As many eCommerce retailers learn the hard way, having a great site or mobile app isn’t enough to have a successful online retail business. Without adequate marketing, it is nearly impossible to see immediate sales and long term growth in your business. This is often an aspect of eCommerce that is daunting for startups and even larger businesses, but luckily it doesn’t have to be a difficult task to gain an initial customer base or boost your sales and by using some simple marketing tools.

  • Learn Your Market: Before even launching your business, it is vitally important to learn the market you are entering, and what is in demand. There are a number of ways you can research what your customers might want before opening your business:
    • Look at what’s trending on other popular online retail platforms, such at Etsy, Amazon and Ebay. You can search whatever niche your store is focusing on, and use this as a jumping off point to understand what people want, and how to cater your business to what is in demand.
    • Take a look at social media platforms such Reddit and Instagram to see what’s trending.
    • Look into product curation accounts on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest that are dedicated to providing their users with product suggestions. The best performing posts will give you an idea which products are likely to be bought and shared on social media.

  • Create an SEO Strategy: With 44% of online shoppers starting in a search engine, it’s tough to deny the importance of SEO. It’s becoming increasingly vital to be findable in the growing pool of online retailers, and SEO is the way to make sure your store floats to the top of customer searches. This can be done with a few easy steps:
    • Keyword Research: This is the starting point for any SEO strategy. You want to find high converting keywords that are not too competitive.
    • On-page SEO: Create content that caters to those keywords while simultaneously providing value to your audience.
    • Link Between Pages: Google prefers websites with value-adding internal linking, so build links that power your pages and help them climb through the rankings. You should aim for the user to make the fewest clicks possible, and do this by linking each page to several other similar, relevant pages in your domain.
  • Social Media: Social media is one of the most effective ways to get your company people’s radar and gain a customer base. There are a few simple ways to optimize your social media presence:
    • Share content that is relevant and interesting to your customers, and shy away from overt sales pitches.
    • Let your customers do the talking by sharing good reviews.  Reviews are powerful, in fact 88% of customers say they trust reviews as much as personal recommendations.
    • Add social sharing buttons in strategic places, such as putting Facebook’s like button on your product pages and placing sharing buttons on your site to encourage customers to share their reviews or favorite products.
    • One of the best ways to provide a steady stream of content is to start a blog. This will pull in new customers, and can produce dozens of social media posts and shares.

  • Email Marketing: Yes, Email is still relevant and actually one of the most effective marketing methods for online retailers. Many eCommerce merchants focus too much on getting new customers, and neglect their own customers. This is a huge mistake because returning customers can be one of your biggest assets: They know your product quality and your brand, and are much more likely to buy from you again. Build your Email list by putting strategically placed opt-in forms on your website and adding customers to your email list after they make a purchase, and integrating with email marketing services such as MailChimp and Klaviyo. Some tried and true email marketing tactics include:
    • Follow-Up Emails: These are sent to customers who have already made a purchase. The goal here is to advertise products that are similar or complementary to whatever the customer already purchased.
    • Promotional Emails: These can include discounts, low inventory, or new product. These types of emails tend to have high conversion rates, with the highest being price decrease with a 1.04% conversion rate and a 9.68% click-to-conversion rate.
    • Customer Loyalty and Re-Engagement Emails: These include win-back emails (These are the “We’ve missed you” headlines that come through after you haven’t shopped with a particular brand in a while), and replenish emails for products that have a set period of usage.

  • Facebook Ads: Facebook ads are a great tool because you can be highly specific with your ad targeting, and you have complete control over your max bid, budget per day and total budget for your campaign. Of course, every e-commerce business owner’s ultimate goal is to drive sales on their website, but every business is different and some types of Facebook ads may be more effective for you than others, depending on your customers and your business:
    • Page Post Ads: These are ads that require a Facebook page to create. You can target your post to fans or non-fans, ensuring that everyone who you want to see your ad will see it.
    • Multi-Product Ads: These ads are designed to advertise multiple products within one ad. This is very beneficial if you want to show off your catalogue or display different variations of your product.
    • Video Ads: Videos ads are a great way to engage customers and followers. Video views on Facebook have increase exponentially over the past couple of years, and video ads are a great way to capture the attention of mobile users.

While there are many different strategies for gaining customers and driving sales in your online retail store, these are just a few that have proven to be very effective. Let us know what strategies you use, and what has given you the best results.


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