All online stores want increased traffic and more conversions. That is a fact. So putting together a basic marketing strategy is one of the best ways to achieve these goals. Yes, it can still be fairly challenging in order to decide on which marketing tactics you should be trying out.
So, with that in mind here is an overview of the most effective marketing tactics along with some ideas to help you implement the approach.
Firstly, What is eCommerce Marketing?
eCommerce marketing is the best practice of using promotional tactics in order to drive that all important traffic to your store and more importantly converting that traffic into paying customers but also retaining those customers post-purchase.
Holistic eCommerce marketing strategies are made up if marketing tactics which are both one and off your website, whereas a sound marketing strategy is able to help you build brand awareness, drive customer loyalty and most importantly increase online sales.
You are able to use eCommerce marketing to promote your online store as a whole or to drive more sales to those specific products.
Upsell Your Products
“Would you like to supersize your order?” A question I am sure you have all heard in some form, this is because it’s just a great example of upselling or the approach of trying to sell a slightly more premium product than the one the customer was already considering.
For a lot of businesses, upselling can be more effective than acquiring a new customer. Sometimes your customers don’t know that a premium product is available, or in some cases just need to be shown more evidence to understand how an upgrade is a better fit for their needs.
There are 2 main considerations when using upselling to increase sales:
- Make sure your upsells are related to the original product
- Be fairly sensitive to the anticipated price range of your customers.
Ideally, your products have to fit the customers’ original needs, and they may not be enthusiastic about a higher price point once they have the original price anchored in their mind. An anchor price is the first number a customer sees, and it’s the one they compare every other price too. The new product must be a better fit than the original for it to be worth that additional cost to the customer.
Instagram is one of the fastest growing social apps around, with over 500 million daily active users, connecting consumers, influencers and brands together.
Taking compelling photos and using the right hashtags where necessary all while posting at the right time means you are well on your way to building up your Instagram following of people who are interested in your products. The key to mastering your organic Instagram presence is engagement with your followers.
So, what are some of the best ways to engage on the platform? You may try running contests or going behind the scenes of your business to showcase your product development process. For eCommerce marketing, creating shoppable Instagram posts provides your followers a more direct path to purchase, which is key for increasing your overall online sales.
Reduce Abandoned Carts
You are losing money each and every time a visitor abandons their cart without purchasing! A harsh truth I know, but it’s true.
This phenomenon is well studied. Visitors will add items to their carts, but abandon them during the checkout process and according to the Baymard Institute, 69.23% of shopping carts are abandoned.
There could be many reasons for site visitors to do this, some of the main culprits are as follows:
- Extra costs are too high (Shipping, Tax, Fees
- The site wanted them to create an account
- Too long . complicated checkout process
- Crashed site
- Delivery was too slow
It’s worth addressing this as some shoppers who have abandoned their carts could have been reminded to complete their purchase, possibly persuaded with a discount code or free shipping.
One very simple and effective eCommerce marketing idea in order to reduce the frequency of abandoned carts is some kind of email recovery campaign, these have the ability to convince your visitors to return and complete their original purchase.
You are going to want to create an email that entices your visitors to return to their carts by reminding them what they have previously considered purchasing in the first place, and why.
Launch a Facebook Store
Through time, Facebook has undergone a significant number of changes, it still remains a viable platform for social media and eCommerce marketing.
The process is fairly straightforward to start making sales through your Facebook store, and if you have a Shopify store you are able to integrate it directly so you don’t have to keep a separate inventory.
Capture More Email Subscribers
Email marketing is one of the most effective channels at your disposal for making sales and generating repeat customers. Roughly 17% of digital marketing spend will come through emails, but it contributes 24% of revenue.
In the world of Facebook and Twitter, there are way too many tweets and updates for us to all keep up with, and its an email that is able to offer a more intimate interaction. People are still more protective of messages being sent to their personal inboxes verses their social feeds. In addition, emails give you the space to say things that just won’t fit in a character-limited social post.
To get started with email marketing, actively promote your newsletter, blogs and any other email capture efforts to attract as many subscribers as possible.
Improve Your Email Campaigns
It’s simply not enough to capture a bunch of your customer’s email addresses and just send them one email every now and again. You need to make sure you send regular, valuable emails for the channel to be an effective eCommerce marketing activity.
There are a lot of different occasions that are perfect for sending emails that your subscribers will actually appreciate and not just automatically trash it.
- Send a Welcome email as soon as your customer makes a purchase
- Provide exclusive promo codes and free gifts
- Send out regular newsletters to alert subscribers of new discounts offers, product tips, and also company news.
- Share relevant content to help customers get the very most out of their recently purchased items
- Thanking your highest-value customers. Send out a more personal note expressing your appreciation for their business.
- If someone visits your site but does not complete the purchase, ask about their experience and what you can improve it.
Send Wishlist Reminder Emails
Sending wishlist reminder emails is the final type of email to add to your list of eCommerce marketing ideas. Wishlist reminder emails are very similar to the abandoned cart emails. Both are designed in a way to try and convince shoppers to take that final leap in purchasing the products they have shown interest in.
It may have been a while since someone has checked out their wishlist or you could have an item in the sale that they have had in their list for some time. Send an email out to let your customers know as that may be the trigger they need to finally push that ‘Buy’ button.
Make It Easy For Your Customers To Get What They Want
If you think you are losing customers, it may be down to the fact your site is poorly designed. But what does a poorly designed website actually look like?
Besides coming across untrustworthy, the store may be suffering from a combination of the following: lacking a clear value proposition, the font used it hard to read, or the site is confusing to navigate around.
Even when you have improved the dimensions above, you might still be making a few design mistakes. For example, are you properly segmenting your products or are you putting too many products on one page? Have you figured out the right balance between text and visuals? These are just a few of the many things that you should be considering.
Thankfully there are some really beautiful eCommerce sites around to take inspiration from and see who they layout their site and show of their products to the best of their ability.
Generate More Product Reviews
Having reviews on your products is what will provide your customers with confidence when it comes to buying from your store. Product reviews are a form of testimonial and your visitors will see immediately what people are saying about a product that they may be considering buying.
Engage Online Store Visitors By Including A Live Chat
Looking outside of emails, there are also other ways to engage with your site visitors and customers. An example of this would be to include a live chat so shoppers are able to engage with you while they are shopping.
A lot of live chat tools let you target browser on certain pages, after they’ve been on your site for a significant length of time, or even after they’ve arrived on your site through an email newsletter. Live chat also enables you to have more direct conversations with your customers which allows you to answer and address your customers concerns right there and then.
Anticipate Future Sales
If you have the ability to expand your line of products, then you should evaluate market demand and see if it’s actually worth the cost. You can do that through a whole variety of approaches: keyword research, geographic validation and social media trends. A more creative way to test out your market, pre-sell items to see how many people actually place orders.
If you’re trying to decide out of a selection of products to sell, create pages for all of them, ensuring that you use top quality images and with a compelling copy for each one. Then list them all as “Out Of Stock” and see which product gets the most attention in terms of back-in-stock notification requests or gets the most page views. That’s the one you should be selling.
Start A Content Marketing Program
Every eCommerce store should consider blogging fairly regularly in order to connect with customers and to also rank better in search engines. If you’re already creating content, consider actively featuring your blog on your online store.
Don’t forget, there are more ways to take advantage of content marketing than just blogging:
- You could start up a podcast to feature your expertise and build up a stronger community.
- Guest post on other websites and blogs in order to build up awareness and generate backlinks, this also helps with SEO too.
- Create long-form content and guides to help customers use your products more effectively.
Onsite personalisation is another effective marketing tactic to drive more sales. Using behavioural data, personalised experiences are then served to the visitor based on their past actions and preferences.
Personalisation is able to lift sales as much as 10%, but the opportunity is far greater than that. Only 15% of companies are using this technology to its fullest extent.
You can also account for location when it comes to personalisation to create an experience catered to where your customers are based. Someone in a beach town will be looking at different clothing compared to someone who is based up in the mountains.
Leverage User-generated Content
User-generated content of UGC as it’s often referred to as is a great way to generate a social proof. When prospective customers see that people just like them are regularly purchasing your products, they’ll feel more confident in doing the same.
UGC can take many forms. Technically, even product reviews are UGC. One of the most effective types though is pictures of customers actually using your products on their own social platforms.
You may be thinking its only the brick-and-mortar businesses that are the only ones who can jump on the local movement, however, you would be wrong. Online retailers can also take this approach to their eCommerce marketing tactics to increase online sales.
In order to figure out what local means to you, here are a couple of suggestions of how you can look at it.
You need to identify where you have large concentrations of customers and then run a promotion for just that specific location. Take a look at which products those customers are buying and other spending behaviour indicators, consider any local events or even seasons to appropriately time a promotion.
If you have a warehouse, you could consider a promotion with discounted, free or expedited shipping to customers in the vicinity. This will be easier for your operations team in order to execute and also help you promote sales in a more cost-effective manner.
Optimise Your Product Pages
Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) is the practice of optimising your site for on-site conversions and also increased sales. Practising CRO helps you identify problem areas on your site.
Where are you losing your sales? Who is dropping off where and why? What can you do to capture those more missed opportunities? This process is done through both qualitative and quantitative research, so you get a holistic and also unbiased view of just how conversion-oriented your site is.
Once you have conducted your research to identify challenges and opportunities, you can then develop hypotheses and tests to see which approach generated the most sales.
Optimise For Mobile
Apparently, by the year 2021, more than half of all online shopping is expected to occur on mobile devices. This means optimising your store for mobile means more than just having a responsive design. It does also mean you’re designing your site with mobile visitors in mind from the very start to the very end.
Perhaps you have a larger add to cart button on all mobile product pages, making it easier for site visitors to add things to their card without having to zoom in. For example. You might also present your images in a different format, making it faster for those visitors on mobile to load product photos and also making it easier to zoom in.
Rewarding Loyal Customers
Focusing on customer retention is a cost-effective way to increase online sales. Return customers will account for around 22% of a retailers revenue while making up only 11% of the total customer base.
One way you can reward your customers and big spenders are introducing loyalty programmes. There are many ways both your customers and also you can benefit from these types of schemes, this is because they give customers that little extra incentive to make a purchase and they also keep your brand at the top of their minds through automated reminders.
You can choose how to reward your customers, how frequently and for what actions. For instance, you might have a point-based scheme, which has its own point-based currency that can be exchanged for discounts, free shipping or gifts once the shopper has collected so many points.