In the age of Amazon, it's hard enough to keep your e-commerce store afloat, much less stay afloat in the an economy like the one today where we may be headed for a recession. When you try to compete with the likes of Amazon, you're going to need to find a way to use your online presence to create a different experience for your customers, or better yet, offer something that Amazon does not.
Are you an ecommerce store owner who doesn't have the resources to hire a full-service marketing team or agency? It's time to start thinking outside the box when it comes to your ecommerce marketing strategy.
1. Ask for the Sale
This is the most important step in the selling process. You must ask for the sale. You can't just hope the customer will buy from you. You must ask. This one is maybe not an "outside of the box" idea but you would be so surprised about how many ecommerce marketing strategies forget to include this as a note.
There are many ways to ask for the sale and in ecommerce marketing optimization, the key opportunities lay in reducing friction to buy. Your site should have a "Buy Now" button wherever it makes sense. Your emails should have an add to cart or buy now link so interested buyers are just a few clicks away from a purchase. Make all your digital advertising and marketing efforts as user-friendly as possible by implementing a quick way to buy. This includes allowing guest check out. Requiring interested users to create a profile or account to check out is the biggest reason for abandoned carts in the check-out process.
2. Integrate All Your Social Sites for Sales
Integrating your social media platforms for sales is a great way to keep your followers up to date on your latest products, sales and promotions. It also makes it easy for them to purchase your products or services. By integrating your social sites for sales, you can:
Share product or service information
Promote sales and special offers
Provide customer service
Collect customer feedback
To integrate your social sites for sales, you’ll need to connect your social media accounts to your website. This can be done using a social media integration tool, or by adding social media buttons to your website.
Once your social media accounts are connected to your website, you can start sharing information about your products and services. You can also use social media to promote sales and special offers, and to collect customer feedback.
Further, many social media platforms such as Instagram and Tiktok, now have integrated direct shopping from the platform itself. These ecommerce marketing services are a great idea because they reduce friction because they allow shoppers to complete their checkout without leaving the social media platform and because shoppers can come from your social following, sponsored posts, or ads - you have more ways to reach them which can reduce your pay-per-click spend.
3. Optimize Your Email Campaigns
The best way to improve the effectiveness of your email campaigns is to test and measure their performance. Use the data you gather to tweak your content and target your audience more effectively.
You can also use email marketing software to automate your campaigns and improve their performance. Software like Klaviyo and MailChimp can help you to create and track email campaigns and flows, and to target subscribers with specific content meaning they are receiving more personalized content that provides a value proposition that makes sense for their persona and their needs.
Email marketing software can also help you to improve the deliverability of your emails, and to reduce the risk of your messages being flagged as spam. Many email marketing software systems for digital marketing ecommerce has sophistication built into their onboarding process so you're able to "warm" the email address you are using so you are more likely to get through. These capabilities are well worth the monthly subscription fees so be sure whichever email service you choose meets your requirements for your ecommerce marketing program.
Email marketing is a powerful tool, but it’s only effective if you use it correctly. By following these tips, you can improve the performance of your email campaigns and get better results from your marketing efforts.
4. User Generated Content
User-generated content (or UGC) is also known as social proof and includes reviews from customers, social media posts about your brand or pictures of your products, and content on 3rd party sites related to your product such as forums, blogs, and other media. This includes reviews that you may integrate directly into your site such as Trustpilot or Yotpo.
UGC is important for a multitude of reasons that include increasing conversions and adding credibility. UGC also serves your SEO strategy, especially if you are surfacing reviews with your targeted keywords.
You can ask for reviews and UGC from your customers by sending a post-purchase email once they have received the product, or create a Referral Marketing Program that incentivizes your customers for sharing their UGC and inviting others to make a purchase.
If you're new to referral programs, they are a great way to beat out bigcommerce and the competition. Check out these past Baotris blogs:
Benefits of a Referral Marketing Program on Your Shopify Ecommerce Store
How to Create a Customer Referral Program for Ecommerce
The Best Apps for Ecommerce Customer Referral Marketing
Reviews can also help you find unhappy customers so you can reach out to them directly to make a bad experience into a good one, and help with product feedback and research so you know how to improve your product for the next iteration without having to do a survey or consultation.
5. Personalize for a Unique Customer Experience
Customers are unique individuals, and they expect businesses to treat them as such. Personalized customer journeys and advertisements are one of the most effective ways to show customers that you get them and their needs.
When you personalize your customer experience, you are taking the time to learn about each customer and address their needs. A great way to do this is to figure out what their needs are and then promote the value proposition tied to your product that they will connect with most. You might also consider using their preferences to create a more customized experience - this can be done by offering other products they may be interested in once they have added an item to cart, or send a custom email flow when you have their size restocked on a popular item. These small improvements in the way you reach your customers can help you beat out the competition.
Personalized customer journeys can also help you make more money. By serving the right advertisements to the right people at the right time, you are not wasting your dollars on random digital marketing, but instead implementing smart decision making that helps you optimize your metrics such as pay-per-click.
Consistently experimenting with all your digital marketing ecommerce campaigns is a must and usually takes the form of A/B testing. A/B testing allows you to compare the original version of something, such as an advertisement or a landing page, to a newly changed version of that something.
In ecommerce marketing examples, imagine you have two landing pages for your website. They are virtually the same but you have a different Call To Action (CTA) on each page. By splitting up your incoming site traffic and sending half to one landing page and half to another, you can test which CTA performs better with the buyers coming to your website. You can continue to experiment in this way until you have a fully optimized landing page that is user-friendly and beats out your competition. You can test value propositions, images, colors, even personalized discounts and offers. Be sure to have metrics that you are following to see which variant is performing better - this can be clicks, add-to-carts, even conversions.
7. Talk to Your Customers
The key to any successful business is understanding what your customers want and then giving it to them. This is especially true for small businesses, which may not have the resources to conduct comprehensive market research. However, there are a few simple things you can do to get a sense of what your customers want.
One way to get feedback from your customers is to send them surveys. You can either create your own surveys or use a service like SurveyMonkey. You can also ask your customers to provide feedback directly on your website or blog.
Another way to get feedback from your customers is to talk to them directly. This can be done in person or over the phone. You can send out questionnaires or surveys to your customers to get feedback and then invite a certain number to have a conversation with you through a video conference call in exchange for free product, gift cards to your website, or even cash. Though before your conversations, we recommend reading a very short but VERY informative book called The Mom Test - this book will help you craft questions to ask your customers that lead to real answers, rather than asking weak questions that can lead customers to say only nice things about your company or product.
Finally, you can also look at social media to get a sense of what your customers want. This can be done by looking at the comments your customers make on your social media posts, as well as by looking at the social media posts of your competitors. You can even ask directly using features in Instagram Stories where followers can vote in a This-or-That format.
It can seem daunting to talk to your customers directly but they are an often untapped source of information. Plus as an added bonus, you can also try talk to your competitions customers to figure out what they offer that you do not.
8. Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing can be an extremely effective ecommerce marketing strategy, as it allows you to reach a large audience through trusted sources. By identifying and partnering with influencers in your niche, you can tap into their audience and promote your products or services to a new and engaged group of potential customers.
There are a number of ways to find and partner with influencers, and many platforms and tools that can help you do so. Start by identifying the key influencers in your industry, and then research the best ways to reach them. You can use tools like BuzzSumo to find the most popular content in your industry, or simply reach out to key bloggers and social media influencers directly. This can be a very time consuming process, at Baotris, we use GRIN to help our clients build out successful and data-driven influencer marketing campaigns such as our 4.5x ROI campaign with Espin Bikes.
Once you have partnered with key influencers, be sure to create content that is relevant to their audience and that they will be happy to share with their followers. This content can take many forms, from blog posts and social media posts to videos and podcasts. Make sure your content is effective with these 7 tips.
9. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a great way to drive traffic and sales to your ecommerce store. By partnering with other websites or bloggers in your niche, you can create a mutually beneficial arrangement in which they promote your products in exchange for a commission on any sales generated. This is best tracked with a tool, as mentioned earlier, we use GRIN.
Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each customer or customer acquisition brought about by the affiliate’s marketing efforts. When browsing your favorite blogs, you may notice a disclaimer somewhere on the site, letting readers know that they support their blog by making commissions from affiliate sales. This is a popular way to finance blogs, podcasts, and other media without having to resort to selling advertising space.
An affiliate could be the owner of multiple websites and email marketing lists (often called a publisher) or just run one piece of media. With product reviews, product mentions, inclusions in top 10 lists and recommendations, visitors who click embedded links are redirected to your e-commerce or Shopify site, using a tracking link so the affiliate can get credit for their sale if the link clicker decides to buy. Shopify make it easy to embed discounts for the buyer into links so affiliates can also offer special discounts to their site visitors.
Now that you understand the basics of digital marketing, you can use these concepts to create a marketing strategy for your ecommerce business. Remember to focus on digital marketing channels that are most relevant to your business, and use data to track the results of your campaigns so that you can optimize your efforts.