4 Key E-Commerce Marketing Strategies
Over the years e-commerce has grown to play a big part of our daily lives. Almost every time an individual opens an app on their smart phone they are hit with an ad – maybe it’s something they never searched for or maybe they are being remarketed to because of last month’s Google search for “comfortable boots with heels.” The digitalization of marketing and the ever-increasing online users make e-commerce a necessity not only for individuals, but businesses as well. Even though many of us live near stores (retail, grocery, etc.), the number of purchases from e-commerce stores (like Amazon)
) has increased tremendously. This is due to a number of factors including variety, convenience and access. Frankly, having access to the internet in 2020 gives us access to brands and companies we may have never known existed before.
What is E-commerce?
E-commerce, or electronic commerce, is the method of purchasing goods and services over the internet. For a company to be considered an e-commerce business they would need to rely only on the internet and not on a physical store. As aforementioned, a perfect example of e-commerce would be Amazon. Amazon has thrived on the internet. Starting out as an online bookstore, Amazon has grown into an online force to be reckoned with. You can find almost anything on Amazon, and more often than not, this is where consumers go to search for a needed (or wanted) item. This is just one of the more popular examples; however, there are thousands of companies that only function online.
This blog will cover the following 4 key e-commerce marketing strategies:
1. Social Media
2. Pay-Per-Click (Paid Ads)
3. Email Marketing
4. Website Performance
Before we get into our 4 key e-commerce marketing strategies, let’s brush up on our e-commerce history. E-commerce began in 1979 by a man named Michael Aldrich. His version of e-commerce is nothing like what we see and use today, but it was his actions that sparked the concept of sales being made without having a physical store location. This concept was soon taken one step further when people began to own computers at home. It was the increased access to the internet that really propelled the e-commerce industry further. In the 1990s, the normalization of online companies was spearheaded by the founding of Amazon, Shopify, and PayPal. It was these companies that paved the way for the millions of others today. After Amazon, Shopify and PayPal came WordPress (in 2003), which helped smaller businesses create their e-commerce website. WordPress made it simple for anyone to start their online business and provided you with the tools you needed along with directions on how to get started.
At this point, many companies were hopping on the e-commerce trend. This was an opportunity for businesses to make money online and in person. Or, in some cases, only online. The barrier to entry, however, was officially knocked down as of recently. With many people making YouTube videos and blog posts about all of the e-commerce tricks and tips, anyone who had some spare time could figure out how to make their e-commerce site.
Now that we have covered what e-commerce is, how it started, and what it currently looks like today, lets dive into our 4 key e-commerce marketing strategies.
1. Social Media (Influencers)
There are 3.6 billion users on social media today. 3.6 BILLION. This number is projected to get to over 4 billion in the next few years. The growing number of users is one of the main reasons why e-commerce businesses are paying close attention to their own social media platforms. Whether it’s consistently posting shareable content on Instagram and Facebook, or using Twitter to start an engaging discussion with prospects, or writing educational content on their website’s blog, or even catchy, attention grabbing (and hopefully viral) videos on YouTube or Tik Tok, social media is one of the most effective ways to increase brand awareness, engage with customers (build loyalty and retention) and boost brand reputation and even your brand’s ranking on search engines, like Google. And as of recently, e-commerce companies have had unique opportunities to build their brand through influencers. Simply put, an influencer is anyone with a following on social media that can be leveraged by your brand to post your product or service on their personal platforms. Influencers can be individuals with over 150,000,000 followers, like Selena Gomez, or individuals with 50,000-100,000 followers. If you don’t have deep pockets to get someone very famous to repost your content you can look to lesser known individuals that do still have a significant reach and following on social media.
2. Pay-Per-Click (“PPC”) (Paid Ads)
With that many users on social media, and more than that on the internet, it will seem like a no brainer to invest in paid ads. As you promote your brand and share engaging and purposeful content on your social media – whether it’s blogs, posts, promotions, etc. – you should also consider sponsoring some of that content through social media. By sponsoring content, and investing in paid advertising, you can effectively increase your audience reach. You can create PPC campaigns, display ads, search ads and run campaigns through highly trafficked search engines, like Google. As an e-commerce owner you can also use paid advertising to retarget your prospects. Retargeting is a paid advertising technique that aims to re-engage website visitors, maybe a consumer that filled their shopping cart and then got cold feet. A common strategy that businesses use is to email that shopper with reminder that they “forgot to check out” and typically include an incentive to finalize the sale (a discount, a free item, etc.).
3. Email Marketing
There are 3.9 billion current email users (Statista, 2020). This number is bigger than social media users and projected to get to 4.3 billion in a couple years. Not only do we have that many users today, but almost 300 billion emails get sent a day. 24 hours pass and 300 billion emails get sent out. So, what does this mean for an e-commerce business? It means that marketing through email, email campaigns, email automation and workflows is a cost efficient and highly effective way to generate leads for your business. Why? Because people (potential consumers, prospects) are using their email. E-commerce owners can use techniques such as retargeting (above) to drive conversions and new sales as well. As aforementioned, retargeting is typically done to re-engage a website visitor, or give one last incentive to a shopper who got all the way to the payment page but decided to abandon their online cart. The ability to not only reach new prospects, but also re-engage old prospects, is what can make email marketing so effective.
4. Website Performance
The last marketing strategy for e-commerce is website performance. It’s essential to leverage email marketing, paid advertising and social media to drive consumers to your e-commerce website, but once they are there performance becomes incredibly important. Studies show that 40% of people leave a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. This statistic really shows how important it is to not only have a website for your e-commerce business but have a high performing website. Faster sites, higher performing sites, play a role in how visible your website will be on search engines and also how many clicks you will receive from potential buyers, which will hopefully lead to conversions and new sales for your business. If you’d like to see how your website is currently performing please click here to access our free site review.
As the world has evolved to depend more on technology, businesses will have to do the same. Not only will you need to consider an e-commerce website for your business (if you don’t have one already), but you need to consider the most effective and efficient ways to market your business, in order to grow. As you consider taking the e-commerce plunge, be sure to understand that the more time passes the more competition will be on the web, making it imperative for every business to have this option as soon as possible. If you’d like to learn more about how to create an e-commerce website today, please click here. Thanks for reading about these key e-commerce marketing strategies. Feel free to also browse through the rest of our blog (how about checking out 9 SEO Techniques for More Organic Traffic) for more.