It’s an exciting time for eCommerce businesses. The global eCommerce market is set to approach a staggering 5 trillion dollars in 2021, with projections for sustained growth in the future as well.
What’s more, because of the rise of user-friendly and accessible eCommerce solutions, opening up a store is becoming easier than ever as well, providing numerous opportunities for even small one-person companies to carve out a place in the marketplace.
But while the potential is definitely there, success is by no means guaranteed.
In fact, the eCommerce boom also means that competition is as fierce as ever. The giants of the industry, such as Amazon and Walmart, have established a firm foothold, and there are also thousands of mid-sized eCommerce companies with established brands and loyal followings.
To stand out, you need to develop a comprehensive and proven marketing strategy that helps you reach your audience on multiple channels.
With that in mind, let’s look at some of the most effective marketing strategies you should be using in 2021 and beyond.
Start with Understanding Your Audience
An effective marketing strategy is not just about tricks or hacks. You can use the most cutting-edge tactics available and still come up with zero results if the audience you’re targeting doesn’t match up with your ideal buyer.
Therefore, any successful marketing strategy must begin with identifying the perfect customer you want to attract. And you have to be willing to dig deep and come up with hyper-specific insights.
People have their choice of generic one-size-fits-all companies like Amazon, where they can find virtually anything for anyone.
When shopping at smaller brands, customers want to identify with the brand’s voice, ideas, and values. If you can get in front of your audience where they like to hang out and provide a targeted and relevant message, you will have a much better chance of success, no matter how much the big players in your industry spend on advertising.
But how to figure out what your audience wants? And even who they are?
Well, start with the data that you already have. If you’ve made sales, look at the customers that have bought the most, in the highest frequency, and with the highest satisfaction.
Then, instead of making assumptions, go out and talk with these customers about why they chose your brand, what resonated with them, and where they first heard about you.
If you want to gain the most insights, take the time to schedule a few interviews with your customers. But if you don’t have the resources for that, at least send out a survey or add a few polls on your site.
The more you know about your audience, the bigger your advantage over others in your market will be. And the easier it will be to laser-focus your approach for the best results.
Rethink Your Email Marketing Strategy
Email marketing has been an inseparable part of eCommerce for what seems like decades. But something that worked in 2005 will probably not be nearly as useful today.
And yet, many eCommerce brands still think that sending out a mass email with some offers to the entire list is the best way to handle email marketing.
If you don’t want to be one of those brands that have to settle for (very) mediocre results, start using the technology and the best practices used by the most forward-thinking companies today.
Even the most user-friendly email marketing solutions now come with extensive personalization, tracking, and tagging features, which provide you with endless opportunities to offer each subscriber on your list the most relevant message for them at the perfect time.
First, try to identify the main segments of your audience. Then, establish goals for each segment, and try to find the best way to get them on a personalized list.
You can use data from the emails themselves, such as the open rates and the links they click. But today, you can also track on-site data and tag subscribers based on the products they view, the items they add to their carts, and even the articles they read on your blog.
Over time, as you start segmenting your list and gaining more insights, email marketing will most likely become your most hands-down most powerful marketing strategy. After all, it’s a strategy that still produces an incredible 3800% ROI.
Interact with Your Audience on Social Media
The number of social media users is rising every year. Right now, around 3.6 billion users regularly log into their social media accounts, presenting you with a unique opportunity to engage them and get them interested in your products.
But simply creating a few social media profiles is not going to get it done.
You need to provide users with a reason to visit your social media pages, and it has to be good.
The obvious way to generate interest is to provide entertainment and/or value. By creating informative articles, showcasing customer success stories, or even posting exciting news and offers, you can ensure that your followers get excited when they see your posts and take action.
You should also try to nurture a feeling of community, where people can share their experiences and get help. Don’t be hesitant about responding to comments and even joining conversations; by seeming more human, your brand will become that much more appealing when compared to the often faceless corporations.
You should make social media a place where people can get support when they need it. Many buyers research brands on social media before making a purchase, so having chatbot or even live support that they can write to will help prospects feel more confident about buying from you.
Finally, to make the most of your social media marketing efforts, think about the channels through which you will reach the biggest part of your audience.
Where do your customers like to hang out? What type of content do they love?
If you did your research, you should know the answers to these questions, which can be immensely helpful when developing a social media strategy that will separate you from the competition.
Even though eCommerce marketing offers numerous opportunities, breaking into your market can be a big challenge.
But if you get to know your audience, utilize the immense potential of email marketing, and figure out how to connect with your audience on social media, you will already be miles ahead of the competition and can build a loyal following that will stay with you for a long time.