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With global ecommerce revenue totaling nearly $27 trillion, companies around the world are making digital platforms a key aspect of their sales strategies.
If you want to stand out in such a competitive field, you’ll need a carefully crafted ecommerce marketing plan that responds to your unique target audience. To help new ecommerce brands reach their full potential, we put together this beginner-friendly guide to the most powerful ecommerce marketing strategies for 2022 and beyond.
What is ecommerce marketing?
Ecommerce marketing is the process of motivating consumers to buy products or services that are sold online. That includes the entire customer journey, from simply making people aware of the brand all the way to earning their trust and making the sale.
Of course, there’s no single “best” way to approach ecommerce marketing. Part of succeeding as an ecommerce vendor is learning more about your buyers and adapting your tactics to match their preferences and tendencies. It’s crucial to come in with an open mind and be ready to adjust your plan as you gain new information.
Types of ecommerce marketing
Ecommerce marketers leverage a number of different channels in order to reach out to new users while staying engaged with existing contacts.
While you may not need to be active on every single one of these platforms, our research indicates that marketers generate a 287% higher purchase rate when they start using at least three different channels.
Email marketing is the practice of sending promotional emails in order to connect with leads. While email might not be the sexiest marketing platform, it’s still one of the most effective tools for ecommerce. In fact, the average dollar spent on email marketing leads to an incredible return of $40 in sales.
Given the complexity of a typical email marketing campaign, you’ll need a robust email automation platform that makes it easy to create captivating content, set up automated messages based on a wide range of triggers, and thoroughly analyze the results of past campaigns.
Marketers send different promotional emails depending on the specific context. Here are some of the most common types of email marketing:
- Email blasts: Email blasts are mass campaigns that go out to an entire contact list at the same time. For example, you might want to let subscribers know about your best holiday offer.
- Transactional emails: Consumers expect to receive various pieces of information at different points in the customer journey. Transactional emails include messages such as order confirmations, password resets, and shipping updates.
- Segmented emails: While segmented emails are still based on specific criteria, they aren’t directly tied to a particular user action. For instance, a discount on a certain type of product may be well-suited to customers who have purchased similar items in the past.
Here’s a great example of a sales email. Note that it contains a Christmas order deadline in bold font, giving readers a clear sense of urgency as soon as they open the message.
SMS marketing involves businesses sending SMS messages to existing customers and prospects. Ecommerce sites typically use SMS marketing for:
- Sales promotions and special offers
- Upselling and cross-selling
- Abandoned cart recovery
- Customer support
This helps online stores boost customer engagement, increase brand awareness, and generate more sales.
When it comes to ecommerce, SMS marketing is particularly effective: In 2021, automated SMS campaigns sent by Omnisend customers saw conversion rates jump by 20% from 2020, resulting in a 106% increase in orders compared to 2020.
To put these statistics into context, online wig retailer Divatress is a great example of a successful text message marketing strategy in ecommerce. By partnering with Omnisend to automate their marketing, this company of 15 now gets an average of $15,000 in sales per month just from SMS campaigns.
Pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns involve paying a platform like Google or Facebook to bring traffic to your website. As the name implies, you’ll pay a certain fee every time a user clicks on your ad.
When running a PPC campaign, you’ll be able to enter a bid for different types of traffic—for example, you might segment your bids based on the user’s location or the device they’re using. You can also run PPC campaigns to retarget users based on specific actions such as visiting your site or abandoning a shopping cart.
While Google’s PPC results are listed as ads in the search results, they still give site owners unparalleled access to highly targeted leads.
Unlike organic search traffic, PPC marketing campaigns can also start and stop at a moment’s notice. That makes them ideal for site launches, product announcements, holiday promotions, and other time-sensitive content.
Search engine optimization
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of making a website, blog, or online store more visible in results from Google and other popular search engines. Almost 30% of all web traffic comes from online searches, and the ability to attract organic search traffic can make or break a new ecommerce brand.
Unlike PPC marketing campaigns, this doesn’t involve any paid traffic. Instead, the goal of SEO is to make your site one of the top results when someone inputs a search that’s relevant to your brand or products. The image below illustrates some of the key elements of a successful SEO strategy.
Product pages are one of the most important areas of your site when it comes to SEO. Check out this guide for more ideas: 9 tips on product listing optimization
Content marketing is all about producing things like blog posts, guides, and videos that interest your visitors.
SEO goes hand in hand with content marketing. When both workflows are running smoothly, you’ll be able to get users in the door through search results and motivate them to keep coming back for your engaging content.
This blog post on cleaning your phone screen comes from Pela Case, a company that provides accessories for mobile devices. Once they bring customers to their site to read the post, they’ll have an opportunity to make a purchase, or at least get the Pela brand in their head so that it comes to mind the next time they’re looking for a phone case.
Before starting writing blog posts you should think about the most important, seasonal, and other types of content. You should think of having a content marketing calendar not to miss the most important topics for your readers.
Ecommerce affiliate marketing involves using other businesses or individuals in order to promote your products or services on their websites. When a visitor referred by an affiliate makes a purchase, these affiliates get paid a commission.
Affiliates often use content marketing, paid advertising, affiliate email marketing and other methods to drive traffic to their own landing pages about your product. Affiliate marketing can be a great way to expand your ecommerce marketing strategy, with 16% of ecommerce sales coming from affiliates.
For ecommerce stores, the best way to benefit from this type of marketing tactics and boost online sales is by becoming a vendor with a competitive affiliate program.
Social media marketing
With social media playing such an important role in our daily lives, it’s no surprise that it’s now a crucial marketing platform for all kinds of businesses. Brands promote their products on social media through many different types of campaigns.
Social media outreach offers a number of critical benefits for digital marketers. Naturally, the first benefit worth mentioning is increased exposure. If you only market your brand through your website and email newsletter, you’re missing out on a huge audience of social media users who could be interested in your products.
Keep in mind that social media campaigns don’t need to be siloed off from the rest of your digital marketing practices. In fact, email and social media are at their best when they’re combined as part of a unified digital presence.
Check out our blog for more ideas on integrating social media into your email campaigns.
Engaging new leads and building your credibility is a major challenge as an ecommerce vendor. Influencer advertising is a type of social media marketing in which brands pay for endorsements from influencers who can connect them to a new audience.
When you work with an influencer that aligns with your brand image and style, you’ll be able to generate more traffic while you continue to focus on your own campaigns on email, SMS, social media, and other channels. Influencers usually charge based on performance rather than impressions, so you won’t waste money on campaigns that don’t generate the results you’re looking for.
This post is an excellent example of the power of influencer marketing. Jesse Driftwood knows how to communicate with his unique audience, and Audible gives him the chance to earn money while promoting a product that many of his followers will be genuinely interested in.
Ecommerce marketing strategies
Now that you understand the main types of ecommerce marketing, let’s take a look at how leading digital brands have implemented these ideas in real campaigns.
1. Build your email list
Building your contact list will allow you to stay in contact with a growing collection of highly engaged leads.
Of course, convincing people to give you their contact information and to receive your newsletter is easier said than done. Successfully building an email list requires two main elements:
- Unique, valuable content
- Strong email capture practices
In this example, Jiggy offers users a streamlined signup process along with a tempting 10% discount on their first order. Adding this kind of email capture form to your website will help you turn more visitors into subscribers and eventually into loyal customers.
Speaking of Jiggy…Their automation workflows now contribute to more than two-thirds of their revenue. Learn more about how they did it: JIGGY Drives 69% of Revenue With Marketing Automation
2. Cross-sell and upsell your products
Upselling is when you recommend add-ons or a more expensive product line after a lead expresses interest in a particular item. If you walk into an Apple Store and ask for an iPhone 13, for example, their team will probably try to convince you to spend even more money on an iPhone 13 Pro.
Cross-selling, on the other hand, involves recommending related or similar products that a user might also be interested in. When you open an Amazon product page, you’ll see a list of additional product recommendations based on the item you’re looking at.
Both upselling and cross-selling can tempt customers to add more items to their cart, increasing the average value of your orders. The “Shop the Look” section below gives users the opportunity to check out other items that the model is wearing and that might fit well in the same outfit.
3. Set up cart recovery campaigns
Adding a product to the cart is a key step toward conversion, but roughly 70% of all online shopping carts are abandoned before the purchase. Bringing back even a small percentage of abandoned carts could help you generate significantly more sales.
A typical cart abandonment sequence includes two or three reminders designed to make the recipient reconsider their decision to leave your site. Keep in mind that you could send these as abandoned cart emails or as automated SMS reminders.
Here’s a great abandoned cart email example from Basic Piece. After a quick introduction, it shows users the products from their cart and invites them to come back to the online store. We also noticed that Basic Piece includes contact information for users who want to get in touch with their support team.
$9,000 in revenues in three months.That’s how much Silver Street Jewelers made with cart recovery emails.Get details: https://www.omnisend.com/resources/customers/silver-street-jewellers/
4. Encourage customer loyalty with rewards
Customer loyalty programs are an easy way to keep first-time buyers interested and give them an additional reason to keep coming back for more orders.
Additionally, loyalty programs show customers that you care about their experience, leading to a more intimate relationship with your brand. Some brands are also giving customers more control over the rewards they receive in order to add more flexibility and personalization to their loyalty programs.
Body Shop loyalty members gain access to three different benefits: exclusive events, a $10 birthday reward, and reward points for every dollar they spend on Body Shop products. All three perks encourage users to sign up for the program and stay engaged with the Body Shop.
5. Implement live chat support
Consumers don’t want to waste time waiting for a response when they run into a problem with a website, app, product, or service. The longer they wait for you, the more likely it becomes that they’ll simply leave your site and try to find what they’re looking for somewhere else.
Furthermore, contemporary live chat platforms also give you the opportunity to send proactive messages to your visitors. For example, you could set up a message on product pages inviting users to join your email list and get a discount on the item they’re looking at.
This live chat interface from Allbirds gives visitors the option to select a common question, manually enter a custom query, or chat directly with a human support agent. Ecommerce vendors in every niche are starting to approach live chat as a tool for lead generation as well as traditional customer service.
6. Set up a blog
Blogs are a powerful way to bring traffic to your site and give yourself more credibility. When customers find valuable, interesting content on your blog, they’ll start to trust your brand and become more likely to click through and make a purchase on your online store.
Baking Steel gives us a perfect example of the connection between content marketing and sales. This blog post connects directly to what they sell, and it also contains a link to the product for readers who want to buy it immediately.
Their content team also pulled a great image that shows visitors what they’re missing out on if they don’t have Baking Steel cookware.
Along with blog content, Baking Steel also drives sales through email marketing.
7. Personalize communication with customers
No matter what kind of campaign you’re working on, you’ll be able to generate better results when you make an effort to personalize your messaging. The most straightforward method of personalizing content is simply adding the recipient’s name.
Effective personalization also requires a careful approach to audience segmentation. For example, you might want to create a retargeting campaign for users who have recently visited your website. In the example below, an Omnisend user created an audience segment for leads who have purchased at least once in the last three days.
Speaking of email list segmentation, here’s how to do that.
8. Check out the competition
Your strategies will always be your own, but that doesn’t mean you can’t pick up ideas from other competitors in your niche. Thoroughly researching their practices will give you crucial insights into your own strengths and weaknesses and help you put yourself in a position to pull visitors from their sites.
Automated competitor price tracking, for example, makes it easy to monitor how your prices compare to what customers pay other vendors. The more information you have about the practices of your competitors, the easier it will become to outmaneuver them and pull visitors to your site.
Ecommerce marketing: Wrap up
Ecommerce becomes a more lucrative field every year, but that trend also pushes new sellers to join the market and continue crowding the ecommerce marketing landscape. Without the strategies listed above, you’ll likely have trouble using your market budget efficiently and building the digital presence you’re aiming for.
While we can’t tell you how to develop your brand, we can say that these ecommerce marketing tips and tactics have contributed to incredibly successful campaigns for merchants in many different fields. Start implementing some of these ideas today to start moving your brand in the right direction and fully optimizing your digital marketing practices.