Ecommerce marketing is the practice of driving targeted traffic, awareness, action to your companies sales channels including website, social, affiliate, search, retail, POS, and others while engaging your audience. The ultimate goal is to convert customers into sales for your products or services as part of optimizing your digital funnel using technology, creative, and design methods.
This article will deal with the following concepts:
Table Of Contents
- What Is Ecommerce?
- Ecommerce Business models
- What Is an Ecommerce Platform?
- Top Ecommerce Platforms
- What Is Ecommerce Marketing?
- Creating an Ecommerce Marketing Strategy
- What are ecommerce best practices?
What Is Ecommerce?
The buying and selling of products or services with the help of the internet are referred to as ecommerce. It also includes monetary or data transactions via the internet.
Ecommerce Business Models
The most commonly used ecommerce business models that enable trade between a buyer and seller include:
- Business To Consumer (B2C):
In the B2C business model, the business sells its offerings directly to customers who are the end-users of its products or services. Some of the companies that use B2C business models include Walmart, Target, Amazon.
- Business To Business (B2B):
In the B2B business model, the business provides its products and services to other businesses. Some of the companies that use B2B business models include Baker-Electric, Boeing, Alibaba, and Archer Daniel Midlands.
- Consumer To Consumer (C2C):
In the C2C business model, the business takes place between private individuals. It allows customers to interact with each other. Some of the companies that use C2C business models include eBay, and Craigslist.
- Consumer To Business (C2B):
In the C2B business model, consumers provide a product or service to a business. It allows end-users to create products and services which are later used by businesses. Some of the companies that use C2B business models include UpWork, and Google AdSense.
What Is An Ecommerce Platform?
An ecommerce platform is a software application that enables businesses to run and manage their website, marketing, sales, and operations.
Top Ecommerce Platforms
The following are the most popular ecommerce platforms.
Shopify is a SaaS ecommerce platform that uses a subscription service. You can easily establish and manage your online store, that is how intuitive the platform is. Shopify is an easy way to design and launch your ecommerce website.
It has several built-in features, and lots of paid add-ons that can help you expand the capability of your ecommerce website including connection to marketplaces and marketing automation. Shopify charges you a monthly subscription and a percentage of your overall ecommerce sales. To customize and grow your Shopify ecommerce business, it requires you to have a team that is experienced in marketing.
Some of the top brands that use Shopify include:
- Kylie cosmetics
WooCommerce is an open-source ecommerce framework for WordPress websites. It requires an experienced developer to set up and install and customize the ecommerce website.
WooCommerce is developer-friendly, scalable, and can integrate with almost any service. It has numerous extensions for added features including payment gateways. This requires you to purchase a good hosting company and work with experienced WooCommerce software developers to maintain and grow your ecommerce business.
Some of the top brands that use WooCommerce include:
- All Blacks Official Store
BigCommerce is a proprietary SaaS platform that offers a wide range of features including customer groups and segmentation, search engine optimization, web hosting, and more.
BigCommerce is a flexible, open SaaS platform that empowers your brand at a lower total cost than other leading ecommerce platforms. However, it is somewhat more costly than a self-hosted site and fewer add-ons are available.
Some of the top brands that use BigCommerce include:
- Hush Puppies
Magento is an open-source platform that provides a powerful marketing, search engine optimization, and catalog-management tools as well as flexible cloud solutions to lots of retailers and brands. Magento is flexible, scalable and ecommerce businesses can get the power over the look, content, and features of their online store. Magento can be used for highly complex B2B and B2C ecommerce.
It was acquired by Adobe and is a part of the Adobe ecosystem that includes marketing, analytics, and content management platforms. It can be used for B2B and B2C businesses that can scale into hundreds and thousands of users. It can handle simple to complex integrations including ERP, marketing automation, etc., and has numerous capabilities that are not found on most platforms. It can also work as an enterprise platform for very large global scaled ecommerce companies.
Some of the top brands that use Magento include:
Wix is one of the most easy-to-use ecommerce platforms offering cloud-based web development services. It has minimal to no coding requirements as far as developing an ecommerce website is concerned. It offers a free plan which can also be upgraded to the premium.
However, Wix is ideal for small stores, not large-scale online businesses. Some of its limitations are that it does not allow you access to all the functionality and features in its free version and is limited on complex e-commerce products and services.
Some of the top brands that use Wix include:
- Alpha die cutting
What Is Ecommerce Marketing?
The practice of applying promotional strategies to drive traffic to your ecommerce business, turning that traffic into paying customers and retaining them post-purchase is referred to as ecommerce marketing.
Ecommerce marketing can be used to promote your overall ecommerce business or to drive more sales for particular products.
Creating Your Ecommerce Marketing Strategy
Develop a holistic ecommerce marketing strategy which will help you to develop brand awareness, drive customer loyalty, and finally maximize online sales.
The following top 10 ecommerce marketing strategies will help you increase online sales.
1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
A sound SEO strategy is required to organically rank on the search engine result pages (SERP).
Implement the following tips so that your store ranks higher on search engines:
a) Create a mobile-friendly website.
b) Optimize page load time (Google PageSpeed Insights).
c) Run an SEO audit (Ubersuggest)
d) Do comprehensive keyword research and find keywords that you want to rank for (Google Keyword Planner).
e) Create your Google My Business profile to strengthen your local SEO game.
f) Fix technical SEO errors such as duplicate pages. Seek help from an SEO expert if necessary.
g) Setup your website on Google Search Console.
2. Content Marketing
For ecommerce websites, content marketing means more than its conventional meaning. It includes the product, category, and cart pages. An essential component of ecommerce marketing that contributes to driving conversions effectively is copywriting.
3. Email Marketing
Email marketing is an efficient digital marketing strategy for interacting with prospects and customers via email. You can use email marketing wisely to increase your conversion rates. Email marketing enables you to engage with your audience to promote your brand and maximize sales.
4. Social Media Marketing
Social media is tremendously beneficial for ecommerce. It is a visual medium and can easily persuade people through images and videos which makes it ideal for ecommerce.
5. Paid Advertising
With paid advertising, marketers use the ad space and are charged for that. Almost every successful online business has kept a budget for paid ads.
6. Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing refers to collaborating with celebrities or people with a significant fan following. You can leverage social influencers to offer more value to your customers.
7. Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
It is the process of increasing the percentage of users who do a preferred action on a website and is probably the most important metric for any ecommerce business.
8. Customer Service and Support
Customers can have queries about their orders and ecommerce businesses need to have quick customer service and support in place. Make it easy for customers to interact with you.
9. Marketing Analytics
One of the significant features of CRO is testing numerous elements of your website. Also, monitoring the store performance enables you to gauge the effect of these changes. You can track all these aspects by having analytics tools in place.
An affiliate is given a commission for marketing products of another individual or company and the process is referred to as affiliate marketing. An online retailer pays a commission to an external website for any sales that are generated from their referral traffic.
What Are Ecommerce Best Practices?
It can be tough to have a strong online presence with so much competition in the ecommerce space. Include the following best practices to lead the competition and increase conversions for your ecommerce business.
1. Avoid Clutter
You need to have a website with a simple design if you want to have higher conversion rates. The first thing a visitor sees is the homepage which is clear and focusses enough that it draws them straight to a CTA button or products you sell. Clutter can distract or confuse the visitor. Make a purchase as easy for them as possible.
2. Simplify Your Menus
Don’t overcomplicate things. Keep your menus simple as it is a great way to organize what you are selling. Don’t confuse the customer by having too many menus on your website. It will only make it difficult for them to find what they are seeking on your website. You’re your menus specific and use broad terms to categorize your products.
3. Add A Search Bar
Having a search bar is a must for your website. Your menus might be few and simple yet giving users the option to find what they are looking for will help them to narrow down the options based on their preferences and parameters.
4. Buy A Premium Web Hosting Service
One of the most important elements of a successful ecommerce website is speed. Your page needs to load fast to produce high conversions. That is why buying a budget web hosting plan can cost you in the long run. It is better if you invest in a premium web hosting plan.
5. Eliminate Steps In Your Checkout Process
Make it easy for a visitor to buy by making the checkout process easy. Customers can abandon the transaction if there are too many steps to complete the purchase. Only get the important information from the buyer without making the checkout process too long and complicated.
It might seem complicated to work with all these methodologies and strategies. But the key to successful execution is to develop an eCommerce marketing strategy, use tools and platforms that automate ordinary tasks so that you can focus on growing your business.
Deepak Wadhwani has over 20 years experience in software/wireless technologies. He has worked with Fortune 500 companies including Intuit, ESRI, Qualcomm, Sprint, Verizon, Vodafone, Nortel, Microsoft and Oracle in over 60 countries. Deepak has worked on Internet marketing projects in San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange Country, Denver, Nashville, Kansas City, New York, San Francisco and Huntsville. Deepak has been a founder of technology Startups for one of the first Cityguides, yellow pages online and web based enterprise solutions. He is an internet marketing and technology expert & co-founder for a San Diego Internet marketing company.