Marketing • Business
If you’re like most ecommerce store owners, you’ve opened up shop because you want to be in business, selling great products to people who will love them. That’s your core business, and that’s what you want to get on with. Of course, the reality of business involves other essential tasks, like inventory management, bookkeeping, customer loyalty, and payroll. Without your stock, your cash flow, your customers, and your staff, you wouldn’t have much of an online store at all.
And then there’s marketing.
Marketing can be time-consuming, and it’s not always easy to see the results. At least, not the way you see results when you order stock from your suppliers and then the delivery comes in. It can be hard to tell whether that new customer visited your store because of your Facebook ad or because her friend recommended you. But effective marketing can massively boost your business profitability, and it doesn’t have to be hard to get started. Let’s run through some easy ways you can start marketing your ecommerce business for maximum results with minimum fuss, by making the most of automation services and other people’s information.
Once you’ve got social media profiles set up for your online store, you’ll be amazed by how easy it is to create a highly targeted ad campaign. On most platforms, you pick a spend amount and then describe your customers in terms of basic demographics like age groups or location. The better you can define your audience, the better your results are likely to be, so paid ads are particularly effective if you have a large group of followers you can use as your audience.
Most social media platforms let users “check in” to venues or tag their location at a business. On Facebook, a makeshift page is created, so customers can fill in information about opening hours and leave business reviews. These pages are quite literally waiting for you to claim them! Once you’ve done that, merge any duplicate locations into your main location. Just like that, you’ve got access to all those likes or check-ins—and a way to contact the people who posted them.
Similarly, locations that get added to Google Maps are just waiting for someone to claim them through Google My Business, but this option is only available to ecommerce businesses that also have a physical shopfront.
Instead of spending hours each day finding or writing content to share on social media, spend a couple of hours each fortnight preparing your content and scheduling it to post over the next two weeks. (You can even bring in a consultant to set this up, if it’s a task you don’t enjoy, but make sure you’ve briefed them thoroughly.)
You’ll still need to spend some time online to share other people’s content—another great shortcut—and answer your fan’s questions and comments, but at least you’ve already taken care of the hard stuff. Check out this list of social media tools to find one that will make your life easier.
If your ecommerce store serves a niche market, or if you have specialist knowledge, boost your brand by sharing what you know. One way to do this is to write blog posts for publication on your website (which you can do from within Neto) or on a long-form sharing platform like LinkedIn Pulse or Medium. But that’s not the only way. Services like SourceBottle make it easy for you to get your expert status noticed in by the general media. Simply sign up and list your areas of expertise, and journalists will be able to find you and seek your comments on current issues in your field.
Email marketing campaigns have very high conversion rates and are one of the easiest ways to market your business. They work best when tailored to your audience, which is simple to achieve if you set up audience segments. At the very least, separate out your customers from your leads, because the sort of information that is helpful to one won’t be very interesting to the other.
Email marketing goes beyond your newsletter, though. Customers receive transactional emails when they create an account or place an order, and when their products have shipped or are due for delivery. By adding your branding and special offers or pictures of related products, you’ll create an automated email campaign that encourages customers back to your online store without any extra effort from you.
And don’t forget your own email signature block—every email you send is a chance to promote your business.
Many suppliers, distributors, importers, and manufacturers include a page on their website that tells potential customers which retailers stock their items. If your name isn’t on that list, then anyone visiting that page is just going to see a big list of your competitors. So, every time you start working with a new supplier, make sure your business name is added to their website.
These are just a few of the easier ways to start marketing your ecommerce business and helping it grow—strategies that will make a real difference without requiring a large investment of time or money.
Neto is a leading ecommerce platform designed to help your business grow across multiple channels. It offers a wide range of add-on integrations to digital marketing platforms, including several of the ones we’ve mentioned above, and inbuilt analytics to help you track your campaign success. Looking for more information on marketing your ecommerce store? Check out our ideas on email marketing and SEO.
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