Starting the Digital Marketing journey for a new e-commerce store could be daunting. There are many elements to be considered. Do the pictures present an accurate image of the product? Should we focus on SEO or paid advertising? Do we have an Instagram strategy?
If you are a big brand with multi-dollar Marketing budgets, these decisions define the course of business and if you are a small independent store, these become important because of the limited resources at your disposal.
How should you get over this roadblock? What are the essential tactics you should focus on to build your audience? Let’s take a look:
- Simplified Site Structure: Site structure is defined as the classification of your site’s content. For an e-commerce store, it is the organization of products into different categories. So, by strict definition, this is not a Marketing tactic because it is not targeted at the customer directly. Still, it impacts the sales of your site in two ways.
Firstly, the ease of site navigation for your customers. When a customer visits your site even to browse through, it should be easy for them to get an idea of your catalog of products. If they know what they are buying, they should be able to locate it quickly.
Secondly, SEO value from search engines. It acts as a guide for search engines on how to locate content relevant to the user’s queries. It helps them determine what you are selling. The better site structure, better chances of ranking in search engines and increasing the organic traffic.
Ideally, the structure should be evergreen i.e. it should remain valid even if you add more products or retire a few of them. However, you can try changing it after a major haul, though it may impact the ranking and organic traffic (visits originated through search engine queries).
Before building the site, brainstorm and design the structure. Familiarize yourself with best practices to understand how you should approach this task.
- On-Page SEO: Organic traffic is a sure shot way to build a sustainable business. And SEO is how you generate organic traffic for your site. An SEO strategy is usually divided into On-Page and Off-page factors. On-page refers to the factors of your website, it’s setup, user-friendliness, etc. Off-page refers to links from other sites, social media mentions, etc.
As a new store, you may not have the time or resources to focus on off-page elements. Hence, if the on-page elements for every page of your site are optimized, there are better chances of ranking.
This infographic by Brian Dean explains the various components of on-page SEO elements quite well. The only difference for an e-commerce store would be the length of content on the page. The product description should provide the relevant details as succinctly as possible. It should also have the targetted keyword and the long tail keywords should be mentioned at the description at the bottom of the page if the design of the page allows.
- Email Marketing: Emails are an important way to connect with your customers. A full-fledged Email Marketing strategy may be difficult to develop at the onset because you are still trying to figure out your customer persona and probably focussing on shipping the orders.
Still, regular updates through emails are assuring to the customer that they have not been duped and will soon receive the order. If the customer is informed of every update, it helps build the trust as well. In the initial days, you can focus on sending emails only for order updates.
Now, the trick here is to ensure that you are providing the necessary information to the customer but at the same time not spamming their inbox either. In the beginning, you could start with three emails, order confirmation, order shipment and order delivery. Later, based on the customer queries you receive you can add or modify this list. For e.g. you may receive a lot of queries on shipment after order confirmation email, in that case, you can add another email on an estimated shipping date once you have figured that part.
At the beginning stages, the goal of Digital Marketing should be to get the fundamentals right. If you experiment with too many tactics, you may not be able to identify what is working for you the best. Hence, start small with the steps outlined above and once you have mastered these tactics, add more to your Marketing mix.
Charu is a newbie in the world of entrepreneurship. After a successful stint of ten years in software Marketing, she decided to establish her identity beyond big corporations and designations. As a Marketing Consultant, she helps new e-commerce stores build their Digital Marketing Strategy.
She also blogs about Ergonomic Office Products and Marketing Strategy.