Attracting and retaining customers is a common problem for many online store owners. However, the best and most effective way to boost your online sales is through a well-planned marketing campaign where you have several things that work together to align with your customers journey.
Here we have uncovered some tactics worth considering for inclusion in your website marketing plan.
This is Part 1 in a Series of Articles on e-Commerce.
- Part 2: Supercharge Your eCommerce Website With Paid Advertising
- Part 3: Measuring the effectiveness of e-commerce campaigns
- Part 4: E-commerce Trends and Stats
Tip 1: Use email marketing
Build a mailing list of prospective clients and get an email campaign going. Add a form to your website where prospects are invited to:
- subscribe to your newsletter
- obtain free stuff
- get discount coupons
Drive traffic & extend the reach of your website with paid advertising, search engine optimisation and social media.
Tip 2: Always, always have excellent content
Nowadays, Google and other search engines favour websites that have great content. Not only is this part of a good SEO strategy, it also helps build trust with buyers. Content that focuses on solving customer problems will help build this trust.
Your content should be relevant to your business, well written, easy to read, have impeccable grammar and your content should be spelled correctly. Adding suitable and clear images are a plus as they help capture attention.
Tip 3: Focus on great copy-writing
For e-commerce stores, this means writing detailed product descriptions and including technical specifications like weight and product dimensions. The unique detailed descriptions will help with SEO.
Use specific, relevant and compelling product descriptions. Focus more on benefits rather than features. Blog consistently about all things relevant to your business. Implement a content plan directed for social media so you can get closer to your audience and build a community.
Tip 4: Take advantage of social media
There are so many social media platforms, it can be difficult to know which one is best. The main thing is to choose the ones where your potential customers are most likely to hang out.
Don't just sign up to the biggest platforms unless you know your potential customers interact there. Once you have set up an account, don’t allow your Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or Snapchat accounts to lay dormant. You need to personalise your pages and make them interactive. Build stories around your products. Build a community and be looked upon as an expert or brand whose values align with your tribe.
Currently, Instagram is the darling for e-commerce. The introduction of Instagram checkout and the ability to build stories and engaging content around your products and brand might just give you a competitive edge.
Be aware that some social media platforms are not effective as they once were at reaching your target audience, so you may need to supplement and promote your content with paid ads - this is especially true on Facebook.
Tip 5: Get the right keywords
Use only the most relevant keywords that reflect the products seen on your online store. You can use Google's keyword planner tool to get started but remember to ensure the keywords you choose are relevant to what you are offering.
You can also do keyword research with paid tools like SemRush or online keyword research tools like KeywordTool.io and Soolve.com.
Tip 6: Spread the word
A really cheap but effective way to advertise is through word of mouth advertising. Every time you have the chance, tell people about your online store along with your products and services.
Create business cards, fliers, catalogues, brochures, etc - include your URL and distribute them to everyone. And of course, a good social media strategy well implemented will help others spread the word for you.
You could also surprise your customers at the end of their transaction. For example, when a customer receives your product why not offer a free gift that they didn't order. Adore Beauty recently sent a TimTam biscuit when someone purchase their product. Motto women's fashion often send sweet treats with their brand name embedded on the lolly. The point is, while the gifts don't cost much, they surprise the customer and encourage positive interactions and referrals for your brand,
Tip 7: Promote Online Purchases
Give your e-commerce site a boost up by encouraging your current brick and mortar customers to join your newsletter. By having a newsletter you can encourage them to purchase your products online. Give them discounts, freebies or free shipping if they do checkouts on your online shopping carts.
Tip 8: Have regular promotions
Encourage repeat business by making sure that your customers have something to look forward to every month. You can have a sale one month, a buy one get one promotion another month, show off your new products the next, offer discounted bundles on the fourth month and so on. Or you could set up a loyalty program to reward people who regularly purchase from you. Make sure you inform your clients all the exciting things in store ahead.
Tip 9: Reward Referrers
Your customers can be part of your marketing strategies. When they bring someone new to buy stuff on your website, reward them with coupons, discounts or a percentage of the sale that they can accumulate and use on your store.
Tip 10: Distribute press releases
Every time something newsworthy comes up, let all the right people know through a news release. You can use an online press release directory such as PR Web and you can even send your release to local publications and newsletters.
Tip 11: Participate in local trade shows and street fairs
Be on the lookout for events happening in your community. These are great avenues to showcase your products and services and emphasise to your online shopping site.
Tip 12: Consider Search Engine Optimisation
Having a well-optimised website makes it easier for your customers to find you. Make sure your website is fast to load. Ensure the user has a great experience and ensure the website is mobile friendly.
Also ensure you have relevant and catchy meta page titles and descriptions, your keywords are in the right places and you have white hat link building strategies.
Tip 13: Explore Paid Online Advertising
You can complement your organic SEO efforts with pay-per-click advertising through Google Ads or even Facebook. There are also several other advertising alternatives which we explore in part 2 of this series.
Tip 14: Measure everything
Make sure you install Google Analytics or some other web analytics package. It's important to track what is and isn't working so you can do more of the things that work, less of the things that don't or even fix the things that aren't.
Remember, everything you do can be easily tracked and measured. It is just a matter of knowing how. A good tool for tracking campaigns is the Google URL Builder. You can use this tool to track email marketing campaigns, Facebook advertising or any other paid forms of advertising.
In the next part of this series, we focus on how to supercharge your e-commerce website using paid advertising.
Tip 15: Tap into Influencers
We mentioned Instagram earlier in the article. But here a key focus is on engaging with Influencers. This can be a particularly powerful strategy for small businesses who may not have much brand awareness and can be a very fast way to get traction.
Healthish, a premium water drink bottle that promises to help people stay hydrated, does just that. The business identifies key influencers and then literally sends out hundreds of its water bottles every month to key influencers on Instagram. Often the influencer will take a photo of themselves with the water bottle. As a result, the product is promoted for free to their audience. Healthish has sold over a million dollars of product from using an Instagram Influencer strategy.
The strategy works well for low cost, unique products that do not require lengthy purchase decisions.