E-commerce Marketing Strategies for Brands in 2023

John Beaton
January 19, 2023
Last Updated On
Ecommerce campaign strategies

Digital advertising now makes up 65% of all ad spending for marketers. It’s easy to see why — marketers are experiencing considerable sales growth through online channels, as the ability to attract new customers is no longer limited by geography. And while online ads and pay-per-click are essential sales drivers, organic content with uncapped reach provides the best ROI, and many brands are using emerging channels such as TikTok and Instagram Reels to drive significant sales growth with very few upfront costs.

In 2022, 102.6 million people in the US alone bought products using social platforms, up 5.9% from the previous year. This represents double-digit growth since 2016. Social commerce continues to grow in prevalence, and most brands have responded by integrating it into their strategies. The following post incorporates the latest insights into the current state of the e-commerce ecosystem and will help you make informed decisions as you prepare and augment your e-commerce marketing strategy.

What Is E-commerce Marketing?

E-commerce marketing is the practice of promoting your online store. The internet significantly increased the scale at which products could be sold and fulfilled, and as brands continue to innovate their business models, e-commerce has become an essential sales driver. Audience tastes have also adjusted as younger users have come to expect the convenience of online purchases. Many of them are finding products passively through influencer posts or sponsored content, and the growing prevalence of e-commerce means that they can buy what they see with a few taps on their smartphone. These buyers tend to skew younger, therefore giving brands a lot of runway for growth as these audiences age and their behaviors become the status quo. Investing in e-commerce now is not just about appeasing Millennials or Gen Z — it’s about future-proofing your business for every generation to come.

If you want to learn more about what social commerce is and how it’s expected to grow in the coming years, we’ve also written a guide to help you get started.

Why E-commerce Marketing Is Important

E-commerce marketing is essential for brands in the digital-first era. Brands can maximize their potential reach and attract more customers than ever, and e-commerce provides valuable insights and data on customer behavior and preferences, which can be deciphered to help inform future marketing strategies. In-person shopping does not offer the same vital insights as online shopping. E-commerce marketing not only drives success for businesses but also informs the success of product development, product marketing, and sales.

How To Develop an E-commerce Marketing Strategy

The following 4 steps will help you ideate what your e-commerce marketing strategy could look like, as well as identify your goals and objectives:

Figure out your target audience. To begin, you need to identify who you are trying to reach with your online marketing efforts. Consider factors such as demographics, interests, and behavior. If your brand is a heritage brand, you may speak to a very different audience online than in brick-and-mortar retail. Many luxury brands, in particular, use more tongue-in-cheek marketing on channels such as TikTok while remaining formal in print ads.

Set goals that make sense. Figure out what you want to achieve with your e-commerce marketing strategy. While the objective is always sales, there are other considerations, such as building brand awareness, optimizing and increasing conversion rates, and increasing website traffic.

Develop your multi-channel marketing strategy. This is where you decide how you will reach your target audience. Dash Hudson has identified that optimal campaigns use multiple channels, with each marginal channel increasing engagement and click-through rates up to at least six channels. A combination of tactics ladders up to the best results.

Create an execution plan. Develop a detailed plan that outlines the specific actions you will take to achieve your goals. This should include a budget, timeline, and KPIs for measuring success.

By following these steps, you can create a comprehensive e-commerce marketing strategy that will help drive sales

12 E-commerce Marketing Campaign Strategies

  1. Social media advertising. Paid ads on social media platforms can increase brand awareness and drive traffic to your website. Organic content using tools such as LikeShop to link to your site is even more cost-effective and can still achieve tremendous results if engaging enough.
  1. Influencer marketing. Partnering with creators and influencers can help you increase credibility with audiences and reach new demographics. Your brand will never be able to reach every niche, not just because of ad spend or the quality of your content, but because social channels have moved away from chronological timelines and now display content based on hyper-curated algorithms. Influencers are your best bet to maximize your reach across channels. 74.5% of U.S. marketers used influencer marketing in 2022, and influencer marketing spend is projected to continue to rise year-over-year.
  1. Email marketing. Sending targeted and personalized emails to your subscriber list can help drive sales and customer loyalty. Email marketing is still a powerful driver of sales, yet marketers often overlook it as it is seen as a traditional form of marketing, requires opt-in permissions, and people are less likely to open their inboxes or read their messages. That being said, email marketing works well in conjunction with other channels and marketing tactics, and personalization allows marketers to deliver sales pitches that provide value to customers, which is why email continues to be such a powerful tool for customer retention and loyalty.
  1. Pop-up events and IRL marketing. Surprisingly, real-life marketing still has a place in e-commerce. Consumers respond well to live experiences, and many digital-first brands use limited-time pop-up events to deepen customer engagement. IRL events are a perfect way to earn user-generated content, as social media users love to share what they’re doing with their audiences, and your event will also generate chatter online.
  1. Search engine optimization (SEO). Improving your website's visibility in search engine results will drive more organic traffic to your site. While online shoppers tend to conduct research before committing to a purchase, you run the risk of your competitors ranking higher than you on search engines, which means they are more likely to be considered.
  1. Retargeting. Showing ads to users who have already visited your website can help bring them back and increase their chances of converting as customers. Dash Hudson determined that the more channels your e-commerce campaign incorporates, the higher your engagement will be and retargeting is a great way to engage with users across multiple channels.
  1. Curating customer reviews and testimonials. Encouraging customers to leave reviews on trusted review sites can help increase trust and credibility in your brand. As customers research your brand, they will surely seek reviews that will inform their decision, and middling reviews could be a dealbreaker.
  1. User-generated content (UGC). Encouraging customers to share content featuring your products can increase brand exposure and authenticity. You can also share UGC on your own channels, which is an effective way to curate high-performing content. As previously mentioned, UGC greatly expands your brand’s reach, as each user has a hyper-curated algorithm, and many users naturally would not see your content.
  1. Social media contests and giveaways. Running contests and giveaways on social media can help increase followers and engagement, particularly on channels where you are just starting out. These days, follower count is not as important as it once was, and someone with a brand-new account can get millions of views, but followers still help you to build a baseline audience who sees your content regularly.
  1. Personalization. Using personalized messaging and recommendations can help increase the relevance and effectiveness of your marketing efforts. This goes for email marketing, customer service, social media DMs, or within your product or service itself. One challenge of e-commerce is that it lacks the warm interaction of retail stores, and personalization helps your customers feel more connected.
  1. Video marketing. Using video, particularly on social entertainment channels, to promote your products and tell your brand's story can help increase engagement and conversions. Video content has much higher engagement rates than static images, particularly when it is a part of cross-channel campaigns, as Dash Hudson determined.
  1. Mobile optimization. Ensuring that your website and marketing collateral are fully optimized for mobile can help increase the reach and effectiveness of your campaigns. If a user clicks on your content and your site doesn’t load or look optimized, they will likely bounce from the customer journey.

Measuring the ROI of Your E-commerce Marketing Campaign With Dash Hudson

Dash Hudson’s Google Analytics integrated cross-channel campaign reporting tool, Campaigns, aggregates all the moving parts of your social media campaigns and makes reporting as easy as clicking on a dashboard. We provide visual reporting, a 360-degree view of your performance, and tools to help you uncover the ROI of your e-commerce marketing strategy.

FAQs

What is the best marketing strategy for e-commerce?

The best marketing strategy for e-commerce is the one that works best for your brand. Consider your target audience and how you hope to attract them, and your chosen strategy will become clearer.

What are the 7 C’s of e-marketing?

The 7 C’s you should consider in e-commerce marketing are customer, cost, convenience, communication, channel, content, and community.

What are the 4 models of e-commerce?

Business to consumer (B2C). This is the most predominant model of e-commerce and involves businesses that sell directly to consumers.

Consumer to consumer (C2C). This involves consumers selling to one other, potentially through online storefronts such as eBay or Etsy.

Business to business (B2B). This involves companies selling products or services to one another.

Consumer to business (C2B). This typically includes freelance work or platforms such as Fiverr.

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