You’ve got an eCommerce site that looks good. It functions smoothly and is packed with products that prospective customers will be eager to buy.
Recently, an associate of mine named Sarah was in this enviable position.
But the problem was that her sales were stagnant and conversion rates were pretty low.
You see, given that eCommerce sales almost topped $4 trillion in 2020, according to Business Insider, it is obvious that plenty of sites are getting it right and winning over consumers effectively.
So Sarah delved into the data, looked at the current strategies she was using to promote her site, and realized something important…
Her brand was struggling to gain traction. Lame!
Today, I’ve decided to pool all of the best eCommerce marketing strategies that I learned from Sarah’s situation and how she took a different approach to overcome the challenges facing her online store..
I did this so anyone reading this article can reap the benefits.
In today’s resource, I’ll tell you:
- Why marketing strategies for eCommerce companies need to be creative—and why traditional tactics are falling out of favor as a result.
- Which marketing and branding strategies work best to boost visibility—including a few that might surprise you!
- Who stands to benefit most from making changes—and why putting off a switch in your strategy could cost you.
If you feel like you are just treading water with your eCommerce efforts, let me give you the lowdown on how to power forward with purpose!…
Understanding the Struggle eCommerce Stores Like Yours Face…
The first hurdle to overcome when revamping your eCommerce marketing is to admit that there is actually a problem.
While the market is already large and growing consistently, it is also ruthlessly competitive.
A few major brands account for the lion’s share of sales, which puts their smaller rivals at a disadvantage.
And aside from the problem of making sure that your brand is visible and recognizable in the first place, up-and-coming eCommerce sites also have to contend with the need to earn the trust of prospective customers.
That’s why you need to build rapport with prospects. And there are actually plenty of sales rapport building tactics to turn leads into buyers.
And that’s also why you *must* be using eCommerce marketing strategies to boost your eCommerce store’s brand visibility.
You need to be turning the spotlight on your brand. And you need to be doing so in a way that gives people the confidence to shop on your site and trust you with their personal information.
And you can take a look at any conversion rate for eCommerce stores’ case studies
#1 eCommerce Marketing Strategy : Use Promotional Products
While there are some pure-play online retailers that have managed to take the market by storm without a bricks and mortar presence, it is also true that many of the most successful sites are also those tied to traditional retail brands that started out in physical stores.
Trustworthiness and brand visibility are tied in part to making your business feel tangible, and giving it a durability that extends beyond your website and social media presence.
This is where promotional products come into play, ranking among the best eCommerce marketing strategies because they are tried, tested and proven to make a difference.
And they are for sure, one of the cheap advertising tactics to market your business.
Which Products Should You Pick?
The branded goodies you choose need to reflect a number of aspects of your business that you want to convey to customers, industry partners, and any other third party that encounters them.
First and foremost, you need to get the aesthetics right. Coordinating the design to include your corporate colors, along with your brand logo and any relevant messaging, is a must.
Color alone can have a 90% influence over how your company and products are viewed by consumers, according to Econsultancy. And blue is universally popular according to YouGov, explaining why it is used by some of these well-known multinational brands.
Secondly, think about how practical your product will be and whether it will mesh with the needs and interests of your target audience.
For example, going all-in on promotional sunglasses to give away at the next industry event you attend, might be a good idea. But it would be an even greater idea if your site sells beachwear and fashion.
On the other hand, handing out branded USB memory sticks makes more sense if you supply server hardware to business customers.
Finally, consider how your promotional products gel with your brand’s core values and company ethos.
So if your site is focused on sustainably sourced and eco-friendly items, reusable water bottles bearing your branding may tick all the boxes, for example.
How Can Branded Gifts Boost Brand Visibility?
So promotional products for your eCommerce site sound good in theory. But aren’t they kind of old-fashioned and not keeping in with the usual digital marketing tactics of the modern era?
Also, how will brand awareness grow just by handing out free swag? When, according to The Drum, most consumers spend 3 hours a day staring at their smartphones rather than the world around them.
Fear not, there’s hard data to prove that products imbued with company branding still make a splash.
A comprehensive study from the Advertising Specialty Institute outlines not only the diversity of product types owned across the U.S., but also just how widespread and long lasting these branded gifts can be.
Here are some of the key figures from the report:
- 50% of Americans own a pen or pencil with a company’s logo on it.
- 58% own promotional shirts, with 9 out of 10 owners being able to recall the brand advertised on the clothing they own.
- 60% of people aged between 18 and 24 own a branded USB stick, citing its usefulness as the main benefit.
- 25% have promotional umbrellas on standby for rainy days.
What’s more, these items generate literally thousands of impressions over their lifespan, impacting not just the owner but anyone they come into contact with.
And since two thirds of owners give their goods away to someone else, this chain reaction keeps on rolling.
This effectiveness is amplified even further if you combine promotional items with social media marketing and influencer marketing.
Wearable products in particular are so well established and widely accepted that you will be basically expected to hand them to boost your brand.
In short, well chosen promotional products can form the cornerstone of your all-new eCommerce marketing push.
So what’s the hold up?
Order branded swag now and get it into the hands of customers soon as possible!
Let’s dive into the next eCommerce marketing strategy…
#2 eCommerce Marketing Strategy: Start Blogging to Boost Value
Chances are that your eCommerce sales funnel is already driving traffic to your blog.
Because you can actually convert your blog traffic into sales but that’s a conversation for another day..Now, unfortunately, if your brand is less well known than your closest competitors, then there is undeniably room for improvement in this area.
And while blogs are a key part of customer research in 60% of online purchases according to the Content Marketing Institute, experts have also found that blogs must be trustworthy to shape buying decisions according to ResearchGate.
Now let’s look at how you can add value to your site and expand upon your brand visibility with the aid of a revamped blogging strategy.
Answer the Questions Your Customers Are Asking
The first mistake many business owners make is to fire off blog posts without stopping to think about whether they are relevant to the visitors they want to attract.
Content quantity can increase your traffic, but web users and search algorithms alike have become savvier and more discerning.
In addition, if your blogs are off-topic, then you will miss the opportunity to generate that all-important trusting relationship.
Luckily, there are plenty of types of blog posts that actually get traffic.
Now, if you are starved for blog post ideas that will actually help you make sales, consider the following:
- What questions are customers asking? — Writing a blog post or an article that answers common queries that are already driving people to your site from elsewhere is a no-brainer.
- Do you have something useful to say? — The topic itself needs to be relevant, but unless you can tackle it both thoroughly and from an interesting angle, it might not be worth it.
- Could your brand visibility benefit from guest posts? — If you can’t supply enough compelling content from your blog in-house, working with a guest blogger to shore up your content marketing is wise.
Ultimately, your aim should be to use your blog as an SEO marketing tool, as well as a resource that is genuinely useful to customers.
Of all the marketing strategies for eCommerce companies, achieving branding value through a blog is one of the most widely misunderstood.
Post Content That Looks Good
In terms of getting creative with your content marketing, you need to bear in mind that your blog is not just about well-structured sentences and relevant info, but also good old-fashioned aesthetics.
An entertaining, engaging post will only live up to its true potential if it also looks appealing and is formatted in a way that makes it easy to digest.
There is no room for solid walls of text and a lack of paragraph spacing in this day and age. Readability is everything, and if you can wrap it up with unique images, then all the better.
Take the example of customer service software provider Hello Scout. First up, its blog home page is packed with pleasing visuals that give it a cheerful, approachable brand image:
Click through to a post, and the same style follows across, giving the site that all-important consistency that visitors will be looking for:
With buttons to help with social sharing and propagate the impact of the blog even further, this is the ideal example of how the look and feel of a post are almost as important as the raw content being served up.
While you do not need to always follow the herd and use the same template as sites that have found success with their blogs, this is a good reminder that learning from the competition is no bad thing.
#3 eCommerce Marketing Strategy: Branded Videos Make a Big Difference
Video is becoming the dominant medium for online content, accounting for the majority of internet traffic according to Variety. And giving companies new ways to secure significant engagement with their target audiences.
In terms of marketing and branding strategies for eCommerce, being proactive about producing video content should be close to the top of the agenda today.
There are lots of reasons for this, from the pure act of increasing brand recognition to the advantages of encouraging organic sharing of promotions on social media.
So let’s explore the types of branded video projects you should be considering to set you down the right path .
Live Videos Are Increasingly Useful
While carefully composed, meticulously edited video content still has its place. It is probably worth looking into the benefits of live streaming as a means of increasing brand visibility.
A study from New York Magazine uncovered lots of intriguing tidbits relating to the power that live video has over consumer audiences.
82% prefer it to standard social posts, so if you want to connect with people in a context that has their full attention. This is the way to go.
There are also a plethora of ways to use live video as outlined by Impact.
Some of the most successful recent strategies used by brands include live tutorial videos in which representatives showcase how best to use products that are available to buy.
This can not only get customers to commit to a purchase in the first place, but also gives them a reason to return to your eCommerce site in the future.
When it comes to loyalty and brand visibility, live video blends these two aspects of modern marketing perfectly.
The fact that it is quick, easy, and affordable to create a professional-grade live streaming setup for under $500 is another great reason to give it a go!
Influencers Can Help
Influencer marketing is old hat at this point. But that does not mean you should ignore its potential when running an eCommerce site—especially in the context of branded video creation.
The main perk of working with influencers is that they should be able to take care of a lot of the more daunting aspects of making videos to promote your brand.
Then, when the time comes to get your content out in front of an audience that will connect with it, a well-chosen influencer will (again) be a blessing to your business.
You may also want to consider partnership marketing as outlined by VideoFruit. This involves leveraging the user base of other companies and/or blogs in your niche.
For example, you may be interested in appearing on a podcast or partnering with a blog which publishes content related to your product range.
The main thing you have to remember is that just because an influencer has a big audience doesn’t mean that they are the right choice for your brand.
As with branded products and blogging, your video content and influencer selection process needs to focus on relevance to your target audience.
If in doubt, hire an expert like AutoGrow.
We are masters of digital marketing and can give eCommerce sites of all sizes a helping hand with any of their creative endeavors, content strategies, and branding issues.
#4 eCommerce Marketing Strategy: A Live Chat Presence Lets You Connect With Customers Directly
Whether you set up an automated chatbot—which is programmed to mimic the brand identity and tone that you convey on other platforms…
…Or you hire customer service representatives to helm the live chat in person, having this feature embedded in your eCommerce site will let your brand appear more responsive.
And not only more responsive but more engaged and interested in supporting the needs of visitors that click through to your landing pages.
#5 eCommerce Marketing Strategy: Build Momentum Through Email Offers
While email marketing is not the most glamorous aspect of modern eCommerce promotion, it is still a powerful tool in the right hands.
And by issuing discount codes, targeted offers and all-purpose discounts to your mailing list, you will not only net repeat orders from existing customers.
You’ll also give your brand the opportunity to spread further afield if you open up these offers to anyone who is forwarded them, or encounters them on a vouchers website.
#6 eCommerce Marketing Strategy: Exploit Feedback to Your Advantage
The significance of customer trust has already been discussed in detail.
But you can further establish it if you make sure to feature independent testimonials, reviews, and feedback on your site, rather than attempting to shield newcomers from such content.
This should establish your brand as open and honest, as well as willing to listen to average site visitors and not just rely on professional reviewers and influencers.
#7 eCommerce Marketing Strategy: Connect With Local Communities to Foster Grassroots Support
While your eCommerce site may want to appeal to a national or international audience, it may also be based in a specific geographic region. In this case, a more back-to-basics approach to marketing can actually be the best way to boost your brand.
So whether you decide to sponsor a local sports team, organize charitable events to back local causes, or add wraps to your vehicles to spread the word about your business, there are lots of sub-strategies within this community-led route that can be harnessed.
#8 eCommerce Creative Marketing Strategy: Ditch Bland Product Descriptions
Plenty of eCommerce sites are guilty of using boring, bog standard product descriptions that are essentially copy-pasted from the original manufacturer’s marketing material.
This is not just bad for brand visibility and customer engagement. This is also unhelpful from an SEO perspective.
So take a creative approach to jazzing up your product descriptions and it will reward you in more ways than one.
#9 eCommerce Marketing Strategy: Go Mobile
Your brand visibility is not just determined by the carefully designed eCommerce site you host and the social presence you curate, but also whether or not you are catering to the needs of mobile users.
While plenty of customers will be content to make purchases from a mobile-friendly site, it still makes sense to build a transactional app for your store that allows for native transactions within compatible smartphone software ecosystems.
Moreover, a mobile app which is built just for you can be more minutely controlled and optimized, letting you really spread your wings.
#10 eCommerce Marketing Strategy: Record a Podcast
Podcasting is a relatively new way for brands to engage with customers. And while the medium itself has been around for years, its true potential as a marketing tool is only just being realized.
So whether you discuss the latest products, industry trends, events your customers will be interested in, or host special guests related to your brand, it is easier and more affordable than ever to produce a branded podcast.
#11 eCommerce Marketing Strategy: Start a Loyalty Scheme
While it is perfectly appropriate to reward customer loyalty on a more sporadic, time-sensitive basis, you may wish to formalize this even further by starting a scheme which is focused around gaining momentum for your user base that will accelerate and self-perpetuate.
You could aim to gamify spending on your site by letting shoppers unlock perks for hitting specific milestones, or provide a tiered system where spending over a certain amount in a given period delivers unique benefits.
#12 eCommerce Marketing Strategy: Introduce a Subscription Service
Leading on from the idea of starting a loyalty scheme, you could also make your eCommerce site less oriented around selling single products on a one-off basis, and pivot more towards providing collections of goodies to customers regularly as part of a rolling subscription.
Plenty of well-known brands have emerged in this space recently, and there is certainly room for more to join the party.
#13 eCommerce Marketing Strategy: Partner With Other Brands
You do not need to forge ahead as an independent eCommerce entity for fear of giving leeway to competitors.
In fact, if you pick the right partners to work with, you could come up with some excellent cross-promotional tie-ins which are mutually beneficial rather than being counterproductive.
Hopefully, this article gave you a few ideas to take into your next marketing meeting, or at least inspired you to investigate the significance of brand visibility in the eCommerce industry.
Over time, the changes made by my associate Sarah really did make a difference to how quickly her online store grew, as well as how widely its brand was recognized.
Perhaps you’re planning to follow in her footsteps, or maybe you’ve already reaped the fruits of the best eCommerce marketing strategies?
Now tell me something, what are you planning to do to chase sales growth and get your brand out there, or what worked most effectively of the different tactics you’ve tried so far?
Let me know in the comments below. It’s always great to hear from you!
Keep AutoGrowin’, stay focused.
About the author: Richard Fendler is a goal-oriented manager with proven leadership abilities. Expert in increasing productivity and growth marketing through content. Committed to streamlining procedures while optimizing employee talent. Most importantly, dog lover.
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