July 8, 2022

E-commerce Marketing

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When the COVID-19 scare became a global pandemic in early 2020, business owners were forced to make drastic changes to keep their ventures afloat. These adjustments were necessary since consumer behavior also altered significantly, with many people turning to online shopping to avoid going to grocery stores, restaurants, or shopping malls. This shift made businesses adapt to alternatives to thrive in their industries amid the crisis.

The e-commerce industry was already making a name for itself before the pandemic. However, it went on a sudden boom during the health scare's peak. Today, e-commerce has become a trillion-dollar global industry. It created a competitive field that required companies to step up and use the latest e-commerce marketing tactics to stand out in the crowded market.

If you're in this field and think your store's performing poorly, the guide below will help you understand e-commerce marketing. It will also show you the strategies you need to do well in the industry.

What Is Ecommerce Marketing?

One of the best things about running an e-commerce store is you can maximize the same marketing tactics and platforms as the big names in the industry regardless of your size and niche. Whether you have your own e-commerce site or are selling in popular e-commerce brands like Amazon and Shopify, you have the same advantage as everyone else in the selling-and-marketing field.

E-commerce marketing works like digital marketing. However, it's more focused on attracting new customers and retaining existing ones so they will continue patronizing your products or services.

You can take advantage of the many tools available if you wish to excel in e-commerce marketing. But if you own a small-sized business and can't afford to use them all, then know that using one or two will still let you have a competitive edge. All you need is to arm yourself with information (and the know-how) on what will work for your niche.

To learn more about what you can get from e-commerce marketing, check out the following benefits below:

Establishes Excellent Brand Credibility

Apart from increasing brand awareness, online marketing is perfect for establishing credibility. Today, most online users look for websites and social media pages to prove a business's reliability. They often base their view about a brand on the number of followers, content, and public reviews from existing customers.

Marketing online lets you grow your business and create the credibility your target audience expects from an established brand. You can have just that by building an excellent online image.

Results in Wider Audience Reach

One of the best features of online marketing is reaching your target audience more efficiently. Since nearly everyone is online today, you'll never run out of platforms to get to them, whether on social media or search engines. You can also target your potential customers more precisely with the excellent targeting systems that most online marketing platforms have.

Reach your target audience at the start of their buying journey. For example, when potential buyers are educating themselves about a product or service, your ad could swoop in and direct them to a landing page with the needed information. This will not only inform them of a product or service they need but will also prompt them to make a purchase.

Finally, reaching people overseas won't be a problem if you want to go global one day, like big e-commerce brands. It wouldn't take more than a few clicks of a button.

Allows Campaign Adjustments Based on Results

One of the traditional marketing's limitations is you cannot track your performance in real-time. Suppose you placed an ad on different offline platforms simultaneously. In that case, you wouldn't know how many people viewed what ad, making it difficult to know which one performed well.

With most e-commerce and digital marketing tools, you will have a tracking system to help you test campaigns and make changes depending on the results.

Additionally, because you have total control over your campaigns, you can make changes even while they're running. Whether you're not satisfied with the results so far or you've made a mistake, you can alter everything as you please until all the details fit your campaign's needs.

Helps Create More Loyal Customers

Online marketing changed how users view e-commerce as an impersonal industry. Thanks to marketing channels like social media and emails, e-commerce businesses can communicate and engage with their target audiences, breaking barriers between online shoppers and the industry.

When your customers get to know you better through your campaigns, you will increase the chances of them buying again.

Boosts Online Sales

The best thing about marketing online is that increasing sales is easier and quicker with the right tools and strategies. You can do it in massive numbers, too, since you're already reaching a significant portion of your target audience through different online marketing channels.

Common Types of E-commerce Marketing

Whether you're more into social media or emails, find some of the most common types of tools and techniques you should include in your e-commerce marketing plan below:

Search Engine Optimization

All businesses can use search engine optimization (SEO), but the results may not always be the same for everyone. While some may flourish using SEO, others may fail dismally. This is why many companies see SEO as becoming an outdated tool overshadowed by more modern tools.

However, inefficient SEO is most likely because of poor practices or old techniques, such as duplicate content, keyword stuffing, etc. SEO has actually become far more progressive than that. Search engines now have superior algorithms for checking content, making any black hat technique a thing of the past.

Plus, even today, nobody still wants to browse beyond the first page of search engine page results (SERPs). This makes SEO one of the most utilized marketing tactics by established e-commerce businesses and other industries that still compete for that coveted top spot.

SEO continues to evolve along with many digital platforms. For instance, there's now a focus on video, long-form content, and voice search. Although keywords and links are still significant factors in performing SEO, they have become more intricate in today's content.

It's a timeless online marketing concept that doesn't show signs of pulling the plug soon. It will benefit your store if you use it correctly or if you partner with a trusted marketing agency.

Social Media Marketing

The boom of social media platforms years ago never indicated that they would become among the most effective marketing devices in the world. There are now more than four billion people worldwide on social media, and any company that doesn't see an opportunity in that is at a disadvantage.

Social media marketing (SMM) is the perfect tool to increase brand awareness, interact with the target audience, and boost conversion rate. It's suitable for different types of businesses, from B2C to B2B. But much like SEO, the platform has evolved, and there are now a lot of unwritten rules to follow.

For instance, you need to post at the right time to make sure that you catch the target audience during their most active period. Everything has to be visual, too, since users online today prefer to consume information quickly instead of taking the time to read. The challenge is to hook your audience's short attention span as they aggressively scroll in their feed. So coming up with visually-appealing graphics that fit multiple platforms is required.

It's important to remember that each social media network has its type of audience. Other platforms may not work well with your brand, so you don't have to engage or use everything. Some of the best social media platforms your brand could use include:

  • Facebook for all demographics
  • Instagram for the aesthetic or visual-heavy younger audience
  • Tiktok for the general younger audience
  • LinkedIn for the corporate audience

The challenge of using social media marketing is that you must keep up with the trends on different platforms to gain efficacy. Unfortunately, what's trending today may not be in a year or two, so always stay informed. Of course, that wouldn't be a problem if you're working with a social media marketing professional.

Image Source: Freepik

Content Marketing

Content is vital in today's digital world. To become a credible brand, you must establish your business as an authority in your industry. To do that, you'll need strong content that best represents your company. This is where content marketing comes in.

Content marketing is one of the essential e-commerce marketing strategies today that helps drive relevant traffic to your website and engage with your potential customers. It involves creating and sharing online materials that stimulate interest and urge sales more subtly.

Online users often think that the only forms of content are blogs, videos, and visuals for social media. However, content, especially in today's aggressive digital age, goes beyond these three. There's user-generated content (UGC), case studies, testimonials, podcasts, etc. The beauty of it is that there are many options to make content engaging and informative for any target audience, eventually driving traffic and boosting sales.

Pay-Per-Click Marketing

Pay-per-click (PPC) is an old yet highly effective online marketing model best for lead generation. The concept of PPC is straightforward. It's where a company pays a fee to an ad network or host every time someone clicks on their promoted link, providing a cost-efficient way to advertise.

There are different types of PPC that e-commerce businesses can use today. PPC in search engines, like Google Ads, is where you can have your website or a specific landing page and link on top of the search engine results page (SERP) based on a Google search's keywords. There's also PPC on social media networks, such as Facebook Ads or Instagram Ads, that lets you share your page or a post based on a targeting system. Finally, there's PPC as banner ads or pop-ups on other websites related to the brand's products and services.

PPC is one of the best examples of cheap online advertising, which your e-commerce site should take advantage of.

Email Marketing

In 2021, there were around four billion daily email users worldwide, nearly as many as social media users. So, it's no surprise that email marketing is still here and remains one of the most efficient ways to connect with your target audience.

While social media marketing is more about boosting awareness, email marketing is about nurturing leads, which works well for B2B and B2C companies. It's perfect for announcing new products, limited-time-only discounts, and other exciting news about your business. Although all these may sound like something social media can do, with email marketing, you can use tools that personalize your emails per recipient. It will be as if you're directly communicating with them, allowing you to connect more personally with your customers.

However, there is more to email marketing than having an email list and sending out emails. There are various email campaigns that you can use if you have an e-commerce website. These include:

  • Welcome emails
  • Promotional emails
  • Product-based or product-focused emails
  • Confirmation emails for specific actions
  • Feedback or review requests
  • Brand-centered news or announcements

The tricky part about email marketing is it's a make-or-break strategy. Sending out the wrong campaign could make your target audience opt out of your subscription list. So knowing the best email marketing practices or partnering with an agency can be helpful.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is a relatively new concept that sprouted from social media marketing. It involves brand promotion using industry leaders or "influencers" and their network of followers.

This type of marketing is an effective way to increase brand awareness, reach potential customers, and boost e-commerce sales if done correctly. In 2021, the industry's market jumped to around 13 billion U.S dollars and continued to grow, with a projected 16 billion U.S dollars for 2022.

Influencers are often individuals or organizations with expertise or knowledge and social influence in their field. You can easily spot them by looking at their number of followers and reviewing the type of content they publish on their social media channels.

While all businesses can benefit from influencer marketing, this concept works best for lifestyle industries like travel, cosmetics, food, and fashion.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing may seem similar to influencer marketing, but they work differently. This concept involves promoting your brand through affiliated resources and paying them a commission for every successful conversion instead of paying for an exclusive promotion, like with influencers. Think of it as an output-based performance where companies pay affiliates per referral.  

Affiliates can be a person or a company that can potentially market a product to the target audience on your behalf. Like influencers, affiliates have a specific following or audience, meaning all businesses can benefit from this marketing concept.

Today, there are three main types of affiliate marketing:

  • Unattached affiliate marketing
  • Involved affiliate marketing
  • Related affiliate marketing.

These types of affiliate marketing vary depending on the connection of the person or organization to the products or services they're promoting, but they work the same.

Image Source: Pexels

E-commerce Marketing Tips and Strategies

Now that you've learned the different types of e-commerce marketing, below are some of the best tips and strategies to get excellent results out of your marketing efforts:

Know the Pain Points

To be an established authority in your industry, you'll need to create original and quality content that has all the answers your target audience needs. Identifying your target market's pain points is essential in content marketing so you'll know what to write or make.

Your customers should see your products as a solution to their problems. Using content that addresses their pain points will create that image. Always use these points when writing blogs or product descriptions or making social media posts and other forms of content.

Focus on Visuals

Keep in mind that online users have a short attention span. Long texts won't hook them, but excellent visuals will do. If you're using social media as an e-commerce marketing tool, remember the basic rules of social media design. These include keeping text to a minimum, consistent branding, and following what's trending.

It's important to note that social media platforms require different image sizes. Your Facebook ad content may not work well as an Instagram ad. So it's best to know the image requirements for every platform.

Visuals also work in blogs through headers and bullets. They're also essential in creating an excellent email marketing campaign.

Partner With Influencers

Influencers have the power on different social media platforms. Having even a few by your side will give your brand a substantial edge in the industry. However, always choose the right ones that fit what you want to promote. They should be someone with a strong knowledge or experience in using your product or services.

Build a strong relationship with your influencers. Treat them as a part of your team rather than outsiders. That bond you create with them will generate authenticity, which will make your influencer more than willing to recommend your brand to their audience.

Maximize User-Generated Content (UGC)

UGC works similarly to influencer content, but it's more natural. Users don't create content according to your whims and wishes. They say whatever they want about your products or services. So if they find your brand helpful, they can provide your target audience with a trustworthy review.

Most online users now look for content that shows an actual user experience that did not go through marketing instructions or restrictions. This makes sharing UGC on your platforms a risky but beneficial business move.

Personalize Always

One study found that 80 percent of customers are likely to purchase if a brand offers personalized experiences. These range from communication channels, like emails and automated social media messages, to website functions like recommendations based on a customer's previous purchases.

Personalization increases sales and improves customer loyalty. It shows how much you care about your customer's buying experience and that you're personally attending to each of their needs.

Optimize Against Customer Abandonment

Abandoned carts are a big headache for e-commerce companies. In 2020, the global cart abandonment rate had an average of 88 percent, indicating a significant loss of revenue and potential customers, despite the industry booming at the height of the pandemic.

While a change of mind is beyond your control, there are other factors to customers abandoning your carts, such as issues with your online store. Slow or buggy shops are a major turn-off to website visitors and could cause them to look for other stores. So ensure that you regularly update and maintain your e-commerce site to improve your customer experience and avoid such problems.

If your store's hard to navigate, it could also drive your potential customers away. That's why User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) principles are essential in all websites to ensure that visitors go through page after page without having a hard time. Your e-commerce store should provide a user-friendly process from browsing to checkout so potential customers won't abandon their online shopping carts again.

Add Social Proof

Online shoppers are likely to decide on buying when shown evidence of others doing it. This is why e-commerce websites have sections for product reviews so potential buyers can have an honest point of reference before buying.  

Social proof, like reviews, testimonials, or social shares, are excellent ways to encourage your target audience to buy your product. You can add a feedback section on your product pages that other users can see or showcase your favorite customer reviews on your homepage.

But don't limit yourself to the buyer's opinion. You can also use your milestones and awards won for being an excellent e-commerce store as social proof.

Grant Limited-Time Offers  

One of the best things about online shopping is that e-commerce stores always give out special deals, sometimes randomly. These are what online shoppers look for. They constantly check for vouchers and discounts on their favorite brands before purchasing.

The good news is that you have total control over the promotions you send out. It could be seasonal or holiday-based. It can also be a bundle or a percent off on all items or free shipping.

Whatever you go for, always add a sense of urgency to your promotions. Tell your audience that this deal is only happening now and might not happen again soon. This type of psychology will boost a customer's decision-making because they could miss an opportunity of a lifetime if they don't decide immediately.

Give Out Loyalty Programs

Rewarding your customer base or repeat shoppers is a great way to retain them and bring more online sales to your business. One report found that loyal customers are worth up to ten times as much as their first purchase. So nurturing your existing clients is a must because keeping them is easier and possibly more profitable than getting new ones.

Much like deals and discounts, you have total control over the mechanics and what type of rewards you'll be giving. For instance, you could offer reward points or freebies after every purchase.

Take Advantage of Live Videos

With live streaming becoming an industry of its own, retailers have now found a way to make online selling easier. This is something that e-commerce businesses can also take advantage of.

Today, 80 percent of people prefer to watch a live video from brands they like instead of reading their blog. This is because live videos provide a more lifelike shopping experience, something that product photos and well-edited videos can't fully satisfy. A human factor or a host offers authenticity as physical stores do. It strengthens your credibility because you're revealing that you're not like any impersonal internet company and that actual people run your store.

Live videos are excellent for connecting with your customers in real-time. They can ask questions about a product or service you can address directly, eliminating the waiting time that comes with chatbots or customer care agents.

The best part is that doing a live video is affordable and accessible. It's free to broadcast if you do it on social media platforms. But you could invest in equipment and streaming applications to look more professional. You can also have an influencer who can do a product highlight on a live broadcast and maybe create a series out of it so your audience can have something to look forward to.

Upsell and Cross-Sell Your Products

Upselling and cross-selling are similar techniques that offer more revenue for your store by appearing as recommendations to the customer.

Upselling is where you convince your customers to purchase a more expensive item than the ones they're interested in, usually in the form of a product bundle or package deal. One of the best examples is how fast-food restaurants always suggest upsizing your sides or drinks for additional payment.

Cross-selling is also a form of suggestion to customers. This time, by recommending complementary products to what they're buying. For example, fast-food restaurants always ask if you want some fries with your solo burger.

These suggestive techniques are applicable and useful for whatever you're selling.

Did you know? “The item sold on what's reported as the first online transaction was a CD album of Sting's "Ten Summoner's Tales." Dan Kohn sold it in August 1994 to a friend in Philadelphia. Kohn and a fellow former student from the London School of Economics founded NetMarket, also in 1994. It was an online marketplace for various goods like jewelry and electronics.”

Take Your Ecommerce Marketing Strategies to the Next Level With Archive

Ecommerce is a competitive industry that, with the right marketing tool and strategy, could help your business grow significantly. If you're in the e-commerce industry and want to perform well, you'll need every available tool by your side, like Archive.

Archive is a marketing app that can help with your engagements, particularly on social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok. It can help you build a solid online presence and reach your target audience better. Visit the Archive site today and learn more.

Use the tools available to ensure your eCommerce marketing game stays on top this year. Visit Archive to help you leverage your strategies.

FAQs on E-commerce Marketing

What's the best e-commerce marketing tool?

All e-commerce marketing tools are excellent in their own right, and you can use any of them. The best thing about these tools is that they allow you to track your progress, target the right people, and save money in the process.

What is the difference between e-commerce and digital marketing?

Both use the same marketing tools and techniques. However, e-commerce marketing focuses more on urging people to make purchases in online stores. Meanwhile, digital marketing applies to all industries, even outside e-commerce.

Where to begin when developing an e-commerce marketing plan?

Always start with a goal and a target market. Identify which technique you'll use and study the latest trends and practices in eCommerce marketing. Know what's new in platforms like SEO, social media, and email to avoid creating an outdated campaign.

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