eCommerce Marketing Strategies: 6 Tips to Drive More Sales

Article written by: WHSR Guest
  • eCommerce
  • Updated: Oct 14, 2020

Worldwide, analysts project there will be 1.92 million global digital buyers in 2019 and the eCommerce sales to hit $4.9 trillion by 2021. Savvy business owners are busy making preparations to win their share of this windfall.

Retail ecommerce sales are growing worldwide
Retail ecommerce sales are growing worldwide (source: Jobs in Marketing)

If you run an eCommerce store, you want to know the best strategies to drive sales. Both new and growing businesses need sales strategies that work.

This article shows you 6 tactics to boost online sales.

6 eCommerce Marketing Ideas to Increase Online Sales

1. Influencer Marketing

48% of the marketers say the ROI of influencer marketing is higher compared to other channels. Meanwhile, 41% of these marketers agree that influencer marketing is as effective as other top channels.

Furthermore, 49% of consumers trust influencers, while 40% buy things after seeing them on social media.

89% of marketers feel that influencer marketing gets results for them
89% of marketers feel that influencer marketing gets results for them (Mediakix).

For strategy, you want to take advantage of the effect that influencers have on their followers.

Influencer marketing is a type of referral marketing. Albeit, the result you get from one person here is far greater. Hence, when an influencer talks about your brand, fans listen.

If you’re new to influencer marketing, then here’s a quick overview of how it works.

First, find the right influencers. Landing the right influencer can be a lot of work. You want to be sure of vital metrics like

  • They target your potential buyers,
  • The influencer have human followers and not bots, and
  • The influencer will disseminate your messages effectively with their audience.

Next, you’ll negotiate with your target influencers and agree on promotion incentives and other terms.

Once you have your influencers and have agreed on how to work with them, you’d then generate a coupon code for the influencer’s followers.
Your target influencers then use those codes to promote your product. Just remember to engage with the influencers’ audiences on address questions and concerns on time.

One report says that beauty influencers generate $11.38 for every $1.29 you spend. That’s nearly 800% ROI! Now, isn’t that “beautiful”?

Influencer Marketing at Work

@nknaturalz is a hairstyling Instagram influencer from Canada. Her promotional copy feels like a natural conversation between her and her readers. She engages her followers and gets them to buy from her sponsors, in this case, @curlkeeper
@nknaturalz is a hairstyling Instagram influencer from Canada. Her promotional copy feels like a natural conversation between her and her readers. She engages her followers and gets them to buy from her sponsors, in this case, @curlkeeper

To get started with your Influencer marketing, simply find influencers in your space and then reach out to them to know what their services entail. You can also search “popular influencers in [YOUR NICHE]” in a Google search to find Influencers you’d target.


2. Paid Advertising

Paid marketing drives a significant portion of eCommerce sales. According to a Merkle report, 60% of ad clicks on Google and 31% on Bing are for shopping ads.

Merkle Q1 2018 Digital Marketing Report
Merkle Q1 2018 Digital Marketing Report

These numbers show that people are more likely to click on eCommerce ads than other types of ads. What’s more interesting is that the trend is growing, so savvy business people are spending more on ads and experiencing more clicks.

Let's see how this works on some social media channels.

Facebook Ads

Over 2.7 billion users are active on Facebook every month. More so, the network has more data on people's day-to-day activities than other platforms.

Facebook ads can command as much as 152% ROI. You don’t want to miss out on its potential to drive traffic and sales for your business.

Types of Facebook ads include:

  • Page Likes
  • Engagement Ads
  • Post Promotion
  • Brand awareness
  • Localized ads

  • Website Conversions
  • Website Clicks
  • Event promotions
  • Lead Generation Ads

Head over to Facebook Business to start your ads. Open an account, attach your payment method, connect your Instagram account, and then design and launch your ad.

Depending on your goals you can set up ads that simply create awareness for your product, get buyers to visit your eCommerce store, or buy from you.

To get started click on Ad Manager.

Click ‘Create.’ Choose the type of ad you want to run, and then follow the prompts to set it up.

YouTube Ads

YouTube users spend one billion hours on YouTube videos per day. Not only is this figure catching up with TV, but it has exceeded Netflix and Facebook videos combined. Netflix had 116 million at the time, and Facebook had 100 million.

These figures mean nothing to your business if people aren't interested. But if you want to succeed with this method, your video must be unique. Always start with elements that spark up interest and curiosity.

Instagram Ads

In April 2017, Instagram announced that it had reached 700 million active users.

With stunning images and videos, any company can advertise on Instagram. The number of accounts advertising on Instagram grew from 200,000 in 2016 to One million in 2017. This can only happen because Instagram ads work.

Luckily, eCommerce businesses can benefit from Instagram ads. The ads look like a typical post, so no one feels like you're advertising to them. You can interact with users, and you can leverage data from Facebook for targeting.

Ads here include:

  • Photo ads
  • Slideshow ads
  • Video ads
  • Carousel ads

Retargeting

Customers are more likely to buy from you later if they have interacted with your content or social media pages in the past.

Hence, retargeting tracks your visitors and shows them your ads when they're online. The aim is to get them to visit again, and this time, to make a purchase. You can also retarget your competitors’ audiences.

Getting Started with Retargeting

To run your retargeting you’ll need to embed a JavaScript code to the Head or Footer of your site. If you’re retargeting with Facebook, for example, you’ll need the Facebook Pixels.

If you want to use pixels on Facebook, choose “Conversions” as your ad goal, and then follow the prompts.

Facebook has partnered with most eCommerce and content management platforms like WordPress, BigCommerce, Wix, Shopify, and more. So integrating your pixels is now a breeze. For example, with WordPress, all you need to do is add the pixels to a Facebook plugin. Facebook provides guidance here too.


3. Content Marketing

In a survey, 72% of marketers agreed it was challenging to manage content strategically. Additionally, 59% of those marketers said being strategic improved their ROI.

You want to use content marketing to educate your audience about your product. Additionally, you’d build traffic and create awareness about your offerings as more people access and use your educational materials.
Specifically, you could create these types of content

  • Video,
  • Blog posts,
  • Infographics,
  • Social media posts (including images and GIFs)

The heard of content marketing is to use your content to attract leads, and then convert those leads to buyers.

Topics and Keywords

Creating great content allows you to rank on search engines, and this translates to search traffic for your site. Hence, when you're choosing topics and keywords, be sure that their search demands are high.

You should target words or phrases that describe your product or service.

If you sell weight-loss products, then you might search for the phrase “lose weight” in a keyword tool. In the image below, the search volume for “lose weight” shows an average monthly search of 36,000.

Keyword tool such as Ahrefs gives you further information about your keyword like search volume, difficulty, clicks, etc.

Repeat this process with other phrases to determine if they have significant search volume. Next, you’d prioritize keywords with the lowest difficulty and highest search volume.

Create Content

The keyword tool also gives you ideas on the content you can create.

Once you've established the keywords you need, go on to create your content. It's okay to check out what others are saying about your topic, but don't stop there. Find an angle that gives you an edge.


4. Referral Programs

Referral or word-of-mouth marketing is powerful in eCommerce. The logic is simple. When you enjoy an experience, you want to share it with people you love.

81% of the customers trust their friend’s recommendation of a product over the company’s claims, according to HubSpot.

Mind you; people also tend to warn their loved ones of bad experiences. Your job is to give them something good to discuss.

You can hire a developer to customize your referral program if you want something unique. Or get a referral program app for speed. Then decide what incentive to give and promote the program.

Incentives

Incentives attract customers to referral programs. Therefore you want to plan this step before you act.

A cheap offer won't attract your audience, whereas an expensive offering might cripple your business or make the program ineffective.

Hence getting the right balance might stress you out initially, but you’d eventually figure out the sweet spot of profitability and growth.

Promotions

If you want people to hear of your referral program, then you must promote the program. Inform your present customers of it and let new customers know about it as soon as they visit your site.


5. Loyalty Programs

Having a satisfied customer and a loyal customer are two different things. Not all your happy customers would be stick to your brand alone.

However, if you run an eCommerce website, you need loyal customers.
Loyalty programs used to be hard to manage, but digitization has made it easy. Apart from the ease, it has many juicy upsides. For example, 73% of loyalty program users refer their friends to the loyalty program.

Now, what other ways can you benefit from loyalty programs?

Your Customers Stick to You

Customers that base their purchases on the rewards tend to keep buying from you to win that reward. Their purchase frequency is 90% more than non-loyalty program participants.

Customers Tend to Buy More

In one study, 61% of the SMBs surveyed say that over 50% of their sales are from repeat customers. Furthermore, these customers spend 67% higher than the new ones.

Customers Refer Your Business to Others

Customers often refer their friends to loyalty programs they love. Loyalty program participants are 50 times more likely to make a purchase, and they are quick to tell others about the program.


6. Email Marketing

Adobe records that American millennials check their emails while performing other activities. This email-use addiction is so strong that 18% of users check their emails while driving!

Source: Adobe

In short, people engage with their email and you can leverage that behavior for your eCommerce business. The obvious first step here is to start collecting your shop visitors’ email addresses.

Since 68% of Gen Z will read emails from companies, you must give something valuable in exchange for your customers' emails. You can offer them,

  • Discounts
  • Free ebook
  • Cheatsheet
  • Downloadable gifts suggestions, and
  • Free user guides

Email marketing tools abound. Basically, you need

  • Opt-in forms
  • Autoresponders
  • List management system
  • Campaign tracking and reporting tools

These tools could be sourced independently or as bundled packages, as you’ll find with platforms like Constant Contact and MailChimp. Most of these email marketing platforms offer split-testing features, spam filtering capabilities, and API to integrate and extend their performance.

To Wrap Up

Keep in mind that what works for others may not always work for you. It’s best to test things until you find what sticks.

However, evergreen ideas like email marketing should be a part of any mix you eventually decide to execute. If you sell garments or other items that command repeat purchases, then a loyalty program is a great way to maximize profits.

Choose a tactic and get started right away!


About the Author: Tulip Turner

Tulip Turner is a Content and Inbound Marketing expert at Snewscms. Over the years, she has helped dozens of businesses in defining their content strategy. She believes that creativity doesn’t inspire customers anymore. A true story when recited well, is enough to build a connection. Connect with Snewscms on Facebook.

About WHSR Guest

This article was written by a guest contributor. The author's views below are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of WHSR.