Setting up an ecommerce business and an online store is one half of the challenge. Figuring out how to help your target audience find your store and become customers is the next step. That’s where ecommerce marketing comes in.
What is ecommerce marketing?
Ecommerce marketing is the process of attracting, acquiring, and retaining customers for your online business. Anything that helps bring more people to your online store, helps convert them into customers, and subsequently gives them a reason to keep buying from you is ecommerce marketing.
Ecommerce marketing done right is a better and more cost-effective way of promoting your business than conventional marketing. Ecommerce marketing builds digital touchpoints between your business and your customers using channels such as email, SMS, social media, contextual ads, and so on. Over time, you’ll know what works best for your business. But there are some first few steps you can take which will set your store up and boost revenue while you figure out your long-term strategy.
Ecommerce marketing ideas to increase online sales
Get social with Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter
Instagram has grown to over 1Bn monthly active users, with 500Mn people using it every day. Facebook is still the biggest platform by far, with 1.2Bn daily users. If you are looking for an audience, you have to go to where they are. And for today’s consumers, social media is where they spend a lot of their time. Take a week to build an account for your business on each of these websites. Get into a comfortable rhythm for sharing content, and keep generating original posts to share. Good quality pictures which showcase your products, positive customer reviews and feedback, and unpacking/guide videos are just some of the ways you can use social media to get noticed and drive traffic and sales back to your platform.
Spend some time familiarizing yourself with the platforms and their vibe so your posts don’t stick out. Tools such as hashtags can be extremely powerful, so learn as much as you can about using them. On Facebook, you can set up an alternate store itself and take advantage of the platform’s local recommendations tool to get more buyers. Depending on your budget, you can advertise your products and boost your sales substantially.
Build your audience for direct messaging
Websites and social media are digital platforms which customers can use to get to your products, but direct messaging turns that on its head. Direct marketing refers to the use of channels such as SMS and Email to reach out to potential customers and giving them a good reason to buy your products. This is one of the best ways to generate revenue and generally offers the best ROI in digital marketing.
The advantage of direct marketing lies in personalization. This is a message for a specific user, not the public at large. Direct marketing automation platforms can help you customize your message for a specific user, which greatly increases the odds of conversion. 80% of consumers are more likely to buy when their experience of a brand is personalized. But you can’t send these messages without gathering an audience by building a distribution list first.
Make sure your website and your social media pages have a way for customers to sign up for a newsletter by sharing their email address and phone number. A good way to get people to share this information is to offer them a small discount for providing this information. Once they confirm their credentials and opt-in, they get a discount and become a ready customer waiting to hear from you.
Here are some basic rules for building your direct marketing campaign –
- Don’t use only one channel Using SMS and email together increases sales by 38%. Text messages for business are best to offer targeted promotions, while emails are better in following-up and getting feedback and surveys.
- Make sure they opt-in This is a legal requirement. Anyone receiving emails or texts from a business should have consented to receive them.
- Make it exclusive Everyone likes getting a deal no one else is getting. Ensure that your direct audience is offered exclusive promotional codes and discounts which encourages them to buy more.
- Thank your biggest fans Make sure that people who are becoming regular customers get encouraged to do so. Provide more targeted discounts to them and acknowledge them as personally as you can.
Reclaim abandoned carts
Around 69% of all digital carts are abandoned, causing a massive loss to the business in terms of customer acquisition costs. The best way to try to get that customer back is to send them timely reminders. An immediate SMS letting them know that their cart is waiting for them is a good start. If they still don’t take the bait, send an email after some time to remind them once again. A follow-up SMS or email after a few days can also capture some conversions. Cart abandonment messages are clicked on far more often than normal promotional emails and show a healthy CTR of 21% and a conversion rate of 10.5%.
Start building out your content
Building a blog helps your website rank higher in search engines, attract more traffic, engage customers better, and tell stories which converts more people into loyal customers. Most importantly, it humanizes and enriches a connection which the consumer shouldn’t see as purely transactional.
The great thing about blogs is that they don’t just stay there on your website – you can promote the content on social media and start valuable conversations with your audience. It starts building brand loyalty and community, making sure that your customers remember your product and business. Marketers who prioritize blogs are 13x more likely to achieve a positive ROI on their marketing efforts than those who don’t.