With the shifting consumer preference from offline shopping to online, businesses and store owners are also taking their operations online. However, the shift has been so sudden after the COVID pandemic that the same competition firms experienced in the offline market are now haunting the online market. Ecommerce marketing is a solution for the same.
What is Ecommerce Marketing/Advertising?
Ecommerce marketing is the set of practices that an ecommerce store owner conducts to spread awareness about the store. In other words, marketing or advertising of an ecommerce store or business is referred to as ecommerce marketing.
Technological advancements have not only bought the ease of setting up online stores but have also brought tremendous competition. Like the traditional markets of cities, the lines of the ecommerce stores are on several platforms. The situation has made it compulsory for the store owners to attract an audience and customers via marketing. The marketing is better, more will be popular, and the chances of enhanced business.
Facts and Figures About Ecommerce Marketing
The ecommerce market is growing like never before. According to statistics, 95% of all sales will be made via online platforms by 2040. Retail ecommerce sales have been recorded to be $4,938 billion in 2021, which is expected to be $7,391 by the end of 2025. At the same time, retail ecommerce sales have not experienced a dip since 2014.
Different Types of Ecommerce Marketing
Just like the traditional means of marketing, ecommerce marketing has also got its various types. Every type of ecommerce marketing specializes in attracting a particular target audience base. Following are some most popular platforms used by marketers for ecommerce marketing:
1. Social Media Marketing
Social media is one of the most popular and most prominent types of ecommerce marketing. The audience presence on different social media platforms is vast. Posting updates about new products, services, and arrivals of stores on social media brings the attention of a broad audience.
2. Content Marketing
Content marketing refers to providing information about your products and services via content. Here, the content can be blogs, vlogs, videos, audios, presentations, or anything else that best presents your business.
3. Search Engine Marketing
With a keen knowledge of the google ranking algorithm, you can rank your products on the first impression page of SERPs. However, you can do the same by paying prices as well. You can display your products and services at highlighted places using pay-per-click options, paid advertising options, etc.
4. Email Marketing
Sending direct emails to potential customers about the product or service is called email marketing. However, most commercial emails are not welcomed in the Inbox, so there are more chances that your email will go ignored.
5. Influencer Marketing
Some influencers have your target audience in their follower list. So, they are an excellent medium to convince the target audience about your product. You can make deals with influencers to promote your products or services through influencer marketing.
6. Affiliate Marketing
Instead of getting engaged in marketing by yourself, you can also rely on affiliate marketing. All you need to do is find the affiliate marketing partner and pay them the commission for every sale they bring to you.
7. Local Marketing
Local marketing can provide a good outcome if you have a specific geographical area with a big target audience.
eCommerce Marketing Strategies
Just like traditional marketing, ecommerce marketing also requires proper planning. Remember, every marketing stunt taken by you is putting an effect on your brand image. So, here are some of the strategies you can need to ensure the efficiency of your ecommerce marketing plan. It includes:
1. Define the Target Audience
Put your efforts into the right people. Identify your business’s target audience and use the marketing platforms and practices accordingly. For example, if your target audience is teenagers, use social media and attractive ads. On the other hand, if your target audience is professional people, use SEO and professional advertisement.
2. Keep Updated About Your Competitors.
You must know about your competitors and their actions to secure space for yourself. Know the marketing tactics they are engaged in, how they present the products and services, take steps bigger than them, and outperform them in the race.
3. Set Targets Based on Benchmarks
Set your ecommerce marketing targets based on industry benchmarks. It will help you know if you are proceeding in the right direction or not.
4. Explore Marketing Tools
Don’t be limited to specific and popular marketing tools and platforms only. Explore the other marketing tools to help you reach and target your potential customer base.
5. Update the Marketing Channels
Don’t stick to particular marketing channels. Add multiple marketing channels and time to entertain and get noticed by different target audiences.
6. Automate the Process
Focus on automating the process. You can not afford to spend most of your time on marketing only. Use the tools such as bulk emails, automated workflows, lead scoring, and notifications.
7. Use a Personalized Approach
Make the content and advertisement more personal and relatable to the customers. It is necessary that your target audience feel connected to the product or service.
8. Perform Analysis and Make Necessary Changes
Analyze different marketing channels and the outcomes after a specific time. If a marketing channel is not providing the expected output, make the necessary changes in the choice of platforms or strategies.
9. Build loyalty
Loyalty from the customer base will provide you long-term benefits and thus take time to achieve. Start building loyalty from customers at the early stages. Engage in loyalty tiers, automation, behavior insights, CRMs, etc., to build customer loyalty for your brand.
10. Concern Profitability, Not Just Sales
Undoubtedly, marketing will bring sales. However, the business is about profitability and less about sales. If your sales are not putting a good profit in your wallet due to the cost of marketing and advertising, you need to rethink your marketing plan.
11. Focus on Reducing the Frequency of Abandoned Carts
Most ecommerce stores lose where the customer leaves their cart before purchasing. According to statistics, 69.82% of the carts are abandoned without making a purchase. So, the firm should make an effort to pull the percentage down. An email reminding them about their abandoned cart can be effective. Free delivery or discounts can also bring the cart to the billing interface.
12. Launch a Facebook Store
Facebook might be getting old-fashioned now, but it still has the highest number of users. So, you can integrate your ecommerce store with Facebook to explore the audience present on Facebook.
13. Live Chat
Live chat can increase your chances of getting a deal from customers. It would be best if you entertained the presence of your customers as soon as they opened the website. Here the live chat can address their needs, preferences, or concerns.
14. Think local
Besides the brick-and-mortar store, the online stores can also think local to make customers feel more connected. Identify the areas where people have more need for your product or service. Unveil the new discounts and vouchers for the customers in that area.
15. Optimization for Smartphones and Mobile
You have to optimize the store separately for desktops and mobiles. If your website is not optimized for smartphones, it might not represent your products well. So, make sure your store is optimized well for smartphones.
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Tips for Ecommerce Marketing
The tips below can help you significantly to boost the sales of your ecommerce store:
1. Use High-Quality Images
No matter what ecommerce marketing you are engaged in, always use the high-quality images of your products. The pictures of products play a vital role in the decision-making of customers. You have already won the half race if you present the product well.
2. Make Use of Videos
Pictures and texts can never deliver the detail which videos can. Provide the video introduction of the product as well as the brand. Make the video communicative and attractive.
3. Target Lookalike Audience
A lookalike audience has common characteristics to your present consumers. You should target that audience to increase the chances of getting the lead.
4. Leverage User-Generated Content in Ads
User-generated content is the experience and content your customers share about products and services. So, don’t forget to add it to marketing as it will be digital mouth-to-mouth advertising of your brand.
5. Meet Your Customers Where They Are
The difference between offline and online stores is that you can take your online store to places but can’t do the same with offline stores. So, leverage this advantage and highlight the store on whatever platform you can get the customers on.
How to Develop an Ecommerce Marketing Plan?
You need a proper marketing plan and entertain a range of concerns to make the campaign successful. The thing won’t work if you start uploading pictures of your products on social media on any random day. A knowledgeable beginning is crucial to achieving a successful and effective execution. You can ensure the below steps to have an effective marketing plan for your ecommerce business:
1. Goals and Objectives
Set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) goals and objectives for your marketing plan. Set some Key Performance Indicators that can witness the effectiveness of your marketing plan.
2. Mission Statement
Before moving to the audience, answer the following three questions to yourself:
- What Is the Purpose of The Brand or Company?
- What Do You Do?
- What Don’t You Do?
You must have a clear mission of your business or service to communicate it to your audience.
3. Identify your target customers.
Before finalizing the tools and tactics, identify the audience and customer base you aim to target. Choose the tools and tactics accordingly. Put the efforts in the right place. The practice will help you save a lot of time and resources. Know about the fundamental factors and characteristics of your target audience, such as:
- Age ranges
- Geographic location
- Gender breakdown
- Online shopping habits
- Purchasing power
4. Situation Analysis
Know well about the market landscape before taking any step. Analyze the current market situation, the competitors, user experience with your product, etc. Make every effort to get relevant and useful data. Make the decisions based on data rather than emotions.
5. Fulfillment Capacity
Just focusing on the marketing plan is not enough. You need to focus on your real service or product. While advertising or marketing a particular product, you should be ensured that you can fulfill the demand for that product. Unable to do so might bring the brand image down in the market.
Having explored the offline market, businesses are now moving to the online market. COVID pandemic has catalyzed this market movement; as a result, the online market is full of competition. So, store owners often conduct marketing and advertising campaigns for their online stores, which is called ecommerce marketing or ecommerce advertising. Some different tools and strategies can be used for the same. However, the decision for choosing the tools and strategy is made based on the audience to be targeted. By instilling the right ecommerce marketing plan, selecting the right tool, and engaging with the right marketing strategy, ecommerce stores can attract a broad consumer base.
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