The digital age has forever changed the way people shop. Everything has become as easy as clicking a button, so how do you stand out among the sea of competitors in the digital landscape? Long gone are the days where you spent hours at the mall browsing through the stores. We’ve traded this experience in for websites, as we browse through the digital landscape, where businesses are offering their products and services online. It's important for you to understand what your business needs to build an e-commerce marketing strategy composed of key tactics to help you achieve your goals.
With so many tactics geared towards the same results, how are you supposed to know which e-commerce marketing strategy to incorporate based on your goals? We’ve broken down a list of effective digital marketing strategies and are here to explain how they help build awareness around your brand, drive customer loyalty, and increase online sales.
Our phones are a one-stop shop for all our needs, so it's important to implement an e-commerce marketing strategy that allows users to experience brands from the small screens. According to Zippia, 79% of smartphone users have made purchases through their phone, and that number is projected to grow, so much so that they’ve even coined the term “m-commerce” to specifically highlight mobile purchases.
So, what does mobile optimization look like? This isn’t just about having a responsive web design, it's making sure you design your site with mobile visitors in mind from start to finish. You might even consider moving from a site to an app so accessing your brand is as easy as clicking a button. You can also make the purchase process easier by displaying images in a way that’s easy for consumers to swipe and view or enlarging the button for their cart so it’s easier to access.
Mobile marketing opens up opportunities to use location-based targeting to drive business into retail locations and help you build that human connection with your customers or it could open up opportunities for SMS marketing that deliver content with more immediacy.
Think of your website as the personal shopper walking your customer through the store. How do you want it to tell the story that brings them to make that purchase? Building with the customer’s perspective in mind can help you build your website to address any of their pain points as they go through the buyer’s journey.
It's best to start with mental models which is a model that highlights what users know about your website or how they make assumptions about how it works based on their beliefs. This helps you understand the user’s motivations and processes to make the layout of the website more intuitive to them. While you want to stand out from other brands, at this stage you want to learn from others to find the common threads of simplicity to make sure it's easy for users to find those key conversion points or key interaction points. Be sure to include clear messaging or colloquial categories when displaying your products. As you consider the content on your website, you need to focus on what the customer needs or values from your product or service. The best way to understand that is by interacting with them, so take advantage of surveys and emails to improve your website to cater to their needs, or even live chat features.
It’s important to consider the points of highest interaction, such as the checkout page and customer service features. Marketwake’s UX designer, Cole Christiansen, says:
UX/UI Designer at Marketwake
Try to consolidate the process as much as you can or let your customer know where they stand in that process using a progress bar. According to the Baymard Institute, 17% of carts are likely to be abandoned because of long or complicated checkout processes, so it's important to implement these tactics at all stages of the buyer's journey, from awareness to conversions. With that in mind, this e-commerce marketing strategy specifically focuses on users at the conversion stage to help increase sales.
One of the best things about shopping at the mall was the ability to interact with the environment. While it may seem like you traded that in for the convenience of accessing brands from the comfort of your own home, it's possible to regain that connection in an e-commerce setting by using this e-commerce marketing strategy. By building multiple channels of communication, you can foster that relationship with existing customers and increase a customer’s lifetime value.
FAQs and live chat features are just some examples of channels you can use. They serve as an aid in the buying process and can help customers determine their purchasing decisions by addressing any roadblocks that might interfere with their decision to purchase or even addressing problems afterward to help maintain the relationship so they come back for future purchases. These channels don’t just have to be centered around support. Using social media platforms like Instagram for giveaways and interactive stories builds a culture around your brand that makes customers feel more involved.
One great e-commerce marketing strategy to generate organic traffic is search engine optimization, or SEO. Your main goal with SEO is to have the right audience find you by ranking in the first 10 results for relevant keywords and phrases they are searching for. Many search engines use crawlers that scan through your website and consider how authoritative and trustworthy it is. As such, the first thing you need to consider is to build a website that demonstrates first-hand experience, topical expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness, also known as E-E-A-T. These are a part of Google’s recently updated search quality rater guidelines that help evaluate the quality of search results.
Building a clear hierarchy for your content through the use of headers or resizing images for quicker load times can make it easier for crawlers to scan through pages and makes it more likely for you to rank higher on a SERP. Not to mention, it also ensures a good user experience. Make sure your website is constantly being updated and free of errors on the back end as well.
This all starts by performing keyword research of what terms people are more likely to search and implement those keywords throughout your website on the content you produce, in product descriptions, as well as in title tags and meta descriptions that are found on those SERPs. When looking at on-page SEO tactics, you might consider including anchor text with relevant keywords that link out to reputable websites or optimizing product images with alt tags.
If these words sound like gibberish to you, don’t worry. We’ve created an SEO-pedia for all your SEO needs. If you’d like to learn some more tips on driving organic website traffic, read our blog post about SEO tips for e-commerce. What makes SEO great is that it's one of the lowest-cost, highest-ROI e-commerce marketing strategies you can deploy. So what are you waiting for? Give it a try!
Generating content for your business is a great e-commerce marketing strategy to interact with users and build authority for your business. Content could be anything from blog posts to podcasts to paid ads on various platforms. Content marketing allows you to provide value to your customers outside of the product or service you offer and it's a great chance to connect with your audience on a more personal level.
Let’s say you’re a home building company and your target audience includes a mix of first time and more experienced home owners. You might benefit from having a page dedicated to blog posts that offer guidance on the process to those first time owners or trendy design tips for home-owners looking for a refresh. These could even be in the form of emails to reach out to people directly and the content could cater to their needs. Content marketing can even help with your SEO efforts, giving you more opportunities to rank higher on SERPs. But content goes well beyond your website.
“Short form video content is king in 2023,” says Marketwake’s VP of Marketing, Bin Cochran. Looking at the content people consume on social media, it's important to keep the messaging concise and reach out on platforms where you’d find most of your audience so you bring the content to them and consider collaborating with influencers to help promote your products. This is a great way for customers to see other people interacting with your product and give a more authentic representation. Leveraging different kinds of media like video and audio make the content more engaging and enhances their experience as the buyer.
The connection you make with your customers can help you drive conversions. But how do you make those connections when customers aren’t coming to you? Email marketing is an effective e-commerce marketing strategy because it allows you to maintain connections with customers whether it's their first time interacting with your brand and you want to build a relationship or if they’re returning customers and you want to continue to grow that loyalty.
The best way to capture more email subscribers is to promote those opportunities on your page. Maybe it's a pop-up on your landing page that gives a first-time customer a welcome deal or a call to join the email list for your newsletter. Similar to content marketing, this gives you an opportunity to interact with customers to build a connection. But it's not enough to just capture those contacts to send regular emails.
Email marketing is also a great way to implement more personalized messaging toward your customers and socialize with them through interactive content. This could include promotions or offers on products or services that they’ve taken an interest in or guiding their interests to something new based on what they’ve interacted with before or exclusive content that makes them feel valued like free gifts or birthday deals. This is also a great opportunity for your brand to receive feedback so you can continue to improve your efforts. Make sure you monitor the analytics of your efforts. Some of our favorite programs to use include Hubspot or Klaviyo. The goal of implementing this e-commerce marketing strategy is to nurture your customer base.
Let's say you’re at the food court with your friends and you’re just craving a burger. Maybe the person taking your order suggests adding more toppings. Or you might just want an addition of fries for the table. This same idea of upselling or cross-selling can be applied as a digital e-commerce marketing strategy where you take the existing product or service a customer is looking to purchase and you either provide a more premium version of the product that would better fit their needs or to provide additional products that complement what they already have.
When you’re considering an upsell or cross-sell make sure the additions relate to the original product and be mindful of the price range your customers are aiming for. This marketing strategy allows you to build that loyalty with customers and show them how certain products might better fit their needs.
Paid ads are a great e-commerce marketing strategy to help you stand out in the competitive e-commerce landscape not just because you can target customers that are ready to make purchases and have an affinity for the types of products you offer, but also because of how they can inform your marketing strategy on a holistic level. Consumers you reach through paid ads are ready to make a purchase, but they’re trying to determine which product is the best in a sea of options.
By implementing paid ads on search engines, like Google, or on social media platforms, like Instagram or Facebook, you build awareness for your brand and allow your product to stand out from all the other options available, which can lead to higher sales than organic marketing and therefore a good return on investment.
With paid ads, you also gain more insights about your efforts that can inform your other strategies as well. Monitoring your analytics like seeing what ads people click on and who is clicking can help you paint a better picture of your audience. This could inform other areas of your e-commerce marketing strategy like your messaging or the platforms you use. To learn more tips on paid media, check out our blog post.
Retargeting is a great e-commerce marketing strategy to target leads and bring people back to your website. Customers who have already shown an interest in your website are more likely to make a later purchase. They’ve made it past the awareness stage of the funnel and are now considering your brand. This strategy can help push them from that consideration stage to the conversion one through tactics like paid ads that highlight a product they viewed on your website or other products they might like based on what clicked or spent most of their time on. These ads could run on social media channels that you are more likely to find them on to drive them back to your website. The key is to keep it specific. By retargeting them with content that they’ve previously engaged with and are familiar with, you are more likely to drive that traffic back to your page and get those conversions.
E-commerce is growing exponentially and while marketing strategies may seem hard to keep up with, staying current with the latest marketing trends and techniques is crucial for any successful e-commerce website. While the digital landscape does seem daunting and feel like you lose the human touch, this also opens the door for many opportunities to connect with consumers in newer ways.
However, these e-commerce marketing strategies are nothing if you aren’t tracking results. Make sure to monitor analytics, examine trends and constantly stay up to date on your website. Finding the right blend of techniques can improve your conversion rates and build a sustainable business that will continue growing over time. If you’d like to see how these tactics fit into the bigger picture, read our blog on unlocking e-commerce success.
Still feel like you could use a helping hand with your e-commerce marketing strategy? Connect with our team to learn more about our services and how we can help implement these tactics, from paid media to SEO and everything in between.
What is an e-commerce strategy?
An E-commerce marketing strategy is a tactic used to reach a brand's target audience and drive them to make conversions by purchasing products and services that are sold digitally.
The four Ps of marketing are product, price, place, and promotion.
- Product: This is what your company sells. It could be a physical product or some kinds of service.
- Price: This is how much you charge for the product or service. This is where you have to consider its real and perceived value.
- Place: This is where you sell your product.
- Promotion: This is how your product or service is advertised and the different marketing strategies you implement to do so.
Some tried and true e-commerce marketing strategies include:
- Running paid ads
- Email marketing
- SEO & content marketing
- Mobile optimization
- Upsells & cross-sells
Struggling to outsource marketing? Here are our five tips for finding a full-service agency that can take your marketing to the next level.
Struggling to choose the right digital marketing agency? We’ve got you covered. Read more in our blog.