In the first quarter of the year 2000, eCommerce sales accounted for .8% of all retail purchases. By the end of 2018, over 10% of all retail sales occurred online with nearly a full 1% increase in online retail sales by the second quarter of 2019 (see the source, Federal Reserve Bank Economic Research, for more data). Ecommerce already represents a $3.45 trillion dollar industry where some experts predict that before the first half of the 21st Century is over, over 90% of all retail sales will occur online.
In other words, businesses that lean primarily upon traditional retail, marketing, and sales/brokering techniques risk absolute extinction in this lifetime.
The Best eCommerce Marketing Techniques
Marketing – like eCommerce – presents modernizing advances of its own. Traditional marketing through print, TV, and radio advertising is losing ground quickly to the world of digital marketing.
What is most exciting about the modernization of marketing is that businesses are making millions on both paid and owned media (the two primary categories of digital marketing). In case you’re not entirely familiar, paid media digital marketing is paid advertising, such as Google Ads or social media paid ads. In contrast, owned media digital marketing is completely free, because your business needs only carefully curate engaging content on its own website, social media channels, and online business listings to draw your audience.
Naturally, it makes little sense for eCommerce businesses to favor traditional marketing over digital marketing. Ecommerce shopkeepers with low budgets more or less favor an owned media digital marketing strategy, while firms with high budgets favor a nice mix of paid and owned media techniques.
Pay per click (PPC) digital marketing is growing more successful (and more complicated). Thanks in large part to eCommerce, Internet-based companies have the most potent data on buyer behavior in the history of retail. This includes both demographics and individual preferences. The most famous PPC hub is Google Adwords, but there are literally hundreds of PPC options today.
Remarketing takes the PPC idea and makes eCommerce marketing astoundingly more powerful. Using “cookies,” PPC providers like Google can track those that have already visited your site and “remarket” those visitors to return to your online store. It is like someone visited their favorite store in an outlet mall, admired a piece of clothing without buying, and arrived home with the clothing item waiting at their doorstep enticing them to overrule their initial hesitation.
Remarketing to those who have already visited your site takes Pay Per Click and makes ecommerce marketing more powerful.
If remarketing sounds like a good fit for your eCommerce store, consider learning more about it through Google Support. The account setup is free.
2. Email Marketing
Email marketing looks a lot like remarketing, except it is not entirely paid digital marketing or a PPC service. With a customer’s permission, you can save their email and reach out to them via email with engaging email content. Some eCommerce businesses are effectively emailing their customers multiple times each week with inventory updates and limited-time offers.
Email marketing for eCommerce businesses can be effective when you send inventory updates & limited time offers. #emailmarketing
There are a number of ways to set up email marketing for your business. Make sure to read carefully laws pertaining to email for marketing use.
3. Product Reviews
Product reviews are perhaps one of the most powerful marketing techniques used by eCommerce businesses. In short, product reviews are third party consumers comparing and contrasting top products within a niche category.
On average, online shoppers read 112 product reviews before buying. That’s why eCommerce merchants seek out product reviews and even hire credible shoppers to use and review their products online for all to see. Amazon, for example, attributes a significant amount of their business to product reviews.
On average, online shoppers read 112 product reviews before buying. Use influencer marketing to create authentic reviews for your product.
The first step to getting product review mentions online is to diligently encourage your current customers to review your product online and refer their friends and family. You can also hire experienced, freelance reviewers to produce product reviews for you. However, dishonest product reviews come back to haunt you. Make sure that your product really is good as is advertised before you lean upon a product review marketing strategy.
4. Content Marketing
Technically speaking, content marketing is using nearly all the strategies above in a cohesive marketing plan that always drives traffic back to the main company site. In addition to email marketing and product reviews, content marketing makes almost exclusive use of owned media channels.
The company site itself contains a wealth of industry information, freely available to all prospective customers. The content is what attracts clients to their brand and builds credibility with their audience. Recent marketing brands like HubSpot use accurate, up-to-date, and compelling content to “attract and delight” their prospective customers.
Content marketing is a long-term, extensive, yet incredibly potent approach to inbound marketing principles. Getting started usually requires that you work with an inbound marketing specialist and gain a basic understanding of search engine optimization.
Content marketing is a long-term, extensive, yet incredibly potent approach to inbound marketing principles. Influencer generated content can feed your content marketing strategy.
5. Influencer Marketing
What is Influencer Marketing? It is branding that harnesses the “power of individuals” with “authentic voices, and the power to effectively engage their followers with aesthetic content.”
At the risk of oversimplifying influencer marketing, it is best described as a careful hybrid of personal branding and content marketing. In mega influencer marketing, personal branding can revolve around a widely known celebrity. The macro influencer may not be quite as famous as Brad Pitt, but their social media audience is substantial, often more than 100,000 followers. Still, micro and nano influencers have smaller following, but a substantial following nonetheless.
Influencer marketing harnesses the power of individuals by engaging the audience with an authentic voice and unique content. Influencers, big or small, greatly affect the purchase decision of their audience.
These thoughts leaders both curate and influence their audience to take active steps within their industry, whether it be through product purchases or affirmative action.
What are your some of your best practice eCommerce marketing techniques?