Posted Jul 23, 2020 by Jesse Ness, Ecwid Team

E-commerce Marketing Tips for Beginners

You’ve done it..you are officially the owner of an online business. Here’s an air five (cause you know..germs). Now what?

With a disposable amount of marketing tools in your reach, distinguishing between the various types of e-commerce marketing ideas can be overwhelming. This article will give you a sense of what exactly e-commerce marketing is and how to use today’s most valuable marketing channels to win customers.

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What Is E-Commerce Marketing?

E-commerce marketing is using various practices to drive customers to your online store and increase awareness about your products and brand.

You can attract customers with social media, email campaigns, digital content, and more. We’ll describe each e-commerce marketing strategy in detail, but first, let’s dive into building that strategy.

What Is an E-Commerce Marketing Strategy?

E-commerce marketing strategy is an online business’ plan for reaching consumers and turning them into customers. It’s a long-term approach that is based on an online store’s marketing goals and objectives.

To develop your e-commerce marketing strategy, you need to:

  • Set goals, or define what you want to achieve. For example, increase the number of website visitors or the amount of online sales. Your goal should be achievable and measurable.
  • Break down your strategy into actionable steps. What are you going to do to achieve your goal? For example, if you want to increase the number of website visitors, you might want to work on your SEO, promote your store on social media, or email campaigns.

e-commerce marketing


An example of product promotion post from Ecwid sellers Fig & Honey

How Can I Learn E-Commerce Marketing?

When you’re just starting, everything e-commerce marketing related seems to be over your head. Luckily, anyone can learn the marketing basics. We’ve got a couple of resources to make it easier for you:

How Can I Promote My E-Commerce Business?

Marketing for e-commerce can take many forms. We’ll explain some easy methods that anyone can use to drive traffic to their business and products.

Content marketing tips for beginners

Content marketing is creating and sharing valuable content for free to get customers’ attention to a product or service.

The most popular formats of such content are blog posts and videos. For example, a watch store can share a blog post on choosing waterproof watches. A yoga teacher can upload a YouTube video that explains the morning yoga routine.

e-commerce marketing


Ecwid merchants Reclaim Design share product-related how-to blog posts

You can create other types of content, too, like printables, e-books, even webinars, and podcasts.

No matter what format you choose, your content should be helpful to your target audience. If your video helps, educates, or entertains potential customers, they’ll see you as an expert in your niche. That, in turn, increases the chance they’ll buy from you.

When creating content to promote your store, make sure:

  • it answers customers’ questions about your product or industry
  • it improves your site’s ranking in search engines.

Google and other search engines do not automatically find your content once you hit publish. Here’s what you can do to ensure your content improves your site’s ranking in search engines:

  • Identify the primary keywords people would use to find your product or to research your industry. You can use various keywords research tools like Google Keyword Planner.
  • Share your content with links to your site on forums, websites, and social media pages related to your products. Links create connections for search engines, and these make searches that include your store rank it higher on the results.
  • Have at least 600 words of content on each page of your site to provide the details that get indexed by search engines. However, don’t add content just for the sake of it. Always think about your customers. Write about what they’re interested in and what they want to know about your product.
  • Create an FAQ page on your website with responses to high volume, long-tail keyword searches to get users to your site.
  • Enable social sharing buttons for services like Twitter and Facebook inside your store to help your visibility. The more visibility your store has on social media, the more organic traffic you can drive.

More e-commerce marketing ideas for getting customers via content:

Email marketing tips for beginners

Email marketing is the most cost-effective way of reaching out to your customers. Plus, customers are open to receiving emails. According to Statista, 49% of respondents would like to receive promotional emails from their favorite brands weekly.

49%
of consumers would like to receive emails from brands weekly

Emails are great for getting repeat customers: shoppers are eager to return when they receive info on new products, promotions, or sales.

To start using this e-commerce marketing method, you need to build your email list first. Here’s how you can do that:

  • Use pop-up email capture forms. State why subscribe to your mailing list. If you have seasonal inventory changes, have the pop-up say something like: “Don’t miss out when our hottest seasonal items become available!” Test different forms out regularly to make a significant impact.
  • Offer discounts to reward current customers and keep them coming back. You can even offer discounts for customer referrals. Sellers that use Ecwid’s Venture plan (or higher plans) can quickly generate discount coupons through their Control Panel.
  • Use a contest to incentivize email signups. When people share their email address with you, make that an entry into a contest or giveaway. Not only will you build excitement around your contest as people enter, but you can also get them to share a word about the contest.

If you use Ecwid, customer emails are collected right at checkout when customers place an order. If a customer doesn’t finish placing their order, their email is still saved to send them an abandoned cart recovery email.

After you collect your customer emails, it’s time to send out your newsletter. You can manually send to smaller lists, but once the list grows beyond 50 email addresses, you should look into using an email service provider like Mailchimp.

Ecwid is already integrated with Mailchimp. You can use it to collect customer emails via pop-ups, send out branded newsletters, or add your products and discount coupons to an email in a single click. Learn more about using Mailchimp for your Ecwid store.

e-commerce marketing


With Mailchimp, you can create a popup like this for your Ecwid store

Another “set it and forget it” email marketing solution is automated emails. You can automatically send emails to your customers when they complete specific actions in your store. For example, when they add a product to their favorites or complete a purchase.

Automated emails help retain customers and activate shoppers who haven’t purchased anything from you in a while.

With Ecwid, you can send seven different types of automated emails. You don’t need to write an email copy or send out campaigns manually. You just click “Enable” toggle in your Control Panel, and customers will receive emails that will reach the right person at the right time.

e-commerce marketing


An example of an automated email that brings back inactive customers

More e-commerce marketing ideas for using email:

Pay-per-click advertising for beginners

When an online seller uses pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, they place an ad on the internet and pay a flat rate every time it is clicked. Online advertising is a promising opportunity to generate traffic. Still, to make sure it’s cost-effective, you need to know a couple of things.

Paid search ads and ads through Google are currently the premiere PPC ad system. You’ll want to get started with Google Ads, and the tools are easy to use.

If you sell a more general product, but to a particular demographic or interest group, you may want to begin with Facebook Ads. Facebook Ads will allow you to fine-tune who sees your ads, but it can cost a bit more for this specificity.

e-commerce marketing


You can create different types of Facebook Ads, for example, a collection ad

Here’s a couple of tips to get you started:

  • Start with a low daily budget, then experiment and tweak your approach based on results. Not every ad will be a home run. Experimenting with ad types will help you find what works best to ensure you get the most value out of any money you put in.
  • Don’t forget that every social media outlet now has their PPC advertising system. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, YouTube, you name it. Take a look at which social media platforms benefit you the most and put some money into PPC campaigns there to grow your footprint and create a business.
  • Use conversion tracking codes like Google Ads Tag, Facebook Pixel, Snap Pixel, and Pinterest Tag to know where the completed sales came from and repeat the most successful campaigns’ practices.

More tips on pay-per-click advertising for beginners:

Social media marketing tips for beginners

There are many reasons why social media is an effective tool for e-commerce marketing. It’s cost-effective; there are billions of users on social media, which helps build a community around a store. But with new social media platforms popping up every day, your options may seem overwhelming.

Remember: you don’t have to be everywhere at once. Explore social media sites wisely and use platforms that best showcase your products and reach the audience you’re targeting.

Facebook is usually an excellent fit for almost any business. It has customizable marketing and tracking tools with a massive reach. Plus, you can add your Ecwid store to your Facebook page.

e-commerce marketing


The Mocktail Club sells on Facebook with Ecwid

Twitter is a useful outlet if you have the time and resources to send consistently shareable tweets to develop a following. Twitter is also an easy place to encourage customers to share items from your store as well.

Instagram and Pinterest will be nice homes for your business if your product has a strong visual element. For example, if your store sells clothing or other unique items that need to be seen to be purchased, these are sites you need to invest in. Plus, with Ecwid, you can sell your products on Instagram with Shoppable Tags.


Ecwid store ANNA Cake Couture on Instagram

LinkedIn makes a natural platform for selling products or services geared to businesses and professionals.

Snapchat and TikTok are great if you sell to a younger audience (although if you don’t, you can still use it to your advantage). Those platforms work best if you promote your business with fun, entertaining content, so be ready to get creative. For example, here’s how San Diego Zoo entertains their followers:

Another method of e-commerce marketing is tapping into social news aggregation and discussion websites like Reddit. As it is a hub for content-specific groups, you can find a whole new customer base here. Read the fine print carefully, as there may be rules against sharing your own products depending on where you are posting.

Encourage customers to share their experiences or pictures of their products on Reddit so you can reap the rewards of having e-commerce street cred.

After you choose your social media platforms, follow these steps to set up your profile:

  1. Get yourself a business page — it’ll provide you with helpful tools and analytics of your profile and followers activity
  2. Write a clear and concise bio for your profile
  3. Think through your imagery and profile navigation if needed
  4. Learn how to use hashtags
  5. Decide what you’re going to post.

Remember that being active on social media doesn’t mean spamming your followers with salesy posts. Stick to educational and entertaining content, engage followers into meaningful discussions, run giveaways, share customer’s pictures with your product.


Ecwid store MYSKINBUDDY saves helpful Pins for their followers

Using social media to build a community around your brand helps you build relationships with customers and eventually drive them to your store.

More e-commerce marketing tips for using social media:

More E-Commerce Marketing Tips

We’ve shared some digital marketing tips for beginners that will help you start promoting your store online. Sending out newsletters, creating social media presence, sharing valuable content, and a bit of PPC advertising makes a solid base for marketing your new store.

If you want to learn more about e-commerce marketing, check out our blog post on promoting your brand. Uncover more ways to get a word about your business, including partnerships, referral programs, participating in events, and more.

Just launched your store and are trying to stay on a budget? Say no more, we’ve got a list of low-cost ways to market your business.

Now, it’s your turn. Which e-commerce marketing practice worked best for you when you were just starting? Share your experience with fellow merchants in comments!

About the author
Jesse is the Marketing Manager at Ecwid and has been in e-commerce and internet marketing since 2006. He has experience with PPC, SEO, conversion optimization and loves to work with entrepreneurs to make their dreams a reality.
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