Online shopping has been gradually gaining popularity over the last 20 years. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this growth. In March 2020, around 40% of UK shoppers said they had been shopping more online. By February 2021, this number had increased to 75%. With more customers shopping online than ever before, it’s never been more important to make sure your brand is visible online and digital marketing is the best way to do this. Digital marketing can build brand awareness, drive traffic to your website and generate leads, all by making sure that your products are visible to customers who are actively looking for them.
How Can You Use Digital Marketing To Drive eCommerce Sales?
There are a number of strategies you can use to make sure ecommerce customers can find you when they’re searching online.
PPC or pay per click which is provided by Google Ads and Microsoft Ads. This channel provides instant results for your business and allows you to pay to appear at the top of the search results when people are looking for your products online.
PPC ads also allow you to target your audience accurately using demographic, location or interest data. This can help to generate higher quality leads for your business to provide better engagement and conversions.
Google Shopping Ads are another PPC channel provided within Google Ads that allows you to showcase your products in the results pages including product, price and brand details.
Google Ads provide a huge amount of data around your potential customers which you can use to inform your overall digital marketing strategy.
2. Display Advertising
Display ads come under Google Ads and they allow you to advertise your products on a range of digital platforms, from social media to website. These ads are a great brand awareness building tool and allow you to retarget to customers who have already visited your site or interacted with your site and follow them with specific product ads that are tailored to the content they’ve viewed on your site.
These ads can appear anywhere in any shape or size and there are millions of websites you can advertise on so this is a great way to reach an even wider audience.
SEO, or search engine optimisation, is a longer term strategy than PPC but it provides a cost effective strategy that will continue to drive results for your business long after you have published and optimised content.
SEO is a strategy that involves optimising your website and content for the keywords your customers are using and appearing highly in the search engine results pages (SERPs). This strategy is based on driving organic traffic to your website, rather than paying for that traffic to be driven.
Content marketing should also form part of your SEO strategy as it helps you to target a wider range of keywords and drive traffic through question based searches. It’s also the perfect way to showcase your expertise in your industry and to build authority and trust with your target audience.
This is a longer term investment but very sustainable and can provide value to your digital marketing strategy. The goal is to be top of the SERP and drive organic traffic to your websites.
Take a look at the keywords your customers are using to find your products and create and optimise content such as blogs or videos around these terms to make sure your website appears when people are searching for them.
Make sure you optimise the content, imagery, URL’s and meta descriptions for your chosen keywords to ensure your SEO strategy is as effective as possible. These elements ensure that search engines like Google can find the most relevant parts of your website and provide the best results to searchers.
4. Social Media
Social media is a great channel for building brand awareness and promoting your products online. Whether you’re advertising on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat or TikTok, social media channels allow you to showcase your products, images or reviews from existing customers, informative and useful content and provide quick customer service.
The key to social media is providing benefits and useful content to your followers in return for their engagement.
In addition, Facebook and Instagram allow you to utilise shoppable content features which allow you to pull your product inventory through and link directly through to products. These posts allow you to showcase your product catalogue and provide a smooth user experience, showing customers the prices and directing them to product landing pages straight from a post.
As well as organic content on social media, you can create social media adverts which allow you to precisely target your ideal audience, reaching customers in specific locations, within a specific age range and who have interests that match your business and products.
Remarketing should be a key part of any ecommerce digital marketing strategy. 58.6% of potential buyers are not yet ready to make a purchase. This can lead to high cart abandonment rates within ecommerce but that doesn’t mean you should give up on those customers completely!
Building trust across the complete customer journey is essential because many customers do not have the reassurance they need to make a purchase from a brand the first time they encounter them. From social proof on landing pages and product pages, this trust building should carry through from a customers first interaction with your brand, through to checkout and beyond.
For those who have abandoned their cart, you can keep in touch with them by sending emails with discount codes or using display or remarketing ads to show customers what they’re missing out on and to keep your brand at the forefront of their minds until they’re ready to make a purchase.
In addition to driving customers into the top of your sales funnel, it’s also important to ensure that your digital marketing campaigns are optimised to convert those at the bottom of the funnel. These are the customers who already know who you are and have shown intent to purchase.
6. User Experience (UX)
User experience is a key part of converting potential customers into paying customers and it has also become an essential part of SEO too. Google recognises whether users are finding the information they need when landing on your site from the search results and this can factor into how your site ranks in the organic search results.
When you have an ecommerce site, you need to make it as easy as possible for customers to navigate from any landing page, through to checkout. You need to ensure that your website loads quickly, the functionality works properly, the design is user friendly and you provide an easy checkout process.
Make sure the content you provide on your landing pages is clear and informative and doesn’t mean that customers have to go searching for the information they want to see at a glance.