Starting an online store is easier than ever these days. But just setting up a website and adding some products doesn’t guarantee sales will come flooding in. Far from it. The internet is oversaturated with small e-commerce players all vying for attention.
Marketing. It’s both an art and a science.
As someone who opened my own little shop a few years ago, I learned this the hard way. But through plenty of trial and error (and a marketing class or two), I’ve picked up some key strategies that helped my revenues grow.
And today, I’m sharing all my hard-won knowledge with you.
Let’s dive into this complete guide on marketing your e-commerce business:
Know Thy Customer
You first need to intimately understand your target audience. After all, you can’t interest people in your shop if you don’t know what makes them tick.
Start by asking yourself:
– Who are the people most likely to buy from me? Are they male or female? What’s their age range? Where do they live? What’s their income like?
– What pain points and needs do my products solve for them?
– Where do they spend their time online? Facebook? Instagram? Good ole Google?
Build out imaginary personas that represent your ideal customers and their quirks. Give them names and backgrounds to really bring them to life.
Once you have a solid picture of who you want to attract, make sure every part of your marketing targets them specifically.
Optimize for an Awesome Website Experience
Your website is your 24/7 salesperson, so you better make it amazing.
Load times, design, navigation, and product pages all contribute to a seamless experience that convinces visitors to buy from you vs. clicking away forever.
Some quick tips:
– Invest in optimization so pages load lightning fast. Studies show over half of visitors abandon a site if it takes over 3 seconds to load.
– Ensure your site works beautifully on mobile. More than 60% of traffic is from smartphones. I still cry thinking of the sales I lost in my early days because my site looked wonky on mobile.
– Include better navigation features like search bars and filters so customers can easily find products.
– Create compelling product pages with sufficient info – quality images, details, specs, perks, and reviews.
SEO is Your Best Friend for E-Commerce Business
You need to focus on search engine optimization (SEO) to get your products discovered by people searching for them online.
I could write a whole post on this (in fact, I have!) but some quick tips:
– Find low-competition keywords people search for, and use them appropriately on your pages. Google’s Keyword Planner gives search volume data.
– Create high-quality blog content targeting those keywords. Don’t keyword stuff though! Write genuinely useful content.
– Craft compelling page titles, descriptions, and alt text.
– Get backlinks from other relevant websites to build authority.
– Optimize site speed and mobile friendliness – Google loves those.
Content Marketing Attracts and Retains
Content marketing is about creating useful, interesting content that organically attracts your target audience. The goal is to provide value, build trust, and establish thought leadership.
Some of my favorite types:
– Blog posts – Share your brand’s story, product expertise, industry news, tips, and interviews. Remember to optimize these for SEO Services in Los Angeles!
– Ebooks and guides – For my shop these proved incredibly effective at converting visitors into leads and sales. Find the biggest questions people have about your niche and answer them in a guide.
– Videos – From quick social media clips to in-depth webinars, video engages people visually. And YouTube ads can help you find those interested in your niche.
– Email newsletters – Send promos, personalized recommendations, new arrivals, and discounts to subscribers. But only if they actively signed up! No spam.
– Social content – Post value-adding content tailored to each platform. Respond to all comments and questions. Be helpful and human.
Promotions Should Be Strategic
Occasional promotions give customers an incentive to buy from you over a competitor. Just be careful not to erode your margins.
Some of my favorites are:
– Site-wide discounts for first-time customers, students, seniors, etc. I offer 10-15% off in E-Commerce Business.
– Free shipping above a reasonable order value threshold. This works well.
– Bulk purchase discounts – buy 2 get 15% off type deals.
– Limited-time flash sales during holidays or product launches. Just don’t make everything on all the time on sale.
– Loyalty programs so customers earn points or rewards for repeat purchases.
Test different combos to see what resonates best with your audience and provides a worthwhile uptick in sales.
Stellar Customer Service Wins Hearts
This one can seriously make (or break) an e-commerce biz.
If someone has a poor experience with your brand, chances are they’re gone for good. But give them incredible service, and you’ve earned a loyal customer.
Here are my tips for wowing customers:
– Respond quickly to all queries, within 24 hours if not sooner. Even on weekends.
– Offer multiple contact options – email, chat, social, phone.
– Invest in team training on etiquette. Empower them to resolve most issues on first contact.
– Ship orders and process returns/exchanges fast. Err on the customer’s side.
– Monitor reviews and feedback. Follow up to make it right if something misses the mark.
– Offer a community forum for product help and bonding with the brand.