To grow your business online, it’s vital that you know how to put together an effective ecommerce marketing strategy.

Why? Because online sales accounted for 14.1% of all retail sales worldwide in 2019. This figure is expected to reach 22% by 2023, making it more critical than ever to market online to reach your audience.

In this article, we explain everything you need to know about how to set up an effective ecommerce strategy and what to include in it.

What is an ecommerce marketing strategy?

An ecommerce marketing strategy documents how a business will drive online sales of a product or service using social media, digital content and search engines. The purpose of the strategy is to attract buyers, encourage people to make purchases online and ultimately increase online sales.

Why is an ecommerce marketing strategy necessary?

Every company needs an ecommerce marketing strategy. It is fundamental in helping a business survive and grow in today’s competitive environment. It allows you to keep up to date with current trends and adapt your approach to ecommerce marketing accordingly.

Your competitors will likely have a strategy in place, so use your strategy to focus on areas you know you’re weaker in.

A defined strategy is the best way to stay on track and ensure your business has clear, achievable goals. Without one, you won’t have a clear direction, and your marketing efforts could end up being wasted.

What to include in your ecommerce marketing strategy

So now you know what an ecommerce marketing strategy is, what do you need to include in it to increase sales?

Focus on content marketing

Content marketing is a powerful and effective way to attract new visitors and gain loyalty online.

First, your ecommerce marketing strategy needs to identify your target audience. You also need to find out the most suitable social media platforms to target them on before coming up with content marketing ideas. Next, you need to create a content marketing plan that details the type of content you plan to post and when. Create content that shows your products in the best light, makes the buying journey easier for shoppers and connects newsworthy, industry-relevant events with your business.

Content proved to be successful online includes:

  • Blogging
  • Video content
  • Customer stories
  • Interactive content
  • User-generated content

Why you need to include it

The primary purpose of content marketing for ecommerce businesses is to drive conversion rates. It’s also a great way to establish your brand and set yourself apart from your competitors. A good content marketing strategy will also improve your SEO results.

Optimise your site for SEO

The first step in your ecommerce marketing strategy is to figure out what your customers are searching for and how they search for it. Next, you need to conduct thorough keyword research to identify the right keywords for your audience and industry.

Once you’ve established the best keywords to use, optimise each page of your website with these words. Search engines use them to find the right page for users. Finally, create compelling titles and descriptions rich with keywords to boost your page in search results.

Why you need to include it

Great content is only worthwhile if people can find it. That’s where search engine optimisation comes in. Effective SEO will improve user experience and boost traffic, therefore increasing sales.

Use social media marketing

Social media is a powerful and cost-effective way to advertise your products and services and should form a significant part of your ecommerce marketing strategy.

If you haven’t already built an online presence, start by selecting one or two platforms best suited for your business.

In your strategy, it’s important to decide on the tone and personality of your business so you can be consistent across all online channels. It will allow you to build trust with your audience and maintain brand recognition.

Advertising on social media also allows you to track data such as traffic, clicks and sales. It enables you to adapt your strategy if required.

Why you need to include it

If you don’t already use social media to engage with your target audience, your competitors will be. Consumers also expect companies to be on social media to answer customer questions and read customer reviews.

Refresh your website layout

A modern, fast and intuitive website is essential if you want to keep customers on your site long enough to make a purchase. Making sure your site is mobile-friendly should also be a priority for your ecommerce marketing strategy in 2020.

A website should also follow current design trends to make it stand out and appeal to a broad audience. It should also make buying from your website as easy as possible for customers.

Key areas to consider updating include design, improving load times and streamlining the checkout process.

Why you need to include it

If your website doesn’t do any of the things described above, consumers will likely go to a better website to make a purchase. Unfortunately, this will lose you sales.

Don’t forget Email marketing

The value of email marketing shouldn’t be underestimated, even in today’s social media dominated world.

One of the most powerful ways to target customers, and re-gain lost sales, is to send them a reminder about an abandoned shopping basket. Other emails such as welcome automations, sales and exclusive discount codes have all been proven to increase sales.

Personalisation is essential to the success of email marketing. It would be best if you incorporated it in your ecommerce marketing strategy wherever possible. Remember to include steps to make your emails mobile-friendly too.

Why you need to include it

Overlooking email marketing may mean you miss out on a proven way to reach out to your audience and increase sales. Many people think email marketing is outdated and no longer required. However, it has been proven to be one of the most effective customer acquisition techniques. Keep up to date with changes in email marketing and your business will benefit from this useful marketing tool.

Try referral marketing

Including referral marketing in your ecommerce strategy is a great way to build your brand’s reputation by rewarding loyal customers. It works by encouraging people who have already bought from your business to refer new customers to your website, by offering discounts or free subscriptions.

You can achieve referral marketing through your social media, email and customer service functions. As it relies on recommendations, it’s also extremely cost-effective.

Why you need to include it

People rely heavily on recommendations before making a purchase. Therefore, the chances of a referral buying from your business is much higher than other visitors. Referral marketing should result in high-quality leads and higher conversion rates.

Take advantage of our ecommerce expertise

Developing an effective ecommerce marketing strategy is crucial for any online sales business to survive. If you’re looking for help with yours, Simply Media can provide the advice, knowledge and expertise that your business needs to thrive online. Get in touch with our experts to discuss your ecommerce marketing needs.