The percentage of total retail sales attributed to ecommerce has been growing with each passing quarter for years. That healthy market is good news, but on the down side it points to increasing competition. For each individual ecommerce business, it can be harder (and more expensive!) to attract the right customers.
But there are plenty of levers to pull so you can get more out of your ecommerce digital marketing campaigns. And now is the time to get started, with the busy holiday season just around the corner.
Here are six simple and effective ways to start driving more online sales across your ecommerce funnel.
Google Shopping campaigns are a no-brainer for any ecommerce company. With a Shopping campaign, you can prominently advertise your products at the top of the Google search results at the exact moment people are looking to buy the kinds of products you sell. Your Shopping ads can include product images, price points, ratings, offers, and other key info that makes it easy for customers to “add to cart.”
Once you’ve uploaded a product data feed—a master spreadsheet that describes key attributes of your products—to Google Merchant Center and connected your Merchant Center account to your Google Ads account, Google will automatically generate ads for your products whenever a user searches a relevant query.
To learn more, you can check out our guide to Google Shopping campaign structures as well as our guide to product data feeds. In the meantime, all you need to know is that launching a Google Shopping campaign is a fantastic way to drive a lot of relevant traffic to your site—fast.
According to our Google Shopping benchmarks report, the average Google Shopping conversion rate is a little under 2%. In other words, about 2% of all clicks on Google Shopping ads convert into purchases. Does that mean Shopping campaigns are a waste of time? Nope. Even if it doesn’t immediately lead to a sale, a click represents a valuable interaction between your business and your prospect.
Here’s what the 2% conversion rate does mean: You might have to do some additional work if you want to bring those shoppers back to your website. That’s where remarketing comes in.
Remarketing increases your ecommerce conversion rate because it reels on-the-fence shoppers back in. You can remind them about that pair of shoes they were eyeing last week. Maybe now they’re ready to buy!
For years, the conventional wisdom has been that search marketing is for driving sales and social marketing is for building brand awareness. Though search (including Google Shopping) is certainly a good way to convert low-funnel prospects, and though social is most definitely a good way to reach new audiences, this absolute distinction between the two channels is becoming less and less valid every year.
Why? Three words: Shopping on Instagram.
Once you’ve set up a business profile on Instagram and uploaded a product catalog to Facebook (Instagram’s parent company), you’re eligible to tag your products in your organic feed and Stories posts. All of a sudden, the users who see your organic content no longer need to navigate to your website if they want to make a purchase; instead, they can simply click on the product they’re interested in and follow the link to the corresponding page on your website.
Basically, what makes social shopping such a strong ecommerce marketing tactic is the elimination of friction. By enabling your followers to effortlessly make purchases, Instagram has effectively brought the power of search to social media.
So—you’ve started using Shopping on Instagram. Things are going well in the sense that it’s driving a substantial amount of traffic to your product pages, but things are also going poorly in the sense that those pageviews aren’t converting into sales at a terribly high rate. Is there an ecommerce marketing tactic you can use to boost your conversion rate?
Yup: customer reviews. Limited discretionary income makes consumers cautious about spending their money, and few things are more reassuring (read: persuasive) than a glowing review from someone who’s already bought one or more of your products. Throwing ratings and reviews on your product pages is a time-tested, straightforward way to turn more site visitors into customers.
Another way to boost your ecommerce digital marketing strategy is with pop-ups: the windows that temporarily take over site visitors’ screens to present them with additional offers. You can use pop-ups to entice a prospective shopper with a discount offer or to add another product to his or her shopping cart.
I know, I know. Pop-ups have a bad reputation—but there’s a reason they’re so pervasive. They work! Especially when used to present people with legitimately relevant offers—a limited-time discount, a BOGO sale. Use them correctly and they can drive a ton of additional revenue for your business.
One last ecommerce marketing tip: Use the power of referral marketing to turn the enthusiasm of your most loyal customers into a steady stream of new business.
For those who may not know, referral marketing is the practice of incentivizing your customers to tell others about how much they love your business. The idea, of course, is that your prospects are far more likely to trust their friends and family than they are to trust your advertisements. Tactically, it’s pretty similar to curating customer testimonials; the key difference is that it’s more direct. Generally, your prospects trust their loved ones more than they trust random people on the internet.
Here’s a real-world example to get the wheels turning. Before their official launch, women’s athleisure wear company Girlfriend Collective decided to give away free pairs of their high-end, eco-friendly leggings. Because this offer was so irresistible—and because it only lasted for a short period of time—Girlfriend Collective generated a ton of buzz within their target market. All of a sudden, everyone and their mother wanted a pair of their leggings—and they hadn’t even officially launched the company yet! You better believe that plenty of these initial customers came back for more once Girlfriend Collective started charging for their products.
Critical Pass—an exam preparation company that sells flashcards to help law school students get ready for the bar—provides another great example of the power of referral marketing. To incentivize their happy customers to spread the word to their friends, Critical Pass offered $10 to anyone who passed along a referral link that ended up generating a sale. Because the price of their flashcard set is well above $10, this tactic proved extremely profitable for the company!
Get your ecommerce marketing strategy off the ground!
No ecommerce business can succeed in an increasingly crowded landscape without a thoughtful, full-funnel marketing strategy. If you want to keep the sales coming, you’ve got to start brainstorming now. With a handful of tactics to try at each stage of the marketing funnel, you’ll be in great shape. Get to it!