There are now more people running their own e-commerce business than ever: in 2018, the number of marketplace sellers on Amazon reached over 5 million, 1 million of these being new sellers that year. There are many success stories when it comes to e-commerce businesses, whether on Amazon or elsewhere online, with many true case studies of six-figure businesses being built with short spaces of time.
However, for every success story, there are countless e-commerce businesses which crash and burn – often within the first 12 months of operation. One of the key differences which set the successes apart for the failures is invariably strong marketing strategies.
Here are our top 10 e-commerce marketing strategies which you can use to grow your business in 2019 and be one of the success stories, and not one of the failures, this year!
- Email Marketing
Email marketing is one of the most important and most effective marketing strategies for any kind of business, but it is particularly successful for e-commerce businesses. After all, as an online vendor, your customer is poised and ready to follow through with your sale as soon as they receive your email. Having a database of previous and potential customers and using it to reach out with engaging content which converts them to instant sales has incredible potential to add to your bottom line and exponentially grow your business.
For Amazon sellers, it is important to note that Amazon owns the customer email lists, and so it is important to build a list of Amazon. This is essential for marketing to previous customers and encouraging repeat business as well as building your customer base.
Incentives are a great way to build your email list. I large, relevant and engaged email list is essential to successful email marketing. You can encourage users to sign up to your list in other ways of course, such as distributing useful content or generating interest in an upcoming product launch.
However, offering an incentive to sign up greatly increases their motivation to do so. Common incentives include giveaways (free products, discounts or samples) and contests (to win a free product from you, or a third party product or service). You can also take this a step further, by offering sign-ups an incentive to get others to sign-up. For example, once a new user signs up for your mailing list, they are directed to a thank you page. This thank you page contains a unique link which they can use to get their friends or family to sign up. In return, they will receive a prize, a greater number of contest entries, etc, in return for a certain number of sign-ups. This approach can exponentially grow your mailing list as more and more users share the link within their networks.
- Competitor Analysis
Competitor analysis is critical in so many parts of the business and marketing cycle: from product development to keyword research and marketing strategies. Detailed competitor analysis lets you see what is working well for your competitors, and what isn’t. This then lets you reverse engineer the best aspects to apply to your own marketing strategy while avoiding the pitfalls.
Competitors analysis is particularly effective when used for keyword research and other
- Optimize Your Product Listing
Not all Amazon or e-commerce sellers associate listing optimization as marketing, but this is exactly what it is. Creating the perfect product listing means higher conversion rates on your product, as well as more sales, and greater word-of-mouth marketing.
Optimizing your product listing involves a variety of factors, but most notably the product title, listing copy, and images. Listing copy needs to be engaging, persuasive, and integrate sales techniques to convince users to purchase your product. It is also important to include as many details as possible about the product to encourage users to buy your product: be sure to include dimensions, materials, secondary functions, bonus features, and accessories.
However, before your visitors even read your well-crafted bullet points and description, you need to convince them to click on the listing and hang around for more than 2 seconds. This is where the title and the images come in. Both of these are absolutely critical for conversions because the majority of users do not read the entire listing before deciding whether to purchase.
Make sure your title is engaging, “clickable” and contains as many keywords as possible while explaining the features and benefits of the product. Images should be engaging, contain value-added elements to demonstrate the product’s features and benefits, and be mobile-friendly.
- Split Testing
Split testing, also known as A/B testing is one of the most overlooked marketing strategies. It can, however, be highly effective in developing products which are more likely to sell, as well as helping you refine your marketing techniques.
Split-testing is essentially testing several variations of a product, or of a marketing campaign by exposing each variant to a different segment of your audience. For example, you could promote different versions of your e-commerce product listing to different segments of your email list, and test which version performs the best.
- Amazon Ranking Strategies
For e-commerce businesses which operate through Amazon, there are specific tactics and techniques for ranking on Amazon’s search results. An effective Amazon business marketing strategy will incorporate the majority of the strategies discussed in this article, as well as those specific for increasing Amazon rankings.
As an Amazon e-commerce business, ranking your products at the top of Amazon’s search results is the number one thing you can do to increase visitor traffic to your listing, and therefore improve sales. Amazon rankings are based on an algorithm, similar to the algorithm Google uses to rank its results. However, unlike Google, Amazon’s A9 algorithm is based on one thing: sales. Amazon has a vested interest in promoting products which are likely to make money for them, and so ranks those products with a strong sales and conversion record.
Therefore, driving sales is the best thing you can do to improve your Amazon rankings. In this way, this strategy ties back into many other e-commerce marketing strategies: by driving organic traffic and increasing sales through marketing tactics, you will improve your rankings on Amazon, thereby improving sales, and so on.
- Create an Amazon Promo
If you are selling products on Amazon, you can create a promotion via the platform. There are a few options to do this, all of which you can find in the Amazon fulfillment center, under “Advertising” and then “Promotions”. These promos are particularly great for increasing visibility and helping your product rank in the critical first 7 days of your listing.
With Amazon promos, you will have the option to choose between various percentage off options. Obviously the higher the discount, the more sales you will generate, however, it is generally not recommended to go above a 50% discount unless part of a specific strategy.
Whether building an e-commerce business on Amazon or elsewhere, implementing effective marketing strategies is essential to not only having your business thrive but survive. Include a combination of on-platform and off-platform digital marketing tactics to drive more visitors to your listings, improve conversion rates and exponentially grow your profits.