Competition in the eCommerce market is now enormous. The really difficult practice of driving funnel traffic to convert into sales and new customers – could be a problem. Building and executing a successful marketing strategy might be the solution to achieving powerful conversion results.
The following article is the first and not the last in the eCommerce Marketing series. It is dedicated both to smaller businesses that are just beginning their adventure with online retail promotion and to stationery shops that are planning to enter with their services into the world of online sales.
Let’s start with a few words about the development of the eCommerce market…
The expeditious growth of the eCommerce industry can now be seen all over the world. It has undergone tremendous changes compared to the first online shops appearing on the market back in the 90s.
20.3% is eCommerce’s share of the global retail sales in 2022!
Up to now, existing technological solutions are constantly being improved, new cashless payment methods are being introduced and new ways of reaching potential customers are being used. The even faster growth of e-commerce was also influenced by the Covid-19 pandemic, during which online shopping increased manifold. This is why the continuous and rapid development of this industry means that competition is increasing and proper shop advertising is something essential in this case.
Ecommerce Marketing – what it actually is and why it’s so important?
The competitive eCommerce market makes it extremely difficult to promote your products online. Millions of marketing messages compete for customers’ attention. A brick-and-mortar shop is able to attract potential customers with its presence, For an online shop, this is impossible – without appropriate advertising and publicity, no one will hear of its existence. Therefore, a well-chosen marketing strategy is extremely important to improve online visibility, increase sales and win customers.
What exactly is eCommerce Marketing and how does it differ from digital marketing?
Ecommerce marketing and digital marketing are not mutually exclusive. Online shops can use multiple digital channels to advertise their product and grow their business. However, the type of targeting and measurability metrics will be slightly different than with a typical marketing campaign to build awareness or collect leads.
eCommerce Marketing – the act of driving awareness and action toward a business that sells its product or service online. The main objective of this type of activity is sales. Marketers can, and should, use multiple channels to attract visitors and facilitate purchases. From social media, search engines, and email campaigns to paid activities.
How to build an effective eCommerce marketing plan?
There is no place in marketing for ill-considered decisions. They often end up burning through budgets. This is why you need to plan your eCommerce marketing activities carefully before taking any steps.
1. Prepare an executive summary
In order to perform a broad overview of the project, an executive summary should be prepared. This should include the key points of your strategy, its overall objective, desired outcomes, and recommendations. That is easily disseminated to leaders and decision-makers within your business.
2. Specify goals and objectives
Another important element of a good eCommerce Marketing Strategy is the definition of objectives. It is important that they are clear and specific. In addition, they should be realistic and achievable.
It is advisable to create them according to the S.M.A.R.T. concept:
3. Set KPI (Key Performance Indicators)
Managing an online shop without established KPIs is tracking progress in the dark. KPIs are key performance indicators, i.e. concrete measures, expressed in numbers, that determine the achievement of targets for a given activity.
Choosing the right KPIs is closely linked to your business objectives. These include, for example, return on investment (ROI), the cost of acquiring one customer, or the cost of a user clicking on an advert.
It is important to have the right tools to measure the desired values. This information can be very useful when making certain decisions, finding errors, optimizing processes, and eliminating costs.
You will find which KPIs are the most popular for the eCommerce industry later in this article.
4. Prepare target customers and personas
An extremely important part of a good marketing plan is knowing your audience. If we don’t have a clear understanding of who we are targeting with our campaigns and what characteristics define them – activities will not be effective and conversion rates will be low.
Personas are profiles of your potential customers. They allow you to define who you are targeting. When defining them, it is worth taking into account factors such as age, gender, interests, location, needs, or even earnings and occupation.
5. Define the purchase path
Creating personas and defining an audience is not enough. To clarify the purchasing process even more clearly, it is worth creating your customer’s purchase path. This is the path one has to follow in order to make a purchase. What the activity on the website looks like, what the needs are and what might make your customer choose your offer.
6. Check pricing and positioning strategy
The development and implementation of marketing activities do not stop there. It is important that your pricing and positioning provide real value to your target audience. You should test the market and research the prices of your competitors’ products.
The best Marketing channels for acquiring customers. Which ones to choose?
Selecting the right marketing channels to promote your online shop is the most crucial part of customer acquisition. In this area of the market, it is worth using a number of sources to see which are most effective for your business.
Marketing 360° – Why is it important to use different sources?
It is nothing less than a comprehensive marketing effort. Marketing 360° is an integrated activity based on a holistic advertising strategy. Its main premise is the coherence of promotion channels and their effective impact on the recipient.
Inherent in this strategy is constant monitoring and evaluation of the activities undertaken. In order to make the message more memorable, the 360 marketing strategy talks about surrounding the consumer with the message from many sides at the same time, but in a small interval of time.
User-generated Content Marketing
Content marketing is nothing more than providing recipients with messages that provide value. It is an approach in which the advertising message is somewhat less aggressive than in other channels. It helps to generate interest in the brand, build trust and create a positive image. The main way to do content marketing is through blogging.
In addition, it is worth using content that generates leads on occasion. This practice involves finding and developing ways for customers to promote your company. This helps to build an authentic audience of interested customers.
User-generated content can take many forms. For example, these include offering rewards to your customers through competitions, promotional campaigns, or review platforms where customers can share their opinions on your products.
Search engine optimization (SEO)
Good search engine ranking can be achieved through effective positioning. With the right keywords, your shop can appear higher in search results. Here, however, the selection of keywords for your industry plays a huge role.
In the eCommerce industry, very general keywords can be extremely competitive. It is recommended to use more specific phrases, which can result in a higher conversion rate.
Social Media Marketing
Using Social Media to promote one’s products is very popular these days. Maintaining a good position on Social Media is an invaluable part of a good marketing strategy. The main objective for companies developing in this area is to connect with their audience and post content that interests them.
It is worth considering which social media is suitable for your products. This strictly depends on the target group you are targeting.
ECommerce on Social Media is mainly characterized by the visual representation of a product. Few consumers are willing to buy based on content alone. Here, the key to success is the use of creatives and colors to attract attention and generate traffic to product pages.
Ecommerce is an inherently visual medium. Very few consumers are willing to purchase a product based solely on text. The success of your social media efforts often depends on the use of images to attract attention and generate traffic to your product pages. This makes Instagram one of the best platforms to complement your eCommerce marketing strategy.
This is where Instagram works best. It is currently one of the best channels for online social media sales.
E-mail Marketing – outdated but still effective
Running email marketing campaigns is one of the oldest digital marketing strategies. However, in the world of eCommerce – it is still effective.
In addition, automating the process will make it easier to conduct such activities. By developing the right campaign for your subscriber list, you can send structured messages at a given stage of the purchase path.
Email campaigns allow you to build a relationship with the customer and keep them coming back to your services. It’s a good way to communicate news, promotions, discounts, and rebates.
Google AdWords for eCommerce
Using paid advertising on Google Ads is currently the most popular and effective way to increase sales. At the same time, it is quite a high-budget way, while proper optimization of these activities can work wonders for your shop.
In addition, it is worth combining Google Ads with classic positioning in order to fully exploit the opportunities offered by the search engine.
Product Ads and remarketing as the power of Google Ads
The greatest opportunities offered by Google Ads revolve around product listing ads (PLA) and remarketing.
Product Listing Ads (PLA) – are mainly targeted at the eCommerce environment due to their specification. This advertising appears both in Google’s search results and with partners in the “Shopping” tab. A significant difference between product ads in Google Ads and Display or Search ads is that product ads can only be used by brands selling products online.
Remarketing – the main advantage of this ad format is that it only displays to users who have previously visited a website. This has a very positive impact on the conversion rate. It is displayed in the Display network and in search results (RLSA).
Measurability indicators – which are the most relevant?
Assessing the profitability of an eCommerce business strictly depends on the correct handling of KPIs. Without this, the true results of business activities may not be entirely reliable.
What are the most important measurability indicators in the eCommerce industry?
ROI (return on investment) – the percentage of investment returned to the organization. In other words, the benefits that eCommerce achieves through its activities.
ROAS (return on ad spend) – return on advertising spend. It is influenced by profit margins, operating costs, and the overall health of the company. The higher the ROAS, the better the optimization of digital advertising.
Conversion rate – the percentage of users accessing a website and making a purchase. It measures the effectiveness of the actions taken.
CAR (cart abandonment rate) – the rate of abandoned shopping carts. It measures the percentage of users who started a purchase but did not complete it.
Bounce rate – rejection rate. The percentage of users who abandon a page as soon as they enter it, without taking any interaction.
CPL (cost per lead) – calculates how much it costs to acquire one potential customer.
CTR (click-through rate) – determines what percentage of users click on a page that has appeared in a search engine.
In summary, only a well-crafted Marketing Strategy is able to effectively promote your eCommerce. By using the many digital marketing sources available, you are able to effectively increase conversions, customer acquisition rates, and ultimately sales. The eCommerce market is highly developed and it can be hard to be among the most recognizable brands however with well-thought-out campaigns it is possible.
This is just the beginning of what we want to convey from our knowledge of Marketing in eCommerce. In the following publications, you will already learn more tips in this area.