If your organization has an online store, one of the best ways to truly drive online sales is through implementing an ecommerce marketing strategy. Read on to discover how you can utilize these ecommerce marketing tips to increase your online store visibility, drive engagement and convert prospects to customers.
Before you even start ecommerce marketing, it’s vital to map out exactly how your online store operates. Write down how the entire purchase process works and map it out on paper. Once this is mapped out, you must identify the areas for improvement. What areas of this process can be improved through ecommerce marketing and what are the ultimate business goals you want to achieve? For example, maybe you’d like to streamline the ordering process to ultimately increase product turnover and gain more purchases. Establishing specific and achievable goals will help you steer your ecommerce marketing strategy in the right direction.
Additionally, it’s important to identify who your customers are and what their online browsing, shopping and purchase habits are. For example, it is helpful to know which digital channels your customers browse and the common types of content they interact with on your website. There are customer journey mapping tools that make it easy for organizations to map out common purchase path or identify different types of customers and put them into specific customer segments. This enables your organization to easily tailor your ecommerce marketing strategies to your different audiences so that each customer is digesting content that is specific to their wants, needs and preferences.
Finally, it’s vital to research your key competitors’ marketing strategies. What seems to be working well for competitors? What channels and messages do they focus their marketing efforts on? This will help your organization provide messages on digital channels that competitors are dominating and take over some of the market share. If there are any key digital channels that your competitors aren’t on, these are key opportunities to be the first to market on these channels.
Now that you have gathered all the information needed to establish your goals and drive your strategy and content, it’s time to begin building your ecommerce marketing strategy. We’ve outlined some key competitive ecommerce marketing strategies that can be utilized to maximize your success as an online shop.
One of the easiest ways to become a thought leader in your industry is to write content that your key audience is looking for. Even if that content isn’t directly tied to your products, writing content about these topics will bring traffic from your target audience to your website. Produce this content in the forms that your audience prefers. Maybe they prefer watching videos, or maybe they like reading blogs.
As long as you're creating content that provides real value to your audience, people will eventually make your site their destination for industry news and updates. Your wealth of thought leadership and demonstrated knowledge can quickly become your most valuable asset in terms of bringing in new customers.
For easy content writing, editing and publishing, invest in a content management system that allows for quick, seamless content and page management.
For most organizations, the majority of purchases happen on mobile. If your marketing and product content is not optimized or performing correctly on mobile devices, it could sacrifice the success of your ecommerce marketing campaign and prevent sales. Ensure you’re utilizing an ecommerce platform that provides mobile-friendly product and order management as well as content editing and publishing.
Ecommerce marketing on social media allows you to target your users with ads while they’re scrolling through their social channels. By posting highly visual content of your products with strong call-to-actions (CTA), you can lead the customer directly to a shopping cart to purchase the advertised product. Having an ecommerce and content platform that can integrate with your social channels makes it easy to share your products to your target audience and drive potential purchasers back to your website.
Email marketing is an effective aspect of ecommerce marketing because it allows you to constantly stay in direct communication with customers. You can schedule a steady stream of communications to go to each customer and tailor the content in each email to different types of customers.
Additionally, you can send exclusive deals and product updates out to these customers. This not only works for creating more brand awareness and increasing engagement opportunities, but also acts as a way to give value back to your most loyal customers. Everyone likes exclusive deals—especially if they're personalized for maximum relevancy!
Integrating your email platform with your ecommerce and content platform allows your organization to easily work within one unified platform and streamline your product and marketing communications.
Communicating with prospects and customers in real-time on questions or concerns minimizes the risk of a prospect abandoning their cart or canceling an order. Incorporating chat functionality on your website is an easy way to provide personalized, yet real-time, engagement with customers to help drive purchase decisions and improve the overall digital customer experience. In addition, you can incorporate CTAs within your chat messages that provide actionable paths for your prospects, guiding them throughout the digital customer journey.
To make the most out of your ecommerce marketing, ensure that your web store experience is optimized for every single customer journey. Utilize conversion rate optimization (CRO) tools to identify key user paths on your online store and test out how users respond to different variations of journeys based on their shown preferences.
For example, user A might make a purchase faster if they’re shown a product right on your homepage, but user B might make a purchase faster if they’re shown customer reviews instead. CRO tools allow you to optimize customers’ experiences across the entire customer journey.
Not every customer is the same, so you shouldn’t show them all the same content either. You need to personalize the content you show your customers based on the segmented persona they fall into.
This is good for both the brand and the customer. Customers not only prefer personalized experiences, they are also more likely to make a purchase if the experience is personalized across their entire customer journey. Ecommerce and content platforms with personalization features allow you to implement personalized campaigns easily and quickly.
For example, you could conduct a campaign based on which region the customer is based in, showing content that correlates with the season or weather. Or, you could personalize content based on age, showing products that correlate with life events that may be happening at their age.
Your audience is constantly searching for products online that will meet their specific needs. Utilize that search information on your website to provide tailored product recommendations for each customer. Show your customers exactly the products that they want to see before they even have to search for them by integrating a site search platform with your ecommerce marketing solution. This opens up the opportunity for upselling and cross-selling to drive more, larger purchases.
Just as you personalize your site content to each customer, you should take a similar approach to engagement. Based on the actions that each customer has taken on your site, they could fit into a segmented customer program that guides them through their own unique customer journey.
For example, if a customer has already purchased something, include them in a loyalty program to encourage repeat purchases in the future. Or, if a customer has unpurchased items in their cart, send them personalized reminders to finalize the purchase, or discounts to incentivize the purchase decision.
With a unified content and commerce platform, it’s easy to streamline your ecommerce marketing activities so that you utilize your product and customer data to inform and track your ecommerce marketing campaigns.
Sitefinity can serve as your main platform for managing and executing all your ecommerce marketing campaigns. It has all the features you need to deploy successful content that attracts, engages and converts customers across all digital channels. Plus, we have a large network of Sitefinity implementation partners that can help you put your ecommerce marketing strategy into action.
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Amy Ward was a Senior Product Marketing Specialist at Progress.
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