The e-commerce market is continually growing, with more and more people choosing to shop online. According to statistics, 67% of millennial's and 56% of Gen Xers prefer online shopping over brick and mortar stores. And since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the globe, the number of people choosing to shop online is expanding dramatically.
E-commerce has become a valuable market for any business to tap into, however, as the market begins to grow, there will be more and more competitors who are out to land the same consumers as you. This is why marketing has become the backbone of e-commerce success.
The goal of every online store is to increase its share of quality traffic and make conversions. This is why it is important to combine effective marketing tactics with functional e-commerce tools. Your marketing strategy should be all-encompassing, from implementing ideas for lead acquisition to generating sales from your existing customer base. To ensure your business continues to thrive, you need to implement effective marketing tactics to drive your target market to your e-commerce website, prompt them to make a purchase, and encourage them to come back for more.
What is e-commerce marketing?
E-commerce marketing is the act of using promotional tools or tactics to drive quality traffic to your online store, convert this traffic into paying customers, and retain the customers once they have made their first purchase. A successful e-commerce marketing strategy combines marketing tactics that take place both off and on your website. A strong marketing strategy will build brand awareness, nurture customer loyalty, and increase online sales.
Below, we take a look at some of the most effective marketing tactics to drive sales on your e-commerce website.
1. Content Marketing
Content marketing refers to the creation and sharing of online material such as blogs, vlogs, e-guides, articles and social media posts. This kind of content does not explicitly promote your business offerings, but rather stimulates interest in the products and services that you offer.
Effective content marketing has the power to attract attention, encourage engagement, and convert leads into customers. Content marketing does this better than most marketing methods can. By developing unique, helpful and strategic promotional content for your e-commerce site, you are ensuring that your audience is continually receiving new information that means something to them. It is important to understand what kind of content your target market is looking for, whether it be informative blogs, industry related newsletters, webinars or video tutorials. Make sure to invest in high quality content as you want to provide your audience with information that is helpful, engaging, and something that adds value to their lives. This is the best way to turn your product or service, no matter how common, into something that is different from your competitors.
Content marketing is an important part of any marketing strategy as it answers your audience’s questions, allowing you the opportunity to build trust with them, improve conversions, and generate leads. It is also important to share your content via your social platforms, to ensure even more interaction and engagement.
2. Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is an exceptionally powerful tool as it allows you to communicate with your customers, potential customers and your industry as a whole. This kind of marketing is also personal, and gives you the opportunity to generate more engagement and interaction, direct traffic to your e-commerce site, and gain a greater reach. There are different social media platforms that serve different purposes and can help grow your e-commerce business in a variety of ways. Below are just two examples of social media platforms that work for e-commerce marketing.
With over 500 million active users every day, Instagram is continually growing and has the power to connect consumers, influencers, and brands. If you share eye-catching, high-quality photos on your Instagram account, use the right hashtags, and post at the right time, you will be on your way to developing a large Instagram following, and a following made up of people who are actually interested in your products and services. The key to creating a powerful Instagram presence is to engage with your followers. The more engagement and communication, the more trust is developed between your brand and your consumer, and this results in more sales.
There are a variety of ways to engage with your potential and current customers on Instagram. You can run contests, show behind the scenes footage or imagery of your products or collaborate with Instagram influencers that fit your brand. But Instagram can also be made "shoppable." For e-commerce purposes specifically, you can add products to your Instagram posts and stories that lead your followers directly to your line of purchase, which is key to increasing your online sales.
Learn more about setting up and Instagram shop, here.
Facebook offers a variety of marketing tools that will help you in your e-commerce marketing goals. Facebook helps you by breaking down campaign objectives into three stages: Awareness, consideration and conversion. Below we outline what each stage means in your e-commerce marketing funnel.
Facebook Awareness Campaign for E-commerce
Begin with a Facebook Awareness Campaign for your e-commerce website. These campaigns are introductory points, and are lower in cost as they are in the top funnel of the sales process. This kind of Facebook advertising allows you to introduce yourself and your business - without jumping into the deep end with a hard sell.
Facebook Consideration Campaign for E-commerce
Set up a conversion campaign for Facebook users that are interested in your product or service, and drive them to your product pages.
This drastically increases the chance of sale. Once a user sees this ad and it draws their interest with strong imagery, content and a powerful call to action such as “learn more”, they will click on the advert and be taken to your product page. Once a user is directed to your website, you can tag them with what is known as a pixel. By tagging them with a pixel, you are able to re-target them to come back later with new messaging around certain products, features or promotions.
Facebook Conversion Campaigns for E-commerce:
Now that your audience has gotten to know your brand, you can encourage them to make a purchase. This is where Facebook conversion campaigns come into play.
Launch a conversion goal campaign to your warmer audience, that is: users who have previously visited your website, or users who have abandoned a cart on your website - basically a lead that has shown interest in your business. Conversion campaign call to actions will be more forward then “learn more” - you can include “shop now” as your call to action. This is also a great opportunity to promote your products that are on special, further enticing the audience to make a purchase immediately.
3. Email Marketing
E-commerce email marketing refers to the science and the art of using emails to generate sales for your online store.
Email marketing is one of the most effective channels for making sales and generating repeat customers. There are a lot of social media posts for your audience to keep up with, and email marketing breaks through the noise and provides your audience with a more personal interaction. And of course, email marketing also provides you with a bit more space to get your message across than social media does.
It is not enough to simply collect email addresses via social media marketing and other lead magnet tactics. You need to regularly send out valuable emails in order for this channel to be an effective e-commerce marketing activity. There are many occasions that are perfect timing for sending emails to your list of potential customers, such as:
- Welcome emails as soon as a customer makes a purchase
- Exclusive promotional codes and free gifts
- Regular newsletters that offer product tips, company news, and alert customers of new products.
What to consider when sending out your email campaigns for e-commerce marketing:
- Subject line: The subject like is the difference between someone opening your mail or deleting it. The best subject lines are specific to the information of your email as you don’t ever want to mislead your audience. Always avoid using buzz words in your subject such as “Discount” or “Sale.” This will make the recipient immediately think of the email as spam. Many email providers will also mark these words as spam and throw your email into the spam folder of the recipient.
- Personalisation: It is this small detail that can make all the difference. Use your recipient's name in your email campaign to keep it as personal as possible. Try to use the recipients name in both the subject like and the intro line of your email content. This will make the recipient trust your business more and click through to your content and learn more about what you are selling or promoting.
- Strong Call to Action: Make sure your e-commerce email has a strong call to action that prompts the audience to your website or product page and encourages them to make a purchase. An example of this may be “Buy Now” or “Claim your discount.” The click-through to your product page is the goal of your email marketing campaign, and will help you increase your sales and gain loyal customers. Remember, the higher the quality of the content within your email, the greater your chance of getting the click through, and the greater your chance of making a sale.
4. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), is one of the most important ingredients for a successful e-commerce website. This marketing tactic makes sure your website is optimised for the Search Engine Results Pages (SERP).
Well implemented SEO will get your website to the top of the search results when people are actively searching for your product or service offerings - ensuring increased sales and brand awareness. This marketing tactic requires your website to be consistently updated with rich, unique and relevant content, allows for a good user experience and is optimised to search engine standards.
Learn more about the importance of Search Engine Optimisation, here.
5. Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC)
Pay per Click advertising, also known as PPC, is an internet marketing and advertising model that is used to drive traffic to your website. This is done by paying a fee every time your advert is clicked. This kind of marketing gets you to the top of the search engine results and your page will be seen as an advert. This will essentially drive traffic through to your website for as long as your PPC budget allows. SEO on the other hand will drive your website to the top of the search engine results organically and you will not pay a fee every time a user clicks on your page.
There are three elements that make up a pay per click campaign. These are: the advert itself, the offer or the product you are marketing, and the landing page.
All three of these must be in harmony if you want to maintain the interest of the lead. The landing page needs to be a strong continuation of your advert, and it needs to deliver what is promised. By directing the user directly to your product page, you will increase sales and gain a return on your investment.
When it comes to marketing your e-commerce website, you need to understand the latest marketing trends and apply them to your marketing strategy. It is vital to always deliver relevant, helpful and valuable content and product offerings that suit the needs of your target audience.
There are a variety of tools you can use to reach out to your target audience. With the right mix of marketing tools, you will be able to increase your conversion rate and attract new and sustainable business.
At Nexa, we provide consultancy to new e-commerce retailers to ensure success related components such as SEO, Email marketing, Social Media Marketing and PPC solutions are in place to give you the optimum chance of success.
Contact Nexa today and begin your e-commerce marketing journey.