Marketing plays a vital role in ecommerce. If you’ve ever shopped online, you’ve noticed its effects.
Chances are you’ve found a brand or made an ecommerce purchase from an online ad. Optimized blog posts, influencer marketing, and email campaigns litter the digital landscape, and for good reason. They work — if you know how to use them.
Diverse marketing strategies drive traffic and propel conversions. Start planning campaigns for your own ecommerce business with these tried and tested tips.
What is ecommerce marketing?
Ecommerce marketing promotes products and services available for purchase online. Most businesses — ecommerce or otherwise — use digital marketing, but ecommerce marketing specifically refers to online businesses. Its goal is to lead potential customers to a website and encourage them to make a purchase.
Ecommerce marketing includes diverse methods like ecommerce advertising, search engine optimization (SEO), Google Ads, and social media. It can also include traditional marketing tactics such as print ads and billboards.
Ecommerce marketing strategies
Let’s dive into the types of ecommerce marketing strategies that fuel web traffic and grow an online store.
User interface and user experience (UI/UX)
Every website needs a responsive design if your aim is a frictionless customer experience. Customers should see noticeable branding and continuity between devices, not a website that appears one way on their laptop and looks like it belongs to an entirely different company on mobile.
Once the web design is worked out, you’ll need to consider logical flow, navigational elements, and how to funnel customers into target areas. You’ll need great imagery throughout, especially on product pages. You’ll want a clearly defined checkout process and a place where customers can call, chat, or email with someone from your company to ask questions. And in all of the spaces in between, you’ll want great content that entices users to spend their time learning how your product or service solves their problems.
Create and share valuable, inclusive content to attract and retain your audience. Content marketing is a broad category and includes blog posts, videos, and infographics. SEO and social media offer a significant boost to this content when planned and executed effectively.
Search engine optimization
Optimize your content with targeted keywords to help potential customers find your website. Include relevant keywords on every page to let search engines know you have what users need. Keywords, though, should take a backseat to content. Your goal is creating good content that educates and engages your customers, not stuffing keywords into every nook and cranny of your copy.
On-site optimization also improves SEO. Focus on fast load times, optimized images, and content that’s easy to read and understand. Every tweak to increase site performance is worth looking at and balancing against time and budget. Ranking higher on search engine results pages (SERPs) means more visibility, more customers, and more sales — the effort is worth it.
Social media marketing
Promote your brand, products, and services on social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter. Create engaging content, interact with followers, and run paid ads to increase brand awareness and drive traffic to your website.
An email marketing campaign sends a steady stream of targeted, personalized, and relevant emails to existing and potential customers. It’s a useful tool for product launches or to let an audience know about upcoming events or offers.
Email marketing can be tricky, but with high-quality content, this method nurtures lead generation, builds relationships, and drives sales. It’s also a channel for open dialogue between your brand and those who opted in to hearing your message.
Sending news or reminders directly to customer inboxes increases customer retention and decreases churn. Staying top of mind goes a long way with maintaining loyal customers.
Customer loyalty programs
Launch programs to reward recurring customers. This not only increases loyalty but also encourages customers to come back to your website and see what’s new.
Whether you offer redeemable points on every purchase or a periodic coupon code, the goal is to bring buyers back to your website and try to entice them with something new or something they passed over the last time. Buyers, after all, have already displayed a willingness to do business with your brand, and chances are they’ll do it again when properly incentivized.
To further encourage customers to join your loyalty program, consider providing special perks. Show customers you value them by giving them early access to sales or exclusive discounts. You can also offer a referral program so customers earn rewards for inviting friends and family to make a purchase.
5 tips for creating an ecommerce marketing strategy
Build a successful ecommerce marketing strategy with these tips.
1. Conduct proper user research
Conduct thorough research on your target audience and the people who visit and buy from your website. Gather data through surveys, focus groups, or customer interviews and learn why they’re interested — or why they aren’t. Then create a marketing strategy that speaks to their interests and needs.
2. Develop a content marketing plan
Make a content marketing plan. In it, include a strategy and timeline for original content production — both on your website and in distribution channels. The goal of this planning is to map out how you’ll communicate to your audience and, more importantly, how you’ll address their problems or concerns through blog posts, social media posts, email newsletters, and more.
Every audience is different, so combine various strategies to meet your customers’ needs.
3. Build a stellar website
Since ecommerce marketing revolves around web presence, a well-designed, user-friendly, and responsive website is vital. Consider navigational elements and test them against one another. Painstakingly plan and remap your navigation until it’s intuitive and funnels customers into the hubs you’d like them to spend the most time in — product pages, the blog, etc.
Don’t forget to use high-quality product images to fully showcase your product. Include clear calls to action that direct visitors to take an action, whether it’s adding a product to their shopping cart, reading more about a service, or signing up for your email list.
4. Use paid advertising
Paid advertising reaches a wide (or very narrow) audience and drives targeted traffic back to your website. Ads on Facebook, Google, Twitter, or Instagram let you target exactly who you’re looking for and reach potential customers.
Test different advertising options and strategies to find the best fit for your business and budget. Analyze the results and test those against new campaigns, ad settings, or platforms to see how you can better engage your audience and drive sales.
5. Consider different ecommerce marketing channels
Social media, email marketing, and SEO are all useful channels, but they’re even better together. Don’t invest all your energy and funds in an email list — keep several marketing efforts open to engage different audience segments.
Get started with ecommerce
Ecommerce marketing drives potential customers to your site to make a purchase, making a user-friendly, attractive website a must-have for any ecommerce business.
At Webflow, we offer the resources you need to develop an ecommerce website. Our Webflow University provides best-in-class tips and tutorials on ecommerce, like best practices for running an online business or improving user flow. Create your own ecommerce website with Webflow and get started growing your business.