Ecommerce sales are expected to hike up to $476 billion by 2024. Then again, the figure could be higher as the 2020 eCommerce explosion has seen the sales rise to $374 billion.
With such growth, eCommerce stores must work harder to stand out from the crowd, which calls for unique and effective eCommerce marketing strategies.
Think about it. In a single minute, savvy customers are accessing discount codes on apps, following influencers on social platforms, clicking on Facebook ads, reading promotional emails, comparing shopping marketplaces, spending billions online, and more.
To capture the customer’s attention, therefore, marketers should take note of eCommerce marketing trends and strategies that, besides gaining traction, are proven to lift sales for businesses.
What Are the Ecommerce Marketing Strategies for 2021 and Beyond
The internet provides marketers with a myriad of effective means of connecting with prospective and existing customers. For instance, high-quality and informative content can lead to brand loyalty by helping customers make informed purchase decisions.
On its end, Omni-channel marketing can open new communication lines between the business and its customers. The same goes for smart retargeting ads, influencer marketing, and the use of machine learning technologies to analyze data and make predictive decisions.
Here’s an in-depth overview of some effective eCommerce marketing trends for 2021 and beyond.
The internet is content – from funny GIFs on Twitter to mind-blowing articles and thought-provoking webinars. As such, consumers spend over a third of their day engaging with digital content on multiple devices.
So how do you use content to your advantage?
Content marketing involves creating digital materials (e.g., videos, blog posts, GIFs, etc.) that attract, convert, and retain the target audience. This strategy educates potential customers about your services/products while establishing your brand as a thought leader in a given subject.
The logic is simple: you provide informative, problem-solving content to your prospects free-of-charge, which, in turn, establishes you as their go-to thought leader. It also showcases your expertise, which means your products and services will be the obvious alternative whenever your prospects cannot DIY. Moreover, content creation provides you with a free chance to promote your products/services.
So, whenever you see eCommerce sites adding a blog section on their sites, opening a YouTube channel, and whatnot, they’re trying to tap into these benefits.
Ideally, the content should be well-researched, in-depth, and helpful. Quality content includes:
Prove-packed content like testimonials and case studies
Interactive content such as quizzes that help match your prospects to appropriate products
Informative content such as webinars, e-Books, and whitepapers
Instructional content such as videos and blog posts
Applying Content Marketing to Your Business
Search engines love content. In fact, content is among the top three ranking factors on Google. Thus, creating quality content with a high search demand, will i. send traffic to your site, and ii. Generate lead and demand for your products.
To do so, look for focus keywords with high search volumes and develop content around them. Note, the term “high volume” is relative – while 1000 searches/month may be worthwhile to some people, others consider such figures to be worthless.
Here, think of phrases that describe your products. For example, yoga pants, yoga, or meditation for a yoga store and beards or shavers for a store selling beard products. Next, utilize keyword analysis tools such as Ahrefs, SEMrush, Ubbersuggest, and others to generate content ideas, determine the keyword difficulty, and keyword popularity/search volume.
Next, prioritize the ideas to tackle first and create content around them. When generating the content, strive to match the search intent as much as possible. (To identify the search intent, search for the topic or the keywords, and identify the content type, content format, and content angle of the top 10 ranking content on Google and other search engines). Experts recommend not to stray from what’s working – at least not too far!
Also, create content that’s better than what is in existence. That is, match the intent better, add what’s lacking, provide unique value, etc. Once done, edit the content, publish it, and distribute the same via email and social platforms where your target customers frequent. Finally, rinse and repeat.
Though underrated, referral marketing is a powerful eCommerce marketing strategy. See, we are social creatures who love sharing experiences and being a part of or identifying with something. We want our loved ones to avoid awful experiences and encourage others to support brands providing excellent experiences.
To benefit from referral marketing, therefore, consider influencing the referral/word-of-mouth process by i. encouraging more sharing and ii. Ensuring sharing is positive.
Applying Referral Marketing to Your Ecommerce Business
Set up a referral program by installing a referral program app or having a software developer custom design an ambassadorial software for your eCommerce site. While at it, ensure the program offers the right incentives.
For instance, a discount coupon will work for frequently needed products, whereas cash incentives are great for a one-time purchase type of product/service. Next, promote your referral program to your readers, email list, and social connections – extensively.
Alternatively, collaborate with influencers in your niche. That is, people with popular blogs, YouTube channels, or influential social media accounts, and who can effectively reach your target demographic. For instance, if you sell food-related products, consider partnering with influencers in the parenting, diet, or lifestyle verticals.
When collaborating, settle for influencers on platforms where your target customers hang out. Ideally, choose Nano-influencers and micro-influencers with a direct engagement with their followers. Yes, celebrities won’t do here!
Omni-Channel Ecommerce Marketing
While determining the highest ROI-yielding channel and maximizing on it is okay, doing so will limit your chances of connecting with your customers. Thus, Omni-channel marketing is a must.
If still in doubt, an Adobe Survey concluded that: 59% of consumers research and compare online stores on a marketplace before making a purchase. While at it, 48% look into brands’ websites, 40% in stores, 38% into reviews, 22% into social networking sites, and 19% into video channels. See, customers are already omnichannel hence the need for eCommerce sites to keep up.
Note, Omni-channel marketing is not about having a presence on all the marketing channels in existence. No. It’s about focusing on marketing channels on which your target audience frequents, maximizing your online visibility on those platforms, and creating opportunities to interact with your prospects.
Applying Multi-Channel Marketing to Your Business
When launching a product, partner with influencers, or use product demos on YouTube or Vimeo, email campaigns, and online ads. Assuming that the consumer has clicked through to your website, they should find helpful tips on a blog post, an online chat to answer their questions, and video testimonials to clear any doubt.
Of course, that’s just a suggestion. To ensure successful cross-channel marketing, strive to understand your target customers as in-depth as possible. Use AI and machine learning-based algorithms to analyze data concerning consumer behavior and predict group behavior.
Next, personalize promotional messages and product recommendations to fit each prospect. Note, 42% of consumers are annoyed when presented with irrelevant information and offers. Thus, refer customers by their name in your emails, send them birthday and other special days promotional offers, provide relevant product recommendations pop-ups, which should be followed by personalized emails, private chats, or direct social media messaging.
Moreover, acknowledge loyal customers with discount coupons, smart retargeted ads, personalized appreciation videos, or social media shout-outs.