Finding the right marketing tools for your e-commerce site begins with understanding your goals. We'll help you create a plan from start to finish.
If you’re reading this you might be one of the approximately 1.3 million e-commerce companies out there.
Or perhaps you’re reading this because you’re considering making the transition to selling your goods or services online.
At its core, that’s what it means to be an e-commerce business, but what does a successful internet retailer look like?
Today we’re exploring the anatomy of a marketing strategy specifically catered towards a digital audience. We’ll detail strategies for social media, user-generated content, ads, and of course, SMS.
We’ll break down the marketing strategies some of the largest e-commerce business employ and finally, supply you with some tools to replicate all of these suggestions.
What are the most important e-commerce marketing tools?
There is no perfect marketing tool for everyone. The needs of your business dictate what tools you should use, and that looks different for every e-commerce retailer. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t the perfect marketing tool for your needs.
Always let your business goals determine the best tools for you.
Frame your strategy around what it is you want your e-commerce business to accomplish. Some common goals include increasing sales, reaching more customers, expanding markets out of regions/states/countries, increasing website traffic, and building brand engagement.
How Do You Begin Building an E-Commerce Marketing Strategy
Do you know who you’re selling to? That’s an easy first question to ask when determining your target audience.
Do you have webpages that see more visits than others? Analyzing the traffic on your site is another step towards optimizing your content to appeal to the masses.
Finally, is your traffic converting into the behaviors you want? Sales, clicks, views, etc.? If not, why? You might not find out unless you investigate.
Your marketing strategy tends to begin with far more questions than answers. And that’s okay! But as an e-commerce brand know that you have to work ten times as hard to garner awareness if you want to avoid falling into the untracked corners of the world wide web.
In the world of pay-per-click advertising, you need to make sure every encounter counts. And to do that, you need the right tools to find the answers to your questions.
What marketing tools are best-suited to an e-commerce businesses?
As we previously mentioned, goals should dictate which tools you’re using. The following are our tool recommendations for some the top three most popular goals.
1. Increasing Sales
By and large this is the most popular goal for e-commerce businesses. Without something driving your bottom line, you’ll be forced to close shop. When looking to increase sales you want to look for tools that will help you capture leads (current and cold) and convert them into sales. Tools that allow you to communicate with customers and sell to them will ultimately help you get in the mind of the consumer and deliver products that fly off your virtual shelves.
Intercom – Make yourself available to customers who may have questions about your products with a live chat tool such as Intercom.
Hotjar – Find out where on your site your visitors are dropping off. Set up visitor recordings to find usability issues and optimize your pages based on your findings.
VWO – Run A/B tests to find what product descriptions and headlines convert the most customers.
2. Increasing Web Traffic
Sometimes the focus is less on the conversion and more on the eyes reaching your brand. The power of word of mouth or viral marketing certainly can’t be understated. Compared to the goal above, there’s a bit of a chicken vs. egg debate. However, the strategy for increasing web traffic varies slightly. You want to be looking for tools that boost your SEO, identify popular keywords, and encourage collaboration. Landing page and conversion marketing tools for example allow marketers to quickly create, launch, and test high-converting landing pages.
SEMrush – This all-in-one SEO tool lets you identify keyword opportunities and run a complete SEO audit of your site.
Unbounce – Optimize and test different landing page designs for conversion optimization and web traffic testing.
Alexa Traffic Rank – Check your websites rankings and popularity relative to all other sites competing against you.
3. Reaching Target Audience
Your business technically exists everywhere as an e-commerce retailer. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have a specific audience in mind. In fact, to be successful you always should aim to build a persona for a specific target audience. In order to help you work smarter, you should seek out tools that allow you to set specific measures and marks that funnel your messaging to the places your audience is found.
Google Analytics – Analyze your site’s traffic to understand how different demographics are interacting with your content.
Facebook Insights – If your brand is active on social media, use this tool to analyze how your fans are connecting with your social content.
eCairn – Discover digital affluents in your target market and build new relationships that grow your business.
Of course, we believe texting can be a wonderful compliment to all of these goals. But we don’t want to come off as too biased. Learn how and why in our e-commerce text marketing guide.
How to market your e-commerce business
Unfortunately, just having these tools in your arsenal does not a successful marketing campaign make. You still need to put in the effort to make these tools work for you. Learning how to market your business involves knowing your audience, and knowing your brand.
How do you effectively optimize, improve, monetize, and market a new e-commerce site?
There are a few ways to start boosting the efficacy of your e-commerce marketing strategy. The best part? They’re all pretty simple.
- Create an SEO Strategy: research what your competitors are doing and what your customers are searching for. Develop a list of keywords that are commonly searched and ensure they’re liberally worked into your site. Developing a blog is a great way to organically grow content around a keyword.
- Encourage Customer Reviews: customers tend to trust their peers input the most when shopping. Both external review sites (like Yelp) and in-site reviews are important. Transparency is key. The more reviews you have, the more likely people are to gravitate towards your products.
- Integrate With Social Media: You have the advantage of being completely digital, so you want to allow people scrolling on social media to seamlessly transition into purchasing one of your products that they see on their timeline.
- Automate Communications That Follow Up With Abandoned Carts: Don’t let customers slip away. You’re collecting the data, use it! Send customers a text or message letting them know they have products still in their shopping cart. Send them discounts or remind them why they don’t want to let them slip away.
- Build Customer Loyalty: Building customer loyalty doesn’t happen overnight. However, creating programs geared around pampering VIPs will help you create brand advocates who will rapidly become low to no cost spokespeople for your brand.
How Top Brands Use Marketing to Increase E-Commerce Sales
There are some heavy hitters out there in the e-commerce world. No matter if you view them as friend or foe, there’s certainly something we can learn from them. They’ve done something right to get to the top, and there’s nothing that says you can’t replicate that model. After all, imitation is the most profitable form of flattery.
How do the most successful e-commerce businesses promote and market themselves?
Amazon: Amazon.com generated about $141.92 billion in product sales in 2018. They sell (what seems like) everything to (what seems like) everyone. However, they didn’t become the largest e-commerce operation overnight. They rose to success because of how they segment their audience. They develop product profiles for each and every person and push them products that meet their needs before you even know it’s a need. They have mastered the art of product suggestions and they know their audience.
How Amazon markets themselves: The brand that knows your need
JD.com:In 2018, the Chinese online retailer JD.com made $67.2 billion in sales. Most known in the states for their technology products, JD’s focus is on delivering high-quality products with industry-leading delivery services. They stay true to that goal by sticking to a strong people/price ratio. Despite competition, they have managed to keep prices low and quality high, and advertise that!
How JD markets themselves: The best quality for reasonable prices
Shopify:Shopify projected $1.045 billion in sales for their 2018 fiscal year. As an e-commerce platform that sells to smaller e-commerce platforms, Shopify is the biggest and the best in this B2B space. Because they are so user focused, Shopify excels in generating content for their site. Not only are they selling their product, they’re selling their expertise as well. And that’s what gives them their edge and drives people in droves to their site.
How Shopify markets themselves: The education destination for retailers
Marketing Strategies To Beat Out E-Commerce Competition
Hopefully, as this brief dissertation comes to a close, you have a better idea of how to develop a marketing strategy that fits your needs. For a few final takeaways, remember the big challenges you will most likely be faced with: competitive pricing, high customer expectations, and a lack of personalization or connection with customers.
While there are several ways to tackle these obstacles, we’re strong believers that text marketing is a great way to tackle them. Have questions? Disagree? We want to hear from you! We love all our e-commerce partners and if you aren’t one of them, we’d still love to learn from you!
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