Ecommerce Marketing Strategies Overview

Posted by Paul on November 27, 2015

If  you're running or starting a new online shop, then the most important thing will be getting people to actually go through the checkout process, put in their payment details and buy your products. If you're selling already on eBay or through your site then you've proved that there's a genuine demand.

Now you can take things to the next level by making sure that you're employing all of the online marketing techniques available to you. Below I'll give just a quick overview - it's up to you to research any areas that you're not using to see if they're suitable for your business.

  • Targetted Visitors
    Traffic is meaningless. Pay 10,000 vegetarians to go to a butcher's shop and you still won't get any sales. You need to make sure your traffic consists of targetted visitors, a demographic that are already interested in what you have to offer. You get get this from:
    • Email Campaigns
      Listed here first because this is the most cost effective way to get sales on your website. You will of course need to have a list of people to email, which you'll have to build up over time. We wouldn't recommend buying a list as you're likely to get marked as spam. Instead once you have a decent sized list of perhaps 1000 customers, have a look at their order history and see if you can tempt them with a related purchase. Perhaps something like the classic printer cartridges to someone who's recently bought a printer.
    • PPC
      Pay Per Click allows you to buy traffic to your website by paying for clicks on adverts that are shown in certain places. Make sure you're using the right platform for your demographic. If you sell office supplies, maybe the business-focused LinkedIn is your best bet. If you're selling computer games, maybe Facebook is right. You won't be able to get a good return on investment unless you only advertise to people who are very likely to be interested:
      • Google AdWords
      • Facebook Ads
      • LinkedIn Ads
    • SEO
      Search Engine Optimization is essentially any activity that's likely to put your website closer to the top when someone does a search for your products. It can be split broadly in to on-site and off-site:
      • On-Site
        Even Google who are working hard on Artificial Intelligence, still can't really understand the content of your website like a human would, so most on-site SEO consists of making it as easy as possible for Google's robot spiders to know what your pages are about. You'll need to identify the phrases (keywords) your customers are searching for and make sure they appear in the right places. It also includes keyword rich content like a blog.
      • Off-Site
        Inbound links to your website are one of the most important factors search engines use to decide how high up to rank your website. Because this has been abused heavily by off-shore SEO companies who spend all day being paid to link to sites, you have to be very careful to only get "high-quality" links to your website. The very best way to get a link is because someone finds something on your site so good that they link to it from their site or bookmark it on something like StumbleUpon, Reddit or a forum. This comes back to having a well-written blog, much like this one ;)
    • SMM
      Social Media Marketing. Some products lend themselves better than others to social media. Products that are visually very appealing like cakes, clothes, jewellery, toys, gadgets, should do well on things like Instagram and Pinterest. Products like washers or tools might not do so well. Social media can be a good way to share blog articles and provide updates about the company if it's the sort of company that sells products that attract enthusiasts. Some of the best social networks for marketing are:
      • Facebook
      • Twitter
      • Instagram
      • Pinterest
      • LinkedIn
  • Higher Conversion Rate
    Once the right visitors are at your online shop, they have to want to buy, they have to trust you and it has to be easy for them to do so. In overly simplistic terms your site should:
    • be well designed and look like a professional company,
    • be clean, simple and easy to use,
    • convery the right branded image for the target customer, which varies by demographic,
    • inspire trust that; 
      • the order will be delivered quickly, 
      • the products will be of good quality,
      • any issues will be sorted out in the customer's favour.
  • Order Fulfilment
    By  delivery great products at fair prices and offering outstanding support and returns, your reputation will grow and so will repeat customers. Of course this takes longer to pay off, so getting the orders on the website will be a higher priority for new sites. Fulfilment can be split in to:
    • Displatch
      The quicker the better.
    • Delivery
      Again, the quicker the better.
    • Support
      Ideally phone or email support from knowledgeable, friendly staff.

    • Returns
      Any product problems resolved as quickly as possible where the product is at fault (and sometimes even if it's not).

If you'd like to know more, have a read of our eBook.

Can you think of anything to add? Would you like more info on any of these areas? Please let us know in the comments below!

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