By 2022, e-retail revenues will reach 5.4 trillion US dollars as per the forecast by Statista.
Well, that’s massive growth knocking on the “storefronts” of eCommerce businesses!
But, there’s a catch—businesses do not have an actionable eCommerce marketing strategy in place to leverage the surge in online sales. If you count yourselves in, you may know a thing or two about marketing strategies that work in the industry. But how to make these tactics work to your advantage remains a mystery!
So, before we solve the mystery for you, look at the current eCommerce market.
- 27% of the world’s population is shopping online.
- 62% of consumers look up to Google before they purchase anything.
- The average cart abandonment rate is 69.82%.
- 64% of Americans can pay extra for sustainable products.
- 81% of people use Instagram to explore products and services.
The apparent demand in the eCommerce industry calls for strategical eCommerce marketing. So, as you enter 2022 with your online store, be ready with a robust marketing strategy at your disposal.
4 things to consider when you create an eCommerce marketing strategy
Before you start documenting the tactics to conquer the eCommerce market, understand your business and customers clearly.
A successful eCommerce business owner knows their brand well and sets clear expectations before implementing a strategy. So here’s what you can do right now!
1. Specify your unique selling proposition (USP)
Answer these questions:
- Is your product different from what your competitors’ sell? If yes, how?
- What is that something which makes customers return to your online store?
- Which feature of your product makes it irreplaceable?
When you have sensible answers to these questions, combine them to define your USP.
2. Set realistic goals
What have you planned for 2022?
Now don’t say “revenue”! We know it already. Be more specific and set milestones.
Why do you want to invest your time in an eCommerce marketing strategy? What results do you expect from its execution?
Is it: more clicks? Leads? Conversions? Customer retention?
Set a benchmark for your goals and start thinking about strategies that can work. You can also apply the SMART goals framework to simplify the process.
3. Know your target audience well
Who are you promoting your products to?
Where do these people live? What interests do they share?
What are their likes and dislikes?
When you have their answers, you can customize your strategy to get loyal customers for your business.
4. Define your key performance indicators (KPIs)
Do not forget to measure your marketing efforts. Once you set the goals and start with the implementation, you must know what works for you and what does not.
Setting clear KPIs will help you measure the efforts you put in your marketing campaigns. You can start with metrics like:
- conversion rate
- check out rate
- cost-per-click, and many more.
Let’s see how you can incorporate these 4 elements into your eCommerce marketing plan.
Ways to strengthen your eCommerce marketing strategy in 2022
The significance of digital marketing for eCommerce sites is undeniable. Hence, we have listed strategies and tips working wonders for eCommerce businesses out there. Let’s begin.
Tip #1: Optimize your eCommerce platform for more conversions and sales
It all boils down to your eCommerce platform—your store’s website. After potential customers get aware of your business, their first interaction is with your online store. It’s imperative to make their experience seamless and unforgettable. Here’s how you can do it.
Method #1: Reduce website’s loading time
If website loading time increases to 3 seconds, so does the bounce rate, by 32%. Five ways you can improve your website’s speed:
- Choose a hosting solution provider that keeps your website performance undisturbed.
- Compress your website images and optimize them for search engines.
- Reduce redirects on your website.
- Use a content delivery network (CDN) to decrease the distance between the browser and the servers.
Method #2: Create a user-friendly interface
Make it easy for the users to interact with your website. It includes working on:
- purchasing instructions,
- access to common pages and features,
- check-out pages,
- chatbot conversations, etc.
Method #3: Optimize your eCommerce site for mobile devices
89% of people can recommend your brand after having a good mobile shopping experience. So, make your eCommerce website mobile-friendly. Here’s how you can do it.
- Use media queries to customize your style sheet for any device, especially mobile phones.
- Frameworks like Bootstrap can also design websites for multiple devices.
- Keep your website design simple.
- Reduce the size of images.
- Use standard fonts to avoid directing users to a font download!
Tip #2: Leverage the potential of search engine optimization
On average, Google answers 3.5 billion queries every day. Most of these queries intend to find products and services.
Often, when people search for a product on Google, they don’t have a brand name in mind. So, eCommerce SEO is your best bet to create brand awareness among your customers. Here are a few tips to get the most out of eCommerce SEO.
Method #1: Add keywords that shoppers use to search for their products
If your target audience is looking for “black sports shoes,” include this keyword in your site copy. If Google finds your website indexable, it will roll your products up in the search results. Because the use of this keyword tells Google that you have the product users want.
Method #2: Clear the clutter and optimize your URLs
Instead of keeping URLs stuffed with file types, category names, or actions, use keywords or terms that describe your page information to the search engines.
Search engines need to understand what content your page has by scanning the URL. And if they cannot comprehend the text in your URLs, it will be difficult for them to see value in your content.
Method #3: Make your website navigation easy
User experience is a significant factor that Google considers while ranking websites. If it notices that your website has a high bounce rate, it won’t show your website at the top of SERPs. And high bounce rates are usually due to poor navigation and overstuffed website design.
Aesthetics are necessary but not at the cost of simplicity and ease of use.
Tip #3: Add product videos to your eCommerce website
How can you make potential customers trust the quality of your products without actually buying them?
Simple—give them a comprehensive view of your product, highlighting its quality from every angle.
70% of the top 100 results on the SERPs include videos. And, up to 85% of people who watch these videos can make a purchase. You can see how much influence product videos have over conversion rates. So, here are the most common eCommerce product videos you can try and incorporate into your product pages.
Type #1: Unboxing videos
Unboxing videos add transparency to your brand. When you show viewers what exactly comes inside the box and how it looks, they know what they are investing in. Just make sure you:
- keep the packaging clearly visible in the videos,
- build suspense as you open the box slowly and take out ease accessory along with it, and
- walk viewers through every piece inside the box and its use.
Type #2: “How-to” or explainer videos
Give a detailed tour of your product in these videos. You can:
- list the benefits and features of your products,
- highlight their USP,
- explain how to use your products in the right way, and
- give some more applications of the product apart from the apparent.
Type #3: Behind the scenes videos
These videos can keep your viewers engaged with your brand. Here’s what you can include in “sneak peeks”:
- all about materials used in your product—quality, quantity, raw or processed,
- the manufacturing process—production line, assembling, packaging, etc.
- the purpose behind every step—why you apply a particular methodology and its benefits.
Type #4: Testimonial videos
Ask your loyal customers to create videos as testimonials for your product. While some don’t need a prompt, others can help you in exchange for a loyalty program or incentives! Besides, testimonial videos help you build trust for your brand because potential customers can relate to themselves when they see their peers using the same product. Try to follow these tips for testimonial videos:
- Don’t force your customers to review the features you want to show in the videos.
- Ask them to speak about what they actually feel after using their product.
- If possible, ask your customers to shoot videos when they use the product.
Tip #4: Optimize your product and category pages
Consider your product and category pages as sales pages or landing pages where your potential customers should be enticed enough to make a purchase. Now, a product or category page does not depend only on copywriting. You need to optimize it for conversions. Here’s how you can do that.
Method #1: Include a combination of visuals and information
While many customers rely on visuals to make purchase decisions, Google ranks your website based on SEO-optimized content. So, you need to create a perfect balance between them on your product and category pages.
So, add all product images and videos on the top of your product pages and information at the bottom. Then, add relevant keywords and search terms to your content for search engines to crawl and index your pages.
Method #2: Create unique category pages
Add multiple category pages on your website, but only if you have enough product categories in your store. Three tips for doing this right:
- Add only one product category to a category page.
- Avoid creating duplicate content for similar categories—you can keep your content short if you don’t have much information to describe your product categories.
- Create short and descriptive URLs—use your primary keyword in the URL instead of spaces and characters.
Method #3: Create information-packed product pages
Make your product pages resourceful and conversion-oriented. You can add the following elements in your product pages to make them more informative and prompt customers to purchase then and there:
- product images and videos,
- features and benefits,
- product and company story,
- user-generated content and reviews,
- unboxing videos/instructions,
- comparison models,
- FAQs. etc.
Check out what Apple’s product page looks like!
Method #4: A/B Test your product and category pages
Top eCommerce brands believe in experimentation. Unless you test how different elements work on your product and category pages, you won’t know what impacts conversions the most. Apply A/B testing to your pages and see what pleases the search engines and customers.
Tip #5: Prioritize paid advertising
Paid advertising is beneficial in converting high-intent searchers. It even entices non-shoppers to check out the product. If you invest in the right keyword strategy and optimize your ads with terms that people use to search on Google, you can attract more customers to your online store.
Here are three forms of paid advertising you can implement to drive online sales.
Type #1: eCommerce search marketing
Search engine marketing helps you increase your website’s visibility in the SERP. It is another term for PPC (Pay-per-click) advertising in which eCommerce marketers have to pay for every click their ad gets. Since paid adverts can appear in the SERPs if appropriately optimized, online shoppers are highly likely to purchase after clicking on those ads.
Type #2: Google shopping
Google ads are the most lucrative adverts that can boost on-site eCommerce sales. When people conduct a shopping-related Google search, Google ads prevent them from looking down further for options. Instead, they can choose from the product available right on the SERP. It’s a high-converting opportunity for an eCommerce company to show up on the top of search results and convert their leads into loyal customers.
Type #3: Display ad campaigns
Display ads or banner ads effectively retarget customers who did not complete their purchases for some reason. Often, customers search for an item on Google to choose from but leave their shopping halfway. Display ads could bring them back to the check-out page if they searched for the product with a buying intent.
Tip #6: Experiment with different types of content on your website
Generate high-value content for your audience. However, you have to maintain a balance between educational and promotional content. A potential customer might not always want to buy products when they search about them. Sometimes, they are only looking for information to decide whether they actually need a product or service.
Here are some interesting content types you can try.
Type #1: Blog
Your website blog is the #1 place of information for your audience. It can include a variety of posts like:
- best product lists,
- buying guides,
- gift guides,
- comparison guides,
- life hacks, etc.
Type #2: Stories
People love to be connected with their favorite brands. They enjoy reading about what they do to change the community or keep up with the latest trends. Take a look at how Amazon is a great storyteller.
Type #3: FAQs
Frequently asked questions give you more benefits than one. You can:
- cover your target keywords in FAQs,
- answer basic queries customers might have related to your products,
- address queries on Google that does not have any buying intent but can land potential customers on your product pages.
Type #4: User-generated content (UGC)
UGC builds a trust factor for your eCommerce brand. It’s simple—when users themselves talk about your brand, appreciate your products, and refer them to your peers, people will trust you. The plus point is, UGC is unique, genuine, and authentic. People who have used the item and benefitted from it give their reviews about it.
So, you can include the following types of UGC in your content:
- customer reviews,
- positive feedback and comments on social media posts,
- brand mentions, etc.
Tip #7: Lead the market with up-selling and cross-selling
Upselling is when you convince your buyers to purchase an upgraded version of your product having premium quality and features. For example, if a customer is purchasing a Macbook Air with a 256 GB SSD, you try to make them purchase it with a 512 GB SSD for a higher yet reasonable price.
Here’s how you can boost your eCommerce sales with upselling:
Method #1: Offer product comparisons
Create a comparison table on your product page that lists the similarities and differences between the variants of the same product. The table will allow customers to select the best variant available according to their requirements, even if it comes at a higher price.
Method #2: Try add-ons
Incentivize your product with premium add-ons. Brands use it often to improve customer retention. For instance, if a customer buys a washing machine from you, ask them for a 2-year warranty.
Cross-selling is when you attempt to sell related items to your customers along with a product they have already purchased. For instance, you can recommend a printer, a mouse, or a keyboard with the laptop to your customers.
Two cross-selling strategies that work:
Method #1: Sell a “look”
Digital marketers are actively leveraging this cross-selling technique. So let’s see it in action.
If a customer is looking for a chair, you can show them a table, a lamp, curtains, or table accessories as a complete look (a dining room, a study room, or a hall) they can buy with the chair.
Method #2: Create product bundles
Amazon’s “Buy it with” section is a perfect example of cross-selling. The eCommerce giant makes product bundles by adding items that customers might need with a particular product. For instance, if a customer adds a pair of jeans to the cart, you can recommend a matching shirt and shoes as add-ons.
Tip #8: Attract a larger audience with influencer marketing
In 2020, the influencer market size crossed $2 billion, and TikTok influencers increased to more than 106 thousand.
Influencers give you a dedicated audience already interested in your product line. That audience trusts influencers and believes in their recommendations. Therefore, they blindly purchase items that their influencers suggest to them. Besides, these influencers have a huge following—a mega influencer has more than 1,000,000 followers.
You can implement the following influencer marketing tactics in your strategy:
Method #1: Launch giveaway campaigns with influencers
Connect with influencers in your industry who have a significant number of followers and engagement rate, and launch a giveaway campaign with them. You can give your audience tasks like:
- following your social media accounts,
- sharing giveaway posts and tagging their friends,
- sharing your products with their peers, etc.
Upon completing these tasks, you can offer them discounts or exciting prices. Here’s an example:
Method #2: Use Instagram stories to attract more audiences
Collaborate with niche influencers and who can promote your products via Instagram stories. It can be occasional, like during holidays or special days. For example, if you are a gifting company, you can target days like Christmas, New Year, national holidays, etc., to spread awareness about specific gifts you sell on these days. You can even ask the influencers to add a direct CTA to your stories.
Method #3: Leverage cross-features
A lifestyle blog DesignLoveFest partnered with Target to cross-feature each other’s products on their websites. There’s a significant advantage for Target in this partnership. Bri, the founder of DesignLoveForest, features all the products she buys from Target and other brands on her website’s “SHOP” page. So when you visit that page and want to buy something featured there, you can click on the product. It will take you to the brand’s website, where you can purchase it.
Tip #9: Create personalized email campaigns
So, if you want to leverage email marketing to your advantage, you need to incorporate personalization in your emails. Because people won’t even open your email if the subject line doesn’t resonate with their preferences. So, how should you personalize your email campaigns?
Take a look.
Method #1: Ask your audience about their preferences
Having an email address is not enough. You need more information about your audience to send them personalized messaging. One of the ways is to conduct a contest or quiz that focuses on understanding their likes and dislikes. For example, you can launch a quiz on your website asking your customers about their lifestyle in exchange for an offer or free product.
Method #2: Approach them by their first name
Try to include your customers’ first names in the subject line itself. It increases the chances of customers opening your email and evening taking the desired action. After the subject line, you can include their names between or at the end of your message. Again, it makes your email look dedicated to a particular customer.
Method #3: Send them wishes
If you have your customers’ details like birthdays, anniversaries, or their special days, send them heart-warming wishes on these days. Try to offer them special discounts via email while wishing them a great day.
Method #4: Retarget your customers with a lucrative offer for them
If a customer hasn’t completed their purchase or left the item in their wishlist, send them a personalized reminder to finish what they started. You can either incentivize the offer or recommend an alternate product based on their browsing history. Try to create FOMO for your product in the email.
Bonus: 7 moneymaking eCommerce digital marketing strategies to follow in 2022
Tip #10: Unleash the potential of social commerce
Allow your social media audience to purchase directly from the platforms. Directing them to your website or landing page might change their minds midway, and they can delay their purchase. It’d be better if you can offer them a direct purchase on the platform itself.
Tip #11: Don’t underestimate augmented reality (AR)
Visual commerce is on the rise, especially after the global pandemic. Use augmented reality to sell experiences instead of a product or service. Let your customers get the feel of your product by creating AR-based looks for your products. Brands like IKEA are nailing it already!
Tip #12: Invest in affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is another example of user-generated content if you follow the right strategy. Like customer testimonials, affiliates write product reviews for you in exchange for a charge. Then, based on their target readership and ability to persuade their readers, you can take your eCommerce sales to the next level.
Tip #13: Reward loyal customers
Don’t forget to pamper your existing customers in an attempt to acquire new ones. You can create a loyalty program for them or offer them discounts and offers on a timely basis. For example, free deliveries for Amazon Prime members are a perfect example of rewarding loyal customers.
Tips #14: Enable guest check-out
Often, first-time buyers are reluctant to create an account for a purchase. If they haven’t heard about your brand before, they are less likely to trust you with their email and contact details. So, if you want them to trust you and buy from you, allow them to guest checkout. Then, if they like your product, they will return with more expectations.
Tip #15: Don’t distract your customers when they checkout
Make sure you don’t have any heavy content or imagery on your check-out pages. Keep them simple and easy to use—no cheesy lines, alternate offers, or distractions that can stop them from purchasing.
Over to you!
eCommerce digital marketing is a pool of opportunities for your online business. If you have the suitable means to execute the marketing strategies we discussed in this post, you can expect 2022 to be more profitable than this year.
Grab the chance and leverage online marketing to its full potential.
The difference between eCommerce and digital marketing lies in their literal meanings.
eCommerce means buying and selling goods using online mediums like websites and social media platforms.
Digital marketing is the process in which you promote a business, product, or service via online mediums. These mediums can be search engines, social media platforms, emails, advertisements, etc. You use digital marketing techniques to promote an eCommerce activity or business.
You can start eCommerce digital marketing by following these steps:
- First, create a marketing plan for your eCommerce business—define your goals and map a clear strategy to achieve them.
- Understand your target market—explore your potential customers and research their likes and dislikes.
- Find your USP—differentiate yourself from your competitors.
- Start promoting your business—find the proper digital marketing channels for your industry and get started.
Some examples of eCommerce platforms are Amazon, Flipkart, eBay, Olx, Upwork, Myntra, etc.
Yes, eCommerce is a digital business because it includes buying and selling products or services in a digital mode.