At this point, it goes without saying that the online presence attached to a particular business is more than just a great marketing asset. With people becoming increasingly reliant on the internet to research, shop for, and ultimately purchase the products they need, your business simply isn’t operating at its full potential if you’re not well-versed in e-commerce marketing.
But what is e-commerce all about anyway? Why is it such an essential concern for modern businesses, and how can you ensure your team gets it right? Here’s an overview of everything you need to know.
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What Is e-Commerce?
You likely already know that standard marketing includes efforts designed to promote a business, reach target demographics, and boost sales. e-Commerce marketing is the same thing, only regarding online businesses.
The goals attached to a particular e-commerce marketing effort will likely vary from one campaign to another. They could include (but not be limited to):
- Driving quality traffic to a website, company blog, or e-store
- Attracting new customers and ensuring existing ones stay happy
- Reengaging customers who may have stopped purchasing or visiting a shop altogether
- Ensuring casual visitors convert to paying customers
Examples of Effective e-Commerce Marketing
With an estimated 24 million e-commerce websites currently in operation, competition is fierce out there these days. However, a unique approach to e-commerce marketing can rocket your company to the head of the pack and help you meet your goals. Here are some examples of what that looks like when it’s done right.
Visuals are crucial when it comes to industries like beauty or cosmetics, and Lush does a fantastic job of leveraging theirs to boost sales and reach customers. Among other things, they create incredible videos and shorts that perfectly showcase their products and teach consumers how to use them.
Subscription boxes are red hot right now, and BarkBox offers a very popular option for passionate dog owners. Part of their very successful e-commerce strategy involves helping dog lovers stay in the know regarding industry news, exciting discoveries, and current trends.
Old Farmer’s Almanac
The Old Farmer’s Almanac is more than just a gardening staple that has been around since the 18th century. It’s also an ideal example of how a successful traditional business can create an equally successful web presence. For instance, they do an excellent job of using their online content to market their extensive catalog of famously detailed growing guides.
Types of e-Commerce Marketing
The world of e-commerce marketing is vast and encompasses every aspect of maintaining a thriving online presence, as well as several traditional channels to boot. Popular types include the following.
The email has been around for nearly as long as the internet itself has, and it remains one of the most powerful, effective ways to reach both existing and potential customers. Getting started is as easy as choosing the right email marketing service, building a mailing list, and crafting stellar mailing campaigns.
Social Media Marketing
Like the internet itself, social media has become a huge part of how modern consumers live their lives, research purchase decisions, and keep up with brands they like. That makes social media an essential part of any business’s e-commerce marketing effort. You can use your social channels to connect with customers, share brand news, run promotions, and more.
The right partnerships are valuable assets in traditional marketing and can be game-changers online. Success-oriented businesses can partner with other companies, industry thought leaders, key social media influencers, and more to expand their reach and raise crucial brand awareness.
Although there’s really no substitute for good, old-fashioned organic reach, paid advertising options like Google Ads, paid social media marketing, and sponsorships make great ways to give your campaigns a nice push when it’s needed. Experiment with various options until you hit on an approach that works for you.
Marketing Services for e-Commerce
The wide, wonderful world of e-commerce is really only just getting started when it comes to growth and forward movement. In fact, experts estimate that e-commerce sales will reach (and possibly exceed) approximately $6.5 trillion in 2023.
That means the pressure is really on for businesses of all types when it comes to e-commerce marketing. But the good news is you don’t have to handle things all by yourself.
Many businesses eventually choose to hire third-party agencies and experts to help them meet their goals and stay ahead of the game. The following are just a few examples of top companies to consider for various aspects of your current and future campaigns.
- Upgrow (fantastic strategy planning)
- 1Digital (stellar full-service packages for large companies)
- Rock Content (next-level content strategies for businesses of all types)
- NP Digital (boosting overall ROI)
- Single Grain (uniquely innovative marketing strategies)
Marketing Tips for e-Commerce Businesses
Whether you decide to handle your company’s e-commerce marketing campaign in-house or outsource some of the labor to an agency, adopting the right approach is key to your future success. Here are some tried-and-true tips to keep in mind when pursuing your own marketing goals.
Optimize your website for success
User experience is an important concern for any modern business serious about succeeding and with good reason. There are roughly 5 billion internet users worldwide at this point, and they have countless websites to choose from when deciding where to spend their money.
Common issues like slow load times and navigation systems that don’t make sense are often all it takes to inspire a customer to go somewhere else. So be sure your site is optimized for user experience in every way. Study visitor navigation patterns, compare your site to the competition, and consider how you can improve moving forward.
Brainstorm awesome original content
While it’s definitely essential to having incredible products for sale and a strong brand identity that compels consumers to buy, even the best products aren’t going to sell themselves. It’s your content that’s going to do that.
A steady stream of helpful original content is key to ensuring you’re visible enough to Google and the rest of the search engines. It’s also your ticket to helping your brand message resonate with your customers, so get creative. Fill your blog and social media channels with plenty of original material, and see where it takes you.
Create a viable content marketing plan
Creating awesome original content that your customers and visitors love to read is only part of what goes into a content marketing strategy that gets results. You must also be consistent if you’re serious about succeeding. Both search engines and consumers need to see you as a reliable source of fresh, timely, helpful content.
Keep yourself on track by planning and sticking to a regular publishing schedule. Decide in advance what topics you’ll be addressing, as well as when and where. And be sure to measure your results so you know where to go next in the future.
Keep an eye on your competition
You can’t catch up to (and ultimately beat) your competition if you don’t have a good read on what they’re doing. So always study competitors carefully, and take careful note of what is (and isn’t) working for them. Think keyword clustering, content topics, approaches to social media, and more.
What key phrases are they targeting that are missing from your own strategy? Are they doing anything unique that seems to be resonating with your collective target audience? Are there content gaps you could work on filling yourself?
Don’t copy your competitors, but do consider how you can improve upon what’s already working for them in new and original ways.
e-Commerce Marketing Costs
Naturally, it takes money to make money, and this is no less the case with e-commerce marketing. But how much does it really cost to launch and maintain a solid campaign?
Although no two sets of goals are going to be alike, meaning costs will vary, most companies should expect to spend between 5 and 25 percent of their revenue on marketing. Keep this number in mind when planning your own budget.
e-Commerce Marketing Techniques
The following are essential techniques that are invariably part of every successful e-commerce marketing effort. Where could your company stand to spend more time and energy?
Search Engine Optimization
Remember, having a well-rounded catalog of wonderful products isn’t enough to succeed in the highly competitive world of e-commerce. Your potential customers need to be able to find you before they can consider you, and they’ll be counting on the search engines for that.
Search engine optimization describes the process of ensuring your site and content are not only visible on Google SERPs but presented as authorities in your niche and industry.
Search engine optimization and content marketing go hand in hand, meaning you can’t have one without the other. Yes, content marketing does involve researching, brainstorming, and producing innovative, fresh content with potential. But it’s also about ensuring that content reaches its intended audiences.
Content marketing covers all of those things. It also helps address customer concerns, answer common questions, and help curious consumers see their way clearly to becoming paying customers.
All e-commerce websites contain focused product and category pages. Those pages tell consumers what they need to know about the product to determine whether it’s for them. But effective pages are also optimized to support high conversion rates.
In other words, streamlined product pages and cart experiences make it easy for a customer to see and assess the products in the first place. But they also simplify the process of completing a purchase.
If you’re like most people, you’ve likely visited many e-commerce websites in an effort to get a closer look at an intriguing product but left again without completing a purchase. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean you weren’t interested, and your customers are the same.
Retargeting is a powerful technique that helps remind customers of products they’ve checked out in the past in an effort to convince them to come back and take another look. It involves tracking website visitors and deploying additional advertising designed to encourage future purchases.
e-Commerce Marketing Best Practices
Need a few more tips to help you start your next e-commerce marketing strategy off on the right foot? Take a closer look at these best practices, and incorporate them into your strategy.
Set clear, reachable goals
You can’t get where you ultimately need to be if you don’t know where you’re going. Successful campaigns start with clearly defined, measurable marketing goals that strike a good balance between ambitious and reachable.
Know who you’re trying to reach
Successful digital marketers know their audiences. They know what demographics these people occupy, what problems they’re looking to solve, and what they need a product to be able to do for them before they’ll buy it. Make sure you know your audience just as well.
Understand your customer’s journey
As a consumer yourself, you already know that the path from the initial discovery of a product to eventual purchase is rarely a straight shot, nor does it happen instantly. It’s crucial for e-commerce marketers to understand their audience’s buyer’s journey, map it out accurately, and use what they discover to tailor their efforts to match.
Keep learning and growing
e-Commerce marketing is a skill. And like any other skill, it’s the type of thing you get better at with time and experience. So measure your efforts, assess your data, and learn from your ongoing efforts. Seize every opportunity to continue building your skill, partnering with other experts, and more, as well.
Ready to take the next step toward the e-commerce marketing campaign of your dreams? Visit WriterAccess by Rock Content, sign up for a free trial, and start connecting with the world’s best content writers today! You’ll love what having the right team in your corner can do for your company.