According to Google, there are hundreds of monthly searches relating to ecommerce marketing ideas, but very few search results actually explain these marketing ideas in a way that will help small business owners. Through this article, we aim to solve just that challenge for you. If you’re a business owner who is new to this sales channel and is looking for ideas that will wow you, then you’re at the right place.
To put things into perspective first, let’s think of online marketing as a big strong tree. This tree then has branches like social media marketing, search engine marketing,email marketing and so on. These make up the different channels a business can use to market itself to customers. Among these channels, one which has seen the most consistent channel wide growth is ecommerce. A transaction that takes place digitally where a user purchases a product or service online. This transaction fueled by convenience has started a scavenger hunt for the best ecommerce marketing ideas that will boost your online sales.
Did you know? Last year, consumers spent a total $455 billion on the web for retail purchases. An increase of close to 16% from the previous year! That’s the highest growth rate since 2011.
The ecommerce industry generates a combined $461 million in revenue yearly for businesses. And it is expected to grow another 48% in the next five years. It’s no wonder why companies like Walmart, Target, and Home Depot are following in the footsteps of e-commerce giant Amazon. These businesses know how important ecommerce is, so much so that they are adapting their processes to include ecommerce as their main revenue channel (or at least have plans to in the near future). All the while employing the best ecommerce marketing ideas they for their consumers.
So, why is this marketing channel important?
Ecommerce as a sales channel started in 1984. Much before the Facebooks, Amazons, and Googles of the world were ever a thing. And has been growing at the rate of 20% every year. Through this blog, we aim to arm small business owners like you with an understanding of just how important ecommerce is as a marketing channel and provide you with our best ecommerce marketing ideas in the form of a quick-fire checklist.
The digitalization of today’s marketplace has people using multiple devices a day, sometimes 4-5, just to perform daily tasks. When it comes to shopping, it’s not just in department stores – it’s on mobile phones, desktops, laptops, watches, tablets, and personal assistant devices like Alexa and Google Home. This presents a unique challenge to business owners to sell their products in places where consumers spend most of their time. No doubt that’s going to be online.
As digital experts, marketers today need to understand where and how their customers are buying the most. They need to remove the blindfold of traditional marketing tactics and move at pace with this fast-paced digital market in today’s environment. That’s exactly where we come in. It’s more like our comfort zone. Our staff is specialized in helping you gain more sales with innovative ecommerce marketing ideas.
Right from creating designs that appeal to an online audience to making sure your brand is fully optimized for ecommerce. And while we’re at it, we’ll share our pick of the top 10 ecommerce marketing ideas and tips that will serve as a preview of how businesses can benefit from the ecommerce wave.
- Ecommerce Based Websites
We can start our search for the best ecommerce marketing ideas with one basic step – creating an ecommerce friendly website.
Like many businesses today, if your business is all about selling a product and without much need for physical interaction with the customer, it is an absolute must to have a transaction friendly website that can take care of customer ordering, payment gateways, and shipping services. And the availability of ecommerce based website platforms like Shopify and Bigcommerce (some of the many available today) has made it easier than ever to now own a store online that handles it all. This has removed the physical store front from the equation for many businesses. With today’s audience often demanding an online transaction rather than a physical one, a easy to use website is key to ecommerce success .
As we discussed early, it is important to have creative designs that highlight the advantages of this channel. Something our team at LYFE Marketing can help you with. We build fully custom website designs for your ecommerce business.
- Track Real Time Customer Behavior
One of the most important things that physical stores lack over online ecommerce stores is the ability to record consumer behavior in real time and make instant changes to your marketing. It’s in this data that you find the materials you need to create the best ecommerce marketing ideas for your online store. It’s a process that starts with experiments and builds on gradually. Once you start observing, tracking, and noting consumer behavior patterns on your website, you can adjust what you sell, how you sell it, and how you promote it to the likes of your customers. This isn’t always an easy task, but the reward is worth the work.
Features like sorting popular orders, filtering out traffic sources and segmenting best value customers in real time are just some of the data that will give a huge boost to your marketing and advertising efforts. This data can then be effectively used in your email marketing campaigns to create customized communication pieces.
- Creating Targeted Communications
Another effective ecommerce marketing idea is to create email templates targeted towards data from your online ecommerce store. Once such famous tactic is targeting website visitors who added an item to a cart (yes! An ecommerce website lets you collect that data). You can send out quick emails to them with a discount to lure them to complete the transaction they forgot about.
Even if they don’t put anything in their cart, but merely look at a product, you can remind them. Unlike a physical business, it is possible to do this in real time, right when your brand is fresh in the user’s mind.
Below are a couple of ways you could entice your customer to come back to their digital shopping cart.
- Creating Customer Lists from Your Ecommerce Platform
Imagine having a bookkeeper for your store that records all transactions, customer information and inventory, all fully automated and in massive amounts. And the best part is you can get this information back with a click of a button. Welcome to the new age of ecommerce websites.
Just last week, we helped a client make sense of his year-long ecommerce data and created campaigns for him targeted towards different customers based on insights from that data. We chose to target his most valuable customers from the last year. We centered the campaign around customers who have spent more than $50, customers in specific locations, and even some customers who had visited his website for the first time.
This same model will not work for every business and it may not work for yours either. That’s why it’s best to build up your knowledge with blog articles like this one and then contact an ecommerce marketing company to help you setup your campaigns.
- Selling Through Social Media
Often referred to as social selling, this is an increasing trend employed by brands to build trust with users within a more comfortable setting first and then convincing them to purchase their products. You have built an incredible fanbase on social media, and you know exactly what they like to see in your posts. But now what? You leverage that opportunity! Our team will not only help you get there but also tell you what it takes to have the perfect social media marketing strategy that works. One element of which involves making sure that those likes and comments you are receiving aren’t just vanity metrics. You want real results, to you want to convert those engagements into ROI through product sales.
Many of the social platforms available today give you the ability to link your online store and sell to consumers in a social setting without pushing forceful advertisements. We have recommended this strategy to past clients who have seen a 10x return upon implementing social selling.
While we will discuss more in detail later, one such example is Facebook’s new products & services tab on your page. It is a page tab that is visible on way you are not only building brand credibility but have connected your ecommerce website to your social personality, adding one more channel to sell. Talk about ecommerce marketing ideas!
- Market Your Business Beyond Geographic Boundaries
Whether it is your neighborhood store or the local supermarket, they have one thing in common – they know it’s a challenge to appeal to potential customers in the next zip code. Not because the business is not a fit but because the physical location makes it less mobile making it a challenge to market beyond their geographic boundary.
Now think of what an ecommerce heavy business like Amazon can achieve. The lack of physical locations has given them the liberty to target users beyond their HQ. It is a big advantage when you think of economies of scale. They not only save on rent or lease but also translate those savings into free shipping and other discounts for customers. It’s a big part of their business that pulls in more people to order online rather than go visit their neighborhood stores. No wonder it’s such a crowd pleaser.
- Highlight Reviews
We all know how important word of mouth is when we make a purchase, whether at a local store or online. In fact, 92% of purchase decisions are triggered after a positive word of mouth recommendation either from family members, friends or past purchasers.
This brings us to one of our most prominent ecommerce marketing ideas. Imagine yourself visiting two stores online for vacuum cleaners. One has a basic design with no reviews next to it and the other website is bubbling with positive customer reviews. Which one do you think you’ll choose?
Ecommerce gives you the advantage of highlighting customer reviews right at the point of purchase, just when the customer is deciding whether to buy from you or not. This definitely is a great advantage to have by your side.
- Take Advantage of Check Out Pages
Like any other business owner you want to know as much about your customers as possible. However, retrieving personal information can sometimes be difficult. Not everyone is willing to give you much more than a first name or email address. However, with online ordering, customers are required to give much more information than this and seem to be happy to do so – unlike in a brick-and-mortar store. Online checkouts require you to provide information like email addresses, contact name, number and an address. That’s a great deal of information about your customer that can be used to not only re-engage with them but also learn more about your customers through business insights like geographical, demographic, and other forms of data.
The below image shows an example of a checkout page where a customer fills his information to complete the order.
If you’re working with a digital marketing company like ours, then we can also place a code behind these checkout pages to learn how the website visit was sourced – whether the customer came from your social ad or your email newsletter.
- Custom Content
Websites have given marketers the ability to create content specific to their target audience and change it as frequently as they like. Content marketing is something businesses must adopt to communicate with their customers in a way they understand best. Think local slang, viral trends or popular videos.
This gives you a fighting chance of being relevant to your audience, and in some cases, has seen as much as 8x increase in website traffic.
Our sources also tell us that tech geniuses are working on a way to let marketers change their website content based on website visitor. You can count on us to keep you updated.
A perfect example here would be the development of a blog on your website. Think of giving weekly tips to visitors about either solving their problems or just talking about FAQs. Our team of experts can help you create a synchronized content marketing calendar to stay on top of this.
- Testing Products That Actually Sell
What more, you ask? Well there’s one more thing. Testing!
Consumer needs change and so do their search preferences. As a business owner, it is your duty to provide your customers with products that solve their changing needs. Doing so can become costly and time consuming in a brick-and-mortar location. But not in an online store.
You can change out your products and introduce new trending products almost instantly.
Even a small change on the product description page can result in a 25% increase in conversions.
Of course, the best ecommerce marketing ideas depend on your business model, target audience, budget, sales funnel, etc. But don’t worry! Our team of experienced ecommerce marketers can work with you to find the best combination of digital marketing for your online store.
Now that we have reviewed some of our ecommerce marketing ideas, it’s time to discuss marketing channels. This checklist will help you determine with marketing channels will bring your business the greatest return on investment. Assuming you have already set your business plan, created tactical designs, and determined your advertising goals.
Checklist of eCommerce Marketing Channels
Set up Google Shopping Ads
These ads are fast and displayed instantly. They’re also a great way to show your products to people who are specifically searching for that product on Google. They’re searching for it, and they want it, so show them yours and outshine your competition.
Dating back a few years, Google has started allowing advertisers to list their own products in Google’s own product slider called Shopping Ads.
When a user searches for a specific product on Google, they are shown a slider filled with product suggestions that advertisers have paid Google to list. It is a popular way to sell your products and increase awareness of your ecommerce store. So much so that many small business owners have made Google their sole method of online marketing.
Google Display Ads
Google’s advertising platform and deep machine learning algorithms allow advertisers to tag website visitors and then follow them through their digital journey on the internet. They are then shown banner ads or display ads of your brand/product on future websites they visit. All of this is done to keep your brand top of mind at all times.
Below is an example of ad placement a user sees while visiting other websites after his initial visit to the advertiser’s website.
Known as remarketing, this tactic can help bring back lost visitors and increase sales for your business. Your audience becomes more aware of your brand and has a higher intent of converting. This increase in conversions has made remarketing a popular tactic for businesses & finds a prominent place in their arsenal of ecommerce marketing ideas.
We discussed this earlier but wanted to give you a little more information on it.
Over the past year, Facebook has introduced a feature for business owners to upload their product catalog to their business page and voilà! They can promote it directly to their target audience without having to worry about uploading details of each item they wish to promote.
Below you can see an image of your business catalog as uploaded on Facebook for marketing products to customers.
Instagram, too, is working on a feature of its own called product tags. Businesses can now tag their products on posted pictures which when clicked, directly gives a user information about the product on the image itself. And when clicked again, the user can then receive more details and purchase the item if they like – all right in the Instagram application.
Source: Ad Week
Similar to this feature, Pinterest now allows businesses to connect their ecommerce websites on their pins. These are called buyable pins and allow the user to view the product’s details and options and simply “add to bag” right from pin on their Pinterest feed.
Social Paid Campaigns with a Call to Action
As you probably know Facebook Advertising allows you to create ads targeting users based on geography, demographics, or even based on certain specific interests. A good ecommerce marketing idea is to have CTA (call to action) buttons on your ads that link directly to your ecommerce website page. There are quite a few interesting CTA buttons to choose from – Buy Now, Learn More, Book Now, Sign Up and more.
Making sure your social media is working for ecommerce will help generate an extra return on investment for your marketing dollars.
Multiple Email Campaign Types
We discussed earlier how you can build customer lists using lead magnets on your site like newsletter sign-ups, blog sign-ups, and collect customer information during checkout.
Some marketing tactics here can include sending out email newsletters containing new arrivals and popular products. Email automations also present the opportunity for upselling complementing products to customers who have bought an item from you and more.
The best place to upsell or educate customers of new arrivals is in transactional emails like confirmation receipts, or shipping confirmation emails because these have the highest open rates among all emails sent by businesses. Using email marketing for your ecommerce store remains one of the most effective marketing channels that is widely used by marketers today.
With 70% of all trending online content in the form of video, it is no surprise that brands have committed to move 85% of their content to video by the year 2020. Video is a great way to convey a message and is certainly much more shareable on social media. Not convinced? Check out the information below to learn more about how video influences beauty purchases.If you own an ecommerce store, producing videos should be one of your first ecommerce marketing ideas. Whether it is creating how-to videos for ways to use your product or product description videos. They are a great way to personalize communication and improve the customer experience.
Blog articles are informative content pieces that you can publish on your website for customers to learn more about your business and products. They are a great way to create a buzz about your brand, grow your SEO strength on search engines, and share more information about your products or your industry.
We always recommend business blogging to our clients. It’s best to create a blog schedule for the topics you’re going to share in your articles. Always be sure to create value for your customers reading your articles.
Imagine a business that consistently publishes articles regarding the latest trends, frequently asked questions, and product experiences. Such blog articles have a massive favorable factor from Google to rank in search results. As a result these blog pages will be seen in Google’s organic results. More and more people become aware of your brand as you see sales increase. It’s a win-win situation when you think about it.