Ecommerce digital marketing involves using promotional techniques to drive traffic to an online store, convert those prospects, and retain the customers after purchase.
A best-in-class ecommerce digital marketing strategy includes a variety of approaches that live on and off your website.
Below is an overview of the top strategies you should experiment with to see what drives the most revenue for your store.
1. Personalize your email marketing
Email marketing is an essential part of any ecommerce brand’s strategy in large part because of its ROI. When prospects subscribe to your email list, they have shown an intent to buy and are much more likely to convert when nurtured properly.
Email marketing used to be one-size-fits-all, but the industry has shifted in favor of personalization, segmentation, and intentionality. In fact, Octane AI found that consumers are 80% more likely to complete a purchase if their experience is carefully customized.
In addition to general promotional emails about sales and discounts, your brand should be sending out the following customized notifications:
- Abandoned cart reminders: “this item is waiting in your cart!”
- Browse reminders: “an item you’ve been browning is selling fast”
- Offers: “a special discount offer is waiting just for you”
Personalized email marketing may sound daunting but today’s email service providers (ESP) automate everything. Most major email marketing software tools provide several customer journeys that directly integrate with Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce and other ecommerce providers.
Further Reading: WooCommerce vs Shopify: And the Winner Is?
2. Incorporate intentional SMS marketing
Consumer behavior suggests that online shopping is increasingly mobile-centric:
- 50% of all web traffic worldwide occurs on mobile devices
- Mobile ecommerce (m-commerce) makes up 60% of all online sales
- A whopping 15% of adults use ONLY their smartphones to connect to the internet
The best way to reach mobile-centric consumers is directly on their devices, through text messages or brand apps.
SMS marketing is the type of ecommerce digital marketing that communicates sales, discounts, confirmations, and other pertinent information to customers via text messages.
While emails have become increasingly more mobile friendly, SMS is still the only optimized way to communicate with these consumers on mobile, due to form and deliverability.
SMS has fantastic deliverability and open rates
Email clients commonly mark promotional messages as spam, significantly affecting deliverability. Estimates suggest that nearly 50% of all emails end in spam inboxes.
On top of that, the most common email providers, like Gmail, segment inboxes and make important brand messages easy to miss. SMS apps generally don’t mark messages as spam and don’t maintain separate inbox categories. As a result, SMS marketing has unparalleled deliverability of brand communications.
On top of that, four out of every five customers say they open every text message. This drives an average 98% open rate for SMS campaigns.
Because text messages are limited to 160 characters, consumers are also much more likely to reach and engage the call to action. Click through rates on SMS campaigns hover around 20-35%, whereas email averages just 3%.
SMS removes tedious processes
Drafting and implementing an SMS campaign is generally much simpler than alternative digital marketing campaigns. SMS ditches most of the tedious processes (designs, extensive copy, etc.) and requires only a basic message and brand voice. Consequently, the iteration process is much simpler, freeing up important time for you to focus on other digital marketing campaigns.
A reliable SMS marketing software is recommended to get the most out of your text campaigns. Leading SMS marketing provider, Attentive, offers brands automated personalization, analytics, and generative AI capabilities.
Further Reading: 19 Best Ways How to Promote Your Shopify Store on Instagram
3. Provide customers with valuable information through content marketing
Content marketing provides prospective customers with valuable information throughout the customer journey.
Content marketing can include but is certainly not limited to:
- Video unboxings and guides
- High quality images and user-generated content
- Blog posts on subjects pertinent to the company and its products
Content marketing can and should be distributed throughout your brand’s online outlets. The following are must-use distribution locations for content:
- Your website: Maintain a dedicated blog on your ecommerce site. This will also help with search engine optimization (SEO).
- Instagram & TikTok: Reach younger audiences by linking relevant content in stories, short-form videos, and in bios/Linktr.ees.
- YouTube: YouTube is a great place to curate video content. Prospects can quickly discover video unboxings, how-to guides, and other informational content.
- Email & SMS: Email and SMS campaigns offer a quick way to distribute new and important content quickly. Software allows you to inject personalized content marketing in pivotal moments of the customer journey.
Further Reading: 7 Content Marketing Trends You Need to Follow in 2024
4. Drive organic traffic with SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) refers to the process of enhancing your website and content to drive organic traffic from searches on Google, Yahoo, etc..
Like email marketing, SEO offers relatively high ROI when considering the effort and cost. In fact, much of the effort that goes into SEO is front-loaded. Once your site begins ranking for your target search keywords, organic traffic will funnel in with pretty minimal maintenance.
The primary objective for any SEO strategy is to end up on the first page of search engine results that actually have regular traffic. Extensive keyword research is imperative or else you’ll likely end up:
- Trying to rank for keywords that are too competitive and difficult, resulting in not being on the first page
- Ranking highly for keywords that get minimal to no traffic, resulting in wasted resources
Ecommerce product and list pages
Your product detail and list pages are the most important pages to optimize for search engines. Your focus keywords should include your product categories and subcategories.
If you’re a niche brand, ensure your keyworks capitalize on the opportunity.
The below includes your must-dos to ensure your pages rank on popular search engines:
- Include your keyword in the URL
- Include your keyword in your H1/Title tags
- Include your keyword in your navigation bar and footer
- Include the keyword in body text (if applicable)
- Include your keyword in alt image text
- Include your keyword in the page’s metadata
Search engines like Google and Yahoo evaluate your website and its contents for authority on subjects and keywords. Search engines use this authority when ranking your site in search results. Ultimately, search engines must and will always arrange results in a way that connects users with the most relevant content for their search term.
Your website’s structure guides search engine crawlers. Crawlers will evaluate content on your site based off of the guidance provided through the site’s structure.
Strong ecommerce website architecture generally adheres to the following rules:
- Ensure no page takes three or more clicks to get to from any other page
- Navigation should be simple for both prospective customers and the crawlers
- Keyword research should guide directory structure, category names, and URLS
Content marketing also has a significant impact on your SEO. Content marketing for SEO refers to the videos, blogs, how-tos, and more that are included on your site for the purpose of driving organic traffic.
Producing quality content is especially important for keywords that your product list and detail page keywords do not encompass. Use quality content to build up links to your site, which then increases your domain’s authority on those topics.
Ensure you take the following into consideration when developing quality content:
Know your target audience
Always produce content that your target audience will find helpful. Search engines evaluate authority based on page performance metrics like bounce rates and session lengths. If visitors abandon your pages too quickly, search engines will penalize your content rankings.
Identify the right keywords
Conduct extensive keyword research to determine the most relevant words that have traffic and are not too competitive.
SEO marketing tools provide insights into the competitiveness of a keyword and the search queries the term is commonly used in. These insights should always be used when deciding on a piece of content’s title, heading tags, alt image words, and body text.
Only publish high-quality and engaging content
Quality content will always deliver value to their target audience, be well-written and easy-to-read.
High-quality content takes readability into major consideration. Avoid passive voice, long sentences and grammatical/spelling errors.
Finally, the internet generally favors longer articles that incorporate plenty of:
- Images, diagrams, and GIFs
- Ad-free video content
- Bullets or numbered lists
Further Reading: The Ultimate Guide to SEO for eCommerce Websites
5. Implement creator-led and social commerce shopping experiences on your site
The trends are clear, consumers are spending more time on social media sites like Instagram and TikTok. As such, social media has become an increasingly important outlet for product discovery and purchases.
For Gen Z, these trends are more apparent, with 92% of Gen Z adults referencing an influencer suggestion as the most compelling purchase reason.
It’s precisely the reason why top ecommerce brands like Walmart, Target, and Amazon are investing billions of dollars into creator commerce experiences.
Creator Commerce is the subset of ecommerce where content creators market and sell the products of another brand.
Influencer storefronts are dedicated creator pages on an ecommerce site. Creators can curate their favorite products and publish relevant user-generated content. In most cases, creators will earn commission on sales that involve their storefront, in the same way as traditional affiliate links and codes.
Brands will often see the following benefits as part of this ecommerce digital marketing tactic:
- Influencer retention: creators love their dedicated pages and retain their relationships with the brand at a higher than average rate
- Conversion rate: influencer storefronts are the missing bridge between social media and ecommerce
- Average order value: creator bundles group products an optimal way for shoppers and lead to more “add to carts”
Influencer storefront’s community page
Gen Z consumers are showing a preference towards shopping people, rather than product categories once they arrive on an ecommerce site.
Having influencer storefronts discoverable directly on your ecommerce site provides consumers looking to shop people, rather than categories, a powerful option.
A community page with top influencer storefronts is great to use in many digital marketing campaigns like:
- Wedding registry ideas and wishlists
- Favorite Black Friday deals
- Christmas and holiday gift guides
- Father’s and mother’s day gift guides
- Baby registries and wishlists
Final Thoughts on Ecommerce Digital Marketing Strategies
Ecommerce continues to represent a massive portion of all retails sales throughout the world. It’s projected to continue growing, placing a greater emphasis on digital marketing strategies for continued relevance and growth of brands.
There’s no secret recipe that guarantees success in digital marketing. You and your brand should approach these strategies with a sense of experimentation and analysis. Constantly evaluate what is and is not working so that you can properly allocate your precious resources.
With certainty, you’ll eventually find a mixture of digital marketing strategies that brings healthy traffic and revenue growth for your business.
Al Nafea is the Head of Growth at LoudCrowd, a platform that brings creator-led shopping experiences to any ecommerce site. He has extensive experience advising top ecommerce brands globally with their creator commerce, influencer marketing, and user-generated content strategies. He holds a Bachelor of Arts, in statistics, from Dartmouth College.
Ecommerce Digital Marketing FAQs
E-commerce is a crucial component in today’s digital marketing landscape; it refers to buying and selling products and services through electronic channels, such as the Internet. E-commerce offers businesses the ability to reach a larger audience, and with the use of intelligent data and analytics, businesses can personalize their advertisements, optimize their marketing tactics and ultimately increase their sales and revenue.
Ecommerce refers to the buying and selling of goods or services online, while digital market is a broader spectrum that includes ecommerce but also encompasses other forms of online communication, such as social media marketing, email marketing, and affiliate marketing. Essentially, ecommerce is a subset of digital marketing. However, the difference goes beyond just definitions and can have a significant impact on the success of an online business.
An effective digital strategy encompasses all aspects of a business, from search engine optimization to social media marketing, and ultimately drives sales and growth. In a world where consumers are increasingly reliant on technology, ecommerce companies must continuously evolve their digital strategy to meet changing trends and behaviors. By implementing a comprehensive, forward-thinking plan, ecommerce businesses can enhance their online presence and ultimately improve their bottom line.
There are a vast array of e-commerce examples, ranging from retail giants like Amazon to specialized sites like Etsy. However, perhaps the most notable example is Alibaba. This e-commerce giant is headquartered in China and has a customer base of over 740 million people. Alibaba’s business model centers around connecting manufacturers with potential buyers and helping them conduct business via their platform. I
With the rise of social media platforms and search engines, digital marketing has made it easier for businesses to promote their products or services, increase website traffic, and convert website visitors into customers. E-commerce businesses that fail to leverage digital marketing may struggle to get noticed in a highly competitive market. Therefore, a strong digital marketing strategy is crucial for any e-commerce business looking to grow and succeed.