It is anticipated that more than 2.14 billion people around the world will shop online in 2021. That is a huge pool of consumers that you can target if you have an online business. Though, without a comprehensive eCommerce marketing plan, it does not matter how many online shoppers there are and how much they are spending as your competitors will continuously be top of their minds.
When it comes to eCommerce marketing, an effective campaign should include email marketing, content marketing, social media marketing, affiliate marketing and search engine marketing. To help you make the most of these different types of channels, we have scoured the web and found these 15 eCommerce marketing strategies, many of which your competitors probably have not implemented yet.
15 Creative eCommerce Marketing Strategies to Set Your Brand Apart:
- 1. Personalize Your Brand
- 2. Concentrate on Customer Experience
- 3. Encourage Customers to Create Wishlists
- 4. Create Various Gift Guides
- 5. Share Event Invites
- 6. Optimize your Product Pages for Search Engines
- 7. Use Retargeting
- 8. Write Guest Posts
- 9. Use Quizzes to Grow Leads
- 10. Offer Free Shipping
- 11. Include Social Proof in Your Emails
- 12. Work with (Micro-)Influencers
- 13. Experiment with Upselling and Cross-selling
- 14. Ask for Reviews and Referrals
- 15. Optimize the Checkout Process
- Frequently Asked Questions
1. Personalize Your Brand
It is easier for consumers to trust a brand when they are familiar with the faces working hard behind the scene and screen. While customer testimonials can help to humanize your brand, you should also ensure that you communicate regularly with your followers. From replying to tweets to taking the time to share a longer response (which aren’t only reserved for negative comments), these actions help to show to your target audience that you do indeed care about their experience.
2. Concentrate on Customer Experience
To succeed in eCommerce, you need to exceed the expectations of your customers. One key area to focus on is your response time. As it is not humanly possible to reply to every single message within a couple of minutes, it is best to enlist the help of automation tools like chatbots, live chat and other auto-responders that can take care of the most common inquiries.
3. Encourage Customers to Create Wishlists
Wishlists can actually be very useful tools for eCommerce marketers, even though most visitors rarely create them and, when they do, often forget about them. The secret – offer your target audience some type of motivation to create them. You can, for instance, send subscribers an email whenever one of the items that they have wishlisted go on sale. You can even take it one step further by creating special PROMO codes for product items that have been wishlisted to create a sense of exclusivity.
Another way to leverage the full potential of wishlists is to make them shareable. This way, a customer will be able to share his/her wishlist on social media, which in turn helps to increase brand awareness and attract new website visitors.
4. Create Various Gift Guides
From Valentine’s Day to Singles’ Day, there are many profitable periods when you can market relevant gift ideas. So, instead of only creating gift guides for the bigger events like Black Friday and Christmas, ensure that your marketing team recommends gift ideas throughout the year. To make it easier for readers to digest your gift guide, you can, for example, categorize the relevant products according to their price. This way, your gift guide will appeal to everyone, irrespective of their budget.
5. Share Event Invites
In addition to emailing gift guides to your email subscriber list continuously throughout the year, you can also include calendar invites in these promotional emails. You can do this by giving your subscribers the option to save the date of your sale to their calendars. All in all, it is a creative way to ensure your promotion remains memorable, especially during the more popular events, and this strategy can also help your brand to stay in the minds of mid-funnel prospects who are eager to make a purchase.
6. Optimize your Product Pages for Search Engines
SEO forms a key part of any digital marketing strategy. While there are many aspects of your web design that you should pay attention to, your product pages, in particular, are important. All your product pages should have unique title tags, engaging meta descriptions, multiple product photos and well-written product descriptions that use the relevant target keywords.
7. Use Retargeting
In short, retargeting is when you track users who have browsed your site and then show them ads while they are surfing the web with the goal of getting them to visit your website again. The logic behind this approach is simple: users who have already taken an interest in your site are more likely to buy a product later.
The most successful retargeting ads are very specific. Also, while you can get good results by retargeting your advertisements on social media platforms, Google Ads are the most important place.
8. Write Guest Posts
To help you boost website traffic and sales, you can also focus on creating backlinks. One of the easiest ways to create backlinks is to write guest posts for other websites. Though, for this to be effective, limit it to relevant websites in your industry so that the readers will be more likely to click on the backlinks.
9. Use Quizzes to Grow Leads
One of the top lead magnet ideas is to create quizzes. Not only is it more interactive and engaging than other types of lead magnets, but with the right approach you can also find out where a user is in the buyer’s journey. You can, for instance, word the first question of the quiz in such a manner to figure out the user’s level of interest in your product or service. After a user has completed a quiz, you can then redirect him/her to a personalized page that shows the results along with product recommendations.
10. Offer Free Shipping
While simple, free shipping remains one of the best incentives. By offering free shipping, your customers will be more motivated to complete the checkout process and add more products to their shopping cart.
To maximize the effectiveness of this eCommerce marketing strategy, you can set a minimum amount that customers must spend in order to qualify for free shipping. You can then take it one step further and notify customers if they are missing out on free shipping and how much more they need to spend. Then, if you want to take it another step further, you can even recommend a few inexpensive products that they can quickly add to their cart in order to take advantage of the offer.
11. Include Social Proof in Your Emails
Sometimes a potential customer simply needs to read a testimonial written by a happy customer to quash any hesitation. Though, testimonials and other forms of social proof are often only included in the website design of eCommerce businesses. To take your marketing strategy one step further and differentiate your brand from its competitors, you can also include testimonials in your email newsletters and promotional emails. You can, for instance, leave the detailed product description for the actual product page, and instead use a shorter product review for your email content. A one-sentence customer testimonial can also be used effectively in the subject line to help arouse interest.
12. Work with (Micro-)Influencers
Incorporating user-generated content from influencers can help your brand to come across as authentic and authoritative. Moreover, it is a simple way that you can create content that your target audience will find relevant and trustworthy. The good news is that influencers with smaller followings can actually offer better conversions and for less money as their followers are typically more engaged. To find potential micro-influencers that you can work with, search for interests and hashtags related to your product range. You can then keep an eye on the type of posts that they share and how much engagement it gets.
13. Experiment with Upselling and Cross-selling
If your eCommerce store sells bigger or more expensive versions as part of your product range, upselling is definitely a strategy that is worthwhile to explore. If this is not the case, you can use cross-selling which can deliver results for any type of eCommerce store.
To help you develop an effective cross-selling strategy, you should start by taking a look at your product inventory and data related to customer purchases. This way, you will have a much better idea of the products that are typically bought together.
You can, for instance, also review abandoned cart items and then send a short follow-up email with a few similar products that the potential customer might want to buy instead. You can take this strategy even one step further by including customer reviews about these recommendations.
14. Ask for Reviews and Referrals
If you do not make a point to ask for reviews, you will have very little social proof to include on your website and share in your emails. One way to encourage your customers to leave a review or refer your brand and its products or services to their network is to send them a follow-up email a couple of days after they have placed an order. You can also, for instance, introduce them to your referral program that offers them some type of discount.
15. Optimize the Checkout Process
None of these eCommerce marketing strategies will be of any use if your target audience fails to complete the checkout process. It takes hard work to win the trust of strangers and convince them to purchase a product. So, it would be a real shame if your checkout process does not keep that trust.
For starters, if you can’t afford free shipping, it is key that you are open about how your shipping fees work. It is good practice to inform them about your shipping costs and delivery times at the beginning of the checkout process. This way, customers will not get any unpleasant surprises only after they have entered all their details.
Another way to help instill trust is to make it clear which forms of payment you accept. In addition to showing the logos of the credit cards that are welcomed, you can also include the logos of security seals. This way, customers will feel much more comfortable to proceed with the payment.
At the end of the day, your goal should be to restrict the entire checkout process to a single page. If this is impossible, be sure to include a progress bar at the bottom of the page and make all the buttons clear so that customers never feel lost during the checkout process.
Wrapping Things Up
The best eCommerce marketing strategies have clearly defined goals, keep their target audience in mind and change in response to trends. Using the several marketing tools that are available, any online brand can create campaigns that will help them to attract the right type of customer and keep long-term customers engaged. From SEO to social proof to shipping, even by starting small, the right strategy can still help you to scale your online business.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can you improve your checkout process?
To ensure that your checkout process is smooth, it is important that you keep the trust of your customers. You can do this by making your shipping fees and delivery times clear. It is also a good idea to show which payment options you accept and the logos of security seals. While it is important to include all this information, it is best to restrict the whole checkout process to just one page or include a progress bar on each page of the checkout process.
Should I offer free shipping?
Yes, if your business can afford it, it can be a good idea to offer free shipping as it remains one of the most effective incentives. By offering free shipping, your customers will be more motivated to complete the checkout process and even to add more products to their shopping cart. To maximize the effectiveness of free shipping, you can set a minimum amount that customers must spend in order to qualify for free shipping.
Is retargeting effective?
When done right, retargeting can be one of the best eCommerce marketing strategies. In short, it is when you track users who have browsed your site and then show them ads while they are surfing the web with the goal of getting them to visit your website again. The logic behind this approach is that users who have already taken an interest in your site are more likely to buy a product later. To ensure it is effective, your retargeting ads should be very specific.
How can you encourage customers to create wishlists?
You can encourage your customers to create wishlists by offering them some type of incentive to create them. You can, for instance, tell your customers that you will send them an email whenever one of the items that they have wishlisted go on sale. Another way to get more people to create wishlists is to make them shareable, in other words enabling your customers to share their wishlists on social media.
How can you improve your brand?
One of the easier ways that you can improve your brand is by personalizing or humanizing your brand. It is easier for consumers to trust a brand when they are familiar with the faces working hard behind the scenes. In addition to using customer testimonials strategically, you can also improve your brand by ensuring that you communicate regularly with your customers. You can do this by replying to tweets or taking the time to share a longer response regularly.