Top 8 E-commerce Marketing Strategies To Boost Sales
With the COVID-19 pandemic taking root, more and more consumers are turning to online retail to fulfill their daily needs. E-commerce spending in the US is expected to rise by 18%, and this comes as no surprise. As purchasing behavior moves online, brands now need to step up their game to grab a piece of the pie.
A great marketing campaign is the first step to boosting your sales. What is the best marketing strategy for your e-commerce business? It’s a popular question and not one that is easy to answer. There is no right answer. The key is to find the best strategy to suit specific business needs. One that works for an apparel brand might not work for health or beauty products.
This is why we’re listing some of the best strategies you can use to grow your business. These strategies have withstood the test of time and aren’t going out of fashion any time soon.
Table of Contents:
- Content Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- SEO Optimization
- Email Marketing
- Pay-Per-Click Campaigns
- Referral Marketing
- User-Generated Content
The internet is full of content. Brands are constantly trying to spread their message through many mediums. Whether it is memes, blogs, infographics, or videos, content marketing is a great way to educate consumers about your product and drive sales.
Create valuable content for your audience. Ensure that it has a high search demand and that it is useful for potential customers. Prioritize keywords with the highest search volume and the lowest keyword difficulty.
While targeting the right keywords is important, make sure your content is relevant, informative, and useful. If consumers don’t find the information that they are looking for, you’re not likely to sell products or services.
How does it work? Google places a heavy emphasis on content when ranking pages. If you’ve created a reliable blog or YouTube channel with hours of informative and optimized content, you will be rewarded for it.
Social Media Marketing
Nearly 50% of the world uses social media, and 54% of them use social media to search for products. This means that around 1.5 billion people use social media to look for products. That is a lot of potential customers. But what is social media marketing? In a nutshell, it is the use of social media platforms to connect with your audience. This helps you build your brand, increase sales, and drive website traffic.
The major social media platforms today are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, and Snapchat. That is a lot of options. Facebook and Instagram have the largest userbase and are great platforms to start building your presence. However, not all social media platforms will fit your business and you need to pick the right one to meet your business goals. Besides, depending on the product and your target customer, it is imperative that you have a social media strategy in place.
The core idea behind any social media marketing strategy is to engage your audience. On Instagram and Pinterest, for instance, it is all about high-quality photos and videos that highlight your products. Luckily, the major social media platforms also allow you to advertise your content and products. Use this to your advantage early on to build a loyal following and boost sales. Once you have an established online presence, make sure you add content on a regular basis. Let your followers also know about any deals or discounts which can also affect their purchasing behavior.
Other than advertising, you can also turn to social media influencers to help market your product. This is extremely useful on a platform like Instagram. Influencers usually have a large following. Get in touch with the major influencers in your product category to spread the word and supercharge your sales.
No matter what product you’re selling online, the first step to increase sales is to increase visibility. Depending on the platform you’re selling your products on, SEO optimization can take different forms. If you’re selling products directly from your website, you need to optimize your content to rank on Google. If you’re listing your products on Amazon, you need to optimize your content to rank on the retail giant’s A9 algorithm.
The first thing you need to do is keyword research. While there are multiple factors that affect search ranking, the most important one is the keywords that you use. This is important across platforms. Tools like Keyword Planner and Ahrefs will help you find relevant keywords for Google search, while SellerApp has an excellent keyword research tool designed to help rank on Amazon. With Q4 around the corner, Amazon sellers should start preparing for the holiday season with optimized listings and updated target keywords. The retail giant reported $87.7 billion in revenue in Q4 2019, and that is expected to go up even further in 2020. So make sure you’re prepared for the busiest period in online shopping.
Social media apps and platforms may be on the rise, but that doesn’t mean you can ignore your email campaigns. It is old school and it still works! Just like social media, the number of email users globally is expected to grow. This means it is still viable and profitable for you to send marketing emails to your customers. This is a great way to keep your loyal customers informed about new products and promotions, while new customers can be made aware of the myriad of products your brand or business sells.
The best part? Email marketing has shown a great return on investment (ROI), even higher than social media. It has an average ROI of 3,800%. This means that for every dollar invested, the average return is $38. That is enough to tell you that email marketing is far from outdated.
There’s plenty you can do with email marketing - from announcing new products to advertising promotions. The list is endless. Whatever your message, the most important thing you need to do is personalize it. You may be sending the email out to thousands of people, but always address the individual. In order to effectively personalize your message, you need to identify your target customer and speak their language.
If you send plenty of automated emails, you should also consider using an automation tool.
The first thing people do when they have a problem is Google. If your product solves that problem or pain point, you want that product to show up in search results. Whether it is Amazon, Google, or Facebook, the internet giants have given businesses a way to do just that. Every brand needs to take advantage of PPC campaigns to extend its customer base, build brand awareness, and most importantly, boost sales.
The key to a successful PPC campaign is efficient keyword targeting and ad optimization. The first step is to identify the relevant keywords and your target audience. If you’re advertising with Amazon, make sure you use high-quality images for all your advertisements as well.
If you’re selling on Amazon and have a large portfolio, running multiple ad campaigns can become tedious. With the most important quarter for Amazon sellers around the corner, it is imperative that sellers have their PPC campaigns up and running. If you’re looking to maximize your ROI, you can consider signing up for PPC management services.
Referral marketing is a great way to engage customers and help them spread the word about your business. You can influence customers to share their experience through promotions or referral bonuses. If done well, businesses can get hundreds to thousands of shares every day! There is no better way to boost sales and improve engagement than through social proof.
The key to success for any referral campaign is to provide the right incentives. This will depend on your product category, but generally, a discount or store currency is a great start. Make sure you promote your referral program as well to all your customers.
Notice that a customer has visited one of your product pages, but hasn’t bought the product? Are your product languishing in the cart? If you have, then consider remarketing. With remarketing, you’ll retarget the customers who have already visited your website. This is a great way to reach bottom-funnel customers who are already looking for a product or service like yours. Remarketing allows you to target customers with more relevant, timely, and personalized ads. This ensures that consumers come back to your website and finish that purchase!
User-generated content (UGC) like a product review or testimonial is a great way to generate social proof and drive purchasing decisions. It is all about winning consumer trust and creating brand desire.
Humans are inherently social beings, and we sometimes depend on others’ experiences to validate our purchasing decisions. When consumers see people just like them regularly purchasing your products, they’ll feel more confident in going ahead with the purchase. If you receive or come across unique UGC, make sure you promote it on your social media handles and website. You can also consider influencer marketing to create some UGC early on.
The online marketplace has seen tremendous growth over the last two decades. With the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down regular brick and mortar stores, more and more people have started buying online. This is a clear indication that e-commerce is far from saturated.
While this guide introduces you to the most important ways of marketing online, the key to success lies in personalization. Each business has a unique story to tell and has a different audience. In order to stand out, you need to tailor your e-commerce marketing strategy to meet your brand needs. Once you’re ready, set the plan in motion and watch your business boom.
Author Bio: Arishekar is the head of Marketing & Growth for SellerApp. You can find Arishekar on LinkedIn and Twitter.