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38 Actionable eCommerce Marketing Strategies To Win More Sales in 2017

 ecommerce marketing

Use these insider eCommerce marketing tips to develop and implement a winning eCommerce marketing strategy that converts more sales for your online store this year.

With so many marketing channels and tools to choose from, you might be wondering what you can actually do to significantly grow your eCommerce business this year.

We interviewed the top marketing experts in the industry to compile a list of the top eCommerce marketing strategies you and your team can put into action, quickly and easily, to make 2017 your best year ever.

Actionable Insights To Grow Your eCommerce Business in 2017 from SmartMail on Vimeo.

All Strategies Include:
– An easy to implement marketing strategy for your eCommerce site
– Tips and tricks to make it work for your business
– The top marketing automation tools to use in 2017

It gets better…

In this article, we’ll reveal the exact marketing strategies straight from the experts themselves including direct quotes from interviews and actionable tips you can use for your business today.

Keep reading to discover:
– Social media best practices
– Optimization tips and tricks
– Email marketing personalization tactics
– The best marketing automation tools for eCommerce
– And much more!

1. Offer Social Login to Make Your Website Mobile Friendly

Peter Messmer, the Director of Growth for AddShoppers shares this eCommerce marketing strategy:

“One reason you want to offer social login, is that it helps reduce friction in the checkout process. Especially for new customers, instead of having to fill out the form to create your account, if you can just click a button to create that account with Facebook, for example, that’s basically removed an entire step from the checkout. This becomes even more important when you think about mobile.”

Obviously, mobile usage has risen drastically, and it’s still on an insane growth rate. It’s only going to get bigger, and that’s really where it’s a lot more annoying to fill out forms – on a phone.

It’s one thing to have to fill out a new customer registration form on your computer when you have a laptop and a keyboard, but on your phone when all you have is a touch keypad, it’s even more annoying.

Social login just helps out that much more if you have it on your mobile site, which makes it really worth having.

2. Re-Send Unopened Emails With Different Subject Lines to Increase Open Rates

Daniel Kohn, Co-Founder of SmartMail shares this eCommerce marketing strategy:

“Did you know that you can resend emails to people who didn’t open the first one you actually sent? This works really well for both newsletters and lifecycle emails or automation-based emails.”

The idea goes like this: You don’t want to bombard shoppers with too many emails, so instead, target only shoppers who didn’t actually open the email that you sent.

Wait a day, check to see if that person opened the previous email.

If not, send the same email again but just change the subject line. It’s the exact same email, because they didn’t see it.

This approach captures a lot more shoppers and allows you to reach the top of the inbox again.

Create more urgency in the subject line the second time around because, obviously, if they didn’t open it, something a little bit more aggressive can get shoppers to open the next one. This gets you an increase in opens, click-through rate, and you’ll probably see bump in sales, as well.

3. Add User Generated Content to Your Product Pages

Tali Shani, Director of Content at Yotpo shares this eCommerce marketing strategy:

“One of the main barriers for people purchasing online is that they have questions that are not answered by the content on your product page. If you let people ask questions on your product page, you can then send automated emails to the last five people who bought that product to enlist them for help. Making this simple change on your product page has all of these super cool implications.”

First of all, you’re collecting more user generated content, that fresh content that’s being crawled by Google.

You’re also creating that human-to-human connection. Shoppers prefer to hear from other customers who bought the product rather than hearing from you. They want to hear it from someone who actually used the product or experienced the service.

And the other thing is that it’s lessening the load on your customer service team.

When questions are getting answered, you discover what questions shoppers are asking and how customers view your products. You can use all this feedback to improve your product descriptions or pages.

Plus, the customers you enlisted to answer the questions come back to your store again. You see huge click-through rates on those emails of people returning to your store.

4. Use Popups To Offer Clever Incentives That Won’t Break Your Bottom Line

Erik Christiansen, Co-Founder and CEO of JustUno, shares this eCommerce marketing strategy:

“The number one tip that I can provide today, which will save retailers a lot of margin and increase their sales the best is offer a really big number up front. So, you can say 40% off your first item, a single item, but it’s only one item versus your entire cart. Also, drive traffic to your sales section, so you can lead with ‘75% off. Click here!’ There are smart ways to offer incentives to your shoppers without hurting your profit margins.”

5. Send Highly Personalized Emails To More Abandoning Shoppers

Daniel Kohn, Co-Founder of SmartMail shares this eCommerce marketing strategy:

“People tend to think that personalization means putting a shopper’s name in the subject line or at the top of the email saying, “Hi, Bob.” But really, personalization in email means generating unique content within each email that matches exactly what each shopper does on your site. This creates a completely customized user experience.”

When you send personalized emails that match the behavior of your shoppers, your open rates, click-through rates, and revenue from email are going to be higher than regular, non-personalized email campaigns, like newsletters, for example.

Keep sending newsletters but you should definitely expand your email marketing strategy to include personalized emails with dynamic, behaviorally relevant content.

The most common campaign that matches shoppers’ behavior is cart abandonment – emails sent to shoppers who add an item to their cart but don’t complete their order. You can personalize that campaign by repopulating the cart content back into the email.

But what about shoppers who browsed other pages on your site without making it any further?

You can segment those groups out and send them emails directly related to where they got to in their journey on your website before they left.

That’s the level of personalization that Amazon and really big retailers are focused on because they know that these types of personalized email campaigns are much more successful at converting sales than relying solely on regular newsletters.

6. Gather Qualitative Data From Your Live Chat to Optimize Your Site

Karl Pawlewicz, Head of Communications at Olark, shares this eCommerce marketing strategy:

“People used to put chat on their site to help their customers and make their customers happy. Now, people put chat on their site because they want to add qualitative data to their quantitative data. They want to learn how to speak the language that their customers use and apply that to their marketing collateral. I’ve seen so many companies now auditing their chat transcripts.”

If customers are asking a certain question over and over again, then you think, “Let’s put that in our FAQ section, or let’s build a help page for that.

You move from getting chat to cut down on phone volume to now using your chat transcripts to cut down on chat volume because you could answer all these questions in a self-help section. That’s a really powerful way of looking at chat as a data tool.

7. Use Real Shoppers to Test Your Site for Maximum Optimization

Jamie Appleseed, Co-Founder of Baymard Institute, shares this eCommerce marketing strategy:

“When it comes to improving user experience on your site, the key is in the word itself. The User. Approach your site, not from your own perspective, but from the user’s perspective. And that can be really difficult because we know our own brand, we know our own site, we work on it day in, day out. Often, we know it way too well which is why we recommend to merchants to do their own user testing.”

Just observing a couple of users going through your site and see how they’re perceiving it will really give you a whole new appreciation of just how real shoppers interpret your site versus how you interpret it.

Approach the user, not your site, as an outside user, not somebody who is working for your brand and seen the site a thousand times and cares about the success of the site.

Your customers probably don’t care that much about your site. They just want to get in there, find your product, and buy whatever they need.

And if your site isn’t really working too well for the user, if it’s too difficult, shoppers will head to your competitor. Obviously, you want to avoid that.

It’s about understanding all the different needs of your users, then trying to put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself ‘How can I best cater to those processes?’”

8. Tell A Story On Social Media to Get Shoppers’ Attention

Daniel Feiler, Senior Director of Communications at eBay Asia Pacific, shares this eCommerce marketing strategy:

“When it comes to social media there is a wide scope to do good storytelling. It’s not an exact science. It requires a lot of creativity, and on top of that, ultimately human interest. I mean, if your story is connected to people, and something that a person did or overcame, your social media post now has a human element to it that is super important.”

Although social media may seem like the last place you’d want to tell a story, due to the shorthand style and post-length restrictions, it’s actually a great channel to connect with shoppers through storytelling.

Since social media is all about people, it makes sense that the best social media posts have a uniquely human element to them.

It’s actually been scientifically proven that storytelling is one of the most effective ways to activate the brain sensors that are responsible for building emotional connections.

9. Own Your Social Media Channels to Keep Shoppers Coming Back No Matter What

Eric Bandholz, Founder and CEO of BeardBrand.com, shares this eCommerce marketing strategy:

“What you are selling will drive you to a certain social media channel. Start with one or two channels that fit your industry or niche, and really own it. We started with YouTube and Tumblr as our two primary channels, and as we grew, we added more channels like Facebook and Twitter. The key is to establish your presence with your shoppers.

In any given second, YouTube or Tumblr or Google can change something with their algorithms, and then your content no longer shows up or it’s very difficult to find.

But if you’re training your customers to come to your site, and you’ve owned your social media presence, you know that you will be the first thing shoppers look up every morning when they reach for their smartphones.

When you get control over that, you’re less affected by the whims of the social media companies and you own that. It’s very important to own that communication platform for your audience.

10. Create a Viral Product Video to Get Shoppers Excited

Stephan Spencer, SEO Magician and Senior Contributor at StephanSpencer.com and SearchEngineLand.com, shares this eCommerce marketing strategy:

“You need a secret weapon to make your video go viral, and that secret ingredient is simply that it has to be remarkable. I like to use Seth Godin’s definition of remarkable. It has to be worth remarking about.”

Your viral video doesn’t have to be the very best, the most interesting most humorous the most controversial out there, it just has to have something worth remarking about.

In order to do that, you have to think outside the box. Product videos that go crazy viral in terms of outside the box.

Incredibly popular, hugely watched product videos can be unusual, but they can set your brand apart. These are the sorts of things you share with your friends. Could be funny, hilarious, music videos.

Plus your social media marketing will be most effective when you actually have something viral to spread.

Most shoppers no longer read product descriptions, relying solely on visual cues and validation. Think outside the box and embrace your creative side!

Create a product video that is remarkable and makes people talk so that your video and site can go viral.

11. Gradually Introduce Rewards to Keep Your Shoppers Engaged

Mike Rossi, Co-Founder and CEO of Sweet Tooth Rewards, shares this eCommerce marketing strategy:

“Figure out the program’s rewards and the different points first. Then it’s easy to start doing the marketing. We recommend a “staged loyalty program launch.” This is where you start with a very basic loyalty program and gradually introduce your shoppers to your entire loyalty program over time.”

Start by offering rewards for only one or two actions, and then every month or two, you start releasing more functionalities like, “Now you can earn points when it’s your birthday,” or, “Now you can earn points for social sharing.”

That allows you to constantly set a cadence of reminders for your customer base.

If you launch the full program at once, then it might not get as much attention on an ongoing basis. When you do a staged launch, it allows you to easily get the attention of your shoppers.

12. Automate Social Media Posts That Promote Your Entire Product Inventory

Meenal, Malik, Head of Marketing at Outfy, shares this eCommerce marketing strategy:

“You need to plan out your social media promotions. Use social media to promote your actual products. You can promote your entire collection or a particular product that you want to introduce. Automating your product promotion posts is key.”

You have a whole store to run. You’re short on time. You’ve got thousands of products.

How do you select which products to promote and when? Any one of your 10,000 products is equally good.

Put your store on autopilot, and use a social automation tool to select the products for you and post them on the networks at your chosen time intervals at the frequency that you choose. The idea is with the promotions that you need to get the traffic back to your site.

13. Use Personalized Product Recommendations In Email Like a Boss

Daniel Kohn, Co-Founder of SmartMail shares this eCommerce marketing strategy:

“There’s a big difference between having product recommendations in emails and having them on your actual website. Most on-site product recommendations are really personalized because the product catalog is all there. It’s really easy to plug in different recommendations on your various site pages. Email is another story…”

When it comes to email, most merchants are using really basic algorithms that generally focus on site-wide best sellers.

If that’s the case, then you’re not personalizing anything, which is a shame because personalization, especially in email, can really boost campaign performance and conversions.

What you can do is actually populate your emails with personalized product recommendations, meaning recommendations that are related to the product a shopper viewed or the category they browsed.

Combine that with related upsells, downsells, cross-sells, category-related best sellers plus site-wide best sellers, and you’ve got some serious personalization.

14. Display Ratings and Reviews On Your Product Pages

Jordan Garner, Director of Marketing at TrustPilot, shares this eCommerce marketing strategy:

“If your shoppers haven’t found validation for their purchase before they started the shopping process, they will look for it during, and that can cause them to bounce or abandon shopping carts and things like that. People will do their research.”

90% of consumers say that they make buying decisions based on online reviews, so they’re going to look for them one way or another.

Either serve them up, make it easy for them, and make sure that the reviews that you’re serving up to them are super-verified, super-trusted, all the things that they’re gonna look for, or else they’re gonna look on their own.

If they go looking on their own, then you don’t know what they’re going to find or you don’t know if they’re gonna get distracted and never come back.

Make it easy for them.

There’s visible conversion uplift from adding product reviews to product pages.

Research shows that consumers trust products reviews more than product descriptions. In fact, shoppers don’t even read descriptions anymore. They go immediately to reviews.

If you don’t have that critical quantity of product reviews for whatever reason for that individual product, use those company-level reviews to supplement it.

Then backing up one step from that, you can also put them on category or search result pages in an aggregate form, like an overall star rating at that level, to make sure that they’re actually clicking through to those products.

These days it’s all about the automatic availability of reviews with every shopping experience you have.

We’re already seeing that, for example, you search for a location on Google Maps, and reviews are shown right there with it. If you are sharing a location on Facebook, there might be stars next to the business.

Reviews are now at your fingertips right when you’re at the height of your shopping experience, so this is becoming crucial for conversions.

15. Optimize the Display of Your On-Site Product Recommendations

Murat Soysal, Co-Founder of Segmentify, shares this eCommerce marketing strategy:

“How you display product recommendations is just as important as the algorithm used to display them. Placing your product recommendations in the right spot can yield up to 3x higher CTRs. According to our calculations, around 50% of all traffic to a single eCommerce website goes to the category pages. Taking this into consideration, you can place your product recommendation widgets on the top of category pages.”

This may bother your eCommerce managers because they have their very nice category pages, but if you do not position one recommendation widget at the top of your category page, you are probably missing out on around 3% of your revenue.

If you place product recommendations at the top of a category page, you can actually guide your customers directly to your product pages.

How many of your customers are actually scrolling down in the product page? Less than 50%.

This means that if you put your recommendation widgets at the very bottom of your product pages that means that 50% of your shoppers will never even see these recommendations.

Display your recommendation widgets higher up so your shoppers can see them.

And what about how you actually display them?

The experts at Segmentify  report that more than one line of recommendations doesn’t necessarily work better than the one line. Product recommendations in sliders work much better.

16. Focus on Personalizing the Shopper Experience From Start to End

Vanhishikha Bhargava, Growth Marketer at Exit Bee, shares this eCommerce marketing strategy:

“I have seen eCommerce stores running multiple ads in order to drive traffic to their websites. But once a visitor does reach their website, it seems like their job is done. That’s where they go wrong. It is important to focus on the customer experience right from the first time he has visited your store.”

Based on where a shopper came from, what he was looking for, whether your store has the product or not, your focus should remain on making it easy for your shopper to find solutions he came looking for.

For instance, we all know how you want to re-target a visitor before he leaves your site.

But why not make sure that the popup you’re using actually has something contextual to offer?

What will a shopper looking for tshirts do with a popup offering a discount on shorts? Thinking like the customer is really important.

17. Optimize Your eCommerce Product Pages With Filters and Improved Descriptions

Sophie Heward, Marketing Coordinator at Surge Marketing Solutions, shares this eCommerce marketing strategy:

“One great way of contributing to an increase in sales on an eCommerce site is by making your products easy for the user to find through filters. Another is by making them easy to understand through good written content. A combination of the two is even better!”

If a person is presented with pages of products and no way to organize them, they will inevitably lose interest.

It is comparable to how the majority of people would never look past the third page of a Google search – there is simply too much choice and not enough detail.

This is why a filter is needed to bring products that are desirable to a specific user to the forefront. Some options for filters could include: price, size, color, style etc.

As for written content – products with a detailed description that is also SEO-friendly will be easier to find and understand for both humans and search engine crawlers.

Ultimately, a website that guides a customer and makes a decision easier for them is much more likely to generate sales than one that does not.

People want to understand a product before they commit to buying it online and they want to make a purchase that is as speedy and efficient as possible.

Filtering your products and giving them a thorough description makes this possible.

18. Reduce Cart Abandonment and Increase AOV With These 3 Tips

Peter Illiev, CTO of CloudCart, shares this eCommerce marketing strategy:

“My top 3 favorite tips for eCommerce are very simple yet very effective for reducing cart abandonment and increase your average order value, also your revenue. They address your chcekout and thank you pages and your order confirmation emails.”

1) On the Checkout page put a small popup offering 5% additional discount, which is valid only if the user finishes his order in the next 5 minutes.

Based on urgency, this one is very simple and works really well on reducing the cart abandonment.

2) Put recommended products on your Thank You Page.

This is the first place where you can sell again to your customers, immediately.

Once the user makes purchase, he enters the so-called “buying mode” and is around 80% more willing to buy something again in the next few minutes, so don’t miss this chance.

If you don’t use a fancy software to generate product recommendations based on user’s behavior, just put your top selling products there.

3) Put recommended products on your Order Confirmation Email.

This is the second place after the Thank You Page where you could sell again to your customers.

Same thing as above – the best option is to use software which will include recommended products based on user’s behavior, but for the beginning you could start with manually adding your top selling products.

19. Focusing on the Entire User Experience for Better Mobile Optimization

Christina Hooper, COO and Agile Marketing Coordinator at Sparkitive, shares this eCommerce marketing strategy:

“I think a big area that’s often lacking in most online stores is mobile optimization. It’s important for most sites, but it’s critical for eCommerce. So many people are shopping from mobile and it’s growing every day. Truly optimizing your store’s mobile experience is a lot more involved than just purchasing or using a responsive template.”

You have to really take the time to use your site as a customer would on a variety of devices… phones, tablets, and even small laptops.

Even if your design is optimized in general, there’s a good chance that your content, product images, product descriptions, and check out procedures may not be.

How often do you run into sites all the time that look amazing until step 2 of the checkout, or until you click on that one product where someone wrote a novel for a product description or included a funky sized image and it ruined the whole thing?

You have to make an impression and close the deal on a tiny screen while a user is likely doing other things, so it needs to load fast, be organized well, and get them moved along quickly before they get distracted.

If you don’t have time to check every single product at once, then start with your top sellers and work your way down the list.

Look at every single one on a phone and tablet and make sure they look amazing and that they present everything vital in a quick read so you can get a faster purchase.

20. Up-sell and Cross-sell Like Amazon to Increase AOV and Boost On-Site Engagement

Quan MT, Founder and CEO of Beeketing, shares this eCommerce marketing strategy:

“Do you know that current customers are 50% more likely to add more items to cart, and spend 31% more on one purchase, compared to new visitors? In 3 years, our team has interviewed no less than 6,800 online shopper owners to learn insights about how people are selling. 80% of our respondents shift their focus on growing traffic, while less than 35% talk about increasing average order value per customer.”

Amazon succeed because they leverage all possible on-site (and post-purchases) tactics to sell as much as possible to each customer.

That works the same for every small & medium business owners: if you don’t up-sell and cross-sell, you’re leaving money on the table.

But, don’t do that manually, come up with your strategies and delegate the task to the technology.

While it takes you endless hours to understand shoppers’ behavior and interests on your store, machine learning and big data are your guys to help track the personal behavior of each buy and upsell the right products they may want to buy.

By trying to sell more to each customer, you increase the average order value per purchase and make a break in your total sales.

21. Make Every Detail Count in Your Email Subject Lines For Higher Open Rates

Niraj Ranjan Rout, Founder of HiverHQ, shares this eCommerce marketing strategy:

“With email subject lines every small detail matters – the tone, the length, the words etc. The only way to zero in on the effective parameters is by constantly split testing and being creative. This worked for us, our email open rates are about 80% which is much higher than the industry average.”

22. Choose Call To Action Button Colors Wisely to Evoke Positivity

Navneet Singh, Founder of Emarketingblogger.com, shares this eCommerce marketing strategy:

“The color of the Call-To-Action buttons should be chosen very wisely because a color is an essential part of how we experience. And colors play an important role in conversion optimization by converting more traffic to sales. The different colors can lift us up, or bring us down because colors are said to be associated with our emotions. So, make sure you chose the best color combinations for Add to Cart & Buy Now buttons.”

23. Build Trust and Recognition With This Email Sequence Strategy

Simon Slade, Co-Founder and CEO of Salehoo, shares this eCommerce marketing strategy:

“Be careful with the hard sell, but don’t avoid it entirely. Overusing the hard sell can alienate prospective customers because of its commanding overtones, but when used strategically, it can be dramatically improve conversion rates. At Affilorama, we have found that one hard-sell email for every six content-rich emails creates a good rate of return.”

The first six emails are soft sells, providing helpful information to our readers with product promotion used minimally and only where appropriate.

After building trust and earning recognition from your subscribers, you can pitch the hard sell in the seventh email.

This strategy is a win-win because your readers receive useful information, and you earn their loyalty as paying customers.

24. Reducing Friction at Checkout to Increase Marketing ROI

Thien-Lan Weber, Chief Marketing Officer of OneStepCheckout, shares this eCommerce marketing strategy:

“So you’ve invested resource and budget to drive visitors to your online store. You’ve come up with clever strategies and tools like site search, targeted promotions or product recommendations to drive visitors to add a product to their carts. You’ve even managed to up-sell or cross-sell to increase their order value. But what happens 7 out of 10 times? The online shopper walks away without placing an order.”
Studies have shown that the top 3 reasons for cart abandonment are:
1) unexpected costs
2) complexity of the checkout form and process
3) page loading time, site errors and crashes
The Baymard Institute estimates that  you can achieve a 35% average conversion rate increase from better checkout design.
 
By removing friction at checkout you can maximize the impact and return of your marketing actions. Reduce cart abandonment and get that extra shopper to place their order.
Understand what is driving cart abandonment on your site and follow some of those best practices:

– Offer free shipping if possible, advertise it loud and clear or be transparent with tax and shipping costs by showing Order Totals upfront- Manage delivery date expectations

– Don’t ask shoppers to create an account… yet. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to ask them later.

– Similarly, don’t ask too much data up front. Let your shopper checkout fast. Once they become a customer you can collect more data.

– Simplify/assist with form filling. Auto populating addresses using Google Places or other address verification tools will save them time and avoid shipping errors.

– Work with a payment provider that shoppers know and trust, who can also help minimize fraud and maximize payment clearance.

25. Send These 5 Crucial Email Campaigns to Shoppers to Increase AOV and LTV

Robert Kilonzo, Business Development Manager at Omnistar Affiliate Software, shares this eCommerce marketing strategy:

“Implementing a full campaign strategy is one of the most important steps in eCommerce email marketing. Setting up email autoresponders and email campaigns drives traffic and sales for your store.”
Email marketing is about developing that relationship with your customer.
There are certain email campaigns you can use to develop that relationship. You don’t want to mess up or lose sales by not implementing the proper autoresponders.
The 5 best types of email autoresponders you must set up for your store include:
– Browse abandon and abandoned cart emails
– Email receipts
– Lead nurture emails
– Onboarding emails
– Welcome emails

26. Use GIFs to Attract New Shoppers and Catch The Attention of Returning Customers

Mansi Dhorda, PR and Communications Manager at PRmention, shares this eCommerce marketing strategy:

“As we know, visuals are popular with millennial shoppers. Along with rich and engaging videos, and infographics, GIFs are another form of content that ought to be considered in an eCommerce marketing strategy. These non-traditional, exceptional visuals can make you stand apart from your competitors, attract new customers, and drive more sales.”
GIFs are not just appealing, but effective as well.
Also, they are more expressive than images and creating them turns out cheaper than making videos. Additionally, they upload faster compared to videos.

GIFs are simple animated files that can be embedded in:

– Emails
– Social Media posts
– Blog posts
– Product pages
– Landing pages, and more”
For more business tips check out All Business Essentials.

27. Use AMPs to Make Your eCommerce Website Smartphone-Friendly

Philip Likos-Corbett, Information Architect at Spot Studio, shares this eCommerce marketing strategy:

According to Google’s Consumer Barometer, 7% of online purchases are now being made on mobile devices with over half (57%) of Google searches taking place on smartphones. It really does go without saying that your eCommerce site should be optimized for mobile in every way. From navigation to checkout, you need to be making sure that your users can do what they want with ease and, most importantly, fast.”

With the former you’re going to have to tread through the quagmire of usability and a/b tests.

Thankfully for the latter there’s a nifty little solution being pushed this year that will help your sites load quickly.

Accelerated Mobile Pages (also know as AMPs) is a Google-backed project which aims to speed up the delivery of content to mobiles by using AMP HTML, AMP JS and the Google AMP Cache. AMP HTML is simply HTML with custom ‘AMP’ properties.

These properties enforce restrictions on your HTML, ensuring reliable performance on mobile, and extensions for building rich content that standard HTML doesn’t offer.

AMP JS is javascript that ensures AMP HTML pages are rendered quickly.

And the Google AMP Cache is a proxy-based content delivery network which delivers AMP documents. Together they are the trifecta of fast loading mobile pages.

Sounds pretty sweet, right?

Well, yes and no.

Whilst you’re going to get better performance from your website, you will have to run two different versions of each page; one standard, one AMP.

For WordPress there are plugins that you can use, which will make your life a lot easier, but the practicalities can be taxing if you don’t know what you’re doing.

You will have to use correct Schema.org markup for your pages, and be diligent with how your pages are constructed.

Additionally, and fairly obviously, you are going to lose some of those neat little JS tricks you have going on on your website.

This can extend to comments and forms, and how images are displayed, though there are a wealth of ‘extended components’ (read: plugins) that you can use to help.

So should you be using AMPs? If you’re developer-less and lack knowledge of HTML, this probably isn’t for you. If you’re code-savvy, or have a development team, yes. Absolutely yes.

28. Increase Brand Awareness, Repeat Purchases, and Loyalty with Your Packaging and Shipping Service Levels

Heather Nix, Marketing Manager at ShippingEasy, shares this eCommerce marketing strategy:

“Consider taking advantage of package visibility to advertise your brand and increase awareness. Do the math on whether custom, branded boxes are worth the extra cost versus generic or carrier-supplied free boxes. Regardless of the box you use, you can cheaply feature your brand with adhesive stickers and on packing tape, as well as on packing slips. You can increase repeat purchases and loyalty by ensuring on-time delivery.” 

According to UPS, 48% of shoppers considered guaranteed delivery dates an important factor in checking out.

Likewise, research shows that on-time delivery is a major factor in repeat purchases, so make sure your operations and partnerships are set up to achieve it.

Also, take advantage of delivery-related communication opportunities, like sending purchasers or recipients frequent status updates and post-order follow-ups.

Consider including promotions with these messages to encourage repeat purchases.

Lastly, turn returns into opportunities.

From a marketing perspective—whatever your return policies and charges—think about the potential of running win-back campaigns directed toward customers who return.

You could, for example, issue a credit to the customer’s account equal to the amount they paid for return shipping as a reason to come back. It is the rare person that likes to leave money on the table.

29. Emulate the Best Brands on Instagram to Quickly Gain Huge, Engaged Followings That Convert

Giles Adam Thomas, CEO of RisePro.co, shares this eCommerce marketing strategy:

“As a marketer you’re always looking for a positive ROI, a return on investment on your marketing efforts. One of the best ways to ensure you’re making more than your spending, and then some; is to reverse engineer previously successful campaigns.”
Two brands that stand out are Chubbies and Old Spice. Chubbies using ‘bro-humor’ specifically.
By speaking the language of their target market or as I call it ‘visitor vocab’ they connect with them on a deep emotional level that improves brand recall and their bottom line.

30. Use Automation to Evaluate Your Campaigns by Revenue, Not Just Clicks.

Markus Zirn, VP of Business Development at Workato, shares this eCommerce marketing strategy:
“Ultimately, the true test of a campaign is the revenue it yields. But figuring out whether a campaign was profitable or not can be tricky–there are so many disparate data sources to pull from. Automation makes it simple to transfer information between apps instantaneously.”
For example, you can automatically match the information of a purchaser from your eCommerce app, such as Shopify, with a lead in your marketing automation app, such as Marketo.
Matching them manually would take too much time and leave room for errors, but automation makes getting customer insights–like purchasing history–easy.
You can then use these insights to implement highly targeted email strategies, as well as to evaluate a campaign’s overall profitability.”

31. Invest In High Quality Product And Catalog Data

Isaiah Bollinger, Chief Executive Officer of Trellis, shares this eCommerce marketing strategy:

“Product data is the cornerstone of any eCommerce website. The product page is where someone is going to evaluate the product and make his or her decision about buying that product. Therefore having high quality content about the product and even other ancillary things like fulfillment capabilities, rewards, and more are critical to convincing the buyer to purchase online.”

A big problem with businesses, especially smaller ones, is underestimating how much investment needs to go into creating high quality product data and displaying that data in a user friendly manner online.

The experts at Trellis suggest that businesses look into leveraging a PIM system like Sales Layer or Salsify to better organize and distribute their product data to all channels.

A PIM solution or even a more well thought out catalog data creation process can help your customers identify the right products more quickly.

Better data will improve your website’s category structure, product pages, sidebar filtering, conversion rate, and search capabilities.

A PIM solution can also help you distribute quality product content to market places and distributors so that everywhere you sell is using the right data.”

32. Think about the Upsell and Cross Sell

Tracey Wallace, Editor in Chief of the BigCommerce Blog shares this useful eCommerce marketing strategy:
“Your email list is one of the most valuable assets you have as an online business. Emails remain some of the most viewed and engaged wth campaign on the internet (in comparison to social media, PPC, etc.). Plus, you don’t have to pay for it! Work on turning those email subscribers into customers, or turning customers into repeat customers, with Buy Buttons.”
Your ecommerce platform should offer Buy Buttons you can drop into emails from any platform provider. Some Buy Buttons, like BigCommerce’s, let you choose where you send your customers (product detail page, cart or directly to checkout) as well as allow you to add Google Analytics goal tracking and UTM tags so you can measure the success of your campaigns and A/B test various options.
 
Here are two examples from Power Support. One of these leads customers to the product detail page and the other directly to checkout.

33. Open a New Communication Channel for Your eShop

Rares Banescu, CEO & Founder of Retargeting shares this eCommerce marketing strategy:

“Our application is based on three core concepts: the first one is about tracking each visitor of an e-shop and beginning the profiling process, the second one is aiming to complete the process with automated personalized communication to increase the conversion rate and the sales, and the last one is about performance optimization.

Although many marketers are using personalization, that doesn’t mean they know how to effectively deliver the right content, which resonates more with the visitors. To create a completely automated customized user experience, each marketer needs to determine what messages to deliver on-site, by e-mail, SMS or push notifications.”

When you send personalized e-mails that match the behavior of your visitors, your open rates, click-through rates and sales are going to be higher than regular, non-personalized e-mail campaigns. A marketing automation tool opens a new communication channel and the marketing strategy is enriched with dynamic, behaviorally relevant content.

The most common campaign that matches visitors’ behavior is one based on the cart abandonment rate. In average, an online store has 70% abandoned carts. Retargeting can recover up to 25% of them by sending automated personalized e-mails to the visitors that didn’t complete their order.

But what about visitors who simply browsed other pages on a website? Our proprietary algorithm can segment also those groups and send them e-mails directly related to their user journey on the website before they left.

That’s the level of personalization that worldwide retailers are focused on because they know that these types of personalized e-mail campaigns are much more successful at converting sales than relying solely on regular newsletters.

34. Structure Your URLs to Extract Product Data More Easily

Lee Jackson, Digital Marketing Consultant and founder of Web Presence, shares this eCommerce marketing tip:

“Make better business decisions, and be more efficient by structuring your URLs with data gathering in mind.”

Can you easily extract the total session and conversion data for all of your products In Google Analytics (GA)? Or is it a lengthy, complicated process?

If you structure your URL’s with data gathering in mind it should only take a few seconds.

By placing your products in a /products/ folder, you can easily gather the data by visiting the GA Landing Page Report and filtering all URLs contained within the /products/ folder.

You could go one step further and gather data for all products within a certain category by adding category folders to your URL’s, i.e. /products/televisions/. Just visit the Landing Page Report in GA and filter all the URL’s contained within the /televisions/ folder.

35. Use “Flex” Targeting On Facebook To Find Buyers

Darrell Evans, Co-founder of Yokel Local shares this eCommmerce Facebook marketing strategy:

“As we know, your target audience is on Facebook for the social experience. No one logs in with credit card in hand ready to purchase as they would on Amazon or Google. But if you highjack their emotions just like funny cat videos, you have a perfect opportunity to get them to your eCommerce store and make the sell.”

For example, let’s say you have a jewelry store and sell merchandise to people who love cats. You have cat earrings, rings, bracelets, etc.

When you go into the Facebook ad platform to run you ad, a common mistake is to target people who are interested in “shopping” or “jewelry” or “cats.”

However, the will result in an audience that is too broad.

The key is to show your business’ Facebook ad initially to people who are perhaps “cat lovers” who also love “jewelry” and who also love “shopping.”

You do this under the “Detailed Targeting” section when setting up you ad by selecting and “MUST ALSO match at least ONE of the following.”

I call this “Flex Targeting.”

Your target audience will be smaller, but you will be likely showing your ad (in this case) to passionate cat lovers and be able to highjack their emotions when they see your ad in their newsfeed and get them to your store to make a purchase.

36. Use the Power of Internal Links to Boost your Product Pages

Joe Robison, founder of eCommerce SEO consultancy Green Flag Digital, shares this eCommerce marketing tip:

“Use the authority that your site already has to further promote your most important eCommerce product pages. If you’re getting great press and links from other websites, but they’re pointing to your home page and top of funnel content such as blog posts or guides, but sure to use the power of internal links. There are five distinct methods to improve your ecommerce site internal links, just pick one and implement it this week. This works best for mature sites, but growing sites can utilize this method as well. “

To boil down all of organic search optimization (SEO) into two things, it would be technical/on-site SEO and off-site SEO. It’s a balancing act to know when to focus on each. Generally up and coming eCommerce brands need to focus on off-site SEO, while more established sites can focus on the on-site tactics.
What I’ve seen a lot of eCommerce sites miss out on, both small and established sites, is properly creating an internal linking strategy throughout their site. Link your blog posts to your product pages, link to your product pages, link your authority content to your category pages, the opportunities are endless!
Yes, your homepage will get the most links naturally, and so will your best content, but you need to spread around the love to the most important pages on your site: your product pages and category pages. Think strategically, take advantage of easy wins, and you’ll get a boost to your eCommerce search traffic and maybe even a raise!

37. Use Influencer Marketing to Build Trust With Potential Customers

Claudia Gutiérrez, Head of Marketing & Client Acquisition of MagmaLabs, shares this marketing strategy:
Nielsen confirms that 92% of people trust recommendations from individuals (even if they don’t know them) over brands. Today, with the continuous growth of social media and blogs impact, more and more people are becoming influencers in online purchasing decisions. Influencer marketing involves reaching out to those influential authority figures in your niche or industry.”
You can identify a potential influencer when the combination of reach, content engagement and relevance is good enough to associate it with your brand. There are tools like Klout or Buzzsumo to help you research more data and metrics about reach and content engagement. Also, you can reach digital marketing agencies that can assess you to partner with the right influencer for your ecommerce.
 
Once you have picked your influencer and come to an agreement, it’s time to develop an effective strategy to build and promote together relevant content through social media and other digital channels that persuade users to become your clients. 

38. Focus on Making Your eCommerce Business an Authority

Stacey “Brazen” Herbert, online marketing expert and the founder of Brazen Profit Lab, shares this eCommerce marketing strategy:
“Most store owners approach their business in this order.
1. Source/manufacturer product
2. Build online store
3. Drive traffic
The Authority eCommerce approach is a little different, and it it takes longer, which is why many new and aspiring online store owners shy away from this model. Instead of following the steps outlined above, the AE approach is to:
1. Drive traffic (to validate product market fit)
2. Build web site (continue to drive traffic)
3. Source product (continue to drive traffic)”
It seems counter-intuitive to plug in the product element of an eCommerce business last, but the fact is, without product/market fit and traffic, it won’t matter what your product is you still won’t sell much of it.
The authority eCommerce approach builds your brand on the back of search engine results- or, what I like to call ‘the content wall’.  It’s the long game.
That’s not to say it ignores paid traffic – far from it.
Rather, paid traffic drives the business forward instead of being what it relies on.
If you’re a small online store with no media buying skills and not enough money in your marketing budget to hire those skills, rather than see that as a hindrance, I encourage you to use that as motivation to build an authority ecommerce business right from the start. You may take longer to get going, but you’ll be building a stronger brand with multiple revenue streams.”

Increase sales and growth for your online business with these expert marketing strategies for eCommerce

When it comes to eCommerce marketing, the types of strategies you implement for your online business can make all the difference.

But it doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated.

Just knowing the right steps to take is all you need. Special thanks to all the contributors!

What are you doing in 2017 to improve your business? Share your winning strategies below.