Running a successful eCommerce business requires you to have a solid marketing strategy in place. With a thoughtful strategy, you can drive customers to your eCommerce site and increase sales. Though it may seem intimidating to put together an entire marketing campaign when you’re already trying to figure out what to sell and who to sell to, it doesn’t take long to get your ducks in a row.
Let’s check out these 10 simple eCommerce marketing tips that will set your online business up for success.
1. Define Your Objectives
Every good marketing plan starts with a list of objectives (i.e., increase in traffic, sales growth). Outline your objectives for each campaign, along with clear, quantifiable goals. Determine how you will achieve these goals and the markers that will be used to monitor progress. This will help you keep track of your achievements and make adjustments along the way.
2. Utilize Social Media
Social media is not a direct selling tool, but rather a way to get your products on people’s minds. Once you have your objectives in place, you can create a social media strategy that compliments them. For instance, if you plan to increase sales, use Facebook to share information about your products and offer an exclusive promo code. If it’s traffic you’re after, unveil a new product on Facebook Live.
3. Use Original Visuals
Stock imagery is a great way to complement your website or blog posts but use original photos as much as possible. The reason for using content that is specifically created for your brand is that it portrays your brand’s unique selling position. Hire a photographer to take pictures of your staff, your workspace, your products, etc. This way, you’ll have an assortment of ready-made original imagery to use for marketing.
4. Encourage Customer Reviews
Customer reviews and testimonials are vital when building an online presence. People are always going to believe real-life customers over the brand itself. Encourage customers to share their experiences by leaving a review or rating your product. Even negative reviews can add depth to a product.
5. Reward Loyal Customers
It’s just as important to retain customers as it is to find them. In fact, returning customers often make up the majority of a company’s sales. With so much competition online, it’s imperative that you reward loyal customers. An effective loyalty program is the best way to do this, so consider how a program of this sort can work for your products or services. You might give points on every purchase or offer exclusive promo codes.
6. Optimize Content for SEO
Search engine optimization is a key part of any effective digital marketing plan. By using good SEO, you help your eCommerce site get discovered by the right people. Since there are so many technical details to pay attention to, it’s best to hire an SEO professional who can perform the necessary keyword research and ongoing optimization.
7. Create an Email Marketing Strategy
Email marketing continues to be one of the most cost-effective forms of marketing. To make email marketing work for you, it’s important to define your target persona, segment your lists and provide personalized offers. A drip email campaign is helpful. Also, ensure that your emails have compelling headlines and enticing calls to action.
8. Provide Offers and Discounts
New customers often need a nudge to complete the transaction. Again, with so much competition online, buyers are looking for the best deal possible. An easy way to complete a transaction is to offer free shipping. Other ideas include a free trial or sample of your product or a discount off a first purchase.
9. Plan for Shopping Cart Abandonment
Shopping cart abandonment is a major issue for eCommerce businesses. Though there are a number of reasons for high abandonment rates, the end result is lost sales. To see success as an online business, you must have a strategy for dealing with shopping cart abandonment. Email is effective, as you can send a message reminding the customer that they still have something in their cart.
10. Track, Measure and Test Results
One final tip for eCommerce marketing is to continually track, measure and test your results. By doing this, you maximize the effectiveness of your campaigns. The easiest way to track your results is by using an analytics program like Google Analytics. Analytics will tell you where your traffic and sales are coming from, what’s working, what’s not working, etc. This way, you can make adjustments to get better results. Also, pay particular attention to how easy it is for your customers to find the products they are looking for in your online product catalog.
Selling your products online is a rewarding experience that allows you to reach more people and significantly increase traffic and sales. However, operating blindly will make it nearly impossible to operate a successful eCommerce business. By following the 10 tips above, you can put together a cohesive marketing strategy that incorporates email and social media, plus gives online shoppers a reason to come back and visit.
This post was written by J. Burns Smith Jr., who is the owner of WSI Star Web Solutions, a digital marketing agency based in Jackson MS but with clients across the central and southern United States. Affiliated with WSI out of Toronto Canada, the agency’s core skill set is designing and implementing custom digital marketing strategies for their clients. This includes search engine marketing, display advertising, social media management services, mobile marketing, and custom website design. Burns is a co-author of the book Digital Minds – 12 Things Every Business Needs to Know About Digital Marketing.