Posted Jan 26, 2015 by Jesse Ness, Ecwid Team

E-commerce Marketing Tips for Beginners

Like any business, the first few months you have a store are important, and in particular getting customers to visit your store is vital. Marketing your online store doesn’t have to be complicated. Check out our tips on some basic online marketing methods to kick-start traffic to your store.

Content Marketing

Google the other search engines do not automatically find your store by virtue of your placing it online. However easy it is to find your site, make it easier. Put links to it anywhere that you can put links, from your email signature to your Twitter bio. The more visible you are on search engines or social media, the larger natural traffic flow going through your store becomes. The more eyes that are on your store, the more purchases to be made.

Here are some tips on how to do this:

  1. Post useful articles and content with links back to your site on forums, websites and social media sites (i.e. Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter) that are related to your products. Links create connections for search engines, and these make searches that include your store rank it higher on the results.
  2. 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 natural traffic you create for your store.
  3. Ideally, you should have at least 600 words of content on each page of your site to provide the details that get indexed by search engines. This also allows you to make sure your content is meaningful and interesting enough for visitors to want to learn more about your products and perhaps even make a purchase. There’s nothing better than seeing someone on your virtual storefront and getting a sale out of it as well.
  4. Identify the primary keywords you think people would use to find your store, and make sure they are featured prominently throughout your site. Keywords need to be relevant to your product and store. You may also want to repeat important small phrases as well. Google has a keyword planner that works well and can get you started, but ultimately, do the empathetic work of placing yourself in the customer’s position and coming up with what they’re most likely to be searching for.

Email Marketing

Once you have some customers, keep them coming back and encourage them to refer you to other people. Emails will keep customers coming back when they receive info on new products, promotions or sales. This is the most cost-effective way of reaching out to your customers. Email blasts will always contain a reason to have your customer visit the store and can hit a large number of customers at one time. Return business is always a great thing for your store.

  1. For small lists you can send from your current email, but once the list grows beyond 50 people you should look into using an email service provider like MailChimp or Constant Contact. Both have templates and tools to help you stay in touch with your customers and share deals.
  2. Offer discounts to reward current customers and keep them coming back. You can even offer discounts for customer referrals. Customers of Ecwid’s Venture plan (or higher plans) are able to generate discounts easily through the control panel. Ecwid apps like Swell Rewards are a great of generating engagement and customer loyalty online, making it easy to offer people discounts and incentivize them to talk about your store on social media.
  3. Generate and share customer reviews with tools like Helpful Crowd. Testimonials from happy customers are a great way to build your brand’s reputation. It also helps customers feel that they are making an informed purchase. When a customer is on the fence about buying from you, you can push that customer towards your favor by showing them positive opinions on your products that come from their peers.
  4. Pop-up email capture forms are a great way to tie all of this together. Simple pop-ups that state, why it is a good idea for the customer to leave their email address with you and subscribe to a mailing list, can work wonderfully. If you have seasonal inventory changes, have the pop-up say something like: “Don’t miss out when our hottest seasonal items become available!” Change them out regularly to make the largest impact. Just asking for an email lets a viewer know that you’re in this for the long haul, that your website isn’t some kind of hobby or accident.
  5. 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 word of the contest. They help you grow that email list in a short amount of time. Tools like Rafflecopter work great to this end and offer options for different platforms.

Pay Per Click Advertising

Online advertising is an opportunity to generate qualified traffic and also spend a lot of money very quickly. Paradigms like pay-per-click (PPC) advertising see a marketer place an ad on the internet and pay a flat rate every time it is clicked. Here are some tips for getting started without breaking the bank:

  1. Paid search ads and ads through Google are currently the premiere PPC ad system. You’ll want to get started with Google AdWords, and the tools are easy to use. If you are absolutely new to PPC Advertising, Google AdWords Express is an amazing tool that can help you master the AdWords system before you start wasting money on failed campaigns…
  2. If you sell a more general product, but to a very specific demographic or interest group, then 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. The benefit, of course, is that you don’t waste money on having people that don’t care to see those ads.
  3. 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 ensure you get the most value out of any money you put in.
  4. Don’t forget that almost every social media outlet now has their own PPC advertising system. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube are the most popular of these. 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 business.
  5. Install the conversion tracking code for each inside your Ecwid control panel (link to General → Cart) so you know where the completed sales came from and you can repeat.

Social Media

There are many reasons why social media is an effective tool for selling your products. It’s cost effective, there are billions of users on social media and it helps build a community around a store! But with new social media platforms popping up everyday, your marketing options may seem overwhelming. Remember: you don’t have to be everywhere at once. Explore your social media options wisely and use platforms that best showcase your products and reach the audience you’re looking for. Once you pick the best platform for you, check out our post on 5 ways to market your products on social media.

  1. Facebook is a must have. It has customizable marketing and tracking tools with a massive reach. Every merchant should create a Facebook business page. And of course you can add your Ecwid store to your Facebook page!
  2. Twitter is an excellent outlet if you have the time and resources to send consistently good tweets to develop a following. Twitter is also an easy place to encourage customers to share items from your store as well.
  3. Instagram and Pinterest will be nice homes for you 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.
  4. LinkedIn makes a natural platform for selling products or services geared to businesses and professionals.
  5. Reddit attention is a surefire win for your store. 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 here so you can reap the rewards of having e-commerce street cred.

If you’re reading this blog, then you’ve already taken the first step toward your dream of starting your online store. And, although there is much more to learn about the different ways to market your store, give these basic methods a try to start generating traffic and sales, and happy selling!


Read more about marketing:

How to Promote Your Brand Outside of Social Media
 — Sample of Business Plan For Online Store
 — How to Become Instagram-Famous In an Algorithm-based Feed
 — How To Write A Welcome Email That Sells

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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