eCommerce Marketing: What’s Worth It and What’s Not

What’s Worth It?

1. Investing in SEO 

As a digital agency, we would be remiss to not put SEO right at the top of our list of worthwhile marketing strategies – and with reason! 68% of all online experiences begin with a search engine, like Google. B2B and technology companies can actually generate 2x more revenue through organic search than any other channel. 

But it’s not just those two specific industries that can benefit greatly from some good SEO work. Retailers, eCommerce businesses, and even your local bagel shop – everyone can do better business with a solid SEO strategy in place. If you’re an eCommerce company and aren’t sure where to start with SEO, we’ve got you covered. Check out our Complete Guide to SEO for Small Businesses to get the proverbial ball rolling. 

2. Creating a Great User Experience

All your digital marketing efforts are for naught if your site isn’t user-friendly once you manage to get someone there. Your eCommerce site is the anchor to all of your marketing endeavors, so taking the time to make sure it’s up to snuff is time well spent.  

Designing a good UX requires anticipating – and solving –  your visitors’ problems before they even arrive. There’s a lot of different ways to improve your site’s UX. However, here’s a few important things to consider when designing your site:

  1. Utilize white space, or negative space, correctly
  2. Ensure your site is responsive and mobile-friendly
  3. Optimize your page loading speeds
  4. Make sure it’s obvious what’s clickable and what’s not
  5. Include well-crafted headlines
  6. Incorporate calls to action on every page

3. Paid Ads

There are essentially two types of paid digital ads: Google and social, like Facebook. Both can offer eCommerce businesses serious ROIs. However, it can really depend on which platform is the right fit for your particular offering. Thus, a bit of trial and error and experimenting might need to take place before you really know where your best audience is.

4. Email Marketing

While it may not be the most flashy of strategies, email marketing is still a viable and relevant digital marketing strategy. For some reason, every year the marketing world starts to question the validity of this channel.

And every year, the statistics prove that it’s strong as ever.

In fact, on average, email marketing campaigns offer $42 in revenue for every $1 spent. Not too shabby for a would-be has-been.

Emails aren’t just for spamming your customer base. They’re great tools for nudging customers that have abandoned their carts or for sharing periodic sales and promotional content.

What’s Not Always Worth It?

1. Organic Social Media

Look, we all love social media. In fact, a lot of us out there are addicted to it. However, when it comes to divvying up your marketing budget, it’s best to be more realistic about what investing heavily in social media can really do for your business.

Unless you have the time and budget to devote to a social media manager or you have a very lifestyle-esque product (i.e. watches, make-up, Peloton bikes), kick-starting an organic following on social media is going to be an uphill battle, especially if you have a more complicated product or service. If you sell a more expensive or complex product, it’s a bit unlikely you’ll cultivate a ton of qualified leads via organic social media. Instead, we recommend investing in paid ads or SEO strategies.

2. Paid Ads

Yes, we’re putting paid ads on both lists. Bear with us.

The success of a paid ad campaign greatly depends on what exactly you’re selling. If your product doesn’t correspond with the platform where your target audience is, then you’re going to be throwing money away.

In the most basic terms, social ads are great for lifestyle products, i.e. something people might not be necessarily interested in right now, but might be in the market for in the future or something that they buy often (Think: household cleaning products, clothes, etc.)

Conversely, Google ads are more likely to be effective for the bigger ticket, more involved products or services. This is essentially due to the nature of Google vs social. People are already searching for something related to your product when they type something into the search bar. Thus, people will be much more apt to be willing to learn more about your product if they’re already looking for something similar.

3. Awareness Campaigns

And now, a dose of reality.
Awareness campaigns are great and a lot of fun to run.

BUT, when the rubber hits the road, if you’re not working with at least a seven figure budget with an expected eight figure revenue quarter, awareness campaigns are just going to be a great way to burn through precious marketing dollars.

For smaller businesses, we suggest sticking to strategies “close to the conversion”. This means that business owners should focus on actions that have a clear path to a conversion or sale. Not only that, make sure that everything you’re doing is both reaching and catering to your target audience. Yelling into the void of people who will never be destined to become customers is both ineffective and undermines your other marketing efforts.

Until you feel that your business has the budgetary bandwidth to throw in an awareness campaign, we believe it’s best to stick to more reliable strategies.

Trustworthy eCommerce Guidance

If you’re in need of a little extra guidance navigating the eCommerce landscape, we’ve got your back. At Boxwood, we’ve helped companies increase their conversion rates by 42% and can help your eCommerce business reach the same goals. 

It all starts with a conversation.

Give us a ring, schedule a consultation, or get right down to business by requesting a quote. We’re excited for the opportunity to help your business grow.