Due to the coronavirus pandemic, eCommerce has seen rapid growth, with statistics showing that the sector saw a rise of $926 billion US dollars in 2020 alone. This demonstrates that technology and infrastructure have vastly improved, and consumers have accepted eCommerce as a permanent and regular part of their lives.
This explosive growth has created vast opportunities for businesses in the eCommerce space. But with great opportunity comes great competition, with more and more businesses moving their products online every day.
This guide offers you 10 highly effective ways to market your eCommerce business and beat the competition.
They say you should always pick the low-hanging fruit first, which is certainly true for eCommerce. Upselling your customers is an easier way to increase sales and boost profits with very little upfront investment.
The benefit of upselling customers comes from the fact that you have already put in the leg work to get them to trust your business and your products. Once a customer is on your site, has added items to their basket, and is about to checkout, they are very open to purchasing other items. Especially when these items are of a lower cost, associated with the items they are already buying, or add convenience. One study suggests that upselling to existing customers increases your chances of making a 60-70% sale.
For example, if you run an online store selling toothbrushes, offering customers a deal on toothpaste at checkout is likely to return great results. Even if your toothpaste isn’t the cheapest/best on the market, the convenience of ordering all their oral hygiene products together will often convince people to buy.
- Capture more email subscribers
Email offers businesses a way to stay in touch with their audience directly. It also allows you to tailor and personalize your messages to those on your mailing list, making it more likely to resonate with your customers and build the trust you need to sell. Particularly if you personalize your communication. In fact, 80% of consumers are more likely to buy when they receive a personalized experience.
There are lots of ways you can build your email list. Still, by far, the best is to offer real, relevant incentives such as discount codes, competitions, and promises of the latest news and updates, regularly remind your customers of its existence and send prompts to join following sales of products.
- Have a solid email marketing strategy
Once you have grown your email list, you will want to make sure you are maximizing it. Creating a solid email marketing strategy will help you do this.
Although there are lots of hacks, tricks, and tips when it comes to email marketing strategies, the most important aspect to remember are:
- Contact people consistently enough that you stay at the top of their mind
- But, don’t contact people so much that you appear desperate
- Only send people emails that offer real value such as insightful information, discounts on popular items of news of sales
Once you have formed a strategy around these points, you can introduce tools that help you achieve them. For example, you may create triggered email campaigns that ensure you consistently send emails to buyers at specific parts of the buying journey.
- Send wishlist reminder emails.
A big part of the appeal of online shopping is the ability to ‘fantasy shop’ without even having to leave your house. This is why including a wishlist feature on your website is such a good idea, helping people keep track of all the great products they love and making it easy for them to purchase them in the future.
However, most people will build a wishlist and then completely forget about it, even though they may still want the items on it. This is where wishlist reminder emails come in.
A simple reminder email to customers notifying them of items on their wishlist is a powerful tool. Unlike typical email marketing, where you advertise the products you decide to push, sending wishlist reminders allows you to advertise the specific product you know the customer wants.
You may even decide to set up functionality to notify people when items on their wishlist go on sale.
- Get visual with good quality images and videos.
There are two big benefits to shopping in physical stores which eCommerce shops need to overcome if they want to be successful:
- The shopper’s ability to see, touch, and try the product out
- The atmosphere that can be created in a physical store
The use of high-quality images and videos can help you mitigate these aspects. Including multiple images and videos of the product in use can help customers get a real sense of its size, quality, look, and how it works.
Including other content on your sites, such as lifestyle or aspirational images and videos, can also help you create a connection with the customer. For example, businesses like Patagonia use images and videos to highlight their connection to the outdoors and sustainability, making people who feel strongly about these areas feel connected to the brand.
- Encourage user-generated content
Encouraging customers to create User Generated Content (UGC) should be a major goal of the market team of any online store. UGC can come in many forms ranging from pictures of customers using your products on social media to brand mentions in podcasts and even online reviews.
Using UGC in your marketing has huge benefits, including:
- Making customers feel like they are part of a brand associated community
- Encouraging customers to buy products so that they can take part in that community
- Showing how products look and feel in real life
- Increase the reach of your brand through social media sharing
- Providing stores with often high-quality content that can be used across marketing materials for a much lower cost than paying for professional content creators
- Keep up a consistent blog with high-quality content
Maintaining a great blog is an often overlooked but powerful tool for eCommerce businesses. By delivering relevant content, you position yourself with customers as a knowledgeable leader in your given area. It is important to deliver impeccable quality to help it stand out in an often overcrowded online space.
For example, if you are a health food company that maintains a consistent, quality blog on healthy living, you will develop the trust of your audience needed for them to feel comfortable buying your products.
By posting consistently, you are also more likely to rank highly on search engines as Google rewards websites that post regular content, and it will help their bots understand what your niche is. As long as your content is also relevant, this will bring potential customers onto your site, where they can find out more about your product offering.
One good way to make sure your content is relevant and insightful is to conduct keyword research in your niche regularly. Using tools such as Google Trends and Ubersuggest will help you discover what people are searching for in your niche area. In turn, this will help you create content that is both highly relevant to your target audience and receive high volumes of traffic.
- Embrace personalization
People like to feel special; it’s human nature.
Introducing personalization to your marketing is a powerful way to make your customers feel like you are talking directly to them, rather than sending them marketing messages sent to a mass audience.
Think about it. Would you rather open an email from a friend who knows your name, understands your personality, and offers great advice, or would you rather open an email from a huge company that has been sent to 10,000 other people as well?
Of course, unless you have a massive dedicated sales team, you will find it difficult to get to know every customer on a 1-on-1 basis. But there are some fantastic tools at your fingertips that can be used to personalize your messaging.
For example, you may make personalized recommendations via email to customers based on their previous purchases from your store. This helps you stay relevant in their mind and increase the chances of making a sale.
- Optimize for mobile
Did you know that more than half of online shopping is now done from a mobile device?
With this in mind, we probably don’t need to tell you much more about why ensuring your online store is optimized for mobile is so important. Unless your site looks good and is functional on a mobile device, chances are you are putting a huge segment of potential customers off buying from you.
Search engines like Google also take mobile optimization seriously and have made announcements stating that good mobile functionality impacts your site’s ranking. In addition, you can easily check if your site is mobile-friendly by using Google’s own mobile-friendly tester.
- Reward loyal customers
It seems all too often that online shops will offer new customers anything to ‘get them through the door.’ But this can make your loyal; repeat customers feel pretty unloved by you.
We have already discussed that it is much cheaper to keep loyal customers than bring on board new ones, but many businesses don’t pay enough attention.
Reward your loyal customers for keeping them loyal. This can include anything such as:
- Personal discounts
- Early access to new products
- Invitations to events
- Fast track services
- Loyalty card schemes
Marketing your eCommerce business
Right now is an exciting time for eCommerce businesses. By following the tips we have outlined in this guide, you will put yourself in the best position to achieve success in an already competitive landscape.