Now that you own an eCommerce, the very first thing you must be wondering is: where do I get traffic from? What’s the most important ecommerce channels? Once you’ve known sources of your customers, that’s where your digital marketing campaigns need to be targeted.
How do you market your brick and mortar business? Print! Pamphlets! Word-of-mouth! And that’s it. You’ve reached the ‘maximum storage limit.’ Well, for eCommerce, you aren’t getting that annoying message. There’s no end to getting the prospects for your business.
You can say a full-fledged effective digital marketing solution can get you lots of leads and conversion, big enough to turn you into the giant of the industry. But what ecommerce channels do you choose? Which one is rightly-suitable for your eCommerce? Note: Don’t confuse digital advertising platforms as digital advertising channel. While advertising platform is nothing but the sepcific platforms, the channels are the marketing types.
Well, I’d say not just one, but you might have to apply these tactics on the multiple fronts. Don’t worry! I’ll give you several alternatives through this blog post that you can apply in 2021.
You have to follow a hierarchy— brand awareness, lead generation, and direct sales.
So keep reading as we’ll now learn more about the various types of ecommerce channels in detail. Are you ready? Tighten your gears; it’s not a roller coaster. It’s a free fall!
Let’s first name the marketing channels we’ll cover.
Name the marketing channels in an ecommerce company
The digital marketing channels for an eCommerce company are as follows:
- Organic traffic (Google, Bing, Yandex)
- Email marketing (Gmail, Yahoo)
- Social media marketing (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter)
- Pay per click marketing (Google and Bing ads)
- Referral marketing (Talkable, Friendbuy)
- Affiliate marketing
- Direct marketing
- Word of mouth marketing
- Content marketing
- Influencer marketing (Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook)
Now let’s cover them in detail.
Best ecommerce channels #1: Organic traffic
Remember when Yahoo was born? I don’t either. But this has always been an important digital marketing strategy for eCommerce since the beginning. Of course, there are other eCommerce digital marketing strategy as well, but search engine organic traffic sits at the top quite comfortably. Google and Bing took the organic channel to a whole new ballpark.
Two decades ago, it was easier for brands to rank on search engines. The competition was bleak, customers’ came up with serious buying intent, and their attention span was pretty good. Keyword targeting was not as important. All this resulted in the higher conversion rates.
But with over millions of eCommerce and billions of web pages in 2021 alone, getting organic traffic has gotten a real tough ask. I mean… you publish any content, and someone has most probably posted it already. Moreover, the never ending ecommerce SEO checklist is intimidating. However, that doesn’t mean marketers don’t focus on organic traffic.
With the whole migrating to the internet and pouring their inputs, the idea of unique content for organic traffic has gotten quite vital. Users still search for businesses, products, and services based on specific keywords and phrases.
If you’re resolving their problems, giving unique solutions, and practicing effective Search Engine Optimization techniques, chances are high you’ll end up ranking on the search engine. These engines have crawlers. You know… they’re like bots who have specific criteria. Yeah, yeah! Like you have preferences choosing a partner.
When you promise to follow these SEO criteria, the algo-bots feel happy! They index and rank you on the search engine. Result? Organic visibility that magnets audiences and generates revenues.
Our advice on organic traffic
Since tickmarking SEO checklist is a hassle, we recommend you to let SEO services experts do the heavylifting. Of course, unless you want to spend your time checking couple of hundred SEO criteria. The same goes for local services.
Best ecommerce channels #2: eMail marketing
Email marketing is older than most of you’ve been reading the blog posts. Marketers consider it dead, but I still consider it one of the best channels among the other types of ecommerce channels for reminders, notifications, and newsletters.
Ask yourself: have you ever deactivated a social media account? Sure you must have at least thought of it once. But did you ever think of signing off from eMail? It’s still one of the few types of digital marketing channels that everyone uses at least once a day, yes, even on off-days
And eMail gives you endless opportunities to market your eCommerce. Email signatures, banners, lead magnet eMails, curated newsletters, cold eMail campaigns, etc. these mail marketing campaigns have proven effective, as good as reaping 3,800 percent ROIs.
Three critical email marketing practices
- Strong subject line: It’s the entry point of any eMail. Why should the users click the mail if it’s not enjoyable? Create a killing subject copy and increase the open rates.
Example, How to save 2000 dollars in one week.
- Emotionally-moving body: Readers have gotten into the eMail. What next? You want them to be reading a body that’s beneficial to them. Add value in the body, and you have their attention.
Example, Are you ready to save money so that you can enjoy the other luxuries? I created a brand new product, especially for you. And just like my other products, it is to make life easier for you. 🙂
- Link to your website: While readers are reading the eMail, you want ’em to act on your message. Giving links to your eCommerce website or landing pages will get you traffic and probable conversion.
Example, Getting started – here’s how you can make your baby happy and save pennies at the same time. <add a link>
To get more CTR and make eMails more engaging, you might want to work around images, flyers, and banners. Give users something visual to retain. Read more on how to get high CTR for email campaign. You may even want to personalize your email marketing efforts.
Also read: Email marketing in eCommerce
Best ecommerce channels #3: Social Media Marketing
Did you know people spend about 2 hours, 24 minutes every day on social media? I’m talking about the average time. Obsessed social media followers may spend up to 7 hours a day! Count me in.
Engagement on social media is much more than search engines and eMails; there’s no doubt about it. The thirst for socializing has spiked up. Brands are using the opportunity to enter into their socializing space and target customers where they spend most of the time.
If you’re not catching the fish through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Pinterest, TikTok, Instagram, to name a few, you’re missing out on significant traffic on your website.
So big a part has become social media for digital marketing channels that marketers are allocating hefty resources behind individual channels. Let me warn you: please don’t invest in each half-heartedly.
Not all channels have the same traffic flow. You have to analyze your business and what channel suits it the most, provided you have an endless budget to capture leads from all the platforms.
The best part about social media marketing is: they allow organic and paid marketing features. It’s relatively easy to viral your content through content marketing strategies for free and receive a hold of a dynamic audience group. And laser targeting is getting more accurate with paid ads like Facebook ads. Ohh! Just in case, you plan to run paid ads on Facebook, make sure you don’t get stuck in Facebook ad mistakes. It’s a big part of applying social media marketing for business wisely.
Also read: Facebook ad tips
Best ecommerce channels #4: Pay-per-click advertising
Let’s say you want to rank a page on Google tomorrow, can you? Or you want to be targeting the most relevant audiences with your post, can you? Absolutely no! There are lots of uncertainties lurking around your organic marketing campaigns. They may take time, and the results are not always the way you want.
You have very little control over organic marketing overreach and conversion. Search engine algorithms change almost every day! Keeping your content compliant with both local SEO and international SEO criteria may be a tough nut to crack. What’s ranking today, may become stale tomorrow!
Fortunately, search engines and other publishers follow the second ad model: pay per click (ppc) advertising or paid ads. It means— every time a user clicks on the advertisement you’ve got to pay the publisher. Remember those first two ad links every time you search for something on Google? They are pay per click (PPC) ads that show the above organic search results.
I know where you’re going! What if multiple people in the same industry pay for their ads? Whom will the search engines rank? Well, these publishers follow the bidding-model.
You and your competition will bid on the keywords. Of course, content quality and domain score come into play— but bidding strategically on keywords of your preference will let you rank within two-days time. That’s the luxury you certainly don’t enjoy with organic marketing. You might have to wait for a good six months until you start scoring consistent traffic.
You need such digital marketing plans because you can modulate your budget and stop as and when you like— the channel handover tremendous control over marketing in addition to the analytics report for improvisation.
Our advice on PPC
Since PPC marketing has a lot of budget nuances, we highly advise you to hire PPC experts for optimized PPC services. Otherwise, you’ll be burning down your cash reservior, without knowing when to stop.
Also Read: PPC misconceptions
Best ecommerce channels #5: Referrals
How do you drive traffic on your eCommerce? Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is not the only way! Most businesses want to have organic search traffic, and then they wonder, why aren’t they getting desired traffic.
As I mentioned, if you’re trying to group traffic through Search Engine Optimization (SEO), this might take some time, months or two, and in some cases, even half a year! You can’t rely on naturalism all the time. Having your content pushed through additional methods is called referrals.
So when a user enters your website using a social media link, or through another website, search engines report this as a referral. I mean… their tracking system considers this as referral traffic. It could be backlinks, press releases, guest posts, etc. Many businesses repurpose their organic content and distribute them over different advertising platforms. The traffic they get from these channels are nothing but referral.
Thinking how to rock the chart with referral marketing? Don’t worry!
Quick list to gain traffic from search engines.
- Online directories: You want to use directories as a great source of referral traffic. Publish your website to these directories and have traffic from these sources. Example: Google and Bing My Business, Yelp, Yellow pages. You can take help of local citation services to get yourself published in directories.
- Review websites: Review websites do two tricks for you: build credibility and get traffic to your store. Getting published on these websites is a cherry on the cake. Example: Google, Amazon, Facebook reviews.
- Comment on blogs: Following the well-known blogs and pages of your niches will not only help you in analyzing the latest fad but also get you traffic. Posting relevant comments as user-generated content is an effective digital marketing strategy on referral channels.
- Stay active on industry forums: Again, industry’s forums and communities are a great way to link with bright prospects. Keeping your ideas, looking to resolve problems, and being a keen listener to someone’s grievances will surely do the referral trick.
Also Read: Digital marketing trends
Best ecommerce channels #6: Affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is one of the most effective digital marketing techniques apart from plenty of others you already know. Don’t believe me? Those salesmen knocking on everyone’s door to sell a dollar pen is a kind of affiliate marketing. You kind of reward them with a commission for their marketing efforts.
The same concept applies to eCommerce. You can’t reach everyone! How about reaching an affiliate marketer and asking him to sell your products or services? For each click or sales he receives, you’ll pass on some values for the efforts.
It’s a pure form of performance-based marketing. And it’s never getting out of the industry. These affiliates have the audience ready; they have the traffic ready! They simply have to promote your product, add effective CTAs in their reviews, and there you generate leads and conion.
So you can be a part of affiliate programs where these sales associates will send over some traffic to your website, and you’ll pay according to the particular agreement. Here’s the list of popular affiliate networks that you’d want to connect with: AffiliateNetwork, CJ by Conversant, ClickBank, ShareASale, AvantLink, LinkConnector, FlexOffers, RevenueWire, etc.
Also Read: Affiliate marketing guide
Best digital marketing channels #7: Direct marketing
So when you have to search for something, what do you do? Either you tap on the Google icon or type the web url of Google. Right? That’s a process where you’re directly entering into the website. In this case, it’s Google. It’s called direct marketing!
Similarly, when users type in your web address on the browser or click on the bookmark, they’re trying to add to your traffic directly. It’s quite a rare thing to have unless you’re a giant in the industry or you’ve loyal customers.
Since you’ll be making loyal customers in the future, your branding should be done smartly beforehand. Keep your URL short and memory-retaining. Make it meaningful so that your users can identify what you deal with.
One good way to differentiate direct marketing with others is that you’re promoting the information about your company, product, and service without relying on any advertising middleman.
Other direct marketing methods are Brochures, Fliers, Postcards, Newsletters, Catalogs, Emails, Coupons, Phone calls, Text messages, Targeted online display ads, etc. Nailing half of these would tap on the desires of the users.
Also Read: Exit overlays to boost conversion
Best digital marketing channels #8: Make your website user-friendly
Honestly, everything you do with your eCommerce is marketing! Effective customer service, supply and chain, engagement, whatever you can think of. But one thing that demands your special attention is your store.
What happens in brick and mortar stores? Distributing pamphlets and displaying billboards are easy, but how would you deal when customers more than anticipated enter to your premises? What about the seating arrangement? And the waiting space? Marketing is not enough if you’re not ready to please the customers they want.
It could happen with your website too. Imagine you’ve got traffic from multiple sources and your eCommerce crashed! They aren’t coming back until you’ve something serious to sell. And does your store tick all the criteria of good navigation?
Let me give you a stat: the average time spent on websites is 54 seconds. (1)
That’s not even a minute. And with attention span shrinking to a mere 8 seconds from 30 seconds in the past few decades, 54 seconds is when you’re outstanding in your field.
So you have to grab their attention, check on their interest, tap on their desires, and compel them to take action, everything in less than a minute. How scary does this sound? Well, you can still make the most of this with a user-friendly website.
Think of yourself as a user. When you visit an eCommerce, what do you expect from them? Easy searches. Okay! Product filtration. Okay! Sorting. Okay! To-the-point copies. Okay! These are the few things of the many criteria that make any eCommerce tolerable.
How to make a user-friendly website
- Make your website mobile compatible
- Keep it accessible to everyone
- Plan out a well-structured ecommerce website
- Format your content that’s easy to skim through for both, readers and crawlers
- Place the most important information in the first fold of the store
- Follow web design trends to keep up with the market
- Don’t compromise with a slow loading store
- Maintain effective navigation
- Introduce voice search for eCommerce store
- Optimize user journey to decrease cart abandonment
Again, creating a user friendly experience is not easy when everyone is migrating to mobiles. For that, you need to hire eCommerce developers who understand custom web development. We also believe you should go for the experts depending on your eCommerce/website platform. If you have a Shopify store, hiring a shopify devloper would make more sense than hiring a wordpress developer. Similarly, hiring a woocommerce developer is a perfect choice only if your store runs on WooCommerce or you want to get build a new store altogether.
- Questions to ask a wordpress developer
- eCommerce website development guide
- SEO factors for web developers
Best ecommerce channels #9: Word of mouth marketing
This will blow up your mind. 9 out of 10 customers believe in reviews and feedback by family and relatives. That’s huge. And I’m surprised not many marketers use this as a digital marketing channel.
Word-of-mouth marketing is a brand advocacy right from the horse’s mouth. I mean… your customer’s mouth. Pre-digital marketing era, it was just about promoting a business through positive references.
But we are into a digital word-of-mouth marketing era! It’s no more just about products or services. Even the content you produce adds to the digital word-of-mouth marketing. They’re so infectious that your targeted groups share and make them viral.
There are ideas you can implement to set-up word of mouth marketing for your eCommerce. Have a look at them:
- You’ll have to begin with a setting-up word of mouth triggers.
- Add visual triggers to these strategies.
- Create a unique content which can go viral.
- Stir emotional provocation smartly.
- Post controversial posts that get more user-generated content.
- Ask for honest ratings and reviews.
- Arrange a referral program. Reward customers for a referral.
Best ecommerce channels #10: Content marketing
Earlier, the content industry was centralized. New channels, print media, authors, you could count all the content creators on your fingertips. But let’s be honest with ourselves. Why’re we on the internet? So that we all can produce content.
The internet has given everyone the power to express their opinions and views. You can say, we all are the crucial nodes in the content fabric of the world. And this has benefited businesses and eCommerce the most.
They don’t necessarily have to rely on a marketing intermediary or a centralized system. Blog posts, pdfs, guides, pictures, and videos as a part of content marketing have power over all the sharable content that could increase the crowd on their websites and enhance the ROIs.
For me, every information we litter or repurpose on the internet is a part of content marketing. No seriously! They’re. When you engage on public forums like Quora and reddit, they’re a part of the plan. When you interact with your audience through live streaming on social media, it’s a part of the content marketing.
The actionable campaigns like share a coke is also a part of content marketing. Here’s one of the critical things that you need to focus on: content marketing is more about adding value to your customers than boasting about your company. No one cares what the features of your company are unless you don’t have exact words on the benefits— the content marketing campaign will keep on failing.
A strong content marketing should fight a social cause, add means-add chain value to customer’s life, or invoke an emotional response. It’s because you want to build a two-way link with your customers and influence them for the informed-decisions they make.
Also read: Quantity or Quality Content
Best ecommerce channels #11: Influencer marketing
Most brands enjoy building a new audience and then plan to target. What if I told you— you can target the existing audience without wasting much time and start generating income right from the word go?
Influencer marketing is one among other types of digital marketing channel that lets you cater your product or service to the relevant audience without spending your time building your niche audience.
It involves three parties: you, the influencer on social media, and the audience. So the influencer with her colossal following will place your product through stories or social posts and siphon some of the traffic to your website or social media page.
It’s quite useful in generating quick income; however, the effect of marketing may fade away in a few days. Letting these influencers expose the audience to your brand not only gets your traffic on the website but also builds credibility and trust.
As always, people trust influencers and celebrities more than businesses. Subtle placement is a smart way to make the audiences aware of your brand. Once they’ve entered that phase— repeated partnership with these influencers will push these potentials in the purchase journey. What if we told you could become influencer too?
Also read: Digital marketing importance
What are the most frequently used digital marketing channels?
Types of digital marketing #1: Search Engine Marketing ( SEM )
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is one of the most fundamental types of Digital Marketing that help businesses gain market online via Ads on search engines such as Google, Bing or Yahoo. It further includes two segments – SEO ( Search Engine Optimization ) and PPC ( Pay Per Click ) –
Search Engine Optimization ( SEO )
Search engine optimization is the process of following SEO checklists on website to rank higher in search engine results pages. SEO also fosters a higher rate of activity, awareness, traffic, branding, generating leads, and conversions, thereby increasing the amount of free or unpaid traffic towards your website. It can be local SEO checklist as well if you’re planning to target the local market in your vicinity.
Websites, blogs, and infographics are greatly benefited by this segment. SEO works well around some of the well-characterized set of standards such as inserting specific Keywords and directing links from several sites that also use similar types of keywords.
- Successful SEO campaign— run a high-converting campaign
- Redesign website without losing SEO— revamp your website without losing SEO
- SEO for web developers— the factors you need to pay attention as a developer
Pay Per Click ( PPC )
PPC is one of the prompt types of Digital Marketing channels for eCommerce that diverts focused traffic to the web pages and related services. PPC can be widely understood as purchasing traffic from paid search listings that support marketers in attracting more web traffic through desktop and web searches via mobile. It is an Online Advertising System for diverting online traffic to client’s websites by paying a certain price to the publisher whenever their paid Ad is clicked.
Also read: PPC misconceptions
Types of digital marketing #2: Social Media Marketing ( SMM )
Social Media Marketing is one of the most popular and significant types of digital marketing that help marketers excel their image in the market in the most compelling and trendy way possible. Creating and distributing quality content in a well-focused manner is the foundation of successful SMM campaigns. There are 12 important and significant steps to succeed in social media marketing –
- Brainstorm to know your audience well
- Choose your preferred social platform
- Choose your Key performance indicators
- Strategize social media plan to wish to formulate and how
- Align the company as per your formulated plan
- Upload scheduled posts and main uploading consistency
- Create a content bank
- Post ONLY relevant content
- Look after all social media platforms separately
- Assign someone as CSR
Types of digital marketing #3: Email Marketing
Email marketing is one of the most aged form of digital marketing tactics that is still highly modern and successful. Marketers use highly stretegized emails for maintaining and developing contact with their potential and existing customers that help them with lead generation.
Marketing via email is the best way to establish deeper and stronger relationships with a bigger chunk of audience at a fairly nominal cost than the total cost incurred on traditional media.
Diverting new signups for specific products and services and creating new and powerful leads for the sales team are one of the important goals of email marketing. That’s why you should hire digital services who understand the knack of email marketing.
Email marketing is one of the most aged form of digital marketing tactics that is still highly modern and successful. Marketers use emails for maintaining and developing contact with their potential and existing customers that help them with lead generation.
Marketing via email is the best way to establish deeper and stronger relationships with a bigger chunk of the audience at a fairly nominal cost than the total cost incurred on traditional media. Diverting new signups for specific products and services and creating new and powerful leads for the sales team are one of the important goals of email marketing.
Types of digital marketing #4: Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is an e-commerce process of selecting affiliates with similar interest by the product or company owners. These affiliates are required to advertise or promote the owner’s upcoming products and services on their own websites or pages and in return earn some commission and rewards could also include discounts, gift cards, and freebies.
Let’s say we wanted to promote our Shopify services. So what we do on our website is not enough. Getting affiliates talk about our Shopify and custom web development solution give us more channels to acquire customers.
This type of marketing is important because it is much effortless than starting your own company from a scratch and creating your own products because there are more efforts involved in opening a business than just simply advertising and promoting other people or company’s products.
Affiliates can be anyone from a single individual to entire companies. An affiliate marketing business can make hundreds of dollars in commissions every month.
Thus, types of digital Marketing is a wide and a whole new area inside marketing. Not every tactic would suit your business model and so you might want to check all the tactics and see which suit the best for your company and brings out the maximum and positive results.
Also read: Affiliate marketing for beginners— Learn affiliate marketing and nail one more digital marketing channel
The wrapping words— key takeaways
- You’ll have a hard time understanding the relevant types of digital marketing channels for your eCommerce. Mix matching these digital channels is the key to start with your marketing journey.
- If you’re short on budget, hire digital marketing agencies to help you figure out the ideal source of traffic and conversion for you. You want to be putting the best bet on the relevant channels.
- If you have a bloated budget, make sure you’re strategizing your digital marketing techniques properly. Over-budget can get overwhelming for your campaigns. And that may not lead to desirable results.
- Measure your digital marketing efforts with metrics and KPIs. Don’t go to the battlefield without data in your hand. All the marketing channels have their reporting tools that give detailed insight to improvise and re-strategize.
- And yeah, remember to track your expenses. As a digital marketer, you want to know how much a penny spent is returning you. Same with the ROI. Don’t ignore it.
- Whatever marketing channel you choose, ensure you’re analyzing them regularly. These channels do have bots, but not smart enough to do your job. They’ll analyze the performance for you. But spinning the marketing tactic in the spur of the moment is in your hand.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment. More so because you’re not experimenting cluelessly with different types of digital marketing strategies. Since you’ll have access to data, keep churning your campaign, so it gets out to be unique. If the campaign doesn’t work, you know what to do!
You might also be interested in
- Best eCommerce platforms— select the best eCommerce partner for the best digital marketing service
- Best features for eCommerce— improving customer experience once and for all
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