Ecommerce is a very attractive business model for a variety of reasons. It has low overhead, can be run by very few people, is easy to get started in, and in some cases, brings with it the promise of revenue flow without ever handling the products. It sounds pretty simple. But the most important step — finding customers — is where many eCommerce businesses fail to get off the ground. This is also where the basics of eCommerce marketing come in.
Knowing how to bring in sales right away and simultaneously developing a long-term lead generation strategy takes a lot of know-how and lot of hard work. Working on SEO, content marketing, email marketing, and advertising from the get-go will ensure you can compete with others in your industry and stay viable over time.
Organic traffic should be the main source of orders for your eCommerce business, and so SEO comes first in eCommerce marketing best tactics.
In the beginning many businesses have to rely more heavily on paid advertising, so organic traffic as your main order source doesn’t have to happen right away. All the same, a majority of organic orders should be your goal.
If you get the infrastructure for SEO established early on with your website, you can expect the organic orders to grow and keep growing over time. Since organic traffic is free and paid traffic is, well, paid, it should be pretty obvious why SEO is so important for eCommerce. No one wants to have to pay out x% of every single order in ad fees.
The working core of your eCommerce site is your product pages. Some websites have ten or so products, some have tens of hundreds. Creating these product pages properly will colossally affect your SEO’s positive performance.
For each product page you absolutely must have:
- page title
- product name
- product description of 100+ words
- images, and properly-filled out meta information
Select a good keyword (see this article if you aren’t sure how to do keyword research) and make sure that keyword is used in every part of your page – this is how people will find your product organically.
Once the essential parts of your website are optimized for SEO, move onto a content marketing strategy.
Google and other search engines like to see websites that are updated frequently and that offer a variety of engaging content. If you are not familiar with content marketing, it’s a type of digital marketing that focuses on creating content like blog posts, infographics, and how-to guides that is helpful or interesting to your target customers.
As far as what kind of content to create: put yourself in your target customer’s shoes and think about what sort of questions they might ask about your product or what they might find interesting in your industry.
For example, if you are an online refrigeration retailer, a guide to refrigerator size based on the number in your household would make a great infographic. The idea is that by creating this infographic and sharing it, customers in the market for a new refrigerator might see this infographic, find it helpful, click back to your website to read more, and then make a purchase from you. Content marketing is a great a lead generation tool, and excellent for SEO too!
Build Your List!
One of the best of the basic eCommerce marketing tools is building an email list sending emails on a regular basis. The simplest way to do this is to gather the email addresses of every eligible customer, and send them monthly or weekly emails about your new products, sales, etc.
A more advanced form of email marketing is to create some sort of lead generation tool on your website that will gather the email addresses of potential customers. You may use a coupon signup, invitation to download a how-to guide, and more for lead generation. If a potential customer uses these tools, you know they are already at least somewhat interested in your product. With their email addresses in hand, you can now use your “lead nurturing” skills to gently turn these leads into customers.
The main ways to utilize paid advertising for your eCommerce business are social media and Google Ads. There are pros and cons to each platform for every type of product, so I usually recommend experimenting with both types of ads before you choose to go with one over the other.
Generally, social media is better for consumable goods and things people buy more than once or in multiples (think clothes, food products, gifts, etc.). Targeting in social media has been getting more and more vague because of pervasive privacy issues, so chances are that those who see your social media ads are not actively shopping for your product. This is fine for impulse buy items, or products where it’s common to have multiple of, but this is not great for something that most consumers only shop for when they need one, like a mattress or fridge.
Google Adwords or Google Shopping are generally great platforms for grabbing shoppers who already know what they want, and you just need to convince them to buy it from you. Generally, Google Shopping is great for retailers, Adwords search campaigns are great for local businesses, but there is also a lot of overlap and strategy to be developed in between.
I highly recommend working with a Google Ads specialist to run your campaigns effectively. It is very easy to watch thousands go out the window if your campaigns are not set up in an effective way.
ECommerce Marketing Basics
An eCommerce business, when done right, can bring in great revenue with low costs. They are an ever-growing business model, but with that, competition is growing too.
Keep your business in front of customers by investing in these eCommerce marketing basics. Following these tips will help you bring in some immediate revenue and develop a long-term method of bringing in leads as well! See our eCommerce marketing services here.