eCommerce Marketing 101: 11 Strategies to Rock It in 2023!
Thanks to eCommerce marketing, millions of people worldwide can order anything from anywhere at any time.
But just like all activities that affect humans, proper planning and strategizing are key.
Plus, new eCommerce trends emerge every day.
So, businesses that play in this space need effective eCommerce marketing strategies to reach the right people.
Do you have an eCommerce store but wonder the best strategies to apply?
This article explores the best eCommerce marketing strategies to scale your eCommerce store and marketing efforts in 2022 and beyond.
What Is eCommerce Marketing?
eCommerce marketing is aimed at promoting awareness for your online store, driving traffic to your website (if you have one), and supporting the conversion of leads generated from website traffic.
It’s not enough to launch an online store.
Customers and prospects need to see the need to buy from you — and this is why eCommerce marketing is essential.
A key objective of this activity is creating an experience that drives digital engagement, guarantees customer satisfaction, and ensures customer retention.
Something to note, eCommerce marketing isn’t limited to online stores that sell digital products and services.
ECommerce can be considered subscription services, online services, and anything sold online.
Types of eCommerce Marketing
Launching your eCommerce website or online store is the first step in running a successful eCommerce business.
The next step to guarantee eCommerce sales is marketing your brand(s) to potential customers.
There are different types of eCommerce strategies you can employ. And these strategies span both digital and traditional channels.
Let's look at some of them!
1. Email Marketing
Email marketing is the art of using emails to promote your eCommerce business. It’s more than a sales tool.
Email marketing is a great way to build customer relationships through compelling and tailored messages — which is a core part of the business experience for your customers.
You can stay in touch with your leads and customers regularly with email marketing. It allows for communication with your customers.
You can make announcements, bounce off product ideas with subscribers, and ask for feedback to increase customer engagement.
You can also share discounts, coupons, special offers, and flash sales to improve sales. Or just remind them about items they have indicated an interest in purchasing.
Don’t forget to track insights analytics. These email marketing tools help you optimize your email marketing effort.
2. Pay Per Click Advertising
Pay per Click Advertising is a form of paid internet advertising where you bid for clicks generated by targeted ads placed on websites.
You can target ads through:
- Audience choice
Pay-per-click advertising should serve as one of the traffic drivers to your website.
For example, if you have any special items on sale, you could run ads about them. This leads customers to your product page to see what the products are all about.
But this is only the first part.
Your website visitors have stepped into the first stage of your sales funnel. And you need to lead them to the last stage — conversion.
3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization, or SEO marketing as it's often called, is where you optimize your website for search engines.
And the goal of SEO in eCommerce marketing is to increase visibility for your online store on search engines such as Google or Bing.
To have an eCommerce SEO-compliant website, you must ensure your website contains the right keywords.
The website also needs excellent content optimized for search engine algorithms to crawl through.
The result — potential customers find your store easily when searching for your products or services.
4. Content Marketing
Content marketing is the process of creating and distributing content that attracts, engages, and retains a defined audience. Your end goal is to drive profitable customer actions.
It’s an excellent way to connect with your audience and build a loyal following. And it increases your SEO rankings when done correctly.
Content marketing can include writing blog posts, product descriptions, and web copy.
It also could consist of any other visual or written content forms with the end goal of converting a new customer into a loyal customer.
When done right, content marketing results in brand advocacy. It also improves your product credibility.
And it gives your eCommerce brand a tangible personality people can connect with.
5. Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is all about being 'social.' It's about using social media to encourage community participation, drive traffic, and boost sales.
Social eCommerce marketing strategies allow your business to connect directly with your customers and engage with them individually or in groups on a social media platform.
You can build strong relationships with your customers through social media as you'll be meeting them in their comfort zone.
You can turn the insights you glean from these interactions into organic or paid digital marketing campaigns.
6. Influencer Marketing
The rise of influencer marketing has been unprecedented in the past couple of years.
Influencers have built a large, loyal social media following. And they can inspire them to action.
Your eCommerce business can take advantage of these connections by partnering with influencers who share the same interests as your target audience.
Another influencer marketing strategy could be to endorse influencers by signing them onto your brand.
An exclusive deal like this means the influencer constantly promotes your business to their followers and broader audience.
7. Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
Conversion rate optimization is a systematic way to improve your eCommerce business.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
CRO isn’t about design or creativity when creating sales campaigns. It's about execution.
Conversion rate optimization lowers your cost per acquisition. And increases the number of your conversions while maintaining the same (or less) amount of traffic.
You can optimize your eCommerce stores in various ways:
- Split testing your eCommerce website
- Live chats
- Exit popups
- Guarantee trust badges
- Push notifications
8. SMS Marketing
SMS marketing, or short message service marketing, allows eCommerce merchants to send promotional texts to an existing customer who has agreed to receive them.
eCommerce stores can use these messages to drive website traffic, promote products and events, and more.
Your customers need to agree for these messages to be sent to them. Otherwise, they would consider your SMS spam.
SMS can reach a more significant number of prospects because you can send it to both smartphones and feature phones.
Your SMS marketing campaign can either be transactional or promotional.
Transactional SMS thanks the customer for the purchase or offers after-sales services.
On the other hand, promotional SMS provides information about offers or value-added services your eCommerce business offers.
9. Affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing involves a performance-based partnership with entities who earn a commission when they sell any of your products.
Affiliate marketing is famous for several reasons:
- You don’t need a marketing team to get an affiliate program up and running.
- It’s a low-cost eCommerce marketing strategy.
- Low cost means low risk.
- It’s commission-based. So you only pay the affiliates from the sales they make.
One way to guarantee success is to sign up experienced affiliate marketers. Or you can sign up with an affiliate network to manage all your affiliate marketing efforts.
The affiliate network does the heavy lifting of providing you with experienced and genuine affiliate marketers. The network also supervises their activities.
Partnerships are a great way to expand the footprint of your online store or eCommerce website.
Most eCommerce stores tend to focus on an owned marketing channel.
But by partnering with stores or products that speak to the same audience, you can further your reach and increase sales.
Partnerships done right can be a solid pillar for driving growth and revenue for your business.
eCommerce Marketing Strategies
So, we’ve discussed the various types of eCommerce marketing you could use to sell your products.
Now, let's talk about eCommerce marketing strategies for marketing your product and customer retention.
1. Grow Your Email List
Growing your email list is a seamless marketing tactic to drive traffic and increases sales for your eCommerce business.
It also allows you to communicate personally with your customers. If your email list is constantly growing, your business is growing right along with it.
To increase your email list, you’ll need to:
- Set up a customer-friendly email collection marketing strategy
- Thrill your customers with creative promotional offers
This way, you can reel prospects in and convert them to paying customers.
2. Use Personalized Communication
Another great marketing strategy to reach your potential customers is to get their attention through tailored communication.
Personalizing your messages means you communicate with your audience to show familiarity.
Segmenting your audience according to traits that define them goes a long way to informing your messaging approach.
The human factor usually missing from digital communication can be restored, to an extent, when communication is personalized.
3. Check Out What the Competition Is Up to
Your competition is businesses in the same industry as your brand or in closely related industries.
Seeing what your competition is up to allows you to learn how to attract an audience similar to yours.
By studying your competitors' marketing activities, you may discover new trends. You may also learn new strategies and implement these ideas in your marketing strategies.
Studying your competitors can also provide fresh insights into what a potential customer looks for. And reveal marketing gaps in the market.
Finding and filling these gaps can foster positive results for your eCommerce business.
4. Upsell And Cross-Sell
Upselling includes selling upgrades or a more expensive item associated with a specific product.
Cross-selling involves selling another product as an add-on when a consumer buys a particular product.
Upselling and cross-selling have existed for a long time in marketing circles and have regularly produced great results for the retail industry.
With the rise of the internet and data analytics, these ideas work more effectively than ever.
eCommerce retailers now use data to make informed marketing decisions. Data collected on customers show insights into shopping habits.
These insights allow brand owners to know when to upsell certain commodities to specific shoppers.
Upselling is all about increasing the order value from a single customer. Cross-selling does this by getting customers to buy more products. They both go hand in hand.
5. Bring Back Abandoned Carts
The central idea behind tracking abandoned carts is knowing when shoppers put items in their carts but leave the eCommerce website without paying.
Abandoned carts are a significant source of lost revenue for eCommerce websites.
You can understand the idea of abandoned carts by looking through the lens of a business that relies on repeat customers to grow. Often, one abandoned cart leads to many more.
Begin by implementing email reminders, along with attractive discounts. Offer incentives to remind people what they left behind. And invite them to return and purchase.
These shoppers can be contacted and reminded through emails, SMS, or even calls.
Converting leads at this stage proves cheaper in the long run as they are closer to the buying stage of your marketing funnel.
6. Reward Loyal Customers
In the world of eCommerce, keeping your customers happy is key to repeat purchases.
And consequently, loyalty.
Bonus points if you already have customers who repeatedly come back to buy more items.
An existing customer is who you want to nurture so that they continue to buy from you and recommend you to others.
Coupon codes, rewards programs, or referral marketing should be some of your go-to methods of rewarding customer loyalty.
7. Establish Live Chat Support
Live chat support on your eCommerce platform is a valuable and quick way to answer customer inquiries and resolve issues in real-time.
It also reduces the chances of customers turning elsewhere or not purchasing due to delayed responses.
Communicating directly with your leads and customers as soon as they click on your website is a great way to maintain a nurturing experience.
Previously, you had to employ customer service agents to man your live chat feature.
Now, you can use chatbots. These are AI software programmed to answer questions the way a human would intelligently.
This process saves time and resources as the software only needs to be created, not trained.
8. Start A Blog
Starting a blog dedicated to your eCommerce business is an excellent long-term strategy.
Blogs are influential on several levels:
- They allow you to demonstrate your expertise and build relationships with potential customers.
- They help boost your search engine rankings, letting you get more traffic from Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
- And they can generate leads for your store, as well as sales.
The best part? It's all free.
While they may take some time to produce results, the advantages of an active blog are too good for any eCommerce business to pass up.
9. Use Your Customers
One of the most trusted sources of information for your customers is another customer, or word of mouth, as it's popularly called.
A customer will instead take the word of a satisfied buyer than that of a business owner.
This sort of peer-to-peer feedback is precious.
You can organize competitions encouraging your customers to share testimonials or refer your business to others.
You can also incentivize user-generated content on social media to promote brand awareness.
10. Optimize a Responsive Website
Your website is a crucial touchpoint for your customers. Potential customers and returning customers will spend most of their time on your site.
And the rising majority of these potential customers will spend their time shopping on their mobile devices.
So, it is critical to ensure that they get the best experience possible.
The better the experience they get while browsing your store, the longer they spend.
And the greater the chance they purchase your product.
Some low-hanging fruit tactics you can start with include:
- Optimizing your site to load pages as fast as possible saves the customer time.
- Improve the user’s shopping experience.
- Improve information flow between the customer and customer support.
- Optimizing your site for mobile marketing.
11. Use eCommerce Marketing Automation
While many people associate marketing automation with bulk emails and push alerts, it's a broader concept.
The objective is to use technology to automate different parts of the marketing process and make it more efficient.
This could include analyzing customer data, launching an email campaign, or designing landing pages.
(Pro Tip: with the juggernaut that is mobile marketing, read our handy guide to building a mobile landing page!)
By automating repetitive tasks, you can save time and focus on other aspects of your business.
Take Your eCommerce Marketing To The Next Level
eCommerce marketing strategies don't work overnight. But they are beneficial to eCommerce marketers.
They help boost revenue, improve customer returns, and ensure brand success.
Digital marketing is something that all businesses, big or small, need to figure out.
While the key is to find strategies that resonate with your target customers, as a marketer, it's also essential to keep an eye on industry trends as eCommerce marketing strategies are constantly evolving.
Implement or adapt some of these strategies to your online store, and you're on your way to building a successful eCommerce store of your own.
Dozie Anyaegbunam is a B2B content writer and strategist. A Cannes Lions certified storyteller, Dozie has crafted compelling content for brands such as Mirasee, SmartBlogger, Growth Mentor, and more. He's also Dodo and Ronan's dad, a proud flâneur, and a Felix Baumgartner wannabe. Don't miss his newsletter, Efikó, where he riffs about social and content strategy.