Tradesmen and other local service businesses that target a local customer base are turning to…
Ecommerce marketing has seen a major boost since the Covid pandemic took effect. According to Statista.com retail ecommerce sales worldwide in 2020 topped an astounding 4.2 trillion dollars. This was an increase of 27% from 2019 and one of the biggest increases in the past 10 years.
And more and more advertisers are joining this wave including millions of start-ups. Without an effective ecommerce marketing plan , you’re unlikely to target the right audiences and increase your sales.
So it’s more important now than ever to put together an ecommerce marketing strategy to promote your business. There are many strategies and tools available to your business, but it’s important to follow the most effective for your business.
I’ve included below 11 strategies that have proven successful for my clients and from what many advertisers have found.
1. Check your mobile speed
Mobile has now become the prime device type to introduce prospects into the marketing funnel. So it’s critical to create a great experience for your visitors and keep them engaged and returning to your business. That includes all pages loading fast and being well optimised for visitors and search engines. Using the Google Developer test speed site, you can test the speed of your website to ensure that pages load fast on Smartphones. According to a Deloitte study , a mere 0.1% improvement in mobile speed leads to an 8% increase in conversions for retail sites.
2. Capture more email subscribers
There are additional steps you should take to capture emails and start the conversation with your visitors. Most visitors to your online shop will not purchase and are unlikely to return if you don’t reach out to them. So, you should offer a newsletter as a way to capture emails and send targeted offers and regular product updates they may be interested in. This helps to boost conversions and the profitability of your Google Ads campaigns through your ecommerce marketing efforts.
However, it’s important to match the emails to the actual needs of your visitors and not send them random emails just because they are in your list. If they have signed up to an Offers newsletter, then send them offers like discounts, sales, coupons that relate to the products they are interested in. That way you will keep your subscribers engaged and prevent unsubscribes and therefore lose a big opportunity. Also make sure the capturing of emails is done in a seamless way and not annoy them with instant pop ups as soon as they land on your website.
First, they must be able to spend some time seeing the products and engaging with the website and then when they are ready they will sign up to an integrated form that is blended into the website. And if it is a pop up, make sure it appears after a certain amount of time on the website, like 60 seconds after they reach your website.
3. Set up an online chat system
Online chat is one of the quickest and efficient ways that customers can contact your business. If they have a question about your products, delivery terms etc, they can get a quick response without having to search through your website for an answer. It also means they don’t have to call your business which can take up much time and resources.
The responses in the chat can be automated too, for many standard enquiries, but for more complex queries then they can connect direct to your support team. Online chat is an effective way to increase conversions because it is instant. A customer can ask a question when they are at pre-checkout, checkout and post-checkout stages of their purchasing journey.
4. Launch a content ecommerce marketing program
A content marketing strategy that includes blogging, article writing and website page copywriting will drive free qualified traffic to your website. This traffic will mainly be from the search engines as you start to rank higher for the keywords you are optimising for. So in each piece of content you produce, include some keywords and start with some keyword research to find the best for your industry. So write about the products you are selling and how they can help your future customers. This will complement any advertising you are doing like Google Shopping ads and text ads.
5. Collect customer reviews
Product reviews give your customers peace of mind when purchasing from your business. There are a number of ways and platforms to collect reviews and these include manual and automated ways depending on your requirements. Google offers Google Customer Reviews for ecommerce sites that are running shopping ads in Google Merchant Center.
You can also use review aggregators like Reevoo, Feefo and Trustpilot to collect reviews. And because these aggregators are Google review partners, your ratings and reviews will show in your product listing ads and text ads, subject to a few requirements. You can display them on your website too. Contact one of these review partners to find out more and sign up for Merchant Center to promote your products and collect reviews.
6. Optimise your website for Search
Ranking high in the search engines is a must if you want to achieve high profitability for your business. It’s an effective ecommerce marketing strategy and although not easy to achieve, it should not be avoided. This is especially more challenging if you have thousands of products because you’ll need to optimise each of them for the keywords that you want to rank for.
However, this can be achieved by creating product titles and descriptions that are keyword-rich and fully optimised. Also, as discussed earlier, make sure your website loads quickly, especially for mobile visitors. Many of these visitors will not hang around if your website is slow and sluggish especially during the checkout process.
7. Set up Google Merchant Centre
An effective ecommerce marketing strategy is to promote your products with Google Shopping ads. These ads show a title, image, price and description and appear at the top and to the right of the search results pages. They also appear in the Shopping page. They target people that are in the later stages of the buying funnel and therefore have better conversion rates than text ads. And people who click product listing ads are more likely to purchase. To get started with these ads you should create a Google Merchant Center account and submit and claim your website.
8. Create and upload a product feed
One of the ways to submit your products to Merchant Center is to create a product feed and upload it. There are other methods like adding products manually, but if you have hundreds or even thousands of products then that is not a viable way to do it. You could also allow the system to do a crawl of your website so that all the products are indexed and then you can promote them. This is much quicker but the problem with this method is that all the products are crawled and added and it is not selective. There may be products you do not want to advertise through Shopping and this could clutter your account. You also have less control over the attributes for each product and the crawl just picks up what it finds.
There are also other automated methods like plugins on sites like Shopify and WordPress and these are efficient and work well but come with a small monthly fee. The manual feed creation, which you can do in Excel or Google spreadsheets, is free and allows you to customise your products and upload them. However this can take some considerable time.
9. Set up a Google Shopping campaign
After creating your Google Merchant Center account and creating and uploading your product feed, you now need to set up a Google Shopping campaign. You will create this in your Google Ads account. Your Merchant Center account should be linked to your Google Ads account first.
10. Think local
As an ecommerce business your targeting will often be a wide area like the whole country or multiple countries. That’s especially true if you ship to customers all across the country and other countries. However, if you also own some shops where customers can visit and click to collect, then you should think local too. Google Ads provides a number of tools that can help promote this including local inventory ads, Google My Business and Local campaigns.
11. Launch a retargeting campaign
Many visitors that arrive at your website through your ecommerce marketing strategies will leave and not return. They will arrive and view one or two pages and leave without doing anything like purchasing, signing up to your newsletter, watching a video and so on. So, you should have a plan in place to reach out to these visitors and bring them back to your website. One way to do that is with a Remarketing campaign in Google Ads. Check out my article on how to set up a Remarketing campaign here https://www.mikencube.co.uk/how-to-setup-ppc-remarketing/
As a PPC consultant and digital marketer, I can help you set up an effective ecommerce marketing strategy to promote and market your business on the web.