Digital Tips: Marketing Your E-commerce Startup

Marketing for an e-commerce startup

In this highly technological and fast-paced world, consumers are embracing the ability to buy products and services online. And who wouldn’t, with the internet’s innovative product offerings, cutting-edge solutions, convenient shopping experience, and wide variety of options to choose from? While e-commerce is growing stronger and more popular than ever, the market can also be ruthless and highly aggressive.

As a startup with an online store, you’ll need to have robust marketing campaigns to survive the busy and ferocious world of e-commerce. By creating powerful marketing strategies, you’ll be able to build a strong online presence and reach your target audience easily. Keep in mind that it’s hard to make a name for yourself, and you’ll need to be fully equipped with the right advertising tactics to succeed and ensure success in the tightly packed global landscape.

These simple but very effective digital marketing tips, when utilized correctly, will help you create a solid plan and lay a long-term foundation for your business.

Tip 1: Define your market

Marketing for an e-commerce startup can be a laborious and challenging process, but identifying and defining the right audience helps narrow down the tasks you need to do to efficiently promote your products or services. One great way to determine your market is by creating an avatar of your perfect customer. Make sure to establish the age, gender, location, source of income, and personal goals to make it as realistic as possible.

Then, capitalize on the devised data to understand their journey in each and every step of the buying process. Awareness is the stage where customers realize they need something, followed by consideration where they start searching for solutions online. The next stage would be preference where potential customers narrow down their options and perform the actions to make a purchase. The last stage is loyalty, and this is where you need to keep them well-engaged with your brand.

  • Provide good after-sale customer service to establish repeat business.
  • In everything you do, refer to the avatar to recognize the needs of your clients.
  • Use the knowledge you have to influence customers throughout the buying process.

Tip 2: Know your competitors

Even if you are the first e-commerce store to introduce an exclusive product to the market, or believe yourself to be the only business offering these kinds of services, the digital industry is not without competitors. Even if you don’t plan to compete with other providers, in a day or two you’ll be sharing the same target market. For your marketing strategy to materialize, it is imperative that you know who your competitors are.

Doing extensive market research is the first thing you’ll need to do to recognize the top performers within your niche. You should be able to identify the strategies they use and the products they offer to attract customers. Instead of sending rivalry signals, use the information to acquire ideas and improve your products or services to make them better.

  • Doing this will help you stay one step ahead from your competitors.
  • Focus on your USP or unique selling proposition to differentiate your e-commerce website.
  • Win the market by giving your customers a reason to trust your products and business.

Tip 3: Work on your SEO

“The best place to hide a dead body is page two of Google.” True or not, Search Engine Optimization is critical to the success of your startup business. SEO drives traffic to your store or website. When people search for a particular product or service, they use search engines to look for results, and if your business is nowhere to be found online then customers won’t be able to see your offerings.

Your marketing plan must include ways to strengthen and leverage SEO to your advantage. However, it takes time to put your business at the top of search engines, so you’ll need to start working on your SEO as soon as possible. Additionally, there’s more to SEO than knowing the right set of keywords. Content marketing for example is effective when it comes to increasing web traffic and backlinks.

  • SEO requires technical proficiency, consider hiring specialists if this isn’t your forte.
  • Increase your online visibility by regularly publishing blog posts with fresh and accurate content.
  • Optimization results are not instant, use tools like MOZ to measure effectiveness.

Tip 4: Think social!

Marketing for an e-commerce startup wouldn’t be complete without harnessing the powers of social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc., there are dozens of options but it’s nearly impossible to use all these platforms at once to generate buzz for your digital business. Instead, pick a few channels that you can commit to and create a strong social media marketing campaign to reach your target markets.

Use Facebook to interact with your customers, post something on Twitter to elicit pertinent market information, or share photos on Instagram to gauge the interest of your clients. You can also use social networks to visit competitors’ profiles, or browse relevant information that will benefit your business.

  • Provide unique, interesting, and valuable posts for your followers.
  • To maximize growth, regularly update your social media accounts.
  • Consider tapping social media influencers to help build your brand identity.

Tip 5: Get the right KPIs

After you’ve made all your e-commerce marketing efforts, it’s time to determine if those actions are making an impact on your business and your customers. When measuring the effectiveness of your campaigns, you need to first establish the goal or objective you want to achieve from them. Do you want more traffic? Are you planning to measure customer engagement? Are likes more important than shares or views?

When dealing with campaign effectiveness, there’s no better workaround solution than knowing the right KPIs or Key Performance Indicators. These are the values that demonstrate the effectiveness of your efforts on achieving your goals and objectives. These values can be click through rate, lead conversion rate, returning visitors, SEO traffic, growth of followers, and more.

  • To measure the success of your marketing for your e-commerce startup, use metric tracking applications.
  • Use the right KPI based on your campaign; SEO metrics for SEO campaigns.
  • Software you could consider include Ubiq, SimpleKPI, InfoCaptor, and Zoho Reports.

Other Things to Consider...

1. Optimize Your Product Landing Page

For any eCommerce startup, the main goal is to generate sales. But for customers to click the “buy” button, they first need to find your product landing page. However, that won’t happen if your page isn’t optimized to boost conversions.

So, what can you do to optimize your eCommerce website? Take a look at the tips below.


What are the basic elements of a product landing page?

Your product landing page should boost user confidence. It should provide all the necessary information required to make the buying process straightforward and easy.

For this to be possible, every product landing page needs to include these four basic elements:

  • Your Product – This is the center of attention and should be displayed appropriately on your eCommerce website. The way it is presented can influence your customer’s buying decision.
  • Your Branding – Your brand should be well perceived. From your social media to your landing page and your content marketing efforts your brand needs to be consistent.
  • Your Product Page Design – This is a very crucial component of your eCommerce product page. It should be well designed and user-friendly.
  • Your Copywriting – A good sales copy on your landing page should communicate your brand’s tone and convert sales. It needs to match your product, branding and product page design.

Now that you know what needs to be on your product pages, let’s look at some more specific components required by eCommerce startups for product page optimization.


Invest in quality product photos

With eCommerce, distance is not a barrier for your business. You can sell your goods to anyone in the world. However, since your customers are online, they cannot touch, examine, taste, or test your products before they buy. They rely on the product images they see on your online store to make a buying decision.

That’s why the importance of product photography on your eCommerce product page cannot be overemphasized. It’s your opportunity to create a user experience for your customers that casts your products in the best light.

  • You might be able to take good pictures with your smartphone, but your product photos should be handled professionally. Take great shots of your products with professional photography equipment or hire a professional.
  • Upload only quality product pictures on your eCommerce website and ensure it is well edited.
  • Ensure your product images highlight the important features of your products.
  • Upload multiple product image angles and zoom-enabled images that allow users to check out unique product features.

A good product photo can help to enhance credibility and boost your conversion rate. So, ensure you have a quality product photos that your target audience can connect with.


Have a clear CTA

The main objective of your online store is to get customers to hit the “Buy” button. This Call to Action (CTA) is the most important element of your eCommerce website. If this important CTA is not visible or obvious to your customers, it could result in a low conversion rate.

  • Your CTA should boldly stand out from your product descriptions and other content on your eCommerce product page.
  • It should also be visible to visitors when they land on your online store - i.e. they should not have to scroll down the page to find the buy button.
  • The buy button area should not contain content or another CTA that will draw the customer’s attention away from the main goal, which is making a purchase.
  • Don’t try to be creative with your CTAs. A simple CTA like “Add to Cart”, “Buy Now” or “Submit Order” will do. Trying to be creative with CTAs may confuse your customers.


Get descriptive

While you should make your eCommerce product page visually appealing with images and videos, you still need to have compelling text on your product page.

  • One thing you should never do if you are a third party seller is to rely on the manufacturer’s generic product descriptions. Recreate your descriptions to suit your target market.
  • Keep it short and meaningful. Nobody is interested in reading long paragraphs. But ensure you provide enough details that will help the customer to easily make a buying decision.
  • Try using bullet points to make it easier to read.
  • Don’t make it boring. Put in some effort to make your product description relatable with your audience.
  • Establish a branding strategy. Understand what your target audience seeks for in a product and work it into your product description.


Include informational content

The copy on your product landing page is key. Your audience wants products that can solve their problems or improve their quality of life. Your eCommerce product page should easily show them how your products can help them achieve that.

  • You only have a few seconds to make an impression, so make it count. Include concise and informational content.
  • Make your audience see what they’re missing if they don’t buy your products. How does your product fit into their lifestyle? How will it make their life fun, better or more efficient? Make it known in your content.
  • Bring your brand to life by telling a story that resonates with your potential customers.
  • Guide them through the details that matter.
  • Make sure your content is engaging. Always proofread your page to check that you are speaking to your audience in an engaging tone.


Include social proof

Social proof can improve your conversion rate. It is a mild persuasive tool that can influence the purchasing behavior of your potential customers. Especially for new businesses, having social proof adds credibility to your brand and builds customer trust. Why does it matter?

  • Having stellar customer reviews on your product landing page can help in converting visitors into customers. It shows that other people have bought your product and have certified it.
  • A lot of people make their buying decisions off product reviews. They trust them as much as they trust recommendations from friends.
  • Social proof can be the difference between a customer buying your products or purchasing similar products from another store. It adds a layer of trust to the buying experience, as the visitor journeys through your eCommerce website.
  • Using social proof like customer testimonials, product reviews or awards from reputable organizations can help to show that your product is good and worth paying for.

Encourage your customers to leave reviews on your page. After you’ve made a sale, send a follow-up email and ask them to rate or leave a product review. The more reviews you have on your product landing page, the better for your business.

Your product landing pages are the most essential parts of your eCommerce website. When a visitor lands on one of these pages, make their experience count. Using these tips will help you design pages that will subsequently boost your conversion rate.


2. Boost Your E-commerce Sales


Make your customers feel safe

Keep in mind that you don’t have a personal store where customers can actually see and feel your products or services, which is why establishing trust is one of the most important aspects of boosting your sales. The problem with online selling is that due to its dodgy nature, people shy away from buying things online thinking that it is fraudulent or deceitful.

To counter this, you need to make your customers feel safe whenever they are browsing your e-commerce store. A recent study found out that 77% of customers read reviews before they make any purchase online. And, as an e-commerce entrepreneur, you need to capitalize on having great product or service reviews to entice customers. On top of that, you should create a safe browsing experience, especially if you are capturing sensitive data such as customer details and credit card information.

  • Use SSL or Secure Socket Layers certificate to encrypt confidential information.
  • Display trust badges such as VeriSign, PayPal Verified, and BBB on your e-commerce site.
  • Place them on various locations like on product page, checkout pages, and website footers.
  • Work with your payments provider or e-commerce site provider to ensure you are using the most up-to-date security measures


Cross-sell and up-sell

Another marketing strategy to boost sales is to encourage customers to buy more products or additional services than what they have originally purchased. Cross-selling is the art of persuading customers to obtain additional items on top of their first purchase. A good example would be offering phone accessories like screen protectors, cases, and power banks for customers who bought smartphones.

You could also practice up-selling to encourage buyers to spend more than what they have initially bought via upgrades. This technique won’t increase sales volume but it will boost your average sale value, leading to higher profits. Up-selling is a very common technique used by many sales agents. How many times have you heard the line “you’ll get the best value for money if you opt for a 43” TV rather than the 32” one?”

  • Use the data you’ve collected to make the right product or service recommendations.
  • Always make related recommendations according to their original purchase.
  • Leverage tools such as Asana to create customized upsell promos.


Utilize paid media

The next tip on how to boost e-commerce sales is to utilize the powers of paid media. When it comes to promoting your online business, nothing could be more effective than digital marketing. With the right advertisement, proper timing, and appropriate selection of channels, a single marketing campaign can bring hundreds of customers.

When using paid media, remember that it is essential to discover winning campaigns first before investing a whole lot of money on advertising. Always test the waters by spending smaller amounts on various campaigns and see how it goes. Don’t forget to define your audience and measure the success of your campaigns through tools.

  • Paid media options include Google Ads, Bing, Pay-Per-Click (PPC), and Display Ads.
  • A good starting point for spending on ads is no more than $50.
  • Social Media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are known for their flexibility.


Give the best possible checkout experience

People love to shop online because it is simple, fast, easy, and best of all convenient. However, the worst part of the buying process is finalizing and paying for the purchase. Cart abandonment is definitely real and almost 70% of shoppers leave their shopping cart right at the checkout page. If you want to boost sales, you need to push people to go ahead and complete the checkout process.

Don’t make the whole buying experience or availing services complicated, make it as simple and as easy as possible. Try to add a progress bar where customers can clearly see how many steps there are to complete the purchase. Also, incentivize your checkout page by offering coupons and discounts that need to be entered on the last step of the process.

  • Offer free shipping coupons that can be claimed right before checkout.
  • Reward customers with discount codes in exchange for an email address and use it for email marketing to remind them of items in their cart.
  • Always show confirmations to verify that their purchase has already been completed.


Customer service is king

The last tip on how to boost e-commerce sales is to prioritize customer service above anything else. Remember that customers want to be heard and that their opinions or suggestions matter. Convincing yourself that you have good customer service is always subjective, so instead, use objective metrics to measure the level of your online support system.

Do you have a platform where customers can easily contact you? What about updating the status of their delivery? What if there is a return or exchange? How they can reach you? Do you answer queries within hours of posting? Are you consistent when it comes to responding to clients? Do you practice conversational commerce? To increase your sales and customer base, make sure to:

  • Utilize tools such as Drift that allows on-site chatting with customers.
  • Use chatbots on social media platforms to modernize your support system.
  • Set up a live chat that is available 24/7 to answer all customer concerns.

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