Merchants today are constantly on the lookout for innovative ecommerce marketing strategies that will take their business to the next level and attract more customers. By combining technology, consumer insights, and expert market analytics, merchants can design a successful marketing strategy for their business.
In this article, learn more about the best ecommerce marketing strategies for 2023 and how to implement them to fulfill your business goals.
What Is an Ecommerce Marketing Strategy?
An ecommerce marketing strategy is a business strategy for promoting and selling products and services online.
When deciding on an ecommerce marketing strategy, businesses need to focus on what they want to achieve, their target audience, and market trends. An important part of establishing a strategy is also analyzing the successes and failures of previous marketing efforts. That helps determine what works and what efforts are likely to bring a healthy ecommerce ROI.
Ecommerce marketing strategies are constantly being tweaked to fit the needs of a dynamic ecommerce landscape. Businesses must keep updated with these ideas and innovations to stay relevant and retain more customers.
14 Ecommerce Marketing Strategies
Here are the most effective ecommerce marketing strategies you should apply to your business.
1. Email Marketing
Email marketing is still one of the best ways to reach your customers and boost sales for an ecommerce business. Emails give a more personal touch and strengthen businesses relationships with customers by speaking directly to them in their inboxes.
When creating an email marketing campaign, it is important to present relevant and unique information which will prevent your emails from ending up in a spam folder. Emails can create a sense of urgency, encouraging customers to make a purchase. Also, the customers should receive emails regularly but not too often, thus decreasing the chances of unsubscribes.
Here is a selection of essential marketing emails you should send:
- Welcome email. Welcome emails set the tone of future communication, serve as an introduction to the brand, its goals, and background, and show the customer that you value them.
- Order confirmation email. Customers receive order confirmation emails after they make a purchase, containing information about the purchase and when they will receive it. Order confirmation emails not only decrease chargebacks but also present an opportunity to cross-sell.
- Exclusive promo or a gift email. A promo email shows clients that repeat purchases are appreciated. These emails can also be used to encourage customers to finalize a purchase.
- New product email. Businesses should notify buyers about new products, especially if they are similar to the ones customers had previously purchased or searched for on the website. New product emails are excellent opportunities to upsell and offer customers higher-value products.
- Restock email. The customers who have subscribed to this service receive an email notification that the product they searched for is back in stock again.
- Purchasing tips email. Businesses use the data about customers’ previous purchases to advise them to buy similar products in the future. They also inform them about their favorite products being on sale or recommend similar products to the ones they were searching for that are not available.
- Holiday promotions and offers email. Ecommerce businesses can increase sales by creating special holiday and birthday offers or by sending gifts and discounts for bigger purchases.
- Feedback email. Businesses gather useful information from customer feedback emails and website product reviews. Be sure to offer an incentive to your customers by adding a discount for their next purchase.
- Referral and loyalty program email. Businesses can offer their customers special discounts and promotions for referring their website to a friend. On the other hand, loyalty programs reward long-time customers with unique offers.
Note: For more email marketing information, refer to our article on email marketing KPIs.
2. Unique Content
Successful ecommerce businesses have a unique tone of voice when speaking to their customers. A big part of this is creating original content that encourages the audience to become customers and present them with information they did not know (or did not know they needed).
Businesses should focus on creating relevant, engaging, and useful content, which provides added value to customers. The content can take many forms including:
- blog articles
- photos and infographics
- social media posts.
The content needs to be posted regularly and be true to the brand voice. The boost in traffic and increase in sales then come as a natural consequence of producing content that customers find worthwhile their time.
3. Social Media Marketing
Social media platforms are a great place for ecommerce businesses to interact directly with their customers and learn about their shopping habits, interests, and needs. Through likes, shares and comments, companies gain insights into their brand image and opportunities for improvement.
Here are some ideas on how to take full advantage of different social media platforms:
- User generated content. This type of content consists of user photos, videos or other types of content that serve as visual testimonials of the product’s quality and functionality. The best way to prompt customers to create content about your brand is by organizing giveaways.
- TikTok/short form videos. Short videos are quickly becoming one of the best ways to get the message about a brand across to a wide audience. They are more interesting than skippable ads that usually pop up on social media platforms.
- In-app shopping solutions. Users rely on social media platforms not only for shopping recommendations, but also for making purchases. Businesses should include social commerce in their marketing strategies to boost sales and engagement.
- Social media customer care. Customer support via social media helps resolve customer complaints more efficiently. To provide around the clock support, businesses are implementing social media chatbots to supplement their support teams.
- Social listening. This strategy relies on researching mentions, hashtags, and comments about your brand on social media. This way, you learn how customers respond to it and how to improve brand awareness.
- Competitions/quizzes. Businesses reward their clients with promo codes and gifts through quizzes and competitions, encouraging them to make new purchases.
Note: An Instagram presence still provides businesses with good ROI. Learn how to leverage this platform in our article How to Use Instagram for Ecommerce.
4. Best SEO Practices
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an essential component of any successful ecommerce strategy today. Businesses need to ensure their content contains relevant keywords and that the website will be displayed at the top of the search results. This drives more traffic to the website and makes it a top spot for information your potential customers are searching for online.
Here are some of the best SEO practices to include in your business strategy:
- Upgrade the user experience. Your website is the first thing the customers see. It is important for it to be appealing, engaging and well organized so users can navigate it easily. It should also load instantly and without glitches. Additionally, the website must be mobile-friendly and should use an SSL certificate.
- Provide high-quality content. Website content must be optimized for search engines by focusing on relevant topics and keywords. The content should be easy to follow, informative and helpful to the end user.
- Use relevant backlinks. Website content should include links to reliable and reputable sources, as well as your own content that is relevant to the topic.
- Start a blog. A blog is an excellent way to build domain authority and provide useful content to your target audience.
Note: If you own a Magento-powered ecommerce store, read our article on how to implement best SEO practices Magento SEO: A Comprehensive Guide and Checklist.
5. Top Marketplaces
Ecommerce businesses should display their products on the biggest marketplaces such as Amazon or eBay. These ecommerce giants help businesses reach a bigger audience and get discovered faster, making them a great promotion channel. Businesses should present their product offering briefly on the marketplace while providing a link that refers the customers to shop directly on the website.
6. Influencer Collaborations
Teaming up with an influencer who will promote your brand or product is a great way to reach new customers. Influencers are considered trustworthy by their audiences, which is why they can significantly boost sales.
Influencer marketing is not just about finding a celebrity with millions of followers to mention your product in their feed. Successful influencer marketing rests on these foundations:
- Collaborate with influencers in your niche. Finding relevant influencers in your field is crucial for attracting new audiences and promoting your brand. You should research the most popular names in the industry you are in and find mutual benefits of your collaboration.
- Do not discard micro influencers. Influences who have a small following and are still trying to break into the big league can significantly boost your sales and raise brand awareness. They will promote your product to a more diverse audience compared to traditional, big-name influencers.
- Let go of (a part) of your creative control. Influencers can contribute to a marketing strategy by giving a unique voice to the brand. After all, they are social media savvy and know how to work the influencer game, which is why businesses grant them creative control in the marketing strategy.
- Turn influencers into brand ambassadors. Instead of hiring influencers to promote your brand occasionally, you will benefit from turning them into brand ambassadors. This means they will serve as role models for the brand to their audiences full-time and regularly promote it in the long-term.
7. Affiliate Networks
Affiliate marketers promote and sell products for businesses while earning a percentage of those sales in return. They are market experts that help ecommerce businesses reach their target audience faster and drive traffic directly to their website.
These are the best tips on how to utilize affiliate marketing as an ecommerce marketing strategy:
- Use an affiliate network builder. CCBill provides its merchants an affiliate system that helps CCBill merchants build an affiliate network. It provides a self-service affiliate admin portal, a payout system, tracking links, sign up forms, and affiliate management tools – everything you need to build an affiliate network. Take the easy way and use an affiliate system to build your affiliate network.
- Choose suitable affiliates. The right affiliates for your brand are the ones that have a big following and are influential in their field, i.e., the users will trust them and listen to their recommendations about your products.
- Attract new affiliates. It is not enough to simply rely on a few big names in the affiliate game. Rather, expand your affiliates list to keep up with the changing market and customer demands.
- Optimize your product pages. Affiliates cannot do the entire job of boosting sales for you. Instead, help them by making promotional product pages, easy to navigate and filled with high-quality content and visuals.
- Use multiple platforms. Instead of focusing on just one communication channel, team up with affiliates on different platforms to drive a bigger engagement. This includes videos, product review blogs and webinars.
8. PPC Campaigns
Pay-per-click or PPC campaigns are a good way to reach audiences across multiple platforms, websites, and search engines. They can generate targeted traffic and lead to sales by redirecting the customer directly to your website. The most used PPC networks are Facebook and Google ads. While Facebook ads target Facebook and Instagram users, Google ads display whenever someone searches the keyword you are advertising for.
With PPC advertising, it is essential to use the right keywords to target your audience. Also, the ad should be clear and concise, keeping the customer’s attention and encouraging a purchase.
9. Mobile Marketing
Mobile marketing promotes products on mobile devices through ads, text messages and ecommerce push notifications. It relies heavily on m-commerce, which helps businesses learn about their customers’ interests, needs and shopping habits, so that they can provide shopping recommendations in the nearest physical or online stores, offer discounts, and promote special offers.
Mobile marketing gives a more personal approach to each customer, increasing the chances of them returning and making repeat purchases.
Note: M-commerce is quickly becoming a trend for successful ecommerce businesses. Learn more about it in our article M-commerce vs. Ecommerce - What Is the Difference?
Retargeting is a successful ecommerce marketing strategy that focuses on customers who have shown some interest in your products but have not yet made a purchase. By tracking which customers have visited the website, you can determine which users to retarget and display your ads to. This will increase their chances of returning to the website and making a purchase.
Retargeting has become more challenging in recent years because of privacy concerns and the ability of users to block third-party cookies. This makes it harder for businesses to learn about their potential customers’ interests based on the websites they previously visited. This can be resolved by using zero-party data. Zero-party data is the information you receive directly from your customers about their shopping preferences and habits.
11. Upsell and Cross-Sell
Upselling and cross-selling are effective ways of encouraging customers to make additional purchases. Upselling is a strategy of offering them to upgrade their purchase with a better model or a bigger size of a particular product. On the other hand, cross-selling offers them to buy additional products that would work well with their purchase, such as accessories or spare parts.
When designing an upselling or a cross-selling strategy, businesses need to ensure that the products they recommend are related to the original purchase and are within the original price range. This increases the chances of the strategy being successful, i.e., that the customer will purchase the upgraded version.
12. Personalized Offers
Personalization is an ecommerce marketing strategy that helps businesses design specific shopping recommendations for potential customers based on data about their interests, online searches, and previous purchases.
Personalization relies on specific offers, discounts and personalized emails that make customers feel noticed and valued. This strategy also uses location data to anticipate customers’ needs and generate purchasing recommendations relevant to the location.
13. Social Validation
Customers are more likely to purchase a product after reading a positive review about it. Customer testimonials are often more effective than long product descriptions since they are the first thing many buyers will focus on. Potential buyers find product reviews more reliable than the actual product descriptions since they come from people who have already tested the product.
Customer testimonials are also a good way to create fear of missing out by showing a high demand for the product. This will encourage the customers to buy it as soon as possible before it sells out.
14. Omnichannel Marketing
An omnichannel marketing strategy targets customers through multiple promotional and sales channels to drive engagement. It focuses on customer satisfaction with a personalized approach and branding consistency. Omnichannel integrates various communication channels (mobile, email, social media, brick-and-mortar customer service, etc.), allowing customers to move freely from one channel to another without breaking their shopping session or brand interaction.
Omnichannel should not be confused with multichannel. The biggest difference between the two is that a multichannel strategy has no channel integration, meaning each channel provides a separate customer experience. On the other hand, omnichannel allows customers to seamlessly switch between these channels in continuity.
Note: Learn more about CCBill’s Omnichannel Payment Solutions for your ecommerce business.
Ecommerce Marketing Statistics You Should Know
Ecommerce marketing’s crucial statistics to know:
- Mobile shopping users display high cart abandonment rate of 85.65%. This means that e-commerce businesses should optimize for m-commerce to make the shopping experience more enjoyable for users.
- Nine out of ten customers read the product review before they buy it. Out of those, 54.7% read at least four reviews before making a purchase.
- 54% of buyers require environmentally friendly and zero-waste packaging for their purchase, while 64% of global consumers are willing to pay extra for sustainable packaging.
- 38% of consumers are more willing to shop from a place that offers live chat customer support, and 79% of businesses have reported bigger revenues and more sales after implementing this feature for their customers.
- 76% of customers are more willing to make a purchase after they’ve had a personalized experience with a store. That is why 89% of ecommerce businesses are using personalization as a marketing strategy.
How to Develop an Ecommerce Strategy
Ecommerce is dynamic and ever-changing, so any marketing strategy put in place needs to reflect this. Algorithms, marketing trends, customer needs, financial and global conditions change frequently and without warning, and businesses should keep this in mind when developing a marketing plan.
Before you start developing an ecommerce marketing strategy there are several things to consider. Here is a breakdown of these important points:
- Nail down your goals and objectives. Decide whether you want to boost web traffic, create a market for a new product or increase repeat purchases. Clear, quantifiable goals will shape your next steps. You will also be able to measure the performance of your marketing efforts accurately.
- Know which marketing metrics to track. The most relevant information to focus on when checking if your marketing strategy was a success include website traffic, conversion rate, and social media engagement.
- Create detailed buyer personas. Create a detailed profile of your customers, including what demographic they belong to, what kind of online content they consume, and what influences their purchasing decisions.
- Perform a situational analysis. Examine where your business stands at the moment. Spend some time identifying what is working, what is not, and what your competitors are doing. Analyze your products and their prices as well as your distribution network. Remember to take into account the current financial situation and factors out of your control (such as the COVID-19 pandemic).
- Craft a strategy for improving sales. It involves identifying strategies that convert incoming traffic into paying customers. Think about improving your sales copy and explore enticing deals and offers. Perhaps create a loyalty discount program. Try different strategies and see what works best.
- Make financial projections. Create a summary of your expected expenses, along with their projected growth rates. While these projections are never 100% correct, they will give you a rough estimate to work with. This way, you can at least ensure you are not overshooting your marketing budget.
Besides following tried and tested marketing principles that apply to brick-and-mortar and web stores, online businesses wishing to boost their profits need to understand their working environment. Consider the specific factors that apply to your niche. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to a successful marketing plan, so be ready to adapt and customize a strategy to your and your customers’ needs.
Note: Learn more about increasing your sales by employing tactics from our in-depth guide on ecommerce conversion rate optimization.
Ecommerce is a fast-paced environment that requires businesses to use innovative strategies to stay on top. Merchants are constantly searching for new ways to reach bigger audiences and gain more traffic to their websites by implementing versatile ecommerce marketing solutions.
There is no guaranteed formula for success, which is why the biggest names in ecommerce often combine various strategies to adapt to the ever-evolving industry, market trends, and consumer preferences.