What is eCommerce marketing?
eCommerce is a term used to describe the act of buying and selling products or services over the internet. Ecommerce marketing is the process of driving traffic to an online store, converting that traffic into paying customers, and maintaining those relationships after purchase.
Your eCommerce marketing plan shouldn’t just be limited to things you do on your website. There are plenty of marketing tactics you can use offline as well to help increase traffic and conversions.
You should start by identifying your eCommerce business model. The implications of this go beyond just digital marketing and into areas like channels, personas, value propositions, and more.
The eCommerce marketing funnel
Most marketing plans generally involve the same stages to transition potential customers from being unfamiliar with the product to becoming satisfied users. The transition between different stages of the sales process is made easier by the use of different e-commerce marketing channels.
Here they are:
Customers who visit your website are interested in your products, but may not be familiar with your brand. You can use this opportunity to convert these potential customers into brand advocates. You need to educate them and start building trust so they will be more likely to join your email list. Offering a free guide or lead magnet is a great way to get people interested in what you have to offer. By providing value up front, you can build trust and credibility with your audience, which will make them more likely to buy from you in the future.
These are people that are shopping. They have recognized your solution to their needs, and your task is to keep them engaged by offering them to join your newsletter list, download a helpful freebie, and/or join your following. They are ready to continue to the next part of the funnel.
Buyers who are ready to complete a purchase. At this point, they are aware of you and how you solve their problem or answer their needs. Now they need that nudge to go through the checkout.
What you want to do is make it easy for your buyer to back out of the purchase with as few complications as possible (such as easy and secure payment). You can make the deal more appealing with additional complimentary offers or discounts for first-time purchasers, for example.
Buyers who have already made a purchase from you are a valuable potential customer to nurture so that they will purchase from you again (especially if they are happy with their previous experience).
Your goal is to make your customers happy and offer them additional purchases and incentives to get them to promote your brand to potential new buyers. This will help bring new buyers into the top of your eCommerce marketing acquisition funnel.
What are the main types of eCommerce marketing?
-There are various ways that online brands use to promote sales through eCommerce marketing.
Paid advertising typically refers to pay-per-click advertising, but it can also include Google ads, Facebook ads, or Amazon ads. Meanwhile, SEO brings in organic traffic from users searching for products on Google.
Search engine optimization (SEO)
Around 35% of people looking for a product start their search on Google. This makes it a vital source of traffic for companies that know how to make their pages easy to find on the search engine.
Social media marketing
Social media is another great channel for eCommerce businesses. At small businesses, the business owner typically manages their various social media channels. Brands that have been around for a while will often times bring on marketing experts to handle different channels.
Organic social media can help improve your social advertising campaigns and reduce your ad spend.
Email marketing can help you to increase your sales and customer loyalty. You can use marketing automation to set up your abandoned cart emails, shipping notifications, and welcome flows.
Types of eCommerce Marketing Channels
One of the most important components of eCommerce marketing is choosing the right inbound marketing channels. You should only invest your energy and budget in channels that your competitor is also investing in and that are uniquely customized to your target audience.
File-sharing chatbots have become a powerful way to engage potential customers and delight returning customers. Customers prefer using chatbots because they provide a quicker way of getting the information they need, whether that’s help selecting a product or checking if the order was shipped.
Notifications that appear on your mobile device or browser are called push notifications. The average click-through rate for these is 12%, but a highly-targeted campaign could result in a click-through rate of up to 30%. Push notifications are a great way to keep your customers up-to-date on promotions, content, and transactional information.
Text Message (SMS) Marketing
Sending text messages is a great way to stay in touch with your customers. This marketing channel is shown to be one of the most engaging in studies. On average, 58.7% of text messages are responded to within five minutes, and half are responded to within three minutes.
Influencer marketing has become synonymous with eCommerce. The engine that drives so many other online marketing channels is content marketing.
Conversion Rate Optimization
Conversion rate optimization is a powerful marketing tool for every business, but it is especially effective in the world of eCommerce. It is important for every brand to improve its website in order to create a better user experience, encourage conversions, and ultimately make more money.
There are other places where brands can store and sell their products, not just ecommerce platforms. Over the past ten years, online marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay have become increasingly popular and now play a major role in the eCommerce industry.
Email marketing is the most productive marketing method for any eCommerce business. Email leads often come from other channels, like search ads.
Advertising is the most effective way to increase sales for your eCommerce store. There are many ways to advertise, including paid ads, social media, and email marketing. A majority of marketers still spend their advertising budget on Facebook because they get the best return on their investment. The average Facebook user clicks on 12 ads per month, and Facebook has the largest audience with 2.14 billion people.
What is an e-commerce marketing plan?
The process of e-commerce marketing planning involves creating a formal plan for driving traffic to a website and converting that traffic into customers.
The plan provides specific details on how the business intends to use e-commerce marketing channels to reach, persuade, and keep customers. If a business creates a plan that works together with its vision and takes an omnichannel approach, it will start seeing better results quickly.
Your 5 step e-commerce marketing plan should cover:
- Plan: Create a digital marketing strategy, mission and objectives
- Reach: Grow your audience online, situational analysis and competitive landscape, target audience, budget and goals
- Act: Encourage brand interactions and leads, media and channels
- Convert: Increase online and offline sales through optimization, KPIs and success metrics
- Engage: Build customer loyalty and advocacy
How do you write an e-commerce marketing plan?
To be successful in digital marketing in a crowded marketplace, you need a plan that is driven by goals and fueled by data. This 5-step plan will help you to reach, interact with, convert and engage more high value customers in 2022.
Step 1: Assess current situation (PLAN)
What channels worked best? What was the growth rate? Where could your business have been better? What opportunities did you miss?
Begin your plan by assessing the previous year’s performance. In order to create an effective digital marketing strategy, you must have a clear understanding of your strong points as well as your weak points.
Be sure to monitor your competitors’ activities and stay up-to-date on industry trends. This will help you to identify areas of your ecommerce marketing plan that need improvement so that you can achieve your goals.
- Identify all of your current digital marketing activities.
- Work out your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats using the SWOT / TOWS frameworks.
- Outline your e-commerce marketing goals and make sure you’ve set SMART objectives.
- Understand your target market, their needs, wants and expectations.
Step 2: Grow your audience (REACH)
What is the company’s expected growth timeline and how does it plan to reach new customers?
You need to find ways to get your brand, products, and services in front of as many people as possible. No one can purchase items from your company if they are unaware of its existence.
Use other websites and offline media to drive traffic to your owned media e.g. website, blog, or social media profiles.
The furniture retailer Made.com has partnered with Pinterest in order to test automated bidding on keywords using premade templates. After changing its bidding process, Made.com saw a 400%* increase in traffic from Pinterest. This is because users were being more accurately targeted.
How can you reach the most people using communications and planned campaigns to create multiple interactions using paid, owned and earned media touchpoints?
- Define your key brand messages to focus on awareness, familiarity and purchase intent.
- Embed campaign tracking and attribution to adequately review performance.
- Perform keyword research to identify strengths and opportunities (both paid and organic search)
- Identify the appropriate channels to promote the right content to the right people.
- Define a paid and display media budget to reach the correct audience.
In today’s digital shopping era, e-commerce marketing means being present in the right channels with the right messages to attract your customers. You cannot fill your marketing funnel if you do not have a reach because people will not know about your company.
Step 3: Prompt interactions, subscribers and leads (ACT)
What is the best way to grab the attention of the target audience through channels and content? What makes them take action?
The ACT stage of the e-commerce marketing plan is designed to encourage interactions that will lead to the generation of new leads. The focus is on creating interactions with content rather than conversion at this point in the funnel. Middle-of-funnel marketing works to position the company as the best provider to suit the customer’s needs.
The next year’s activities should be planned with budgets and KPIs that are specifically focused on the middle of the funnel.
- Review existing landing pages to ensure that CTAs and data capture opportunities are maximized.
- Review the customer journey to assess what turns a customer into a valuable lead.
Deloitte, a giant in the accounting industry, uses content to create an educational content hub called Deloitte Insights. This hub provides thought leadership on various industries and topics. The hub is a resource that provides videos, in-depth reports, podcasts, articles, and more to help individuals and organizations reach their goals.
Step 4: Focus on conversion (CONVERT)
What is your plan for turning a lead into a sale? When trying to persuade your audience to take the next step and become paying customers, what activities will work best? The bottom-of-funnel looks at the end of the process, when the conversion happens.
Today’s customers expect a personalized digital experience. This might include dynamic landing pages, multichannel marketing offering a range of conversion techniques such as email, LiveChat, and product demos, and fully optimized mobile browsing.
You can either pay for your purchase online through an e-commerce transaction or offline through another channel. A deep dive into analytics and customer data is essential to understanding the nonlinear path customers take to purchase. You should include this in your omnichannel marketing strategy.
- Identify conversion funnels and paths to purchase.
Plan how you can personalize the digital experience within your current constraints and resources.
- Establish a communication process between your marketing and development teams.
Step 5: Keep it going (ENGAGE)
The objective is to convert a sale, but how do you keep that customer and encourage them to tell others about your product?
The next step in the funnel is to keep improving the brand experience to encourage customers to buy again, show loyalty, and be happier with what they bought.
Think about how you can use content to maintain the relationship with your customer after they have made a purchase. Examples include storytelling, case studies and engaging social content.
- Outline your intended onboarding process using e-commerce marketing techniques and online messaging.
- Establish your multi-channel customer service process e.g. chat bots, social media, call centers.
- Identify post-sale customer data for remarketing opportunities that will build relationships
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