The struggle is real in eCommerce. When there are online businesses popping up left and right, how do you break through the noise? How do you turn your customers into loyal followers, despite what the competition might bring? 

There’s a lot to think about and strategize. But here at Big Leap, we say, bring it. 2021 is all about bouncing back in full force with customized strategies built to conquer your pain points. So carve out time to refine your online efforts with these top five eCommerce marketing strategies. 

1. Improve Your Visibility with SEO

There are more than 20 million eCommerce sites in the world and more are being created every day. This means you need to continuously work on your SEO to stay visible to your target audience.

Here are a few key areas you should focus on to help improve your SEO: 

Keyword Research

This might sound like old news, but the fact is, the key terms, phrases, and topics your audience search for are always changing. Especially as more businesses take shelter online and the competition grows even more fierce, consumer expectations will shift and keywords will be harder to rank for. 

So keep your ear to the ground—use keyword tools like SpyFu, SEMRush, and Ahrefs to update key phrases on your product pages. Consider implementing long-tail keywords that are easier to rank for and can help you start gaining the online traction you need. 

Voice Search

Siri and Alexa have been changing the online search and shopping experience. In a survey of U.S. consumers, 50% of respondents said they made a purchase using their voice assistant and an additional 25% would consider doing so in the future. 

What does this mean? You need to update your keyword strategy by: 

  • Targeting “who,” “what,” “where,” and “why” queries. Tools like Answer the Public are helpful for this. 
  • Incorporating natural language to align with the way people speak. 

If you succeed, you might be lucky enough to earn the coveted featured snippet spot on Google. 

Mobile Optimization

Your eCommerce business should look good and run well on mobile devices—no exceptions. Mobile traffic holds roughly 70% of all eCommerce site visits. 

Mobile optimization is a vital part of creating a positive user experience—one of Google’s key ranking factors. To get started, use Google’s mobile testing tool to see if your site is mobile friendly and then dive into Google’s mobile-first indexing best practices, so the search engine can index and rank your site. 

SEO + PPC

More than two-thirds of eCommerce traffic comes from Google—43% of it comes from Google search (organic), and 26% comes from Google CPC (cost-per-click/pay-per-click). 

Supplement your organic search efforts with paid search strategies. Paid search is a great way to advertise your products/services, as it offers a guaranteed reach. 

Methods like retargeting can remind former site visitors of your products/services. Keep in mind, while PPC strategies target the right folks, there is no guarantee that they’ll convert. To really execute a long-term conversion strategy, you need CRO. 

2. Create a Seamless Onsite Experience with CRO

Having a stellar SEO strategy isn’t enough to improve your bottom line. You need conversion rate optimization (CRO) to actually convert your site visitors into leads and customers. 

CRO tools like VWO’s heat maps unveil user behavior insights. They point out what features or areas they focus on and where they get stuck or frustrated. Understanding this can help you better tailor your site to the user experience.

Here are some areas in your CRO campaign to pay close attention to: 

Check Out Process

If you’re drowning in high cart-abandonment rates, evaluate your check-out process. Specifically your: 

  • Forms: Twenty-eight percent of shoppers will abandon their carts if the checkout process requires them to create an account. Make sure you have a guest check out option that allows visitors to expedite their shopping experience. Reducing friction is key. 
  • Payment methods: Having different payment options can put your shoppers at ease and feel more comfortable moving forward with the payment process. Credit cards are used in 53% of global transactions, followed by digital payment systems (43%) and debit cards (38%). Be sure to also add security seals to increase trust. 
  • Shipping offers: 93% of online shoppers purchase more items when a business offers free shipping. If you don’t offer this, consider offering it when customers reach a certain price in their cart items. This can compel customers to buy more and complete their purchase. 

Navigation

High bounce rates indicate your site isn’t fulfilling customers’ expectations. Here are some site components that may need your attention: 

  • Product filtering/sorting: If you have a lot of products/services, be sure your filter and sorting options are easy to navigate. The more organized you are, the more likely your visitors will find what they’re looking for. 
    • Similar-item notifications: There’s nothing more disappointing than seeing a “sold out” or “out of stock” message. Instead of leaving people empty-handed, offer friendly similar-item notifications to keep people engaged. 
    • CTA buttons: Do you have CTA buttons? How effective are they? CTAs should carry actionable phrases that entice shoppers to click and take the next step. Using personalized and actionable language like, “Grab Yours” rather than “Submit” can generate a 202% higher conversion rate. Be sure you use a color that helps these buttons stand out as well.
    • Pop-ups: Be sure you’re not overdoing your pop-ups. Annoying pop-ups will only make site visitors jump ship. Make sure your pop-ups add value to their browsing experience, like offering similar product recommendations. Build exit-intent pop-ups—they can recover 53% of abandoning visitors. Also, establish a cookie to make the pop-up appear only once for each visitor. 
    • Live chat: Offering live chat can give your online shoppers the benefit of getting answers quickly and less likely to leave the site. Customers who use chat prior to their purchase generate a 48% increase in revenue per chat hour. 

For more ideas on how to convert more, check out our 16 quick CRO tips

3. Power Your Emails with Marketing Automation

With marketing automation, you can send out unique emails to the right people at the right time. It can increase customer touchpoints with automated and personalized emails like: 

  • Welcome emails: You can send welcome and onboarding emails to those that subscribe to your newsletters or rewards program. 
  • Transactions emails: Based on someone’s former search behaviors and purchases, you can send out customized product notifications/recommendations and discount offers. Transactional emails get 8x more opens and clicks and make 6x more money than any other type of email campaign.
  • Abandoned cart emails: Send out friendly reminders about the items waiting in a customer’s cart. Encouraging them to hop back on the bandwagon can bring some pretty great results—abandoned cart emails have an average open rate of 45%. And of the opened emails, half of the recipients completed their purchase.  Moreover, sending three abandoned cart emails generates 69% more orders than sending one email. 

These tactics help you follow-up with leads faster and provide ways to engage with them more. Better yet, with automation software, you can also: 

  • Include personalization tokens, like adding users’ names in the subject lines or email body
  • Segment your contact list based on characteristics like purchasing history and stage in the buyer’s journey
  • Establish a lead-scoring model that prioritizes your leads

4. Promote Strategically with Social Media Marketing

It isn’t just about posting fun messages on your social channels. It’s about leveraging the right social media tools to gain a bigger reach.

This involves:  

  • Turning engagement into sales. When online users spend about three hours on social media each day, why not leverage this time to make your platform shoppable? Tools like Shops on Instagram and Facebook for Business allow you to post your product catalog and tag products on your organic feed. They simplify the sales process—customers don’t have to leave the app (another extra step) to make their purchase. 
  • Experimenting with different ad formats. You have about three seconds to capture someone’s attention as they’re scrolling through their feed and stories. Testing out different ad formats is crucial in finding one that makes an impact. For instance, you can try out a testimonial-style ad, a split-screen ad, or a native ad (using features like gifs, poll, etc. that are native to the social platform) to see what sticks. Don’t forget to add in captions to your video ads—people usually have their sound off on their devices. 

5. Encourage & Promote More Online Reviews

Eighty-four percent of people trust online reviews as much as they trust their friends. As an online business, it’s crucial to establish and maintain a process that encourages your customers to leave reviews. You can use some of the strategies we discussed above to bolster your review efforts. 

Here are a few ideas: 

  • Use your email marketing automation platform to follow-up with recent customers. Encourage them to leave a review. When a product starts to generate reviews, its conversion rate improves by 65%
  • Publish some of your top reviews on your website (this is another key CRO technique). Consider adding them “above-the-fold” on your key landing pages, so your visitors see them sooner rather than later. Include them on your product pages as well. Fifty-six percent of shoppers seek out sites with reviews. 

Level up Your Digital Marketing This Year

Digital marketing is constantly changing, which means you need to have a trusted team of online experts who’ll make sure you’re on track. As a digital marketing agency that has served over 500 businesses like yours, Big Leap can be that team. 

If you’d like a sounding board for your pain points and ideas, reach out to us. Be sure to also check out our eCommerce case study for ideas on the best eCommerce marketing strategies we achieve for you this year.

Janet Lee