May 28, 2016

30 Secrets to Marketing Your eCommerce Store


online store

Marketing an eCommerce site is not an exact science. You need to find an approach that really works for you and then constantly adjust it as you go. But there are some eCommerce marketing secrets you can use to improve your chances for success. Below are eCommerce marketing secrets you can use to improve your store today.

Take a Balanced Approach

When it comes to marketing an eCommerce store, you can’t just focus on one area. According to Dan Kogan, senior account manager of 1Digital Agency, you really need a mix of pay-per-click advertising, SEO, social media, email marketing and more in order to create a successful strategy.

There’s Not One Perfect Strategy

However, there isn’t one right answer when it comes to finding the right mix of all those different marketing areas. The only way you can find what works best for you is to try out different marketing mixes. You may find that PPC brings you more customers than social media, or the other way around. So the results will dictate the areas where you should dedicate the majority of your resources.

Vary Your Ad Strategies

Under the umbrella of online advertising, there are also several different strategies you can utilize, including search ads, retargeting, social ads and more. And like your overall strategy, you should vary the types of ads you create so that you can see which ones bring in the best results. Then adjust your strategy accordingly.

You Don’t Need to Pay Big Money for Marketing

But even though advertising and things like SEO can be effective, it isn’t necessary for you to spend huge amounts of money on large ad campaigns and high priced marketing agencies. When you’re just getting started, you can really just try out different strategies to see what works best before making any larger investments.

Target Former and Existing Customers

One of the most effective methods for getting targeted customers to your store is to target those who have either shopped with you or visited your store already. Plenty of online ad platforms allow you to retarget those customers. And Kogan says this can be a really effective use of resources for plenty of different eCommerce businesses.

Focus on Reducing Abandoned Carts

Ecommerce marketing isn’t just about getting customers to visit your site. It’s also about making sure that the people who visit your site actually make purchases. That means that you need to really pay attention to your cart abandonment rate and try to reduce it by making sure your site works properly and that you’re targeting the right customers.

Make the Process Simple

Another way of reducing abandoned shopping carts is by making the buying process as simple and quick as possible. If you force people to sign up for an account, give you all kinds of personal information and spend lots of time waiting for each page to load, they’re likely to just quit and try another store. So, you can simplify the process by only requiring information that’s absolutely essential and making sure that your site loads quickly.

Consider Your Site Layout Carefully

The overall layout of your site can also make a big difference in how customers perceive you, and thus whether or not they’re likely to actually buy from you. You can use your home page to call attention to the products you’re trying to push, or include other features that could entice customers. But overall, you need to make sure that the design is clean and professional looking.

Don’t Copy Descriptions

When it comes to your actual site, the product listings are some of the most important features. And Kogan says that one of the biggest mistakes he sees ecommerce businesses make is copying the product descriptions right from the manufacturers. This can be a detriment both because it will simply make your website blend in, and because Google penalizes sites for producing duplicate content.

Photos Matter, Too

In addition, your photos can make a big difference in customers’ decision to buy from you or not. Take your own photos (or have a professional take them) rather than using manufacturer photos, if possible. And make sure you show every angle, scale and any other features that customers might want to see.

You Still Need Content

Another big mistake that eCommerce businesses make, according to Kogan, is not utilizing content marketing. People think that just because they have great products, a great site and some kind of advertising campaign that they don’t also need to create content. But Kogan says that adding a blog or similar section for you to share insights relevant to your industry or customers can work wonders for getting relevant people to your store.

Let Customers Personalize the Experience

When customers have visited your site, you can improve the experience for them, and thus make it more likely that they’ll actually buy from you and come back again, by allowing them to personalize the experience. Allow them to make wishlists or favorite items they like so that they can make the buying process easier and more seamless in the future.

Then Personalize Your Content

Once you see what items people have favorited or added to their wishlists, you can create content specifically for those people. Send out emails when an item they’ve added goes on sale or is about to go out of stock. It makes their experience more personal and also increases the likelihood that they’ll actually purchase.

You Can Personalize Promotions As Well

If you’re really trying to push certain products, you could also use those wishlists or favorited items to come up with personalized promotions as well. Offer exclusive discounts to people who have signed up for your list and created wishlists, so that they can use those discounts on their favorite items.

Create Discussions On Your Website

Another feature you can add to your website that might appeal to customers is a forum or discussion area. Allow customers to discuss certain products or even add photos and offer advice to buyers. This can improve the experience for both your current and potential customers.

Incorporate Social Elements

You can also make it easier for your customers to share their purchases or thoughts on products on social media. Add share buttons on your products, blog posts and other parts of your site. And encourage your customers to share their favorites.

Get Customers to Make Content for You

In addition, you can use those customer thoughts, photos and other elements in your own content. Ask them to share photos of them using your products and then share your favorites on your blog section or social media. Or host a contest asking them to create a collage or video showcasing your products and share the best ones. It gets your customers involved and helps in the content creation process.

Focus on Customer Reviews

It can also be helpful and sometimes even necessary to add a reviews feature of your website. It gives your customers access to impartial opinions so they can feel comfortable with their purchases, and gives you insights into what might need changes or improvements moving forward.

Include Worldwide Customers

One of the great things about running an ecommerce site is that you can easily reach customers around the world. But that doesn’t do you much good if you only focus your site on people from one country or geographic area. Add translation features to make navigating your site easy for international customers. And make sure that your international shipping policies are clear and easy to find.

You Don’t Necessarily Need an App

While mobile marketing is all the rage right now, a dedicated mobile app isn’t actually a necessity for getting mobile customers to shop with you. Unless you have an idea for a mobile app that will really add value for your customers and has features that can’t be done otherwise, a responsive or mobile friendly website should be sufficient.

But You Do Need to Target Mobile Customers

However, having a site that works, and works really well, on a variety of different mobile devices is not optional. You need to make sure that your entire buying process works seamlessly on smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices, since that’s how so many people shop now. You can even create mobile ad campaigns to target those customers specifically.

You Can Even Target Customers Using Wearables

If your target audience is one that may be likely to use wearables like smartwatches, you may even benefit from creating mobile ads for that format.

Utilize Promotions That Encourage People to Buy More

Utilizing promotions can also be a great way to get people to your eCommerce store. When setting those promotions, try to create something that gets people to buy more than they normally would. This could be a buy one, get one half off option, or one that offers free shipping or a free gift with large purchases.

Don’t Overwhelm Buyers with Upsells

It can also be a great strategy to offer upgrades or add-ons to certain products. But tread carefully. You don’t want to make people go through too many extra steps if they’re just trying to buy one product and check out quickly. They might just get annoyed and abandon their carts altogether.

Stand Out with Quick Delivery

Logistics may not seem like a big part of your marketing strategy. But offering fast and convenient delivery options can really appeal to customers and improve your reputation over time.

Play Up Local Aspects

Ecommerce allows you to reach customers all over. But you shouldn’t forget about local customers either. If your business has a local presence, either a brick and mortar store or products that are made in a certain location, you can play up that local aspect to really appeal to customers in that area.

Answer Customers’ Questions

There are so many different things that might confuse customers or prevent them from buying from you. But you can alleviate at least some of those concerns with a simply and comprehensive FAQ section. Pay attention to questions you get from customers and think about some of the obstacles others might face when shopping with you. And then create a quick Q&A section for your website so that customers can easily find the information they need to make a decision.

Utilize Multiple Platforms

When you have a great eCommerce site that you’re really proud of, you probably want to put all of your energy into it. However, it may still be beneficial to utilize popular platforms like Amazon, eBay or Etsy to reach even more customers.

Test Everything

Your eCommerce marketing strategy is a constant work in progress. You should constantly be running tests to make sure that your website and all of your marketing efforts are working as they should. Try new things and see how they work out. Then make adjustments as necessary.

Timing is Paramount

When performing all of your different marketing tasks, you should always keep the timing in mind. The day and time that you post social posts or content can make a big impact on your reach. The timing of your ad campaigns can make a difference. And even your promotions can work better at certain times than others.

So, pay attention to timing when running your tests and marketing an eCommerce store – and then utilize the days and times that have worked best for you in the past.

Online Store Photo via Shutterstock

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Annie Pilon - Staff Writer


Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found on her personal blog Wattlebird, and exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

3 Reactions

  1. Split testing will always be your friend. And don’t stop once you get some good profits. You should continuously try to promote the site and continue to test your methods.

  2. I recently started up my own business and am hoping to find a way to make my presence known on the internet. I love the idea of getting customers to post pictures of the products they bought. I’ll have to start doing this and in the meantime, I’ll see about hiring a company to help me with my marketing.

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