[eCommerce Marketing] Increase your online store’s visibility and sales

This post will break things down for you.

You’re about to learn how to select the best marketing strategies out there for your eCommerce store. Specifically, you’ll learn how to select them based on your store’s goals.

In addition, we’ll go over various examples for you to know how to implement them.

But before we dive into them, the fundamentals must be crystal clear…

👉 What eCommerce Marketing is: definition and why it matters

Let’s begin by clarifying what we’re talking about.

eCommerce marketing refers to all those actions we implement in order to promote our online store. Its end goal is to increase sales and/or a business’s profits.

Below, we’ll review some concrete actions you can undertake in this direction.

But first, let’s expand our knowledge about the benefits of implementing a marketing strategy in your eCommerce.

✅ What benefits can marketing strategies offer an online store?

Well, all of these:

  • Your eCommerce visibility skyrockets: by implementing strategic actions on different channels, more people will get to know your store and access your website.
  • You get qualified traffic: it’s not about having many visitors, but qualified visitors; in other words, people interested in the products you sell. For example, if you owned a store that sold products made of bamboo, your goal would be to attract people determined to generating less waste and having a more sustainable lifestyle.
  • Your conversion rate increases: with the right strategies, you can turn a high percentage of visitors into customers.
  • Customer loyalty: improving your customer retention rate, or making sure customers keep coming back, certainly increases your store’s profits.
  • You strengthen your brand: implementing eCommerce branding can help you position yourself on your buyer persona’s mind and generate a stronger link with your customers. This won’t only generate customer loyalty, but will also generate Word-of-Mouth Marketing (your customers recommend your store to acquaintances of theirs because they feel like).

As you can see, marketing strategies are not optional for eCommerce stores; it’s a must-have for your store to keep on growing.

Having said that, it’s time to move onto a more practical concept; a marketing plan.

👉 How elaborate your eCommerce store’s marketing plan

You need a direction to move forward.

If you want to maximize your strategies’ results, you must first define:

  • What you want to achieve.
  • How you’re going to do it.

And then you must jot it all down into a marketing plan, a kind of ‘map’ of your eCommerce strategy that will set out the way, avoiding any detours from your goal.

To elaborate it:

  • Analyze your metrics: how much traffic you’re getting on different channels, their conversion rates, your store’s mean profitability, etc. This analysis will allow you to understand what your current needs are.
  • Set out clear goals: based on the conclusions you draw from the previous step. For example, if you detect a low customer conversion rate (you get visitors but few of them end up buying), you first need to address this issue.
  • Review available resources: this is, human, economic and logistic resources. This will determine the actions you’ll be able to actually set in motion.
  • Decide which strategies you will implement: and then, break them down into concrete actions. For example, if one of your goals is to increase visibility by 20% on social media in 6 months’ time, how are you going to do it? Which channels will you use? What kind of campaigns will you launch? Who will create them and run them? On what dates?

Note: this is only a summary. To know how to elaborate your marketing plan in detail, here’s this free eBook.

👉 3 kinds of marketing strategies you can implement according to your goals

Next, we’ll analyze different strategies you can include in your eCommerce marketing plan.

We’ve divided them into 3 categories according to their role:

  • Obtain visitors and increase visibility.
  • Increase conversion.
  • Foster customer loyalty.

Let’s see the first kind.

✅ 1. Strategies for obtaining traffic

An eCommerce store runs on getting traffic.

The more visitors you get every day, the more chances you generate of making sales.

And if on top of that, such traffic is coming from many simultaneous channels, then all the better! That will allow you to have a more regular billing (should ads ever fail you, you’ll still be able to make sells on other channels).

There are many options, but these are some of the most interesting ones.

SEO

SEO positioning consists in optimizing your eCommerce store’s URLs (homepage, categories, and product cards) so they position on Google based on specific keywords.

Let’s see a specific case.

Imagine you own a pet store.

seo ecommerce marketing

As the image shows, around 1,500 people per month search for puppy food on Google. That’s a lot of potential customers you could attract.

In order to do that, your website must come up among the first search results.

implement a responsive website design

… and the thing is, there are other eCommerce stores already positioned there.

If you want to top them and make those customers buy from you, you need to work on your online store’s SEO strategy.

Can you imagine the amount of traffic you could attract if every single product card and category pages in your eCommerce were optimized for positioning?

Note: if interested, we offer this free course via email in which we teach SEO for eCommerce.

Content Marketing

Now imagine a person who owns an older dog and doesn’t know what kid of food is best for their pet.

So they go on Google and type “how to feed an older dog”… and among the first results there’s a post from your blog explaining:

  • The specific needs of older dogs.
  • How to administer food portions so the dog won’t put on weight.
  • What to take into account to choose high-quality dog food containing every nutrient older dogs need.

And in the same post you include links to dog food product cards on your store that match such features.

This way you won’t just answer people’s doubts (because of your post they will make now keep calm and know how to keep their pet healthy), you’re also making it very easy for them to find the right kind of food for their pet. And that…

Means it’s more likely that they end up buying from you.

This is a content marketing strategy, and thanks to it, you’ll be able to:

  • Attract more qualified traffic: by publishing SEO-powered content on your blog.
  • Obtaining leads: let’s suppose a person reads a post but doesn’t shop right away. To keep them browsing, you can offer a lead magnet in exchange for their email. For instance, a guide in which you summarize the most common nutrients older dogs tend to lack. So they subscribe to your mailing list, which you can use to keep on sending them information (and you could even turn them into customers with a good welcome email).
  • Do some cross-selling: you can use your content to explain that, in addition to giving their dogs plain food, they can also complement their dog’s food with wet canned food (and, of course, you include links to your own product cards).
  • Make your customers loyal: after they’ve bought from you, you keep on sending them useful content for their pet. This will keep you under their radar, developing a connection with your brand.

Is this clear?

Well then, let’s move on.

Ads on search engines / PPC

Online ads are another wat to attract potential customers to your store’s website.

There are many platforms you can use, but the two main ones are:

There are many benefits to online advertising, but one of the most interesting ones is paying for results only (for example, only in case someone clicks on your ad and visits your website).

Social Media

The main goal of social media is to engage your audience.

You can use the content you publish on your social media to create a deeper link with your followers and make them feel more connected to your brand.

So, whenever they need to buy products like yours, you’ll be their first option.

But in order to get there, it’s not enough to upload photos of your products and wait for sales to rain down on you. You must give your followers actually interesting content.

Back to the pet store example, some ideas for posting content are:

  • Pet care advice.
  • Moving stories about animals.
  • Insight for educating a pet.
  • Fun facts about cats, dogs, etc.
  • Humorous posts.

You can also add other kind of posts, such as:

  • Product comparisons and reviews.
  • Pots on the day-to-day operations of your business.
  • Raffles and contests.
  • Testimonials and customer success cases (the unbeatable power of social proof).
  • Collaborations with influencers (if you’re not doing marketing with influencers yet, here’s a post with the essentials).

Remember: on social media, you first generate engagement and then you sell.

Affiliate Marketing

You can also reach agreements with other businesses for them to advertise your products among their audience.

This system works like this:

  • You own a sports eCommerce store.
  • You get in touch with a personal trainer with a strong online audience and suggest they advertise your products among their followers. For every sale they make for you, they take a commission, previously agreed on.
  • Such an affiliate posts your products on their website, tags them on their posts, reviews them… ultimately, they spread the word among their audience.
  • Every time a user lands on your eCommerce through that personal trainer’s link and places an order, the system will record that so you know when to pay their commission.

The best part of this system is that there is zero risk of financial loss.

In case your affiliate (or affiliates —because you can have more than one) doesn’t make any sales for you, you simply don’t pay them.

EXTRA TIP

You can apply this same strategy with your customers: for every new customer they bring, you offer them an incentive (typically a small discount).

This is what is known as ‘reference marketing’.

✅ 2. Strategies to increase conversion

So, you’re already getting visitors on your website, but how do you turn them into customers?

Here are a few ideas.

Email marketing

Increase billing by simply sending more emails to your subscribers?

You certainly can.

That’s the reason we have emails that include:

  • Quality content reviewing your products: shopping guides, reviews…
  • Special offers and discounts: naturally, when you first put out an offer, you mailing list should be the first to know about it. But if you only sell offers, you’ll end up annoying your followers. That’s why it’s important to complement offer emails with content emails.
  • Collaborations with influencers: if you start working with an influencer, why limit yourself to social media only? Most likely, subscribers on your mailing list will also be interested in knowing about it. 😉
  • Cross-selling: if you own a fashion eCommerce store and a customer has bought a dress, you can email them some shoes that match it.
  • Abandoned cart recovery email: a well-thought-out email can be essential for recovering doubtful customers and make them finalize their purchase.

Here’s a thorough guide on email marketing.

And if on top of that you add a strategy such as the one below… the result is fantastic.

Automation

Automated marketing consists in implementing various automated actions (executed without active intervention from you) to turn visitors into customers —and loyal customers.

How does this system work?

Let’s see an example from a photography store.

Let’s say two people land at the same time on their blog. We’ll call them Mary and John.

  • Mary downloads a lead magnet: “How to choose your first reflex camera” —she’s just getting started as a photographer and doesn’t own a camera yet.
  • John, on the other hand, has downloaded one with more advanced technicalities, addressing more experienced photographers.

Once they sign up to the newsletter, they both start receiving an automated email sequence, but the content of such emails differs:

  • The ones Mary receives include advice for learning about photography, beginner camera’s reviews, camera + lens bundle offers, etc.
  • John, on the other hand, receives shopping guides with essential aspects to consider when buying a professional camera, advanced reflex cameras reviews, offers for top end lenses, etc.

This way, each of them is getting the information they might be more interested in based on their needs.

And so, the possibilities of them buying multiply.

Internal Search Engine

You may find it weird that we include internal search engines on this list, but think about it:

Your store’s search engine is the closest thing there is to your typical clerk.

When a person lands on your website and needs some help to find a specific product (among the dozens or even hundreds on your catalog), what do they do?

Frequently, they type the product they’re looking for on the search engine.

But there’s more to it.

The thing is that a good search engine (an advanced or ‘smart’, AI-powered one) doesn’t simply return customers’ searches but:

  • Anticipates their thoughts and saves them time: for example, a search engine with an autocomplete feature can return hits even before the customer is done typing.
  • Makes it easier to find just the right product: by using features such as search filters.
  • Is capable of handling typos and synonyms: a customer types “laptop fan” but you’ve listed it as “cooling pad”. A basic search engine won’t be able to understand they’re the same thing. But a smart one will.
  • It provides alternative solutions in case the product they ask for is not in stock: therefore reducing no search results pages.
  • Can answer to special queries: such as non-product searches.
  • It allows to implement more advanced sales strategies: such as cross-selling.

Thanks to all these features, you can make your sales increase.

So you get an idea: customers who use Doofinder have increased their eCommerce conversion up to 20%.

No way?

You only need to click here and have a free 30-day trial to verify it’s not.

(No need to worry, we do not ask for your banking details).

Chatbots

Chatbots are a kind of software capable of having conversations.

That’s to say, they are a kind of “robot” that help your customers and can solve their most frequent doubts.

By implementing them in your eCommerce store, you get to:

  • Save time and money: a chatbot can solve your customers’ most frequently asked questions (such as how much you charge for shipping, whether you have a certain product in stock, etc.). This way, your customer support team can focus on those cases that do require human intervention.
  • Have more satisfies customers: a chatbot can have simultaneous conversations with different customers. Besides, unlike humans, robots don’t need to rest so they’re up and running 24/7. That improves user and buyer experience on your website.

Also, there are many kinds of conversational bots.

Some of them (the most basic ones) work only with closed answers previously “taught” by you.

But the most advanced ones are capable of learning from every interaction with your customers, and of providing answers that get closer and closer to those a flesh-and-blood person would give. This kind of bots work with AI-powered systems and machine learning.

One more point to eCommerce automation. 😉

✅ 3. Customer Loyalty Strategies

In general, gaining customer loyalty is more profitable than getting a new one.

The more frequently a person buys from you, the more their value as a customer increases (or CLV), and the more your initial investment (customer acquisition cost) pays off.

That’s why it’s so interesting to apply specific strategies to foster loyalty among your audience, such as the ones below.

Loyalty Programs

One of the ways to improve your eCommerce store’s retention rate is to offer your customers some kind of benefit for their loyalty.

For example:

  • A point-based program: this is just classic. For every purchase, a person accumulates points which can then be redeemed for discounts, special benefits, etc.
  • VIP membership: you can create an exclusive group for your most loyal customers, making special offers to them, exclusive access to limited-edition or upcoming season’s products.

Who doesn’t like to feel special? 😉

WhatsApp Web / Telegram

The famous instant messaging apps can be strong allies when it comes to keeping customers.

Among other features, they allow you to:

  • Solve your customers’ doubts: more and more users trust these apps to contact a business’ customer service.
  • Creating groups and channels: to keep your followers informed about the latest trends in your store. For example, you could have a general channel for all your customers and another one exclusive for VIP customers.
  • Obtaining statistics: useful for knowing up until what point your communicative strategy is being effective on these apps.
  • Using bots: both apps include a feature for creating a chatbot capable of solving frequent doubts. In addition, Telegram has a broad array of bots that allow you to automate various tasks (from automatically sharing social media posts to taking payments).

All these features will allow you to improve the shopping experience in your store and to offer your customers a closer, high-quality treatment.

Of course… when it comes to customer loyalty on smartphones, we can’t leave behind the following strategy…

SMS marketing

The good-old SMS text still has a lot to say.

Marketing campaigns via SMS are a trend that’s making quite the comeback. There are even special platforms that allow you to program and automate these messages.

Via them, you can inform your customers about:

  • Special offers and sales.
  • New products on your catalog.
  • Inventory and seasonal products.
  • Pending products on carts (to reduce abandoned carts).
  • Similar or complementary products for the ones already purchased (cross-selling).
  • Etc.

And the benefit to all this?

There are few brands implementing this strategy to date (most brands still focus on Whatsapp and Telegram).

So, the messages you send your audience on this channel will have less competition.

Don’t miss out on this trend and give SMS a (new) opportunity.

Product selling by subscription

A very useful strategy if you use consumable goods.

For example, if you own a cosmetics eCommerce store, there will be customers who always use the same brand of facial moisturizer who but it every so months.

In these cases, you can implement a subscription service for placing orders.

This way, every so often a new order is placed without the customer intervening.

The benefits of this systems are:

  • It improves customer experience (this is much more comfortable for the user instead of having to go through the same process again and again).
  • It’s more likely they keep on buying from you.
  • By having a steady income source, your billing stabilizes over time.

Large eCommerce stores such as Amazon have long implemented this service and more stores are taking the same route.

cater to the shopping cart

Don’t fall behind on this new trend!

Partnership

A partner is a business you create a strategic alliance with so that you both mutually benefit from it.

For example, let’s suppose you own a bakery and start collaborating with a school that offers online cooking classes:

  • You become the supplier of that school and offer discounts.
  • The school advertises your business among their students.
  • Besides, all your customer can access their training at a special price.

Win-win.

As you can see this strategy is similar to subscription marketing.

The only difference here is there’s no subscriber advertising your products in exchange for a commission. The goal is to offer an added value to your audience in order to increase sales for both businesses.

👉 Are you ready to solidify your online store?

Now it’s your turn to put this marketing advice into practice in your eCommerce store.

  • Create your marketing plan.
  • Put the most interesting strategies into practice to reach your goal.
  • Keep track of results and implement constant improvements.

Let’s get on it!