The rise of the internet has changed the way people shop. It’s become much faster, easier and more convenient to buy things online. Whether you have a retail presence or not, your sale numbers depend on strong marketing.
However, there’s no single universal strategy for all the industries. If you’re in an e-commerce business, you may find yourself facing various digital obstacles that are difficult to jump over. That is why we’ve prepared an ultimate list of the best e-commerce marketing strategies to implement in 2019.
E-Commerce in a Nutshell
Many may think the e-commerce industry is a relatively recent invention. They couldn't be more wrong. In fact, the first digital company was founded in 1969. CompuServe was a commercial online service provider that introduced one of the earliest forms of email and the internet.
But it wasn’t until 1979 when the notion of online shopping emerged. Today it is simply buying and selling things online but the e-commerce infrastructure goes way beyond the simple process of digital transaction. In fact, most companies use an e-commerce platform to combine both sales and marketing efforts.
This is how they can monitor all activities in order to hit certain goals. According to Statista by the end of 2019, apparel, footwear and accessories revenue in the US only will reach 112 621 million dollars. Compare it with a little over 93 000 million only two years before and you’ll get the point.
What does it mean for people in an e-commerce industry? A lot of growth potential and a lot of competition. That is why you need to stand out from the crowd and implement the right marketing strategy for your business.
The Best Marketing Strategies of 2019 for E-Commerce
Throughout the years, marketing strategies have been changing to fit new requirements and satisfy more demanding groups of customers. From posters to TV, and from there they went online. It wasn’t until several years ago, however, when marketers started to appreciate the limitless potential of the internet.
Today, the strategies are changing at a very fast pace and you either bite a piece of this cake or… bite the dust. Generally, we can distinguish six basic e-commerce models every company can fall under:
- B2B (Business-to-Business)
- B2C (Business-to-Consumer)
- C2C (Consumer-to-Consumer)
- C2B (Consumer-to-Business)
- B2A (Business-to-Administration)
- C2A (Consumer-to-Administration)
No matter what your category is you can implement the following strategies and enjoy a bigger sale, brand awareness, and conversion. We have divided the best e-commerce marketing strategies into three main sections: content, email, and social media marketing. Digital marketing experts at Miromind share that these are the most popular channels today.
They are crucial factors of a successful marketing strategy for your e-commerce business. Without further ado, jump right in!
This is perhaps one of the most fundamental parts of your marketing efforts. Without compelling content, you’re not likely to outrace your competition. Having a well-thought strategy, however, should be in place before you start implementing any changes.
Here’s what you should do in order to start:
- Define your goals - for any e-commerce business the most important goal is the sale, lead generation, and to get people to register. Sometimes they also want to focus on brand awareness.
- Learn about your target audience - as a company you need to be aware of what people want and expect from you. This will help you adjust your content accordingly. Consider using professional online tools to access valuable data.
- Choose communication channels - you don’t want to add content in places your customers never visit. Whether it is social media, blog or YouTube, you should analyze your audience behavior and narrow down the list of channels.
- Create a schedule - you should plan when to upload your content as well to keep your marketing efforts on the right track. Also, it is recommended to decide on the form of your content - the one that will be most attractive for your audience.
- Monitor - no strategy will bring desirable results if it’s not monitored. By analyzing the performance of your content marketing, effort you’re able to see what’s working, and what’s not. The majority of companies use Google Analytics to do that.
So how do you implement content marketing in your e-commerce business?
One of the most popular strategies is launching a blog on your website. Creating interesting content is a must in 2019 because this is exactly what your competition is doing. But it’s not all about writing - you need to be aware of what to write, which means getting to know your audience.
Start with 1-2 articles a week but remember to make them look visually attractive. This means a proper structure, catchy headlines, images, keywords, and perhaps interesting facts insertions. An SEO factor is also crucial. Shopify presented a smart content marketing funnel where they placed various strategies in order of their importance.
Your biggest effort should be focused on building awareness with content. That means creating a blog, podcasts, social media content, infographics, videos, etc. Next, you need to convert prospects into leads by creating more educational content, webinars, and other useful resources.
Finally, your leads should be able to make an informed purchase decision so complete your content with demos, customer testimonials and stories, comparison sheets, and more webinar or events.
Apart from content, you should also focus your efforts on email marketing. The majority of people check their inboxes on a daily basis, usually first thing in the morning. The truth is, email marketing can really make a difference if you structure it correctly.
It takes time but you can expect the return of investment in a relatively short time.
Build a mailing list
After all, without enough addresses in your mailing list, you’re not likely to improve your sale numbers. But how do you persuade people to subscribe? There are several ways to do so:
- by adding a form on your website (lightbox or pop-up)
- by doing the same thing on social media (Facebook and Twitter Lead Generation Cards)
- by contributing to forums
- by organizing webinars and other online events
- by creating a QR code and placing it locally and on printed marketing materials
Segment and update your mailing list
This practice aims at reducing unsubscribes and increasing click rates and open rates. By segmenting your list in terms of demographics, you will be able to establish a long-term relationship with your subscribers. The basic segments should include:
- subscribers who never purchased anything but did click on the ad
- subscribers who never read your emails
- customers who have bought only one product so far
- customers who have purchased your product or used your service several times
- customers who buy things and leave opinions
- customers who added things to their basket but never finalized the transaction
Based on your customers' profile and behavior, you will be able to create personalized emails to either thank them for being loyal or try to reactivate them.
Clean your mailing list
From time to time, you will have to perform a hygiene check of your mailing list to eliminate bounce rates and get rid of invalid email addresses. Experts at Byteplant share that validating your list is a fundamental step aiming at making your campaigns more successful.
Today, this practice can be fully automated. Focusing on clients that are willing to receive messages from your company is much more beneficial than having additional irrelevant and not-giving-a-damn subscribers. Sometimes, however, your customer can be inactive and this doesn’t mean you should delete such addresses.
In fact, in most industries, an average of 90 days of inactivity indicates a lack of desire to be engaged with your brand. But this number depends on what you’re selling so it can be much longer.
Just like in content marketing, here as well we can follow certain steps called the email marketing funnel. Consider the information below your cheatsheet and bring it into force.
- Plan - evaluate your goals and set certain KPIs that will fit your budget.
- Build awareness - focus on your mailing list and fill it with reliable addresses.
- Interest - engage your potential customers by encouraging them to interact.
- Brand recognition - inform customers about your inventory.
- Purchase decision - pick the customers who seem to be interested in your products and send them relevant information.
- Evaluation - point out the features that distinguish your solution.
- Conversion - adjust your email content to attract specific groups of customers.
- Establishing relationships - constantly improve CLV (Customer Lifetime Value) by aiming at establishing long-term relationships.
- Loyalty - “wow” your customers, offer more personalized and attractive offers and build reputation via recommendations.
Social Media Marketing
If you’re not on social media, you don’t exist - we bet you’ve heard that before. This “old truth” seems to apply well when it comes to e-commerce marketing as well. But social media marketing isn’t just tweeting and uploading content on your fan page.
Depending on the platform you can benefit from various outcomes providing you’ll apply your social media marketing strategies properly.
Where to advertise?
It can be a little confusing on which platform you should focus on but why would you limit your marketing efforts to just one single social media? We strongly suggest using several platforms and here’s a list of the most popular ones:
- Facebook - this is an absolute must-have for your company as Facebook actually offers great campaign options and has a lot of conversion potential. Creating a business account will give you access to personalized ads and detailed analytics.
- Twitter - it’s perfect for informing your followers about what’s happening with your company. You can share short messages (the limit is 140 characters) but your activity shouldn’t be dull. Use quotes, reply to tweets, upload news and call-to-action posts.
- Instagram - it will be best for advertising some nice visuals and generally attractive content in the form of pretty pictures and videos. A lot of companies run paid campaigns here as well and they can either appear in the users’ feed or stories.
- YouTube - it’s not as popular as the previously mentioned platforms but it does have a lot of potential. Video advertising converts well and according to Forbes, 90% of customers find videos helpful when making purchasing decisions.
There’s nothing more satisfying than customers who identify with your brand. Well, as a matter of fact, there is. It’s user-generated content! Anything that you haven’t created yourself but perhaps “infused encouragement” is UGC - likes, shares, comments, brand hashtags, reviews, etc.
It is contributed by either your followers or customers. Therefore, it seems more real and trustworthy than something you’ve written yourself. In 2019 you should focus on sharing visual content such as your customers using your product.
It builds trust and gives your brand extra authenticity. Also, encourage an element of fun so that anything people create is not boring.
We’ve all become pretty much familiar with influencers and in 2019 it can be a real job! In fact, a lot of companies advertise their products on social media with influencers. It is estimated that by 2020, influencer marketing will hit 10 billion dollars in revenue according to Adweek.
It’s probably what your competition is doing, so why not involving an influencer into your marketing strategies. You should focus, however, on the way your products or services are presented more than by whom. The more followers, the better - but it also comes with a bigger price for such a collaboration.
Nevertheless, One thing to remember is a person’s reputation and that they should somehow reflect or identify with your brand.
Creating an effective marketing strategy for your e-commerce business can seem daunting at first. It takes a lot of analytics, planning, scheduling and most of all creativity. But it’s all for the greater good and you may expect your efforts pay off sooner than you’d thought.
Please bear in mind that we’ve presented you with three most popular and highly effective strategies but you’re not limited to those channels. In fact, the more you do, the better. Enjoy!