If you sell products online, it’s likely you’ll need eCommerce marketing. To inspire people to buy your products, making your brand visible above the noise is vital. Thankfully, there are a suite of powerful tools, concepts and strategies to help you effectively market your products and services online.
What you’ll learn.
What is eCommerce marketing?
eCommerce marketing is like traditional marketing but for products and services sold online. The aim is to convert browsing, potential consumers into loyal customers, taking them through each stage of the funnel until purchase. Instead of driving people in-store though, eCommerce marketing is directing them to your websites to convert online.
This is done by making use of several key digital channels:
- Social media
- Digital content
- Email marketing
Benefits of eCommerce marketing.
When done correctly across all the right channels, you can expect benefits that:
Make your products visible to Google.
Around 40% of people are influenced by a relevant Google search before making a purchase . And if your page isn’t ranking, they won’t see it. An SEO strategy that prioritizes getting your core pages ranking for relevant, high-volume keywords is an essential part of eCommerce marketing.
Boost conversions of key products.
Once you get potential customers to your site, you still need them to make a purchase. Optimizing your homepage and blog for conversions is key. UX design, good SEO and old-fashioned sales copywriting can help you convert browsers into buyers.
Create better customer experiences.
Customers want you to make their life easier. More than 70% prioritize speed, convenience and good service when choosing where to buy . This is neatly bundled as ’customer experience’ or CX, and brands increasingly focus on it. Investing in the right eCommerce marketing tools can transform your CX.
Attract new customers to your brand.
By publishing timely and relevant content across your social channels you can connect with customers previously out of reach and drive traffic to product pages. Whether it’s organic – people sharing your post with friends – or paid advertising targeted at a specific demographic, there are customers to win.
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Challenges relating to eCommerce marketing.
Though there are benefits to capitalize on, there are challenges of eCommerce marketing too. These include the following:
Changing customer behavior.
The past two years have transformed the way people behave when browsing and purchasing online. During the Covid-19 pandemic, retailers reported increasingly erratic movements from their customers online.
Over 50% of brands reported customers’ new buying behaviors, with differing average basket sizes and diverse product choices, according to Adobe Digital Trends 2021. Knowing your customers is vital to your marketing efforts, making such unpredictability challenging.
Legacy technology and digital skills.
eCommerce marketing is dependent on tech solutions and digital skills. So it’s perhaps unsurprising that legacy technology – and its limitations – are a major frustration for marketers. In fact, Adobe Digital Trends 2021 ranked workflow issues, legacy technology and a lack of digital skills as the top three barriers to a great digital experience. Read the latest digital trends report.
Data and privacy.
To deliver a great digital experience you must understand your customers. To understand your customers, you need data. Data-rich personalized experiences are no longer optional. But they bring their own challenges.
92% of marketers told Adobe Digital Trends 2021 that privacy was fundamental to the customer experience. But only one in five would call their own business ‘very effective’ at comms around data collection and use.
How to get started with eCommerce marketing.
Because eCommerce marketing covers many different channels, technologies and strategies it’s unlikely you’ll get up and running in one go. Instead it’s more about identifying:
- Your main priorities – Should you boost customer experience or conversions?
- Resource – What’s possible with your current team? Do you need to expand?
- Budget – How much can you spend? What tech solutions can you afford?
- Gap analysis – Are you already doing some eCommerce marketing?
eCommerce marketing – getting started checklist.
What are the specific tools, concepts and channels you need to deploy? We list some priorities.
Whether in-house or via an agency, you’ll need the support of a search engine optimization (SEO) team. This helps ensure your site is well optimized for the terms people search for and also that you’re aligned with and responding to the latest Google algorithm updates.
To do this, your site needs setting up on an Analytics Platform. Your team will use the platform to monitor the performance of key pages against priority keywords and also to gauge the impact of any new algorithm update.
Content Management System (CMS).
Some business make thousands of content changes to their sites every day. To ensure you control your content, you should invest in a CMS (content management system) with user-friendly authoring tools. It needs to be simple enough for your non-tech marketing team to make timely, reactive updates to pages.
A hybrid CMS gives your marketing team the flexibility and control it needs, while also ensuring your IT and developer team can easily integrate content with back-end applications and roll out updates at speed.
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Digital PR support.
Pushing out timely PR campaigns to the media can help you reach new customers and promote brand awareness. It’ll also build your site’s authority with valuable backlinks. Many digital agencies provide PR consultancy and support, or you may prefer to build an in-house team.
An obvious one, but to be effective at eCommerce marketing you need a presence on your audience’s favorite social channels. Instagram and Facebook are a must. If you plan on creating lots of video, perhaps consider YouTube and TikTok too.
Some 44% of global internet users searched for info about a brand via social media in 2020, according to the Global State of Digital 2021 .When you consider there are 4.2 billion active internet users on the planet, that’s a lot of people.
Email marketing platform.
There’s a reason email marketing has been around so long – it works. What’s more, it’s one of the best ways to set up automated customer journeys – sending a number of sequential emails that drive customers towards purchases.
To do email campaigns right you need an email marketing platform. You should prioritize platforms that offer real-time personalization features, so you can deliver the right message to the right person at the right time.
To create SEO-optimized product pages and slick, on brand blog posts, you’re going to need a content team. That may be a small, in-house team or a service provided by a digital content or SEO agency (often these teams work together).
Either way, they’ll be responsible for creating the content that matches what your target customers search for – and also for summarizing your brand values, ethos and personality through blog posts, social copy and even press releases. Copy is a big part of eCommerce marketing.
Organic SEO is invaluable, but you’ll need to put budget behind it too. And one of the best ways to do that is with PPC campaigns using Google Ads. Essentially, you pay Google to have your webpage/s appear in the SERP (search engine results page) when a user enters certain keywords.
You only pay if the person then clicks on your ad – hence the name PPC or pay-per-click. PPC is often handled by either in-house marketers or a media buying agency.
Is eCommerce part of marketing?
eCommerce isn’t technically a part of marketing, but the two concepts depend on each other.
- eCommerce is the concept of selling products and services online, via websites or apps.
- Marketing (whether online or offline) is the concept of driving sales of those products or services through omnichannel campaigns and strategies.
So, eCommerce needs marketing to exist, and vice-versa.
What are the types of eCommerce marketing?
eCommerce marketing is a broad area. It covers anything that helps you raise awareness of – and ultimately sell – your products and services. It plays out across various digital channels, from social media and websites to digital media and Google SERPs. These different areas combine to build momentum around the products and services you sell online.
What is basic email marketing?
Email marketing is a key part of an eCommerce marketing strategy. It enables your brand to communicate with your customers. On a basic level, it’s about sharing details of your products, brands, and offers with your target audience. More advanced email marketing is rooted in real-time personalization and sophisticated customer journeys.
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