You’ve nailed your product. You’ve built your Shopify store. You’ve hit the “live” button. Now you just need to sit back and watch the sales roll in, right?
Not quite. Growth doesn’t happen overnight. In fact, you can miss it altogether if you’re not seriously thinking about your eCommerce marketing.
So, how can you grow? Are there any tried and true tactics you should be honing in on to ensure growth success? The short answer is yes – but only if you’re willing to be patient. How much you dedicate to your eCommerce marketing is directly linked to how successfully you grow and there’s a fair bit of tinkering and refining along the way too.
To help get you started, we’ve compiled a list of eCommerce store marketing ideas to help you grow your business.
Understand your customers
If there’s one thing eCommerce marketers often fail to realize it’s that understanding your customers is everything. If you’re wanting to develop a strategy to get people to visit your online shop the first step needs to be understanding who you’re trying to sell to. What journey do your customers go through to buy your product? Who’s currently following you on social media? Who’s buying your products and leaving you good reviews? Is there anyone currently not buying from you that you think would be a great market to tap into?
These are all important things to know, and if you don’t have the answers for them right now, that’s something you’ll want to work on. Why? Because once you understand your customers, developing the backbone of a growth plan becomes far easier.
Understanding your customers gives insight into where your efforts are best spent – maybe a targeted Instagram campaign is in order? Or maybe you need to focus on really mastering your website experience? Maybe you need to do both! Those are just two examples, but they illustrate how understanding your customers is vital to getting the eCommerce growth that you desire.
At Socialike, when we first work with any eCommerce business we’ll do a full audit of all their current marketing tactics. One thing we often find is people are 50% of the way there – they know who their ideal customer is, but they really haven’t put the magnifying glass over how they’re going to turn those people into loyal customers. If you’re writing blogs to boost SEO, but your audience spends a large amount of time on Instagram, creating some scroll-stopping content could make all the difference to smashing some growth goals.
Understanding your customers isn’t just about getting people to your website either – that's only half the journey. Understanding your customers is also about learning how to communicate with your audience effectively and tapping into what language and messaging works for them.
Often, we’ll work with brands to develop a tone of voice and a strong understanding of their brand story. This helps our customers create consistent messaging with their customers at every stage of their lifecycle – whether it’s on a blog, an email to subscribers, or a product offer to loyal customers. If you want proof this works, according to SEMrush statistics, a company’s average revenue increases 23% when a brand presents consistently! So, it’s worth taking the time to get this right.
If you’ve got existing customers who love your product, leverage off that! Ask for product reviews and dig into what people consistently highlight as their favorite thing about it. You can even use your social media captions to this advantage, asking people to tell you their favorite way to use your product in the comments. The take-home though? Customers are everything!
Think about search engines
Of course, to understand your customers, it helps to have people visiting your website and buying from it. Organic search results on Google are a great tactic to help boost website traffic, so it's worth investing time into your SEO when you build your online store.
To get people to our customer’s online stores, we usually do some keyword research and seed them into product titles and pages across the site. This involves using tools like SEMrush to see what people are searching for, checking competitor keywords and identifying gaps in their keyword strategy, and make sure our customer's websites contain the keyword opportunities we’ve identified.
Blog posts with keywords in them are also a great way to boost SEO. For example, a brand that sells green smoothie powders could post blogs such as "5 Best Green Smoothie Recipes" or "10 Amazing Ways to Use Green Powders", and then link the pages back to products in their store.
Social media platforms are powerful tools for eCommerce. They create a sense of community that can do wonders for your brand and online store.
With social media you can create word-of-mouth buzz about products, drive traffic through interactive content strategies and lead viewers from social posts to online stores, helping you to grow.
Not only that, in a post COVID-19 world, people are spending far more time scrolling. A recent study showed that social media engagement has surged by 61%. That’s not such good news if you’re sick of being abused by your screen time report, but it is great news if you’re an eCommerce brand trying to reach your customers.
If you're just getting started, actively publishing on two channels is a good start. Look at your audience and the platforms they use to establish which are best suited for you. Gone are the days of needing to be on every platform.
Once you know the platforms to focus on, there are a few options for driving traffic to your online store: advertising on social, partnering with influencers, or creating an organic buzz around your products.
When we’re working with customers this is usually quite a bespoke process driven by their customer behavior. Once we understand the platforms their customers use, we’ll then develop a content strategy that tailors to that.
Finally, it’s also important that you understand the social commerce features your chosen platforms offer, as these features allow you to turn your social media profiles into second storefronts for consumers. Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok have all have ways you can integrate social commerce features in their apps which will allow you to tag products in images or videos posted on these platforms. Users can also shop directly through the tags so it's easy for them!
Use offers to your advantage
Of course, both social media and SEO can get people to your website, but that’s only one step to create eCommerce growth – the second important step is getting them to buy from you.
One thing we often see eCommerce marketers neglecting is using offers and discounts as a key marketing tactic. They’re a powerful way to generate sales, especially in situations where you're trying to entice customers.
There are several types of discounts and offers you have at your disposal. Let’s take a look at some of the most common:
This can include smaller incentive percentages like 5% or 10% off when customers shop with you for the first time. Dollar value discount: A dollar value-based offer can be positioned as a credit, making people feel like they're wasting money if they don't use it. Pair one of these with a minimum purchase amount to increase its impact: "Spend $200, get $20 off."
Shipping costs are one major reason for shopping cart abandonment. Offering free shipping is a great way to mitigate this and increase conversions.
If used strategically, a gift with purchase can also be used to increase average order size and/or to get rid of a product that isn’t moving.
There are lots of different approaches you can take to implementing discounts, but none are as effective as triggering popups that offer instant discounts to anyone who joins your mailing list.
We love trigger popups as they incentivize people to leave their details with you. Even if they don’t buy on their first visit, you’ll still be able to add visitors to your mailing list and that can help promote your store (more about this in the next point!). Plus, giving away discount codes that users can instantly access increases the chances of driving immediate sales.
Enhance the customer experience with personalization and automation
Building an email list is something that eCommerce marketers seriously undervalue. Why? Because email marketing yields the highest ROI and conversion rate in comparison to other channels, with a 66% average.
So, how can you supercharge the power of email? Personalize it. If you think personalizing an email simply means adding your customer's name, that’s only a small part of what a good personalized email looks like. Instead, you should focus on personalizing your emails to your subscriber's behavior – what buyer persona do they fit? Do they fit a particular customer segment? Where are they in your buyers' journey? Going beyond simply personalizing with their name is what’s going to make the email meaningful for your customers.
Again, this comes back to understanding your customer. By understanding where your customers are living, what they’re browsing, and what’s stopping them from buying. You can craft the perfect email flow that works to increase revenue and convey a personalized eCommerce experience. That’s why when we work with customers, this is often one of the first things we’ll tackle to start making their marketing more effective.
If you need proof that personalization is effective, consider this, in a 2017 survey, 80% of consumers indicated they were more likely to do business with companies who offer personalized experiences and 90% found it appealing.
Put simply, personalization is a great way to spur on your eCommerce growth.
Use loyalty programs
Up until now, we’ve focused mostly on getting people to become first-time customers. But one vital thing you really need to focus on when growing an eCommerce business is turning first-time customers into repeat purchasers.
How do you do this? If you’ve understood your customer enough and catered to them throughout their buying journey then hopefully, they’re highly motivated to purchase again. However, if you want to increase the chance they repurchase, a loyalty program can help increase customer lifetime value (LTV.) As many as 84% of consumers say they’re more apt to stick with a brand that offers a loyalty program.
A well-designed loyalty program also helps boost your Average Order Value (AOV) too. 66% of customers say the ability to earn rewards of free changes their spending behavior and encourages them to spend more. For example, you may create a program that rewards your customers with value-adding benefits like free gifts for spending a certain amount. Cross-selling and upselling are also tactics you can use to boost AOV. For example, you might upsell your loyalty program customers by giving them access to a premium product at a special price, but one that’s still higher than their usual purchase amount.
The Take Home
Growing an eCommerce business takes time, but there are tactics that can help with the process. Understanding your customer is the most vital tool you have to boost growth - if you know who they are and what they want, it's much easier to target and then serve them well. Using tactics like keyword optimization, loyalty programs, offers, and discounts are all great tools to help get you to where you want to be.
If you're stuck on how to grow your eCommerce business, Socialike can help you grow sooner rather than later. eCommerce marketers who are sick of waiting for their website traffic to grow and their customer lifetime value to increase can get results quickly when they have the right help. If this sounds like you, get in touch today, we can create a growth plan tailored to both your brand and your goals.
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