will not only help with customer retention, but also provide more opportunities for organic referrals through UGC.
When establishing a customer loyalty program, be sure to think through all the ways you can incentivize your customers, including through a point system, special discount codes, or share-worthy perks.
10. Build an Email Subscriber List
Although email marketing might not be as glamorous as social media marketing, it is one of the most effective ways to drive traffic, make sales, and generate loyal customers.
As internet users are bombarded with social media posts daily, email provides a more intimate avenue to reach your targeted audience — not to mention it gives you more space to deliver a message than short-form social media posts on platforms like Twitter or Instagram.
Ecommerce email marketing starts with gaining new email subscribers. Grow your list by promoting your blog or newsletter, or through other email capture techniques like lightbox popups on your website.
Remember, it’s important to be strategic about how you add website visitors to your mailing list and when you send them emails. You want to maintain the trust of your customers without coming across as “spammy.”
11. Follow Up After a Purchase
After a customer has purchased a product, you can send a follow-up email or message that keeps the conversation going. Not only does that help keep your brand top of mind, but it gives your customer the chance to provide feedback on their purchase experience.
Getting customer feedback can help you make changes to your ecommerce store that will streamline the shopping experience for future customers. Plus, it lets the customer know that you care about them, and that you are willing to help should they feel dissatisfied.
12. Ask About Abandoned Shopping Carts
When a user abandons their shopping cart, reaching out with an email can make the difference between a conversion and lost revenue. According to the Baynard Institute, the average documented online shopping cart abandonment rate is 69.80%.
In this follow-up email, you can remind them that they have left items in their shopping cart, or that you are there to help them through the checkout process should they require it. Much like following up with a customer after a purchase, this process shows that you care about making the shopping experience as seamless as possible.
13. Consider Local Shoppers
Local marketing allows you to focus on areas where most of your customers or prospects are located. This ecommerce marketing tactic is especially important if you have a brick-and-mortar store, as you want to ensure you retain your local, in-person customers while promoting your business online.
Local marketing consists of strategies like:
- Optimizing the content on your site for localized keywords.
- Offering free shipping for customers who live near your storefront, warehouse, or shipping facility.
- Creating location-based landing pages that discuss your product offerings in areas you regularly serve.
- Taking out ads in local publications or radio stations to generate awareness for your site.
- Opening a temporary “pop-up” shop that you promote to customers who live near your main operation.
14. Personalize Your Ecommerce Marketing Strategies
Personalizing your marketing strategies according to your customers’ past actions, preferences, or email data is a great way to drive ecommerce sales. This could be as simple as addressing a customer by their name in the subject line of an email, or by showing them smart content that’s based on an ad they have previously interacted with.
Personalization can even be based on where your customers are located. For example, if you sell clothing in your ecommerce store, it’s important to factor in seasonality and weather when presenting certain clothing items to customers in different states.
Grow Your Business with Smart Ecommerce Marketing Strategies
Whether you’re trying to attract your first customer or making your 1,000th sale, ecommerce marketing is one of the most important aspects to driving online sales, traffic, and returning customers. Fortunately, there are multiple strategies and tactics you can incorporate in an ecommerce marketing plan—and many are easy and affordable to get started with.
If you’re thinking about setting up a new ecommerce store but you’re unsure where to begin, StoreBuilder by Nexcess is here to help.
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