Table of contents
- Don’t start without it, or in other words… your marketing strategy!
- Get to know the customers of your online business
- Get to know your competition
- Why you are doing it, or the need to have clearly defined goals
- Positioning of your online store
- How should you take care of your SEO marketing?
- Email marketing as one of your promotion ideas for the e-commerce business, or don’t forget about newsletters!
- How to grow your subscriber base?
- Where can you source new subscribers from?
- What’s next, or developing a rapport with your subscribers
- How to promote your online store with Marketing Automation?
- What is Marketing Automation?
- How to advertise your online store with Marketing Automation?
- First things first – newsletter subscription
- Abandoned shopping carts? Come up with a recovery strategy!
- Marketing Automation – that’s not the whole story!
- Reputation, or the importance of customer opinion for online businesses
- How does an online business collect customer reviews?
- Can you promote your online store on Facebook for free?
- Promoting an online business on Facebook – how much does it cost?
- Promote your online store in Facebook groups!
- Build rapport with Facebook users
- Facebook Ads and Google Ads, or paid campaigns
- Before you launch paid campaigns
- Google Ads product campaigns
- Facebook Ads – online store advertising
- Optimization of Facebook Ads campaigns
- Cross-selling – what is that?
- Cross-selling in Facebook Ads and Google Ads
- Raise the stakes, or up-selling
- How to promote your online store on Instagram
- How to promote products on Instagram?
- A lead magnet, or a magnet for customers
- I bet you do! I think we can safely say you are now quite ready to start promoting your store online.
Ta-da! Here it is. Your very own e-commerce. What’s the next stage? Time to advertise it! How is this done, where to get started, what not to overlook and which social media channels will prove useful?
Below you will find a thorough list of recommendations to follow.
Don’t start without it, or in other words… your marketing strategy!
You will build the foundations of your marketing strategy once you answer the often-overlooked but critical questions.
Get to know the customers of your online business
To begin with, you must define the people who will be making purchases in your online store. What do they find important, what do they expect, and how will you reach them? Do they use social media? Do they form an engaged community?
Determine the characteristic features of your perfect customers, define aspects vital to converting them into return customers and list what must be done for your online e-commerce to be recommended to others.
An excellent idea is to create a Buyer Persona to help you better understand your customers’ attitudes, find out what they expect, what their worries are and how you can solve them with your products and services.
Get to know your competition
It is estimated that there are currently between 12 and 24 million online stores worldwide. Competition in this market is ferocious and online businesses are outdoing themselves in what they can offer their customers. Your job is to assess how your competitors operate, what shopping experience they offer, how they communicate on social media and where they source their customers from. This will give you an insight into your strengths and shortcomings. Such a SWOT analysis can tell you a great deal about your business and about what needs to be improved or enhanced.
Why you are doing it, or the need to have clearly defined goals
Start with describing the business goals of your e-commerce. Think about what you really want to achieve, even if the answers seem obvious.
Is marketing your e-commerce store aimed solely at boosting your sales? Are you intent on incentivizing your existing customers or attracting new ones?
You can choose from a wide range of goal-setting methodologies which can help you organize your activities and sensibly monitor their results. Remember that your goals must be, first and foremost, measurable in time. After all, if you don’t make plans about what you want to achieve and when you want to achieve it, how are you supposed to know if and to what extent you have been successful?
Positioning of your online store
Almost from the moment you set up your online business, you must be aware that building organic traffic will be one of your most vital investments in customer acquisition. Website traffic can come from a variety of sources:
- Social media,
- Paid advertisements,
- Influencer marketing,
- External website content,
- Dispatch of newsletters,
and many more.
Your goal, however, should be to build your website traffic based on search results that are conducted by your potential customers online for free. You also must strive to get your business ranked as high as possible in Google searches.
How should you take care of your SEO marketing?
Some rules are an absolute must if you want your online business to climb the Google search result ladder.
- Invest in the security of your site,
- Make sure your website loads quickly,
- Check that your website has a clear layout,
- Make your product descriptions unambiguous and exhaustive,
- Optimize image descriptions,
- Supply your customers with valuable content,
- Choose suitable keywords,
- Invest in both internal and external linking.
These are only some of the guidelines for efficient SEO optimization. The truth is that a series of small, daily changes and improvements will have a cumulative effect.
If you are new to SEO marketing and SEO optimization, remember that Google offers a lot of material on the subject, such as this SEO Starter Guide.
You can also reach out to SEO experts or agencies who specialize in SEO optimization and have proven ways to promote your online store by helping you to appear faster in Google search results.
Email marketing as one of your promotion ideas for the e-commerce business, or don’t forget about newsletters!
Since the advent of the social media era, we keep hearing that email marketing is behind the times and that trends are moving in a completely different direction. But things are not always what they seem at first. By sending good-quality newsletters to our subscriber base, it is possible to achieve excellent results at a relatively low outlay. The email channel accounts for almost 20% of all e-commerce transactions. Crucially, by including newsletter dispatches in our marketing activities, we become independent from the capricious algorithms governing social media, and this makes marketing your e-commerce store a much more autonomous process.
How to grow your subscriber base?
Before all else, you must have people to write to – the secret is to keep building your subscriber base a bit at a time. With your own online business, you can do so in a variety of ways. Make sure that a newsletter signup is visible on each subpage. In this way, your customers will be reminded to subscribe at every stage of the sales funnel.
Where can you source new subscribers from?
- Through your website via a newsletter subscription form or pop-up,
- By offering a discount for subscribing to the newsletter,
- By creating dedicated materials or lead magnets,
- Through paid campaigns on Facebook and Instagram,
- Through webinar subscriptions,
- By creating competitions for your subscribers,
- By offering a loyalty programme to your customers,
- By adding a checkbox to order processing.
Remember that you must first obtain relevant consents before you source any email addresses. Without them, you are not permitted to contact your subscriber base. Find out more and read our articles on building your subscriber base and creating and sending newsletters.
What’s next, or developing a rapport with your subscribers
Our email marketing adventure does not end with obtaining consent and accumulating a suitable number of email addresses. On the contrary, this is where the fun begins! Email marketing can be an extremely effective tool for marketing your e-commerce store, but when used incorrectly, it can instead annoy your subscribers, causing them to click the unsubscribe button without any hesitation.
In order to establish a rapport with a potential or future customer, your newsletter campaigns have to be carefully designed. The effort you put in when planning your campaigns will pay off when your subscribers see the need to make a purchase – they will convert into customers in the blink of an eye. And if market research is to be believed, such customers guarantee higher average order values and higher CLVs!
If you are unsure of the exact meaning of CLV and other marketing abbreviations, take a look at our list of e-commerce metrics you simply must know!
How to promote your online store with Marketing Automation?
What is Marketing Automation?
Marketing Automation are repetitive activities or interactions with the customer that can be automated by means of dedicated tools. An example? If your subscriber database lists dates of birth in addition to email addresses or phone numbers, you can employ marketing automation tools to send all your subscribers celebrating their birthdays an email or text message with best wishes… and a birthday discount code!
How to advertise your online store with Marketing Automation?
Marketing Automation tools are intended for consumers who have already had contact with your webshop. They are, therefore, unsuitable for online store advertising with a focus on attracting brand-new customers. So why are we even mentioning automation?
The answer is: because promoting your online store also involves activities geared towards existing customers as well as those who have already come across your store but need the right incentive to finally make a purchase. A potential customer is expected to become your new customer, while a new customer is expected to transform into a return customer. This is the primary objective of the Marketing Automation strategy.
Retaining an existing customer is, on average, as much as 7 times cheaper than acquiring a new one! And if you automate most of these activities with Marketing Automation tools, this means that you can devote much more resources (such as time, energy, and money) to sourcing brand-new customers!
First things first – newsletter subscription
As we have mentioned earlier, the starting point is to include a newsletter signup form and relevant marketing consents on your site – this functionality is so obvious and popular that you probably have already implemented it on your website. After all, every visitor to your store is an opportunity you don’t want to miss, and even if they don’t make you happy with a purchase this time, it’s worth keeping that window of opportunity open for the future!
Is it live? Yes. Does it work? Be sure to give it a try! And the most important question: does it convert? Does your website’s traffic convert into a growing mailing list? Depending on the industry and many other factors, an average of 2% to 5% of customers finalize their newsletter sign-up. How do you compare to this number? This aspect is certainly worth looking into in addition to testing new solutions. Check if the pop-up converts better after spending some time on the site. Why not add an incentive for signing up for the newsletter, such as free delivery or a discount? Every subscriber you gain gives you an opportunity for bigger sales.
Abandoned shopping carts? Come up with a recovery strategy!
According to a study by the Baymard Institute, almost 70% of users abandon their shopping carts!
If your customer was that close to a purchase that they added products to a cart but failed to finalize the transaction, you have no choice but to try to salvage the situation.
Marketing Automation tools allow you to decide when a reminder is sent, what content it has and whether it is sent by mail or text message! A potential incentive in the form of a discount or the option of free delivery will certainly bump up the conversion. If you would like to find out the reasons why customers abandon their shopping carts – read our articles about abandoned carts and ways of recovering them!
Marketing Automation – that’s not the whole story!
There are, of course, many more automation scenarios, and they cover the entire spectrum of activities you can undertake. These include:
- Sending a personalized offer,
- Recommending similar products,
- RFM analysis,
- Recommendation frames and bestsellers,
- Cross-selling and up-selling,
- Loyalty programs,
and many more.
If you need more knowledge on the subject, you can find it in our article dedicated to Marketing Automation tools for e-commerce.
Reputation, or the importance of customer opinion for online businesses
When looking at ways to promote your online business, you need to be mindful of one factor that is crucial to online shoppers – reputation. Reviews of an online store are the most important decision-making elements for consumers considering making their first purchase.
How does an online business collect customer reviews?
It goes without saying that leaving positive feedback about your store is much more in your interest than in your customers’. For this reason, it is worthwhile to streamline this process as much as possible – plan it carefully and use tools such as pop-ups asking the customers to rate their purchases. Correctly calibrated marketing automation will send your customers a suitable email after they place their orders in your store.
Can you promote your online store on Facebook for free?
You don’t need to pay if you want to publish a post on Facebook. However, the organic reach of posts in social media is successively being cut and building an engaged community requires time – i.e. your resources!
The most important question when promoting an online store on Facebook is not ‘How much will I spend?’ but ‘What do I want to achieve?’ If you are still at the start of your journey as an e-commerce owner and you are looking at ways of reaching potential customers, your objective will be building the awareness of your brand.
Promoting an online business on Facebook – how much does it cost?
The idea for attractive, well-researched and compelling content, which stems from your understanding of your customers as a group, is a task you can probably handle yourself. You must be aware, however, that online store advertising on Facebook is a long-term commitment, which requires regular, high-quality publications, constant engagement, (non-stop!) creativity and practical knowledge of the user interface.
It is highly probable that the growth of your online business and – your growing expectations – will soon necessitate the delegation of marketing activities to a person specially appointed for that purpose. Of course, this does not mean that you have to set up a full-time marketing post – you can also use the services of a freelancer or one of the many social media agencies available on the market.
It may be even more worthwhile to enlist the help of specialists if you opt for paid Facebook Ads campaigns. While it is true that Facebook provides tools that allow you to plan and analyze paid campaigns yourself, in practice, it is very easy to ‘burn through’ a set budget in this way, without necessarily achieving spectacular (or any) results.
Promote your online store in Facebook groups!
The situation is altogether different when promoting your online business on Facebook groups, especially if your e-commerce is slightly specialized or niche. Facebook features a great variety of groups dedicated to all types of topics – name it, and it’s there! Be it streetwear, survival, DIY or literature. Such groups are, therefore, a ready-made, selected community of potential customers. This incredible advantage allows you to check which groups of Facebook users could be your target audience when promoting your online store. And this is not all!
By interacting on Facebook groups, you gain a certain advantage over the ruthless algorithm that decides what will be displayed in the feed, when and to whom.
Build rapport with Facebook users
Remember to employ the right tactics to promote your e-commerce business on Facebook groups. A link to a store with a ‘buy’ CTA will be counter-effective. What will be needed is patience, the right strategy and a little time. The overall recipe is – make yourself useful, answer questions, and get involved by building relationships! Look for the right opportunity to pitch your solution or product in response to a query. A recommendation provided in this way will be much more effective.
Facebook Ads and Google Ads, or paid campaigns
The e-commerce sector is booming and continues to grow at an impressive rate – and this is good news. And the bad? Well, all this also means huge competition! Add to this the fact that the customer’s path to purchase is becoming longer and longer, and the opportunities to compare offers are endless and incredibly simple – it then becomes clear that organic efforts and a good product alone may not be enough to achieve the desired sales results. This is where paid campaigns in Google’s ad network and Facebook Ads may come to the rescue.
Before you launch paid campaigns
Before you spend any money on paid campaigns on Facebook or in Google Ads, make sure that your store’s analytics have been correctly and fully implemented, as otherwise you will not be able to estimate the effectiveness of your efforts.
Moreover, for any campaign that uses your products, it is necessary to upload product catalogues – into the Facebook panel or Google Merchant Center – and check for any errors, and in the campaign itself to group products into sets (based on margin, collection, product type, etc.).
Google Ads product campaigns
If your prime concern is to grow the number of purchases made in your online store, start with sales campaigns. A product campaign will be just the ticket in the case of Google Ads. This will allow you to display your products in the search results to potential customers, along with some basic product information. You can group products according to margin, control rates and decide where you can pay more for the purchase. Keep a close eye on the products that are being bought and the ones that are merely viewed, as this will allow you to exclude elements unnecessarily generating costs in Google Ads product campaigns.
Facebook Ads – online store advertising
In the case of paid activities on Facebook, you can use campaigns with a conversion target and carousel ads with a ready-made product feed or advertise yourself to new customers by segmenting them based on interests or demographics. At a later stage, you can also use Facebook for remarketing, i.e. targeting a specific and personalized product range at those customers who have already had some contact with your online business. Facebook’s advertising system will allow you to choose from a range of ready-made configurations, such as: displaying products from group X to users who have bought products from group Y and displaying specific products to people who have viewed them or added them to their cart without finalizing their purchase. The possibilities are endless!
Optimization of Facebook Ads campaigns
What you must remember is that to optimize for a selected conversion in this system, there must be approx. 50 events of a given type. As a result, you might not be able to optimize your campaign strictly for purchase from the very start. Instead, you can start by focusing on so-called micro-conversions, i.e. the effect of an interaction with the user other than the sale, such as simply displaying the product or adding it to the cart.
If you have a considerable marketing budget, an excellent solution are parallel campaigns boosting the recognizability of your store and products, as well as ones which improve traffic on your website. Both the Google Ads platform and Facebook offer a variety of such campaigns. Also, don’t forget about remarketing – it is crucial in recovering abandoned shopping carts, cross-selling and up-selling. Remarketing is an exceptionally effective way to promote your online store.
Cross-selling – what is that?
Cross-selling is all about selling an additional product or service to a customer making a transaction. In an online store, cross-selling may consist of displaying a box with recommended products alongside an item already added to the cart or displaying matching products just before the purchase is finalized. The nice lady in the shoe shop offering you great shoe polish for the footwear you’ve just bought doesn’t just want your shoes to “last” longer – she is also practicing cross-selling!
Cross-selling in Facebook Ads and Google Ads
Both platforms – Google Ads and Facebook Ads – offer a range of advanced options for targeting specific products or product groups to people who have searched for / viewed / added to their cart / bought specific goods. A keyboard and a mouse for a notebook. Shotgun cartridges and targets. A dietary supplement that complements another supplement. It is very likely that you can also take advantage of cross-selling in your own online store, regardless of the type of products you sell!
Raise the stakes, or up-selling
Up-selling, on the other hand, is nothing more than offering the customer a product that is slightly more expensive, is of better quality or is better rated. The assumption here is that the customer may prefer to pay a little more but, for example, purchase a product made by a more prestigious brand. You could say that this is a function usually carried out with the assistance of Marketing Automation tools, which in a conventional brick-and-mortar shop is performed by a professional salesperson.
How to promote your online store on Instagram
Instagram has almost 1.5 billion users. This social media channel gives your e-commerce business an enormous potential you simply can’t miss. Instagram is where new online stores often start building their online presence. Especially companies from the Fashion & Beauty sector. The platform also offers dedicated solutions, such as the ‘Buy on Instagram’ function. This is hardly surprising, given that mobile shopping is a trend that continues to gain momentum – and there is no indication that this is about to change.
How to promote products on Instagram?
With your own online shop, you can strive to build brand awareness and reach prospective customers. How do you promote an online business on Instagram? Here are a few simple rules.
- Make your feed look attractive,
- Establish partnerships with influencers,
- Use Instagram Stories and Reels regularly,
- Advise and solve user problems,
- Show behind the scenes of your brand,
- Be authentic in your communications.
All this will allow you to gradually build your reach and gain new followers. It is also worthwhile to take a closer look at the topic of influencer marketing, as this trend currently plays a crucial role in this fashionable social media channel. By working with influencers, you can reach a whole new audience and promote your online store relatively quickly!
A lead magnet, or a magnet for customers
The next step may be encouraging some of your followers to download a lead magnet, a special material that will convert them into subscribers. Such a magnet for potential subscribers (and customers!) might take the form of a PDF with a useful checklist, some cool infographics, a time-saving template, an e-book or an interesting article – you can offer your customers a free download and ask them to subscribe to your newsletter in return, often directing them to your website. This form of content marketing builds trust and strengthens the connection with your audience while you position yourself as an expert.
Here’s a little nugget of advice. In this endeavor, patience is key! Remember that the quality of your follower base is far more important than its size. Engaging followers translates into better reach and spares you the disappointment of having poor results linked to your account in the case of ‘artificial’ popularity. Buying followers is not worth the trouble! What matters is real user involvement.
Organic growth in followers is achieved by understanding your target audience and their needs and then posting content that grabs their attention. Large financial outlays are not necessary. What must be remembered is that 44% of those surveyed in 2021 said they used Instagram weekly to do shopping, while up to 70% visited Instagram to discover new products! Do you know now why investing your time in Instagram might be a good idea?
I bet you do! I think we can safely say you are now quite ready to start promoting your store online.
Act now, don’t delay! The title of this article could be the title of a book and one published in several volumes, so consider it a springboard… to success, of course! Keep testing, checking and reviewing your actions. And good luck!