Ecommerce marketing can be really tough. With the seemingly endless competition, reaching and converting high-quality customers can seem as challenging as summiting Everest.
That said, there are plenty of online stores (of all shapes and sizes) that are doing it and doing it well. What do they have in common?
They all have a solid ecommerce marketing strategy in place and use it to get in front of their customers every single day. It’s this ecommerce marketing plan that allows them to be successful in their market.
Do you have a strategy outlined?
I’m guessing it might be an informal set of ideas and notes, but don’t worry, I’m about to give you 21 creative ideas to help you market your online store. These aren’t your run-of-the-mill marketing tips. These are powerful, actionable tactics that you can begin implementing today!
By the time you’re done reading you’ll have everything you need to pump up your ecommerce marketing strategy and start seeing the traffic and conversions you’ve been dreaming about.
Creating an Ecommerce Marketing Strategy
I can’t stress enough the importance of having an ecommerce strategy. I highly recommend creating a document that outlines your ecommerce marketing plan and updating it regularly as you make changes to the way you market your online store.
The more you plan out, the more likely you’ll be to achieve your goals and reach the success you’re after!
What is Ecommerce marketing?
You may be asking yourself, “What is ecommerce marketing?” To put it simply, ecommerce marketing is the marketing of any business that is conducted exclusively online. In other words, connecting an online store with its customers.
Now that we’ve got that covered, let’s get to the good stuff!
21 Creative Ideas to Market Your Online Store
#1 Add an Exit Intent Pop-Up
Let’s start with what may be the most important tactic you read today. Ecommerce email marketing is incredibly important, and you can’t participate without a list. Simply put, email marketing is the easiest way to start connecting with people who want to hear about your business.
So get to building!
Make sure you have email forms (strategically placed) all over your site, with landing pages that ask for them too! But one of the easiest ways to get started is to add an exit intent pop-up to your website. Capture website visitors that otherwise would have left your website. Of course, you need to give them a reason to subscribe or to provide an email address, so offer a free guide, discount, or another treat that goes in line with your brand.
If you’re not already actively building your list, this should be the first thing you add to your ecommerce marketing strategy. Also, check out this post on determining your email marketing frequency.
#2 Create a Series of Style or How-to Videos
The world of marketing (and just about everything else online) is turning to videos. They’re more engaging and typically more entertaining to a society with an ever-decreasing attention span. Adding videos to your ecommerce marketing strategy is becoming more and more important to brands.
Take the time to create fun videos that highlight your products, especially how to use them. How-to videos are some of the most popular pieces of content on the internet, and plenty of your customers are waiting to watch yours on YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, and more.
Capitalize on this newfound information by creating an engaging video that helps your customers solve a problem. Think about the questions that your customers will be searching for. Showcase your products in a fun and exciting way that answers those questions. Remember to be creative!
If you have a fashion ecommerce store that sells a variety of clothing—everything from shirts to shoes—consider doing styling videos. Share with your current and yet-to-be customers how to style your pieces or dress for a particular occasion.
Use any feedback you receive to improve each video as you go and do your best to replicate the success of those that drive the most views, traffic, and engagement.
#3 Capture Abandoned Carts with an Exit Intent Pop-Up
If someone takes the time to put an item in their cart, they’ve shown a great deal of interest in buying what you’re selling. They’re so close to converting, so make an effort to get them to complete their purchase.
For one reason or another, tons of shoppers leave their carts abandoned without completing their purchase. Which is why shopping cart abandonment recovery is one of the most powerful ecommerce marketing tactics around.
To capture some of your potential customers before they abandon their cart, add a specific exit intent popup on your cart page. For example: If a visitor adds something to their cart then goes to the cart page and then decides to leave the page a pop-up will appear offering them a discount if they purchase within the next 4 hours or day. You can set a percentage discount and time frame that fits your ecommerce store and this offer would only show up on the cart page.
It’s vital to include shopping cart abandonment recovery in your ecommerce email marketing, and your ecommerce marketing strategy as a whole.
#4 Send Shopping Cart Abandonment Emails
You can use smart remarketing tactics from CRMs like HubSpot to send highly customized emails to shoppers that have abandoned carts.This is where your ecommerce email marketing skills come into play.
If a customer has logged in, you can send them customized emails with pictures of the items they were interested in and customize the emails with their name, city, and more. These highly targeted emails are especially effective and could be the tactic you need to increase your conversions.
If you capture email addresses with a marketing automation software like HubSpot, you can target visitors who haven’t taken the time to create an account.
Are you beginning to see why having email conversion points without having to purchase is important? Ecommerce email marketing needs to be prioritized.
- Use their information – name, city, etc.
- Send emails early – within 24 hours of abandonment
- Send them often – every other day, up to 4 emails
- Persuade with social proof – customer reviews, ratings, etc.
- Send discounts – but not until the 2nd or 3rd email
- Give options – related items, etc.
#5 Get People Back to Your Website with Remarketing
Facebook, Google, and a few others give you the opportunity to track the actions of your sites’ visitors in order to optimize the way you market to them. A simple string of code can provide you with a huge amount of information on your potential customers
For example, Facebook allows you to create remarketing campaigns that show specific ads to visitors who have viewed particular product pages or left items in their cart.
If the shopper still hasn’t purchased them after a few days, you can boost the efficacy of these ads by offering them a coupon code in an effort to entice them back to your site.
The value of various pixels is beyond the scope of this post, but I encourage you to explore using the Facebook (or any other) pixel on your site.
#6 Work with Influencers in Your Niche
Influencer campaigns involve putting your products in front of an influencer’s (blogger, vlogger, etc.) highly curated audience.
For example, your fashion ecommerce store may send some of this season’s hottest products to a fashion blogger to review or endorse. Depending on the size of their audience and scale of their reach, you may be required to pay for the exposure.
Because the review is coming from a trusted source and being shown to people looking for that type of content, these campaigns are an effective way to expose your store to a new audience. Just make sure to work with influencers whose brand and audience are in line with your products!
Think about collaborating with bloggers, vloggers, Instagrammers, and other types of influencers for product placement, reviews, and giveaways. You may even consider creating an affiliate program and using influencer campaigns as a major way in which you promote your store.
#7 Create Highly Valuable Blog Posts
Blogging allows you to drive traffic, build a community, and engage with your customers on a whole new level. Creating content that is helpful, entertaining, and engaging will allow you to answer the questions your potential customers are asking and introduce them to your brand in a low-pressure environment.
Create guides that show off how your products are used in real-world applications. Make sure to keep it visually interesting and focus on creating highly valuable content. Quality over quantity is the name of the game.
Blogging creates ecommerce marketing opportunities on a massive scale and learning how to do it well should be a priority for an ecommerce store.
Consider this: 79% of companies that have a blog report a positive ROI for inbound marketing.
#8 Create Downloadable Offers
As you create content for your blog, you’ll be able to determine what your audience likes. Take that information and create more detailed, in-depth, helpful content that your visitors will love!
Your beauty store may want to create an ebook on “This Season’s Go-To Holidays Looks,” and include valuable information on makeup techniques, step-by-step tutorials, tips, links to other resources, and more.
Write an ebook that your current or potential customers would even pay for, then give it away for free…well, in exchange for an email. If done correctly, the return on your investment will be much higher! A downloadable offer is valuable for two reasons: it builds your email list and it provides value to your website visitors.
#9 Host a Giveaway
People like free stuff more than just about anything else in the world.
Imagine if you gave away a really cool product, or better yet, a collection of really cool products.
How much buzz could you generate?
Get people to share your giveaway on social media and your exposure will increase exponentially!
Giveaways allow you to put your brand in front of tons of new eyes and grow your ecommerce email marketing list so you can reach out to them in the future. Talk about a win-win!
#10 Get People Excited with Challenges
This is an amazing tactic specifically for fashion ecommerce retailers, but could also work for other ecommerce niches.
Your company could host a 30-day style challenge where you challenge your audience to create a new outfit from a certain amount of items. The items that you promote are great, sure, but they are also items that you sell on your online store. This is a win-win for everyone involved. You grow your email list because whoever wants to participate needs to sign up, you help your subscribers dress better and utilize their wardrobe, and you get to sell items from your ecommerce store as well!
You develop more than customers with a challenge, you start to develop a community, and build a trusted relationship along the way.
Talk about a creative ecommerce marketing strategy!
Check out #62 in this extensive “list of ways to generate leads” for more info.
#11 Launch a Facebook Store
Facebook is taking over the world.
Not in a scary, end-of-days way. More like they have 1.7 billion users and counting, and 1 billion of them are logging on every single day!
Do you think your customers are a part of that community? If you’re not nodding in agreement, just know that I’m doing it for you. So how do you get the items you sell in front of them in a place they are already hanging out?
You integrate your online store into Facebook’s platform. Some shoppers simply don’t like to navigate away from Facebook, so giving them the opportunity to shop directly from their comfortable interface eliminates pressure and can increase your exposure.
#12 Ask Customers for Reviews + Place Them Strategically on Your Store
Reviews from your customers are worth their weight in gold. Why?
Because they provide otherwise wary shoppers with a sense of trust, and trust is what ultimately gets people to buy. Reviews from real-life customers help to lower the barrier to buying.
A properly positioned positive review can mean the difference between a sale and an abandoned cart!
The social proof provided by customer reviews can be used to improve the efficacy of your email marketing, paid ads, landing pages, and more.
#13 Share User-Generated Content
If customer reviews are worth their weight in gold, user-generated content is worth its weight in unicorn hair.
When your customers post pictures to Instagram or upload videos to Facebook or YouTube, ask permission and repost them. Share them on your social media, blog, put them up on your fridge if you want. If they’re really good, you may even want to pay to promote them.
The more people that see the honest, positive feedback of an excited customer the better.
Sales are all about trust and ecommerce stores can have a harder time earning that trust without a brick-and-mortar location. This is especially true of smaller stores that most people don’t know. Use user-generated content to help people feel confident in their decision to buy from you!
Here’s an example of how Free People integrated photos from their customers.
#14 Create Power Posts – Onsite SEO
One of the best ways to boost your onsite SEO (and drive TONS of traffic) is by creating power posts. Power posts are massive articles that are full of useful information on a particular topic that relates to your industry.
What differentiates a power post is that it is a standalone resource that makes it easy for your reader to understand the subject without having to do any other research anywhere else.
One of the other defining attributes is that it’s better than anything else available on the subject. Longer, more informative, and SEO-optimized. It’s also really nice if it’s professionally designed and has great photo or video content to back it up!
Publish these power posts as unique pages on your website and they’ll start driving traffic as Google recognizes their value and sends searchers your way. You can also design these power posts into downloadable pdf’s that a visitor would need to provide their information to get the valuable and free pdf.
#15 Black Friday/Cyber Monday Sale
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are major shopping events in the U.S. If you’re based in the States (or your customers are), you need to create your own events around these days and promote them.
Deep discounts aren’t the only thing people look for on Black Friday. In fact, more brands are starting to create special package deals and unique items that are only available for one day. The more fun and unique your special, the more you’ll be able to stand out. Plus, you can throw some deep discounts on the stock you need to move and make it look like a super deal to all of your new traffic!
#16 Countdown to Christmas
Just like Black Friday, Christmas shoppers go nuts during the holiday season. This worldwide buying frenzy is something that you need to be a part of!
Find your best international shipping service if you haven’t already and promote a special for several days leading up to Christmas. A popular special is the “12 Days of Christmas,” but you can do anything you want. Just make sure to create specials that are fun and unique and you’ll drive shoppers that will likely buy much more from you!
Holidays make for an excellent excuse to shop. Make sure people understand that they need to be shopping your deals!
Also, remember to stay top of mind and send your customers discount reminder via email each day of the countdown.
#17 Create Pinterest-Specific Images
Pinterest is huge on visuals, and more visitors are now saving images from ecommerce stores to their Pinterest accounts. They are saving for various reasons: to purchase for later, for inspiration, or to share with their community. When someone pins an image from your website they share it with everyone, that is following them as well!
You want to create long portrait-style Pinterest-specific images, so visitors are more likely to pin from your website. (And it goes without saying that the image should be visually stunning, quirky, or unique in some way.)
#18 Create a Capsule Collection
Partner with another company, brand, or influencer that aligns with your brand and create a capsule collection. A capsule collection is a specially designed limited-edition set of items. This is a very creative ecommerce marketing idea and also very involved, so make sure that it’s a great partnership, and it’s a win-win situation.
This is fantastic for two reasons: you get to combine two great brands and use each other’s audience for promotion.
A huge capsule collection partnership example is Coach and Disney. Coach created a collection that appeals to an entirely new market, people that wouldn’t normally buy Coach products. Disney fans are hardcore and this partnership opened their eyes to the stunning stylings of Coach.
Talk about a creative collaboration!
#19 Upsell AND Downsell
If you’re already selling something, selling more items or items that match what the customer is already buying should be your highest priority.
Ecommerce marketing can (and should) be taking place all the time! Even right as your customer is about to checkout.
If you have a high-end version of what they are about to buy available, show it to them and let them know why you recommend it over the less-expensive version. Make sure it’s within a similar price range.
Just sold something? Even better.
Show them a few accessories related to that product by sending it to them with your thank-you email. If you’re feeling really generous, include a discount code to use on those items to show your appreciation for being such a great customer.
#20 Send Wishlist Reminders
Do you find that lots of your customers have products sitting in their wishlists collecting dust?
They put those items there for a reason, and you may just have to be the one who reminds them what they’re missing out on. Send them an email with a link to their list. You may even want to include a discount code to get them off that fence they’ve been sitting on.
Do you have an app for your store?
Automate the process to send a push notification every week or two to remind them about the products they wanted to purchase.
#21. Nurture Visitors into Subscribers and Subscribers into Customers
Not everyone who visits your store will be ready to buy, so this is why you collect email addresses with the strategies I mentioned above. Once you have visitor’s email addresses, you’ll want to nurture those leads with a series of automated emails.
Send them great content that they can engage with, and you’ll be able to learn their buying preferences based on their interaction with each email. If you use HubSpot, you’ll want to connect it with your online store to send them emails based on pages they have visited or products they showed interest in but didn’t buy.
If you were stuck not knowing what to do for your ecommerce marketing, you now have plenty of ideas! You’ve just learned 21 creative and insanely practical tips to supercharge your ecommerce marketing strategy!
Remember that you just have to get started. You may have a lot of items on your to-do lists, but marketing is what gets people to your ecommerce store and generates sales! Marketing is not something that should be put off because your sales and success depend on it.
Let me know if you have any questions about any of the marketing ideas I mentioned.