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5 Ways To Market Your eCommerce In 2021


Harvesting the Power of eCommerce

The eCommerce industry is growing at an alarming rate and showing no signs of slowing down. Indeed, just 10 years ago, eCommerce accounted for a mere 5.1% of total retail purchases in the United States. As of 2019, eCommerce’s share of retail sales leaped to 16%. These statistics are consistent with findings worldwide and are only expected to skyrocket further in the years to come. 

This fact might seem intuitive to us now but would have been virtually unthinkable 20 years ago.

eCommerce appeals to consumers for a wide variety of reasons: there’s lots of variety, it’s convenient, it’s quick, it’s easy to find product reviews and comparisons, there’s tons of information available, finding bargains is a breeze… and that’s just to name a few perks. 

If your eCommerce business is new to the industry, however, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. There’s a hefty amount of competition out there and a lot of hard work is required to get things rolling. On the bright side, there are lots of (affordable) marketing strategies you can try out and tailor towards your business’s needs. 

All you need is a solid eCommerce marketing plan, some consistency and a healthy dose of creativity and your eCommerce business will be booming in no time.


1: Use Social Media to Your Advantage

Although social media platforms were initially designed for socializing, they’ve become integral parts of eCommerce marketing. This is especially true for younger demographics. In fact, a 2018 Salesforce study showed that 54% of millennials use social media platforms to browse products before purchasing.

Social media marketing allows eCommerce businesses to enrich their branding, build community, provide customer service, drive traffic to websites and sales pages, improve SEO, and communicate directly with their customers. Nowadays, platforms like Facebook and Instagram are even allowing businesses to integrate shopping links directly into their social media posts.

When it comes to social media marketing, our best advice is to think of a strong strategy. Don’t be tempted to waste your time posting as much as possible on every platform you can think of. Consider undertaking market and user experience research in order to determine what social media platforms your customers prefer, as well as when they use them and why. Once you’ve figured that out, you can decide where to focus your attention. 

When you start posting, don’t get carried away with shameless self-promotion. Make it worthwhile for your customers to follow you on social media and provide them with a wide variety of posts, sales-focused and otherwise.

If you’re still feeling stuck, check out what your competition is doing on social media to get inspired.

2: SEO is Your Friend

SEO, or search engine optimization, is absolutely essential for any eCommerce business. As much as 88% of consumers research their purchases online before deciding on a big purchase, so the way your eCommerce business shows up in the search results is of vital importance.

Many businesses are hesitant to invest in SEO optimization because they just don’t understand it. Indeed, it’s not an exact science and takes a decent amount of trial and error to get it right. However, there are many small steps you can take to make your business stand out in the search results.

Identify the most commonly-searched keywords applicable to your business by using tools like Google, Moz Keyword Explorer, Soovle, or Ahrefs. Once you’ve determined your top keywords, be sure to integrate them into blog posts, meta descriptions, product titles & descriptions, general website copy, and more. 

Not all keywords are created equal. Make sure you test their success with tools like Google Analytics and optimize your list continually. Another tip? When trying to differentiate your eCommerce business from major competitors in the SEO rankings, consider researching and using more specific, long-tail keywords. “Shirt,” is a much more competitive keyword than “Handmade flannel shirts for men,” for example.

3: Get Creative with Marketing

Marketing isn’t as simple as paying for a billboard or a TV commercial anymore, and that’s absolutely a good thing. However, the options are almost limitless when it comes to deciding how to best market your eCommerce business. In our opinion, the best thing you can do is use a wide variety of marketing approaches in order to reach a wide variety of audiences.

Social media and pay-per-click (PPC) search engine advertising are givens in the modern marketing world but don’t be afraid to think outside the box and get creative. Consider unique approaches to marketing, such as:

  • Influencer and/or partnership-oriented marketing and cross-promotions
  • Blog posts
  • Podcast advertisements
  • Social media giveaways, contests & challenges 
  • Email marketing strategies (just make sure everything’s GDPR compliant)
  • Going live on social media platforms or developing otherwise interactive posts
Market Your Ecommerce

4: Set Yourself Apart from the Competition

It’s important to be aware of your competition within the market, but don’t make the mistake of trying to mimic the competition, Stay true to yourself and your brand. Focus on what makes you unique. Show potential customers what only you can offer them. 

No matter what content angle your eCommerce business wants to use for marketing, make sure that everything you put out there is unique and high-quality. Potential customers don’t want to see the same wheel recreated yet another time; show them something that truly resonates with them.

Brainstorm with your team, undertake market research, and use an online presentation maker to present your results. Ask yourselves the following questions in order to determine how you can set your eCommerce business apart from the crowd:

  • How are our products different or unique compared to the competition?
  • How are our products better than those of the competition?
  • Why should customers feel aligned or connected with our brand?
  • What kind of customers would ideally use our products?
  • Are our products currently in demand? Why or why not?

5: Implement Re-targeting Strategies

When potential customers visit an eCommerce website for the first time, chances are that they won’t make a purchase. However, when those same customers are re-targeted with advertisements afterward, the probability of them making a purchase increases by 70%. Enter retargeted ads. 

Re-targeted advertisements act as follow-ups with potential customers who visited your eCommerce website but didn’t end up making a purchase. These follow ups often include a little something to motivate potential customers to follow through with their initial purchase; think promotions, discount codes, and the like. 

This is most commonly done with programs that assign cookies to your website visitors’ computers. These cookies prompt your ads to appear when potential customers leave your website and keep on browsing. 

If you’ve never worked with re-targeted advertisements before, never fear. There are several programs out there that can help you get started. Check out Criteo, AdRoll, and Outbrain, all of which are popular options.

The Marketing Options Are Endless

Overall, the eCommerce industry just keeps getting bigger and more powerful. Although there’s a great deal of competition in the market nowadays, there’s still plenty of room for new companies to develop themselves, find their niche, and take their rightful place!

However, the same old marketing strategies simply aren’t going to work anymore. It’s more important than ever for your eCommerce business to undertake research, think outside the box, and put together a strong marketing plan. Without a doubt, that’s what’s necessary for your business to get off the ground and thrive in the long-term.

Try the strategies outlined above and see what aligns best with your business’ specific needs. We can’t wait to see what you come up with, and happy marketing.

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