The eCommerce landscape seems to be more difficult than ever, despite the post-COVID boom for online shopping. Intense competition, both from big players like Amazon or ebay, has driven up ad costs, forced brands to lower prices, and overall lowered ROAS (Return on Ad Spend).
BUT, difficult does not mean impossible. A wealth of experience has given us, at Digital Performance Lab, some insight into growing eCommerce brands.
Mastering the fundamentals is key to eCommerce growth marketing success. The most important aspects of any successful campaign are understanding your customer, their needs and desires as well-as making sure you have all necessary tools at hand for acquisition – this includes knowing when it’s time to invest in additional strategies like social media advertising or paid search ads! So, we want to tell you about our top 3 ecommerce strategies for growth:
- Help Your Customers Find You and Make Decisions – SEO & Content Marketing
- Be Where Your Customers Are – Social Media Ads
- Reach Customers In Moments That Matter – Paid Search & PPC
Let’s get a bit more in-depth with each of these…
1. Help Your Customers Find You and Make Decisions – SEO & Content Marketing
With 88% of consumers claiming they conduct an online search before making a purchase, (most searches don’t make it past pafe one on Google), SEO is an essential eCommerce growth strategy that’s impossible for marketers to ignore. SEO is such an in-depth topic that it could easily fill an article all on its own, but here are the key things to consider for eCommerce growth.
- Blogs – Even if you perfectly optimise all your product pages for their particular keywords, there will still be many relevant search enquiries that you want your site to rank for. That’s blogging comes in. If your product pages are designed to rank for people searching for those specific products, your blog pages should be designed to answer questions about your product or industry.
- Quizzes: (As entertaining as discovering which Disney character you are on Buzzfeed, that’s not the sort of quizzes we mean here). Quizzes can be utilised to educate users about your products, offer personalised solutions, and incentivise users to complete a lead form. For example, getting consumers to answer a questionnaire to determine a personalised skin care or supplement routine based on their lifestyle and needs.
- Shopping Listings – Listings have been a major part of brick-and-mortor business for a long time (Yelp, TripAdvisor, etc.), but they’re also seen l in eCommerce businesses now too. Back in April 2020, Google announced that its Shopping listings were no longer just for paid ads, and Facebook Marketplace soon followed. These listings offer a free place for additional exposure and sales, but similar to SEO, they have their own set of rules and best practices that you can optimise to improve your rank and drive traffic. After setting up your product feed, test different headlines, images, and descriptions. Attach reviews or promotions to drive additional social proof and attention. Because these listings are free, they’re also very competitive. Regular maintenance and optimisation are required to outrank your competition, but the payoff can be substantial.
2. Be Where Your Customers Are – Social Media Ads
At this point, we all know that social media is one of the most essential eCommerce growth strategies. It helps you get your message out there and builds trust with potential customers who might not have heard from or seen you before! Let’s look into a few areas where it excels the most…
- Audiences – Facebook & Instagram collect the most data, and therefore, offer the most precise targeting options for your eCommerce business. Our top audience recommendation is the lookalike audience.
Lookalike audiences are a simple and effective way for most businesses to scale. You don’t need to worry about making incorrect assumptions about your core audience – just upload your customer email list and use the Facebook AI to target demographically and behaviourally similar people. Be sure to regularly refresh these audiences because your audience will change and develop as your online store continues to grow.
The Facebook Audience Insights tool is a great way to get a high-level overview of the types of things your followers are interested in. Another area worth testing is targeting people who have recently gone through specific life events – starting or graduating university, getting engaged or recently married, new parents, buying a home or moving. Major life events often trigger new purchasing behavior, so if your product is particularly useful to someone in a situation like this, these audiences can be a gold mine!
- Ad Types – When it comes to eCommerce sales, there are a few ad types that stand out.
An eCommerce brand often relies on visual elements to sell products. The Facebook carousel is a particularly valuable format, as it enables you to feature multiple products and allows the user to go directly to the product page of the item that most appeals to them.
Similarly, video stands out as a strong ad type for eCommerce growth, as it still features those visual elements while allowing the ability to tell your brand story a bit more.
Being able to complete a transaction without making the user leave the app drastically reduces the likelihood they’ll abandon the sale.
So naturally, Facebook/Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, and even TikTok have been experimenting with shoppable ads, where retailers can now feature specific products in a way that facilitates seamless transactions.
3. Reach Customers In Moments That Matter – Paid Search & PPC
Alongside paid social, paid search is another must-have eCommerce growth tactic. It doesn’t get much simpler than bidding for the top spot when someone is actively searching for something where your product is a solution.
- High Intent Search Keywords – The more niche you can get, the more qualified your leads will be. Results will be more efficient the more qualifiers you can add, so you can specify things like type (e.g. necklace, rings), material (e.g. gold, turquoise), and so on. Good keyword research is essential to building any paid search campaign.
- Shopping Ads – Google Shopping campaign ads accounted for 76% of retail search ad spending last year. One of the reasons they’re so popular and effective is their positioning. On mobile, Google Shopping ads appear in a carousel on top of the SERP. Their prominent positioning, combined with them being much more visually stimulating make it an essential part of any eCommerce growth strategy.
The rise of online spending has never been more important than right now as consumers
There are hundreds of strategies and channels that can be utilised to drive online sales, and with technological advancements, the complexity of eCommerce marketing will only continue to grow. If you want to grow your eCommerce business, make sure that you’ve got the fundamentals of your eCommerce strategy in place – you’ll be well on your way to sustainable business growth.
Interested to learn more about how to grow your eCommerce business? Check out our guide to our eCommerce growth framework to learn all the steps you need to succeed or, why not schedule a complimentary 30-minute introductory call with one of our eCommerce specialists via Zoom to learn more about how to grow your eCommerce business.