The Covid pandemic pushed eCommerce adoption forward by as much as 5 years. A lot of business owners got pulled along with the tide and embraced eCommerce as a means of survival when in-store sales become impossible.
Of course, a lot of other things have changed since the pandemic first kicked off. Estimates suggest that around 47 million people left their jobs in 2021 alone as part of the Great Resignation. Some of them found other jobs, some retired, and some launched online businesses.
For these new business owners, knowing the do’s and don’ts of eCommerce marketing may well make the difference between a successful online business venture and taking a regular job.
With eCommerce, you need a rockstar website in more ways than one. Right from the get-go, you need great website design. That goes beyond the mere appearance, although you do want a website that looks great.
You need a website that integrates the eCommerce options flawlessly. There’s no value in an eCommerce website if the shopping cart won’t let people check out or your product pages won’t let people add to the shopping car.
You also need a website that ticks some of those SEO boxes, such as responsive design, solid navigation, and sitemaps.
Beyond all of that, you don’t just need a website that works well now. You need a site that you can scale up as your customer base grows over time. Make sure that you discuss scaling with your website designer or website design company before they launch into the actual coding process.
When it comes to eCommerce marketing ideas, there are always new ways to market to customers. For example, every time a new social media platform gets some traction, everyone is in a hurry to jump on the bandwagon and start marketing there. It’s a shiny object.
The danger of shiny object syndrome is that it’s painfully easy to mistake new for better or more effective. Sometimes, that is the case, but not every time. A new social media site can prove a goldmine for some businesses, but only if the approach and user base of the social media site dovetails with your business.
Take TikTok as an example. The user base for TitTok leans heavily female and nearly a third of its user base is teenagers. Unless that’s the demographic profile of your ideal customer, TikTok might not prove a good marketing investment for you.
A lot of eCommerce business owners focus a little too much on generating a lot of content and fall down on creating quality content. Yes, Google rewards a steady stream of content on your website, but only up to a point.
If your content doesn’t pass muster, Google won’t rank your pages well. You must balance the speed of content creation with the need for high-quality content creation.
As a general rule, high-quality content must tick some specific boxes. Right at the top of the list is relevance. In this context, relevance boils down to your intended audience. If your audience is people who buy art products, your content must speak directly to them.
A blog post about the top five acrylic paint brands will meet the relevance test. A post about why the latest franchise movie is garbage will not, no matter how well written.
Your content must also prove useful for the audience. That can mean it’s helpful, like the post about acrylic paints, or it can offer some educational value. For an art supplies eCommerce business, that could take the form of how-to posts about techniques or even a look at major historical art trends.
One of the biggest mistakes that new eCommerce business owners make is that they assume customers will get the hint. The thought process goes something like this.
A person came to my site, which sells stuff. They read the blog post, which talks about stuff I sell that they probably want. They’ll naturally click on a link and at least consider buying something from me.
This train of thought feels logical, but it’s not how things play out in reality. People online are often distracted. They routinely read through or watch content and never click on anything.
The call-to-action serves as a clear reminder to the reader that you sell something they want or need.
For an eCommerce business, few types of marketing prove as viable or valuable as email marketing. The ROI on email marketing to a properly managed list is very high.
A good email list consists of people who came to your website and liked what they saw enough to voluntarily opt into your list. That is almost the definition of warm leads.
Sending out email blasts to a list about your new product or a flash sale will typically generate a lot of opens, click-throughs, and sales.
Making the most of email marketing requires a good management system, either in the form of some kind of CRM software or dedicated email list management software.
With the possible exceptions of oxygen and water, no product has the entire population as a market segment. Don’t agonize over trying to reach everyone, because you can’t.
Instead, focus on developing an accurate customer profile. Once you have that profile in hand, devote your attention to reaching people who match that profile.
Yes, it’s a smaller market segment, but one that will likely prove more profitable.
Venturing into eCommerce business ownership commits you to ongoing and active eCommerce marketing. When it comes to eCommerce marketing, you need a quality website built with eCommerce and scaling in mind. You also need high-quality content and a well-managed email list.
Don’t get sucked into new trends without examining if they coincide with your customer base. Don’t make the mistake of trying to woo everyone. Also, don’t forget the calls to action.
The SMBHub specializes in digital marketing and website development. For more information about our services, contact The SMBHub today.
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