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The Complete Guide To Ecommerce Marketing: Strategies, Tactics, and Pro Tips To Boost Sales

It’s easy to say: “create an online shop and start selling right off the bat.”

In fact, before your store starts bringing a stable revenue, a lot of time will pass – from 3 months to a year.

However, there is one thing you can do to streamline a sales process. Focus on ecommerce marketing.

By applying some witty ecommerce marketing strategies, you’ll be able to become a leader in your niche in less than a year. Isn’t that your goal?

In this article, I’ll tell you how to:

  • identify your target audience;
  • define industry-relevant topics for your blog;
  • select quick-win keywords to boost organic traffic;
  • seek out opinion leaders for collaboration;
  • set up advertising;
  • and much more.

Sure, you’ll also find a whole batch of insightful ecommerce marketing tips and tactics.

Let’s get started.

First off, what is ecommerce marketing?

The foundational concept of ecommerce marketing is the attraction of the customers’ attention to the online store using various digital marketing channels, methods and tools determined by the strategy.

As a central component, the ecommerce marketing strategy combines the goals, particular strategies, and tactics aimed at increasing traffic and to boost sales.

So here we have the:

  • goal – things and KPIs we want to achieve;
  • strategy – methods we’ll use to achieve the goal;
  • tactics – particular actions within every method.

ecommerce marketing

Determination of a marketing goal

Although goals usually are quite individual, I may assume that all store owners strive to increase traffic to their site and boost revenue.Assign your specific goals to the time frames – for example, 3 months, 6 months, 9months, 1 year. This will allow you to clarify your further actions.Finally, you should have an overall strategy with clearly defined goals and deadlines.For instance:

  • Launch a blog to raise organic traffic for high-frequency or brand requests – in 3 months;
  • Increase brand awareness via an interview with a market leader – in 6 months;
  • Create brand advocates by delivering excellent customer service – throughout the year, etc.

Generation of the ecommerce marketing strategies

Depending on your overall strategy, start forming the particular strategies and selecting the appropriate ecommerce marketing tactics.

Let’s suppose your aim is to increase site traffic. To reach it, you’re likely to use these strategies:

  • Content marketing.
  • Advertising.
  • Collaboration with opinion leaders.

I’ll explain how to select the ecommerce marketing tactics for every strategy later on. But for now..

Foundation: Definition of your target audience

Any strategy starts with the definition of a target audience (TA).

The quick guide to do this effectively:

Since your buyers may be represented in different demographic categories, create several buyer personas. Every description should contain gender, age, marital status, interests, fears/pains, and motives to buy your products.

I recommend you use a special tool for creating buyer personas from HubSpot, which is really simple and insightful.

Let’s consider the process of determining a TA in a real example – e.g., we need to sell baby clothes.

Step 1. Put the major TA categories into an Excel table:

  • Name
  • Age
  • City
  • Gender
  • Profession/Salary
  • Fears/challenges
  • Passions/needs
  • Other features that set this audience apart from other groups.

 

Step 2. Collect these data

To determine the basic characteristics as well as challenges and needs of your consumers, the related forums will become a real goldmine.

Google your key request and visit the suggested forums.

baby clothes

 

Step 3. Study users’ replies in detail

Find out what users are talking about, what questions they are interested in, what they talk about, their children, and what their concerns are.

forum-1

Another reply..

forum-2

Analysis of the given case provide you with us some crucial insights:

  • Young mothers are incredibly bad at sizing;
  • They are advised to buy large sizes for newborns;
  • Most often, children’s clothes are torn in the knee area.

Use this information in your strategy. Perhaps it is worth emphasizing that the knee area on your pants is durable, the fabric withstands any prankster and any degree of damage.

Step 4. Study user profiles

Try to find out the information about people’s marital status, the number of children, type of work, etc. All this can be taken into account when drawing up a detailed demographic portrait of your audience.

forum-3

Step 5. Check your primary TA portrait for vitality

When you select necessary information about your audience, check for vitality via targeted Facebook ads. In your Facebook advertising account, set detailed users’ criteria: age, gender, country, city, interests (online shopping, natural products, children, family, TV shows, etc).

All the criteria that you’ve used in the advertising campaign, put in your Excel table to evaluate advertising campaign effectiveness. Make adjustments if needed.

Now, the business goals are set and the target group is defined, it’s time to start generating ecommerce marketing strategies.

The Most Efficient Ecommerce Marketing Strategies

I’m sure all these marketing channels are familiar to you:

  1. Content marketing
  2. Influencer marketing
  3. Reviews and case studies
  4. Ecommerce advertising
  5. Crowd marketing
  6. Social networks
  7. Email marketing
  8. Affiliate programs
  9. Loyalty programs

ecommerce marketing

To bring additional value to your knowledge, I’ll tell you how to benefit from these strategies and what ecommerce marketing tactics to use within every direction.

Content Marketing

What is your primary task after launching an online store? To sell? Not so fast.

Before starting to buy, users need to be aware of you. You have to spread information about your project to increase the brand’s visibility and build buyers’ trust in your brand.

That’s where content marketing comes in handy.

Generally, content marketing activities are divided into two groups:

  1. Content Creation (Keyword Research, Search for Relevant Topics, Writing of Articles).
  2. Content Distribution (Link Building, Advertising, Social Shares, Guest Blogging).

content marketing directions

And now I want to talk about one of the most important and exciting parts of content creation – keyword research.

Step 1. Keyword research

To get started, classify the products you sell and define the keywords that users are most likely to use when searching for this type of goods.

Start with 2-3 seed words or phrases; enter them into the Ahrefs system.

See the list of closely related keywords to your original query and collect all the keywords that can be potentially used by buyers.

To take a leading position in the search results, you need to understand which keywords are the most popular (with high volume) and which ones your competitors use. Spy on their top-performing keywords. To do this, enter the domain of your competitors in Ahrefs to see their top pages and most profitable keywords.

ahrefs competition

! Ecommerce marketing tips: focus on the long-tail keywords that are rarely used by others (ones with a low Keyword Difficulty) to grab traffic.

Step 2. Search for relevant topics

To find the traffic goldmine, you need to find out:

  • what things are trendy now;
  • what types of topics can generate a lot of backlinks to your site;
  • what articles your potential customers will eagerly share;
  • what topics will cause lively discussion and stir up interest in your products and brand.

One of the best topic research tools is Ubersuggest. Using it, you will see what websites and articles got hundreds of shares and backlinks. Such an operation can be performed for each request that you are interested in.

As a result, you’ll get a list of the most requested topics in your industry that should be present on your blog, too.

ubersuggest

Step 3. Writing of articles

My most important advice for writing is STAY ORIGINAL, ALWAYS! Usually, corporate blogs look monotonous and depressing.Remember that you write for clients. You need to circle around the themes that they are interested in, along with some problem-solving areas. Use the following formats:

  • Interviews. Invite guest authors, famous experts. Readers are willing to share links to articles written by famous personalities.
  • Customer success stories. Ask clients what specific tasks your company helped to solve. Describe such cases.
  • News and trends. Share the hottest industry trends and updates, and actionable tactics.

! Ecommerce marketing tips:

  1. Do not just list product functions and features, but speak in terms of customer benefit. For example, what does a gold-plated watch strap mean for a buyer? Prestige, a sense of uniqueness.
  2. Create your writing style. Form a unique tone-of-voice before starting to write.

Step 4. Content distribution

Content distribution stands for the methods aimed at promoting the produced materials.

The most high-performing ecommerce marketing tactics for distribution are the following:

  • Collaboration with other authors
  • Guest blogging
  • Sharing content to social networks

Collaboration with other authors

Your brand mentioning and backlinks obtained from authoritative websites are the central goals of content distribution. These factors directly contribute to your Domain Rating growth which is essential for boosting organic traffic.

One of the most efficient ways to get backlinks to your website or references to your brand is ordering full-fledged guides from reputable publications. In this way, the editors of some global platforms overview your products, their pros or cons (yes, the guide should be honest) and give a review.

! Ecommerce marketing tips: Type in this query in the Google search, putting the necessary keyword, to find authors for such guides:

  • “Keyword” intitle:’interview’
  • “Keyword” intitle:”overview”

When the relevant blogs are collected, analyze them in Ahrefs. Go to the ‘Outgoing links/Linked domains’ section and check what types of links are usually used. They should be do-follow.

Reach out to the editors of the presented resources and ask them to do a review of your product. You can also send the ready press release via email. Keep in mind – experts receive such letters every day, which means that there is a risk your letter may be ignored.

Our unsolicited tips for writing such a letter:

  • Be friendly – everyone is tired of official letters, everyone wants easy-going communication, even if this communication concerns business;
  • Be concise – introduce yourself and go straight to the point, do not waste the time of the recipient;
  • Indicate in a letter the name of an industry authority who has already agreed to cooperate with you.

Find more tips on how to reach out to the journalists or editors in our previous guide ‘How to write a catchy press release email.

When the relevant articles are collected, analyze them in Ahrefs. Go to the ‘Outgoing links/Linked domains’ section and check what types of links are usually used. They should be do-follow.

ahrefs outgoing link

Guest posts

Find websites related to your store:

  • if you sell baby clothes, it can be blogs or newsletters dedicated to motherhood or parents;
  • If you sell natural cosmetics, it can be bloggers who support a healthy lifestyle, conscious parenting, downshifters, etc.

! Ecommerce marketing tips: Use these search operators to find blogs with the guest posting opportunity:

find guest blogs

Define the links outgoing from the gathered resources in Ahrefs by the abovementioned scheme.

Get in touch with the editors of those websites to offer a unique article with useful information, for instance, how to choose high-quality clothes and avoid children’s allergies, how to distinguish natural cosmetics from synthetic ones, and so on.

Keep in mind that terms of publication may be different – paid and free of charge. Most often it’s possible to publish for free if you submit really high quality content. Do not forget to agree on the number of links to your store or brand mentions.

Influencer marketing

This is not just a fashionable term. Nowadays, this ecommerce marketing strategy really works. The idea is to cooperate with influencers who are at least somehow connected with your sphere.

These can be bloggers, niche experts, opinion leaders, and local celebrities. In an accurate, native manner, the influencer informs their subscribers about your products.

You can find influencers manually, for example, by googling your key phrases. Alternatively, use special tools like FiverrBuzzsumo, or Keyhole. Finally, every reputable influencer has a solid presence on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

buzzsumo influencers

! Ecommerce marketing tips: At the start, reach out to influencers with a small number of subscribers but with high engagement and loyalty. The chances are he/she will gladly accept your proposal for an affordable budget.

Make a list of 20-50 influencers, choosing those with at least 10,000 followers and start the outreach campaign.

How to offer cooperation

There are two ways to cooperate with an influencer:

  1. Contact the influencer directly with your proposal. The author can create a new post, mentioning your brand and linking to your business. A nice idea is to organize a short interview and present your opinion as a quote.
  2. Start following the influencers in social networks or blogs, comment on their texts, show your interest in their content. After some time when you’re finally noticed, ask about the cooperation.

Find out more ecommerce marketing tactics aimed at cooperation with influencers here.

Reviews and case studies

This is one of the essential stages of product creation and brand positioning. Gather customer feedback about your products.

The easiest way is to contact those who have already made purchases on your site. Invite them to leave feedback in exchange for a coupon, discount, or set up an email so that it motivates customers to leave a review.

iherb product review

Exciting formats of reviews are:

  • Video reviews from customers published on YouTube;
  • Short versions of YouTube videos shared on Facebook and Instagram;
  • Video content converted into text;
  • Extract quotes from the text.

! Ecommerce marketing tips: Contact bloggers and offer them your products for free in exchange for review. That’s how you can instantly cover an incredibly large audience potentially interested in your goods.

Ecommerce advertising

The most profitable advertising types for ecommerce businesses are:

  • Contextual advertising in Google Ads.
  • Retargeting ads in Google Ads. It’s an extremely efficient ecommerce marketing tactic to return cart abandoners.
  • Ads on Facebook and Instagram. The most popular channels since your customers are likely to be there.

! Ecommerce marketing tips: Another profitable advertising method is the opportunity of sponsorship at some event/competition/blog. To find the projects with sponsorship opportunities, type in the following combination [field or niche] intitle:”our sponsors” site:.org (.edu, .com, others).

sponsor button example

Crowd marketing on topic-related forums

Forums are still alive. To find a topic-related forum, use the search query [Niche or field, area] “sponsor forums” inurl:forum.

Support the discussions with helpful information and relevant product pages.

Don’t expect immediate results with this ecommerce marketing strategy. The peculiarity of the forums is that you need time to:

  • build trust;
  • communicate for months;
  • sell after a while.

ecommerce forums

Social networks

According to recent shopify stats, 55% of users make purchases after they saw those goods on social networks.

! Ecommerce marketing tips:

  • Determine where your audience is most active: on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, or maybe on Twitter. Instagram is best suited for online shops. Get the advantages of the Instagram shopping account format.
  • Form a weekly/monthly content plan and create professional product pictures.
  • Add appropriate hashtags to each post.
  • Be active: launch live broadcasts, focus on Instagram stories, increase customer loyalty with regular discounts, contests and giveaways.

nourishedbykale nst

Email marketing

Email marketing is the oldest marketing tool, and it is still valid. For ecommerce projects, the most optimal options are targeted email marketing campaigns and trigger mailing.

How does it work?

Step 1. Collect customer information:

  • What is the customer’s name?
  • When and what did the customer buy?
  • What was the quantity and price?
  • Was the purchase completed?
  • What was the frequency of purchases?

Gather these data through the registration forms, special questionnaires on the site, or pop-up windows and synchronize them in CRM.

Step 2. Segment the audience.

Do segmentation of all customers according to such criteria as frequency of purchases, amount of purchases, transaction completion. Set up the appropriate chain of letters.

  • What kind of emails can this be:
  • Welcome letter – after the user signs up.
  • A careful reminder of an abandoned basket. You can send several such reminder letters.
  • A letter with an offer of up-sale – to buy related products.
  • A letter where you can inquire about the opinion of the client about the product, ask for feedback, provide instructions for using the product.

More newsletter ideas.

A practical example of the ecommerce marketing strategy around email marketing:

    • Think about how to get user’s email addresses. For example, via the pop-up window.
    • What other contact data do you need to collect?
    • What is needed to run a campaign: pop-ups, registration forms, or something else? Install the required widgets on the landing pages.
    • Choose a mailing system and integrate it with your site.
    • Determine which types of mailings you should send: general or trigger emails?
    • What types of trigger emails will you use: greeting letters, reminders of an abandoned basket, up-sale messages, holiday greetings, discounts, what else?
    • In the analytics system, track the effectiveness of newsletters to see how many sales they generated.

email marketing exam

! Ecommerce marketing tips:

  • Letters are the most intimate marketing tool. Be careful, polite, and as personalized as possible.
  • If you can determine the geography of the client – offer door-to-door delivery.
  • If you know a customer’s name or marital status – make a name sticker or provide a souvenir of their soul mate; mention the customer’s name in the subject line.

Affiliate programs

This strategy slightly relates to the influencer marketing but in this case, you collaborate not with bloggers but with a website or community.

The affiliated resources links to your site which boosts your traffic. In turn, they receive a percentage from each sale or a fixed fee according to a particular agreement.

affiliate programs for ecommerce

Loyalty programs

Happy buyers are your key objective, thus, do your best to deliver the best possible product quality and sales terms.

! Ecommerce marketing tips:

  • Invite consumers to share their recommendation with friends or relatives so that each of them receives a discount or another bonus from you.
  • Create the most trusting relationships by offering such benefits as a money-back guarantee, 24/7 customer support, free shipping, regular promotions and other perks.

Conclusion

The universal approach to ecommerce marketing looks this way. In practice, you can combine the listed strategies and tactics to develop your own killer sales machine. Consider your niche and business goals to define the most profitable promotional directions and use them in a reasonable conjunction.

But maybe you’re already using some other channels and methods. I’m excited to hear about your favorite ecommerce marketing tactics and tips. Share your unique experience with us!

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