You’ve spent a lot of time building your online business. You’ve got a website, you’ve got a social media presence, and you’re ready to start accelerating your business growth. We’ll you need plan.
There are a lot of different ways to go about growing your online business. With so many options, it can be difficult to choose from the vast array of available marketing strategies.
eCommerce marketing is the process of promoting your products or services online in order to drive sales. It’s a form of digital marketing that encompasses both paid and organic strategies.
It’s important to have an eCommerce marketing plan in place from the start to ensure you get the best results from your efforts, particularly for small businesses.
The truth is that most people don’t have a marketing plan because they don’t know how to create one or where to start. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Let’s go through a simplified process to help you approach your growth with a practical plan that isn’t overwhelming.
1. Optimise your website for conversion
The first step to growing your business is to make sure your website is optimized for eCommerce marketing.
To grow your online business, you need a high-performing website that converts visitors into customers. Your website is the most important tool in your marketing arsenal, so it’s vital to make sure it has optimum performance.
The most successful eCommerce businesses have mastered the art of conversion rate optimization (CRO), a process that helps them improve their website’s ability to convert customers into paying customers.
If you’re not familiar with CRO, it’s the process of testing different versions of your website to see which one gets you the most clicks, sales, and leads. You can run tests on everything from the wording on your homepage to the images you use in an email campaign.
You can use CRO to improve the effectiveness of your eCommerce marketing in many ways, such as:
1. Improving your product descriptions.
2. Making it easier to see what products are in stock.
3. Reducing cart abandonment by making checkout easier and faster.
4. Offering one-click checkouts for purchases over $100 (or any other amount).
5. Showing personalized recommendations based on customer browsing behavior (e.g. suggesting related products).
2. Audit your digital data
We need to think about data being the eyes and ears of our business. Without them, we can’t hear the dialogue or see where we are going.
It is hard to imagine how we could function without them, right?
If you want to truly grow your business, then data needs to become a priority.
Start with auditing your digital data and compare it with industry benchmarks. You can visit the IRP Commerce website to look at various industry benchmarks Here are some examples of where small business owners can source information for data analysis:
- Website analytics (such as Google Analytics)
- Sales and purchase history (from your eCommerce store)
- Email marketing reports (from your email marketingplatform)
- Social media analytics (Facebook or Instagram Insights)
- Advertising accounts (Google Ads, Facebook Ads)
- Publicly available data (Google Trends)
There are many different metrics that can be used to track your store’s performance. Some are more important than others and some are more useful than others. By using the right metrics, you can identify key areas for improvement and drive growth for your business. Here are some key eCommerce marketing metrics that you should know:
- Conversion rate: To calculate your conversion rate, you divide the number of sales by the total number of visitors during a given time frame. And then multiply by 100 as it is usually expressed as a percentage.
- Customer acquisition cost (CAC): The amount it costs a business to acquire a new customer.
- Average order value (AOV): The average amount spent by all customers during each purchase.
- Retention rate: The percentage of customers who return to make another purchase at least once in a given period of time.
It’s also important to know where potential buyers are coming from—whether they’re searching directly on Google or clicking through from another page like Facebook or Instagram.
This will give you a clear picture of what’s working and what isn’t working in terms of engaging customers through different channels such as email marketing, organic social media or paid search results on Google Shopping.
3. Diversify your marketing activities
Many small business owners think that eCommerce marketing is all about SEO and Facebook ads. These are critical components of digital marketing, but there are many other channels and tactics that you need to consider.
To grow your business, you need to diversify your activities and take advantage of other channels, such as social media, email marketing, content marketing and paid search advertising. Consumers today have more than 8 digital touch points before they purchase from a new brand – so the more channels you are active in, the more exposure and reach you will get which will increase the volume of consumers moving through your marketing funnel.
Additionally, placing all of your investment in one channel such as Facebook ads or Google ads can be a risky strategy. When these platforms change their algorithms or regulations it can have a significant impact on your revenue.
4. Apply continuous improvement tactics in your business
The key to business success is continuous improvement. The ability to constantly adapt and change, in order to stay at the forefront of your industry, is a sign of a healthy business.
When it comes to digital, the best way to make improvements is by using data. That’s why it’s important to review your data regularly and look for trends that can help you better understand what’s happening with your business. When you discover new insights or hypotheses that could have a significant impact on your business, you should test them. The best way to do this is by using A/B testing. With A/B testing you can run two different versions of a page or feature and see which one performs better. This allows you to collect data faster than traditional methods, while still giving you the ability to test your assumptions before implementing them in your website or eCommerce marketing activities.
Overall, eCommerce marketing is a complex process—but it’s a process that will yield results, provided you have an eCommerce marketing plan to grow your business, you give your website the attention it needs to be a high performing conversion tool, and you leverage the massive amounts of data at your fingertips to build insights and apply these learnings to your business in a continuous approach to growth.