Running a successful ecommerce business is no easy task. That's why we've decided to compile a list of 17 handy ecommerce marketing tips to help grow your brand.
But before we go into the tips themselves, let’s take a look at exactly what we mean by ecommerce marketing.
Ecommerce marketing refers to any promotional efforts to drive traffic to your online store and generate sales. That includes both getting consumers who have never shopped at your store before to buy for the first time, as well as those that have bought previously to buy again.
Although the end destination for customers is an online store, ecommerce marketing itself may take place either offline or online.
Without ecommerce marketing it’s impossible for online retailers to grow a brand into a successful ecommerce business.
Now we’ve looked at what ecommerce marketing is, let’s turn our attention to some tips and tricks to help you improve it.
The days of “spray-and-pray” marketing are gone. The modern customer demands a tailored shopping experience specific to their needs. The more relevant the offers you promote, the higher the chances they’ll buy.
In fact, nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of online consumers get annoyed with websites where the content (e.g. ads, offers, promotions) appears irrelevant to their interests.
Use customers' browsing history, interests, and preferences to send them personalized marketing messages. That way, you can make sure that they’re properly targeted and are more likely to elicit a response.
Shoppers want a personalized experience across all touchpoints of their customer journey, too. An omnichannel approach to retailing can help you achieve this. That way, if a customer abandons the checkout process unexpectedly on desktop, they can pick up where they left off on a mobile device later.
Want to know more about omnichannel customer experience? Check out our on demand webinar: https://acquire.io/webinars-events/omnichannel-cx/
It’s important to remember not to take personalizing your marketing messages too far though. After all, there’s a fine line between using shoppers' personal information to customize messages, and invading their privacy.
There are a number of ways to run discount pricing in your ecommerce store. Many brands go with seasonal sales, but there is also plenty of scope to discount by volume, buy one get one free, or just plain simple promotional discounts like 60% off everything.
Whichever methods you employ, it helps to try and create a sense of urgency. It’s all about using the psychology of scarcity. Countdown clocks showing a limited time left in a sale are a good way of doing this. And make sure to prominently display the discounts you are offering so customers are left in no doubt of the deals they are getting.
Discount sales are a good way of driving up volume, but on the flipside the average order value will be impacted so it’s always a case of weighing up what’s best for your business.
The stats show that mobile has overtaken desktop worldwide, with nearly 55 percent of market share, compared to just 43 percent. So, a responsive, mobile-optimized website is an absolute must for any modern business.
In fact, maximizing conversions in your online store now depends on providing a high quality mobile experience.
Here are a few ways you can do that:
Live chat provides a way for customers to ask questions and express concerns before making buying decisions. It’s also an opportunity for your agents to share product information and knowledge base articles to help your customers make better-informed decisions. This helps iron out any uncertainties and so increases your conversion rate while improving the shopping experience for your customers.
Live chat can even be used strategically to target website visitors on certain pages, or when they’ve been on pages (such as product pages for example) for a certain amount of time, helping boost that all-important customer engagement.
Want to learn more about how to boost customer engagement? Check out our on demand webinar: https://acquire.io/webinars-events/innovative-digital-customer-engagement/
If you want to improve your conversion rates, don’t overlook the potential of opt-in offers. Pop-ups encourage visitors to sign up for your email list, newsletter or loyalty program. This helps grow your contacts — great for email marketing — and in the end helps boost sales.
Offering a 10% discount and free shipping on orders above $100 to sign up may well influence an uncertain shopper to take the next step and purchase. And even if they don’t go on to buy at the time, if they sign up, that’s another contact in your database and a potential purchase down the line.
The best time to serve pop-ups is just before customers leave your site. It’s important to test your opt-in offers and optimize accordingly, too. At the end of the day, the more email addresses you collect, the more sales you’ll get in future.
If your business doesn’t offer a free shipping option for your customers, it’s time to think about adding one.
Free shipping is a bit hit. In fact, many customers, influenced by the likes of Amazon, have come to expect it these days, even on lower value items. The benefit to your business is clear: the potential to increase sales and revenue.
In a survey carried out by Ask your target market, 70 percent of respondents said that they have a higher opinion of brands offering free delivery and shipping, 84 percent are more likely to shop on sites with this service, and 75 percent said they are more likely to shop if there’s a free shipping promotion, rather than other types of promotions or discounts.
Abandoned carts are a real frustration for ecommerce businesses. Consumers get so close to buying from you and then at the very last minute, poof, they’re gone. And with an average global shopping cart abandonment rate in 2020 of 88 percent, that’s a whole lot of revenue and potential customers down the drain.
There are many reasons why website visitors abandon their carts, from clunky purchasing processes to hidden charges. But all is not lost. There are ways you can combat this with shopping cart optimization.
One method is to try and stop people dropping out in the first place. To do that, you can:
Even if a cart has been abandoned there is still hope. Try launching an email recovery campaign to persuade cart abandoners back to site to complete their purchase once they have left. More than 40 percent of these types of emails are opened, according to Moosend.
User generated content adds a whole new perspective into how you go about your ecommerce marketing. Rather than having to trust what the brand says, customers these days can turn to their fellow customers to get a better idea of what’s good and what to expect. This kind of social proof is a powerful psychological persuasion tool.
Positive reviews from happy customers help you gain the trust of potential customers. On the flipside, negative reviews provide vital information on issues to address within your business.
These kinds of customer testimonials are even more influential than perfectly written sales copy. So be sure to encourage customers to share their experience with your brand, whether that’s on your site or through other review sites and social media.
According to Mailgen, 89 percent of marketers said that email is their key channel for lead generation. Make sure you promote your email capture points, for newsletters and the like, prominently across your website to maximize subscriber numbers.
Sending emails manually is incredibly time-consuming and will prevent you from being able to effectively scale your business. Automation is therefore an essential step in boosting your email marketing and your business.
Email marketing automation can be used in a number of ways. For instance, as we’ve mentioned, when a customer abandons their cart, a recovery email encouraging him to revisit the site and complete the transaction can be automatically triggered. Using pre-set triggers in this way allows you to send hyper-relevant and timely messages seamlessly and will bring you 119 percent higher click rates than broadcast emails.
The ecommerce marketplace isn’t just about quality products and must-have designs. Obviously, these help, but to really stand out you need to provide excellent customer support.
And these days, that means taking an omnichannel approach — supporting prospects and customers across multiple channels and treating each interaction or touchpoint (e.g. SMS, chatbots, live chat) as part of a single, frictionless whole.
Repeat customers are the beating heart of your brand. And one of the best ways to keep customers around is by using loyalty programs as an incentive.
The decision on how and why you reward your customers is entirely up to you. For example, you could provide reward points which they can redeem to get free products, discount coupons, or free shipping. It pays to personalize your loyalty offering, too, so your customers only get rewards that are relevant to them.
It’s not just your customers that will be rewarded, your business will be as well. According to white house office of consumer affairs reports:
Most people who want to make waves on the ecommerce scene look to try and provide innovative products and services, expending resources only to find out later that virtually the same products/services are already available on the market. And even if they aren't, it’s only a matter of time before someone else follows suit.
Time and effort is better spent coming up with innovative marketing ideas. The biggest ecommerce sites, like Amazon.com or Ebay.com, aren’t selling things you can’t find elsewhere. But they are selling these same products in a different way.
There’s nothing more annoying for a customer than a poorly designed website. For a start, it makes you seem untrustworthy as a brand. And of course there’s the practical considerations of making it difficult to navigate and therefore creating a barrier to generating sales. Something as simple as having the wrong colors or text size can make a big difference.
The way you display products, how they are categorized, and much more besides, all feed into the customer experience. Make sure to carry out user testing so that your website is a source of joy rather than frustration.
Upselling and cross-selling are great ways to go about boosting revenue. Often, your customers simply don’t know that you have a better version of a product in stock, or perhaps they just need more information to get a handle on why a premium product better fits their needs.
Similarly, there may be other products that perfectly accessorize the product they are buying, but they weren’t aware of. Amazon has made their name on this kind of personalized product recommendations using the ‘If you liked that then you’ll love this’ approach.
A word of caution though, make sure your suggestions are relevant for the products they have originally chosen, and avoid being too pushy.
Social media is a great addition to your ecommerce marketing strategies. Adding in products to your Instagram posts along with some relevant hashtags can open up an alternative direct route to buying.
A Facebook store is also a good option, offering an alternative platform to sell your products. They’re fairly simple to set up and can be integrated with existing systems such as Shopify, so there’s no need to keep track of inventory separately.
Want to know more about growing your ecommerce business with our Shopify integration? Check out our resources page: https://acquire.io/shopify/
It’s an old adage, but with good reason: content is king. Every ecommerce business can benefit from creating content. Regular relevant blogging helps connect with customers on a deeper level, while providing a way to rank better in search engines, too. It’s a brilliant string to add to your digital marketing bow
But there’s more to content than just blog posts. Longer form content such as guides can be a good way of improving the customer journey and making sure your customers get the most out of your products. It may be worth considering guest posting on other websites as well.
Podcasts have become popular now, too, offering the chance to nurture a community and providing a vehicle to showcase relevant expertise.
Messaging apps are more popular than ever. And people aren’t just using them to chat with friends, they want to interact with ecommerce brands as well. Chatbots are an important ecommerce technology trend that can be used to field questions on platforms such as Facebook Messenger, making your brand available 24/7.
They also add an extra dimension to your online store, offering customers a helping hand when your support team is unavailable — providing services such as inventory checking. Bots can even be used to help customers pick out products that suit their needs and act as a kind of virtual chatbot assistant.
Want to learn how to create the ultimate ecommerce customer experience? Check out our whitepaper: https://whitepaper.acquire.io/definitive-ecommerce-customer-experience-guide
Running an online store is never going to be easy, but by using these ecommerce marketing tips and backing them up with the necessary resources, you can overcome any challenges you face and greatly improve your chance of success.
Which of these tips would help your online store? Let us know in the comments.
Benedict Clark is a psychologist and writer, having previously spent 8 years in the digital marketing industry. With a master's degree in Business and Occupational Psychology from Kingston University, he writes about the interplay between customer experience and psychology for Acquire.