If your eCommerce brand is struggling with optimizing your digital marketing, bringing sales, and improving your customer retention then this guide is for you. This is our most comprehensive guide on everything that has to do with eCommerce marketing strategy.
Ecommerce sales are expected to hit $1 trillion in the US in 2022. Black Friday sales alone in 2021 hit an epic $8.9 billion. With all the increased hype and usage of online eCommerce stores, the complexity and competition have also increased.
Brands are having a harder time competing on catching the attention of potential customers in their customer journey, focusing their marketing efforts on the right target customer, and delighting them in the post-purchase portion of the buyer experience.
We cover specific eCommerce marketing tactics, the right channels, marketing tips, and tools to help you crush your ROI goals.
Chatbots have become one of the most powerful ways to engage with potential customers and delight returning customers. Customers prefer them because they provide such a quicker way of getting the information they need, whether that's help selecting a product or checking if the order was shipped.
Chatbots help eCommerce businesses save on customer service costs, improve conversion rates and increase retention.
There are two types of chatbots you should use. You can display a chatbot on your site using a live chat widget or you can use a chatbot on social media platforms like Facebook or Whatsapp. They work great on both desktop and mobile devices.
Speaking of mobile devices, here are two great strategies to engage with your mobile users better - push notifications and text messages.
Push notifications are those messages you get on your mobile device or browser. The click-through rates on these are 12% on average but could get as high as 30% with a highly-targeted campaign. Use push notifications to send out promotions, transactional information, and content updates to your current customers.
Text messaging is another great way to engage with your customer base. Studies show that this is one of the most engaging of all marketing channels. In fact, 58.7% of text messages get answered within 5 minutes and 50% get answered within the first three.
And according to EZTexting, 100% of people achieve inbox zero with their text messages.
So it's a very powerful channel for any eCommerce brand.
Here are some of the top SMS strategies you should use to increase customer engagement and bring in more sales:
Influencer marketing has become synonymous with eCommerce. It is the engine that drives so many other marketing channels - like paid advertising, conversion optimization and building an engaged community on social media.
Studies show that 92% of consumers believe suggestions from their friends and family more than advertising. Shoppers also regularly consume influencer content to get ideas for what to buy next and the data shows this. 49% of consumers say they use influencer recommendations to make a purchase decision. That's what makes this one of the most effective marketing strategies for any eCommerce company.
"Influencer marketing is like word-of-mouth marketing on steroids"
Business owners should use influencers to create images and videos that they can then display on their website, product pages, use in brand awareness campaigns, retargeting sequences, landing pages, and on their marketplace product listings.
The way to best use influencers is to search for those whose audience matches the various target audiences that you are trying to reach. In this chapter, we go through all the strategies of how to set up an influencer campaign, how to find the right influencers, and how to best retarget your visitors and current customers to increase your eCommerce sales.
Conversion rate optimization (or CRO) is a must for every business and it's especially powerful in the world of eCommerce marketing. Every brand should be constantly optimizing its site to improve the user experience, improve conversions, and increase the bottom line.
Shopping cart abandonment is a huge problem for online stores. The average cart abandonment rate across all industries is 69% and it's even higher for mobile users, at 85%. Launch popups, run retargeting campaigns, and do thorough usability testing to optimize sections on your site that aren't getting enough engagement.
The checkout process is one of the most crucial sections on any eCommerce site. Make sure that yours is simple to follow, take out any unnecessary fields, and make sure you include the guest checkout options and any relevant 3-rd party payment options.
A great way to improve your eCommerce conversion rate is to display social proof in the form of online reviews and user-generated content. UGC heavily impacts consumer purchase decisions, increasing conversions by 29%. You can use a marketing tool like Loox or Pixlee to automatically display customer product images and videos on your product and category pages.
For more eCommerce conversion rate optimization tips, read the full chapter here.
Ecommerce platforms are not the only places where brands can store and sell their products. Online marketplaces, like Amazon and eBay, have been gaining popularity over the last decade and have become some of the biggest players in the eCommerce space.
According to a recent report, a whopping 74% of U.S. consumers begin their product searches on Amazon. And 56% of consumers say that if they were able to buy all of their products from a single store it would be Amazon.
The advantages of selling your eCommerce products on online marketplaces like Amazon are:
In this section, we cover four of the largest eCommerce marketplaces - Amazon, eBay, Etsy, and Houzz. We go through product listing strategies, advertising, best practices, and much more.
Pricing is at the core of online sales and it becomes much more crucial if you are selling eCommerce products across a variety of social media platforms and online marketplaces. It's difficult (and near impossible) to be able to adjust pricing in real-time to stay competitive, especially on weekends and holidays.
Here are some action items for you to set up pricing automation:
We've covered pricing automation, now it's time to talk about all the other types of automation you should be utilizing in your eCommerce strategy. Ecommerce sites require a lot of tedious tasks and processes to be successful, and the sooner they are automated the better.
For example, every person that visits your website and converts as a lead should be sent an email flow. Every new customer should get a welcome flow along with transactional notifications such as an order confirmation, shipping & delivery notification, and a customer survey. Omnichannel experiences along the buyer journey should be automated as well (like SMS campaigns that trigger email flows, etc.).
Email marketing remains one of the most common marketing channels for any eCommerce business, and for very good reason. With all the algorithm changes on social media platforms and search engines, the email list remains the only place where the business can store and really own their customer data.
Another advantage of email marketing is when it's used for retargeting it is able to increase the conversion rates of all the other channels. For example, by taking a lead from a Facebook ad and sending a retargeting email you are able to convert that lead, effectively improving your Facebook ad campaign.
Every brand should use an email marketing service that integrates well with their eCommerce platform and provides basic email automation to be able to target individual customer segments with personalized emails.
Here are the email campaigns that brands should send:
Some of the elements brands should test in their emails include:
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