In 2019, consumers worldwide spent over £3 trillion online. And the forecast is set for eCommerce to continue producing these results in years to come.
In spite of the current economic climate and as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, eCommerce is booming. Online retailers are flourishing in the wake of lockdown as people are ordered to stay in and shop online.
With that in mind, we thought there’s no better time to discuss how businesses can create the ultimate eCommerce marketing strategy.
And as usual, it starts with content.
From swooning over the new items on your favourite online clothing store to deciding which of Jamie’s 30-minute meals you’re going to perfect next – it’s all thanks to content.
So, the first thing you need for an eCommerce marketing strategy is content. And this is about more than merely selling your products.
Content is your chance to create a name for yourself and your brand by forming a reputation; one that creates a sense of trust and loyalty between you and your customers.
You should be creating content that speaks to your target audience. For example, if you’re a brand that makes dog apparel then you’ll want to create content that speaks to dog owners.
And here’s where you can get creative…
Offering a wide range of “value content” is the best way to create a relationship with your audience beyond merely selling and buying.
Value content might include:
- How To’s
- Profiles on your sources of inspiration
Basically, anything that gives insight into who you are and what your brand is all about.
After you’ve created your content, you’ll need to optimise your content.
Optimising the content on your website is essential if you want your business to appear on the Search Engine Results Page (which you do). Put simply, optimising your website content basically shows Google that you are a trustworthy website and worth being shown on SERPs. And the better optimised your content is, the higher your website will be ranked in the search results.
So how do you optimise your content?
Start with keywords.
You want to target keywords that have high search volumes – something you can find out by using the Google Keyword Planner.
The idea is that when people search for those keywords, your website will show up. A great place to start is by scoping out the competition.
If you see a website that is offering products similar to yours and is ranking highly on the SERPs, you’ll want to be targeting similar keywords.
Another great tool is the SEMRush Keyword Gap tool which allows you to enter your website URL alongside those of your competitors and the tool will tell you which keywords are the strongest and whether you are targeting well against your competitors.
You might have noticed that there’s a common theme here – your customer. Successful eCommerce strategies are all about putting the customer first.
This means basing your marketing strategy on what your customer wants and needs. So, it’s important that you have an awareness of consumer behaviour in a general sense, as well as surrounding your specific area of eCommerce.
For example, given the situation with COVID-19, eCommerce brands should be aware that the top three trending consumer behaviours for purchase priority are…
- Health & wellbeing products
- Cleaning supplies
In the same way that fashion retailers perform best when they stay up to date with upcoming trends, the same can be said for eCommerce brands across the board.
Knowing what your customer wants and finding captivating ways to show how you can give it to them is key to successful eCommerce marketing.
So along with your content and SEO giving legs to your organic reach, you’ll want to rope in some PPC.
Paid ads are the stage of your marketing strategy where you can really put the knowledge you have of your audience to good use – and even get to know them a little better.
And a great platform on which to do so is Facebook.
So even if your business has got the most specific niche imaginable, you’re probably going to find at least some of your target audience on Facebook.
And that’s why it’s such a great platform for paid advertising.
The Facebook Ads Manager provides you with the tools to be super specific when it comes to your target audience.
Say your target audience is new mums who live in West London and like Oliver Bonas, Facebook allows you to get that granular with your targeting.
You can literally select the requirements you wish your audience to meet (providing they exist… and they probably do) and make it so those people are the ones seeing your ads.
Boarder-line creepy but undeniably great for marketing.
The other great thing about PPC is that you can target different members of your audience with different variations of your ads.
For cold members of your audience, you’ll want ads that are informative – remember these people may have never seen or heard of you before and this is your chance to introduce yourself.
For warm members, you can assume they know a little about you so they probably want to know what’s on offer – tell them about your 15% Easter weekend offer.
With your hot audience, you can get tactical. Take it upon yourself to assume that these people either have purchased before or will definitely purchase in the future, so you can talk to them like you know them.
Go on… you know it makes sense.
So, now you’ve got a good amount of optimised website content and you’ve dipped your toe into the pool of PPC, you can start to branch out.
Create some more content.
We can’t deny the truth that the brand’s we know and love are kind of everywhere we look.
And there’s a reason for that.
The further afield you can spread your content, the better.
So you should be sending emails, asking for referrals and building up your social media presence – all with an intent to bring your consumer closer to you and build that meaningful relationship.
Take Pretty Little Thing for example.
Between their app, podcast, multiple Instagram accounts (one of which is solely dedicated to user-generated content like tagged photos & competition entries) and booming email marketing, PLT has created a hell of a name for themselves.
Not to mention a hell of a relationship with their customers.
Basically the more content you can release, so long as it’s fiercely relevant to your audience, the better chance you have of creating a loyal customer base that looks to you not only for your product but value!
All in all…
The most successful eCommerce brands are those that create a sense of community amongst their customers.
And the truth behind it is that it costs businesses around 5 times as much to gain a new customer as it does to keep an existing one.
With that in mind, when it comes to eCommerce, if we can give you one key thing to take away, it’s the importance of putting your customer first.