Our world and the way of doing business has radically changed in the last few years, with nearly every marketing operation now taking place online, it can be tough to distinguish between the various types of digital marketing strategies businesses use today.
Basically, every online store wants to increase traffic and conversions. But even after you’ve put together a basic strategy it can still be challenging to decide on which marketing tactics you should try.
That’s why we at Marketing Trybe have put together an overview of effective marketing tactics and eCommerce tools along with ideas to help you implement each approach. The ideas are straightforward from customer acquisition to generating more repeat purchases from the customer base you already have.
We may not be able to tell you the exact strategy that would work or covert for your eCommerce business. However, try to implement one of these tips every day for the next few weeks, then take stock and figure out which tactics worked best to drive new sales for your business.
Shall we begin?
First of all, what is eCommerce marketing?
Ecommerce marketing is the practice of using digital promotional tactics to drive traffic to your online store, converting that traffic into paying customers and retaining those customers post-purchase to become repeat customers.
A complete and robust eCommerce marketing strategy is made up of marketing tactics both on and off your website. A sound marketing strategy can help you build brand awareness, drive customer loyalty, and ultimately increase online sales.
You can use eCommerce marketing to promote your online store as a whole or to drive more sales for specific products. Below is an overview of a few practical ideas to try.
Here are 15 eCommerce marketing ideas to increase online sales for your business.
Upsell your products
Most of us have heard some variation of the famous, “Would you like to add this to your order? you get it at a cheaper price when you buy them together” It’s an example of upselling or the approach of selling a slightly more premium product than the one the customer was originally considering.
For many businesses, upselling can be more effective than acquiring a net new customer. Sometimes your customers don’t know that a premium product is available, or they may simply need more evidence to understand how an upgrade in product choice is a better fit for their needs.
For example, is one of your product models made of slightly better leather? Or does one carry a special component that’s handmade? Make sure to emphasize the difference and ask, in the right places, if the customer might want to upgrade.
There are two main considerations when using upselling to increase sales:
- Make sure your upsells are related to the original product.
- Be sensitive to the anticipated price range of your customers.
Your product has to fit the customer’s original needs, and they may not be enthusiastic about a higher price point once they have an anchor price in mind. An anchor price is often the first number a customer sees, and it’s the number against which they compare other price points. The new product must be a discernibly better fit than the original for it to be worth the additional cost they’ll have to overcome to purchase.
Integrate The Use of Instagram Consistently
With over 500 million daily active users, Instagram is one of the fastest-growing social apps around, connecting consumers, influencers, and brands.
If you take compelling photos, use the right hashtags, and post at the right times then you’re well on your way to building a large Instagram following of people who are interested in your products. The key to mastering your organic Instagram presence is engagement with your followers.
What are some ways to engage with your audience on Instagram? You may try running contests, giveaways or going behind the scenes to showcase your product development process. You can also pay to play on Instagram. For eCommerce marketing, adding products to your Instagram posts and stories gives your followers a direct path to purchase, which is key for increasing your online sales.
Instagram is even an eCommerce marketplace in its own right.
Leverage User-Generated Content
User-generated content (UGC) is a great way to generate social proof. When prospective customers see that people just like them are regularly purchasing your products, they’ll feel more confident in doing the same.
According to Salesforce, 54% of consumers trust information from online reviews and recommendations from their peers, compared to the 20% who trust the brand itself.
UGC can take many forms. Technically, even product reviews are UGC. One of the most effective types of UGC is pictures of customers actually using your products. Pepper, a store that sells bras, features lots of pictures of happy customers in their products.
Reduce Abandoned Carts
Harsh truth: You’re losing money every time a visitor abandons their cart without purchasing.
This phenomenon is well-studied. Visitors add items to their carts but abandon their carts during the checkout process. According to the Baymard Institute, 69.23% of shopping carts are abandoned.
One simple and effective eCommerce marketing idea to reduce the frequency of abandoned carts is an email recovery campaign, which can convince your visitors to make a return visit and complete their original purchase.
Craft an email that entices your visitors to return to their carts by reminding them of what they considered purchasing in the first place, and why. Perhaps, you could also persuade them to complete their purchase by offering a discount in the abandoned cart email, or a free shipping coupon.
Launch a Facebook store
Although Facebook has undergone a number of changes, it remains a viable platform for social media and eCommerce marketing.
It’s fairly straightforward to start making sales through your Facebook store. Better yet, your Facebook store can integrate directly with your website store whether you’re using Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, or other eCom Platforms, so you don’t have to keep a separate inventory.
For inspiration, have a look at the Facebook store for PrettyLittleThing.
Capture more email subscribers
Hands down, email marketing is one of the most effective channels at your disposal for making sales and generating repeat customers. Roughly 17% of digital marketing spend happens via email, but it contributes 24% of revenue, according to a 2015 study by Forrester Research.
There are too many tweets and Facebook posts for us to keep up with, and email can offer a more intimate interaction between our business and customer. People are still more protective of messages sent to their personal inboxes versus their social feeds. Plus, email gives you the space to say things that can’t fit into a social media post.
To get started with email marketing, actively promote your newsletter, discount offerings, trade events, blog and any other email capture efforts to get as many subscribers as you can.
Improve your email campaigns
It’s not enough to simply capture a bunch of email addresses. You then need to send regular, valuable emails for the channel to be an effective eCommerce marketing activity.
There are many occasions that are perfect for sending emails that your subscribers will actually appreciate:
- Send a welcome email as soon as a customer makes a purchase.
- Provide exclusive promo codes and free gifts.
- Send regular newsletters to alert subscribers of new discount offers, product tips, and, when appropriate, company news.
- Share relevant content to help customers get the most out of their recently purchased items. Especially, for DIY items or even fashion wears.
- Run a BOGO (Buy One, Get One Free) campaign in time for the holidays to promote self-gifting during the season, too. Maximize sending out emails during holidays or special dates like black Fridays.
- Thank your highest-value customers. Send a personal note expressing your appreciation for their business.
- Solicit feedback. If someone visits your site but doesn’t make a purchase, ask about their experience and how you can improve it.
Send Wishlist Reminder Emails
One final type of email to add to your list of eCommerce marketing ideas: the wishlist reminder email. The wishlist reminder email is closely related to the abandoned cart email. Both are designed to convince shoppers to take the final step in purchasing the products they have shown intent to buy.
Has it been a while since someone checked in on their wishlist? Have an item on sale that’s been put on a lot of wishlists? Is it selling out? Send out an email to let your customers know.
It may just be the trigger they need to finally purchase the item. You can also alert shoppers when products are nearly out of stock. This motivates shoppers and helps minimize regret—no one wants to accidentally miss out on a product they’ve been eyeing.
Make it Easy for your Customers to Get What They Want
If your store is poorly designed, then you’re losing customers. But what exactly does a poorly designed store look like?
Besides appearing untrustworthy, the store could be suffering from some combination of the following: lacking a clear value proposition, hard-to-read font, or confusing navigation, poor use of colours.
Even when you’ve improved the dimensions above, you could still be making a few design mistakes. Are you properly segmenting your products or are you putting too many products on a single page? Have you figured out the right balance between text and visuals? These are just a few of the many things that you should consider. If
Engage Online Store Visitors With Live Chat
There are other high-impact ways to engage with site visitors and customers outside of email. For example, you could use live chat to engage with shoppers on your site.
Many live chat tools let you target browsers on certain pages, after they’ve been on your site for a certain length of time, or even after they’ve arrived on your site through an email newsletter. Live chat also enables you to have direct conversations with your customers so you can answer and address customer concerns right while they’re planning to buy.
For example, take a look at how Luxy Hair uses live chat to engage prospects and inform current customers of their order status, without having to contact their support team over email.
Start a Content Marketing Program
Every eCommerce store should consider blogging regularly to connect with customers and to rank better in search engines. If you’re already creating content, consider actively featuring your blog on your online store.
Don’t forget, there are more ways to take advantage of content marketing than simply blogging:
Start a podcast to feature your expertise or build a stronger community, get on YouTube to showcase how your products can be used.
Guest post on other websites and blogs to build awareness and generate backlinks, which also help with SEO
Create long-form content and guides to help customers use your products more effectively
Personalization is another effective marketing tactic to drive online sales. Using behavioral data, personalized experiences are served to the visitor, according to their past actions and preferences.
According to BCG, personalization can lift sales as much as 10%, but the opportunity is greater than that. Only 15% of companies are using this technology to its fullest extent.
You can also account for location in personalization to create an experience catered to where your customers are in the world. Someone in southern California may be looking for bathing suits in October, while your Nigerian customers probably need jackets for the oncoming windy harmattan, for example.
Brick-and-mortar businesses aren’t the only ones who can jump on the local movement. Online retailers can also take a local approach to their eCommerce marketing tactics to increase online sales.
To figure out what local means for you, here are a few ways you can look at it:
- Identify where you have large concentrations of customers and run an ad for that location. Look at which products those customers are buying and other spending behavior indicators, and consider local events or seasons to appropriately time a promotion.
- If you have a warehouse or multiple warehouses, consider a promotion with free, discounted, or expedited shipping to customers in the vicinity. This will be easier for your operations team to execute and also help you promote sales in a cost-effective manner.
Optimize Your Product Pages
Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the practice of optimizing your website for on-site conversions and increased sales. Practicing CRO helps you identify problem areas on your site.
Where are you losing sales? Who’s dropping off and why? What can you do to capture those missed opportunities? This process is done through both qualitative and quantitative research, so you get a holistic and unbiased view of how conversion-oriented your site is.
Once you’ve conducted your research to identify challenges and opportunities, you can develop hypotheses and tests to see which approaches generate the most sales.
Optimize for Mobile
By 2021, more than half of all online shopping is expected to happen on mobile devices, according to Statista. Optimizing your store for mobile means more than having a responsive web design. It means you’re designing your site with mobile visitors in mind from start to finish.
Perhaps you have a bigger add to cart button on all mobile product pages, making it easier for the visitor to add-to-cart without zooming in, for example. You might also present your images in a different format, making it faster for mobile visitors to load product photos and easier to zoom in.