Marketing an e-commerce website

Author: Eye

Date: 21/01/16

There are thousands, (if not millions) of e-commerce websites available on the Internet, selling every type of product you can imagine. But how do you ensure your site will appeal to your target audience, generate sales and ensure that users choose your business over your competitors?

This post will highlight the key marketing features needed to ensure your e-commerce website is a success.

Rich snippets

Rich snippets allow you to highlight extra information or provide further functionality for your website within the Google SERPs. Not only do rich snippets help your Google listing to stand out over competitors, it increases click through rates and conversion rates. View the examples below, showing how rich snippets can be used within different industries.

Selling products

-       Rich snippet used to show reviews of your specific products 

 Internal search engine

-       eBay use a search engine rich snippet to browse for products within their website 

Events 

-       Ents24, a ticket selling website, use rich snippets to show the latest events happening in your area 

Email newsletters

If an e-commerce website isn’t sending regular email newsletters out, they’re doing it all wrong. According to Shopify, 7% of all e-commerce transactions stem from email marketing. Second only to organic search, that is a large percentage of sales to miss out on.

Email marketing should be used on a regular, (but not overwhelmingly) basis, and should contain information about new products, special offers, perhaps a link to your latest blog article. Overall, it should provide the receiver with something useful.

Abandon cart emails

There are other ways in which email marketing can be effective, and abandon cart emails are a particularly clever way to push a sale through.

In 2013 alone, approximately 74% of all e-commerce shopping carts were abandoned. (Source)

An abandon cart email is exactly as it sounds – when your customers have placed items within their shopping cart on your website, but then leave the site without buying the products for whatever reason, an email will be sent to them reminding them they still have un-purchased products in their account. This is a particularly effective method of encouraging that all important final sale step.

PPC/Google shopping

Recently, we explored whether pay per click had become more important than organic search. In the e-commerce industry, it is extremely important to consider pay per click and Google shopping as one of your major marketing spends.

Whilst SEO and organic search are still important, paid advertising is clearly something Google is favouring, making it easier (and more likely) for a user to click on a paid listing rather than organic.

This ties in with Google shopping, a feature that is vital to remain competitive within the e-commerce industry. Searching for products on Google brings up the Google shopping widget most times – ensuring your product is listed there is essential. 

Social Media

Social media is a vital marketing tool to take advantage of, especially if you are in the e-commerce industry. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and even Snapchat can be used to promote your products, services and content (discussed later in this article).

Users of social media spend around 1 hour 20 minutes on average browsing various platforms. This is a large audience you need to be targeting – promoting your products, engaging with your audience, gathering reviews and even selling your products through the platform itself. You can also take advantage of paid advertising on Facebook and Twitter by creating enticing, clickable content and promoting it. This encourages an increase in followers that, if targeted correctly, are potential customers.

Take a look at ‘Using Facebook for your business’ to learn more about using social media platforms to promote your services. 

User generated content

Trust is everything in the industry of selling products. Without it, your are likely to use your target audience to a competitor. User generated content is therefore essential if you want to own a successful e-commerce website.

What is user generated content? It is your customers and target audience engaging with your brand and somewhat promoting your services from a customer’s perspective. This can entail anything, from leaving a review or testimonial, analysing a product in a video or uploading an image of them using the product.

The advantage of user generated content is the validity of it. It takes comments from actual users of your products, and places them in front of potential new customers that require extra feedback about your services. User generated content can be acquired through social media, a review system on your website, an external review system such as Trustpilot, or through YouTube.

Content marketing

Content is without a doubt the biggest buzzword from the past few years in the marketing industry. Everyone is aiming to create content that is shareable, promotional and capable of generating huge reach within a specific industry.

Content marketing within the e-commerce industry can be the marketing tool needed to increase your business sales. By creating engaging, informative, interesting content related to your industry, you can improve your brand awareness and site visits and likely your sales. Content can come from a range of sources, including PR stunts, videos, images, blog posts or email newsletters; whatever the source is, if you outreach correctly, promote it and it reaches a viral level, you will see the benefits in your sales figures.

Conclusion

E-commerce is a fiercely competitive industry from a marketing perspective. Unless you have a completely niche product, you will likely be fighting for search engine rankings, social media followers and industry presence. Using some of the techniques we have highlighted in this blog will help you towards winning the battle. 

Get in touch on Facebook or Twitter to discuss any of the points made. 

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