Have you recently launched an e-commerce store? Are you a veteran online seller looking to shake things up a bit? No matter your situation, there’s no question that marketing your online business is critical to its success.
eCommerce marketing can be a real challenge and in this blog, I will explain how to gain traction and make it stick. You want visitors but they don’t always convert into sales. So let’s learn some killer techniques that will help grow your eCommerce business like never before.
Understand your customers – Even e-commerces have a unique group of customers
E-commerce marketing is all about understanding the customers, their needs, and what they want. The better you know your customers, the better you can serve their needs. If you understand their needs, you can provide solutions that will grow their business. If you are too focused on selling products and providing solutions, you will miss opportunities to connect with your customers.
E-commerce marketing is not just about selling products. It is about building a relationship with a customer. The stronger that relationship, the more likely it is that the customer will buy from you again and again. An e-commerce website should provide information in a way that is both accessible and engaging so that the customer feels as though they are interacting with you directly instead of through a third party.
The best way to know more about your customer is by creating a customer avatar
Customer avatars are visual representations of your ideal customer. They’re created by combining information about your customer’s demographics, habits, preferences, etc. with information about their buying habits on other websites. They’re also used as part of a marketing campaign to persuade potential customers to visit your website or buy something from your company.
They are designed to capture the essence of your business and reflect it in a way that resonates with your target audience. You can create one by answering a few questions, including:
- What are their desires?
- What are their goals?
- How much do they earn?
- How much do they want to earn?
- What is their pain?
- What are their challenges to overcome that pain?
- Who are their favorite influencers?
- What is their favorite pass time?
- Number of income sources they have
- Type of income source(job/business)
- The designation, if they do the job
- How many years do they spend at one job?
- Annual income
- How do they treat their subordinates?
- What is their possible next move in their career?
Learn from your competitors – What are they doing right? What can I do better?
If you want to be successful in e-commerce, it’s important to know your competition. What are they doing right? What can you do better? Knowing your competition will help you improve your strategy, refine your marketing message, and grow your business.
Thus, competitive analysis is critical before starting an e-commerce store.
Competitive analysis is the activity of identifying a company’s strengths and weaknesses relative to its competitors. This information can be very useful when developing your own marketing strategies. For example, if you are selling products online, you may want to determine the market share your competitors have in a particular area before making a final decision on which product to sell.
How to do competitive analysis?
Here is a 5-STEP framework to do efficient competitor research:
- Figure out your competitors.
- Perform thorough research.
- Gather comparative market information.
- Analyze competitive information.
- Determine your competitive position.
Search Optimization – SEO, organic traffic, keywords, title tags, meta tags
If you want to get more traffic and sales to your eCommerce website, then on-page SEO is a critical first step.
There’s a multitude of how-to articles and tutorials on the web offering general SEO advice, but far fewer that specifically address the needs of eCommerce entrepreneurs. So, here is a step-by-step system to implement SEO for e-commerce stores:
Why focus on SEO for an e-commerce store?
E-commerce marketing is a challenging task. It requires a lot of time, effort, and creativity. But with the right strategy in place, it doesn’t have to be as difficult as you think.
You can grow your e-commerce business using search engine optimization (SEO) if you follow the right steps.
These steps include:
Choosing the right keywords for your e-commerce store
Yes, keywords do still matter. These keywords should not be overused in your product titles or descriptions, but they should still be present in the copy.
The headline, description, meta description, image attributes, and subheadlines of your product should incorporate your primary keyword. Add latent semantic index (LSI) keywords throughout. LSI keywords help Google understand your page in context.
Focus on Homepage SEO
The homepage is typically where most businesses focus their SEO budget and energy. While it is definitely one of the top pages of your website to optimize, it is by no means the only one you should focus on.
That said, you do want to optimize your homepage well. The key things you want to add and optimize are included in the following.
Homepage Title Tag
In on-site search optimization, the SEO title tag is one of the most important elements. You should include your business name and the key phrase you are targeting in this section. In order for this title tag to appear in the results, it should be no longer than 70 characters and appeal to search visitors.
Homepage Meta Description
In search engine results, the meta description is a 160-character description of your business that will also appear beneath the title tag for your homepage. Try to write it so that people will want to visit your website.
In a clear and concise fashion, visitors should be able to learn more about your business and the products you offer through the content on your homepage. You should avoid overwhelming visitors with too much information. You may want to display your top products on the homepage as well as an explanation of what makes your site unique.
Simplify Your Site Architecture
As you are adding products and categories to your store, remember that site architecture plays an important role in search optimization. Particularly, you want to have a distinct hierarchy of navigation, from your homepage to product categories to the products listed within them.
Search engine bots will discover your pages and products on your website based on a clear internal linking structure that is easy to follow — and not too deep.
The rule of thumb for search engines and visitors is to make sure people can reach everything within three clicks. From the homepage, they should only have to make a maximum of three clicks to get to any product on your website.
Internal links serve two main purposes:
- Boosting eCommerce SEO by showing how pages are related to one another
- Increasing time on site by encouraging visitors to further explore your site
Linking to related products or to information-rich blog articles can help improve eCommerce SEO and make your site more tempting for deep dives.
Social media marketing for an e-commerce store– Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.
Social media marketing for an e-commerce store is one of the best ways to gain traction for your business. It offers many benefits such as free advertising, increased website traffic, better brand awareness, and more. It is cost-effective and scalable. It doesn’t matter if your business is online or not, you can still use social media to improve it. As long as you have your own profile on each site and regularly update it, your business’s visibility will increase.
By creating a social media presence for your business, you can advertise your products and services to a large audience. However, it is also vitally important that you create a strategy when marketing through Social Media.
E-commerce has grown significantly in the last few years. While there is plenty of competition online, many merchants are struggling to achieve any considerable success.
But you can get past your competition through an effective email marketing strategy. There are many different ways to grow your customer base including e-commerce search engine optimization (SEO), social media sharing, and online advertising.
However, email generates the highest ROI. If you are an e-commerce marketer you must already be doing email marketing and trying everything possible to grow your list.
You’re growing your email list, sending well-written email campaigns, and engaging return visitors with personalized on-site messages.
But as effective as email marketing is, it’s not enough on its own.
Why? Because e-commerce email marketing isn’t about the right strategy; it’s about the right sequencing.
Mail the right emails at the wrong time to the wrong prospect, and people will opt out of your emails (or worse, move to a competitor).
But mail the right emails at the right time to the right prospects, and you won’t just have lifelong customers, you’ll have brand evangelists.
In the e-commerce world, successful businesses learn from their customers and their competitors to gain traction and start making money sooner.
You can also start your own eCommerce store by following these simple steps. So, mention in the comments what is your first step to start a successful eCommerce store.