Ecommerce Growth

The founders’ favorite eCommerce marketing strategy

This quick guide will enable you to create an effective eCommerce marketing strategy that’ll drive results, grow sales, and beat the competition.

The founders’ favorite eCommerce marketing strategy

eCommerce marketing strategy? 

Everyone seems to have this probably figured out owing to the long list of blogs and online guides offering the “perfect” eCommerce marketing tactics.  

Queries around ‘eCommerce Marketing’ get over 2,200 searches a month in the U.S alone, making it evident that this is a top priority for eCommerce founders. 

Google searches for ecommerce marketing

Sadly, most of the content doesn’t deliver on its promises.

So, we studied some of the secrets of successful eCommerce founders to learn their favorite eMarketing techniques. Come along, and you’ll know what we found out.

The actionable insights in this quick guide will enable you to create an effective eCommerce marketing plan that’ll drive results, grow sales, and beat the competition.

But before we get to it, let’s clear a few things.

What is a GOOD eCommerce marketing strategy?

The marketing strategy is what differentiates successful eCommerce businesses from those still struggling to hit their monthly marks. Several definitions exist for this seemingly simple term.

Investopedia says it’s a business's overall game plan for reaching prospective consumers and turning them into customers of their products or services.

I have some reservations about this definition, and it’s also one of the enormous mistakes a lot of new eCommerce founders make.

A good eCommerce site’s marketing strategy is not just concerned about attracting customers. It also focuses on retaining them, growing their lifetime value (CLV), and transforming them into brand ambassadors through excellent customer service experiences.

Studies have consistently shown that the success rate of selling to a current customer is 60 to 70 percent compared to only a 5 to 20 percent success rate for new customers.

The best eComm strategies understand this and integrate customer retention as part of their overall marketing approach.

Here are other elements of a good eCommerce campaign strategy.

  • It addresses all the eCommerce business challenges
  • A good eCommerce marketing strategy understands the target customers, what they want and where they are. 
  • It’s something brands can execute immediately, even with a lean team.
  • It’s light on the pocket when you are starting out
  • It integrates multiple channels
  • It has quantifiable goals
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What We Learnt From the Founders’ eCommerce Strategy

Let’s quickly take a look at some of the things we learned studying the favorite eCommerce marketing strategies of some successful eComm founders.

They Do the Regular Stuff, But a Little Differently

Most people already use the strategies that successful eCommerce businesses use. Those successful businesses just do things differently.

Let’s explore them.

1) They Run Google Ads But, Think Copy, Local and Persuasion 

Successful eCommerce businesses use Google ads to improve their brand awareness and attract prospects when they’re actively searching online for what to buy.

About 75 percent of consumers say that Google ads make it easier for them to find information online. Since businesses figured this out, Google ad space has become a crowded jungle. 

But how do successful eCommerce brands stand out amid this super-crazy competition? Let’s take a look at some of the things they have mastered.

  • Smart eCommerce founders understand FOMO marketing and create ad copies that include a sense of urgency or scarcity.
  • They use numbers and show prices in their ad headlines. A study found this increases CTR by 217 percent and conversion by 23 percent.
  • They use the site link extension to grow their conversion by ten to 20 percent.
  • Some successful eComm brands use Custom Affinity Audience in Google Display ads to reach their competitors’ customers and offer them special discounts. The targeting serves display ads to anyone that visited a competitors’ website.
  • They also optimize their search ads for their competitors’ brand names. For instance, when a prospect searches a competitor’s brand name on Google, their search ads and offers show them.
  • They use social proofs and benefits-oriented CTA in their ad copies as a persuasive tactic.
  • Some localized their ads by adding their location in the ad headline. A Google report found that 50 percent of local searches on smartphones lead to store visits within a day.

2) They Do Discounts Differently

“If you want to sell more, give discounts.”

We keep hearing this every day in the eCommerce ecosystem. But the truth is, brands are throwing offers at people so much that they are getting sick of it now.

Successful eCommerce founders understand this and do their discounts differently. eCommerce brands like LuckyVitamin give before they take. 

When you visit their website for the first time, you’ll receive a pop-up offering an instant ten percent discount.

ecommerce marketing strategy - doing discounts differently

Clarks Shoes gives discounts and also allows customers to pay by installment. It integrates Klarna — a leading provider of "buy now, pay later" solutions on its eCommerce store.

klarna example - buy now , pay later

AO Retail understands the benefits of discount marketing. 

They have a discount page on their website for publishing current deals and discounts, making it easier for prospects to sort through them with ease.

ao retail example for discount marketing

Macy’s uses discounts to grow its mailing list.

It offers 25 percent to website visitors to encourage them to join its mailing list.

discount marketing example - macys

3) They Do social Like a Person, Not a Brand

Every ecommerce business has a social media presence, and they are actively posting to boost their social brand. As per Yotpo’s user base, the average ecommerce site posts once every working day on Facebook.

But successful eCommerce brands don’t obsess over offers; they do social like a person, not a brand.

Airbnb is an example of an eCommerce brand doing social media like a human. Here’s one of their tweets.

They Create Content, Get Partners, and Use Influencers

Successful eCommerce businesses understand the power of content, partners, and influencers.

Let’s explore how they use them.

1) Their eCommerce Sites Are Content Powerhouse 

Content is king; successful eCommerce brands understand this and use it to their advantage. Researchers found that about 60 percent of B2C businesses use content marketing, and 93 percent of B2B marketers.

Let’s explore some of the reasons these businesses put so much energy into content marketing.

  • Over 60 percent of online buyers purchase a product based on the content they read. 
  • Content marketing generates three times as many leads at 62 percent less than the cost of traditional marketing.
  • Brands that put their primary focus on content marketing improved website conversion rate by over five-times.
  • Video content generates 66 percent more leads yearly, and Cisco predicts video content will represent 82 percent of all internet traffic.

About 78 percent of CMOs believe custom content is the future of marketing. So, successful eCommerce brands transform their website into content powerhouses.

FTD is an example of a successful eCommerce brand that does content marketing well. The brand has hundreds of SEO-optimized published blog content.

Ahref data shows that the blog drives about 45 percent of its organic traffic.

ahref image of FTD content marketing

The website receives, on average, 1.1 million organic visits monthly from about 380,000 ranking organic keywords. Ahref values the monthly organic visits at $1.6 million.

ahrefs report on FTD

We could say that FTD’s content strategy drives in monthly over $700,000 traffic value organically.

2) They Partner With the Right Affiliates

Successful eCommerce brands understand they can’t do it all alone.

So, they work well with their affiliates to expand their brand reach and sell more. Affiliate marketing allows them to tap into their affiliate’s tools, tricks, and contact lists. 

Sun Basket is one of the reliable meal kit delivery services in the United States. The eCommerce brand uses an effective affiliate program to expand its customer base.

sunbasket example of affiliate program

SimilarWeb’s data shows that close to seven percent of its February traffic is from referrals.

sunbasket similarweb data

Sun Basket’s affiliate program’s effectiveness is also evident in the number of backlinks that point to its website and the number of referring domains. 

sunbasket backlink data

Multinational eCommerce brands also rely on affiliates to drive their successes. 

Amazon is perhaps the largest eCommerce brand today because it has the largest affiliate network globally — Amazon Associates has over 900,000 affiliate marketers.

3) They Use Influencers

Successful eCommerce brands understand that one of the easiest ways to get their ideal audience’s attention is to engage those who already have their ears.

AdWeek reported that about 40 percent of people purchased a product online after seeing an influencer used it on social media.

Some eCommerce brands rely on influencers to:

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Reach new audience
  • Generate lead sales
  • Drive positive brand advocacy
  • Manage brand reputation
  • Amplify their messages

Influencer marketing ROI is about $6.5 per $1 spent.

GymShark is a sportswear manufacturing company. It relies on TikTok fitness influencers to amplify their messages and drive sales, leads, brand advocacy e.t.c.

Gymshark - influencer marketing on tiktok

Fabletics is another excellent example of a successful brand that drives eCommerce successes using influencers.


We All Do These, But They Do Them Better

Most eCommerce brands do these things. Of course, they are widespread. But, successful eCommerce businesses do them better.

Let’s take a quick look.

1) Making Money from Emails

Emails still work, but not everyone is making it work for them

We’ve looked at a lot of ecommerce businesses and their email marketing strategies. After seeing their approach and poor conversions, we became moved to create this blog — How do I Send Bulk Emails Without Spamming?

The article will guide you on how successful eCommerce brands do email marketing.

2) Creating Compelling Copies

Compelling copies are the foundation of a successful eCommerce marketing strategy.

It's standard for all eCommerce marketing channels. A winning copy generates interest, drives onsite action, and generates relevant leads and sales.

We learned five things studying the ways successful eCommerce brands create their winning copies:

  • Successful brands understand what motivates their target audience
  • They present their value proposition with clarity.
  • They identify possible frictions to the sales conversion and address them in a language the target prospects understand.
  • Anxiety is an emotional response that increases alertness and fear. Winning copies provide information that’ll eliminate this feeling.
  • The copies include incentives that are valuable and irresistible to the target prospects.

3) Experimenting With Different Campaigns

Successful eCommerce brands don’t believe in trial and error. They A/B test every campaign and optimize them based on the test result data.

Of course, A/B is a common practice in the eCommerce marketing space, but smart ones do this differently. They use A/A tests to make their A/B tests more effective.

4) Festival Driven Giveaways and Campaigns

Most eCommerce business owners are quick to announce massive giveaways and discounts for Black Friday, St. Patrick Day, Easter, Christmas, and other special days.

Successful eCommerce brands run this campaign without being pushy or intrusive.

Here’s what we saw on The Great Courses website during Christmas.

Giveaways example - the great courses

They Know How To Build Trust

Sales cannot happen in the absence of trust. Successful eCommerce brands use trust-based marketing to instill public trust and confidence in their products.

Trust-based marketing seeks to build customer relationships through trustworthy dialogue and unbiased information.

Let’s explore how top eCommerce brands do this.

Study shows that over 80 percent of online shoppers want a seamless and straightforward return process. LuckyVitamin uses easy returns to gain customers’ trust.

Coastal Eyewear displays the latest TrustPilot’s reviews and ratings on its homepage.

trustpilot reviews as an example of trust element

They also add reviews and ratings on each of the product pages and show pages of respondents who’ll recommend the product to friends.

Review snapshot on coastal eyewear website

Harry’s are big on endorsements. They display positive publication reviews on their homepage.

Review snapshot on coastal eyewear website

Dollar Shave Club offers shoppers a 30-day return guarantee and the option to cancel the subscription at any time.

trust example - harry's 30 day money back

Creating an Effective eCommerce Marketing Strategy

We have seen some of the eCommerce founders’ favorite marketing strategies. But how do you replicate their secrets to creating an effective eCommerce marketing strategy?

These series of steps can help you garner maximum success for your eCommerce campaigns in 2021.

Build and Document the Right Buyer personas

The first step to a successful eCommerce strategy is identifying the right target group. 

But this is not enough. What is their disposable income? Where do they live? How and where do they spend their time online?

Other things you’ll need to find out includes:

  • What motivates them to buy the products
  • Why they buy from other brands
  • The type of content they consume
  • Their demographics
  • The marketing channels that appeal to them, and
  • The best time to market to them

Use this information to create your ideal customers’ profile, document, and communicate this to your marketing team.

Segment Your Audience

The buyer persona helps you understand your customers, but segmenting the customers will enable you to personalize campaigns to them, understand your most valuable customers, and what makes them convert.

Market segmentation also helps you understand each segment’s various challenges, understand their unique needs, and identify growth opportunities.

Understanding your buyer persona will enable you to segment them into marketable units. Here are some segmentation options you try today.

  • Demographic segmentation
  • Location-based segmentation
  • Interest segmentation
  • Segmentation based on habits or actions they took on your website
  • Segmentation based on their needs

Decide your goals & milestones

No eCommerce marketing campaign will succeed in the long run without clearly defined and documented goals and milestones.

A study found that people who document their goals are 20 percent more likely to accomplish them than those who don’t. And according to the University of Texas, setting goals keeps people persistent in business success.

Organize brainstorming sessions with members of your team to decide on your eCommerce goals. Each of the goals must be SMART.

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound 

Identify the Top Marketing Activities That Make Sense For Your Brand

Building on existing successes has always been a proven way to grow a brand.

So, identify the top marketing channels, activities, and campaigns that drive the most results and look for ways to scale and optimize them to enjoy more benefits. You could also dissect the top-performing campaigns and understand why they perform well to enable you to replicate the successes at any time.

When you’ve identified your top-performing Facebook ad campaigns, here’s how to scale them.

  • Raise your ad budget by ten to 20 percent every four to seven days when results are promising.
  • Increase the daily budget for your most profitable audience segment.
  • Duplicate top-performing ads and set them to target new audiences.
  • Use the Campaign Budget Optimization feature to optimize ad spends.
  • Use automated rules to avoid overspending on any campaign.

List Out the Right Metrics For Each 

Like we pointed out above, eCommerce goals have to be measurable, and of course, this means you’ll need to identify the right metrics to measure them. 

Using the right metrics will enable you to measure your eCommerce successes correctly. And here, we’ve pointed out some of the critical eCommerce metrics to track.

Let’s take a look at them.

  • Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) helps you know how much you are paying for each customer. If this metric is higher than your average order value (AOV), then you might be running at a loss, especially if you’ve low returning customers. 
  • Average Order Value (AOV) is the average price your customers are paying when they check out. AOV measures the effectiveness of your marketing. You could increase this value by cross-selling shoppers when they’re checking out.
  • Sales Conversion Rate measures the percentage of website visitors that convert. This metric gives you insights into the number of traffic you need per conversion and your sales conversion strategies’ effectiveness. You could improve this number by optimizing your eCommerce site for conversion.
  • Customer Retention Rate measures how well you retain existing customers. Excellent customer service helps in customer retention.
  • Rate Customer Rate measures the percentage of your customers that make multiple purchases over time. It gives you insight into the effectiveness of your customer retention strategies. Use loyalty programs to drive return purchases.
  • Customer Churn Rate measures the rate you lose customers over time. A spiking churn rate indicates an urgent need to revamp the customer service experience.
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Build an Effective ECommerce Sales Strategy To Convert Leads

Without a sales skill, you won’t succeed; it’s one thing all eCommerce big players know how to do well. It’s what brings in the money; marketing’s interest is in getting the leads.

These two are what make an effective eCommerce business marketing plan. 

But one of the mistakes we see many growing eCommerce brands make is focusing on marketing and neglecting sales. Now how do you integrate an effective eCommerce selling strategy in your marketing plan to win the sales game like a boss in 2021?

We’ve put together a guide for you. Enjoy!

Other steps to create an effective eCommerce strategy includes:

  • A/B testing the hell out of every campaign.
  • Use marketing automations as much as possible.
  • Editing and identifying new opportunities as the eCommerce business grows.

10 Lessons From Founders’ Favorite eComm Marketing Strategies

Here’s a recap of the top ten lessons from successful eCommerce marketing strategies. We transformed them into actionable tips to make them easily implementable.

Let’s take a quick look.

  1. Use FOMO in ad copies to trigger a sense of urgency.
  2. Use Custom Affinity Audience to reach your competitors' customers.
  3. Localize your ads by adding locations in the ad headline.
  4. Use discounts to encourage shoppers to subscribe to your email list.
  5. Customers want to engage with humans, not brands. So, do social media like a person.
  6. Create content — it generates three times more leads than traditional marketing.
  7. Leverage influencers — its ROI is about 650 percent.
  8. Use affiliates to expand your reach and drive more sales.
  9. Don't just do A/B tests — the A/A test is the new trend.
  10. Use trust-based marketing to win the customers over.

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