The current state of eCommerce is a mixture between boom and bust for established brands. Online sales are at an all-time high, yet smaller companies without a clear strategy continue to face challenges brought on by shifting consumer behaviours.
Developing an ecommerce marketing strategy is a great way to ensure that you are not spending money without achieving results. With the right strategy in place, your company can gain new customers and increase revenue while cutting costs by avoiding costly mistakes such as launching unnecessary products or advertising on channels which don’t work for your target audience.
Here are our 7 steps to creating a great eCommerce marketing strategy for your brand:
1. Set goals and objectives
One of the most important steps to take when it comes time for your marketing strategy is clearly defining goals and objectives. You need this information in order to not only see how well things are going, but also to determine improvements and adjustments on an ongoing basis.
When setting your ecommerce goals, think specifically. There are many ways to increase revenue and profits – consider goals such as:
- Getting more organic search traffic
- Improving your conversion rate
- Increasing Customer Lifetime Value (LTV)
- Lowering Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
- Acquiring customers through new marketing channels
Set specific targets within timeframes. For example, ‘this quarter, we’ll be focusing our efforts on increasing winter apparel sales by 25%’.
By looking at your analytics, you can identify where there is room for growth. Key metrics like conversion rates and average order value will give an idea about whether or not your site needs work or requires optimisation as well as determining aspects of your marketing strategy that aren’t generating sales.
2. Identify Your Target Audience
The key to marketing success is understanding your target audience. You need a thorough knowledge of who they are so you can customise your strategies and channels for reaching them most effectively!
Try to describe your audience in one sentence – e.g. if you are selling organic baby food, your target audience might be ‘affluent health-minded young mums in the UK who want to feel good about what their babies eat’.
This exercise forces you to get crystal clear about who you’re targeting and why.
3. Create Buyer Personas
The important thing to remember about your buyer personas is that they should be tailored specifically for each audience segment. This will help you better understand who are the individuals in this particular target demographic and allow for even more focused marketing campaigns aimed at reaching out just those prospects with personalised content or ads.
Consider the following attributes as you build your personas:
- Marital status
- Geographic location
- Who they admire
- Pain Points
- Who they dislike
- Their influences
- Media they consume
- Products desired
- Features desired
4. Map the Customer Journey
The Customer Journey is a person’s experience with your company from start to finish. It starts when they first become aware of you and continues through every interaction, purchase or engagement that occurs in between those times!
By mapping the customer journey, you can see things from a different perspective. You’ll discover what motivates them to take action in the first place and learn where they turn for information along their path of discovery with your products.
You can optimise each touch point, giving customers exactly what they need to move on in their journey.
5. Calculate Your Customer Lifetime Value
Customer lifetime value is the total amount of revenue that a customer will bring in over their lifetime relationship with you. This includes both initial purchases and any follow-up shopping to those interactions as well, making it an important indicator for assessing successful marketing strategies and different ways to grow sales while maintaining profitability throughout all stages within business development processes.
LTV is a critical metric in ecommerce marketing for several reasons:
- The higher your LTV, the more you can afford to spend on customer acquisition.
- By calculating the LTV of your different customer segments, you can find which ones are most profitable and then focus on acquiring or retaining them.
- LTV helps you evaluate your customer retention efforts. If your LTV is low, it means your retention strategy is ineffective and needs to be revamped.
- It allows you to measure marketing ROI. If you want to see exactly how well your marketing is working, simply compare your LTV to your Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC). The lower the ratio, the more ineffective your marketing.
Now that you understand your goals, customers and their journey, you can begin to plan your eCommerce marketing activity…
6. Determine your marketing channels
Choose which marketing channels you’re going to focus on and develop a plan for each. Consider the following at a minimum:
- Email Marketing
- Social Media
- Paid Ads
Top eCommerce marketing tips:
Here are just a few quick tips to consider from our eCommerce SEO checklist.
- Ensure all important pages are indexed by Google.
- Build a logical website architecture that’s three clicks deep.
- Improve page load time & optimise for mobile devices
- Do keyword research and align content with search intent.
- Address duplicate content.
- Use structured data to capture rich snippets.
- Ensure all pages are mobile-friendly.
- Fix broken links.
- Use image alt text
- Optimise Category pages
- Use SEO-friendly URLs that contain the primary keyword.
- Write keyword-optimised on-page SEO elements: title tags, meta descriptions, H1s, image alt tags
- Write unique product descriptions.
- Craft content that resonates with your target personas.
- Avoid duplicate content.
- Use high quality product images
- Offer similar/related product suggestions.
- Include product reviews or testimonials.
- Amplify eCommerce content marketing with a blog
Email marketing is one of the best tools any marketer or business owner can utilise from their marketing toolbox. With an average 3800% ROI – it’s clear to see why.
- Integrate your EMS (email marketing software) with your website.
- Consider your data. The foundation of really good email marketing is a really good email list.
- Determine your objectives.
- Build a welcome email series
- Use Personalisation to target different segments
- Offer exclusive discounts to loyal customers
- Send promotional sales emails for all subscribers
- Create responsive, well-designed emails
- Set up your abandoned cart emails
People are starting to use social media as a way to search for products. Nearly 50% of Gen Z and millennial shoppers prefer to find new products on social media over search engines. Plus, a whopping 70% of consumers search for products they want to buy on Instagram and Facebook. Here are some of our top tips for social media for eCommerce:
- Know what works on each platform
- Create varied content – 4 core content pillars: Promote, Educate, Inspire & Entertain
- Utilise video content (including stories, in-feed videos, Live videos)
- Use social commerce tools such as shopping features, storefronts, tagging products and catalogues
- Grow your following with Instagram Reels
- Partner with influencers who are relevant to your brand and audience
- Repost and reward UGC (user generated content)
- Showcase customer reviews
- Use social listening tools
For eCommerce businesses, consider advertising on Google and social media. Here are some of our paid advertising top tips:
- Set up Ad Accounts; complete with pixels and conversion tracking
- Conduct your research and determine your budget
- Determine a strategy for each platform – for eCommerce business we recommend utilising a funnel approach
- Get on Google Shopping!
- Set up Remarketing Ads
- Continually analyse and optimise campaigns on a weekly, monthly & quarterly basis
7. Continually Analyse and Make Data-Driven Improvements
It’s important to measure the effectiveness of your marketing and sales activity. Data and analytics can assist eCommerce companies in measuring how successful your marketing campaigns are, as well as improving decision-making, gaining more omnichannel traction, and informing holistic eCommerce strategies.
Consider your goals at each stage of your eCommerce strategy – are you achieving them? Have you begun to boost your online traffic? Have you improved your Click Through Rate (CTR)? Has your Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) reduced? And ultimately, are you generating sales?
At Digital Performance Lab, we have a 4-stage approach to growing your eCommerce business. We spend time understanding your needs and designing a strategy that will improve your online presence, customer experience and growth potential.