Ecommerce Marketing Essentials: 10 Marketing Strategies Every Ecommerce Business Ought to Have in Place
According to data from Statista Research, global B2C ecommerce revenues are expected to exceed 2,356 billion U.S. dollars by 2018. When you consider that statistic doesn’t even include B2B revenues, you realize just how popular online shopping has become.
Whether you’re an ecommerce-only merchant or you have a brick-and-mortar location too, maximizing the potential of your ecommerce store needs to be job #1.
If you’re like many other ecommerce entrepreneurs, you’ve probably set up a Facebook page and maybe a Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest account to promote your business.
But like many other ecommerce merchants, you’re probably seeing less than spectacular results from your social media marketing efforts.
Do you want to know why your sales have been abysmal? It’s because social media marketing just barely scratches the surface of what you need to be doing to grow your ecommerce company.
There are a multitude of marketing strategies you need to have in place if you want to build a profitable ecommerce business. While social media outreach is to be commended, it isn’t where you should be spending most of your consumer outreach time.
To build a thriving online business, here are the 10 marketing strategies every ecommerce business owner ought to have in place.
#1. User Generated Content
A User Generated Content (UGC) content strategy is crucial for ecommerce success.
Today’s shoppers are driven by social proof. When is the last time you made a purchase online without first checking the reviews from previous buyers?
Regardless of whether you sell your products on Amazon, Shopify, or WooCommerce, you need user-generated content to drive sales. You need to plan in advance how you will request everything from customer service reviews to testimonial images on visual platforms like Instagram and Pinterest.
The further in advance you plan your UGC strategy, the more success you’re likely to achieve.
#2. Video and Livestreaming
No ecommerce marketing strategy is complete without a video outreach strategy.
Previously recorded video showcased on a platform like YouTube is a must (make sure you create your own YouTube channel and frequently upload new content). But previously recorded video is not your only option.
For increased video ROI, you will want to develop a livestreaming strategy too:
- Will you livestream only on Twitter’s Periscope?
- Will Facebook Live be your livestreaming platform of choice?
With a multitude of livestreaming tools now available, it is imperative you choose your preferred platforms and measure engagement. Any ecommerce business can use video livestreaming for audience outreach; you just have to be creative in your approach.
#3. Multi-Channel Marketing
Multi-channel marketing includes everything from email marketing to social media networking.
To achieve maximum success, you must detail your goals in advance and monitor your progress frequently.
Far too many small business owners and ecommerce entrepreneurs jump into social media marketing and email outreach without a clear idea of what they’re doing or what they want to achieve. Just as you wouldn’t hop into your vehicle without a clear destination in mind, you shouldn’t jump into multi-channel marketing without defining your goals.
- – Know whether sales or brand awareness are your top priorities.
- – Choose your analysis method and analytics tools.
- – Decide who will be responsible for each aspect of your multi-channel marketing plans.
#4. Native Advertising and Content Marketing
With the increasing irrelevancy of advertisements, it has never been more critical to have a content marketing and native advertising strategy.
Social media ads are losing their reach. PPC ads on Google are being blocked by the explosion of ad-blockers.
If you hope to stand any chance of building a thriving ecommerce business, content outreach is a must. From blog posts on your company blog or on LinkedIn Pulse to guest posts on sites your target audience visits, content outreach is crucial for your company’s online reputation.
Don’t assume all your content needs to be text-based; podcasts are another popular way to reach your target audience.
Understand how your customers like to receive their information online, and build your content strategy around their preferences.
#5. Increased Customer Touch Points
Ecommerce vendors who want to increase sales make a point of increasing their customer touch points.
Just because you sell online, that doesn’t mean all your marketing needs to be online, for example, you can:
- – Attend more conferences or trade shows where you can network with potential customers.
- – Consider direct mail advertising.
- – Let customers check-in at your business (virtual or brick-and-mortar) and share their check-ins with their social networks.
The more customer-connection opportunities you offer, the better your chances are of accelerated growth.
When you develop a customer touch point strategy, you will far outpace your competitors who don’t even understand the concept of a multiple touch point strategy.
#6. Upgraded Ecommerce Shipping
Yes, ecommerce shipping needs a well-defined strategy.
If you think you can compete against powerhouses like Amazon by only offering basic shipping, you might as well not even be in business.
Your competitors are offering multiple shipping perks like free upgrades or shipping discounts for larger orders; you need to do the same.
Understand your shipping costs and develop a strategy that works for your business. Something as simple as free shipping on orders over a specific price point can increase your sales and generate customer loyalty.
Consumers are much likelier to frequent an ecommerce vendor multiple times if they know they’re going to get a sweet deal on shipping.
Having a mobile strategy is no longer optional.
An ever-increasing number of consumers are mobile-only. You need to ensure every aspect of your ecommerce business is optimized for mobile. You also must have a mobile outreach strategy to ensure you’re connecting with consumers.
Tools like push notifications and geo-specific sensors are just two options you can consider incorporating into your mobile strategy.
When shoppers are using everything from smartwatches to voice-enabled devices like Amazon’s Alexa or Google’s Home to connect with companies, developing a mobile ecommerce strategy should be high on your priority list.
A search engine optimization strategy is another must for ecommerce businesses.
When customers can’t find your company, they can’t possibly purchase from you.
Don’t think only of link building or content marketing to grow your online presence–today’s ecommerce merchant needs to consider factors like voice search optimization too.
As a growing number of consumers are relying on voice-enabled search via their smartphones and smart devices (Alexa, Home, etc.), savvy merchants need to tweak their SEO strategy accordingly.
Think about the way consumers ask questions of their smart devices and ensure those types of questions (and answers) are incorporated into your SEO strategy.
#9. Cart Abandonment
Savvy ecommerce entrepreneurs develop a cart abandonment strategy.
You can’t just accept abandoned carts as part of being an ecommerce vendor–you can develop plans to ward off abandonment.
Understand why customers are completing orders with your company and tweak your business to eliminate these drop-off points.
#10. Product Descriptions
Another marketing strategy every ecommerce merchant should have in place is a product description strategy.
Your product descriptions can make or break your business. When your competitors have more enticing descriptions for the items they offer, customers will likely take their business elsewhere.
Anything from emotional words to action phrases can make a difference when crafting product descriptions. If you plan your description strategy in advance, your chances of outselling your competitors increases.
Once you realize the importance of a multi-pronged marketing approach, you understand that it’s simply not enough for your online business to be active on social media for brand building.
Customer acquisition isn’t going to magically happen just because you post a few tweets or share images of your products on Facebook.
You need to get serious about brand development if you want any chance at generating profits from your ecommerce business.
Will you be re-evaluating your approach to lead generation and incorporating these 10 ecommerce marketing strategies into your growth plans?
Christopher Moore currently lives in Hong Kong. He has been in and out of Asia since 1999. Before moving to Hong Kong, Christopher lived across the border, in Shenzhen, and was involved in various emerging tech oriented projects, including multiple successfully funded Kickstarter and Indiegogo campaigns focused on robotics, IoT, and virtual reality--raising USD$1,008,405 in four successful campaigns, two on Kickstarter and two on Indiegogo. Christopher edited the most up-to-date book about China's newest city, Shenzhen. You can find it on Amazon.com, it's titled, Shenzhen: The BookRead Full Bio