The 9 best ecommerce marketing strategies
There are several key ingredients for successful ecommerce marketing.
Customers shopping in person expect individualized shopping experiences tailored to their unique tastes and needs, expectations that carry over to the realm of ecommerce. Eighty percent of customers are more likely to make a purchase when they have a personalized digital experience.
Personalizing the customer experience starts with collecting data. Ecommerce platforms can gather information on everything from a customer’s name and email address to shopping habits and browsing history. By identifying patterns within this data, you can determine how factors like a customer’s location and browsing habits correlate with the types of purchases a customer is likely to make.
After gathering relevant data, consider ways you can use it to enhance customers’ shopping experience:
- Provide special discounts and promotions to customers, such as a discount to someone who visits your site on a birthday or to a first-time buyer in exchange for an email sign-up.
- Identify customers who are likely to have the greatest lifetime value and prioritize them within your marketing efforts.
- Display recommended products selected by AI-powered ecommerce tools.
- Customize your customers’ experiences based on where they are accessing your website from, taking into account language, nationality, and geographic location.
- Send personalized follow-up emails with a limited time offer to a customer who has abandoned a shopping cart.
As you implement the strategies below, think about how you can personalize aspects of each. This will improve your understanding of your customers and entice them to come back time after time.
An omnichannel experience
An omnichannel approach integrates all the channels customers use to engage with your brand, providing a seamless shopping experience. For ecommerce sites, this means no matter which devices or operating systems customers use, the customer experience should be uniform. For instance, avoid limiting what offerings or payment options are available based on whether a customer is on desktop or mobile.
The integrated experience an omnichannel strategy provides is critical to ensuring customers can engage with you whenever and wherever they want. To deliver the best omnichannel experience, be sure to keep up with the latest trends in areas like mobile commerce.
The right ecommerce platform
With so many ecommerce platforms on the market, choosing one best aligned with your ecommerce marketing needs is key. Important features to look for include:
Your ecommerce platform should allow you to access and analyze important data, automatically generate reports that are updated in real time, and integrate information from any data source.
Your solution should help you boost conversion rates by dynamically displaying content, promotions, and pricing to individual customers based on factors such as location, order history, wish list items, and more.
A reliable, scalable cloud-based environment lets you deliver an exceptional experience to your customers every time they visit your site.
Progressive web application support
Progressive web applications (PWAs) let you combine the best aspects of native apps and web-based experiences to increase engagement.
Instant purchase capabilities
Your ecommerce solution should let customers skip through checkout steps, so returning shoppers are able to make purchases more easily and convert more frequently.
Robust admin functionality
Look for a platform that helps monitor your ecommerce business by easily accessing sales, ordering forms, search terms, and product data, as well as building and customizing management screens that meet your unique needs.
Your platform should offer the ability to quickly create and edit text, images, video, and more, across all pages of your site using a single interface.
The nine best ecommerce marketing strategies for growing your business
The best marketing strategies for your ecommerce business depend on factors such as your target customers, what you hope to achieve through your marketing campaigns, and the resources available to you. Here are nine strategies you can use to jump-start your ecommerce marketing efforts.
Content marketing — creating assets like blog posts and eBooks to engage with customers — is a great way to build your brand and draw traffic to your website. Content that teaches customers something new or brings them meaningful insight can also help them feel a stronger personal connection to your brand. It’s not just about written media, either. Resources such as podcasts and infographics are excellent ways to attract and engage customers.
Keep in mind the content you produce should typically not take an explicit marketing angle, like a blog post discussing products on your site. Instead, focus on crafting informative content on topics related to your niche, then include handy links and calls to action that direct readers to purchase-oriented pages.
You can also create shoppable content, which lets consumers make purchases directly from within the blog post, video, or other content they consume. This type of content requires some sophistication to produce, but it offers the advantage of immediate customer engagement.
The biggest challenge surrounding content marketing is that producing the content requires significant effort. However, SEO tools make it easier to craft content that will drive the largest volume of traffic from the web. As an additional time-saver, you can reuse content by, for example, combining multiple blog posts into an eBook to get a larger return on your content investment.
Consistency is the key to effective content marketing. Brands should post new blog posts, videos, and other content on a regular basis to keep customers engaged over the long term. Keep in mind that the content must be high quality and relevant — nothing will turn customers off faster than confusing or poorly crafted content. Ecommerce marketers should think of content marketing as a long-tail effort that takes time and investment to deliver significant results.
A video, as they say, is worth a million words. Video marketing allows ecommerce vendors to demonstrate their products in ways written text or static images can’t match, and it’s a great resource for marketers who have complex stories to tell. Eighty-seven percent of marketers who use video say it has drawn more traffic to their site, 83% believe it has improved lead generation, and 95% say it has helped users understand their product or service.
Video marketing can take many forms, so choose the one that will best convey your messaging:
- Produce a demonstration showing a product in action.
- Cover frequently asked questions.
- Guide viewers with a tutorial explaining how to get started using your products.
- Create video testimonials from happy users.
- Compare your products to competitors’ offerings.
- Discuss what makes your brand and store unique.
- Interview experts in your niche.
- Tell a story that weaves a narrative related to your product.
- Livestream to connect with brand followers in real time.
No matter which approach you take, the goal of video marketing should be to help customers understand your product and feel confident in its value.
Although the idea of generating videos can be intimidating, you don’t need to be a Hollywood producer to pull off effective video marketing. These guidelines can help you generate effective, engaging videos:
- Keep most videos short and to the point.
- Know your audience and which types of videos they find most engaging — some trial and error can be helpful here.
- Identify your goals and KPIs so that you’ll know whether your videos are contributing to them.
- Invest in high-quality videos that beat what competitors offer.
- Include a call to action in your videos so viewers know what they can do next to continue the engagement.
- Share your videos widely, across as many platforms and marketing channels as you can.
Social media marketing
Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter are great places for marketers to engage with users in a way that is tailored to different personalities and needs. Fifty-four percent of social media users rely on social platforms to research products. And more than two-thirds of those who have a positive interaction with a brand on social media are likely likely to recommend it to friends and family.
Ecommerce marketers can use social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Reddit to target audiences with customer testimonials, new product announcements, special offers, and similar content. By targeting a segment of social media users, marketers can reach customers more likely to be receptive than a generic web audience.
In order to engage users, social media marketing should include visuals and hashtags, which are easily shared on many social platforms.
Social media marketing can be done organically through unpaid posts. However, companies can boost engagement through ads if they have the budget and enough data to determine where to target advertising. Placing ads on social media traditionally required creating an ad yourself and configuring which demographics — based on factors like age and location — you wanted to target. This offered the advantage of being able to focus on specific user groups with more precision than is available with most types of marketing, but it required a fair amount of effort to execute.
While a manual social media marketing strategy is still an option, marketers can streamline social ad placement today by taking advantage of new tools that help to automate the process. For example, Facebook and Instagram offer dynamic ad services, which let you upload your brand’s entire product catalog. The services then automatically create and place ads for all the products you’ve uploaded. Likewise, Twitter offers a Creative Canvas marketing tool where you can use a single interface to configure ad content to be displayed in multiple ways.
Follow these best practices to get the most out of social media marketing:
- Use product reviews from happy customers as social content to share on your networks. This gives you an easy way to generate compelling social content.
- Interact with followers so social media is a conversation with ongoing engagement.
- Use hashtags to help make your social content discoverable.
- Insert “tweetable” quotes inside your social content, which your followers can use to create their own social content based on yours.
Above all, brands must maintain a consistent, long term social media commitment. Like content marketing, unpaid social media marketing is a long-tail effort.
Email marketing is an effective strategy across all stages of the sales process. Its applications are nearly endless:
- Generate leads by making prospective customers aware of an offering.
- Entice customers to subscribe to a newsletter or other email-based resource which keeps them engaged with your brand even when they are not actively buying.
- Nurture leads by encouraging them to make a purchase after they have expressed initial interest.
- Upsell existing customers on new offerings.
- Retarget individuals who have abandoned their carts or otherwise dropped out at some point during the path to purchase.
Email marketing is a relatively low-cost, low-effort operation. You simply need to collect email addresses and write concise, high-impact email messages. However, the ease of email marketing also means customers and leads are inundated with emails from other vendors, making it challenging to convince users your messages are worth their time.
Whenever possible, emails should be personalized. You can often include a user’s name in the email subject line, and, in some cases, you can add automatically generated customized recommendations based on past behavior.
Above all, marketers should strive to make sure marketing emails bring some kind of genuine value to readers. Emails that include educational content or that keep customers updated on new developments accomplish this. Emails that simply tell customers about what you’re offering do not.
To streamline email marketing, automation is a must. Automation allows you to trigger an email whenever a customer abandons a shopping cart on your website or send a welcome email when someone signs up for the first time. Emails with a new product announcement that might interest a customer based on their purchasing history can be automatically generated as well.
Influencer marketing, which involves people or organizations promoting your offerings, can be effective in many circumstances. It works especially well for marketers who are promoting a good or service within a niche market where just a few individuals can sway a large portion of your target audience.
Although the term “influencer marketing” conjures images of high-profile celebrities, influencers don’t have to be Kardashians or YouTube stars. They could be lower-profile people who are well-known and admired among your target segment. For example, a software vendor could hire a respected programmer known for expertise in a certain programming language to promote a tool that relates to said language.
Influencer marketing does not need to be a “quid pro quo” opportunity. In other words, you don’t need to approach it as a strategy where you pay individuals to say positive things about your product. An alternative is to find customers who are happy with your product and ask them to share their experiences publicly without financial compensation. Many will be happy to do so if they are truly pleased with what you offer.
Although ecommerce sites are often available to users across the world, it sometimes makes sense to market specifically to local audiences. This is especially true if your site offers products or services with local appeal, such as food sourced from regional producers. Local marketing also makes sense for ecommerce vendors who also have brick-and-mortar stores in a specific location.
The main drawback of local marketing is that it narrows your potential audience. However, when conversion rates are likely to be much higher among this demographic, the effort is worth it.
To engage in local marketing, start by thinking about ways to “localize” your brand. In other words, how can you connect local values, features, or trends to what you sell? For example, if you sell hiking boots in a region with a strong outdoor culture, you have an opportunity to portray your brand as being a great fit for local hikers. Using images from the local area within ads and targeting keywords that are relevant for local users are also effective techniques.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is an important component of any effective online marketing operation. Whether you’re producing blog posts or videos, a product description or copy for a website landing page, it’s important to include SEO in the mix.
SEO can be difficult to execute perfectly, as it’s part art and part science. However, ecommerce platforms with built-in SEO features help make the process simpler by recommending the best keywords to reach different audiences, as well as helping to analyze search result performance based on different keywords.
SEO marketing efforts typically start with keyword research to determine which keywords are the best fit for your marketing goals. Tools like Moz, Ahrefs, and SEMrush can be helpful for this process. Because search trends change over time, it’s important to update keywords on a continuous basis.
To help stay ahead of competitors, target keywords where you have the greatest opportunity to bring traffic to your content. If the web is already saturated with content for a keyword like “best noodles in Japan,” for example, try targeting “best noodles in Tokyo” instead if it offers a better chance to rank highly.
Leveraging content produced by customers is another great way to promote your ecommerce store. Online reviews are the most common example of this type of content. Whether the reviews are posted on your own site or on others, they offer potential customers a perspective on your products that typically feels more genuine compared to content that your brand produces itself.
Your ecommerce site should be designed to encourage reviews and integrate them into your platform. You should also have a strategy in place for responding to negative reviews. For more information on best practices for handling all types of reviews on your ecommerce site, take advantage of this free webinar.
Chatbots automatically answer user questions and offer information to help personalize the user experience. They can assist customers with finding what they’re looking for on your site, upsell or cross-promote products, troubleshoot payment problems, and more. A handy chatbot can reduce cart abandonment and increase engagement.
Chatbots were once difficult to implement because they required extensive custom coding and configuration. Today, they are available as extensions across a range of ecommerce platforms, making it easy for marketers to embed this functionality into their sites.
Build a solid foundation for your ecommerce marketing strategy
Choosing the right ecommerce platform is crucial for executing an effective marketing strategy. Adobe Commerce offers built-in tools to help you create an omnichannel experience, personalize online content, and gain critical insights through cutting-edge business intelligence. Using the world’s most flexible commerce platform, you can automate and scale your ecommerce marketing operations no matter which strategies you rely on.
Learn more about how Adobe Commerce simplifies ecommerce marketing by requesting a free demo.