Think about how far eCommerce websites have come; take Amazon as an example. In 1995, they launched their website as an online bookstore to compete with brick-and-mortar bookstores. Now, they offer everything you could ever want including grocery home delivery and on-demand movies. Amazon is a prime example of the capabilities for eCommerce websites, and although it took them some time to pivot into what they are now they used effective marketing strategies to help get them to the top of eCommerce.
Whether you’re thinking about adding eCommerce capabilities to your website or want to increase sales and exposure of your current site, keep the following marketing strategies in mind to strengthen your eCommerce website’s web presence.
Not only does email marketing serve as a strong marketing component for your brand, it’s a great way to nurture past, present and future customers. If a website visitor doesn’t buy from your website right away, the next best asset to capture is their email address.
To start building your email address database, you can create a pop-up box with a sign-up form that offers something in exchange for their email address. This could be something along the lines of, “Receive 15% off your first order when you sign up for our mailing list.” You should also offer new customers the opportunity to join your mailing list as they checkout.
Once you have a good amount of email addresses, start planning your email marketing strategy. Build out a list of email marketing ideas and plan to send at least one out weekly. These email topics should ultimately lead your prospects back to your website to purchase something from your website. Here are a few email marketing ideas for you:
- Promote new/upcoming products and sales
- Offer exclusive discounts
- Send out articles from your blog
Be sure to mix up product and non-product emails so your brand doesn’t come off too salesy.
Like email marketing, content marketing is a necessary marketing strategy for your brand to get more exposure, whether you have an eCommerce website or not. Although it doesn’t cost money to create new copy yourself, it is something that will take some time so make sure to set aside some time for this on a weekly basis.
The most important part of your content strategy is having a keen understanding of your target audience. Be sure to know their interests, age range and what topics they would find most useful for inspiration. When you start planning your posts, create ideas that will produce valuable and relevant content that will lead back to your products. Lists, “how to” posts, topical and amusing posts work well with most audiences. As long as these posts are relevant to what you sell, they can even be a part of your email marketing strategy.
Another way for eCommerce websites to display content is allowing crowd-sourced content to be shown to persuade potential buyers. To keep examples consistent, Amazon attracts millions of new consumers every year by encouraging previous buyers to share their opinions of items they sell. Leverage real (and free) content from actual customers to help sell your products!
If you can execute it correctly, social media can do wonders for your eCommerce sales. By recruiting loyal customers to be your brand advocates and promote your business for you, you’re winning in social media strategy. Before you begin strategizing for social media, take a look at the proper amount of time your business should be spending on social media.
Although it may seem that Facebook and Twitter are a must for your eCommerce website, Instagram and Pinterest are probably more important because of their visual-focused platform. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use Facebook or Twitter (it would be silly not to), but remember the more people can see your merchandise, the better.
Aim for about 20% of your social media posts to be promotional. The rest should be your blogs and other content that is relevant to your audience. Remember, your followers prefer to be informed and entertained, not sold to. Also, make a point to get involved with your follower’s conversations. Research what’s trending with your audience and comment on posts that focus on it to give your brand a personality.
Finally, reward your current followers who engage with your social pages. Give away a discount or “freebie” for those who post or share something on/to your page. This will increase brand loyalty and, hopefully, create more brand advocates.
Yes, there are many other areas where your website could improve its marketing strategies, but these three areas of digital marketing are a good start to help you ramp up your eCommerce efforts. They are also the most cost-effective and easiest areas to measure, so once you have a strong grasp on these tactics you can venture out into public relations, pay per click, affiliate marketing and more.
With the right strategies, your eCommerce website can be well on its way toward Amazon-like success!