The Ultimate Guide to eCommerce Digital Marketing
How do you get your online store off the ground? eCommerce Digital Marketing! This guide will help drive traffic and build customers.
In the post-Covid world, businesses are increasingly growing their online footprint. In 2021 the global eCommerce business was valued at $21 trillion and is expected to reach US$ 55.6 trillion by the year 2027. However, this opportunity comes with neck-breaking competition. There are more than 26 million eCommerce stores across the world, and it isn’t the easiest market to be in. To stay ahead of the race, you must focus on eCommerce digital marketing to grow your brand and drive sales.
What is Ecommerce Digital Marketing?
Ecommerce digital marketing is the art of running promotional activities across different platforms to boost traffic to your store and drive sales.
It is a complex process and many store owners require the help of an eCommerce agency. Whether you take it on yourself or hire an agency, you should work on a holistic marketing plan to improve your brand’s online visibility, build a value proposition, and target audiences based on their persona. Whether you operate a B2B, B2C, or D2C online store, eCommerce digital marketing is the key to success.
Your overall strategy should focus on three key aspects – building awareness, driving traffic to your store, and converting visitors to your store into paying customers. Let’s take a look at how this shapes up in terms of your sales funnel.
What is Your Ecommerce Marketing Funnel
As an eCommerce store owner, you’d want to see everyone visiting the store add products to the cart and make a transaction. No store can achieve this in real life, but you must work to improve the conversion rate of your store. Ecommerce digital marketing services are focused on driving the maximum number of prospects down the sales funnel.
So, what is an eCommerce marketing funnel and how does it work?
An eCommerce conversion funnel involves four stages. At every stage, the customer makes decisions based on how they perceive your brand and the information available to them. A well-run campaign helps in pushing prospects down the funnel and increasing the sale of products. Here is how the eCommerce conversion funnel work –
# Stage 1 – Awareness
This is the first stage of your interaction with the customer. They may be casually browsing for products or may be interested in the products available in your store. At this stage, most customers aren’t aware of your brand or have apprehensions about you. Your marketing efforts must focus on educating the audience and building trust. You can offer them a free guide or a signup discount to earn their trust.
# Stage 2 – Interest
At this stage, the customers are familiar with your brand and have browsed through your product. The customers may have shown their intent by revisiting your page. Here your marketing efforts should focus on keeping them engaged and encouraging them towards an action. A helpful email guide or targeting them on social media is the perfect strategy to follow at this stage.
# Stage 3 – Desire/Purchase
An eCommerce sales funnel is slightly different from the classic marketing model. Here your prospects are showing their desire and willingness to purchase your products. At this stage, your marketing efforts should be around making it a hassle-free experience for them. Whether it is payment options, guest checkout, or fulfillment promises, you need to give the final push to turn a prospect into a paying customer. Complimentary offers, discounts, and coupons also help in improving your prospects.
# Stage 4 – Repeat
Any store owner or eCommerce agency can tell you the success of any online store rests on earning repeat orders from their customers. The attrition rate is high in this industry, and you must hold onto your customers and earn their loyalty. Use email marketing, social media marketing, and after-sales service to establish the value of loyalty. Keep them informed about your latest offers and new products to generate repeat orders.
Focus Areas for Ecommerce Digital Marketing
We have already looked at what eCommerce marketing is and the eCommerce marketing funnel. On the ground, there are many tasks or tactics that will make up your marketing campaign. These complement each other in raising the awareness of your brand and products and help in improving sales and conversion rates. While there are more than a dozen activities performed under eCommerce digital marketing services, here are the things your brand should focus on.
Search Engine Optimization
SEO is at the heart of all eCommerce digital marketing services. An estimated 40% of product searches begin on search engines. Hence, you must focus on improving the discoverability of your brand and products online. The bulk of the traffic on online stores is generated via organic searches on Google, Bing, and Yahoo. As part of your marketing plan, you must take care of on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and local SEO factors. These help increase traffic to the store and improve your odds of grabbing a larger market share.
In the typical world of business marketing, content marketing is associated with writing blog posts to promote products and services. While this is true for eCommerce as well, the focus is on optimizing the product pages first. Your product page must have a detailed description of the products, their specs, features, and any other information that may be relevant to a customer’s buying decision. Along with this, you must also focus on writing blogs, creating videos, and marketing through infographics.
The oldest and cheapest form of eCommerce marketing is still email marketing. With email marketing, you can reach your audience in a personalized way which is its greatest USP. From promotional emails to upsell and cross-sell emails, you can explore several marketing options with your campaign. Remember every lead you generate has the potential to turn into a loyal customer and hence you must be aggressive with your email marketing campaign.
Social Media Marketing
Social media platforms are the most powerful channel for marketing eCommerce stores. With average internet users spending hours on social media every day your brand can connect with them and drive traffic to your store. Platforms like Instagram and Pinterest are the best place to display your products with high-resolution images that strike a chord with the audience. Facebook and Twitter let you engage with customers actively and attract new sales.
Paid Search Marketing
PPC (pay-per-click) ads help in generating instant engagement with the audience. Unlike SEO and email marketing campaigns that can take time to show results, PPC offers immediate benefits. You can sign up for the Google Ads or Meta (Facebook) Ads programs and run your campaign with targeted keywords. A professional eCommerce agency would use your budget judiciously to reduce the cost of acquisition and improve the discoverability of your products.
Affiliate marketing is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways of generating sales for an online store. In this model, affiliates promote your products within their network and earn a commission on every successful sale. Ecommerce agencies promote this marketing technique as it allows eCommerce brands to reach beyond their target market. This marketing model is flexible and doesn’t incur upfront costs for the online store.
It has become one of the most popular marketing strategies for eCommerce brands. This marketing strategy uses people who have the power to influence your target audience. For example, if your store sells gaming accessories having an expert gamer market your products on Instagram can boost sales. Influencers have a community of people who follow and trust them, and this gives your campaign thrust.
Conversion Rate Optimization
Conversion rate optimization is an important marketing technique in the eCommerce industry. User experience in your store can make or break the deal. CRO aims at optimizing your store to increase traffic, ensure easy navigation and bring down cart abandonment. Ecommerce digital marketing services streamline the store by focusing on ease of activity and discoverability on the store.
Results & Tracking
Last but not least, you must devote time to measuring the results of the campaign. Google Analytics and similar tools offer you a bird’s eye view of the campaign. They let you track the macro and micro picture of the campaign. Study how your target audience is reacting to your campaigns. Follow the KPIs and spot the scope of improvement in your campaign. Ecommerce marketing is a 24/7 exercise, and you must know the pulse of the market to stay ahead of your competitors.
Marketing Automation in Ecommerce
You can become overwhelmed with the mundane tasks of marketing as you scale your business up. Writing emails or keeping track of order fulfillment when done manually is time-consuming. Marketing Automation has come as a savior in this industry. As the name suggests marketing automation streamlines your day-to-day marketing tasks and spares you more time for the core areas of your business. This comes as a standard part of eCommerce digital marketing services where an eCommerce agency would implement MA to improve the reach and engagement of the campaign.
Marketing automation can help your eCommerce campaign in multiple ways. It does away with tasks that can be left to the tools as you focus on more unique ways to attract new customers. For example, it can reduce the rate of shopping cart abandonment by following up with the customers. An email reminding customers about products left in their cart can encourage them to complete the order. Similarly, a post-purchase email reminding them of your active customer support team build trust and leads to loyalty.
Ecommerce Marketing Tips
By now you know the basics of eCommerce marketing and what you should expect from eCommerce digital marketing services. A professional eCommerce agency knows the current trends in the market and aligns your campaign with the aspirations of your target audience.
Here are some of the marketing tips that should be incorporated into your campaign.
- Always keep an eye on the buyer’s journey. You must get inside the hearts and minds of the customers to earn their loyalty.
- Personalize campaigns to appeal to your customers directly. This makes them feel special and triggers the desire to buy your products
- Use a marketing attribution model to understand which marketing channels work best for your brand and invest more time and resources in them
- Ensure your website is mobile-ready as more than 50% of the traffic on your store would come from mobile devices
- Respond to comments on social media and offer support to your customers over email, phone, and chat
- Implement seamless payment options and reduce friction in the checkout stage to bring down shopping cart abandonment.
- Use customer reviews and ratings to promote your brand. User-generated content is one of the most productive marketing tools
- Reward customer loyalty with additional discounts, pre-launch offers, gifts, and dedicated customer support
To sum up, we have covered various aspects of eCommerce marketing and looked at the role eCommerce digital marketing services play in boosting traffic and sales. If you haven’t explored these ideas in the past some of them might sound complex. However, these proven marketing techniques have helped stores scale up their business, generate more profits and increase their customer base.
Marketing has its challenges when you are operating in a competitive industry such as eCommerce. Hiring an eCommerce agency would help you overcome those challenges and focus on the core area of your business. These agencies bring in their skills and expertise to the table and boost your brand recognition and establish dominance in the market.