In the U.S. alone there are 218.8 million online shoppers. With that many potential customers waiting at your digital doorstep, the opportunities for your online business to achieve e-commerce success are endless. That’s not to say that there aren’t marketplace-wide challenges that are preventing every online e-commerce business from becoming the next Amazon. From economic uncertainty and oversaturated markets to the rapidly evolving state of technology and increased customer expectations, it’s no wonder that only 10-20% of online businesses survive past their first 120 days of being open.
That being said, there are ways to circumvent these challenges so you can start driving conversions, revenue, and ultimately growth to your e-commerce business. Let’s take a look at some of the most effective strategies for driving e-commerce success, starting with an overarching understanding of the current e-commerce landscape.
Suffice it to say, the e-commerce industry is an enormous market with a gross amount of potential. Online retail alone sits as one of the top 20 industries in the world, and the e-commerce industry exceeded over 5.7 trillion dollars in sales worldwide in 2022. With that level of sales, it’s crazy to think that the market is still growing, but it most certainly is. E-commerce sales worldwide are expected to hit 6.31 trillion dollars in 2023, and by 2026, the number is expected to hit $8.15 trillion.
There must be tons of businesses finding e-commerce success online, right? Yes, there are over 12 to 24 million e-commerce sites in the world right now with more being created every day. But there is one bastion for e-commerce success that has risen above the rest: the almighty Amazon. To what extent is Amazon dominating the e-commerce market? Well, in 2022 Amazon had nearly 3.2 billion monthly visitors worldwide. The next highest? eBay, which had almost 590 million visitors per month. So while the e-commerce market is exponentially growing, Amazon takes the cake for the most e-commerce success.
That all being said, there is still room for growth and e-commerce success in the industry. All it takes is time, effort, and a killer growth-oriented marketing strategy.
A marketing strategy is a plan marketers set up to reach their target audience through various channels. There are many effective marketing tactics that e-commerce brands use within this set strategy to drive revenue and conversions including email marketing, paid media, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and more. However, none of that is effective without a high-converting sales funnel for your e-commerce business.
A sales funnel is the journey a potential buyer takes when they are on their way to buying a product. Depending on the product or service you are selling you may have a different approach to your sales funnel, but before you implement e-commerce marketing tactics into your marketing strategy, it is essential to understand what part of the sales funnel your ideal customer is in so you can accurately target them and position your brand to meet their most pressing needs.
Once you’ve developed your sales funnel and have a clear understanding of your audience's sales personas, you can start developing revenue-driving marketing strategies for your e-commerce business. Here are our six key strategies to help you drive e-commerce success and stand out in the crowded digital marketplace.
To start, every e-commerce business should develop a robust SEO strategy to drive their business’s e-commerce success. If you don’t know, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. When you optimize your e-commerce website for search engines, it will organically rank higher on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP), providing more visibility for your business and increasing the amount of traffic to your website. There are a few steps you can take to bolster your SEO strategy and drive website traffic to your e-commerce website:
Any good SEO strategy for e-commerce success starts with keyword research. A keyword is an idea, topic, or word that explains what your content is about. The keywords you use should be relevant to your industry and should resonate with your target audience wherever they are on the sales funnel. Marketwake’s SEO manager Josh Cummings uses Ahrefs as his preferred keyword tool.
Additionally, you should think about the search intent of who is looking for your content. There are four types of search intent to keep in mind:
The user is looking for information on broad topics without a specific creator, brand, or website in mind.
This is when users are looking for a specific website or brand and directly search for their title.
Here, the user searches for something specific to do, i.e. purchase a product, fill out a form, or visit an online store. Back to our sales funnel conversation, this user is probably in the decision stage of their purchase.
Commercial intent is between transactional and informational intent and lies in the consideration stage of the buyer journey. The users searching with commercial intent are usually considering their options before making a purchase.
Next, you should develop content and follow best practices. This means producing fresh content regularly and republishing old content with additional keywords and valuable information. This doesn’t mean you need to post hundreds upon hundreds of pieces of content daily. Doing that may actually cannibalize your site. Rather, you should create new content consistently and republish old content periodically to ensure Google recognizes you as an expert resource, boosting your domain authority and presence on SERPs.
You should also optimize the title tags and meta descriptions on your website and the content you produce. This helps boost your presence by differentiating you from your competitors and adding more keywords to tell search engines what your business does and what your content is about. Your title tags should be compelling and short. For meta descriptions, keep them between 150-160 characters. For title tags, it’s always best to make them 60 characters or less.
Beyond content, you should also optimize your website on the technical side to improve your domain authority and search engine ranking. This includes reducing your website's page loading speed to under three seconds as well as optimizing the user experience with a mobile-first mindset.
Another important marketing strategy for businesses driving e-commerce success is emphasizing the importance of good User Experience (UX). It may seem like an afterthought, but a good user interface can increase conversion rates by up to 200%. This is mainly because UX is a primary factor in reducing cart abandonment. In fact, an average large-sized e-commerce site can reduce cart abandonment and increase conversion rates by 35.26% with a better checkout design. Here are a few simple ways you can leverage UX to reduce cart abandonment:
Many shoppers are turned off by the additional fees that come with a purchase. To prevent this, show shipping, handling, and any other supplementary fees as soon as possible so the customer knows what they’re getting.
A lot of times, shoppers may not want to create an account on their first trip to your website, especially if it is a one-time purchase. Implement a guest checkout feature to subdue the risk of cart abandonment when they don’t want to make an account.
After you convince someone to buy a product, getting them to click the purchase button should be an easily attainable next step. Some ways you can extrapolate this process is by making your checkout a one-page process with a progress bar and auto-fill that pushes the customer seamlessly through to the end.
Beyond just UX, implementing Conversion Rate Optimization strategies is integral to e-commerce success. Conversion Rate Optimization is the process of increasing website visitors to take a desired action on your website. CRO works in tandem with UX, guiding customers to conversion. Some strategies marketers use to enhance their CRO include creating text CTAs in blogs, implementing A/B testing strategies for landing pages, and building marketing automation workflows.
The value of social media, especially for e-commerce businesses, is profound. Because many social media platforms are conducive to imagery, utilizing it can be an important aspect in driving attention and traffic to the products and services of your e-commerce business. Here are some guidelines for producing effective social media content for e-commerce success:
Social media is great for e-commerce success because the value of products and services can be relayed quickly through compelling imagery and video. This includes platforms like Instagram and Pinterest. Their image-centered focus and shopping features may be more useful for B2C e-commerce businesses that want to sell their products directly from their social media. However, B2B e-commerce businesses may find LinkedIn to be more useful if they are targeting businesses that may buy their products or services.
For many consumers, shopping on social media is their preferred method of buying products. One reason is that it is convenient, showing up automatically on social media feeds. Another reason is that it is personalized based on your preferences from the social media platform you’re using. 80% of marketers are convinced that consumers will buy products directly from social media rather than a brand’s website or a third-party website in 2023.
That’s not to say social media shopping is infallible. There is still a sense of untrustworthiness from shopping on social platforms; at this point, only 42% of social users feel comfortable making purchases through social. This just goes to show that while choosing a platform with shopping features is beneficial, creating content that establishes trust in your brand will be a crucial step to e-commerce success in social media going forward.
An integral part of social media marketing for e-commerce success is actively engaging with your followers. That’s the beauty of social media; you can drive product awareness and keep your brand at top of mind without sounding like a business. Social media gives brands personalities, and if consumers remember your personality, the likelihood of them seeing your product and remembering it increases. Although this may not lead to a conversion immediately, the impact you made will be felt when they require your product or service in the future.
The last guideline you should follow for e-commerce success in social media marketing is monitoring and analyzing your performance. Check in often to see how you can improve performance and optimize your strategy to get more eyes on your product. Some key social media metrics to track include engagement, reach, and growth rate. For e-commerce brands looking to use social media to increase their sales, you should keep track of click-through rate, conversion rate, and website traffic metrics too.
Email marketing is one of the most important marketing strategies businesses can use when striving for e-commerce success. Why? Because email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter. How can you get that? Maintaining an extensive email list that allows you to personalize your messages and create effective marketing campaigns. Here’s what e-commerce marketing expert and Account Manager at Marketwake, Anna Kate Newall, had to say about best practices for email marketing:
Account Manager, Marketwake
Paid media includes various types of content that are promoted through paid placement. Paid media helps e-commerce businesses precisely target their content and brand to the right people at the right time. The benefits of paid media are numerous, but a few of the ways investing in paid media can drive e-commerce success included increasing conversion rates (CVR), reducing customer acquisition costs (CAC), enhancing click-through rates (CTR) by targeting ready-to-buy shoppers, and boosting online sales. Just to drive home the importance of paid media for e-commerce success, here are some impressive numbers. Customers are 70% more likely to buy your product when you use retargeting. PPC advertising has a 200% ROI, meaning for every $1 spent, you get $2 back. PPC traffic has a 50% greater conversion rate than visitors from organic links.
To help, here are some of our key paid media strategies for maximizing your e-commerce store’s revenue:
Establishing conversion-based KPIs for your campaign is the only way to know how you’ve progressed and what you’ve earned after your campaign is over. Some metrics you should look at include click-through rate, conversion rate, cost-per-click, etc.
Segment your target audience based on demographics, retargeting efforts, purchase history, etc. Segmenting these different audiences and testing them in real time allows you to react instantaneously alongside your campaign and make changes based on what works and what doesn’t.
This is entirely based on your product, service, and where your audience is. Some e-commerce businesses would be better for responsive search ads on Google. Others could benefit from boosted placement on Meta’s social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Whichever medium you choose, make sure it aligns with your target audience’s needs and meets them where they are online.
Nothing stops people in their tracks better online than striking visuals and a powerful headline. Make sure your paid media fits the audience's needs while also being strong enough to drive consideration for your product or service. If Times New Roman on a white background worked every time, we’d all be marketing savants.
Check out what your paid media campaign achieved. What KPIs did you hit? Did any fall short? What should you change next time? Answering these questions will help you gauge how you can improve your paid media campaigns in the future to achieve e-commerce success.
Personalized shopping experiences are becoming all the rage. With the advent of AI and advanced algorithms like TikTok that cater to your subconscious wants and desires, creating a personalized shopping experience is crucial not just to increase conversions but also to keep your customers happy. In today’s market, 75% of online shoppers like brands to personalize their offerings and messages. When these offerings aren’t relevant to their lives, 74% of consumers get frustrated. That’s why it’s more important than ever to start looking forward and implementing technology that can quickly and efficiently personalize e-commerce offerings for consumers, including AI. Here again, is Marketwake Account Manager, Anna Kate Newall, to talk about her forecast for personalization and AI in achieving e-commerce success:
Moving forward we are going to see even more advanced customization on websites, especially for e-commerce. Websites are going to cater specifically to what we’ve recently been searching for and recommend things differently from person to person, even on the homepage of a website. AI is going to continue to evolve in the same way by making the customer experience central to the product. Things like virtual try-ons will allow the customer to connect with the product, creating a more engaging checkout process. At the end of the day, everything is going to be catered to improving the customer experience tenfold.
Account Manager, Marketwake
While it’s important to utilize all of these marketing strategies individually, what’s even more important is creating a holistic marketing strategy that works in unison to drive revenue and e-commerce success for your business. That’s where Marketwake comes in. At Marketwake, we develop personalized e-commerce marketing strategies that grow your business, helping to boost revenue, increase ROI, and generate more sales. Check out some of these e-commerce success stories that we’ve helped produce in the past.
Machete is a D2C e-commerce brand that sells high-end jewelry, eyewear, hair accessories, and more. With our paid media and SEO strategies, Machete saw unprecedented growth in Q4 on top of its record-setting year for sales in 2021, including a 3X ROAS on Performance Max campaigns, 4X ROAS on Pinterest video campaigns, and a 3X ROAS on remarketing Facebook efforts.
If you are an e-commerce brand hoping to see growth like this, contact us. We’ll set you up to talk with an expert and get you started on the path to e-commerce success with data-driven marketing services and a personalized growth marketing strategy.
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