As an eCommerce brand, your whole world is online. The internet is a lovely place where customers learn about your brand, explore your products, and decide whether or not to shop with you.
Of course, that only happens if you’re engaging customers with strategic digital marketing. With digital marketing, you can reach customers on social media, search engines, and even other websites. All of these channels give eCommerce brands the means to build brand awareness and drive customers to take an action.
For digital marketing to pay off for your eCommerce site, it’s a matter of understanding your audience and what drives their purchasing behavior. You also need to understand your brand’s position in the marketplace and what makes you different. Digital marketing strategies will vary based on your brand, whether you’re in the automotive, electronics, apparel industry, etc.
That’s the only way you can compete in today’s hypercompetitive eCommerce landscape. It’s easier than ever for people to spin up a website, contract a drop shipping partner, and voila! They’ve got an online store.
Smaller sellers may be less of a concern for your brand, but we bet the giants like Amazon aren’t. Amazon continues to dominate online retail, representing over half of all eCommerce sales.
Amazon is such a behemoth that it may surprise you to learn that many consumers actually prefer to buy directly from eCommerce brands. In 2017, online shoppers spent $488 on average with retail marketplaces like Amazon, compared with $409 on a brand’s website. That means customers are nearly as likely to shop directly on your eCommerce website as they are on Amazon.
You just need to make sure they can find your website. A smart digital marketing strategy can help with that.
Our Best eCommerce Digital Marketing Tips
Let’s get more shoppers to your website. Follow our top digital marketing tips for eCommerce.
Track your sales
You’d be surprised how many brands forget to set-up conversion goals in Google Analytics and Google Ads. Your brand doesn’t have to be one of them. Make sure that your pixels are properly configured and able to track the amount of sales, so you can clearly analyze the results each of your marketing channels are driving.
Factor in your GPM
For low GPMs, keep track of your marketing spend and deduct GPM from the equation. Set up regular reports and pore over them on a frequent basis. To ensure all your marketing channels are still profitable, you have to keep a close eye on your performance.
Get more sales out of your subscribers
It’s more cost-effective to encourage returning customers to buy more than to go out and acquire new ones. So, target your current and past customers with email marketing. Develop strong email drip campaigns, including essentials like a Welcome Series and an Abandoned Cart Series. In your abandoned cart emails, use dynamic content to display the product from their cart with a special discount.
Give your checkout a makeover
The best way to boost your conversion rate is by making your check out experience as user-friendly as possible. Include a newsletter sign-up bar so people can score an extra discount—and you can keep email marketing to them for perpetuity. Upsell items with a featured area for related products. And add an exit pop-up on desktop to prevent cart abandons.
Take into account seasonality and holidays
Don’t miss great opportunities when buyers are online and looking to shop. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are huge days for eCommerce stores. Start earlier than your competitors and offer a tempting promotion to get the most out of your holiday sales. It’s a good time of year to expand your budget, especially if your products make great gifts.
Top Digital Marketing Channels for eCommerce Brands
When it comes to digital marketing, many eCommerce brands fall prey to paralysis of choice. With countless options to choose from, how do you know which is right for your brand?
We recommend starting with the three channels below. Based on what we’ve seen with our own eCommerce clients, these are the channels most likely to drive returns for your business
Google Shopping in ActionBecause Google Shopping ads display differently on smartphones vs. desktop devices, it’s important to tailor your ads accordingly. One of our clients, a major automotive e-retailer, wasn’t targeting these devices separately. When they brought on Your Marketing People, that was our #1 priority. Thanks to that switch and additional optimizations, we boosted their channel revenue by 10% year/year and reduced their overall CPC by 40%. See how we did it.
Google may be the biggest search engine in the world, but when it comes to retail, Amazon reigns supreme. Roughly half of online shoppers visit sites like Amazon first when they start their online shopping, compared to only a third who used Google first.
It’s not an understatement to say Amazon is taking over the world. For your eCommerce brand to stay relevant, you need to be advertising on Amazon.
With Amazon Ads, you can create ads for your store on Amazon, just like you would with Google paid search. First, you’ll set up your Amazon storefront. Then, you can choose from display ads, video ads, and more that show up throughout Amazon as potential customers browse the site—and competitive products. In order for Amazon to display your ad, you’ll bid on keywords related to your brand and your products, but you’ll only pay once customers click through to your Amazon store.
That’s part of what makes Amazon advertising so attractive to eCommerce brands: you can directly match your spend to your returns. It’s important to remember, however, that Amazon charges hefty fees for sellers on the site. So, you’ll want to price your items accordingly to ensure the payoff is worth it.
For our own clients at Your Marketing People, we’ve actually found that Amazon Ads deliver a lower cost per sale than other paid advertising channels. It’s all about picking the right words to maximize your reach and appeal to those Amazon shoppers.
Google Shopping and Amazon Ads invite customers to your store. Effective email marketing keeps them around.
That’s because with email marketing, you develop a relationship with your customers outside of the time they spend on your site. You reach them in their personal email box, reminding them of the awesome product they purchased the last time they visited you.
Email marketing is way beyond transactional emails, though. It’s not just sending out order confirmations and shipping notifications. Email marketing is about using your existing database of customers to push promotions that increase returns and customer lifetime value.
The key is to send personalized emails. Segment your customer list based on their previous purchases, so you can email them about relevant promotions and new additions to the product line.
You’ll also want to personalize your abandoned cart emails to persuade shoppers to come back. The shopping cart abandonment rate hovers just below 70%. If you don’t have abandoned cart emails set up, those are sales you’re letting walk out the door.
Successful email marketing is about continually tweaking your campaigns to drive better returns. There’s always an opportunity to improve your emails and keep customers coming back to your site to purchase, again and again.
eCommerce Success Story: TDot Performance
By dynamically inserting items from their cart and including a compelling promo code, we doubled our clients’ abandoned cart revenue. We also revamped their holiday promotional emails for a revenue lift of 175% year over year. Finally, after analyzing their send time performance, we made changes that boosted channel revenue by 37%. Take a look.
The Biggest Digital Marketing Challenge for eCommerce Brands
Online shopping is growing and becoming a highly competitive field for brands. Competition is high, so you need to set the right kind of messaging and targeting for your marketing. Focus on making your brand stand out and building brand loyalty. Your approach will be different depending on your industry, such as automotive, apparel or electronics.
Price, shipping cost and speed, and discount offers are the top three deciding factors for online shoppers. With promotional offers, you can speak to all three of those needs and lure customers toward your eCommerce store.
As for your overall marketing strategy, make sure you’re going after the right audience that will become repeat buyers. To do this, you need to do your research. Dig into your analytics and discover where your current customers hail from. Is it social media? Email? Amazon? Invest more marketing there.
As you devote more budget to digital marketing, continue to pay close attention to which strategies are working, and which aren’t. Do this at both the overall channel and the tactical level. Which email designs do a better job capturing abandoned carts? Could you adapt some of the ad copy from your Amazon ads in your Google shopping ads? What insights can you glean from one channel that applies to others?
An omnichannel marketing strategy gives you more information to work with, but that’s not all. Not only does an omnichannel approach help you reach more customers; it drives higher profits from the shoppers you reach. Multichannel shoppers spend 3 times more than shoppers who use only one channel.
For your eCommerce brand to succeed, you need to engage in a multichannel approach to digital marketing, so you can reach your shoppers wherever they are—right when they’re primed to buy.
Best eCommerce Digital Marketing Tips: A Recap
- Track Your Sales
- Factor In Your GPM
- Get More Sales Out Of Your Subscribers
- Give Your Checkout A Makeover
- Take Into Account Seasonality And Holidays
About Your Marketing People
eCommerce is booming right now. eCommerce continues to eat more and more of the total retail sales pie, representing half of all retail growth. Just last year, eCommerce sales in the U.S. grew 16% year over year.
The time is ripe for your eCommerce brand to take off. To give it the momentum it needs, you need to rev up your digital marketing strategy.
That’s where Your Marketing People comes in. Consider us your full-scale marketing agency. We can fill in the gaps on the channels you haven’t built up yet, or we can create a comprehensive digital marketing strategy that covers your whole business.
Let’s talk about your eCommerce goals and how we can meet them.