eCommerce marketing is more important than ever.
Seriously, consumers spent $861 billion online with U.S. merchants in 2020 – a whopping 44.0% increase on 2019’s numbers.
And with competition for clicks heating up, it’s that brands who are willing to go the extra mile that’ll stand head and shoulders above the rest.
But designing a great eCommerce marketing strategy can feel like an impossible task. Especially if you’re new to eCommerce.
So in this post, we’ll break down 9 of the easiest-to-implement eCommerce marketing strategies that top-tier brands are using to boost conversions and turn customers into raving fans.
You don’t need to overhaul your website or reimagine your brand.
You’ll see that with a few simple tweaks, you can add buckets of revenue to your bottom line, with minimum fuss.
Here’s what’s in store:
Sounds Good? Let’s go!
Types of eCommerce Marketing
Before we get into the specifics of top, middle, and bottom-of-funnel marketing – let’s talk about the different types of marketing out there.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing comes in many forms.
From hosting giveaways on Facebook to creating share-bait posts on Twitter, the goal tends to be the same: To spread awareness of your brand via high traffic channels.
Social media marketing is super effective because of its cost: nothing.
While advertising on platforms like Facebook or Instagram can become quite pricey, marketing on them is completely free.
The only thing social media marketing costs is the time to create posts.
Content marketing is a broad umbrella, it can cover certain types of social media posts or video content on YouTube, or it can refer to things like search engine optimization strategies.
The basic idea of content marketing is using high-value content to build trust with your customers and offer useful insights that create more loyal followers.
Content marketing is one of the best ways to supplement your sales funnel to increase long-term customers. We’ll talk a bit more about how you can use it later on in this post.
While many consumers are wary of email marketing, it’s still a super-profitable channel if used correctly.
Email marketing is one of the best ways online stores can monetize customers in the long term and build a consistent cash flow.
On the flip side, email marketing can also come across as one of the most spamm-y marketing tactics if overused.
What’s the Difference Between Marketing & Advertising an eCommerce Business?
Marketing and advertising are often used interchangeably, but they’re not the same thing.
In fact, advertising is a critical component of marketing.
Marketing refers to the tactics and strategies you put in place to find a place for your business and products in the market and encourage consumers to buy.
Advertising, on the other hand, is the practice of using paid channels to get that product in from of consumers to buy – or in other words, it’s just one tool in the marketing arsenal.
A Quick Primer On The eCommerce Sales Funnel
The eCommerce marketing strategies you’ll discover below fall into three categories:
- Top of the funnel
- Middle of the funnel
- Bottom of the funnel
Collectively these three stages make up what’s known as an eCommerce sales funnel.
It’s called a funnel because it represents the journey from when customers first hear about your brand to the moment they become a customer and beyond.
It’s typically divided into four stages:
The funnel is divided into these sections because certain marketing techniques are more effective at specific stages of the funnel.
For example, let’s imagine you need a backpack.
It’s unlikely that you’d see an ad for a backpack on Facebook, click through to the store, and buy it there and then, right?
I mean, it’s not impossible, but your journey probably goes more like this:
- You read a travel blog that mentions the top 5 must-have backpacks for 2021
- You like one of the brands mentioned, so you follow them on Instagram
- From an Instagram story, you join their email newsletter list
- Two weeks late, an offer pings into your inbox & you check-out
See the way there’s a process from discovering the brand to becoming a paying customer?
As a merchant, the following steps will help you build that trust and lay the groundwork for higher conversions and more profit.
Top of the Funnel eCommerce Marketing Tactics
Right now, there are heaps of customers itching to buy your product.
The problem? They’re ‘unaware’ your brand exists.
So, top-of-the-funnel eCommerce marketing is about getting your name out there and encouraging prospective customers to take the first step of engaging with your brand.
It takes time and effort to convince folks at this stage of the funnel that you’re worth doing business with.
Here are four time-tested strategies to help pull folks into your funnel:
1. Optimize your Store’s SEO
In a world where ad costs are rising, getting to grips with the basics of SEO is the best way to future-proof your business with free traffic.
For example, imagine if you could rank #1 on Google for terms related to your products like Gymshark does:
But hold up, isn’t SEO super complicated? It can be, but it doesn’t need to be.
Here are three steps that’ll pull in more organic traffic:
Step #1. Start with keyword research
This is where you figure out what your customers are searching for and the easiest words to rank for.
Go to Ubersuggest (or any other keyword tool) and enter a keyword related to your niche/product.
Find keywords that have…
- Relatively high search volume
- Low competition
- Some purchase intent
If you’ve never done any SEO, check out our SEO Checklist for Shopify Stores!
Step #2. Implement your keyword(s)
Once you’ve chosen keywords, stick them in the following places:
- Product page titles
- Product descriptions (longer descriptions work best – think 1k words)
- Image file names and alt text
- Product tags or collection tags
- Meta titles and descriptions
- In your URL handles
Placing keywords in these places lets Google know your page is relevant to your customers.
Step #3. Build backlinks
Finally, you need to build links to your site to show Google it’s trustworthy.
Backlinks are just links from other websites that point to your website.
There are lots of ways to do this, but here’s a simple one that takes 5-10 minutes per day:
- Sign up to HARO (A service where journalists request expert quotes, unique products, and more for their articles).
- Review the three emails they send daily
- Offer your target product to review websites, gift guides, etc.
When your product is featured, you’ll earn a backlink to your site.
For example, here’s a review in the NYT magazine linking to eCom Bidet store Tushy:
It’s hard to say if this particular link was obtained through HARO, but there’s plenty of similar opportunities on the platform each week.
Then all you have to do is be patient.
Simply rinse and repeat this process for several months, and you’ll start to see your domain authority, traffic, and revenue grow over time.
2. Seek out Micro-influencers on Instagram
Micro-influencers are folks who have an audience of between 1,000-10,000 followers.
They’re fantastic because they:
- Have higher engagement rates than larger influencers
- Typically have a more intimate relationship with their followers
- Are way more affordable than people with huge followings
- Produce high-end content you can re-purpose for other marketing channels
Working with micro-influencers, you can expect to pay between $50-200 per shout-out, which means you don’t need buckets of cash to start driving traffic.
And sometimes, smaller influencers are happy to exchange a review or shout-out for nothing more than a free product.
To find suitable micro-influencers, simply search through #hashtags related to your niche on Instagram.
For example, here’s a micro-influencer that’d be perfect for fashion or beauty collaborations:
Keep searching until you have a shortlist of 20-30 micro-influencers.
Then, hit them up with a DM saying you love their work and that you’d love to collaborate.
Create an offer and a discount code or link for your micro-influencer army, send the payments via PayPal, then sit back, and watch traffic tumble into your store!
💡Pro Tip: Always ensure your influencers have an engagement rate of at least 3% (i.e., each post should have likes that equal 3% of their total audience)
3. Launch a Referral Program
There’s no better way to find new customers than via your existing customers.
Seriously, referrals are like magic growth sauce for your business.
Why? People referred by a friend are 400% more likely to purchase than if they found you on their own.
The key to a successful referral program is to give your customers an incentive to spread the word about your brand.
Case in point, footwear brand Cole Haan.
They give customers $25 for referring a friend, and the friend gets $25 too:
Think about how powerful this is: next time a friend compliments your Cole Haan sneakers, you’ll probably end up telling them they can get $25 off their purchase.
Add a similar offer to your eCommerce marketing funnel and start turning one customer into many on auto-pilot.
💡Pro Tip: Make it as easy as possible for people to sign-up for your referral program. A simple 2-step form with a juicy offer will maximize your conversion rates.
Middle of the Funnel eCommerce Marketing Tactics
You know that product you’ve been thinking about buying for ages but haven’t pulled the trigger?
Yup, you’re in the middle of that company’s ecommerce marketing funnel.
In other words, you know about the brand, you’ve seen their products, but you’re not sure if they’re right for you yet.
The following four ecommerce marketing tactics will nudge you towards a purchase:
1. Personalize Your Online Store With Quizzes
Which of the following would help you make a purchasing decision:
- A personalized recommendation based or…
- A recommendation based on guesswork?
Obviously, it’s the former.
To illustrate, let’s suppose you’re in the market for a coffee subscription – but you’re not sure which kind of coffee you want to try.
Enter Trade Coffee’s personalization quiz:
Personalization quizzes like this have been popping up on all kinds of eCommerce stores throughout 2020, and they’re going nowhere soon.
Why? They work. According to Accenture, 91% of consumers say they are more likely to shop with brands that provide relevant recommendations.
Plus, even if customers don’t convert immediately, quizzes are an excellent way to collect prospective customer’s email addresses too.
As you can see with Trade Coffee, after a few simple questions about how you like your coffee and what tastes you enjoy, they recommend a specific type of coffee just for you:
I mean, come on, combining a personalized product with a killer deal like “50% off your first bag + Free shipping” makes it hard not to take up this offer.
Seriously, from finding the right size clothing to discovering your ideal holiday destination, eCom quizzes are a way to make your customer’s an offer they can’t refuse.
Think about how you can add them to your marketing mix today.
2. Send Welcome Emails
A well-crafted welcome email is a must-have for every eCommerce store in 2020.
Why? For starters, the welcome email is your first chance to directly interact with a prospective customer (we know that first impressions are everything, right?)
Secondly, according to the ‘foot in the door’ marketing theory, the fact that a customer signed up to your email list means they’re more likely to say ‘yes’ to whatever you ask next.
Lastly, research shows that shoppers who read your welcome email will show on average 33% more engagement with your brand.
So it’s a huge opportunity to make an impact, right?
So, what to include in your welcome email?
Cover these four angles, and you’re good:
- Thank subscribers for joining your list
- Introduce the key elements of your brand’s proposition
- Let subscribers know what in-store regarding future emails
- Give subscribers a reason to return to your store
Here’s an excellent example from skincare brand Supergoop:
The email is crafted as a message from the founder, branded with Supergoop’s colors, and includes a ‘Welcome to the Movement” which builds a sense of immediate connection.
The copy is short and to the point. Plus, there’s a 10% discount code to entice the already warm leads to return to the store and purchase.
3. Use Retargeting Ads
Once people are familiar with your brand, they’re much more likely to respond well to your advertising efforts.
That’s why retargeting is arguably the best way to get a killer ROI on your paid advertising budget.
Retargeting is estimated to make visitors one-time visitors over 40% more likely to convert.
So, there’s two types of retargeting you should experiment with:
a) Facebook Retargeting
Clothing company Lee uses dynamic retargeting and clever copy to lure visitors back to their site by showing them the exact products they’d been looking at:
Retargeting ads on Facebook aren’t too difficult to configure with a bit of know-how. Check out Facebook’s knowledge center to get a handle on the basics.
b) Google Ads Retargeting
Another type of retargeting to consider is Google Ads retargeting.
A while back, I was researching a shoe brand called Valesca.
Later that day, I went to check what movies were on the television.
Then Bam! Right there in the top corner, I see a pair of Valesca shoes looking back at me!
Then, in the evening before bed, I was pursuing Instagram (bad habit, I know) I get hit with this ad:
Pretty powerful stuff, right?
If you’ve ever been stalked around the web like this, you’ll know how effective (and slightly creepy) this type of advertising is.
Here’s four best practices for killer retargeting ads:
- Incorporate social proof – we trust the opinions of strangers a scary amount. Show your visitors how much your customer’s love your products with reviews, testimonials, and unboxings.
- Use a burn pixel – a burn pixel is a line of code that will prevent your ads from being shown to customers once they make a purchase.
- Set a frequency cap – don’t serve retargeting ads to visitors more than 20 times in 30 days. You might annoy your audience if, relentlessly, you’re bombarding them.
- Use multiple creatives – A single ad quickly results in ad fatigue. Use 5-6 variations to keep your ads exciting and your CTR high.
Bottom of the Funnel eCommerce Marketing Tactics
Your previous efforts have paid off – customers know who you are, they like you, trust you, and are now considering buying your products.
Here’s four proven eCommerce marketing tactics to help seal the deal:
1. Nail Your Product Page
A whopping 81% of consumers conduct online research before making a purchase.
And where do they get most of their information? Yup, your product pages.
Unlike in-store shopping, customer’s can’t physically hold the product – that’s why you need your product pages to deliver everything they need to make a purchase.
Let’s look at shoe brand Allbirds to learn how to build a great product page:
Right off the bat, you can see that Allbirds tick a few key boxes here with…
- Professional product images: including a mix of lifestyle shots and plain product shots from multiple angles (& a short product video)
- A clear CTA: A high contrast “Add to cart” button that’s visible above the fold on both mobile and desktop – plus a ‘free shipping & returns’ reminder beneath it.
- Customer reviews: 50% of shoppers say that reviews influence their buying decision, so reviews are essential to get the best conversion rates.
- Tech specs, shipping, and sizing details: Since customers can’t try on shoes, size charts help buyers confidence they’ll get the right size.
Scrolling down the page, You’ll find more product images alongside more compelling reasons to buy the shoes.
Lastly, they wrap up the product page with one final conversion-boosting punch – reviews so customers can check out what other people thought about the product.
💡Pro Tip: Allbirds use a live support widget so shoppers can get their questions answered in real-time. Think of it as a virtual shop assistant. Add the same to your store!
2. Send Abandoned Cart Emails
The truth is, around 70% of shoppers who add a product to cart won’t end up buying it.
Maybe they second-guessed the price, perhaps the shipping was too high, or possibly their dinner was burning in the oven, so they closed their laptop and left.
This is where abandoned cart emails come in. They give you a chance to seduce shoppers back to complete their purchase.
Let’s look at what to include in a great abandoned cart email using an example from Blenders Eyewear:
This email works so well because it has a few key things going for it:
- It offers a 15% discount to nudge customers back to their carts
- It’s optimized for mobile devices (where most people read abandoned cart emails)
- There’s a sense of scarcity in the copy – “get em while you can” and “expires in 24 h” which drives shoppers to take action now
- It shows the specific product the shopper abandoned
- There’s a clear call to action (I’d probably have opted for a higher contrast color, mind you)
- At the bottom, you’ll find support options to help customers get the information they need
- Finally, Blenders know that the number one reason people abandon their cart is that shipping is too high – so they remind customers they can get free shipping on orders over $40.
Incorporate these elements into your abandoned cart email or email flow to pull more shoppers back to check-out.
Check out these abandoned cart email examples for more details on how to craft effective cart recovery emails.
3. Upsell on The Thank You Page
The thank-you page is one of the most underutilized pages in eCommerce marketing.
Why? Well, because if you’re using a standard thank-you page on your eCommerce store, you’re leaving money on the table.
Seriously, the thank-you page is the most underexploited in your entire sales funnel.
Think about it, your thank you page…
- Has a 100% ‘open’ rate (unlike post-purchase emails).
- Gets re-visited multiple times by shoppers looking for shipping updates.
- Is viewed immediately post-purchase by shoppers who are in peak buying mode.
In other words, it’s hard to think of a better piece of digital real estate for post-purchase upselling and cross-selling.
Plus, if eCommerce titans like Amazon and eBay are leveraging their thank, you page you have to consider if you can afford not to follow suit seriously.
Ok, but how much revenue can thank you page upselling generate?
Well, let’s look at an example of an eCommerce store that customized its thank-you page in the last six months using ReConvert:
As you can see, by creating a simple post-purchase offer, this specific store was able to add £12,699 ($17,984) to their monthly revenue – a whopping 27.4% boost in their total revenue!
So, how can you achieve numbers like this?
Here are some thank-you page tips to help you get there:
- Make your thank-you page offer limited to the transaction (i.e., you can’t get the deal just anytime)
- Add urgency with countdown timers to drive customer action.
- Use triggers to offer personalized recommendations for better conversions.
- Offer a compelling discount product to seduce buyers.
- Make it as frictionless as possible to claim the offer (one-click preferably)
- Brand your thank you page so it’s harmonious with the rest of your store
As a merchant, you know that generating more revenue usually involves hours of planning, buckets of testing, complex schemes, and bags of capital.
But customizing your thank you page doesn’t require any of that malarkey. Because it already exists. You’re just not putting it to work.
So don’t sit on it any longer. Start offering post-purchase upsells and cross-sells today before your competitors figure out that they can too!
Courses to Learn eCommerce Marketing
Want to know some of the best courses to learn Shopify, marketing, or even advertising? Check out our guide on the best Shopify courses here.
Reconvert is the first and most powerful purpose-built thank you page builder for Shopify. Join 30,000+ merchants who are making more money from each order with ReConvert today!
Implement these eCommerce Marketing Tips Today
As you can see, you don’t need to completely overhaul your entire website or marketing strategy to add boost conversions and sure up your bottom line.
Just by implementing a few of the tactics outlined above, you’ll see welcome improvements at every stage of your marketing funnel.
Success in eCommerce often boils down to trial and error. So, throw some new tactics at the wall and see what sticks!
Now over to you! What has been your most successful eCommerce marketing strategy over the last 12 months? Let us know in the comments below!
eCommerce Marketing FAQ
Here’s a few answers to some of the top questions we see on eCommerce marketing.
What is an eCommerce Marketing Strategy?
An eCommerce marketing strategy is made up of the tactics, practices, and plans you put into place to bring in more online customers to your business. An eCommerce marketing strategy can include content marketing and SEO, advertising, and even on-site changes, like revamps to your pricing structure.
What are the Types of eCommerce Marketing?
The main types of eCommerce marketing are content marketing, social media marketing, paid advertising, and email marketing. But that’s far from a comprehensive list of all the tactics you can use to market your business.
What are the Best eCommerce Marketing Tools?
Here are a few of our favorite ecommerce marketing tools:
Ahrefs: Ahrefs is a great tool to research keyword opportunities and boost your content marketing strategy.
Google Search Console: Google Search Console gives you an overhead view of your site’s traffic. You can learn where traffic comes from, where and how many users are bouncing, and even which pages perform the best.
Social Media: We can’t pick just one platform because each one has its own strengths and weaknesses. For some businesses, Facebook might be the best fit for your target audience, while others might be better off on a platform like Twitter.
ClickUp: An app like ClickUp can help you organize your marketing efforts, especially if you have multiple team members that need to coordinate.