The digital marketplace is more crowded than ever, with many other ecommerce brands all fighting for the same audiences and market share as you are. How can you stand out and cut through the noise to make sure that people can find your online store and follow through with a purchase?
At Hitsearch, we believe that an important consideration with any ecommerce marketing strategy is to keep in mind that every customer is different. There are multiple paths to conversion even within specific segments of your audience, because there are so many different possibilities for touchpoints and influencing factors on the journey towards a sale. Understanding the many different ways that your existing customers are currently finding their way to a purchase is key in figuring out how to scale up the transactions and resulting revenue.
With multiple marketing disciplines in play at the same time, piecing together a joined-up strategy that makes the most of every channel can be harder than it seems. If you don’t have a cohesive plan with all activity aligned, you run the risk of ploughing in more resource than you need to (and time is money, or course) and still not maximising your ROI.
This blog reveals the 13 common attributes of successful digital marketing in ecommerce, to help ensure that you can develop an overarching strategy that gives you the best possible return on your time and financial investment. Whether you’re looking for new ideas to try for a homewares brand, pet products or fashion digital marketing tips, you can implement these attributes in your strategy to drive more sales.
1) Coordinate your marketing tactics under a clearly defined strategy
Starting at the top with your ultimate objectives, you need to make sure that every tactic and channel you use is:
- A good fit for your target personas i.e. on a channel they use and with messaging that resonates with them
- Contributing to your overall goals. If a type of activity doesn’t have an end result that moves your customers along their buyer journey – it doesn’t have a place in your strategy
2) Set up cohesive tracking
This helps to ensure you can accurately attribute revenue to channels and specific activities. There is a two-fold way to go about this. You can:
- Audience acquisition by channel and device
- Your conversion funnels
- Repeat visitors that become customers
- The lifetime value of customers
- Report on both ‘first click’ and ‘last click’ and compare the differences to help give the appropriate channels more accurate credit for sales
3) Plan your activity well in advance
You may want to leave a little room for potential reactive activity, but the vast majority of your marketing activity should populate a content and activity calendar several months ahead of time. This can be based on:
- Historical sales data – may be influenced by season or other factors
- A calendar of events that fits for your product range and customers, whether it’s things like Valentine’s Day or Christmas gift shopping, or more along the lines of back to school, summer weather or awareness days
- Industry trends
4) Ensure consistent messaging across all channels
Aligning your messaging can be more difficult if different people within your marketing team are responsible for implementing the various elements of marketing activity, but you can make sure that everyone follows the same guidelines for key messages and brand tone/voice to keep things consistent. The tactics may be different, but the core message will be the same.
5) Have a cross-platform approach
People will often do their buying research on one device and then actually do the buying on another. Make sure that your marketing output takes this into account and tracks your returning users (and their devices) so see how widespread this type of behaviour is for your audience.
6) Personalise your messaging
A human connection can be a big factor in whether potential customers complete a sale on your website. An ecommerce brand that addresses their audience in a personalised way through their marketing activity is something that can help you stand out.
7) Take into account that most people don’t convert on the first visit
Depending on what you sell, you may get a decent amount of impulse purchases, but it’s a fact that a significant proportion of your first-time website visitors won’t be at the point in their buyer journey where they are ready to make a purchase yet. Maximise the number of these visitors who will return by:
- Remarketing to them
- Encouraging email sign-ups
- Developing an abandoned basket reminder and discount strategy
8) Use data wisely
Data is absolutely key to ensuring your strategy is on track. Be careful not to go down data rabbit holes that will waste your time for minimal return, but instead focus on the areas that are likely to have the biggest impact. These might include:
- Ongoing CRO (use things like conversion path data, heatmaps, scroll depth data and other tools to measure where pages need more work)
- Design tweaks
- UX changes
- Activity timing
9) Maximise your average basket value
Increasing the average order value can make a huge difference to your bottom line without you even increasing the number of transactions. Some of the tactics that you might want to employ for this include:
- Cross-selling from related product pages
- Upselling to similar but more premium products
- Bundle up several related products with a slight discount
- Offer free or faster shipping for orders over a specific value
10) Utilise automated email activity to maximise profit
Automated emails sent in response to specific activity can be a great way to maximise sales and also meet some of your other marketing goals, such as customer advocacy. This could include tactics such as:
- Abandoned basket reminder emails with a discount
- Exclusive deals when someone signs up to your email marketing list
- Exclusive access to new lines or pre-sales when signing up for email marketing
- Asking for reviews after delivery
- Time-based offers e.g. on their birthday, the anniversary of their purchase
- Complementary products that go with their original purchase as a follow up e.g. “this top would look great with the jeans you bought recently”
11) Foster the relationship after the purchase too
Your customer relationships don’t end once someone has ordered and received their product(s). Gathering reviews and testimonials can be a great way to increase your brand awareness and are a great trust signal for on-the-fence shoppers too. Every successful transaction is a potential positive review, and vocal happy customers will always breed more sales. Send a reminder email, but make sure it’s tailored to an appropriate amount of time for the product(s) involved. Nothing is more frustrating for customers than receiving a ‘please leave us a review’ email before they’ve even received their product – but it happens more often than you might think!
12) Deal with returns in the right way
Returns are normal for any ecommerce brand. Some industries have higher return rates than others but dealing with yours in the right way can help you stand out. You should:
- Plan for returns in your forecast
- Make it easy for customers to return items. It might feel counter-productive, but it helps to build trust and provides a more meaningful customer experience. They are more likely to buy again if it feels ‘low-risk’
13) Tailor the experience to the shopper
Customers now expect a personalised experience from every retailer. They are used to getting personalised offers and tailored communications from ecommerce behemoths like Amazon and Tesco and it really works! With emails, with special offers and even with what they see when they visit your website again, you can offer a personalised view on what you sell. You can tailor things such as:
- Showing a reminder of what they have looked at previously on your site or bought in the past. For consumables, you can make it super-easy for them to re-order something they might have run out of
- Giving a different view of the site based on their age, gender, location, what page they land on or their browsing behaviour
Hitsearch are digital marketing in ecommerce experts
If you’re looking for some assistance with your ecommerce marketing, Hitsearch are ideally placed to help your business grow, with our team of specialists across all digital marketing disciplines. As an ecommerce marketing agency that has been delivering great results since 2007, We have a wealth of experience in partnering with ecommerce brands to take their business to the next level and have won several awards for our campaigns. Take a look at our case studies to see what we’ve achieved with some great ecommerce businesses recently.
Find Out More About Digital Marketing in Ecommerce Businesses
With so many potential opportunities, channels and types of activity, it can be difficult for ecommerce brands to know where to start with their retail digital marketing, or how to make sure everything is working together cohesively. To help you get an outside perspective, we offer a free 15-minute session with one of our ecommerce marketing consultants to provide you with some really useful insights into where to go next.
You can get in touch now on 0800 011 9715 to find out how we do things differently and you can also sign up to our newsletter to receive regular ecommerce marketing industry news, tips and advice from our expert team.