Want to develop an ecommerce marketing strategy that works?
Today, we’ll look at just that.
Ready to learn more?
Then, read on to get our 3-step plan for developing an ecommerce strategy that grows your business.
Step 1. Strategic Planning for Ecommerce Stores
First things first.
You need to start by planning and mapping out your strategy.
These are the fundamentals of your ecommerce strategy.
The first step? Let’s start with your target audience.
Your target audience
Who is your target audience?
This is something you need to define first because it impacts your entire ecommerce strategy.
There are two things you need to figure out- your target audience’s demographics and psychographics.
These are statistical characteristics that describe your audience.
Age, location, family, gender, earnings, and lifestyle.
When you’ve nailed down your target audience’s demographics, you know who your audience is in terms of the group they belong to.
But there’s more to a target audience- and this is something many entrepreneurs and marketers miss.
That’s what we’ll look at next.
Psychographics are used to identify people according to psychological criteria. These are things like attitudes, aspirations, values, and habits.
Think of it like this:
Demographics show who your customers are. Psychographics show why they buy.
If you sell fitness products to middle-aged women, not all women in this demographic will buy from you.
Those who’ll buy are the ones who’re attracted to your branding, want to get fit and want to buy the type of fitness products you sell.
How to figure out target audience demographics and psychographics
How do you figure out your target audience’s demographics and psychographics?
You’ll figure out demographics by considering things like who would use and buy your products. What’s their income? Can they afford them? Who do you want to market your products to?
To figure out your psychographics, you need to dig a bit deeper. Research why people buy your product.
Also, by looking at data, you’ll figure out a lot about your target customers.
Your own website data, but also tools like Facebook Audience Insights can help.
Once you’ve figured out your target audience, it’s time to think about their buyer’s journey.
What’s a buyer’s journey?
Simply put, it’s a 3-stage process your customers go through when they decide to buy your product.
Awareness > Consideration > Decision
The reason you need to be familiar with this process is so that you can direct your marketing to the right people at the right time.
So what happens at every stage?
A buyer realizes they want to buy a product. They might make it a priority.
How does your buyer describe their goals and challenges? How do they educate themselves? And how do they decide if it should be a priority? What happens if the buyer doesn’t take action? Are there common misconceptions when it comes to your buyer’s goal or challenge?
At this stage, your buyers have decided to address their goal or challenge. They are now evaluating different options.
How do buyers find the different options? How do they educate themselves? And how do they look at every category and decide on the pros and cons? Plus, how do they decide on the product that’s right for them?
Here, your customers have decided on the type of product they’ll go for.
Why do buyers choose the product they end up selecting? What’s the thing about your product they like in comparison to your competitors’ products? What don’t they like? Do they want to try the product before deciding?
Now you know who your target customers are and their buyer’s journey.
But… there’s something else you need to take into account when you’re developing an ecommerce strategy.
If you have specific and measurable goals, you can achieve those goals.
Makes sense, right?
In the end, it all comes down to focus and prioritization.
So how do you create goals for your ecommerce strategy?
How to set goals for your ecommerce strategy
Your goals should be realistic, but ambitious.
It’s tempting to say: “Our goal is to make a million in the next quarter.”
Ambitious… But is it realistic?
If you have a massive marketing budget- sure.
If not, consider adjusting your goal so it doesn’t feel overwhelming and unachievable.
But apart from this, your goal should be:
Your goal should be specific.
What are your revenue goals in Q1, Q2, Q3, and Q4?
What does this look like every week?
That’s how specific you should be.
Not only do your goals need to be specific.
They also need to be measurable.
If your goal is income, then this is easy to measure.
But in the same sense, you should be able to measure goals that tie to things like customers satisfaction.
Last, your goal needs to be actionable.
You need to have a plan to achieve your goal… And that’s what Step 2 is all about.
Let’s dive right in.
Step 2. Ecommerce Marketing Methods
Here’s the thing:
To achieve the goals you set out in your ecommerce strategy, you need an execution strategy.
And that’s exactly what this step is all about.
We list different marketing methods.
But it all comes down to choosing one or two strategies.
Then, focus on them.
As an ecommerce store, it’s the foundation of your ecommerce strategy.
So how do you set up your website?
Set specific goals for your website.
What conversion rate are you aiming for? How will you get there?
Another fundamental part of your marketing is email marketing.
Why is this such an important part of your marketing strategy?
Because with your email marketing, you’re building an audience that you own.
That’s why you need to set up an email marketing funnel as one of your first moves.
It’s simple to set it up, too.
Just use a tool like MailChimp, create an opt-in form and you’re good to go.
Social media marketing
Over to specific web marketing strategies in ecommerce… Such as social media marketing.
There are tons of social media marketing tools and platforms.
Instead of trying to do it all, choose a few platforms where your customers hang out.
If your target audience consists of 35-50-year old women who are interested in cooking, you might use Pinterest, Facebook, and possibly Instagram.
These are the platforms where your audience hangs out.
Pinterest is a visual search engine.
People go there to find inspiration. In fact, people’s Pinterest boards (where they pin content on Pinterest) are a direct image of what they want their life to look like.
In other words:
This is the perfect platform for many ecommerce businesses.
Purchase behavior: 93% of users say they use Pinterest to plan for purchases. (Kantar Millward Brown) 61% of Pinterest users say they have discovered new brands and products from promoted pins. 1 out of 2 has made a purchase after seeing a promoted pin. (Pinterest)
Instagram is, as you probably know, a photo-sharing app. And the visual aspect of the app is what makes it perfect for most ecommerce stores.
Purchase behavior: 50% of Instagrammers follow at least one brand. Engagement with brands is 10x higher than Facebook and 54X higher than Pinterest. (Brandwatch)
Facebook is THE social network. While business pages no longer get much organic interaction, Facebook still reaches a huge audience. Ads or groups drive engagement.
Users: With its 2 billion monthly users, Facebook is the most popular social network worldwide. (Statista)
Purchase behavior: 95.8% of social media marketers say Facebook delivers the best ROI compared to other social networks. (Emarketer)
YouTube is built on video – the most engaging content format. Because so many users use YouTube to find out how to do things, ecommerce businesses are well-positioned to create valuable, branded content.
Users: 8 out of 10 18-49 year-olds watch YouTube videos every month. (Brandwatch)
Purchase behavior: 93% of millennials who use YouTube use it to figure out how to do things. People pay more attention to YouTube ads than to TV ads. (Hootsuite)
Influencer and referral marketing
The best ways to spread the word about your ecommerce store?
Get influencers and customers to spread the word about your products.
By getting influencers to promote your products. And setting up a referral program.
Influencer marketing and referral programs don’t just get you direct sales.
They also increase brand awareness… Which could make a huge difference in the long run.
A lean way to promote your ecommerce store?
The trick is to partner up with stores that serve the same audience, but are not your direct competitors.
If you sell hiking boots, you might partner up with a store that sells camping tents.
Then, you cross-market to each other’s audiences.
You might do a series of Instagram posts or emails.
Or you might set up a bundle or a competition.
At the end of the day, you get access to a completely new audience… For free.
Offline marketing methods
When you’re developing an ecommerce strategy, it’s important to note that online methods aren’t the only strategies to promote your ecommerce store.
Offline works, too. Here, events, pop-up stores, and partnerships might be just what you’re looking for.
Step 3. Ecommerce Growth Strategy
The last step?
Keeping up your growth.
This step is all about fine-tuning your sales strategies and conversion rates.
Here’s how to do it:
Ecommerce sales strategies and optimizing your conversions
When you have a few marketing methods working for you and you’re seeing consistent sales, it’s time to optimize your conversions.
So that your website doesn’t become a “leaking funnel” where potential customers drop off before having made a purchase.
If that happens, you’re throwing money away.
So how do you make sure your conversions are optimized?
#1: Where are people dropping off?
First, you need to figure out when and why people are dropping off.
Do people check out your products but don’t add them to their carts?
Then, the problem might be your product page. Now you know you might need to fix that.
And how do you figure out your problem areas?
Use a tool like Google Analytics to see how site visitors behave on your website.
#2: What can you fine-tune?
Take a look at your website and product pages.
What can you fine-tune and optimize?
How can you make your site visitors trust you so much that they end up buying your products?
Do you include reviews on your product pages?
Or maybe a guarantee would increase your sales?
#3: Take a look at your cart abandonment rate
Are people abandoning their shopping carts?
Probably. After all, the average documented online shopping cart abandonment rate is almost 70%.
Some of it comes down to people window shopping and comparing alternatives.
But then there are things you can fix. For example, 60% of customers say they abandon cart because of shipping fees. 37% say the reason is that the website required them to create an account.
By making your checkout process as smooth as possible, you can decrease the number of abandoned carts…
…And increase your sales.
Ready to Develop Your Own Ecommerce Strategy?
There you have it. That’s how to develop a strategy that will help make all the difference for your business.
Developing an ecommerce strategy doesn’t have to be harder than doing some upfront research and then, sitting down to create your plan.
Any questions? Or maybe you have your own ecommerce strategy to share?
Share in the comments below.