This article aims to provide answers to some of the common questions on ecommerce marketing. The answers provided here will give you a better insight into how ecommerce marketing works and how you can optimise your online sales strategy for better results.

  1. What is ecommerce marketing?

Ecommerce marketing is a method of creating awareness about the products and services a brand sells online. The ultimate aim of this awareness is to increase sales. Ecommerce marketing typically involves applying some of the principles of conventional marketing to a data-driven, multichannel internet environment. At its foundation, ecommerce marketing revolves around boosting website traffic and optimising the user’s online experience so that visitors are converted into shoppers. To this end, these two components (driving website traffic and optimising user experience) should be an integral part of your ecommerce marketing strategy.

Ecommerce marketing involves a lot of moving parts such as paid search, search engine optimisation and social media marketing; all of which work together to help online businesses meet their sales expectations.

  1. What is direct marketing in ecommerce?

Direct marketing in ecommerce is a system of advertising that seeks to compel the target audience to carry out a specific action designed by the marketer. In direct marketing, the marketer focuses on promoting a specific product or service and uses language that appeals directly to the customer who needs it, compelling them to act – either to request more information, sign up for a subscription service, visit a website or make a direct purchase.

Using direct marketing in ecommerce requires careful planning and an understanding of your target audience. When done properly, direct marketing can give your ecommerce marketing efforts a substantial boost.

  1. What is an ecommerce strategy?

We all know of the adage that says, “failure to plan is planning to fail”, this aptly sums up the importance of strategy to the success of an ecommerce marketing campaign. An ecommerce strategy is the sum total of the actions, tools, resources and channels used to meet your ecommerce sales expectations. In other words, your ecommerce strategy is everything that you do to attract customers to your online store, close a sale, expand your brand reach and retain customers.

As pointed out previously, driving traffic to your website and providing the optimum user experience are two of the most important components of any ecommerce campaign and the steps to achieving this must be part of any ecommerce marketing strategy.

  1. What is the best way to promote my ecommerce business?

If you don’t promote your ecommerce business, chances are no one will know about it, or you will receive very minimal traffic that will not do anything for your sales projections. There are a variety of methods you can adapt to your marketing strategy, to help you promote your online business; some of the more common methods of promoting your ecommerce business include search engine optimisation, paid search or PPC advertising, email marketing, affiliate marketing, social media marketing, blogging and, most effectively, word of mouth.

Additionally, if your ecommerce business is targeted at a geographical market, i.e. you sell products and services only to customers in a specific state or country, creating a Google My Business (GMB) account will afford your online business the opportunity to appear in related search results for users in the region.

  1. What is conversion rate optimisation?

You have your website set up just as you want it, and have done extensive promotions on social media, now you have tons of visitors coming to your site, but no one is buying. Driving customers to your ecommerce site is only half the battle, your ecommerce is only successful when people are buying from you and this only happens when you optimise for conversion.

Conversion rate optimisation is simply the actions you take to improve sales on your site from the same number of visitors you are receiving. There is no hard and fast rule to conversion rate optimisation, as the business goals of each ecommerce website is different, but, ultimately, a better understanding of your customers will help you position your website for better sales.

  1. What is a unique selling proposition?

No matter how unique your product and services are, you may not make any substantial sales if you are unable to differentiate your offerings from those of your competitors. The uniqueness of your brand is defined by your unique selling proposition.

Your unique selling proposition, or USP, is what makes your brand’s products a better choice to those of the competition and explains why customers should choose to buy from you. Your unique selling proposition can be just one thing or a variety of things. For instance, your USP can be your pricing system, your packaging, your customer service or a combination of all three. This is what gives you the competitive advantage in the market place.

  1. What is buyer persona and why does it matter?

In simple terms, a buyer persona is the makeup of your ideal customer. Your buyer persona describes your customers, who they are, where they come from, their challenges and how they arrive at the decisions they make. When creating buyer personas for your ecommerce business, it is vital that you include factors such as demographics, motivations, behaviour patterns and so on. This will help your create product offerings that appeal to the type of people you need. A buyer provides you with the insight you need in product development and will play a key role in helping to attract valuable leads and customers.

  1. What is market segmentation?

Not everyone who comes to your ecommerce website comes for the same purpose, and this uniqueness of purpose requires individual personalised experiences. Market segmentation is the best way to deliver this. Market segmentation is simply dividing your site visitors into groups based on their unique requirements. Market segmentation helps you identify the unique needs of individual customers so that you can create tailor-made experiences to satisfy each of them, therefore helping your marketing efforts and boosting sales.

For example, a first-time visitor can be shown a welcome page aimed at encouraging an immediate purchase or a return visit, but a returning customer is already coming to buy so they can be shown a discount or rewards page.

  1. What is bounce rate and why does it matter?

When visitors arrive at your website, not all of them will make, or want to make, an instant purchase. Some may leave because they could not find what they came for after going through various pages on your site. But, those that leave almost immediately without even visiting other pages are said to have bounced. Therefore, your ecommerce website’s bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who land on your website and exit almost immediately. The bounce rate is an effective tool for determining the success of your ecommerce marketing efforts and the effectiveness of your website in retaining visitors (it shows how well visitors like your site). If you have a high bounce rate, it is obvious that there is something wrong with your website. One of the most common causes of a high bounce rate is poor user experience.

  1. What is cart abandonment rate and why does it matter?

Cart abandonment refers to when a visitor leaves your site after adding items to the shopping cart but without finishing the purchase. Cart abandonment is an indication that there is something you need to work on.

Visitors may leave items in the cart without completing the purchase process because they cannot find your payment options, or your site does not have the payment option they want to use. It could also be that your site is calculating the total cost of items wrongly. When you notice that you are experiencing a high cart abandonment rate, take time to find the cause so that you don’t end up losing more sales.