Whether your business is just starting out or it has become a well-established customer base, you need effective e-commerce marketing strategies to stand out from your competitors.
Your e-commerce site is among the 47 billion websites around the internet. There are about 1.3 million e-commerce sites in the United States alone that’s trying to get products in front of the right people to buy just like you.
Your customer’s online behavior and buying preferences evolve constantly. They browse through different apps, messaging platforms, websites, and social media channels. This means that your marketing efforts need to be engaging enough to persuade your customers that you are the better option.
But how do you do that?
These 10 e-commerce marketing strategies will help you drive traffic to your online store, boost conversions, and generate more repeat customers.
Are you ready to get started?
Optimize Your Website Layout
Web visitors tend to develop their first impressions of your brand in less than half a second. This means that you should pay attention to your web design and not just focus on aesthetics but conversion.
Below are some of the essential areas you should focus on to create the perfect layout for your e-commerce site.
Slow websites hurt your conversion rates. Minimizing the size of a graphic file without degrading the quality of your images is one way to speed up your site. JPEG, GIF, and PNG are supported image formats. Some browsers even support recent formats such as XR and WebP. Tools you can use for the job include Compressor.io, Imagify.io, or ImageOptimizer.
Hick’s law implies that the time it takes for a person to make a choice is directly proportional to the possible choices they have. Therefore, if you have so many choices to offer a web visitor, they’ll take longer to decide. This also increases the chances of them abandoning your site.
You need to guide your web visitors towards the action you want them to take. Intuitive navigation not only helps them find what they’re looking for but also lets them get where you want them to be with the fewest number of clicks.
Use negative space
Negative space makes your site look uncluttered. You should use margins to increase the space between images, content as well as other elements. Leverage negative space to guide your web visitors to your call to action button.
Balance color and contrast
Use color combinations to give your site depth. Complimentary, analogous, and triad colors are some of the combinations that work. Contrast ensures that certain elements stand out. You can use it for your logo, call to action, and benefits your products offer.
Breadcrumbs show web visitors where a page falls as they browse through your site. It helps when you have many nested categories to ensure that visitors don’t get lost in unorganized content.
Apply the rule of thirds
The rule of thirds is a photography principle that can also be applied in web design. It involves dividing a web page into thirds both vertically and horizontally. This brings out nine squares with four middle intersections that can act as a point of interest. Place your most important elements at these intersections to keep visitors focused.
Optimize your product pages
No matter how much you’ve optimized your site and the traffic you get, you won’t get any sales with poorly optimized product pages. To level up your product page game, make sure you implement the following changes.
Use impressive product photos
Unlike physical stores, your customers can’t touch, feel, or try out your products. This is why you need to showcase high-quality images from different angles.
Include a call to action
If you want page visitors to make a purchase, you need to tell them to buy. A clear CTA guides customers on what to do next. Use a different color to highlight your CTA button and go with direct phrases such as “buy now” or “add to cart.”
Include customer reviews and ratings
People usually check what previous buyers say about a product to help them decide if they’ll buy. In fact, 85% of customers trust online reviews just like personal recommendations.
It’s therefore important to add customer reviews, ratings, and trust badges to convince potential customers that your products are worth it.
Provide detailed product content
What you have to say about your products is extremely important. Your e-commerce product page should include:
- An engaging product title
- Important product features
- Material specifics
- Brand information
- Care and maintenance details
- Display the return policy
You should also display top sellers to give your potential buyers direction. It’s human nature to want to go with the crowd. Showcasing best sellers in specific categories helps to make the decision-making process less overwhelming.
Create a Killer Content Marketing Strategy
Your content marketing strategy is a piece of your marketing plan that highlights what your brand is about. When you deliver valuable content, you can improve your online reputation, build an engaged community, and grow brand advocates,
If you don’t have a content marketing strategy in place, you leave your success or failure to chance. You should have a more effective approach to guide your efforts and boost conversions.
Let’s look at some steps you can follow to create a killer content marketing strategy.
Determine your goals
You need to think about what your business will get from your content marketing efforts. Having specific goals helps you do this. Below are just a few examples.
- Getting more traffic to your website
- To gain influence and authority
- To boost social media engagement
Know your audience
The next step is to determine the target audience for your content. Your business might cater to more than one type of customer. Therefore, your content strategy should also factor in different types of viewers to boost engagement.
How do you do that?
Collect demographics on your site visitors, email subscribers as well as social media followers. Email subscriber analytics, social media, and web analytics can help you get this data. Furthermore, you’ll be able to discover their key interests and pain points.
Another approach is by getting feedback from your current customers. This helps you know their most urgent needs.
Once you get demographic data and customer feedback, you’ll be able to flesh out buyer personas. This ensures that you create targeted content for specific readers. The best buyer personas include your customer’s challenges and behavioral motivators.
This helps you create the kind of content that addresses the problem your product or service will solve. It also ensures that you show readers that you’re worth buying from.
Decide on content types
Think about the types of content you’ll create for your target audience. Effective content formats include blog posts, case studies, infographics, videos, templates, eBooks, podcasts, and social media content.
You don’t have to come up with a new piece every time. You have the option of refreshing content. One way to do this is through repurposing. Repurposing content involves updating existing content that’s still relevant to your readers. For instance, you can turn an in-depth blog post into an animated video.
You can also curate content from trusted sources and include your own perspective. Similarly, you can turn your customers into your sales force through user-generated content (UGC).
It’s crucial to make sure you have all you need to deliver on your content marketing strategy. You should know who’s in charge of producing content. Will it be in-house creators or freelancers?
It’s also important to determine your content workflow. This could involve outline creation, approval, writing the post, creating accompanying images, editing, uploading, and publishing. You should also create a content calendar to schedule all of your content.
Once that is done, remember to perform content audits to identify content gaps and the content that needs improvement.
Improve Your Email Marketing Campaigns
Email marketing remains the lifeline that most brands can use to survive the competitive online marketing space. Emails provide the ability to cover several levels of engagement at once.
An email can engage a potential client, educate and entice them with a lucrative incentive, thank the customer after a purchase, and help you learn the customer's preferences.
Building an email list
Buying an email list isn’t effective because those users haven’t opted in. Therefore, when your email is sent to them, it may not get opened or even worse, they mark it as spam. Users who have opted in are more likely to open the emails you send.
Encourage page visitors to subscribe to your email list by offering them an incentive. This could be access to your white paper, eBook or a product promotion. Promote your newsletter subscription to your blog, landing pages, thank you pages or even at events.
Consider placing a double opt-in at the time of registration to build a list of motivated email subscribers.
Flashy offers a variety of pop-ups that are tailor-made for each type of session. It can even showcase separate popup versions on mobile or desktop.
Improve email deliverability
Every undelivered email is a lost opportunity so ask subscribers to whitelist. This flags your emails as credible and improves chances of it reaching their inboxes instead of the SPAM folder.
You should also strive to periodically update your email list periodically. Weed out hard bounces and dormant subscribers. Perform retargeting campaigns to inactive email subscribers.
Optimize your email experience
To improve customer engagement, segment your email list using the behavioral triggers of your customers. This will help you target cart abandoners, inactive subscribers, and new leads.
Flashy helps you to create contact segments based on:
- Contact profile such as gender, country, type of device
- Website activity including first seen, last seen, last page visited, web sessions, signed up
- Ecommerce activity such as the first purchase, last purchase, total purchases, total amount spent, average order value, and total products in cart
When a new prospect subscribes, they have limited information about your brand. Instead of using a single welcome email in the onboarding process, send an email series. This will ensure that you get to tackle their pain points and provide appropriate content.
Optimize for Mobile Users
Mobile optimization is key to elevate yourself above your competition. This is because 53% of mobile shoppers will bounce if your site doesn’t load in three seconds. Furthermore, mobile media trumps laptops and other forms of media.
Leverage Google’s tools
You can use PageSpeed Insights to optimize site loading speed on mobile devices. Google’s Mobile Usability Test also comes in handy as it alerts you when people accessing your site through mobile experience issues.
Utilize structured data
Structured data is code that’s designed in a specific format to make search engines understand data.
Rich snippets are powered using structured data as it adds details to your results. Focus on using structured data to change how your search results appear and provide more information to users.
Compress your images
CDNs and browser caches usually don’t work well when it comes to reducing mobile load time. Automated mobile acceleration solutions are the better option. Compressor.io and Smush are great for reducing image size without altering its quality especially for WordPress sites.
Optimize for voice search
These days users prefer to speak with a voice search assistant instead of typing. The rise of digital assistants such as Apple’s Siri, Google’s Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa, and Microsoft’s Cortana.
When optimizing your site for voice search, keep in mind that voice searchers want immediate results. In addition, most people use voice search to locate local businesses and conversational style voice queries matter.
Use long-tail keywords to fit conversational style queries. Ensure those keywords answer what, who, where, when, and why. Include the words, “near me” in your title tags, meta description as well as HTML headers.
Avoid interstitial pop ups
Back in 2017, Google decided all interstitials that ruin user experience negatively impact SEO ranking. These intrusive interstitials tend to block the entire web page on mobile devices.
However, pop ups are quite effective as they increase conversions. Google is also looking at interstitials that appear when a user lands your site for the first time. Therefore,avoid using interstitials until the user has explored your site further to be safe.
Minimizing redirects is another way for lowering your mobile load time speed. Redirects automatically take users to a different web page. They create a slower page load and increase bounce rates.
Leverage on tools such as redirect mapper to determine the number of redirects on your site.
Optimize Your Checkout Process
Optimizing your checkout process helps you reduce cart abandonment. It’s also one of the most neglected ecommerce marketing strategies. You should use this to your advantage to ensure your ecommerce business stands out.
Below are five ecommerce marketing strategies that will help you optimize your checkout page.
Provide a visual checkout process
Ensure that your checkout process is as easy as possible. Try to get everything on one page. Conversion studies show that the less clicks to checkout, the higher your conversion rate. If you have several pages, provide a visual indicator to show customers how far they’ve progressed.
The less time customers spend looking for checkout buttons, the faster they’ll take action. So, ensure you include checkout buttons at the top and bottom of your page.
Equally important, include security seals as well as credit card logos to let your customers know that your site is secure. Common security seals such as BizRate and Verisign help customers know that you’re a trusted place to do business.
Offer the option to keep shopping
You should also give customers the option to continue shopping from your checkout page. They could have forgotten to buy something but find all their cart details have varnished once they hit the back button.
Make sure you differentiate the checkout and continue shopping button colors. If you have these buttons side by side, visually separate them by adding a lot of space between the two to reduce the chance that a user will click the wrong button.
Provide multiple payment and shipping options
Allow your users to decide how quickly they’d like to receive their order. 2-day shipping has become standard in the eCommerce industry. 90% of customers consider free shipping as a key incentive for encouraging them to buy often. Furthermore, shipping is the top reason 86% of buyers abandon their shopping cart.
Use free shipping to encourage buyers to spend a certain amount of money. These thresholds range from $25 to $100. It’s also important to let customers know the forms of payment you accept.
Recommend related products
Recommending related products lets customers get the most out of a purchase. This is especially the case with electronics. No one wants to buy an item and discover that it didn’t come with an adapter. Before customers checkout, recommend products that go well with what they are purchasing to maximize sales.
Offer guest checkout and wishlist options
Provide your web visitors the option to create an account after checkout. It’s frustrating for shoppers to present the popup that prompts visitors to create an account even before they complete an order.
Customers will be more receptive to give you their contact information so you can track their purchase after an order instead of doing that before. It’s also good practice to allow buyers to save their cart or add products to a wishlist so they can buy later.
Similarly, consider gift wrap or message options especially near holiday shopping seasons. Giving customers the options to add a personal touch creates an exceptional customer experience that encourages repeat sales.
You should also allow users to be able to email or print their cart contents. Some purchases need a manager to sign off on the items.
Don’t forget to disclose
Market on Social Media
74% of customers depend on social media for information to make their future purchases. Customers are more willing to buy a product after learning about it on social media. A well executed social media strategy can boost traffic to your website and increase conversion rates.
Here are some important considerations you shouldn’t overlook.
Social media marketing objectives
You need to be able to link your social media marketing to your main marketing objectives. This makes choosing the right social media channel easier because the big question is whether it will help you to achieve your goals.
For instance, if you want to increase brand awareness, leverage established platforms that have a large following. Paid promotion is also one of the most effective approaches for raising brand awareness. You can enjoy lower cost per click ads with Facebook Ads compared to Google Ads.
If you want to enhance lead generation, create contests in your social media profiles. You could also host live videos for product announcements or sell your products directly through social media platforms.
Social media channel selection
With so many social media channels to choose from, it can seem overwhelming to determine which one will best suit your objectives. Every social media network is different so you need to understand where your target audience is interacting online. A tool such as Sprout Social can help you analyze your current followers.
Equally important, you need to take into account the social media accounts your competitors are using. Some questions you can use to guide your research include:
- What type of content do they post?
- How frequently do they post content?
- How many shares or likes do their posts get?
You can use Buzzsumo to analyze the top performing content of your competitors. It also helps you determine the content formats that best engage social media followers.
Facebook is the most dominant social network and offers the most targeted ads. It works best when you run ads for products and boost posts. The Product Catalog feature allows you to link the inventory in your online store to your Facebook Business profile so you can sell products directly on the platform.
On the other hand, Instagram has the highest rates of engagement compared to other channels. Leverage on the Shoppable posts feature that helps you sell products directly on Instagram.
Pinterest is a highly visual social media platform that works best for the millennial generation because they are the majority age range. It’s also great if your products are mostly for a female audience and that’s because its users are 42% female and just 13% male. It boasts buyable pins where users can check the price of an item in blue and activate it to connect to your store.
Here is a link to a social media infographic that may be useful to readers:
Embrace Marketing Automation
Marketing automation allows you to automatically manage several repetitive tasks that occur on a regular basis of your marketing campaign. These tasks include:
- Manual email campaign creation
- Placement of online ads
- Managing website widget content
- Coordination of SMS
- Data management and analysis
Choosing the right marketing automation software
There are a variety of options to choose from when it comes to marketing automation software. Here are the key attributes you should be looking for when selecting the best one for your ecommerce marketing strategies.
- Data integration
- Omnichannel capabilities
- Tracking & Business Intelligence
- Customer service quality
- Email deliverability
- API access
- New feature launches
Flashy offers ecommerce marketing automation to help you boost conversion rate. It features a customer journey builder that comes with an intuitive user interface. This helps you to create a personalized one on one marketing funnel for your customers.
It also offers a unified customer profile that lets you monitor every customer’s interaction and build their journey. Flashy’s omnichannel marketing automation allows you to communicate with your customers through automated emails, SMS, popups, and social media ads.
Flashy ensures that all your messages are sent in real time. It uses condition-based logic such as order history, location, interests, gender, age, or website activity to make your messages more relevant.
Excel at SEO
You’ll need organic traffic as 93% of all online experiences start with a search engine. SEO is your best bet at getting immediate exposure and increasing engagement for your brand.
To make your SEO efforts worthwhile, you can’t afford to rank on the second page. That’s because 75% of searchers never go beyond the first page of Google search results.
Apart from on-page and off-page SEO, most ecommerce businesses overlook technical aspects as well as guest blogging and local SEO. Let’s look at these SEO strategies to help you rank on page 1 of Google results.
Invest in technical SEO
Technical SEO deals with optimizing your site for the indexing phase so that search engines can easily access your content.
Key aspects you can work on include:
Create your XML sitemap
An XML sitemap helps Google find your important pages even when your internal linking isn’t organized. To create it, you can use Google’s XML sitemaps plugin.
Install an SSL certificate
An SSL certificate shows users that your site is trustworthy so they don’t have to worry about their credit card information being hacked. You can choose from a variety of SSL certificates. In 2014, Google confirmed that HTTPS encryptions or SSL certification are a ranking signal.
Utilize canonical URLs
Sometimes having duplicate content can’t be avoided that’s why adding a canonical URL to each page works. This helps you avoid confusing Google. To add a canonical URL use Yoast SEO WordPress plugin.
Use Google search console
The Google search console tool lets you submit your website for indexing. It helps you to:
- View backlinks
- Test mobile usability
- Keep an eye on the general performance of your website
Improve local SEO
Local SEO involves optimizing your site for local searches. Google My Business helps you manage how your ecommerce site appears on Google maps and search results.
You should also pay attention to citations because inconsistent details can mislead potential clients and confuse Google. Citations usually display your business name, address, and phone contact information.
Embrace guest blogging
Guestblogging helps you extend your reach to other publications and blogs. This way, you showcase your content before a new audience and get some links back to your site.
Guest blogging is a great off-page SEO strategy that gets misunderstood. This is mainly because of people using spam guest posts in order to manipulate search rankings.
When done the right way, guest blogging boosts your credibility and helps you generate leads. It’s worth noting that you should only submit guest posts to high-quality sites that have high authority.
To find a relevant site to write guest posts, Accessily is a guest posting service that simplifies this entire process. It provides the right tools to ensure you’re always running relevant guest blogging campaigns. For instance, rather than using domain authority and traffic, it also looks at brand exposure and content quality.
Leverage Multi-Channel Selling
Selling on multiple channels helps your products sell quicker. Studies show that 48% of all online product searches often begin on popular marketplaces like Etsy, Amazon, and eBay. When it comes to marketplaces, 65% of customers are more willing to buy from merchants they have never heard of before.
StitchLabs conducted research to determine the impact of multi-channel selling on ROI. They discovered that merchants who sell on two separate marketplaces online experienced a 190% jump in their revenue.
SAP affirmed the benefits of multi-channel selling when their survey showed that about 75% of companies said it increased sales while 64% said it boosted customer loyalty and 62% said multi-channel selling provided a competitive advantage.
The above stats reveal there’s a wealth of opportunities in multi-channel selling. The only caveat is that managing every outlet to its full potential is a huge challenge.
One major reason for this is because different channels have different methods of displaying products. Similarly, different channels have varied preferences when it comes to item search rules to suit their customers tastes.
The first step is to prioritize the channel you’ll be using. Some of the questions you can use to determine the best channel for you include:
- Does the platform allow you to align with your brand?
- Does it let you reach your target audience?
- Is delivery cost effective?
- How do their margins and terms of payment work?
- Does the customer volume make up for all the above issues?
Understand your target audience
You need to understand your customer in each multi-channel platform. This way, you’ll be able to determine what they’re looking for and how they buy. For example, Amazon is great if customers prefer quicker delivery, Etsy is the better option if your customers are into locally-made handmade goods.
Pay attention to inventory management
Stocks fluctuating between different channels and customers finding that a product they purchased is out of stock are some of the issues that occur when you fail to monitor your inventory.
Utilize inventory management software to update and synchronize inventory across different channels in real-time.
Take Your Store to the Next Level!
Every eCommerce business owner wants to increase traffic and boost conversions. Try to implement the above ideas everyday for the next few weeks. Then, take stock and determine which eCommerce marketing strategies work best to drive sales.