In this article we will be diving deep into advanced Ecommerce marketing strategies which will help you in taking your store to the next level. We have covered the Basic strategies in another article. If you applied those and now thinking to jump into the next phase, then this article is for you. Since this is an in depth article, so you can find it a little lengthy as compared to our other posts. But, this will surely give you a deep insight into Ecommerce marketing.
If you are running an Ecommerce Store and trying our different strategies to boost up sales, it becomes essential to track user behaviour on your website. This will not only help you in tracking the exact source of sales but you will be able to put your energies in the right direction. when you will know which categories are working for you then it will become much easier for you to focus your efforts. Google Analytics provides a free tool where you can easily enable eCommerce tracking. First you need to link your Store with Google Analytics. Platforms like shopify, bigcommerce provide an easier way to do it. Once connected, the next step will be to fo to admin setting>Ecommerce Setting.
Once this is done successfully, you can explore more options like adding goals and funnels to dive deeper into the analytics.
Now, when you have enabled the Ecommerce tracking, the next step would be to understand the customer’s journey. Before starting marketing campaigns, it is advised to create a “Buyer Persona” for every brand. Basically, it helps to target the right people for your brand.
Harvard Business Review defines a customer journey map as:
“A diagram that illustrates the steps your customer(s) go through in engaging with your company, whether it is a product, an online experience, retail experience, or a service, or any combination.”
We all know the basic funnel which includes 4 stages, Awareness > Interest > Decision > Action. For every stage, you will have to create different touch points. Using Google analytics, you can track user’s behaviour on your website easily.
In order to create a psychologically informed model, you must understand how users move through your store. For example, even after offering a discount code to all first-time visitors, why are your sales declining? In this case, the offer might be great, but consumers still lack the motivation to buy. So, it doesn’t matter how many discount codes are given.
In the behaviour flow reports, you can consider different segments of users, whether it’s first-time visitors, returning visitors, purchasers or create a custom segment for visitors with long session durations but no purchases.
So, in this way, you can better understand the typical paths people take on your site. Then, utilize each level as a chance to provide the right incentive and triggers to keep them in your funnel.
Giveaways have been one of the proven ways to bring engagement to instagram accounts. It not only helps you in reaching a new audience but also makes people connect to your brand. For the giveaway, have your Instagram followers comment on why they want to win the item in the photo and then tag three of their friends that would want the gift as well. (Who will often comment and tag another three friends!)
80% of Instagram users follow at least one business.
Basic steps involved in creating a giveaway campaign on Instagram.
- Decide on a goal for your Instagram contest.
- like increase in website traffic, more followers, an increase in engagement, or a boost in sales
- Decide on the product, service, or experience you’ll giveaway as your prize
- Decide the entry-criteria for your event.
- For example, ask each participant to like your post and comment with the name of a friend etc.
- Consider a brand partnership.
- For example, you can partner with another brand and create a unique prize that will appeal to each of your audiences.
- Select a campaign hashtag.
- You can create a unique hashtag for every giveaway campaign. This will help you in efficient tracking. Choose a hashtag that’s related to the campaign, theme, product or service, and/or your business
- Put a time-limit on your contest.
- Now, creating urgency is one of the most important aspects of giveaway campaigns. It is this approach which sometimes makes it go viral.
- Launch and promote your Instagram contest.
As per Google Trends, it is seen that there is a huge spike in searches related to “gift guides” in November every year. The reason is quite simple, everyone is in a shopping mood by the year end and brands take this as an opportunity to boost up sales during this time.
40% of U.S. consumers begin researching their holiday shopping by the time November rolls around.
So, as an Ecommerce store owner, you must have a Gift guide on your website. This gift guide can be promoted via different mediums like email marketing and social platforms.
Gift guides usually offer a high return on investment for your time. If you’re noticed, there is a high chance to get in front of new, targeted shoppers with high intent to purchase
Just like Instagram giveaway campaigns, Facebook contests have the power to boost your business in many ways.
These type of contests help you to
- Interact with your audience
- Create Brand awareness
- Bring organic engagement
- Gain new followers
80% of experts believe that contests and other forms of interactive content have the power to capture audience attention better than static posts.
The basics of these contests will be similar to IG giveaway campaigns only. You can do different things like
- Ask your community to share a photo of something that your brand believes in.
- Share surprise giveaways
- Make people follow your profile
- Bonus entry for each friend tagged by your followers
- Collect User Generated Content by asking for a photo or Video
- Run a Photo Contest with a Branded Hashtag
- Partner with a Complementary Business
- Drive Traffic to a Website
- Promote New Products
- Build Hype for an Upcoming Event
Every Brand is first a dream. And. Every dream has an emotion. It’s not always about money making. If you will the famous brands, they adhere to their taglines. This can be seen quite easily in Nike’s branding strategy where they’re selling more than a product; they’re selling aspiration.
Whenever drafting a new campaign idea consider the emotion you want your audience to feel.
What their ads do, and do well, is induce emotion in the consumer through ‘emotional branding’. Each ad is carefully crafted to bring out feelings.
Watch: Find your greatness
This type of storytelling helps you in creating a word of mouth publicity. To cut the story short, if you can build an emotional connection with your viewers, you can win them over and get them invested in your brand.
Let’s suppose you are having a loyal base of customers who really like your products. And, they often refer your products to their friends too. Now, if you start providing them deals for these referrals, what will happen? They will feel elated. Many Ecommerce companies have taken advantage of referral marketing strategies.
Birchbox created a user-friendly referral system which helped them in gaining 850,000 Subscribers In 3.5 Years
If you are using the Shopify platform, you can get lots of apps to start an automated referral program on your store.
Just by optimising the product descriptions, you cannot expect to gain search engine visibility. In order to come up in searches and gain subscribers, you can try adding rich informative content to your website’s blog. Infact, this is one place where you get the opportunity to show your authority in your industry.
See here, how beyond retro have generated a loyal fan following by generating amazing content related to vintage fashion.
These days many Ecommerce brands encourage their customers to give donations at the time of final checkout. Although this amount is very less but somewhere it build a trust with the customer.
85% of consumers have a more positive image of a product or company when it supports a charity they care about.
A lot can be learnt through the philosophy followed by Bombas. The company donates new socks and t-shirts to the homeless every time a Bombas item is sold. They have donated over 37 million items to more than 2,500 homeless shelters and other nonprofit organizations across the nation. This means they have also sold more than 37 million items – pretty remarkable for a brand that started by selling one type of product online.
When you go to any retail store, have you seen their staff helping you out in selecting the right products? This makes it easier for you to make decisions. And, sometimes, you buy more than you had thought.
Now, when we talk about online Ecommerce stores, it becomes difficult to replicate it. Because there is nobody to make suggestions to the customer. So, it becomes essential that your store is designed in such a way that it talks with the customer. How can you achieve it?
Lets understand this by an example. You must have heard about Zalando Fashion store. They have got a huge variety of clothes for Men, Women and kids. In spite of having such a large store, they have designed the product pages efficiently. The Best thing about their store is that they sell you the complete look. Right below the main product information, they suggest their visitors different ways to wear this product.
They recommend items and accessories that complement the initial product, which is surely a great cross-selling tool that encourages visitors to add more products to their basket.
It’s a human tendency to take inspiration from others. When we see our friends doing something new, it quickly catches our attention. Because as compared to celebrity endorsed advertisements, we get affected by real people quite fast. Some brands like SteveMadden and GoPro have understood this concept and they are leveraging it to boost their sales.
For any Ecommerce store, product photography plays a very important role in generating sales. But, what if you can motivate your customers to share real images, using your product? And, when new potential customers will see those images on your store, they will get inspired to buy them too. Look how SteveMadden has dedicated a page on their store to share all user generated images.
Don’t you think, these images have got more appeal than sophisticated model images clicked from three different angles? These types of images can guide your visitors to better buying decisions.
Plus, customer photos make your products more relatable and desirable by creating social proof. This way, their visitors know that several others enjoy the product (read: social proof) and get a better view of how the product looks in real life. Similarly,
Since human evolution, fear of scarcity has always haunted us. And, almost every marketer uses this trick to clear their stocks in less time. The psychology behind this is taking away the freedom of choice from customers and making them feel urgency. When something has a risk of becoming unavailable, it seems more attractive to us. That’s why we want to act quick and grab the opportunity before it ends.
We can see here our Amedeo Exclusive has triggered fear-of-missing-out (FOMO) on their apparel store.
The same Advanced Ecommerce Marketing Strategies are used by ASOS stores also.
Selling Fast labels shows that items are popular and teases the risk of selling out. If you’re slightly interested in this product, you know you should decide quickly.
Here’s how Missguided is using “going fast” labels on their collection pages.
Another way of applying FOMO is creating 24 hours deals on special occasions.
The ultimate aim of any online store owner is to provide a better shopping experience and drive more sales. So, marketers are always in search of ways to help people make better buying decisions. One of such strategies is using size guides. This has become a boon specially for apparel related stores.
You can see here how Forward store is providing a “size guide” in the form of a popup. In this way, customers feel confident to buy even in the absence of a try room. Not only this, a detailed size guide helps in reducing returns on your store.
Contrary to popular belief, on-site size guides don’t only work for clothing brands. See how Lenskart has created a 3D try on feature to ease the process of buying eyeglasses online.
This size guide helps you visualize the product more easily and makes it more attractive.
Sometimes, there is blessing hidden in disguise. In order to understand this Advanced Ecommerce Marketing Strategy, we must first understand the concept of “warm leads”. These types of leads are simply prospects who have shown interest in learning more about a product or service, and are much more valuable than cold leads.
It is understood that stock keeps changing for Ecommerce stores. So, when a best selling item goes out of stock, do not remove it from your store. Instead, you can keep it there and generate a demand for it. Sold-out products only mean frustration for consumers. But, for you, sold-out product pages are like a goldmine waiting to be tapped.
Collecting warm leads with out-of-stock notifications is one of the most effective ways you can utilize your sold-out product pages.
People who have found this product are already interested in it. And now, this notification adds an element of scarcity, making the product even more attractive for them. So, instead of further waiting, go ahead and capture their email address. You can also route them to similar product pages.
A customer referral is highly valuable because it doesn’t cost you much — if anything — to acquire them. The Buyer’s journey should not complete just after making a purchase on your store. You need to turn them into loyal advocates of your brand. If you believe that you are providing quality products that will make your customers happy, then you must give them a chance to refer your products to others too. And, the best thing would be to motivate them for it. This motivation can be in the form of discount points, early access to new deals, recognition etc.
This strategy is an effective way to drive sales in autopilot mode. So, you have not only guaranteed repeat purchases but also turned your existing customers into brand advocates.
92% of consumers trust and value product recommendations that come from people they know.
Dropbox’s refer-a-friend feature permanently increased their signups by a whopping 60%, with users sending upwards of 2.8 million direct referral invites in a single month by April 2010.
Tip: Just remember that your referral program should be easy to join and offer benefits to both parties.
Abandoned carts are a normal phenomenon in every Ecommerce store. There could be many reasons for user to drop away at the checkout stage like
- Customers are required to Create an Account before purchase
- Abandonment due to unexpectedly high shipping costs.
- Long and Confusing Checkout Processes.
- Aggressive Upselling during transaction.
- Better pricing on other sites.
- Prices are shown in foreign currency.
- Website collapsed and shows slow response.
You can always dive deep into Behaviour analytic reports to get rid of the problem. But, don’t lose the warm leads that have left just before the payout stage. They would have spent a lot of time choosing the products from your store. So, it would be easier to convert them even with a small additional offer.
Affiliate marketing has proved to be a boon for many Ecommerce stores. Basically, Affiliate is a person who gets commission by generating sales for your brand. There are lots of third party affiliate marketplaces like CJ (Commission Junction), Clickbank, Rakuten Affiliates, Clixgalore where you can list your offering. Utilize your social media network to promote your affiliate program. This might result in your customers becoming your affiliates too.
Has it happened to you when you try to link a color to some brand? It’s a common behaviour with all of us. In order to remember things for a long time, we try to associate it with a color, fragnance, design etc.
Most of the famous brands adopt the same color theme throughout their websites. This plays a major role in connecting with them year after year.
We all know that user-generated content evokes more trust than content from brands. It seems more believable for customers, knowing that the brand is not only selling with their own produced content.
If you are a start up Ecommerce brand in the budding stages, then instead of waiting for content from customers, you can also approach micro influencers on social platforms like Facebook, Youtube and Instagram. It is very easy to search them using the right hashtags. Although such influencers are affordable but please ensure they are having an engaged follower base. Otherwise, you will not get the expected conversions out of it.
Every marketing campaign includes a funnel. It starts with making the potential audience aware about your brand. But, many times, people do not reach the end of the funnel and leave without conversions. In such cases, you can outreach them through remarketing ads.
If you have linked your store with Facebook and Instagram, then with the help of collection ads and carousel ads, you let people make purchases directly from the social channels.
Each collection ad features a primary video or image with four smaller accompanying images below in a grid-like layout. Customers who tap on your collection ad to browse or learn more will be seamlessly taken to a fast-loading visual post-click experience powered by Instant Experience – all without leaving Facebook or Instagram.
The best thing about online ads is that you target the audience based on their interests and behaviour. Broadly you can split the audience in three categories,
Define an audience based on criteria such as age, interests, geography and more.
Get back in touch with people who have engaged with your business, online or off.
Reach new people whose interests are similar to those of your best customers.
Whenever you are planning to buy any new product online, what do you do? You try to check the reviews, prices, brand options for that product using Google. For product related searches, google starts showing you paid advertisements from different brands.
You can also give a try to Google Shopping Showcase ads which let you group together a selection of related products and present them together to introduce your brand or business.
What makes Showcase ads so interesting is that you can bid lower than you typically would on a traditional Shopping ad, while showing prospects a wide variety of products and images. Even if a prospect doesn’t immediately make a purchase on your store, you’ve familiarized them with your brand and can build a warm audience to remarket to at a lower cost.
Emails provide one of most effective touch points for any Ecommerce store owner. You can send out a variety of mails like Welcome mail, engagement mail, deals mail, cart abandonment mail, Survey mail, thank you mail etc. So, there are numerous ways to get in touch with people who have already interacted with your brand once.
Industry benchmarks show that nearly 21% of people will open your email, with 2.56% of them clicking through to your website.
You can also inform your customers about new sale offers, new styles that are added in the stock, best seller items that are back in the stock etc. SO, the power of mails should never be underestimated.
Since 2011, Google and other search engines have started collaborating to create schema makeup. Basically, it is a form of microdata that creates an enhanced description (commonly known as a rich snippet), which appears in search results. In this way search engines are also able to index web pages properly. And, when information is properly indexed in servers, the chances of high ranking in search results get automatically increased.
By adding rich snippets, you help Google put your products in front of the right people for the right search terms.
You can also offer discounted products on daily deals and flash sale websites. Although margins are low, these websites may help you quickly grow your database, get rid of old stock, and gain some extra search engine optimization benefits.There are also coupon sites for merchants to offer discounted products.
Consumers feel 3x savvier when they find coupons in online searches than if they are simply handed to them. But, there is a big drawback associated with this strategy. Some of your customers would feel annoyed if you did not make them aware of potential savings and they can even ask for a refund if they found they missed out on a discount after purchase.
Lastly, we advise you to optimise your header and footer section with rich information. Let’s take some inspiration from the Missguided store.
In their Header section, you will din cart value, currency changer, products section bar and deals bar.
While in their footer section, there is an option to sign up for emails, under customer info section there are options related to order tracking, delivery information, returns policy, size guide, offer and promotions. They have also shared different shipping options with rates and expected delivery timelines.
We will not say these strategies are the only ones that you’ll need to boost sales on Ecommerce stores. There are still a lot of tricks that we will cover in upcoming articles. We hope that you will try these Advance Ecommerce marketing strategies and let us know the difference they make in your revenue. You can subscribe to our blog for more such in-depth articles.
A team of Digital Marketing experts led by Vijay Sood.