Keep sales rolling in with these 14 eCommerce marketing strategies
This post was last updated on July 12, 2022.
If you own an online store, then you know that generating traffic and sales can be a challenge. While there are many marketing approaches you can take to increase site traffic and motivate customers to buy, planning an effective marketing strategy can be daunting.
After all, traffic doesn’t come cheap these days. While ad platforms like Facebook, TikTok, and Amazon are all great places to reach consumers—ad prices have skyrocketed within the last year, jumping anywhere between 11% and 70% year over year.
The challenge of rising ad prices and increased competition for consumer attention means you must make your marketing budget do more for less.
Below, we've compiled 14 eCommerce marketing strategies focused on helping you balance cost with reach and effectiveness. Lean on these strategies, along with eCommerce marketing solutions by Wix, to drive more traffic and sales without burning through your capital.
Need a reliable platform for leveling up your store? See Wix’s full suite of eCommerce features.
What is eCommerce marketing?
First, let’s make sure we’re on the same page as to what eCommerce marketing entails.
Put simply, eCommerce marketing is the process of driving traffic to your online store and convincing visitors to buy your products or services. Tactics usually involve a mix of three approaches:
Traffic generation - Draw new customers to your store through a mix of paid and unpaid tactics, including (but not limited to) SEO, content marketing, social media, paid ads, and email marketing.
Conversion optimization - Employ strategies to increase sales and average order value (AOV), including personalization, intuitive website design, and special offers.
Retention and loyalty - Keep existing customers happy with customized offers, loyalty programs, and rewards so that they continue purchasing from your brand and refer new customers through word-of-mouth marketing.
All of these together aim to achieve benefits like:
Increase marketing efficiency and ROI
Gain a better understanding of your customers
Keep up with and outperform competitors
Elevate and increase the visibility of your brand
Grow business and improve cash flow
14 eCommerce marketing strategies to test out
Foster loyalty, repeat business, and sales with personalization
01. Dazzle your customers with impactful content marketing
Be it blog posts, social ads, podcasts, videos, or product descriptions—content is essential for driving traffic to your online store. But to understand where to start, you need a cohesive content marketing strategy that outlines your main goals, priorities, and other important details.
For many online brands, a blog is a great place to start. It offers a platform to regularly publish articles, guides, product reviews, or other types of content that spread the word about your products in a more natural way. Not to mention, it’s easy to add to any Wix eCommerce site.
Read Also: Adding and setting up your Wix Blog
Content can also be user-generated (e.g., adding customer’s social media posts to your site) or co-branded (e.g., collaborating with another brand to improve your brand reputation, visibility, and backlinks). The ultimate goal: build more authentic customer connections and improve visibility online.
02. Prioritize search engine optimization (SEO)
SEO is the process of improving your store's rankings on Google and other search engines in order to attract more organic traffic. Ecommerce SEO is unique in that it specifically focuses on getting product pages, category pages, and other transaction-oriented pages to rank—in addition to any supplementary content, such as a blog.
When done well, SEO is an extremely cost-effective way to attract visitors who are actively looking to buy what you're selling.
The best eCommerce platforms offer built-in SEO tools to make the process of optimization easier. Wix eCommerce, for example, offers advanced SEO features that help to automate (and scale) optimizations across your pages so that they can be easily found and indexed by search engines. Wix store owners that take advantage of our SEO tools have an average of 21% more traffic than those that don't.
03. Build an email marketing list (and use it)
Email marketing is still alive and thriving, with email ROI coming in at $36 for every $1 spent.
Email has the power to move the needle when traffic is slow or you want to capitalize on seasonal trends (e.g., increased traffic during the holidays). The first step, of course, is to build a subscriber base by adding an email signup form to your online store. Promote a newsletter that includes special discounts, product announcements, recommendations, and other interesting content.
With a clear eCommerce email marketing strategy, you can reduce abandoned carts, increase conversions, and keep your brand top of mind.
04. Re-engage customers with retargeting/remarketing
Retargeting or remarketing (which are often used interchangeably) provides an avenue to re-engage with people who've visited your website once before. It’s relatively cheap and is simple to set up.
For example, Facebook retargeting just requires you to add a pixel to your site. This helps to populate a list of contacts, which you can then re-engage with a Facebook ad that draws attention to your brand or showcases a product that buyers may have been interested in before.
Wix additionally offers integration with apps like AdRoll that help you to manage your ads more efficiently.
Retargeted ads tend to get a much higher response than standard ads, both in terms of clicks and sales. Some advertisers report a 128% increase in conversion rate from retargeted ads, with consumers being 10 times more likely to click on retargeted ads than standard ads.
05. Implement Google Shopping Ads
Google Shopping Ads allow you to showcase your products on organic search results and Google’s dedicated Shopping results page. As with standard search ads, advertisers are charged a per-click amount whenever someone actually clicks on the ad.
Google drives a massive amount of product searches, with nearly half (48%) of consumers starting their product searches on search engines. It therefore stands to reason that getting your products listed on Google is a no-brainer.
Google even offers a Buy on Google feature, which makes it easy for your consumers to complete a transaction directly from the search engine.
Wix store owners can run shopping campaigns on Google using the AdScale app. This simplifies the process of setting up a Google Merchant account.
06. Expand your reach with social media
The eCommerce customer journey increasingly involves social media touch points. In a 2022 survey of over 14,000 global shoppers, 65% of respondents said they use social media for inspiration when making a purchase, and 60% said that they shop from content posted by brands on social media.
Of course, social media isn’t meant to be purely transactional. It’s—at its core—a place to be social.
There are plenty of ways to leave an impression or to simply get your customers more involved. Think: Wendy’s sassy tweets. Or, Disney’s #ShareYourEars campaign.
In the same vein, consider how both social commerce and social media marketing can help your brand reach its core consumers and have them warm up to your brand. Launch a social contest. Share shoppable posts. Host livestreams.
Don’t forget to consider paid ads as well. Most social platforms—including Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter—have paid advertising options that allow you to target potential customers via their interests, demographics, and/or behaviors. Ads can serve as a good complement to your organic strategies, actively bringing my people to your account.
07. Tap into established audiences with influencer marketing
The right influencers can help you increase consumer trust in your brand. These influencers typically have large and/or niche followings that value their recommendations and content. They can either share your content or produce original content featuring your products (among other collaborations).
The biggest thing to remember is that influencers are creators in their own right—the most fruitful partnerships are two-way, and allow the influencer to have some creative freedom over how they introduce their followers to your brand.
Creating an influencer marketing strategy can help you discover and select influencers that jive well with your buyer persona and business approach. An influencer even can be an existing customer (e.g., a brand evangelist) or another business that sells complementary products and/or services.
08. Foster loyalty, repeat business, and sales with personalization
Personalization is arguably one of the most effective eCommerce marketing strategies because it inspires a more seamless and satisfying customer experience.
From offering personal product recommendations to sending targeted emails—there are many eCommerce personalization approaches that you can experiment with.
To help with personalization, use data from past purchases to recommend similar or complementary products to customers. Nearly 60% of shoppers in a recent poll said that emails that contained product suggestions based on past purchase history would likely result in a sale. Moreover, according to the same poll, relevancy tended to trump newness when convincing U.S. shoppers to make a purchase from email marketing.
09. Create a loyalty program
Building customer loyalty is an oft-underrated way of growing sales, even though acquiring new customers is five times more costly than retaining existing customers. However, a good loyalty program can keep customers coming back. Through a loyalty program, you can reward customers for repeatedly buying from your brand, e.g., you can offer points or credit that can be redeemed for discounts, free shipping, exclusive products, or other perks.
Loyalty programs can also help you collect valuable data about your customers, including their purchasing habits, interests, and contact information. You can use this data to segment your email list, personalize marketing campaigns, and create better loyalty rewards.
Wix merchants can use the Wix Loyalty Program app to get started. The tool lets you easily create and manage all aspects of a loyalty program—from awarding points to tracking member activity—via one convenient console.
10. Generate hype with a flash sale
A flash sale is a short-term promotion (usually lasting 24 hours or up to a week) with deep discounts on select products or product categories. While the primary goal of a flash sale is to increase purchases, they also help create a sense of urgency and excitement around your brand—which can encourage customers to return to your store sooner than they may have ordinarily returned.
To pull off a successful flash sale, you'll need to promote it in advance (email marketing is a great option here). You'll also want to plan post-sale follow-ups, such as abandoned cart reminders or emails featuring similar products.
Our internal data confirms the effectiveness of flash sales, especially for SMBs. We've found that, on average, online stores increase monthly gross merchandise value (GMV) by 64,000% when they run a flash sale. Check out our flash sale guide for more information on how to set up a successful flash sale.
11. Upsell and cross-sell to increase AOV
Upselling and cross selling can be proactively prompted in order to encourage repeat business and offload excess inventory.
Upselling encourages customers to purchase a higher-end (and higher-priced) version of the product they're interested in. In another scenario, you might upsell customers to purchase multiple items of the same product (e.g., a five-pack of socks for a discounted per-item price).
Cross-selling, on the other hand, uses personalization and past shopping history to suggest complementary products. So, if someone's looking at a five-pack of socks, you might suggest that they buy a five-pack of underwear to keep their drawers stocked.
Both upselling and cross-selling can be employed via your product pages, cart abandonment reminders, and post-purchase follow-up emails.
Read Also: 7 simple ways to increase AOV with Velo by Wix
12. Offer a special discount
Ah, sales. They've been a staple of store owners (both off and online) for decades. Sales—including discounts, limited-time offers, and rewards—motivate purchases, encourage email signups, and fuel customer loyalty.
A good proof point for this: Amazon’s annual Prime Day(s) event, which is based entirely on flash sales, lightning deals, coupons, and special rewards for Prime buyers. Last year, this two-day event generated an estimated $11.2 billion.
It goes without saying that you don't have to be a billion-dollar behemoth like Amazon to create effective sales campaigns. All you need is a plan and an approach, per our comprehensive eCommerce sales guide.
13. Experiment with SMS marketing
SMS marketing (aka text message marketing) allows you to get in front of consumers on a device that they can’t ignore. There are multiple ways you can use SMS too, including to:
Follow up on a purchase - Once a user has sealed the deal, sending order updates and shipping confirmation via texts can feel like next-level service and can be easier for consumers to keep track of.
Deliver exclusive promotions and sales - SMS marketing encourages quick behaviors. For holiday sales, last-minute deals, and even birthday promos, SMS marketing is a great way to build urgency without spamming users.
Remind customers of specific actions - SMS marketing (and even push notifications) can be an engaging way to connect with customers in a friendly and relevant way. Let them know that their coupon is about to expire, offer a personalized daily deal, or remind them that they still have items in their cart.
Gather feedback or reviews - Social proof is an incredible device for building trust among other consumers. Texts can be a gentle and personal way to ask your buyers to review their purchases or your services.
14. Incentivize referrals with affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing refers to any partner of your business who markets on your behalf and drives traffic (and sales) to your site in return for a reward or commission.
Affiliate marketing tends to work best with skilled marketers or partners, who are focused on generating regular income from commissions. Ideal affiliates are active in a related space to the one you operate in.
For example, if you make and sell Montessori children’s toys, a good affiliate might be a notable mommy blogger who is an expert in Montessori parenting and is willing to feature your store on her site. Think of working with an affiliate as forging a business partnership where you exchange value for external marketing efforts.
Because this strategy leverages trust, it may be most productive as a marketing technique when you’re trying to break into a new or tangential market. Just be sure to focus on and vet affiliates carefully.
Start growing with Wix eCommerce
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Marketing Writer, Wix
Brielle is a Colorado native with a passion for innovation and helping to mobilize entrepreneurs. Brielle is a marketing writer for Wix eCommerce, which powers over 700k online stores worldwide.