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The ultimate ecommerce marketing guide to accelerate your store's ROI

The ultimate ecommerce marketing guide to accelerate your store’s ROI

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Every ecommerce website wants to improve traffic and increase conversions. But even after you have put together an ecommerce marketing strategy, it can still be hard to consider which marketing tactics you to try. To successfully run an online store, you need to become thoroughly and absolutely familiar with the different ecommerce marketing techniques.

What is ecommerce marketing?

Ecommerce marketing is an online marketing strategy that uses the current ecommerce market for promotion. The same traditional marketing strategies can be applied to ecommerce marketing but all in the digital realm.

Some of the best Ecommerce marketing tactics for 2019
Source: Ossito

Ecommerce marketing is all about driving top-of-funnel traffic and ease them to become customers. And there are hundreds of ways to go about it. This includes focusing on organic traffic, SEO, Facebook and Google ads and more. Brands can also mix and match free or paid strategies in an effort to understand which marketing mix works.

Whether or not you have a retail presence, to successfully grow an ecommerce business –– you need a ecommerce marketing plan to increase brand awareness and drive sales.

Working with an ecommerce marketing team 

When running an ecommerce marketing campaign, your initial consideration should be – time and effectiveness. For brands who have never tried this kind of marketing before, it is always better to consider working with an ecommerce marketing firm.

There are numerous benefits including:

  • They provide skills that you have – Since it may be impractical to build an in-house team to work on ecommerce marketing full time or even part-time, getting the services of a firm can help apply the right skills to meet campaign objectives.
  • Better budget management – Marketing firms can help provide easy tracking of ecommerce marketing spends on different platforms. 
  • Enjoy new perspectives – Ecommerce marketing firms can help you see your business in a different light. Since they have worked with numerous business types and marketing professionals they can provide valuable insights that can help drive growth. 

Digital marketing firms are capable of providing services like:

  • Website design and development – So that your website meets aesthetic and technical needs
  • Content marketing – So that your website has content that is optimised, relevant, updated and SEO ready
  • Social media marketing – So that you can gain qualified leads through the help of social media. And your brand will be able to gain excellent social media presence.
  • Email marketing – To effectively and constantly connect with your customers.
  • Retargeting – So that previous visitors and current customers are kept engaged and pulled back into your marketing funnel.
  • Search engine marketing – So that your website ranks consistently well on search engine results.

Evaluate proposals

Working with an ecommerce marketing firm starts with an evaluation of the proposal that they will submit. Understanding the difference between a good or bad proposal can create so much difference between business growth or failure. 

Marketing proposals are documents used by marketers to communicate a plan. It should include numerous information such as strategy ideas, delivery time frames, tactics and estimated costs of marketing. 

Ecommerce marketing include carefully evaluating proposals from vendors
When evaluating marketing proposals it is a good practice to check if what are promised are attainable.
Source: Talk Walker

When looking at proposals, you should review how it is present but more importantly, you should check out the contents. A complete proposal should include the following:

  • Cover page
  • Executive summary
  • Goals and challenges
  • Deliverables, approach and success metrics
  • Summary or scope of work 
  • Success Metrics

When reviewing proposals, make sure to also consider possible mistakes which could indicate unprofessionalism or untrustworthiness. Nit-picking on the marketing proposal will help eliminate companies that will most likely not deliver on their promises. 

  1. Proposals should be primarily about the client – It should clearly show what the firm can deliver to the ecommerce store. 
  2. There should not be too much industry jargon – Jargon can easily cause confusion so this should be kept at minimum in a marketing proposal. 
  3. No project benchmarks – An agency should show exactly what it can do for your brand. And benchmarks are the perfect indicator of what they can do within a specific timeframe. 

Complicated ecommerce tasks

For online stores who are looking for growth and there may be more technical requirements. For example, improving customer experience and using a customer relationship management. According to the Alternative Board’s Business Leaders and Productivity survey, “72% of the business owners they interviewed felt overwhelmed at the number of things that they needed to do.”

As the business expands, so does the number of tasks. So if you are planning on doing a scalable practice the next best move is to get the services of experts. Some of the things that you can delegate to an expert ecommerce marketing team are:

Ecommerce marketing means improving different aspects of your business including CRM
Source: Salesforce
  • Improving customer experience – You can choose whether your website fosters a sense of trust or nurture uncertainty in the customer experience. Customer experience is crucial because it is the metric that calculates the quality of interaction between your customers and your brand. Hiring a team to manage your customer experience can easily swing your store from a low performer to an industry leader. 
  • Improve CRM – Customer relationship management is all about launching and sustaining solid relationships with your customers. An expert can help running your store’s CRM, will centralize, streamline and optimise your communication.
  • Help with order and business management – Order and business management are the foundation of any store operation. Keeping track of all the orders can be a daunting task especially for those who are just starting their presence on ecommerce. Ecommerce stores also operate in a completely different level of complexity than a typical retail store, so an order management system should always be working.

Website optimisation

A well-optimised website can attract traffic and generate leads or sales. The term website optimisation is all about the methods used to improve the speed at which a website loads. This is a practical marketing move because it helps increase traffic, enable better target reach and drive conversion rates.

Source: Thrive Themes
  • Split test the website – Testing multiple versions of your website versus each other will give you an idea of which one gets the best response from your customers. Some of the best A/B testing tools are VWO Testing, Maxymizely and UseItBetter.
  • Research – The best way to understand website performance is to conduct qualitative and quantitative research on every page that may affect the load speed of the website.
  • Use Content Delivery Networks (CDN) – CDNs are made to improve the overall performance of websites. It reduces the weight and increases the loading time of your website. When a user accesses your content, the closest server will be used. This means you get a highly reliable website that loads fast.
  • Use Caching and In-memory Technology – This software enables brands to temporarily store in memory using a RAM. With this technology, it can save an entire eCommerce product catalog without the need to always access full database which saves loading time.
  • Add a schema markup – Schema markups allow brands to look unique in the search results. It is a great ecommerce marketing tactic because it encourages users to pick your website over others.

Improve brand awareness

One of the best ecommerce marketing ideas is to improve brand awareness. Brand awareness is crucial because every marketing funnel starts with this stage. Brand awareness is all about the consumer’s ability to remember your business. Therefore, it is through brand awareness that businesses can open the gates to a range of business goals and objectives.

Source: Shopify

There are various ways to increase brand awareness:

  • Experiential marketing – This is a marketing tactic that engages consumers by using branded experiences. The entire aim of experiential marketing is to allow consumers to experiences something memorable. This kind of brand awareness campaign is one of the most effective ways to humanize your brand.
  • Viral marketing – This strategy generates interest leads to a brand or product using messages that spread like a virus. The idea is to let the content be passed like a virus – from one person to another.
  • Work with influencers – This campaign means your brand will work with an influencer for a specific niche to achieve increased awareness.
  • Complementary partnerships – A great way to awareness without breaking your budget is to invest in partnerships. These tactic works because you will collaborate with brands or products that match your existing offers.

Use the right ecommerce marketing tools

To drive leads into the sales funnel you need to use the ecommerce marketing tools. Ecommerce strategies are never static so you need to constantly make sure your site is updated. Whether you are using WordPress Woocommerce or Shopify, there are tools to choose from to create a top-performing ecommerce website

YoastSEO

ecommerce marketing tools using YoastSEO

YoastSEO is a WordPress plugin that boasts of more than 5 million downloads. It is one of the most suggested ecommerce tools by marketers. YoastSEO features dozens of useful technical optimisations which can streamline a website’s SEO. You have the option to use the free version but if you want a truly powerful tool, you need to sign up for the premium one. 

All-in-One SEO Pack

If you are looking for an alternative for YoastSEO you can try All-in-One SEO Pack. This is an amazing plug-in for brands who just started using Woocommerce on WordPress. If you are looking for a powerful but simple SEO plug-in this is a great choice. 

Jetpack by WordPress

This plugin is a must for all WooCommerce beginners. It offers a free version that has several features such as a statistics tool. It also allows automatic sharing of the posts on social network sites. Jetpack also features the “similar articles” tool which will direct readers to an assigned article, which is very helpful for search engine ranking. 

Source: Winning WordPress

OptinMonster

OptinMonster is the best tool if you are planning to use pop-up forms on your Woocommerce site. It has a drag and drops feature which makes user-friendly. Additionally, it also has pre-built templates that allow brands to create beautifully designed pop-ups in just minutes. 

Ninja Popups

This plugin is a great alternative to OptinMonster. Those who sign up for their premium services enjoy access to their drag-and-drop creator which features more than 70 templates along with animation effects. 

All-in-One Schema Rich Snippets

This plugin allows brands to create short snippets of any website page. This snippet shows up on the search engine results giving your brand a unique look when leads search for a specific keyword. 

Ecommerce marketing is more effective when using rich snippets
Source: WP Schema

WP Smush.it

Brands worried about slow load time due to numerous images that should use this plugin. Since ecommerce stores have hundreds of images, this tool will basically allow you to resize and compress your images without compromising its quality. 

Plug-In SEO

This Shopify plugin is great if you want to save time. It works by ignoring all the ‘noise’ and letting you know what is worth your effort, time and money. It identifies crucial SEO strategies that you should focus on. 

SEO Doctor

A competitor of Plug-in SEO, SEO Doctor is a Shopify tool that scans different SEO problems on the website and automatically fixes it. If you are constantly worried about managing all those pages on your ecommerce site, this tool is great for letting you periodically scan without starting SEO from scratch. 

Smart SEO

This Shopify tool automatically produces meta tags to help you improve your on-page SEO. If you run a website using Shopify, you will be able to save a lot of time when using this tool 

Abandonment Protector

This is a Shopify popup tool that enables businesses to give another chance to convert website visitors Abandonment Protector makes it easy to achieve marketing automation thanks to its wide range of options to monitor customer behavior. 

Ways to find the best ecommerce marketing strategy

Brands need to implement the right or a combination of ecommerce marketing strategies to grow their online store. 

Start with market research 

Market research is important whether you are launching a product or trying to grow your business. It is one of the ways to make better business choices. Market research answers important questions like, who are your customers and what are the solutions that they need? By doing market research you will be able to directly meet the needs of your customers and get ahead of your competition. Researching will also enable you to map out the entire customer journey so you can provide them with the right value offers on every stage. 

Do competitor research 

Competitor research is a crucial strategy that every brand should regularly do. Analysing what your competition is doing is the best way to stay on top of your market at all times. 

Source: Ahrefs

When doing competitor research, you need to consider looking into specific data like:

  • Where and how does your competitor gain leads?
  • What are their traffic sources?
  • What is your competitor’s market share?
  • What are the key differences between your products or services vs your competitors?
  • What are their key marketing messages?
  • What kind of content are they sharing?
  • What is their social media strategy?

All of these questions can be answered using competitive research tools

  • SEMRush – SEMRush’s competitor analysis tool allows you to collect your competitor’s backlinks and monitor any changes in their search engine rankings. 
  • Buzzsumo – allows you to monitor your competitor’s best content. It puts together crucial competitor data such as engagement of relevant content on social media. It is an excellent tool to become a leader in content marketing. 
  • SpyFu – This tool also shows all the keywords that your competitor is using via Adwords. It also shows critical information such as their ad variations and search engine rankings. If you are working on PPC advertising, then SpyFu should be your best tool. 
  • Similarweb – This is the most comprehensive competitor research tools as it can reveal the competitor’s analytics, and get the online strategy of your rivals. 
  • Phlanx  This is an Instagram engagement calculator tool that provides data on the activity of your competition’s followers.
  • Social Blade – This is the perfect tool if you want to monitor larger competitor brands. It can efficiently evaluate the number of followers on social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
  • Owletter – If you wish to understand your competitor’s email marketing strategy, this tool can help. It allows you to capture and analyse emails sent from the competitor website. 
Source: SEMRush

Choosing the best Ecommerce Marketing Strategy

There are dozens ofeCommerce marketing strategies to choose from. Ecommerce marketing strategies are different and no one-size-fits-all, but when done right it can accelerate growth.

Content marketing

Content marketing is about creating online content to attract leads. Examples of content are blog posts, videos, infographics, images, GIFs and more. Content marketing is usually used to promote products and not to directly sell. It is the best way to educate users about what a product or service can do – so in effect, it creates brand awareness.

Referral marketing

One of the oldest forms of traditional marketing but done within the online realm. It is also popularly known as word-of-mouth-marketing. Referral marketing is so effective because humans are social creatures by nature. Since it is natural for consumers to trust the recommendation of family and friends, this type of marketing remains to be very effective.

Referral marketing can help ecommerce marketing
Source: Oberlo

Social media marketing

Refers to the production and sharing of content using social media platforms. Its main objective is to achieve growth via social media. Since almost every person is using social media, it is only practical for brands to also rely on these platforms to achieve growth.

Affiliate marketing

This type of ecommerce marketing allows you to connect with other websites and let them endorse your products or services. By entering an affiliate “relationship” with other websites you not only allow product promotion but also improve SEO and reach.

Influencer Marketing

This is a combination of new and old marketing strategies. By taking the typical celebrity endorsement and using the modern-day content creation concept, you will be able to reach out to a specific group of leads. Influencers can be anywhere and anyone and what makes them so effective is that they usually have an existing group of followers who will very likely buy your product or services.

Achieve ecommerce marketing automation 

Using ecommerce marketing automation will enable you to see improved web traffic, more buyers, and increase retention and loyalty. Automation is a crucial strategic move if you want to see your ecommerce store grow.

Benefits of ecommerce marketing automation

  • Save time – Automation means you no longer need to utilise different tools for scheduling and monitoring content. According to Marketing Automation report by Hubspot, “Companies that use ecommerce marketing automation are able to save more than 6 hours of work every week”.
  • Increases productivity – Automation helps team members achieve better use of their time. Automation reduces the need to do and manage repetitive tasks so opening doors to creativity and critical thinking.
  • A consistent tone of voice – A consistent tone of voice is an important factor if you want to stay professional. 
  • Create smart content – Smart and personalised content is an effective way to keep customers engaged and satisfied.

Applying ecommerce marketing automation

There are specific areas in your ecommerce store where automation is a must. These include the following:

Email Marketing Automation

Online retailers should use email marketing automation to help improve customer satisfaction and retention. Because email marketing automation is so effective, it has been proven to produce the highest return of investment versus all the other ecommerce marketing strategies.

Customer experience personalisation

Personalisation enables brands to create a unique experience that fits the needs of individual customers. This is the best way to communicate specific marketing messages to every customer.

Social media automation

To create a real social media presence, you need to be quick and responsive at all times. Automation plays a major role in keeping customers happy. Automating social media means efficiency in scheduling posts and engaging better traffic.

Running an ecommerce store means you need to know the different strategies, tools and options at your disposal. Understanding ecommerce marketing and its different “branches” and sub-types will help you attract more customers and achieve growth.