10 Effective Ways to Market Your E-Commerce Business in 2019

If you own an e-commerce business, you know that the competition is brutal. As a growing industry, thousands of new e-commerce companies are launching all the time, and it can be challenging to stay ahead of the competition. E-commerce can also be a very lucrative business if you know how to become a top player, and that starts with a solid business plan that includes a sound marketing strategy. We’ve put together a list of some effective marketing tips so you can make sure your e-commerce business is in a position to succeed.

Here are 10 timely and effective ways you can market your e-commerce business and stay ahead of the competition.

1. Know Your Customers

If you don’t understand your target demographic and what they want, you are just throwing shots in the dark, hoping customers will come to you. It doesn’t work that way. Get to know your audience and tailor your marketing strategy to them specifically. This means understanding, through market research, who your audience is. Are they young, old? Urban? Do they have kids? Are they college-educated? Mostly male or female? Knowing all of this will go a long way toward tailoring your marketing approach.

Next, zero in on the customers you have by sending relevant offers their ways (without invading their privacy) such as specific email offers, shopping cart suggestions, personalized recommendations, and announcements. You can do this by using your customers’ browsing history and then sending them relevant offers and suggestions geared toward their preferences. By getting personal with your customers and knowing your target demographic, you’ll improve their shopping experience and entice them to come back.

2. Organize and Plan Your Strategy

Don’t wait until you’ve been doing business for a year to write your marketing strategy. If you don’t have a plan, you’re setting yourself up to fail. So right from the start, write out your marketing strategy and make sure it’s based on diligent research. Make a list of goals and checkpoints and follow the plan. If you know you want to invest time in email marketing, decide how you want to go about it, what you want to spend, and frequency of emails. Do the same with paid advertising, social media, and old school marketing like flyers, print ads, and trade shows. Make a plan and stick to it, but be flexible if something isn’t working and you need to make changes. Hiring a marketing expert is always a good idea, or even better, a team if you can swing it.

3. Tell Your Brand Story

Every brand should have a good story. People don’t just buy the products you sell – they buy who you are and why you do what you do. So not what, but who is your brand? Maybe your brand story is about a casual apparel company that cares about organic cotton and the farmers who grow it. Maybe your brand story is about bringing better cleaning products to the world, starting with one person’s dream. Create a good backstory about why your company sells what it does because not only do people care about stories more than products, it’s what grabs their attention and makes your specific brand memorable. When you share your story, don’t forget to define your brand voice and tone, and keep it consistent through all of your 360-degree marketing efforts. This is where hiring quality copywriters and marketing teams are priceless.

4. Refine Your Email Marketing Strategy

No one wants random, irrelevant emails arriving in their inbox from some online store they shopped at once six months ago. In fact, if you’re sending too many emails it’s just as bad as not sending any at all. Send timely, relevant emails that are informative, simple to read, and offer something of value, like a special offer or a new product launch. A weekly email is just right for most brands, but you should come up with a schedule that works best for you and what your customers want and have come to expect. And when you do send emails, make sure they are consistent with your brand voice and style. Pay attention to the details like only using images and fonts that speak for your brand. Each and every email your subscribers receive should look like they obviously came from you. This creates recognition.

5. Make Your Website User-Friendly

The fastest and surest way to lose a sale is by having a difficult to navigate website or checkout experience that isn’t user-friendly. And with all the online shopping choices people have, they aren’t going to hang around and make a purchase from one that isn’t easy to use. Make sure products are easy to find and that checkout is simple. A quality website with a smooth, fast checkout process (that offers free shipping of course!) can make the difference between someone fulfilling an order with you or getting frustrated and going to the other guy’s shop. And that goes for mobile too – if not more so, as more and more people are shopping from their phones. Hey, we live in a world where if you can name it – there’s an app for that!

6. Sell Amazing Products!

This one seems obvious, but there are so many e-commerce businesses out there offering poor quality products that it’s worth mentioning in this list. It can be tempting to try to up your sales numbers with all kinds of extras and “fluff” products that may not fit your usual offerings, so don’t be tempted. Your customers don’t want to buy what you’re not known for, so avoid gimmick marketing. If you’re a home goods store, you have no reason to be selling T-shirts. It waters down your brand and that’s exactly the opposite of what your marketing efforts are all about!

7. Treat Your Loyal Customers Like Royalty

Loyal customers are your superheroes. They keep your business afloat, and you can thank them for that and keep them coming back for more by treating them to special offers, discounts, and incentives. It is human nature to want to feel that you’re getting special treatment, so personalize your special offers by mentioning them by name, and making the offer or incentive unique to their shopping habits. Giving free gifts or discounts on birthdays is always a big winner.

8. Be Social!

Don’t skimp on your social media presence, especially if your target demographic is millennials or younger. Social media is leading, and often the only way many people find out about brands, and platforms like Instagram and Snapchat are excellent ways your brand can stay relevant and visible. And don’t just post blog articles or discount offers! These days people expect a lot more, so you need to bring your creative team to the social table. Create stories, and share creative videos, memes, and images people will want to share. Because sharing is caring. – about your brand.

9. Follow SEO Best Practices

If your business has a blog, make sure you incorporate keywords and follow up to date SEO best practices. Keywords are also important placed throughout your website. Remember that SEO changes by the year, month, and sometimes week because of the way the internet works (looking at you, Google) so do your homework here and make use of tools like Semrush and others.

10. Let Them Have Free Shipping!

Because so many online retailers are offering free shopping as an incentive, most consumers today have come to expect it. If you don’t offer free shipping, you may not be able to compete. No one wants to pay for an extra cost like shipping on top of their purchase, and sometimes that extra $4.99 is just enough to abandon a shopping cart last minute. And that defeats the purpose of charging them for the shipping in the first place, now doesn’t it? Giving them something for free is one of the best and most effective marketing tools you can get.

May your e-commerce business prosper and may your marketing strategy flourish!

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