eCommerce is here to stay. It is a marketing channel that is growing exponentially year after year. The U.S. Department of Commerce reported that in 2022 alone, eCommerce increased 2.7% from the first quarter to the second.
In a market fueled by competition, it’s important to do what you can to grow your eCommerce brand and stay top-of-mind for your customers. If this sounds like a big undertaking, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.
Keep reading to find out:
- Eight ways to grow your eCommerce Business
- Four strategies to build your brand
- Three branding missteps to sidestep
8 Ways To Grow Your eCommerce Business
Before you jump into the eCommerce world, there are a few things you should know first. Keep reading for Illumix’s eight ways to grow your eCommerce business.
1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is a term that refers to the amount of web traffic your eCommerce business gets, and how relevant that traffic is to your business. When it comes to eCommerce, SEO is a huge tool that can help you grow your search engine results in order to acquire and retain existing customers.
Strategies to boost your SEO include:
- Creating authentic, quality content
- Using keyword search tools to attract your intended consumer
- Building strong, relevant, and ethical links that comply with Google search best practices
- Maintaining an eCommerce site that is easy for customers to navigate
2. Social Media Presence
Traditionally, online retailers have increased their audience through Google Ads and other more orthodox promotional strategies. However, there’s a new way to increase your presence online.
Seven out of 10 Americans use social media, which means that 70% of your potential customers can learn about your brand on social media platforms. Because social media marketing puts your company at the fingertips of its customers, it is a chance to build a relationship and trust with your consumer. From influencer marketing and affiliate marketing to podcast ads, getting your brand in front of your target audience to grow your presence is key.
When building your social media presence, remember to:
- Have a plan with measurable goals
- Know your target audience and identify their needs
- Maintain an authentic voice
- Create quality marketing content with attention-grabbing visuals
- Don’t be afraid of user-generated content as a form of advertising
- Remember that there’s a different algorithm for each social media platform.
3. Automated Marketing
When it comes to running a business, there are so many aspects for all employees to juggle. This is where marketing automation comes in. Automation can increase consistency and efficiency in your business. The more you can automate, the more freedom and time you give back to your team to be creative and collaborative.
Consider automating tools, such as:
- Content calendars for social media posts
- Email marketing (email lists, shopping cart, and abandoned cart emails)
- SMS notifications (cart abandonment, your loyalty program, etc.)
4. User-Friendly eCommerce Website
When a customer visits your online store, you want them to enjoy their online shopping experience. This means your eCommerce store must be fully optimized, aesthetically pleasing, and easy to navigate to promote user experience.
When building your eCommerce site, consider:
- Home page
- Product pages with detailed product descriptions
- Click-to-cart process (conversion rate)
- An FAQ page
- Amount of pop-ups customers will experience
There are a variety of platforms you can choose from when building your site. In addition to that, there are many platforms to consider for your customer’s checkout process. When making this decision, always keep your website visitors in mind.
5. Customer Service
Once your digital marketing campaign has attracted a customer, the rest of their experience matters when it comes to retention. That is where customer service comes in. Consumer experience is a marketing tool, just like social media, because your customers will remember their interactions with your company and spread the word. It is vital your customer base has positive experiences with your brand.
When building your customer support practices, you must:
Take Illumix, for example. One of the key value propositions of our AR solution is to increase buyer confidence and increase site and brand engagement.
Security might not immediately come to mind when you think of marketing efforts, but it is a factor that can set you apart from other eCommerce businesses.
Remember, part of your eCommerce marketing tactics must include customer experience. When a customer chooses your online store to make a purchase, they must enter personal information in order to complete their order.
It is important to make your customer base feel like they can trust your brand, which is why you must use a trusted brand when it comes to cybersecurity.
Highly trusted eCommerce platforms for point-of-sale include:
7. Customer Acquisition and Retention
Without customers, there is no commerce. In order for your business to operate successfully, you must not only acquire new customers but retain them as well. How can you do it?
- Gain awareness
- Make the consideration
- Produce payment
- Boost engagement and customer loyalty
- Provide incentives (discounts, referral programs, etc.)
- Customer service
Branding and marketing are often used in the same space, but they are not exactly the same thing. Marketing is the strategy you use to promote your business. Branding is the voice and values of your business.
Branding is a huge part of online marketing because, in order to market successfully, you must have a strong brand. Your customer needs to understand who you are and how they relate to you.
Keep reading for branding strategies to adopt and avoid.
4 Strategies To Build Your Brand
Before you jump into the world of marketing, you’ve got to create brand awareness for your business. From email campaigns to Facebook ads, read on to learn four essential strategies to boost your brand.
1. Know Thyself
While digital marketing is a necessity in eCommerce, you cannot start your marketing efforts before you have a true understanding of your brand. When you started your small business, you did so for a reason. Ask yourself what that reason was and make that the core of your brand.
Once you understand the core of your business, then you can begin creating an eCommerce marketing strategy that is consistent and authentic. You may want to create buyer personas to identify your target audience, especially if you’re in the process of rebranding and retargeting.
2. All About Aesthetic
Your brand’s aesthetic will convey its style, mood, and tone. When your customers interact with your business, how do you want to be received? Fun and flirty? Serious and stoic? Factual but friendly?
Whatever you want the aesthetic to be, you can build it through things like:
- Social media and website colors
- Packaging and design
- The overall appearance of all customer-facing content marketing and product
3. Always Be Authentic
In the age of social media and the inundation of news, it can be hard to sift through what’s real and what’s fake. Customers appreciate a brand that stays true to itself. When creating visibility for your brand, always remain honest and consistent with your consumer.
Customers appreciate a brand they can trust, so be intentional when engaging with your audience so that you become and remain a brand they can rely on.
4. Be Open to Feedback
Communication is a two-way street. Like we said, loyal customers want a brand they can trust, and part of trust is listening.
While it’s important to remain authentic, your business also needs to be flexible to adapt to your consumer. Ask yourself:
- Is your business serving your target audience?
- Are there ways you can better serve your community?
- Do you have a consistent and reliable way to collect feedback?
3 Branding Missteps To Sidestep
When it comes to being a business owner, mistakes are going to happen. However, many of them can also be avoided. Take a look at some common mistakes you can sidestep on your branding journey.
1. Failing To Research
Running a small business is no easy feat, especially if you don’t know what you’re walking into. It is vital you understand the market that you are entering, so you can identify any gaps and set your business up to make those improvements.
When researching the competition, you should:
- Identify the competition and analyze their eCommerce reach
- Gather and track information
- Research reviews and how to improve
2. Forgetting Your Customer
Being a business owner takes a lot of confidence and pride in what you do. But it also requires humility. It can be easy to get so passionate about the new products that you forget to check that your customer base is happy with them.
To combat this, create a system to check in on your customers. Conduct surveys and read reviews to make sure you are always in tune with your consumer.
3. Failing To Stand Out
The eCommerce market is booming, which means that the competition is real. Being able to grab the attention of consumers makes all the difference.
When brainstorming ways to stand out, consider:
- Brand strategy: identity, style and tone guides, social media presence
- Aesthetic: logos, fonts, packaging, tagline, mission statement
- Create a community and connection with the audience
- Remain consistent in your mission
One major way you can stand out is by using Illumix. We can help you supercharge your brand and business by using our AR virtual try-on technology. This can help expand your customer base, drive key metrics, and deepen brand affinity.
In order to grow your online business and online sales, you must have an eCommerce marketing plan. Start with a vision and create steps to make it come to life.
When building the roadmap for your eCommerce business, remember:
- Understand your brand before you begin marketing
- Establish a strategy to boost SEO and establish a social media presence
- Keep the customer front of mind, always
- Never stop reflecting and growing
Now that you’ve got the guide, get out there and find your place in the eCommerce world.
Quarterly Retail E-Commerce Sales 2nd Quarter 2022 ⎸ U.S. Census Bureau News
Social Media Fact Sheet ⎸ Pew Research Center
How to Conduct Competitive Research for Your Business ⎸ U.S. Chamber of Commerce