Marketing Strategies for E-commerce Websites

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  • 8/20/2019
    Structuring, building and launching an e-commerce business is a huge investment and one that should be maintained frequently to not only bring new customers, but also keep current customers invested. Whether you are just launching an e-commerce website or you’ve reached the point of maintaining your customer base, staying up to date on marketing trends for your e-commerce business is important. In order to attain sustainable online traffic growth that results in sales, your e-commerce marketing strategy needs to have your business’ goals and strategies aligned. This is achieved by raising awareness of your store’s brand, product(s) and services through different online vehicles to bring in visitors. 
    Visitors coming to your site can be broken out into one of three leads, Top of Funnel (ToFu), Middle of Funnel (MoFu), or Bottom of Funnel (BoFu). Knowing your audience and defining what each of these lead categories means to your business will help define your e-commerce marketing strategy. 

    Marketing to a Top of Funnel Leads

    ToFu leads are prospects that have shown some interest in your product your service but haven’t actually engaged with you yet. Defining a ToFu lead would be someone who has visited your website or even filled out a low conversion form such as an e-newsletter sign up. Marketing to a ToFu lead is probably the most important out of all three. Because this person has only shown a slight interest in your brand, your marketing strategy needs to be often and consistent with the right messaging to keep them engaged. One way to do this is to offer discounts to your visitor for signing up for an e-newsletter or creating an account. This opens the door for your business to reach these leads with a strong, personalized email marketing campaign that offers valuable promotions, event details and frequent product information.  

    Content Strategy for Middle of Funnel Leads

    With the right content strategy, you can begin to convert your ToFu lead into Middle of Funnel Leads (MoFu). These leads are more engaged with your emails and website. Maybe they visit your site often and/or open all of your marketing emails, however they have yet to purchase any products. They may be comparing your products to a competitor, aren’t ready to make a purchase or the timing isn’t right. Whatever may be stopping the visitor from converting, it is your businesses turn to help them decide and purchase. You can keep track of your MoFu leads through tools like wish lists or shopping carts on your site. If a visitor places a product in their wishlist, you know they have a strong interest in converting but maybe there were other outlying factors that got in the way of purchase. Offering discounts on wishlist items in the future can help remind a visitor that they liked that item and possibly help them make the final decision of purchasing based off the discounted rate. 
    A shopping cart can often track when a visitor has an item in their cart and then abandons your site. Maybe the timing just wasn’t right. Using the right content, your brand can remain top of mind to a MoFu lead. If the visitor placed something in their cart then exited your site, following up with an email to remind them what they are missing out on is a great way to convert a MoFu lead. You can take it one step further by offering recommendations based off the items in their abandon cart. This shows the potential buyer that you have taken an interest in what they like and helps build a relationship to your brand. 

    Optimial Experience for Bottom of Funnel Leads

    When your visitor has reached the point where they are ready to buy, they become a Bottom of the Funnel lead (BoFu). This is the last stage in your sales cycle. At this point, your main goal is to make their shopping experience easy and informative from the start of looking to the point of purchasing. Having things on your site such as customer reviews and ratings, customer pictures after delivery, customers who purchased this item also purchased, to name a few. Customer reviews can go a long way on your site. According to a study by Pew Research, 82% of Americans say they consult online reviews and ratings when they are buying something online for the first time. The most difficult part to this piece of converting BoFu leads is actually getting previous customers to write reviews on your products. Making the review process easy by creating short forms and minimizing the number of clicks to complete will help encourage customers to post reviews. 
    Another way to convert BoFu leads is to offer an incentive at purchase. When the visitor is ready to buy and is at check out, one way to help guarantee a purchase is offer free shipping. Shipping costs can cost you if you are paying for smaller items, so any effective way to help complete a purchase and save on overhead costs is to offer free shipping on a higher value purchase. For example, free shipping after on orders starting at $50. Not surprisingly, 93% of online buyers are encouraged to buy more products if free shipping options are available.  
    In addition to the marketing strategies at each phase of the sales funnel, there are a few additional marketing tactics that will help convert your first-time customers into a loyal, returning customer. Producing original content at any point of the sales process that resonates with your customers is a great way to keep visitors interacted with your brand from ToFu to BoFu to maintaining them as a loyal customer. Think creative. Make a statement, use humor, speak your consumer’s language. One way to make sure your content is speaking to your visitors is to update it frequently. Use the Pareto’s 80/20 rule on your site, 80% informative content and 20% promotional content. You want to be seen as the knowledgeable leader in your industry. The more informative content you can provide, the more trust your visitors will have in your brand over a competitor. 

    Social Media and E-Commerce Sites

    Social media marketing can also play a strong role in your e-commerce sales. Social media has become a very powerful tool online. It allows you to communicate with your potential customers and loyal customers in a personal way. Loyal customers are one of the most valuable assets to your business. Social media allows you to engage with your brand ambassadors and show your appreciation for their loyalty. A customer who feels valued is more likely to share, retweet or mention you on their own platforms and in turn can help build more followers which can lead to more conversions on your e-commerce site.     
    In conclusion, with the right mix of e-commerce marketing strategies at every stage of the sales funnel and even after, you can improve your overall bottom line. Whether you are just launching your first e-commerce site or you’re refreshing your current site, give these marketing tactics a try.
    Looking for your next e-commerce strategy? Let us help you check out the best and give us a call! 
    About the author::Gillian Sweny is a Senior Account Manager at thunder::tech. She manages and oversees multiple projects and accounts daily while continuing to build strong client relationships. She has a passion for fitness and all things chocolate, because life is all about balance. 
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