When you think of an eCommerce marketing strategy, you probably think of online ads. Banner ads, one line text links and large graphic ads on websites and in emails and newsletters are one way to advertise. However, they can be expensive. If you use ads, keep in mind that graphics should be eye-catching, so they’ll grab people’s attention.
Keep in mind that because someone notices the person in your graphic ad doing back flips, it doesn’t mean they’re going to click on your ad. Why? Because many people find them annoying, especially moving, flashy ones. It’s why some people run software that automatically blocks these ads so that they don’t have to see them. If this happens, how will you reach potential customers?
Even those who see your ad, what percentage of them is likely interested in whatever you’re selling? For instance, a billboard on a highway will have many people passing by. However, not many of them are going to look for what’s in the advertisement.
If you think that your eCommerce marketing strategy depends on these types of ads, think again. You need a reasonable budget to run them, especially when it comes to bidding on specific keywords.
Instead of using gimmicky strategies, use robust eCommerce marketing strategies that can improve your ROI, sales, and engagement. Keep reading to learn more.
eCommerce Marketing Strategy Techniques
There are laser-focused techniques you can implement in your eCommerce marketing strategy; they’ll alleviate the guesswork from your plan. Below are the top strategies you can use in your small business today.
Make Your Brand Human
The top eCommerce marketing strategy is to humanize your brand so that you build trust, which means that cstomers should see the faces of your brand. Show your CEO, customer service team, parts department, designers, customers, etc. You may also ask buyers to send in video testimonials so that you can share them on your website and social media networks. The images of loyal customers may attract more buyers to your brand.
You’ll also want to keep the lines of communication open with your customers. Respond to emails, messages, comments, and reviews, even the negative ones. Your customer service team can write longer responses which will show your customers that people who work for your brand care about them.
Sadly, the customer experience is sometimes overlooked. However, from an eCommerce marketing strategy viewpoint, it’s one of the best. Make sure your customers know that you want them to have the best experience possible. It’s that simple.
Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization is an important part of your eCommerce strategy. Why? Because it will help you to create content and web pages, the search engines will notice.
Focus each page on specific keywords that pertain to your business. When someone’s searching on a particular word or phrase, your company will rank high in the search engine results. At least that’s in theory. The reality is that it’s not that simple. Optimizing the content you already have will help, but the key to this type of eCommerce marketing strategy is to show new content regularly. This shows search engines that your website is active and routinely updated with keyword rich content.
Search engines are more concerned with a website that’s current and find it far more valuable when compared to another site with similar content that’s not updated as often. An essential part of your eCommerce strategy should include new content that’s optimized for search.
It’s a good idea to write four-to five-hundred words on each keyword, at least to start with. And you must ensure that your content isn’t just attractive to search engines, but important to people, too. After all, search engines don’t buy from you, people do.
Write Helpful and Memorable Product Copy
One of my responsibilities at Improvements, a Qurate Retail Group (QVC, HSN, Zulily, and Cornerstone Brands), was to write snappy catalog and web product copy (search engine optimized). And if you sell home goods, clothing, or accessories, make sure you provide a size guide because it can help reduce customers complaints and returns.
Part of your eCommerce marketing strategy should consist of reviews and testimonials, which you can use in your copy. For instance, if your brand mails a catalog, you can include short testimonials on popular products.
Another tip is to include an FAQ (frequently asked questions) page on your website. Not only can you include optimized, detailed descriptions, but the copy will provide customers with the answers they’re looking for. Search engine optimized content can help your brand or company move up in search rankings, which can increase your visibility and sales.
In your product copy, include the color, size, fit, material, cleaning instructions, the height of a model, etc. Be as detailed as possible. You’ll also want to add your keywords so that search engines and your customers can easily find your brand and products. All of these can help your customers decide whether or not to buy from you.
Use Email Marketing
Did you know that email marketing can give you an ROI that’s four times higher than other channels? Yep! Social media, direct mail, and even paid search can’t beat it.
To build and grow your email list, use social media campaigns and of course, your website. Include a signup box above the fold (top area) on your site. Of course, what you give potential customers in exchange for their email addresses is up to you. Ideas include:
- Case study
- White paper
- Guided meditation
- Video series
- 2-3 chapters from your book
An email marketing strategy can consist of automation (welcome, thank you, order, and cart abandonment) and stand-alone emails. Asking for reviews or feedback is an eCommerce marketing strategy you can use in your automation. Simply ask customers to give you their opinion after they’ve received your product. If you’ve bought from an Amazon seller, you’ve probably received an email asking you to rate the product or leave a comment. Remember, customers use ratings and reviews when making a buying decision. You can use them to help grow and improve your brand.
Search engine optimized emails for mobile devices, so they’re easy to interact with on tablets and smartphones. If your customers can’t view your emails on their devices, they may unsubscribe. APIs (application programming interface) like MailChimp or Active Campaign optimize your campaigns for mobile. However, make sure your copy, photos, and logos look right before you send your emails.
Advertise on Social Media
While social media is cost effective and an ideal eCommerce marketing strategy, it takes time and skill. Plus, Facebook privacy is a huge issue, which is why millions of people, mostly under 55, have left the platform. However, you can still use social media to grow your online business.
To do well on social media, you must know your target audience. But keep in mind that they have diverse interests. For instance, if you’re selling a weight loss product for women, you may discover they also like to run with their dogs to stay in shape. Furthermore, they may read popular pet magazines. You could create campaigns and landing pages that target women dog owners who are into fitness and weight loss and read Fido Today (fictional magazine). By doing this, you open your brand or company to more leads and sales.
Another eCommerce marketing strategy to use with social media advertising is video. Showing potential customers a short video of how your product works and how it can improve their lives, the more likely they will buy from your brand or company. Why? Because most people prefer to see a product or service in action before they make a purchasing decision.
If you aren’t familiar with social media campaigns, consider hiring someone who is. After all, you’ll want to put your best foot forward on your social networks. Keep in mind that it may be awhile before your social media eCommerce marketing strategies pay off.
Make Your Website Mobile Ready
We live in a mobile world, and your website may or may not require a complete overhaul to ensure that it’s mobile ready. However, the investment may be worth it in the long run. Plus, you may want to test your eCommerce site for ADA (American Disabilities Act) compliance. What this is means is that visitors who are hearing or visually impaired can also browse your website.
A web developer can build your website so that certain elements only appear on mobile or desktop. Components can also appear differently on different devices as well. As part of your eCommerce marketing strategy, sit down with your web development team and discuss how you can make your website better. It may only require a tweak here and there but will make a world of difference to your customers and bottom line.
A mobile ready website can give your customers a great experience and can lead to improved sales, better customer relationships, more engagement, positive public relations, and more.
Are You Ready to Improve Your Online Business Results Today?
The days when a website could list keywords or have copy stuffed with keywords to get good rankings are long gone. Today, your content must serve a purpose other than to improve your website’s ranking. Your eCommerce marketing strategy must include quality content that uses keywords naturally.
Avoid repeating a keyword many times in a row because search engines recognize this and other black hat SEO tricks. Instead, use the eCommerce marketing strategies above. After all, you want to put your best foot forward on the internet so that you attract your target audience not repel them.