E-commerce marketing strategies are methods online-based businesses use to attract and maintain a customer base. To grow your brand, expand your customer base, and keep your existing customers engaged, you need to have an e-commerce marketing plan in place, specifically, one that caters to all three categories.
Here are some digital marketing strategies that you can apply to your e-commerce website that can further help strengthen your business and improve customer relationships.
1. Optimize Your Site (SEO)
Search engine optimization is the process by which keywords, links, and other components enhance a website's chances of appearing higher up in a list of search results. The higher up a website appears, the more the chance of a user finding the site and clicking on the link, thus attracting more site traffic than websites without SEO implementation.
Optimized sites get more traffic because of the way search engines function. Search engines are programmed to analyze web data in order to produce what they interpret as the best results for what the user searched for. They look for websites with the most relevant keywords and backlinks.
Keywords are words or phrases that you can incorporate into the content on your website to enhance your chances of appearing higher on a search results page. To find keywords that best match your brand or industry, use a keyword software program. You can install some for free as part of the internet browser you use, or pay for more advanced software. This allows you to see which keywords are used in searches the most and which to include on your website.
Backlinks are links you incorporate into your website's content via anchor text. They link to other internal web pages or articles on your website. Search engines use backlinks to establish a website's credibility. Therefore, the more backlinks you have on your website, the more credibility your site will receive, and the more likely a search engine will choose your website to appear in top search results.
2. Use Content Marketing
Content marketing is when a business uses blog posts, guest articles, infographics, videos, white papers, eBooks, how-to guides, and other informational videos and articles to enhance the likelihood of attracting and keeping new customers. It also allows you to expand your audience while cultivating a strong business brand. Here are some examples of how you can use types of content marketing for e-commerce success.
- Blog posts: In your blog posts, you can outline your company’s history, provide in-depth product descriptions, or expand your content to include blog posts that correlate well with your brand. For example, if you sell musical instruments and equipment on your website, write a few blog posts about famous musicians, top albums from a certain era, or the history of an instrument like the guitar. These posts are an ideal way to incorporate keywords and backlinks to help your site rank on search engine results pages.
- Guest articles: Guest article writing is a form of outbound content marketing that can work well for e-commerce advertising. For example, if you own an organic online makeup shop, write a few blog posts about cosmetic trends, the pros of organic makeup, or historical makeup practices. Then reach out to cosmetic magazines or fashion blogs, asking to collaborate. If they say yes, you could reach a whole new audience through one guest article.
- Videos: Video content is a unique way to reach new audiences and retain existing customers. You can use video content marketing to outline the history of your website, create product tutorials, or display customer testimonials. For example, an e-commerce business sells HR software packages to small business owners. It creates a video series demonstrating how to choose the right HR software and how to implement it into office life.
3. Make the Checkout Process Easy
Another way to better market your e-commerce store to customers is by providing them with an easy checkout experience. Include the following components in your checkout feature to potentially increase your sales:
- Photo: Include a photo of the product so they can make sure it is what they want before they begin the order process.
- Description: Besides the photo, include a brief product description so they can reaffirm why they need to buy that product.
- Price: Include the price of the product so your customer can confirm the amount.
- Variations: Also include additional product variations in a drop-down menu. These include color, sizing, and any other relevant product options. This allows your customer to change their preferences right there in check out if need be.
- Quantity: Provide the product quantity they want to order with a drop-down menu that allows them to increase or decrease the number of the same product in their cart.
- Delete button: Provide a delete button so your customer has the option of deleting an item they no longer want to buy.
These checkout elements help customers to review their order and make changes to their order within seconds. If they have to perform extensive work, such as deleting items and going back to your product page to re-select a different color or size, they may decide not to purchase from you after all.
4. Include Reviews
Reviews are an excellent way to promote the credibility of your website while also elevating the worth of your products. Include customer reviews in the following areas:
- Home page: Include customer testimonials on your home page so new visitors are met with positive reviews as soon as they enter your website.
- Product pages: To encourage customers to add products to their shopping carts, include a product review section on product pages that allows customers to rate and comment about a certain product.
To get written testimonials or statistics, email existing customers asking them to review their experience with you, provide a comment section on product pages, and provide a contact page where customers can ask questions and write about their experience with your products.
5. Social Media Marketing
Advertise your e-commerce site by maintaining an active presence on social media sites such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Post about new products, current sales, or customer testimonials and pictures with your products. Another great way to market your e-commerce site via social media is by retargeting potential customers. To do this, you first have to install cookies on your website. Then, when someone visits your website, those cookies remember what products they engaged with. Using that data, the cookies create ads on webpages and social media platforms that encourage potential customers to carry out the buying process.
6. Email Marketing
Email marketing allows you to stay connected to your existing customer base. Create a monthly or weekly newsletter that potential and existing customers can sign up for. In the newsletter, you can announce new products, promote product sales, or even include your latest blog. To encourage your website's visitors to sign up for your newsletter, you can insert an electronic sign-up sheet on your home page, in the checkout process, or under product pages. You could also include a sign-up sheet on your about page to maximize customer engagement.
7. Personalize the Buying Experience for the User
Personalize your customer's buying experience to amp up your marketing strategy. Do this by creating a membership option for new or existing customers. Each time members log in to your website, they will be greeted by a programmed phrase like "Welcome Back!" or, "Here's What's New!" followed by their name. This could help them feel valued and encourage them to engage with your business regularly.
By taking the time to implement one or more of these e-commerce marketing strategies into your business practices, you can cultivate a strong foundation from which you can achieve new growth. Measure the results of each effort to continue improving your marketing strategy.