49 Ecommerce Creative Marketing Tips (That Work)
If you want to increase traffic to your ecommerce store and sell to more customers, you might be wondering how to make that happen. Well, you’re in luck! We’ve done all the hard work researching and compiling the best tips to improve your marketing and increase your traffic.
Here is our rapid-fire list of 49 ecommerce creative marketing tips, all in one place.
Let’s get right to it!
#1 Create a content marketing strategy so you aren’t shooting blind.
Marketing without a strategy is like shooting a rifle blindfolded — your chances of hitting your target are pretty low. Come up with a solid plan, know your customers, and create valuable and compelling content that captures their attention. There are many ways to do this…
#2 Use automated email marketing tools to capture emails and engage your subscribers.
Many people overlook email, thinking it’s old school. But the truth is, email is still one of the best mediums for engaging customers and making sales. Tools like autoresponders make it easy to create automations where you can customize which email campaigns get sent to customers based on their behaviors. This makes email a powerful tool to both engage and sell to your existing customer base.
You can also look for ways to be creative and leverage your marketing automation even further; for instance, you can improve your customer’s day by sending a simple happy birthday message. It literally takes no effort on your part, can be automated, and puts a smile on their dial.
#3 Use email to recover abandoned shopping carts.
When a customer leaves a cart, there is an opportunity to recover that lost sale. Sometimes they got distracted, are just busy, or maybe they weren’t sure about the purchase. Most autoresponders allow for advanced tracking and email capture so you can reach out to your customers to find out why they left or gently remind them to finish their purchase.
#4 Try using multiple social media platforms to target new customers.
Many online marketing resources say that narrowing your focus will increase your chances of success with social media marketing. But maybe you’re looking to launch a new product targeting a different demographic that your current social media strategy doesn’t cover. Find out where your new potential customers hang out and adjust your strategy to take advantage of that new platform.
#5 Automate your social network content delivery.
Especially if you’re working with multiple platforms, it’s important to automate as much as you can to avoid overworking yourself. Tools like Hootsuite or Buffer can be used to manage and schedule your social media posting to get ahead without having to take care of it yourself every day.
#6 Make your business more personable — not another faceless corporation.
People prefer dealing with businesses that have people behind them, and ones they can feel personally connected to. This can be simply achieved by signing emails with your or your team’s names in email marketing, as well as having an “Our Team” section on your “About” page with photos of you and your employees. Simple additions like this help remind customers that there are humans on the other side of that email or live chat app.
#7 Reach out and create a more personalized experience.
With all the opportunities to automate and scale your business, it’s easy to forget the personal touch. Customers still appreciate when you do something for them or reach out to them personally. You will be surprised how positive it can be for your business.
For example, if you have a lot of customers in a country with a native language other than English, try reaching out to them in their local tongue. This can be done through either native translation of your site or local customer support. It can help increase user engagement and make their overall customer experience a better one.
You can also reach out to your customers directly to ask them for feedback and how they feel about your products. Just make sure you don’t take shortcuts — don’t tell a customer you will respond personally and then have an autoresponder send a generic response when they reply. It will make your attempt to connect with your customer look fake.
#8 Reveal the identities of your authors.
Give credit where credit is due by sharing the names of the authors of the blog posts on your site. This way, you get around your content appearing like it was created by a single person. The content appears more personal and establishes you are working with experts on your team.
#9 Don’t just focus on your store — turn your business into its own media outlet.
Through the wonders of the internet, every business now has the ability to be their own media company. You can have your own radio show by starting a podcast or tart your own TV station using Youtube. What used to be only available to mega corporations and retailers is now available to you.
#10 Make your own original content and publish it for the world to see.
Don’t just copy paste what everyone else is doing. For starters, it’s plagiarism, and while it may save you some time in the short term, it could lead to legal issues down the road. It’s easy to find the top trending topics and create your own take on it. Whether you blog, use social media platforms, or run a podcast, it doesn’t matter how you deliver your original content, so long as it gets in front of your target audience.
#11 Make how-to videos to connect with customers and show off products.
A how-to video is a perfect example of original content that you could create. With 1.3 Billion active users, YouTube is a great platform to get a ton of eyes on your products. Create some videos showing your products in action or the best way to care for them. Not only is it a great way to give your customers helpful tips on using the product, but if done correctly, it can be a great boost to your search rankings — making your products easier to find through Google.
#12 Showcase your products on Instagram.
Instagram can be a great place to showcase your products with images of them being used in different settings. Outdoor brands like REI do this particularly well. It’s also an opportunity to generate dialogue and build connections with your customers by regramming their posts of your products in action.
#13 Keep up-to-date with the latest news in your industry.
Keeping up-to-date is a great way for you to generate content ideas for your business. Not only will your content be relevant, but it will also help demonstrate your authority as an expert in the field.
#14 Use contextual marketing to your advantage.
Occasionally something so polarizing or viral happens in the media that it grabs everyone’s attention. Contextual marketing is where your business takes advantage of that interest and traction to sell your products. Dunkin’ Donuts took advantage of this during “The Dress” phenomenon to sell their donuts. Oreos took advantage of the power outage during the Superbowl with their “You can still dunk in the dark campaign.” Think about how you can use contextual marketing to sell your products.
#15 Welcome controversial topics to generate discussion.
To take contextual marketing even further, you can use controversy to generate interest in your products, so long as it’s relevant. One way of using controversy to generate discussion is to present two sides to an argument and let people hash it out — or you can cleverly take advantage of another competitor’s failings, as many airlines did after the United Airlines incident. Just be careful — you don’t want your clever marketing tactics to backfire, causing your brand some serious damage.
#16 Utilize user-generated content whenever you can.
Getting your customers to create content saves you a heap of time. Some ideas might be to hold a competition for the best video or photo using your product and use hashtags to track it. Contiki tours uses this to generate free video content about their tours from the people that pay for their service. Now that’s called leveraging your customer base!
#17 Implement a loyalty program.
Loyalty programs are a great way to get the same customer to come back over and over again and continue spending money in your store. Set purchase targets as rewards to get either a free gift, store credit, or a discount off any purchase they want.
#18 A/B test your checkout process.
Split testing helps you identify any sticking points during your checkout process. Sometimes something as simple as the location of a button or an extra guarantee seal on your checkout can make a massive difference to your conversion rates.
Another thing to help with your checkout process is to make sure you use the shortest critical path for customers to get what they want. You would be surprised by how many hoops businesses make their customers jump through before they take their money. And sometimes customers just give up, which is one of the leading causes of cart abandonment. Do some testing and remove any steps that are unnecessary.
You can use heat mapping to see what your customers are doing on your site and during your checkout process. You may find people are abandoning their carts because they don’t know what to do next. Tools like CrazyEgg can help you split test and optimize your cart so that you don’t lose customers.
#19 Optimize your store for mobile.
It’s expected that by the end of 2017, mobile shopping will increase to 70% percent of all online sales. So make sure that your shopping and checkout processes are seamless and easy on mobile. Test purchasing from your phone; if you have problems, so will your customers, which will cost you sales.
#20 Run tests to make sure your Pay Per Click Ads are getting the best results.
The same way A/B Testing can improve conversions on your store’s checkout, testing is the way to get great results with Pay Per Click Advertising. It can be an exercise in trial and error, so always try to optimize your ads by split testing them. Just make sure you only test one change at a time so you get the most accurate results.
#21 Use advanced retargeting through the Facebook tracking pixel.
#22 Take advantage of geolocation for advertising.
You’ve seen those ads being served that strangely happen to match the city you are living in, right? That is geolocation in action — where ads are served based on a person’s location. You can use these ads to tailor messages to make them more personal and targeted; you can also use geolocation to improve sales of products in specific locations.
#23 Use social media as a testing ground for new ideas.
While you can’t take advantage of organic reach on Facebook’s business pages anymore, you can still use other social platforms as a way to test engagement on posts for no money up front. If you find you get a lot of engagement with organic posting on social media, it might be worth running some paid advertising to boost your post and promote it to a wider audience.
#24 Create value-driven long-form content to engage with customers.
Providing longer value-driven content can help you stand out from your competitors who are only providing the minimal SEO-driven posts. Long-form content has been proven to convert better than short-form by keeping people on the page longer — but only if the message is compelling and can really connect with a reader. When creating value-driven content, don’t cheap out — pay the extra money to make sure you are getting quality writing that will keep your customers coming back for more.
#25 Add your own personal flavor to your brand.
Personality doesn’t necessarily mean you personally; it’s more about setting yourself apart from the competition. Don’t be like all the other samey brands. Someone who sells spatulas just sells spatulas. But someone who sells a SEXY spatula… well, which would you buy? 😉
#26 Create a company mascot.
Depending on your branding, a company mascot or character as the face of your branding could work. Mascots are a way for customers to easily differentiate your brand from the rest of the competition.
#27 Beat your competitors by providing better delivery options.
Offering free shipping is a great way to get ahead of your competitors by making customers want to shop from you. For example, Amazon differentiates itself from its competitors through their Prime delivery service. Just make sure that it’s a viable option for your business and you won’t lose money by offering it.
#28 FAQs: A marketing tool in disguise.
FAQs should be used not just as an informational tool but also a marketing one. Most people think an FAQ is a supplement to your support page, and while it can reduce unnecessary load on your support team, it can also be used to dispel any concerns buyers have about buying your product — helping you get the sale. You can also use it as an opportunity to get cheeky and demonstrate your company culture.
#29 Take advantage of people’s love for amazing imagery.
It’s a well-known fact in online marketing that photos help increase engagement with customers, whether it’s on your store’s product listings or blog content. But be careful using run of the mill stock photos that everyone else is using; consider taking your own professional photos and give your store a personal touch.
#30 Focus on creating great content — not search engine optimization.
Everyone talks about making sure you get your search engine optimization (SEO) right, but too often they get so caught up in keyword optimisation that their blog posts sound like a robot wrote them. Don’t do that. Write content for the reader first.
#31 But don’t forget to set a plan for SEO.
So after you have written great content that people want to read, now it’s time to optimize for SEO. Make sure you use the appropriate keywords in your content and your headlines, and that images are optimized, so you get the best bang for your search engine buck.
#32 Focus on local branding and marketing to rank better in Search Engines.
Local SEO is often overlooked by many online retailers, but little do they know that it’s much easier to rank locally on Google than nationally. If you have a physical retail location, using local search engine targeting can give you an edge over other retailers who don’t.
#33 Build authority by participating in online forums or Facebook groups.
When you participate in online forums and Facebook groups, people tend to look up your profile and find out why they should listen to you. This is a great way to gain exposure for your brand, so long as your profile information is up-to-date. When participating, you should always give value and present yourself as an expert.
You can use platforms like Reddit to run Ask Me Anythings (AMAs) — we’ve done this in the past at Empire Flippers with great success. An AMA is a great way to engage with potential customers and address any concerns they may have while demonstrating your expertise and knowledge in the industry.
#34 Take advantage of multi-channel selling.
We’ve recently talked about launching a store on Facebook as an alternative channel for your ecommerce business. Amazon, eBay, Shopify, and Etsy are some additional opportunities to consider if you want to try multi-channel selling for your business, which allows you to diversify your product distribution and increase your customer reach.
#35 Use email capture popups to get more leads.
Entice people to give you their email with a free guide or a discount. An exit intent popup can be a great way for you to convince people to keep browsing your store if they were trying to leave.
#36 Optimize your email capture popups.
If email capture popups are too intrusive, they may turn people off. Test what works better — play with time spent on the on page vs. how far down the page they scroll. Test popups that show up immediately on arrival or with exit intent. Find what works best.
#37 Send a weekly newsletter.
Email newsletters are an opportunity to add a bit of a personal touch. Be careful automating this though — newsletters are supposed to be up-to-date. You don’t want to be promoting content or sales during a major holiday or, worse yet, after a major tragedy.
#38 Curate relevant content for your readers.
Another great way to generate value for your customers is to curate relevant content and deliver it straight to their inbox. This way when you find something interesting while you are staying abreast of industry news, you can share that knowledge directly with your customers (it also makes great newsletter content).
#39 Send out wishlist reminders leading up to the holidays.
The lead-up to the holidays is the perfect opportunity to remind customers to buy those headphones they’ve always wanted and give them an incentive to treat themselves. After all, they deserve it, right?
#40 Upsell to add value to your customer — not just your bottom line.
Upsells are great, so long as they are relevant to your customer. If they are buying a digital camera, then upselling them a memory card or an extra battery would improve the customer’s end experience, and they will thank you for it. But don’t try to sell them a Bluetooth keyboard when they just bought a camera — that just doesn’t make much sense.
#41 Offer bonus materials for every purchase.
Create a special downloadable gift — it could be an ebook, a series of videos, or even some kind of behind-the-scenes content exclusive to people who have purchased specific products. This is a great low-cost way to add value to an existing product and generate interest.
#42 Ask your customers to review your products.
Your customers are super busy — probably because they are using your amazing product. So it’s perfectly ok to gently remind them to leave you a review. It’s a simple way to get more social proof and make it easy for your customers to find your products.
#43 Offer to guest blog on niche sites for free marketing.
Many niche sites have dedicated followings of people who are your perfect target market, so it’s a good idea to try guest posting on their blogs. It usually won’t cost you anything, as many bloggers are looking for fresh content, and you get to link back to your store.
#44 Donate products for others to review.
You can incentivise review sites to talk about your product by sending them your product for free, essentially costing you only the production cost plus shipping. Bigger reviewers may ask you to pay a bit more, but the additional traffic could be worth it.
#45 Unleash the power of social media influencers.
Popular influencers have massive audiences on various social media networks — fans that hang on every image they post or word they say. They can be a great way to get your brand in front of your ideal customer and promote your products to their fans.
But be careful to make sure you know what you are getting for your money. Don’t expect big bold ads, as there are restrictions imposed by social networks on how products can be promoted.
#46 Talk to your customers directly via live chat or social media.
Do you interact with customers on your facebook page? Do you have a chat widget set up on your store? People love to talk to real human beings. It’s an easy way to build trust, remove objections, and build a loyal following of raving fans. Keep in mind that you may need to hire a Social Media Manager or Customer Success Team to help you if you generate a lot of inquiries.
#47 Create regular reports to track your marketing success and anticipate future sales.
Use reports to identify where you are doing well and opportunities for improvement in your marketing. Sometimes your reports may show that your sales have slumped since you stopped running a particular ad set. Use hard data to back your marketing decisions.
#48 Implement a plan for monthly market research.
You need to stay ahead of your competitors, and conducting regular market research will help you do just that. Do you plan on launching a new product? You can test the market by running an interest campaign or a survey to see what your customers think, which can be delivered via email, social media, or a third- party application like Typeform.
#49 Use giveaways or competitions to generate buzz.
Giveaways are a great way to generate a lot of traffic and interest to your store. Offer an incentive for sharing your posts on social media and award a prize for the most shares. Alternatively, you can donate to a worthy cause and publish it all over your social media and website to spark interest. People love companies that give back to the community.
Another way to generate buzz is to create a public challenge. If you have a fashion brand, do a 30-day style challenge. If you sell pots and pans, do a 30-day cooking challenge. Use these challenges to interact with your customers while getting them to show off your products in action.
Phew! Is That It?
Yep, that’s it! 49 tips to help round out your marketing efforts and drive more traffic to your store.
You don’t have to implement all of these strategies, of course, but hopefully we’ve inspired you to try one or two since they could help increase profits for your ecommerce store.
Let us know in the comments below if you implement any of these strategies and how they work out for you.
Now, go build your ecommerce empire!
Photo credit: peshkova