You have set up the perfect online store, your products are wonderful masterpieces everyone would love to own, but still sales are not reaching the numbers you desire? Everything’s so nice and neat, so what is the missing component?
The answer probably lies in ecommerce marketing. For your online business to bloom, you have to carefully think through all the steps and marketing is a huge one. If you don’t pay enough attention to it, then your shop won’t receive much traffic, let alone converted customers. So this article is here to help you understand what exactly is ecommerce marketing and where you can start.
What is ecommerce marketing
This term refers to actions taken in order to promote your online store (or services).
Marketing itself stands for raising awareness towards your business, no matter if it’s online or not, but the ecommerce part refers specifically to buying and selling goods or services online. So, naturally, in this article you will find general tips on how to promote your business online; we won’t tell you to give out flyers on the streets (though you can do that too, if you'd like). Think of this as a basic checklist.
But why should you even invest your time and money in ecommerce marketing? First of all, not only will it raise awareness about your business, as already mentioned, but it will also help you stand out among your competitors and reach your target audience (not just any random folks). There are many categories of ecommerce marketing, and those will be listed below. Apply them to your business growth strategy and your company will start its journey to the stars!
Email marketing means sending commercial messages to people through email, thus promoting your business and establishing a connection with customers. This is a quite cost-effective and actually really powerful way to inform people about the new stuff you’re selling, some hot deals or just about anything that might be of interest and would intrigue them to give your business a shot.
Don’t think of email marketing as spam or anything that would end up in the recycle bin anyway - the whole thing is consensual. Only those who subscribe to your newsletter, giving their permission to receive messages from you, will receive them. In short - people agree to receive news from you and give out their email address, which is then saved in a database. And when the emails have to be sent, they will reach the perfect audience - one that wants to read them and learn more about your business.
To make the email marketing process easier, it is suggested to use email service providers (ESP's), for example Mailchimp, Klaviyo, AWeber, which allow you to send mass emails automatically as well as format them in fancy ways. Regular inbox providers (Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc) are mostly meant for personal or in-house use, and it will be problematic to send mass emails, adjust design and do other cool stuff. You might risk getting your account blocked due to suspicious action. But ESP’s on the other hand are made especially for company & organization marketing use. So you might want to invest some money in that.
Since nowadays our inboxes can’t get a break from the message flow, your promotional letters will have to stand out from other mail. Some visuals will definitely help you catch your customers' eyes, so make sure to include some pictures or animations relating to your business in your messages. ESP's are well suited for this task. And, of course, don’t forget to add a link to your website!
Social media marketing
Social media now is a part of our everyday lives. And if your business does not have any social media accounts, you better get your head in the game! Why? Because you can easily use social media to share information about your business, thus raising awareness about it and making it look more legitimate. You should do social media because each new person reached means a new potential customer. And, for people who stumbled upon your shop by accident, social media acts as proof that the business is alive & well. And all of this costs nothing!
There are many ways to use social media to your advantage, for example, by creating giveaways or competitions. Nudge your followers to spread the word about your online store by tagging their friends or sharing your content in their stories for a reward. Another way to urge your followers to share your content, is by offering them a discount code for each share or re-post. Don't forget to collect reviews as well - those are great for establishing legitimacy.
Also, a good social media marketing tactic is to show the “behind the scenes” of your online store. People are used to purchasing products from faceless companies, and rarely they get the chance to see the people behind the whole thing. Bring life into your social media accounts, post stories of how you create your products, or whatever thing you do, create relatable content, try to follow the newest trends, even if those are not directly related to your business. If people enjoy the content, they will definitely remember the creator!
You can (and should) use your own website to promote your business - it shouldn't be all about product & selling. Content marketing is basically the cool stuff about your store’s website (and beyond) that will grab the visitors attention, but is not directly related to the shopping part of the page. This includes videos, blogs, infographics etc. These things are important not only because they lure in potential customers & raise interest, but also due to fact that they go hand in hand with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). SEO is the process of improving your site's visibility when people search for things related to your business. So, if you invest your time to create relevant content, people won’t have to dig through the last pages of Google to stumble upon your website. This kind of content creaton is called Search Engine Marketing (SEM).
If you plan to write a blog, you should use a content marketing calendar, to keep things in order and not to miss any seasonal topics. If the content is interesting, people will come back for more, so publish articles regularly, instead of publishing a bunch at the same time.
Advertising is one of the most well known and useful ecommerce marketing tools. The purpose of advertising can be not only to promote your products, but also, for example, to raise general awareness about your business.
The world of online ads is a vast one, there are many platforms and formats and types of advertising. One of the most popular ad platforms is Google Ads (because people use Google every day and a lot of stuff is connected to Google) - it provides different types of ads. The one most businesses are interested in is Adwords - a type of service which allows your online store to pop up among the first search results in Google. You can also use social media platforms for advertising. For example, Instagram and Facebook offer a bunch of ad types & placements - story, image, video, carousel and other ads. Learn more about those and your products won’t go unnoticed!
The bottom line
Of course there are more ecommerce marketing types and more tricks you can use, but these are the essentials for your first ecommerce marketing adventure! If you have a chance to hire someone to help you out, or you know a guy who knows a guy, go get them on your team, because a good marketing strategy can raise your online store above your competitor stores, but a bad one will definitely leave you with empty pockets, or at least prevent any progress from happening.
Hopefully this information helped you get some insights in ecommerce marketing, now go set your first task for your marketing strategy. If you need any help, feel free to contact Printseekers, because we have done our share of marketing stuff!