Among the most evident trends in the digital world over the last few years is the increase in ecommerce websites to meet the growing demand of people shopping online. Pandemic or not, online shopping has taken over and it's estimated that there are as many as 24 million e-commerce sites that could generate up to $4.5 trillion this year.
However, that doesn't mean the market for these types of websites is saturated. In fact, 26.1 million Canadians made purchases online in the last year, which is virtually everyone in Canada between the ages of 15 and 70. There is a clearly a major appetite for many types of online stores, but if you want to capitalize on this revenue opportunity then you'll need to utilize a variety of ecommerce digital marketing techniques to help your website get noticed and drive sales.
After all, a professionally designed website is only half the battle. A beautiful ecommerce site without a digital marketing strategy is like a luxury car without gas because neither will ever get noticed or be utilized to their full potential. So, without further ado, here are our top ecommerce digital marketing tips to help your site flourish:
Utilize Google Shopping/PPC Ads
By now, you've probably seen the rectangular boxes that display products and their most important info when you enter a product-related keyword into Google. These are called Google Shopping Ads or, more specifically, Google Product Listing Ads and they allow companies to advertise their items in a more visually appealing way to potential buyers.
These types of ads have been around for many years in the Shopping tab of Google and are now also appearing before position zero on Google's main search page, thus increasing their importance.
To set up these product listing ads, you'll need a Google Merchant Center account where you upload your product data feed. After that, you launch a Shopping campaign in Google Ads, which relies on the data provided in the Merchant Center to target users. Your ads will then appear in on Google’s main search page, its Shopping page, and various websites that are Google Search Partners or part of the Google Display Network. You can also set up a regular Google Search PPC campaign for your product category pages that rely on keywords to target searchers.
As with all Google Ads campaigns, we recommend using a PPC Advertising Specialist to come up with a strategy and set up the campaign(s).
SEO Your Product Pages
In addition to an ad campaign, you should also be dedicating resources to increasing the organic search engine traffic for your product and category pages. Executing the SEO on product pages involves a similar approach to regular pages on your website, with keyword-optimized titles, headings, and content being the most important aspects (don’t forget about meta descriptions and image alt tags too).
Determining the primary keyword for each product is straight forward, as it's usually the name of the product. However, sometimes there are secondary keywords that require a bit of research and category pages can often have multiple title options. This is where an SEO Specialist with access to quality keyword search tools can come in handy.
SEO experts can also write optimized content for product and category pages, which can sometimes include “Read More…” buttons that hide most of the text until a user clicks on it. These buttons ensure product images are not pushed too far down the page, while still allowing search engine bots to see the content.
Create Remarketing Ad Campaigns
It’s now easy to track and manage user data through the advertising platforms of Google and Facebook, which is why most successful online businesses are running ad campaigns targeting users who previously visited your site.
For example, a properly executed Google Display Remarketing campaign will showcase your products or advertise a sale on other websites to a user who already visited your site but might not have completed a purchase. This way, the users is reminded of your products and might decide to return to your site to continue shopping. Even if it doesn't happen right away, these ads will keep your brand fresh in the user's mind for a possible purchase later.
The Digital Marketing Specialists at Graphically Speaking can help with your ecommerce marketing strategy and execution. Contact us today to learn more about what we can offer.
Improve Your Email Marketing Strategy
Email marketing always has been, and likely always will be, an important method to increase sales and brand awareness. If you want to run a successful email marketing campaign, developing a list of customer email addresses is only the beginning. You need to send emails that are attention grabbing and provide valuable content to your potential clients. A mix of sales-focused emails, lead-nurturing emails, and informative messages that educate clients about your industry and business are all important.
These messages can include welcome emails, newsletters, blog teasers, promotional offers, personalized messages to select clients, and abandoned cart emails, which are especially important considering nearly 70% of all online shopping carts are abandoned.
Cross-Sell and Upsell
Because selling to existing customers is less expensive than marketing to new ones, every ecommerce company should be cross-selling and upselling through their online store.
Cross-selling is when you sell products that complement an item that has already been purchased by the customer (e.g., selling an extended warranty to a customer who just bought a computer). Upselling is when you encourage a customer to buy more add-on items related to what they're already buying (e.g., if they were only intending to buy a refrigerator, but end up buying an entire set of kitchen appliances).
The best ecommerce websites will cross-sell and upsell products throughout the user's buying journey, whether they're still deciding what to buy or they've just added an item to their shopping cart. For example, the Magento ecommerce platform allows you to utilize an option called “Show Cross-Sell Items” next to the cart to encourage impulse purchases. You can also use filter controls to choose which items you cross-sell or upsell for each product.
Mobile Responsiveness and Experience
The importance of providing a fully responsive ecommerce website with product pages that look great on phones is extremely important for both UX and SEO purposes, which ties into digital marketing. Multiple studies show that more than 70% of online purchases come from mobile devices and over 50% of product-related searches are done on smartphones. This puts an even greater significance on how your product images, descriptions, and conversion buttons are displayed on phones. A better on-page experience for the user will naturally lead to higher conversion rate, which means the mobile experience of a customer something marketers needs to be more aware of.
Not only that, but Google's search engine algorithm has switched to mobile-first indexing, meaning Google bots now crawl the mobile version of a page to determine its organic ranking. This only adds to the importance of mobile responsiveness to SEO and digital marketing in general. As a result, we recommend that every ecommerce business conduct a review of how their online store looks on a variety of mobile devices and if their content adjusts to fit all screen sizes.
Positive User-Generated Content
Whether it's your customer reviews or social media posts, you can use the content generated by others to your advantage. Many studies show that customers trust the word of a fellow buyer over marketing content written by the business and for good reason. They know the employee marketing the products has a clear bias, where as the customer does not. But how can you encourage user-generated content that promotes your products?
You can start a social media marketing campaign that encourages existing customers to share stories about their favourite products, with the promise of a future discount for those who share. Another social media incentive for visual products such as clothing could be to create a draw where anyone who posts a photo of themselves wearing your clothes with a specific hashtag is entered to win a gift certificate. You can also send Thank You emails to users who bought your products and ask for a review by including a link to your Google My Business page. There are many ways to creatively entice users to do your marketing for you.
Need a new ecommerce website? Put your trust in the design and development experts at Graphically Speaking. We've developed hundreds of ecommerce sites and are eager to help you achieve your goals. Get in touch with us today.