eCommerce has never been more competitive. The past year forced many businesses to go online and that increased competition even more. More and more people around the globe are getting comfortable with shopping online.
So how do you still stand out from the crowd? Everyone advertises on Facebook, works with influencers, and sends cart abandonment emails. What are some not-so-obvious eCommerce marketing tactics to use for better engagement and more effective sales?
In this article, we will explore more creative ways to market your eCommerce store so it does not stay unnoticed by your ideal customers.
Referrals happen when people tell others about your brand and you win new customers. It can be done through trackable referral links on other sites or as a word of mouth between people. It is a great way to acquire new customers because it is usually free (or very cheap) but brings in highly qualified leads who have the potential to become loyal customers.
Some ways to drive referrals are:
If you already have wishlists on your site, you can run a giveaway or otherwise stimulate people to share their wishlists with friends. Growave’s wishlist functionality lets customers organize wishlist items into different boards and share them on social media.
Such an initiative will get you more visibility among your customers’ friends and followers, who are likely also in your target group. The endorsement will serve as social proof and seal the deal.
UGC with your products is also a great tactic to add to your marketing strategy permanently. First of all, it requires a purchase. Then, it enhances your brand’s lifestyle positioning – customers add their angle to your marketing. Others will see various ways to use or style your product, and probably get their questions about fit, dimensions, etc. answered.
A library of user-generated content can turn into a community focal point where fans fight for a chance to get featured or regrammed, thus making your brand look even cooler.
Speaking of content, all forms of content marketing should be utilized by eCommerce brands more. Any kind of product can benefit from educational, entertaining and engaging resources.
Content drives traffic and time on-site, it can grow your email list and help segment and tailor it by interest. It also helps you explain your product better so people understand it better and are more satisfied with it after buying.
Some exciting content ideas:
- Use interactive tools (quizzes, guides, visual tools for playing around with products) to get people’s emails. Then, nurture them with tailored content and offers based on what they were interested in. Also, if the tools are fun enough, people will share them on social media, earning you free press.
- Retarget blog readers on Facebook with content similar to what they have read.
- Send non-promotional emails post-purchase with content and guides on how to make the best use of the new purchases. This will increase customer satisfaction and encourage more orders.
- Team up with people related to your ideal customer’s interests – musicians, artists, chefs, etc. to expand your content tangentially. This tactic might not bring in direct sales but helps you broaden your reach and engagement.
Double down on retention
Retention is an important part of eCommerce marketing. It not only means repeat orders from existing customers but also strengthens the relationship and works for referrals and increasing brand awareness. This makes it an effective marketing tool apart from being a driver for sales.
Native Cosmetics, a brand that got acquired by Procter & Gamble after only 2.5 years after launch achieved stellar growth because of customer love and support. About 50% of orders were coming from repeat buyers at the time of Native’s acquisition.
Customers who love your brand and products will flaunt them in front of other people and play the part of a trailblazer in their social circle. Some will even do micro-influencing on social media for free. That is the best kind of social proof! Plus, loyal fans are likely to gift your products to others so your customer base increases without any advertising effort on your part.
It is really smart to ask people to refer a friend, or tag the brand in their social media posts, or leave a review after they have ordered from you a few times. This will make sure they really like your products and will say positive things about them authentically.
An eCommerce CRM would help to identify and engage those loyal customers. Dive into customer behavior, segment, and filter to find various groups of people to outreach and tailor your message accordingly. They would appreciate it that you take into account their tastes and shopping habits.
Invest in social media presence
You know that social media is not just Facebook ads and Instagram followers. Maybe your target audience is not there but on other, lesser-known platforms. Or maybe you are not using all possibilities available to you:
- Reach the affluent women demographic on Pinterest
- Try selling on Facebook messenger directly
- Reach Gen Z on TikTok
- Explore niche social networking sites like DeviantArt and Behance
- Writing on Medium can add reach to your content strategy
- Even things like creating public reading lists on Goodreads or playlists on Spotify will get in front of extra pairs of eyes.
Work on product SEO
All your product pages and images should be SEO-friendly so people with high purchase intent can easily find you. When someone searches for a specific product and you have it, they should be able to see its price on your site, good quality photos and its availability. That makes it so much easier to complete an order with minimal effort. The alternative is to click through your home page, look for the product, see the price and probably get distracted by then to order.
Your categories should be optimized for search engines, too. This also helps people seriously looking for something find it on your site, be it “educational baby wooden toys” or “men’s sunscreen”.
Run seasonal campaigns
We are not talking about seasonal promotions like Mother’s Day or Summer collection promos. It is about finding new ways to cater to the needs of your target audience.
Identify trends or seasonal needs in your target market and address them with special campaigns. Ads, content, features in online media, partnerships are all good places for that. This way, when people search for any information and ideas about their needs, your brand will be there.
For example, the wedding season is pretty huge in some countries and many people start researching – what to wear to a garden wedding or what the cocktail dress code means. Answering their questions in content, retargeting with tailored ads, optimizing a special category named appropriately “wedding guest shop” are all ways to attract that crowd.
Partner with like-minded brands
A co-branded promotion with a brand that targets the same customers can expand your reach and win you new customers. Pooing your resources and email lists together, you can amplify each other’s reach cost-effectively.
Plus, if the products go well together in terms of aesthetics or use, or general appeal, the positioning of each one will be enhanced. Think cool shorts and grilling equipment, sunscreen and pool floats, workout gear, and lean meals delivery.
Use offline opportunities
Last but not least, eCommerce is about selling online but that does not mean you can connect with your customers offline, face to face. Brands of any size can benefit from direct contact with customers. That is why Casper, Allbirds and so many others have opened permanent brick and mortar stores – to communicate with people and let the hesitant ones touch the products before buying.
Fairs, local markets, and festivals are the perfect events to show off your range of products and do field consumer research. Beauty, food and drinks, fashion, even pet products will find many potential buyers eager to sample them for free and order on the spot.
To take it a step further, you can set up a pop-up store in a very specific location – like this year’s top vacation spot for your target group if that makes sense for your products.
To sum up
Marketing your eCommerce store effectively is about creating positive relations with the customers and standing out from the crowd with a presence that is more relevant, more interesting and helpful for the buyer.
The Metrilo team helps eCommerce businesses grow. Metrilo combines eCommerce analytics, CRM and emails in one to facilitate data-driven marketing and long-term customer retention.
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What is SEO?
SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” In simple words, it means the process of improving your website to increase its appearance for relevant searches.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is a competitive marketing strategy that focuses on producing and delivering useful, appropriate, and reliable content in order to draw and maintain a specific audience — and, essentially, to generate profitable consumer activity.