Last updated on 5th October 2023 at 14:15 by Alex Nicholas
So, what's eCommerce marketing you ask? eCommerce marketing is the process of driving online sales through an eCommerce digital marketing website, shopping cart or platform. This can be done through a variety of means, such as SEO, paid advertising, social media, email marketing, and more.
To be successful in eCommerce marketing, you need to have a clear understanding of your target audience and what information they want or need. Once you know this, you can create a marketing strategy that resonates with them and drives conversions with efficiency.
Where to Get Started with eCommerce Marketing
It might seem daunting in the early days when you're just starting out. You'll have plenty of great ideas on how you'll be making money, but to begin with, they're just ideas without methodology.
Here are some tips to help you get started with your online store:
1. Define your target audience
To succeed in digital marketing and eCommerce, you need to know who your target audience is. This includes their demographics, interests, needs, and pain points. And whilst this “meeting the customers' pain points” is an old cliche, it's still accurate.
You're dealing with the human element of marketing and you need to a) speak their language and b) create a relevance that resonates with them.
2. Research your competition
It's important to understand what your competition is doing. This will help you create a unique selling proposition (USP) and differentiating factors that will set you apart from them.
Can you make an improvement on their technology or create more relevance around your products that will appeal to them better than your competitors?
3. Create a strong value proposition
Your value proposition is the main reason why someone should buy from you and not your competition. It should be clear, concise, and persuasive. Relevance is everything.
4. Build a high-converting website
Your website is the foundation of your eCommerce and digital marketing efforts. It needs a clear design and UX (user experience) that's user-friendly, visually appealing and optimised for conversions. Having an eCommerce blog section on your website can also help you attract organic traffic and generate leads.
It might be that you have products that will require a detailed article for each aspect of what you offer because of it's technical nature. If this is the case then my suggestion would be to write a break down each part of your product into logical steps that are concise and easy to digest.
5. Invest in search engine optimisation (SEO)
SEO is the process of optimising your website for Google's search algorithm. This will help you rank higher in search results, which can drive more traffic (and sales) to your site.
6. Use pay-per-click (PPC) advertising
PPC is a form of paid advertising where you pay to have your ad shown on Google's search results pages. This can be an effective way to drive traffic to your site, especially if you're targeting high-intent keywords.
7. Leverage social media
Social media is a powerful platform for connecting with your target audience and driving traffic to your website. Use it to create informative and engaging content, run ads, and build relationships with potential and current customers.
Social media channels such as Instagram are a great distribution channel for a vast number of businesses, but ultimately they're not great for everyone and take a lot of effort to see meaningful results.
8. Implement email marketing
Email marketing can be a great way to stay in touch with your customers and drive traffic back to your site. Use it to send out informative newsletters, special offers, and other types of content that will interest your target audience.
This can also be via software that provides automation to potential customers that sign up for your newsletter, too. A simple welcoming message or discount on their first purchase instantly makes the consumer feel part of your brand.
9. Analyse your data
Data is critical for understanding what's working and what isn't in your eCommerce marketing strategy. Use Google Analytics and other data tracking tools to constantly monitor your progress and make necessary adjustments.
10. Be patient
Success in advertising an online store doesn't happen overnight. It takes time, effort, and consistency to see results. So be patient and stay focused on your goals, and you'll eventually see the fruits of your labour in the form of customers shopping and purchasing from your site!
Grab ideas from the best eCommerce companies
Ok, so the list of companies below aren't your everyday eCom store, but you can learn an awful lot from them, from the presentation of their products to the accuracy and precision of their message.
Nike is one of the most successful eCommerce marketers in the world. They've built a massive brand and following on the internet by investing heavily in marketing and advertising. As a result, they generated billions of dollars in revenue through loyalty and scalability.
2. Warby Parker
Warby Parker is an eyewear company that disrupted the industry with its innovative business model and marketing campaigns.
They focused heavily on the concept of problem solving through their try before you buy solution.
Everlane is a clothing company that's built its brand around being transparent and ethical. Their marketing campaigns have been highly effective in driving awareness and sales.
Whilst being ethical might have sounded like a fad to many in years gone by, it's clear that being fair to the resources that provide the fabrics matters a lot in this day and age.
Harry's is a shaving company that's taken on the big brands with their simple, straightforward marketing.
They're also a great example of a customer to customer brand that took entrepreneurship to the extreme through the value they provide through pricing and consumer desire, i.e. simple brand loyalty in a niche market with an excellent delivery structure.
Bonobos is an online retailer that specialises in men's clothing. They've been successful in marketing to men by using humour and insight in their campaigns.
It also goes without saying that if you have an eCommerce site that sells a broad range of items to a specific market then you have endless opportunities when it comes to cross-selling and upselling which will continually boost your bottom line.
What's the Difference Between Ecommerce and Digital Marketing?
eCommerce is the buying and selling of goods and services online. Digital marketing is the use of digital channels to promote or market products and services to customers.
Digital marketing can be used to drive traffic to an eCommerce website, but it can also be used to promote physical products in brick-and-mortar stores. And while eCommerce is focused on transactions, digital marketing is more concerned with building relationships and engaging customers.
In short, eCommerce is a type of transaction, while digital marketing is a type of interaction. Both are important for any business that wants to succeed online. Below are some key points about each marketing effort so you are better able to differentiate between the two.
- The buying and selling of goods and services online.
- Focuses on transactions.
- Takes place on eCommerce platforms like Amazon, Etsy, and eBay, as well as your own website.
And if you do decide that you need your own website, I recommend Shopify in most instances due to its ease of use, scalability and affordability. Not to mention that they have an army of developers and specialists that are constantly improving their service and listening to feedback.
You could also consider a headless eCommerce site, but unless you have the budget to build and maintain it, I suggest that you stick with a simple solution.
- The use of digital channels to promote or market products and services to customers.
- Focuses on building relationships and engaging customers.
- Is more concerned with interactions than transactions.
Whilst this article is an overview of what eCommerce marketing is about rather than a 50'000 word article that covers everything in detail, I will say this.
Your marketing plan and strategy will be where you succeed or fail, so make sure that your planning and execution are close to perfect.
How Do You Market an Ecommerce Business?
Most eCommerce services use a mix of digital marketing channels to drive traffic and sales. The most common eCommerce channels are search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, social media, email marketing, and content marketing.
1. Search engine optimization (SEO):
SEO is the process of optimising your website and content to rank higher in search engine results. This can be done through on-page optimization, such as using the right keywords and phrases, and off-page optimization, such as building links from other websites.
The backlink profile and overall rankings of your customers will be a strong indicator as to whether or not your competitors have had any SEO work done.
But it's safe to say that in almost all niches, especially the competitive ones, they almost certainly will have had an SEO expert or agency work on their site.
2. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising:
PPC is a type of online advertising where you pay a fee every time someone clicks on your ad. The most common platform for PPC advertising is Google Ads.
If you only have the budget for one of SEO or PPC, check out our guide on SEO vs Google Ads to give yourself a better understanding of what will work best for your business.
3. Social media:
Social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, can be used to drive traffic to your website and promote your products or services.
I only recommend social marketing for companies that can build a loyal following such as clothing companies or fitness instructors.
4. Email marketing:
eCommerce email marketing involves sending promotional or educational emails to a list of subscribers. This can be a great way to build relationships with customers and drive sales.
5. Content marketing:
Content marketing is the process of creating and sharing helpful and informative content, such as blog posts, videos, and infographics, to attract and engage customers. This can help you build trust and credibility with your audience, which can ultimately lead to more sales.
These eCommerce marketing tools are an excellent way to get started with marketing your eCommerce company.
But the most important thing here is market research and lots of it. You need to know your customers and competitors better than anything else
What are some eCommerce marketing trends?
Some of the most popular eCommerce marketing trends include personalization, omnichannel marketing, the use of artificial intelligence (AI), and influencer marketing.
Personalization is the process of tailoring your marketing messages and content to the individual needs and preferences of your customers. This can be done through segmentation, which is the process of dividing your customer base into groups based on shared characteristics.
Omnichannel marketing is the process of using multiple channels, such as email, social media, and PPC, to reach your customers. This allows you to provide a more seamless and cohesive customer experience.
Use of artificial intelligence (AI)
AI can be used for a variety of eCommerce marketing tasks, such as personalization, product recommendations, and automated email marketing.
Influencer marketing is the process of partnering with social media influencers to promote your products or services. This can be a great way to reach a larger audience and build trust with potential customers.
It's getting a little overused these days and people see through the hype, but a collaboration with a respected person/company within your niche will still work if done correctly.
It's sometimes worth considering retargeting customers that have come close to buying (gone partway through the checkout process) or have been back to your site more than once over a short period of time.
In fact, if you sell expensive items it might be critical for you to do so because the more expensive an item is the longer the purchase funnel will be.
What are some eCommerce marketing challenges?
Some common eCommerce marketing challenges include attracting and retaining customers, standing out in a crowded market, and measuring ROI.
Attracting and retaining customers:
One of the biggest challenges for eCommerce businesses is attracting and retaining customers. This can be done by offering a great product or service, providing exceptional customer service, and offering incentives, such as discounts and free shipping.
1. Standing out in a crowded market:
With so many eCommerce businesses competing for attention, it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd. This can be done by differentiating your products or services, creating unique and compelling content, and using targeted marketing strategies.
2. Measuring ROI:
It can be challenging to measure the return on investment (ROI) of your eCommerce marketing efforts. This is because there are a lot of variables, such as website traffic and conversion rate, that can impact sales. However, there are some tools, such as Google Analytics, that can help you track and measure your eCommerce marketing ROI.
What are some eCommerce marketing pitfalls to avoid?
Some common eCommerce marketing pitfalls to avoid include over-promotion, neglecting SEO, and failing to track data.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make in eCommerce marketing is over-promoting your products or services. This can come across as pushy and desperate, and it can turn potential customers away. Instead, focus on providing helpful and informative content that will add value to your audience.
2. Neglecting SEO:
Another common mistake is neglecting search engine optimization (SEO). This is a process of optimising your website and content for search engines, which can help you attract more organic traffic.
And there's a reason that successful start-ups invest heavily in SEO at the beginning of their journey. It works brilliantly when done correctly.
3. Failing to track data:
Finally, another pitfall to avoid is failing to track your eCommerce marketing data. This data can include website traffic, conversion rate, and sales. Tracking this data will help you gauge your marketing performance and make necessary adjustments.
What Are Some Ecommerce Marketing Best Practices?
Some helpful eCommerce marketing best practices include staying up to date with the latest trends, using data-driven decisions, and investing in customer retention.
1. Stay up to date with the latest trends:
One of the best ways to stay ahead in eCommerce marketing is to stay up to date with the latest trends. This can be done by reading industry news, attending marketing conferences, and following thought leaders on social media.
Use data-driven decisions:
Another best practice is to use data-driven decision-making. This means relying on data and analytics to make decisions about your eCommerce marketing strategy. This can help you make more informed decisions that are likely to lead to success.
Invest in customer retention:
Finally, another best practice is to invest in customer retention. This means creating loyalty programs, running targeted campaigns, and providing exceptional customer service. By retaining your existing customers, you'll be more likely to achieve long-term success.
How Can Ecommerce Marketing Benefit Businesses?
There are many benefits of eCommerce marketing for businesses, such as increased sales, brand awareness, and customer loyalty.
One of the main benefits of eCommerce marketing is that it can lead to increased sales. This is because effective marketing can help you attract more website visitors and convert them into customers.
Another benefit of eCommerce marketing is that it can help you increase brand awareness. This is done by creating compelling content, running targeted marketing campaigns, and using social media to reach a wider audience.
Finally, another benefit of eCommerce marketing is that it can help you build customer loyalty. This is done by creating loyalty programs, providing exceptional customer service, and delivering on your promises. By retaining your existing customers, you'll be more likely to achieve long-term success.
What Are Some Ecommerce Marketing Challenges Businesses Face?
Some common eCommerce marketing challenges businesses face include staying up to date with the latest trends, generating traffic, and conversion rate optimization.
1. Staying up to date with the latest trends:
One of the biggest challenges businesses face in eCommerce marketing is staying up to date with the latest trends. This can be a difficult task because the landscape is always changing. However, it's important to stay on top of the latest trends so you can adapt your marketing strategy accordingly.
2. Generating traffic:
Another common challenge is generating traffic to your eCommerce website. This can be difficult because there is a lot of competition online. However, there are some things you can do to attract more visitors to your sites, such as using SEO and social media marketing.
3. Conversion rate optimization:
Finally, another challenge businesses face is conversion rate optimization. This is the process of converting website visitors into customers. It can be difficult to do because you need to have a well-designed website and an effective marketing strategy. However, by conversion rate optimization, you can improve your chances of success.
Types of Ecommerce Advertising
There are many types of eCommerce advertising, such as banner ads, product ads, and email marketing. However, not all methods are created equal. Here are some of the best types of eCommerce advertising:
- Banner ads – Banner ads are one of the most common types of eCommerce advertising. They are typically displayed on websites and can be used to promote products or services.
- Product ads – Product ads are another type of eCommerce advertising. They are typically displayed on product pages and can be used to promote specific products.
- Email marketing – Email marketing is a type of eCommerce advertising that involves sending marketing messages to potential customers via email. This can be a great way to promote your products or services and build relationships with potential customers.
- Social media marketing – Social media marketing is a type of eCommerce advertising that involves promoting your products or services on social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
But remember, for most eCommerce companies it's all about profit before market share. Because without profit you'll almost certainly fail.
How to Optimise Your eCommerce Website for SEO
There are many things you can do to optimise your eCommerce website for SEO. However, not all methods are created equal. Here are some of the best ways to optimise your eCommerce website for SEO:
1. Use keyword-rich titles:
One of the best ways to optimise your eCommerce website for SEO is to use keyword-rich titles. This means including keywords in your product titles and descriptions. This will help your products rank higher in search engines, and potential customers will be able to find them more easily.
2. Use high-quality images:
Another great way to optimise your eCommerce website for SEO is to use high-quality images. This means using images that are clear and professional. This will help your products rank higher in search engines, and potential customers will be able to find them more easily.
3. Use semantically related and relevant keywords:
Finally, another great way to optimise your eCommerce website for SEO is to use relevant entities and keywords. This means using keywords that are related to your products or services. This will help your products rank higher in search engines, and potential customers will be able to find them more easily.
4. Link building:
Links still matter, and always will, as long as they're the right backlinks. The web and Google's algorithm are built on linking from one place to another via a hyperlink, and without them, the web will basically stop!
So make sure that you hire a specialist link builder to propel your site up the SERPs
How to Optimise Your eCommerce Website for Conversions
There are many things you can do to optimise your eCommerce website for conversions. However, not all methods are created equal. Here are some of the best ways to optimise your eCommerce website for conversions:
1. Use a clear and concise call to action:
One of the best ways to optimise your eCommerce website for conversions is to use a clear and concise call to action. This means using a call to action that is easy to understand and that explicitly tells potential customers what you want them to do.
2. Use persuasive language:
Another great way to optimise your eCommerce website for conversions is to use persuasive language. This means using language that will convince potential customers to buy your products or services.
3. Use a strong offer:
Finally, another great way to optimise your eCommerce website for conversions is to use a strong offer. This means offering potential customers a discount or free shipping if they buy your products or services.
By following these tips, you can optimise your eCommerce website for SEO and conversions. This will help you attract more visitors and potential customers to your website, and eventually, increase sales.
How to become an eCommerce Marketing Pro
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. However, there are a few things you can do to become an eCommerce marketing pro:
1. Learn about eCommerce marketing:
One of the best things you can do to become an eCommerce marketing pro is to learn about eCommerce marketing. This means reading articles, taking courses, and attending conferences.
2. Experiment with different eCommerce marketing strategies:
Another great way to become an eCommerce marketing pro is to experiment with different eCommerce marketing strategies. This means trying out different techniques and seeing what eCommerce strategy works best for your business.
3. Learn from the best:
Sometimes hiring an expert, requesting knowledge from an eCommerce marketing service, or taking an eCommerce marketing course from a well-known marketer can be the best way to learn about eCommerce and become an eCommerce marketing pro.
4. Network with other eCommerce marketers:
Finally, another great way to become an eCommerce marketing pro is to network with other eCommerce marketing services and agencies. This means connecting with other professionals in the industry and exchanging ideas.
By following these tips, you can become an eCommerce marketing pro. This will help you attract more visitors and potential customers to your website, and eventually, increase sales.
Pros and Cons of eCommerce Marketing
Like any business decision, there are pros and cons of eCommerce marketing. Here are some of the most important ones to consider:
1. Reach a wider audience: One of the biggest advantages of eCommerce marketing is that it allows you to reach a wider audience. This means that you can sell your products or services to people all over the world.
2. Increased sales: Finally, another benefit of eCommerce marketing is that it can lead to increased sales. This is because more people will be exposed to your products or services, and you'll have a better chance of converting them into customers!
1. Requires hard work: One of the biggest disadvantages of eCommerce marketing is that it requires a lot of work. This is because you need to create and manage a website, and you need to promote your products or services consistently.
2. Takes time to see results: Another downside of eCommerce marketing is that it can take some time to see results. This is because it takes time for people to find your website and for you to generate traffic.
3. Requires a lot of money: Finally, another disadvantage of eCommerce marketing is that it can be expensive. This is because you need to pay for things like website hosting and promoting your products or services.
By considering the pros and cons of eCommerce marketing, you can decide if it's the right choice for your business. If you do decide to go ahead with eCommerce marketing, then following the tips in this article will help you be successful.
eCommerce marketing is the process of attracting visitors and potential customers to your website and convincing them to buy your products or services. This can be done through various means such as SEO, content marketing, and conversion optimization.
But above all, it's about careful planning. Know what your customers like and most importantly where they hang out.