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Events — 01 Sep 2022

Strategies to Boost Your Ecommerce Website Marketing

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13 Best Strategies to Boost Your Ecommerce Website Marketing

ecommerce share
Source (oberlo.com)

Ecommerce continues to grow. In fact, online shopping saw more than two billion people buy goods in 2020 with total global ecommerce sales exceeding $4.2 trillion. 

It’s difficult to know exactly how many ecommerce sites actually exist, with estimates ranging from 12 to 24 million. While many of those sites do not make large amounts of revenue, it is still a competitive market. 

So, the big question is how do you stand out from all the other ecommerce sites? 

You may never reach the lofty heights of Amazon or Shopify but you can still aim for success. How do you ensure that online shoppers not only notice you but make a decision to buy from you? And, ideally, to become a regular customer with a significant CLV (customer lifetime value). 

Ecommerce marketing can be very wide-ranging. You need to recognize and have an understanding of what new customers want and how to present it. For example, if a customer is looking for a business phone solution, then a virtual pbx may be an essential requirement. Translating your understanding to action is essential. 

Of course, as with any type of retail, the answer for online retailers partly lies in your marketing. How exactly should you approach ecommerce marketing? What channels and ecommerce platforms should you be considering and where should you focus your efforts?

What is ecommerce marketing?

ecommerce marketing
Source (pixabay.com)

Ecommerce marketing relates to any sort of promotional activities you undertake to market your ecommerce store and the products or services you offer on that store. Your purpose with online marketing is primarily twofold: to raise awareness of your brand and website, and to drive traffic into and through your sales funnel to the point where they make a purchase. 

Your digital marketing can take many forms. From using social media marketing on social media platforms and digital content to using SEO (search engine optimization) to improve your search engine rankings. You can also use email campaigns to personalize content and target people who have subscriptions to your list. You may also consider using api integration software in order to keep your data in sync when you try out different digital marketing methods. 

Developing your Ecommerce marketing strategy

developing ecommerce
Source (pixabay.com)

Ecommerce marketing is not something you dive into without careful planning. There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy and what works for one online shop may not work for another. It’s therefore crucial that you spend some time developing your strategy while being aware that any initial strategy may be tweaked over time as you monitor metrics and KPIs. 

1. Set goals based on industry benchmarks

One of the first things to do is establish your goals. As with other aspects, you don’t pluck these goals out of thin air, you look at what is already happening in your particular area of ecommerce. 

What that means, in reality, is researching how those online businesses that you are directly competing with are performing. What are their CTRs (click-through rates) and their conversion rates? How high do they rank in SERPs (search engine results pages) and what are the keywords and phrases they use if they have ranked highly?

Think of this part of your marketing as a race (albeit a long-distance one). You see where the early leaders are in the race and you know what pace you have to set in order to catch them (and ideally pass them). Having these benchmarks will dictate much of what you do from this point onwards.

2. Break down your strategy into small tactics

If you’re new to ecommerce marketing, or marketing tools in general, having one single strategy can be a little overwhelming and you may lose sight of important details. Once you have identified your primary goals, think about what marketing tactics you can employ to achieve those goals and compartmentalize them. As with other areas of business, this is all about prioritizing tasks. 

What tactics will produce the best ROI? Consider what paid tactics will work versus what free tactics can do. For example, is setting up a Google Ads account going to give you a significant return when compared to posting on social media platforms? It’s also worth considering what budget you have as these may be limited in the early days of your online business. 

You need to spend that budget wisely; there’s little point in splashing out on high-end videos that don’t produce a lot of revenue. You also need to remember that your initial budget may need to cover a certain, often extended, time frame. Careful planning of your tactics and breaking them into measurable sections makes good business sense. 

3. Delight your new and long-term customers

delighting customers
Source (pixabay.com)

Another aspect to be aware of is that your efforts don’t end when the customer enters their card details at the checkout stage. While it’s great to have made a sale, you need to consider that retaining that customer is a bigger achievement, especially when you consider that CAC (customer acquisition costs) are smaller for existing customers than new ones. 

You may have fantastic products at good pricing levels, but those two advantages can be quickly negated if your customer service is poor or non-existent. You need to be providing excellent customer support from the first minute the customer visits your ecommerce site, and you can achieve this through things such as live chat, digital assistants, and guided selling. 

It’s not just about supporting that customer in a vacuum either. Think of that customer as being a pebble dropped in a pool. Their purchase may be the initial splash, but the ripples that come after include encouraging that customer to be loyal to your brand and then those loyal customers writing product reviews and testimonials and recommending your brand to friends and family.

Ecommerce marketing ideas to increase online sales

What ideas are best to increase sales in your online store? Again, how successful these ideas will be will depend on your business model and what products or services you are offering, but the following suggestions are all tried and tested.

1. Social Media

social media marketing
Source (pewresearch.org)

Before you dive into the murky waters of social media, remember the golden rule of any type of marketing – know your target audience. Although around 70% of US citizens use social media regularly, you also need to consider the numbers of different age groups that access the different platforms on a regular basis. 

  • Instagram: Instagram is a great platform for showcasing your goods visually. What you do need to recognize is that its main users are in the 18-29 age group (around 71% of that group regularly use the platform). Instagram is also a great platform for your customers to share their images, so ensuring you have recognizable hashtags is essential. 
  • Facebook store: while the growth of Facebook has leveled in recent years, it still remains the most popular social media platform with some 69% of adults in the US using it. Age groups are more spread out and the biggest group is 25-34-year-old males. Facebook’s attraction lies not only in selling products via a Facebook Store but in how easy it is to share content and for customers to leave reviews or discuss your brand. 
  • Influencer marketing: influencers have become increasingly important in the digital era. When an influencer becomes a brand ambassador, they share your posts, write about your products, and generally help raise brand awareness. 
  • Blogs and Guest Posting: blogs have always been a great way of sharing informative content. Customers engage well with blogs and, if they’re good, they’ll often share them. Blogs are also a good way of partnering with other brands through mutual inclusion of links, or through the exchange of guest posts on each other’s sites. 

2. SEO

seo
Source (pixabay.com)

Traffic from search engines includes organic (free) results as well as paid advertising. The former needs a good knowledge of and strategy for SEO. 

  • SEO strategy: having the content on your website optimized for SEO is crucial if you want good SERP results. Keyword research should be approached carefully, paying special attention to what works for competitors with high rankings. Use short keywords that include product names and also look at meta descriptions, page titles, and URL descriptions. 
  • Create useful content: good content is not just about stuffing it full of SEO keywords (something Google frowns upon and will penalize). Create content that engages with your customers and informs them. Make product descriptions accurate and any long-form content (such as blogs) relevant and interesting. 

3. Email

Email marketing remains a strong component of any marketing strategy and continues to offer an attractive ROI. 

  • Build a targeted email list: You want your email marketing list to target people who are potential purchasers or who are existing customers. You already have the latter group’s details as they will have provided an email address when onboarding. For the former, you can try and encourage them to subscribe with notifications of special offers, giveaways (such as a free Ebook), or by including a sign-up option in content such as blogs. Templates can be very useful with email marketing. 
  • Upsell your products: Do not restrict your email marketing to advising customers of new products or new developments. It offers the ideal opportunity to upsell or cross-sell products. If someone expresses interest in Product A, then send an email offering the higher value Product B with special incentives such as free shipping. 

4. Advertising

advertising
Source (pixabay.com)

Advertising remains one of the most popular ways of letting the public know about your products and services. The question in the digital age is: where do you advertise? Let’s take a look.

  • Try out Google Ads: Google Ads are a great (and cost-effective) way of reaching out to potential customers who use Google shopping, especially if you are a small business. You can set a budget that suits your business and GA can help with AdWords planning and accurate analytics of your results. 
  • Utilizing PPC advertising: PPC is another cost-effective solution where you only pay the ecommerce platform (such as Google or Facebook) when a customer clicks on your ad. However, it should be noted that the position of your ad can depend on whether you have outbid a competitor (or vice versa). 
  • Launch podcast ads: Podcasts are the new radio shows and, as such, represent strong potential for advertisers. There are a few different ways to advertise on podcasts but, as with other types of advertising, consider the target audience carefully. There is no point in advertising SaaS services on a podcast about nature, right?

5. Collaboration

collaboration
Source (similarweb.com)

Many hands make light work” may be an old saying but it still holds true in the world of ecommerce. By collaborating with potential partners, you widen reach and awareness and can thus boost sales figures. Here’s how:

  • Working with other brands: Working with brands closely related to your own can bring many advantages. Affise Reach can help you identify, develop, and expand partnerships, help you connect and integrate with different partnership marketing programs and platforms, and guide you in maximizing your advertising and marketing efforts.
  • Affiliate Marketing: Partner marketing is now big business, with expenditure in the US expected to reach $8.2 billion in 2022. Performance marketing involves you (as the brand) finding affiliates who will actively promote your product. The goal of the affiliate is to drive as much traffic as possible to your website so that they can earn a commission on sales. 

ECommerce marketing tips

1. Utilize personalization

Customers love the idea that you are speaking directly to them, so personalization is a great tactic when it comes to driving your sales figures. Personalization can be based on behavioral data, age or gender, and on geographical location. By personalizing your marketing, you’re bringing your customers closer to you and making a sale more likely.

2. Leverage on user-generated content

Word of mouth has always been a powerful tool, and UGC (user-generated content) is the digital equivalent that can produce a high referral rate. UGC can cover everything from reviews and testimonials to videos of customers using your product. UGC can be shared across social media and you can also integrate the best examples on any landing page or the product page.

3. Consider building a loyalty program

You already know that customer retention is great and that it represents higher CLV (customer lifetime value) and lower CACs (customer acquisition costs). Creating a loyalty program for your main customer base makes good sense; you can choose what rewards they receive for customer loyalty such as free shipping, unique offers, or advance reservation of new products.

4. Invest in live chat

Customers often want detailed info before making a purchase and they want it then and there. This is where live chat can be a great tool, allowing your agent to engage with customers and help with any questions. You can trigger the use of live chat as a pop-up according to different factors, such as the amount of time spent on a product page or hesitation to process their shopping cart at the checkout. 

5. Implement a responsive website design

With the use of mobile devices growing, it’s estimated that more than 10% of all online retail sales will originate from mobiles by 2025. That means that your website design should be responsive to access from any sort of device to maximize visitors. You should conduct A/B testing across all the most common devices to ensure your ecommerce website is fully responsive and optimized. 

6. Measure your growth and progress and adjust your strategies based on data

Your data, including all key metrics and KPIs, is not just an indicator of how well you’re performing but also provides actionable information that can guide future sales and marketing campaigns. Affise offers advanced analytical capabilities that you can access directly from your dashboard in real-time. This helps you gain real insights into your ecommerce business. 

Elevate your Ecommerce growth with Affise

ecommerce growth with affise
Source (affise.com)

Making your mark in the ecommerce sector is not easy, especially if you are a startup or a small business. That’s why it makes good sense to look at building performance marketing and working with partners to extend your reach and boost website visitors and sales numbers. Partner marketing can be the strategy that makes a real difference in how you perform. 

Affise offers you real opportunities to elevate your growth and establish your ecommerce site as a real player. They not only offer the tools and tech that can make a tangible difference to your marketing efforts, but they can also enhance your site’s security and help with marketing automation, and also automate those repetitive tasks that take up too much of your time just now. 

Affise can assist you in identifying and scaling partnerships around the world so that your products are seen by a larger audience. With their existing network of affiliates, influencers, and agencies, they can find a partner that matches well with the products and services you offer. If you’re on an existing platform, they also offer simple platform migration

Conclusion

Source (affise.com)

Nobody will say that ecommerce marketing is easy but it can be easier when you join forces with Affise. Ecommerce partnerships are proven to bring benefits to the involved parties, benefits that include increases in site visitors as well as a better conversion rate and profitability. Knowing what ecommerce marketing plan to employ, and what partners best suit you, is a crucial first step.

Of course, an existing business may already be using some of the tactics mentioned as well as a range of tools to help with everyday operations. Affise BI is one part of how Affise operates and offers useful integrations with existing tools such as AppsFlyer. If you want to take your online business to the next level, it’s time to consider working with Affise.

FAQs 

1. How can I measure the effectiveness of my marketing campaigns?

There are several ways of measuring how well a marketing campaign has performed. Metrics such as conversion rates, abandoned cart rates, click-through rates, cost per acquisition and other metrics can all show how well, or badly, a specific campaign is working. But the best measure is the simple metric of how much revenue a campaign returns. 

2. What are the best practices for affiliate marketing?

Affise recognizes that tactics need to be applied in different ways for different business types. However, there are some best practices that can be applied to all partner marketing:

  • Don’t overload customers with affiliate links. Use them wisely. 
  • Provide value through carefully choosing how and when you promote active campaigns. 
  • Make email targeting (and retargeting) work by including good content and worthwhile offers. 
  • Maintain quality of products. Offering low-quality items will lose your customers. 
  • Listen to your customers and use surveys and questionnaires to find out how they feel. 
  • Build relationships with customers through personalization, loyalty programs, and other proactive tactics. 

3. What are best practices for content marketing?

Valuable content is the link between you and your customers. Knowing the best ways to do it can mean the difference between quality engagement and disenchantment with your product or brand.

  • Know your audience. Understanding what they like/want to see is the first step to good content. 
  • Tailor content to the stage of the buyer journey its consumers are likely to be at. Someone doing their initial research might appreciate a glossary-style post explaining what is ucaas and its advantages. Someone close to purchasing is more likely to appreciate a comparison article pitting your solution against a competitor’s. 
  • Leverage data to gain an understanding of your customers and what their behaviors are.
  • Use UGC where possible as it helps build both awareness of and trust in your brand. 
  • Use your content to not only showcase products but also what your company values are. 
  • Utilize an omnichannel approach to reach your customers on their preferred channels. 
  • Look at different social media platforms and increase your use of visual content. 
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Richard Conn - Senior Director, Demand Generation, 8x8

Written by

Richard Conn is the Senior Director for Demand Generation at 8x8, a leading communication platform with integrated contact center, voice, video, and chat functionality. Richard is an analytical & results-driven digital marketing leader with a track record of achieving major ROI improvements in fast-paced, competitive B2B environments. Check out his LinkedIn.