At the top of every e-commerce shop owner's mind is the question, "How can I increase sales?" A great eCommerce marketing strategy is the obvious answer but with so many choices about the methods you intend to employ in order to promote your online business and increase sales, the next question is always: "Where should I start?".
With changes in data privacy laws and social media marketing, increasing your online sales comes down to strategy and first-party data. First-party is information about your customers that is collected and owned by you such as purchase history, on-site behavior and more. With the death of 3rd party cookies, it is more important than ever to use this first party data to create more personalized purchase journeys and touch points to enable consistent customer experiences that help you be more successful in eCommerce.
Here are a few general marketing guidelines for data-charged digital marketing that will be important to include in your marketing strategies. If you manage e-commerce digital marketing campaigns, these strategies can not only save you time, but help you grow your traffic, sales, and your bottom line.
Before you begin any marketing campaign, you need to know who you are selling to and what they want. They want to purchase products or services to address their needs and solve a problem. So you need to create a buyer persona of your target market and find out who your competitors are and why you are different from them. And, of course, you need to know what you are selling and have a clear idea about your product or service offering.
The best way to do this is talking to your customers and doing market research. At Baotris, we conduct customer interviews, post-purchase surveys, and market research studies so we understand where our brands products are positioned in their customer's minds as well as in their competitor's customers minds. This helps us understand our client's customers better - what makes them interested in a product and what makes them buy, so we can develop buyer personas to share with our brands.
From there, our brands use the personas to develop and deliver more targeted ads, content, landing pages, and more to deliver a personalized experience that speaks to each group individually based on their needs and wants.
Domain Authority (DA) is a concept that was created by the company Moz and while it does not make sense to focus on DA by itself, your DA is a great way to track your aggregate link equity for comparison purposes. Your DA helps you know where you can and should be competing for keywords, you should include going after competing sites that rank similarly to yours, rather than trying to go up against a competitor with a much higher DA than your site's.
So while growing your DA for the sake of growing your DA would be a terrible strategy, doing so to make your site more competitive is a great tactic if you are focusing on SEO (and your should be - as outlined in the next tip).
So then the question remains, how exactly do you grow your DA? Well, the more high-authority sites you have linking to your site, the better your DA and PA (Page Authority) will be. This can be done in a multitude of ways, such as press releases, product reviews, and more. The important part is that you want quality sites linking back to you. The more spammy sites you have promoting your link, the higher your Spam Score will be, which is not a great thing, so focus on real sites with real traffic.
SEO is a marketing technique that focuses on brining organic, non-paid traffic to your website. You can accomplish this with high quality content and keyword targeting - the end goal being to be the #1 ranked term on the search engine results page.
SEO can take a lot of time and resources, but it is also cheaper than paid ads so while you may not see as quick of a return, it is an important part in your long-term strategy marketing plan. With increased SEO you will get more visibility and traffic to your website, build trust with consumers who are not yet your customers, establish yourself as an authority in your product field, and improve your website quality.
The first part of SEO you will want to focus on is keywords. You can find the right keywords to use by using your buyer personas that we created in an earlier step and by conducting keyword research. Using tools like Google's Keyword Planner you can look up and analyze different terms to decide which ones to go after. With the planner, you can look at search volume; you want terms that have some search volume but not too low since it would be a waste of time and not too high since it would be too competitive. You can also look up keyword ranking difficulty level, words with a high difficulty are used on a lot of sites and will be harder to rank for, the lower the difficulty score the better as long as there is still traffic. And lastly, relevance - you want to ensure any words you are aiming to rank for are terms your target personas and potential customers are actually using to find your products or products in your industry.
Secondly, content is where you will put your keywords in order to attract potential customers to your site. Content can be on your product pages such as in product descriptions, URLs, product tags, image descriptions, or it can be stand alone content such as a blog, a gated/ downloadable, a video, infographic or more. The important part is that your content is good, meaning it offers something of value to your customers and potential customers, much like this blog is hopefully teaching you something new about marketing strategies.
Other important qualities of content are that is it original (Google will penalize your page for copied content), it includes keywords but is not stuffed with the same terms over and over, and it is easy and enjoyable to read.
The last important aspect of SEO is Website Optimization. Website optimization means making edits to your website in order to make it easier for search engines like Google to read and understand them such as reducing load times and properly structuring your on-site content. It also means using all parts of a website correctly like using image descriptions, alt text, meta descriptions, and URL optimization.
Some quick tips:
Ecommerce platforms let you see what your competitors’ ads look like, including the text and images. If you have a bit of coding knowledge, try out the Google Chrome Extension SEO Quake. This extension lets you see the HTML code for a website and the SEO-friendly tags that are appearing in the search engine listing.
Enter their site into Moz.com's Free SEO Tools. There's a ton of useful and free tools to help you better understand your competitors and their site performance. You can use the Domain SEO Analysis Tool to see DA and PA as well as who is linking to them, what are their top performing and top ranking keywords, where they are featured for snippets on Google and more. Competitive Research allows you to see your top SERP competitors as well as keyword and content opportunities.
If you want to go more in-depth for a low cost, I like Growthbar, an SEO tool that allows you to see a longer list of keyword and backlink sites for any site. Lists like these can aid your keyword research and backlink outreach, as well as understand what content on your competitors pages are top performers.
We're big fans of the new company Varos which operates on a give-data to get-data model. The premise is simple and answers a question that many shop owners have - "How is my store performing in relation to others like mine?"
Varos connects to your Shopify store and then to your marketing channels such as FB Ads, Google Ads, and Tiktok and allows you to filter results based on your product industry, spend level, AOV, target market and more. The data it returns is anonymized but allows you to understand if your key metrics, such as CAC and CPA, are performing inline with others and drops/ increases are a sign of seasonality and the market, or if you're an outlier for your size and spend and should do some investigating.
While it won't tell you why your data is off-trend, it will let you know when there's somewhere you should pay attention to. More importantly, it can also give you some reassurance after you launch the first Tiktok ad campaign and have no idea as to whether or not it's actually performing well.
There's a ton of ecommerce marketing channels - search engine marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, influencer marketing, blogging, content marketing, paid advertising, affiliates, public relations, video, and more. Beyond that, there's a ton of platforms - Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok, Youtube, Pinterest, Google Ads, Google Shopping, Reddit, Discord, Nextdoor, and I'm stopping there but that doesn't cover the half of it.
The point is, you can't do everything all at once. Based on what resources you have (people and money and time), you will have to prioritize the channels that you think will have the biggest impact. Now that doesn't always mean conversions. Remember that conversions are at the bottom of the funnel and in order to get to the bottom of the funnel, you have to get into the funnel in the first place so brand awareness and product education are important as well.
A smart strategy can only be built if you know your buyer journey. Attribution is a beast in ecommerce and digital marketing but there are many tools that can sort of help. I won't name names because honestly, there isn't one perfect one that I can point to and say they have attribution figured out but a quick google search will tell you to top contenders. Google Analytics itself has a new beta attribution tool out that also isn't perfect but it is free. Understand your funnels and you'll understand where you should optimize.
But wait, not so fast. That kind of data will only help you repeat your best practices. With new channels introduced all the time, experimentation is just as important if you want to keep going. With the changes in trends, spend, and the economy, you need to adapt to survive and thrive. Don't be the last shop in your competitive market to try out the latest trends or you may miss out on some big and quick wins.
Ecommerce marketing strategies are crucial for online businesses. They help you get more sales, reach your target audience, increase brand recognition, and build your brand. As mentioned, you will need your own curated eCommerce marketing strategies that will fit your company and target audience in order to be successful.
This is really where companies like Baotris come in. We look at the data for you and help you make sense of it to create opportunities in that data that you would have a harder time seeing without our analytic expertise. Check out our past case studies for examples of what we do. Best of all, we invest in your marketing spend to fund these tactics so it's a less risky solution to help you grow while you focus on the other aspects of running your business.