eCommerce Marketing Summary

Every online store wants to increase traffic and conversions but it can still be white overwhelming to decide which marketing tactics to try.

Try to do one or some of these ideas for the next few weeks then go back and review each element to find out which one works best for you.  Once you know that, you can focus more time and energy into the marketing tactics that work well for your business.

Upselling and Cross Selling

Selling a slightly more premium product than the one the customer was originally considering, or adding more products to the basket instead of just one.  Upselling or cross selling can be more effective than acquiring a new customer.  Sometimes customers don’t know that a premium product is available, or they may need to be convinced as to how an upgrade (or bundle) is a better fit for their needs.

For example, is one of your product models made of a slightly higher quality or more sustainable material? Does a product carry a special component that’s handmade?  Make sure to emphasize the difference and understand where the touch points are so you can ask if the customer wants the upgrade.

There are two main considerations when using upselling to increase sales:
1. Make sure your upsells are related to the original product the customer wanted
2. Be sensitive to the anticipated price range of your customers - don’t blow their budget.

Your product has to match the customer’s original need, and they might not be so enthusiastic about paying more if they have an anchor price in mind.
An anchor price is often the first number a customer sees, and it’s the number they’ll use to compare other products’ prices.

The upgraded product you are suggesting must be a discernibly better fit than the original for it to be worth the additional cost.

Integrate Instagram

With nearly 1.4 billion daily active users, Instagram is officially the 4th most-used social platform around, connecting consumers, influencers and brands.

The challenge with IG is to take really compelling photos, to use hashtags strategically and to post at the right times to catch your audience while they're online. Just remember that the key to success with any social media channel is engagement.  That means engaging with your customers directly, one on one.

Reduce abandoned carts

Simple and effective ideas to reduce the amount of abandoned carts is an email recovery campaign or if you’re small enough, you can send individual emails to clients or you could even phone them to see what happened.  This is a
great method because it shows your customers that you are active in your business and gives you a great opportunity to learn more about how your customer interacts with your website, maybe there was something small broken in checkout that is preventing people checking out so they just leave.  It could be a quick fix so it’s worth finding out.

Launch a Facebook store

It still remains a viable platform for social media and eCommerce marketing.  Same rule applies as IG here though, engagement is key.  It’s a ‘social’ platform, meaning you will need to be social and engage with your fans and followers.

Capture more email addresses

Rand for Rand, email marketing remains one of the most effective channels for making sales and generating repeat customers.

There are too many IG and Facebook posts for us to keep up with, and email can offer a more intimate interaction. People are still more protective of messages sent to their personal inboxes versus their social feeds. Plus, email gives you the space to say things that can’t fit into a social media post.  Just remember to personalise the messages and segment your database so each customer receives the correct marketing message based on their journey with your brand.

Improve your email campaigns

It’s not enough to simply gather a bunch of email addresses.
You need to send regular, valuable emails for the channel to be effective.
Some examples of valuable email engagement:

  • Send a welcome email when a customer makes a purchase or signs up to your newsletter.
  • Provide exclusive promo codes and free gifts.
  • Send regular newsletters to inform subscribers of new discounts, product tips, or company news.
  • Share relevant content to help customers get the most out of their recently purchased items.
  • Run a BOGO campaign in time for the holidays to promote self-gifting during the season, too.
  • Thank your highest-value customers.  [Send a personal note](  expressing your appreciation for their business.
  • Solicit feedback. If someone visits your site but doesn’t make a purchase, ask about their experience and how you can improve it.


Send wishlist reminder emails

One final type of email to add to your list of eCommerce marketing ideas: the wishlist reminder email. The wishlist reminder email is closely related to the abandoned cart email. Both are designed to convince shoppers to take the final step in purchasing the products they have shown intent to buy. Has it been a while since someone checked in on their wishlist? Have an item on sale that’s been put on a lot of wishlists? Is it selling out? Send out an email to let your customers know. It may just be the trigger they need to finally purchase the item. 

Make it easy for your customers to get what they want

If your store is poorly designed, then you’re losing customers. But what exactly does a poorly designed store look like?  Besides appearing untrustworthy, the store could be suffering from some combination of the following: lacking a clear value proposition, hard-to-read font, or confusing navigation.
Even when you’ve improved the elements above, you could still be making a few design mistakes. Are you properly segmenting your products or are you putting too many products on a single page? Have you figured out the right balance between text and visuals?

Anticipate future sales

If you have the ability to expand your product line, then you should evaluate market demand and see if it’s worth the cost.  Best way is to Pre-sell items to see how many people place orders.  If you’re trying to decide which of three to-be-released products to sell, for example, create pages for all of them, making sure to use quality product photography and compelling copy for each one. Then list them as “out of stock” and see which product gets the most attention in terms of back-in-stock notification requests. That’s the one to sell.

Start a content marketing program

Every eCommerce store should consider blogging regularly to connect with customers and to rank better in search engines. If you’re already creating content, consider actively featuring your blog on your online store.
Don’t forget, there are more ways to take advantage of content marketing than simply blogging:

  • Start a podcast to feature your expertise or build a stronger community
  • Create long-form content and guides to help customers use your products more effectively

Embrace personalisation

Personalisation is another effective marketing tactic to drive online sales. Using behavioral data, personalized experiences are served to the visitor, according to their past actions and preferences.
According to BCG, personalisation can lift sales as much as 10%, but the opportunity is greater than that. Only 15% of companies are using the technology to its fullest extent.
You can also account for location in personalisation to create an experience catered to where your customers are in the world.

Leverage user-generated content

User-generated content is a great way to generate social proof. When prospective customers see that people just like them are regularly purchasing your products, they’ll feel more confident in doing the same.
According to Salesforce, 54% of consumers trust information from online reviews and recommendations from their peers, compared to the 20% who trust the brand itself.


Optimise for mobile

By 2021, more than half of all online shopping is expected to happen on mobile devices, according to Statista. Optimising your store for mobile means more than having a responsive design. It means you’re designing your site with mobile visitors in mind from start to finish.
Perhaps you have a bigger add to cart button on all mobile product pages, making it easier for the visitor to add to cart without zooming in, for example. You might also present your images in a different format, making it faster for mobile visitors to load product photos and easier to zoom in.

Reward your loyal customers

Focusing on customer retention is a cost-effective way to increase online sales. Return customers account for 22% of a retailer’s revenue, while making up just 11% of the total customer base, according to Stitch Labs. They also spend 15% more over the course of a year.
One way to reward loyal customers and big spenders is  through a customer loyalty program. There are many ways both your customers and you can benefit from a loyalty program. They give customers extra incentive to make a purchase and they keep your brand top-of-mind through automated reminders.


Disclaimer: this post is based off the original Shopify blog post by Dan Wang

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