E-commerce marketing is the act of using promotional methods to drive awareness and customers to take a desired action in your online store. Marketers can use channels like search engines, social media, email or a combination of multiple channels to achieve their goals.
In this article, we touch on 12 strategies for e-commerce marketers to achieve important goals such as raising brand awareness, driving leads and conversions and improving brand loyalty. We also share a 6-step process on how to plan and execute an e-commerce marketing strategy.
E-commerce marketing strategies
Strategies used to market your e-commerce business can take on several key goals such as brand building, differentiating from competitors, driving sales and retaining customers. Here are 12 useful strategies to consider to help you drive important e-commerce goals.
1. Adopt an omnichannel commerce strategy
Adopting an omnichannel retail
strategy involves selling via multiple channels. This can include selling on your own website as well as on multiple shopping platforms such as Amazon
This creates a cohesive and integrated shopping experience for customers by using synchronized inventory and operating systems, which can help to boost traffic and sales to your e-commerce store and promote customer loyalty.
Sell on Amazon as part of your omnichannel strategy
Reach over 300 million customers worldwide when you sign up to be a seller on Amazon. If you are keen to go into cross-border commerce, we have a total of 20 stores globally that you can easily expand to.
2. Optimize website for user interface and user experience
Branding is all about first impressions. When customers visit your website, they want to see a well-designed store that is easy to navigate.
Some good practices include having
● Your products neatly organized into categories
● Proper landing pages for each product category and product
● An easy checkout process
● A good balance of text and visuals
For an all-rounded shopping experience, optimize your site for user interface and user experience. This gives customers confidence that your company can give them what they are looking for, strengthening their perception of your brand and possibly increasing sales.
Optimize customer experience with Amazon Stores
Amazon Stores is a free multipage shopping experience on Amazon that allows you to curate content that fits your brand and highlights your top products. With this feature, shoppers can browse your full catalog with a unique branded URL.
Stores plays a huge role in raising awareness and consideration for your brand, which can in turn improve sales. You can entice shoppers in engaging ways such as by sharing your brand story and unique selling points (USPs) using images and videos.
3. Optimize product listings
The product description on listings is where you can include informative content about your product. This is where you include details like product features, specifications, USPs and videos.
Some best practices include:
● Keyword research
Conduct keyword research using free tools like Google Keyword Planner to find product-driven keywords that consumers are searching for. Include the most searched for terms in your product name and description.
Videos are a great way to showcase your product and engage your customers. Use videos to emphasize USPs and demonstrate how to use your product in daily life, while appealing to your customer’s pain points.
Amazon SEO: Optimize your product listings
If you are selling on Amazon
, a good practice would be to optimize your product listings for Amazon search engine optimization (SEO) so that they can rank higher in product searches on the Amazon website.
Using SEO tactics can help to:
● Drive more traffic to your product listings
● Boost product and brand visibility
● Increase conversions and sales
provides great tips on how to optimize your product listings.
4. Maximize personalized product recommendations
Personalization has become one of the most essential marketing strategies in the United States
, and e-commerce sellers can provide personalized shopping recommendations to each user using site cookies and behavioral data.
For example, if you operate in multiple countries, a shopper in Japan may be looking for a winter coat in December, but someone in a tropical country like Singapore may want a sleeveless top.
Providing personalized product suggestions can drive sales further as you may be able to better capture what customers are looking for.
Increase sales with Amazon’s product recommendations
Amazon uses highly personalized marketing to recommend similar and complementary products to customers. The 2 features on product pages are:
● Customers who viewed this item also viewed
● Customers who bought this item also bought
Take for example, customer A views or buys product X and goes on to view or buy product Y. When customer B views or buys product X, it is likely that product Y will be recommended to them. By showing personalized recommendations, sellers on Amazon can generate more sales.
5. Encourage user-generated content on social media
Social media is a free channel for businesses to tap on to spread the word for their products and connect with their audience. A powerful way to generate social proof and buzz is by encouraging user-generated content (UGC).
UGC can come in many forms; some examples include product reviews and images posted on social media. Some popular social media platforms include Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Facebook and Vine.
Amazon case study: WHISKAS®
WHISKAS® is one of the top cat brands in Australia. In 2021, they wanted to build a connection with the new generation of digitally savvy cat parents, which led to them working with a marketing agency and Amazon Ads to launch the award-winning #CatsInBoxes2.0 marketing campaign.
As part of the campaign, they transformed Amazon’s classic cardboard delivery boxes into a customized playground for cats. The boxes encouraged customers to share photos and videos through a customized hashtag, #CatsInBoxes2.0, and as an added touchpoint, also contained a QR code driving to their brand page within the Amazon store.
The amount of user-generated content was astounding, leading to digital buzz and customers using the QR code to visit the landing page. This ultimately led to a 70% increase in ad-attributed sales on Amazon.
Gather trusted customer reviews with Amazon Vine
Amazon Vine* is a customer review program that invites trusted reviewers to share opinions about your products. It’s a great way to build awareness of your product, boost sales of slow and cold start ASINs, and can also help customers make more informed decisions about new product offerings.
*Available for sellers on Amazon.com, terms and conditions apply.
6. Engage influencers or key opinion leaders
Influencer marketing involves partnering with a key opinion leader (KOL) to promote your company, product or service. As social media usage increases, ad spending in the influencer advertising segment
is projected to reach US$27.51 billion in 2022.
KOLs are individuals who have built a strong community of followers who are interested in their content and trust their recommendations. Working with them to promote your product can improve brand awareness and help with sales.
To maximize effectiveness of this method, work with influencers who are within the same niche as your business so their followers are relevant to your target audience, which will increase the chances of a sales conversion.
7. Start a content marketing strategy
Content marketing refers to the creation and sharing of online content including blog articles, videos and social media posts. Usually, the content is meant to educate and stimulate interest about a brand or product.
Having a blog
on your e-commerce site allows you to share intriguing information about your products and connect with customers. Other than a blog, other content marketing strategies include starting a podcast and guest posting on websites in the same industry.
Creating value-added content shows your audience that you understand and care about their pain points (rather than just making a sale). This can help build your branding and customer retention rate.
8. Leverage affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing programs enable businesses to market their product with a low budget by leveraging the target audience of others (usually content creators). Affiliates refer to individuals or companies that help to promote and sell your product online for a commission.
Boost sales with Amazon affiliate marketing
Amazon has an affiliate marketing program
that allows content creators and bloggers to earn commissions through the sale of Amazon products. When these affiliates mention your products, it can build brand and product credibility and influence their audience’s purchasing decision.
Leverage the Amazon Associates’ audience to gain more sales for your products when you sell on Amazon.
9. Use ads to increase visibility
Another way to increase visibility and boost sales is to use pay-per-click (PPC) ads to get the word out. E-commerce sellers can use tools like Google search ads, display ads and Google Shopping to get on top spots on search engine results pages.
Businesses pay a predetermined cost for every click their ads receive. The upside to this is that customers are shown relevant products based on the keywords they search, so when they click on the product page, they are more likely to convert before leaving the website.
Amazon case study: Osmo
US-based company Osmo is dedicated to transforming education through hands-on learning and games. When they launched in 2013, they had to find a way to differentiate themselves from other STEM toy competitors. In 2015, they began selling on Amazon and proactively worked on a marketing strategy to increase brand awareness and reach with potential customers.
Working with the Amazon Ads team, they implemented a full-funnel marketing strategy to achieve their goal, and used Sponsored Products, Sponsored Display* and Sponsored Brands PPC ads as part of their strategy . As a result, Osmo saw a boost in brand interest and sales and had a 50% year-over-year growth.
*Not available on Amazon.sg yet.
Generate more sales with Amazon Advertising
Advertising on Amazon improves the visibility of your brand and products so you can improve sales in a cost-efficient manner. Here are some tools you can use:
- Sponsored Brands — Ads that appear in relevant Amazon shopping results to help customers learn more about your brand
- Sponsored Products — Ads that appear in related shopping results and product pages to help promote individual products
- Sponsored Display* — Ads that appear on and off Amazon platforms to engage shoppers across their purchase journey
To achieve the best results, you can use a combination of all 3 tools.
*Not available on Amazon.sg yet.
10. Gather more email subscribers
Email marketing is widely used in e-commerce as it can be automated and segmented based on the stages of a buyer’s journey. If used successfully, it can build trust and generate sales from your subscribers.
Some ways to get more email subscribers are to:
● Offer incentives such as promo codes
● Conduct a contest or giveaway to capture email sign ups
● Keep your newsletter sign-up form short
● Include an email sign-up form at the end of an engaging article
● Encourage newsletter sign ups on social mediaMinimize abandoned carts
One of the ways to use email marketing is to minimize abandoned shopping carts. When a customer abandons their cart, it may be useful to send them an email as a reminder for them to checkout the items in their cart. You can also offer assistance and recommend complementary products to get them to browse your store again.Set automated wishlist reminder emails
Another type of email that can help to boost sales is the wishlist reminder email. This is useful if you are selling on your own website or a shopping platform that has a wishlist
When shoppers add something to their wishlist, use this opportunity to send them reminder emails when the item is back in stock, on sale or running out of stock. This can convince them to purchase the item, contributing to your sales.
11. Set up retargeting campaigns
Retargeting, also known as remarketing, refers to advertising to previous website visitors via ads or email marketing. This allows businesses to recapture potential customers after they have left your site without making a purchase.
● Search and display ads
Retargeting can be done using search and display ads. Simply add retargeting tags on any website or mobile app page, compile the cookie IDs of potential customers and add them to Google Ads. Now, your ads will appear on their search engine results pages and on websites that are on the Display Network.
If you are selling on Amazon, you can leverage Sponsored Display* ads to retarget and re-engage customers that have interacted with your product listings. These ads may be placed on Amazon or Amazon-partnered websites to recapture potential customers to go back to your store to make a purchase.
*Not available on Amazon.sg yet.
● Email marketing
If you have the email addresses of potential customers, you can send personalized emails to entice them to come back to your website.
12. Start a customer loyalty program
Customer retention is the ability to get returning customers to return to your store or continue to buy a product over a period of time. This is a cost-effective way to increase online sales.
One way to improve customer retention is to start a customer loyalty program. You can reward customers via a points system when they make a purchase and when they refer a friend to make a purchase. The points can then be used to redeem discounts or free gifts, to encourage customers to continue buying.
How to execute an e-commerce marketing plan
The planning and execution of your e-commerce marketing plan will determine its success in achieving your goals. Here are 6 key steps to reach your customers and generate sales.
Step 1: Set goals for your e-commerce marketing strategy
The first step to creating a successful marketing campaign is to think about your goals. This will usually be determined by your business objectives.
Some common e-commerce marketing goals include increasing brand awareness, leads or sales (otherwise known as conversions). Having goals in mind keeps you focused when creating and executing your marketing plan.
Set smaller incremental goals for each campaign to help you reach your larger goals. For example, if your overall objective is to generate more leads, you can aim to increase form submissions or phone calls via an informative landing page.
Step 2: Determine your target audience
Next, take a look at your target audience, which is your current and prospective customer base. This gives you insight into the demographics of the people who are most likely to purchase your products.
Some information that will be good to know are their:
● Spending habits
By understanding your customers, you can craft your marketing plan to resonate with the right audiences.
Determine customer demographics with Amazon Brand Analytics
Brand Owners selling on Amazon have access to the Demographics report* on Brand Analytics. This report contains a breakdown of their Amazon customers by age, household income, education, gender, and marital status.
This allows Brand Owners to evaluate the need for and create targeted marketing campaigns.
*Not available on Amazon.sg yet.
Step 3: Analyze your competitors
Consider what your competitors are already doing. To determine who they are, you can start by searching for your product or service on search engines and see what companies come up. Take a look at what they are doing as part of their marketing strategy and analyze how you can do it better.
For example, if your competitors are doing PPC ads, analyze the ad copies they are using and keywords they are targeting. From there, you may be able to develop a plan to further optimize your own ads.
Another tip would be to consider the location where you are operating, i.e. if you are operating globally, it would be useful to consider global competitors as well as you may have a similar target audience.
Use Amazon Search Terms report to learn about your competitors
Amazon has a Search Terms report for Brand Owners to see how customers find their products and also their competitors’ products on the Amazon store.
The report shows the most popular search terms, each term’s search frequency rank and the top 3 products that customers clicked on when searching each term. Each of the top 3 products also has its click share and conversion share in the report.
With this information, sellers can evaluate how to improve their product listing descriptions to better optimize for relevant search terms.
Step 4: Establish your unique selling points
As the e-commerce arena gets more saturated, it becomes crucial to stand out from your competitors. Multiple companies may offer similar products and what interests and converts customers is when you are able to establish clear USPs.
For example, if you are the only company in your industry that uses recyclable materials to manufacture your product, it can appeal more to the environmentally conscious.
Once you are clear on your USPs, it is key to communicate them in your marketing messages. Something to keep in mind would be to position your USPs as a benefit for your audience that addresses their pain points.
Step 5: Narrow down the types of marketing you want to do
Now it is time to choose the types of digital marketing to promote your e-commerce store. Some popular types include:
● SEM (or PPC)
● Social media marketing
● Email marketing
● Content marketing
● Affiliate marketing
● Influencer marketing
Using a combination of these strategies can help you reach your goals faster and more effectively. To decide which ones to focus on, consider the target audience you defined in Step 2 and look at what your competitors are doing (Step 3).
Step 6: Determine the metrics to measure success
Lastly, to ensure that your marketing efforts bring about good return on investment (ROI), it is important to consider the metrics that can measure your success. This will tie in with the goals that you set in Step 1.
For example, if you are looking to increase your sales, some relevant metrics to look at can be the total number of conversions, conversion rate and traffic to a product page.
Other metrics to measure e-commerce success are:
● Average order value
● New vs returning customers
● Customer retention rate
● Customer acquisition cost
● Shopping cart abandonment rate
● Email subscription rate
Monitoring these metrics can determine if you are investing in the right marketing strategies and channels. If you see subpar results, you can evaluate your campaigns and improve them accordingly.
What is an e-commerce marketing strategy?
An e-commerce marketing strategy refers to the methods you intend to use to advertise your online business to improve sales. The strategy is planned based on your business objectives, products, market trends, and audience demographics amongst other factors.
A marketing strategy can include using various channels and several smaller goals to achieve the ultimate business objective.
What is the difference between e-commerce and digital marketing?
E-commerce marketing is the use of promotional strategies to achieve goals such as driving traffic to your website, generating sales and retaining customers.
Digital marketing is the use of online channels such as search engines, email and social media to achieve goals for your business.
The difference between the two is that e-commerce marketing refers to marketing for an e-commerce store, whereas digital marketing can refer to marketing for any type of business (online or brick-and-mortar) using online channels.
What are the types of e-commerce?
There are 4 main types of e-commerce:
● Business to business (B2B)
A B2B e-commerce model is when a business makes a commercial transaction with another business. An example of this is when a clay homeware store purchases materials from an art supplies wholesaler.
● Business to consumer (B2C)
B2C is when a business sells a product to a consumer. For example, a consumer buys cleaning supplies from a lifestyle store on Amazon.sg.
● Consumer to consumer (C2C)
A C2C model is when a consumer is selling to other consumers online. A common example would be selling second-hand, pre-loved clothing.
● Consumer to business (C2B)
C2B e-commerce is when a consumer sells a product or service to a business. An example would be when a blogger or influencer promotes an Amazon product via an affiliate program and a business buys it.