Converting site visitors into paying customers can be a real challenge for businesses of any size, but we’ve got some expert tips for ecommerce marketing that’ll smooth out this process and help boost your conversion rates and revenue.
Whatever type of ecommerce business you have, you’ll need a coordinated marketing approach if you want your online store to succeed. It all comes down to building a solid ecommerce marketing strategy, a robust, flexible plan, and a few clever tactics up your sleeve!
Ecommerce Marketing Explained
While there have been many discussions over the years about whether marketing is a science or an art (we fall on the side of science…with a nod to art), in our book ecommerce marketing is an exact science. If you really want your online store to cut through the noise of the internet, your strategy needs to be data-driven, and it’s important to make use of all the different digital tools now available. That doesn’t mean your ecommerce marketing should lack creativity, though!
Luckily, with the understanding of a few best practices, it’s really easy to do this in a way that suits your business and reflects your brand identity. Even better, the access ecommerce marketing gives you to real-time data lets you constantly assess the effectiveness of your individual marketing tactics, allowing you to make tweaks and adjustments here and there until your ecom marketing strategy is bulletproof.
Here are seven ecommerce marketing tips to boost your sales and make your online store a raging success.
7 Ecommerce Marketing Tips To Boost Your Sales
1. Upsell your products at point-of-sale
There’s a word that tantalizes every customer’s interest: premium. But how do you make your leads want your premium products without being concerned about the increased cost? Upselling is a perfect tactic for this, and it’s one that’s long been used by movie theaters and fast food chains.
If you upsell a product close to a customer checking out, ensuring that you highlight its additional features and why they’re valuable (i.e. how they benefit your customer), customers are more likely to buy. This is for two main reasons:
- By catching your customer at the point-of-sale, you can leverage the fact that they’re already in the mood to buy, and are thus more likely to add an additional product to their cart.
- By using premium pricing strategies, you can show the comparative price difference between premium and non-premium products. This not only makes the cost more palatable, but it also shows customers how they can get more bang for their buck.
Just make sure that whatever products you’re upselling are actually better quality, or offer more than the regular products that you’re selling: you need the customer to see the added value a premium product will offer them if you want them to buy it.
2. Optimize your checkout process to reduce abandoned cart rate
A crucial metric that helps you determine the success of your ecommerce store is the cart abandonment rate – or when a customer has added something to their cart but doesn’t complete the purchase.
Unfortunately, this figure is typically pretty high. There are several factors that contribute to why visitors abandon their cart before check-out: they might not be able to justify the price, the check-out process might be too complicated or fussy, or they may get distracted by something else.
Even if a customer has every intention of returning to a store to complete their order, they might forget about the product or simply lose interest. Fortunately, there are a few easy things you can do to reduce your abandoned cart rate and encourage customers to complete their order:
- Optimize your check-out process, e.g. by offering as many payment methods as possible, or minimizing the number of form fields someone has to fill out
- Integrate social media or guest logins so that customers aren’t required to create an account if they want to make a purchase – this process can put people off
- Send automated follow-up emails to customers who have abandoned their cart. Personalize these emails to remind them what products they wanted, and what value they bring. It’s a good idea to include a CTA that links them directly to your online store where they can finish their purchase
3. Maximize your content marketing
Never underestimate the power of content marketing. Having great product descriptions in your online store is critical, but if this is where your content marketing starts and ends, you’re unlikely to see a good conversion rate.
This is especially true if you’re offering technical or complex products in a competitive marketplace, such as software, technology, or even health-related items like food supplements. It’s important to have a content marketing strategy that:
- Provides clear and in-depth descriptions about what the product is and how it works
- Outlines what value your product brings to the customer that competing products do not
- Answers questions, gives useful information, and is dynamic enough to keep people engaged
A good content marketing strategy will enable you to establish your brand’s authority, credibility, and online presence. Indeed, most customers are hungry for useful information that will help them understand a product better. If, for example, you regularly produce informative articles related to your product or industry, people will be more convinced of your value, and thus more likely to make a purchase.
Here are a few types of ecommerce content marketing you can use to promote your products or online store:
- Informative articles and blogs, like how-to guides or think-pieces about the related industry
- FAQ videos that answer any important questions, or videos that demonstrate how to use a product
- Interactive quizzes that help customers choose the product that’s right for them
- Pieces of humanizing brand journalism so that customers can learn more about you
- Social media content, from Insta Stories to Facebook campaigns, that pique audiences’ interests
4. Test social media shopping
A new trend in ecommerce marketing is social media shopping, which provides a convenient online shopping experience by integrating stores with people’s favorite platforms. Instagram Shopping is perhaps the biggest front-runner here, and – as long as your customers are on Instagram – you should make use of it if you want to extend the reach of your ecommerce store.
Depending on your business and audience demographic, social media shopping is a great way to boost your online sales because people can do it right from their desired platform. This cuts out the process of being redirected from somewhere familiar, i.e. social media, to a website you may never have visited before (and if the page takes time to load, that increases the risk of someone clicking away before making a purchase).
By comparison, social media shopping provides instant gratification by allowing customers to make purchases without leaving the app. This can lead to increased sales, particularly if you’ve integrated your social media store with relevant social media campaigns. How effective this will be depends on where your audience likes to hang out online, so do your research first!
5. Leverage referral schemes or affiliate marketing
If you want your product to have the widest possible reach within your market, try to leverage your online presence through affiliate marketing. This will help you save on advertising costs by allowing you to sell your products through affiliates or referrals.
Affiliates can either sell your product passively, such as with a display banner or by linking to your product page, or they can sell your product actively, for example by promoting you on their social media pages or in their videos. You then reward any sale that’s generated from affiliates by giving them a commission.
Referral schemes work similarly by incentivizing customers to recommend your products to friends. You can facilitate this by offering rewards for every recommendation or referral, such as a discount or a freebie. Both referral schemes and affiliate marketing can be very cost-effective ways of marketing your store to wider audiences, especially when you consider how much running large-scale ad campaigns can cost.
6. Capitalize on email marketing
The greatest advantage of email marketing is that you already have a captive audience. People on your email subscriber list have voluntarily opted-in for your emails: they have consented to and are expecting to receive regular updates from you. Now you have to keep their interest piqued by providing relevant and engaging content:
- Use high-converting email templates that are interactive, personalized, and visually appealing
- Promote your recent articles, blogs, or videos to keep subscribers in-the-know
- Offer time-limited discounts or access to gated content, to create an air of exclusivity
- Send product affinity emails that show which products go well together and why
- Always provide a link to your online store so that subscribers can click through easily
You can improve the efficacy of your email marketing by combining it with content marketing. For example, you could use exclusive, gated content as an impetus to persuade site visitors to sign up to your email list where they can receive this premium material. Similarly, you might want to promote your recent content releases to email subscribers who are more likely to be receptive to it because they have an affinity with your brand.
7. Build a loyalty program
Whether you’re selling consumer goods or intangible services, some customers, clients, or subscribers will stick around for the long haul, especially if they’re highly satisfied with what you’re offering. This consumer base will become your loyal customers and advocates. They can be instrumental in helping to promote your brand, whether it’s through word of mouth or through online reviews.
Building a loyalty program that rewards loyal customers is a great way to improve customer retention. This works similarly to referral schemes, whereby a reward is offered in exchange for a successful recommendation. Here are some types of rewards you should consider implementing for loyal customers:
- A loyalty rewards card scheme
- Regular discounts on certain products
- Offering freebies with multiple purchases
- Free trials or samples of new products