18 Out of Box ways for E-Commerce Marketing
E-commerce is getting more competitive day by day. The competition is getting tougher with the new e-commerce websites opening up regularly. However, even with so much competition, there are websites which are doing very well. They are able to generate high traffic as well as a high conversion on their website. The difference between them and others is the marketing strategy and good operational execution. There are a number of ways you can market your website, and drive more traffic to your website. The following will also help to increase repeat users to your website.
Below are the 18 out of box ways e-commerce marketing strategies for your business to increase traffic and conversions:
Run A Contest
One of the best ways to increase engagement on your website is through the contest. The contest could be a quiz, a treasure hunt, a selfie or any type of contest which involves some activity. You can use the contest to create user generated content which can easily go viral on social media. Promote your contest across all social media platforms. Below are a few ideas you can run:
- Selfie contest: You can ask the user to upload their selfie and ask their friend to upvote. This way user will themselves share your contest with friends and will help to make the contest viral.
- Quote contest: Share a product for e.g. Electric Kettle. Next, ask user – List 3 innovative ways to use the product and the winner with the most innovative idea will get it free. You can run the contest on a blog or on social media. You will be surprised how creative people may become during such contest. This will help you generate content as well as create virality to the contest.
- Share a story: Another great way to engage the user is to ask them to share a story with your product. For e.g. you are selling the study table. Now ask the user to share any store they have with study table. People will definitely have stories with their study table right from school days to college days. This type contest helps the user to connect with your product and build a strong relation to your brand as well. Last time Maggie did “Share your Maggie moments” contest, which basically shares a story contest. People flooded with their stories with Maggie. The winning story got featured on the Maggie pack with a picture of the winner.
- Treasure Hunt Contest: It is one of the exciting ways to get users attention. This contest you can run on your website or Pinterest or Instagram. Considering you are running the contest on your website. Share some clue which takes the user to different pages of your website. With this contest, you can guide the user through clues and riddles to browse your product pages. This way it will not only lead to the user experience of your website but will also increase your engagement rate.
The goal of your contest could be:
- Increase in website traffic
- Brand awareness
- User engagement
Try out some creative and easy to follow the contest. Identify how to connect with your target segment through the contest.
Everybody needs some encouragement when shopping. They need someone who can build a sense of confidence among them while shopping. For e.g. when you go shopping for a new dress you always ask your friend to say how they look or ask them to find a matching shoe for your dress. This gives you confidence about your purchase.
Similarly, to create a positive environment in the online world, offer shopping assistant to your customers. Shopping assistant helps the user to make the right decision and make their shopping journey comfortable. The online shopping assistant is powered by AI. Shopping Assistant utilizes – Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and User experience to offer a solution to the customer. Online shopping assistant is a guided selling of products. It allows customers to find out what they are looking for and also helps them to make shopping faster and easier. Using Online Shopping Assistant, you can:
- Ask the user what they are looking for
- Suggest a list of products based on their search criteria
- Cross-sell by suggesting new products based on their purchase history
- Suggest product based on the physical attributes of the customers
- Share the latest trends or what people of the similar profile are buying
- Notify customers on various offers during festival seasons
- Show the best possible combination at defined price labels by customers
- Offer gifts on the special occasion of customers
There is a lot of things you can do using Shopping Assistant. You can create one of your Shopping Assistant tools or can use the third party tool like online shopping assistant.
What if you can let customer visualize the product in real? You can do so using Augmented reality. Augmented Reality (AR) provides the user with the real-life experience of the product. For e.g., you want to buy a Coffee Table. With AR you can visualize how the Coffee Table will look at your home. AR will bring up the customer experience to the next level. Below are some of the web stores who are using it:
- Sephora – The website has a virtual makeup room where you can upload your photo. Then apply different makeups to see how you will look in different shades. You can test the various shades of lipstick, eyeliners, eyelash, and cheek. Once you have are happy with the shades, you can directly buy them from Sephora. This way you will be more confident about your purchase.
- IKEA – It is the world’s largest furniture retailer and uses Augmented Reality for customer experience. Using their APP, you can visualize how the furniture will look like at their home. It allows the user to screen through the product catalog and using AR, can see how it fit in their home. Once the customer is happy with the product then can directly order the same through the website.
- Lenskart – It’s an eyewear website offering a wide range of sunglasses, eyeglasses, lens, and other eyewear products. Now we all know that every face is different and so the frame will look different for each person. What if you can try out the glasses to see if it looks on you? At Lenskart, you can do so easily. Lenskart allows you to visualize the frame by using “Try in 3D”. It will open up your camera and then you can choose different frames on your face. Select the one that looks great on you and makes the purchase.
If you are planning to start with Augmented Reality for your e-stores, check out Augment.com. They offer solutions to create AR for your website.
Today most of the customer looks for views of an expert when they shop. There are experts who write about different products and share the view with their followers. If you search for “top makeup kit for 2018” and you will see the post from top bloggers appearing on Google result. Do research and find out the top bloggers in your niche. Before reaching out to the bloggers, check for:
- Traffic their website receives: Use a tool like similarweb to find the amount of traffic the blogger receives.
- A number of followers or fans: Check how many followers they have in social media.
- Engagement with followers: Engagement could be number of likes, comments, shares
Once you have made your list, reach out to the blogger and share your deal. Try to avoid paid promotion. Blogger outreach program could be in terms of;
- Guest Blog post: You can write a guest post about your product. Mention all the details necessary to create interest among the readers.
- Product Review: You can share a sample product with the blogger and ask them to write a product.
- Banners & Ads: Since the visitors of the blog are more related to your target segment, you can run banners & ads on their blog/website.
- Affiliate promotion: You can create an affiliate partnership with the top bloggers. On each sale of your product coming from their website, they will earn a certain
The most important aspect of success in blogger outreach program is the proper research. You can start with a simple Google search. For e.g., you sell makeup products. Search in google for “top” or “best” or “latest” makeup products:
- Top 10 makeup products
- Latest makeup products
- Trending makeup products for ‘year’
- Makeup products for ‘season’ (like summer, winter)
- Makeup products for teens
Search for similar kind of terms in Google and it will give you the complete list of websites.
Search Engine Optimization
If you are looking for free and targeted traffic, Search Engine Optimization is one of the best options. Search Engine Optimization leads to:
- Free Traffic: When you optimized your website for a search engine, it will lead to free organic traffic. When people search for a product, Google will show your website on the search result. This will lead to people clicking on the search result and coming to your website.
- Long Lasting: With paid media, you can reach only to a certain level. And moreover, the paid will become costlier as the competition increases. However, with SEO, your website will keep showing at the top search result of Google without any investment. With time, your authority increases and your rank also improve on the search result.
Make SEO a part of your marketing strategy. You can follow the Neil Patel guide on how to do Search Engine Optimization.
Spy on Competitors
Always keep an eye on competitors. Spying on competitors will give more ideas about product promotion and marketing strategy. Spying will help you to understand:
- Pricing: Are you pricing your products too low or high? Check out your competitors and study their pricing strategy. This will give a rough estimate of the price range which is comfortable for your target customers.
- Expansion: You can also check on the different categories of products your competitors are selling under similar niche. This will give you an idea of product expansion for your websites.
- Promotional strategy: Observe how your competitors are promoting their products. Register on their website for newsletters, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media profiles. Check the different types of promotional tactics they are employing. This will help you to make your promotional strategy and even make it better than the competitors.
- Traffic Sources: Analyze the traffic source of your competitors. This way you will know which are to focus on. The traffic source could be – e-mail, organics, social media, referral or other sources. Once you know which source is delivering higher traffic, you can focus on those areas to get traffic to your website. You can use tools like similarweb to analyze competitor’s traffic.
- Latest Trends: Spying on competitors will also let you know the current trend in the market. This way you can catch on the latest trend and start promoting the
How to Spy on competitors
There are multiple ways to spy on competitors. You can go for the paid or the free tools to do so. Below are two ways you can keep a tab on the competitors:
- Follow their social media pages: Check which products they are promoting on a social media platform. Tools like poweradspy let you analyze competitor’s ads. You can analyze which product and how they are promoting.
- SEO Profile: Check out their SEO strategy. You can use Ahref tool to see which of the competitor’s page is getting higher traffic. Using the tool you can also find which keywords are generating more traffic. Gather all SEO insights using this tool and optimize your SEO strategy.
Keep Website Fresh
Always keep your website fresh or rotate products to keep it new. Fresh content not only helps your user to see new things but it also helps to boost your SEO traffic. The product description is the place where you can write content about that product and boost your ranking. Create beautiful product copy and include a description which will help the user to make the purchase.
Before writing content for your product, do a research on keywords. Identify what users are searching for and write content which answers those queries. You can use the free Google Keyword Search tool or LSIGraph which will give you a complete list of keywords and phrases people search for.
Another important thing when writing a product description is to keep it unique. Never copy content from your competitor or other sites. Write unique content for each product. Apart from the product description, fresh content can be added to other pages as well. Below is the list of few pages where you can add fresh content:
- About us
- Product guide
- Buying guide
You can even write content for different occasion or season and link your products. Writing fresh content will lead to Google crawling your pages often which can help in boosting your organic ranking.
Create product videos
Videos are a great way to showcase your product and its usage. As compared to an image, videos are more powerful. Video helps to explain the usage of the product in a much better way. With video, you can tell the story on:
- Product usage
- Benefits of the product
- How it solves the issue
- Look of the product in real life
There are a lot of angles you can work on when creating product videos. Though video creation of a product is much more challenging than images but has a lot of benefits. A lot of research has been done to prove the importance of having product videos. Below are the statistics from shakr regarding product videos:
- Videos are shared more than 1200% compared to links & text
- Websites using videos get 41% more web traffic from search as compared to non-video sites
- Videos on homepage lead to a 20% increase in conversions
- Product videos on the landing page can increase conversion by 80%
- 50% of internet users check for product video before purchasing
- Sites with video enjoy 88% more user time as compared to sites without video
Product videos not only help in increasing your sales but also help to improve your overall organic ranking as well. There are a lot of tools to create amazing product videos like Magisto, Flipagram, GoAnimate and more.
Create FAQ for Each Product
In the product section, create f.a.q for each product. Many times the customer has specific questions regarding the product which can be included in the Faq section. Once the customer starts using the product, they may mail you for queries. You can include all those queries in your FAQ section.
Another way of creating FAQ is user Dynamic FAQ content or user-generated content. You can provide a platform on your product page where user/visitor can ask questions. Either you or existing customers can answer the questions. This way it will create user-generated content for your FAQ section. Amazon has started the Customer questions & Answers which is similar to an FAQ section. You can ask a question about the product and either the seller or customer can answer those.
This is really helpful as the visitor can directly ask the question about the product and get real feedback from existing customer or business owner. A dynamic FAQ leads to
- Increased trust: New visitor gets their queries answered by real users
- Improved ranking: Google favors original and fresh content. With your product page getting fresh content will lead to better organic ranking.
Offer complimentary gifts
Everybody loves gifts. Offer free gifts to your customer for being a loyal customer or when they shop for a certain minimum amount. However, in doing so, you can send gifts with your brand. Free gift will not only make your customer happy but also make your brand visible in the offline world.
For e.g., if you are selling custom photo mugs, you can send a complimentary cup on every purchase. Mention your brand on the cup. Similarly, you can send a t-shirt with your company logo to the user as a complimentary gift. Now this user when using those gifts, it showcases your brand. Pepperfry is an e-commerce website which is primarily focused on furniture. They use to send complimentary t-shirts to customers.
This kind of gift not only encourages the user to shop more but they became your brand ambassador as well. Whenever they use your gifts, it becomes a brand promotion for your business.
In this internet era, everybody looks for reviews before they make the purchase. When any of your friends talk about how good is the product and gives a positive review, you tend to buy the product. Since you trust your friend and so you consider their reviews to be true. Referral marketing is like word of mouth. Your friend shares their views with you and you share with somebody else. Benefits of referral marketing:
- Builds trust: When your friend suggests about some product, you trust the product.
- Creates virality: With referral marketing, your product can become viral on social media.
Referral marketing is one of the most cost-effective and highly efficient forms of marketing. Referral can come from – friends, families, blogs, review platforms, testimonials, publications and more. As per the Nielson study, it is the most trusted form of marketing.
Below is the one such example where referral marketing has been executed in a brilliant way:
HARRY’s started offering free products for every referral, they acquired more than 100K subscribers for their product in a weeks’ time. This is the power of referral marketing.
Another example is the Dropbox. They started offering free space for every referral. Within 15 months, they grew from 100K users to 400K users.
Create Curated Content
You can make shopping easier for your customer by creating curated content showcasing the bestselling products. Content curation can be based on:
- Festivals: Create a collection of traditional collection for festivals.
- Occasions: You can create bridal collections for the bride, groom, friends, and families.
- Season: Show the latest fashion for the summer season.
- Location: Share the latest trends in beachwear.
You can come up with different segments showing curated content. This type of contents makes it easy to show the range of products you have. This way it becomes easier for a user to shop at your store. Moreover, you can promote this kind of post on various social media platform as well. You can create a blog for your e-commerce website to publish curated contents.
Re-targeting & Re-engagement
It is known that people do not buy in a single visit to your website. However, they have shown interest in your website and have gone through the products. They even have added products to the cart but didn’t convert. One of the easy, efficient and cost-effective is to use Web Push Notification. Using push notification you can instantly send notification on the browser.
Push Notification offers many advanced features for re-targeting.
- Cart abandonment notifications – Reach out to customers who as abandoned their cart.
- Trigger push notifications – Design your own triggers to send notifications. You can create upsell & cross-sell campaigns, review campaigns and more.
- Browse abandonment notifications – Send notification to those who browsed through product pages but didn’t make any purchase.
- Drip Push Notification Campaign – You can create drip campaigns to nurture users about your product.
Using Push Notification you can segment your subscribers as well. This way you can create targeted campaigns to increase website engagement. You can use PushEngage to start your Web Push Notification marketing.
One of the easy ways to increase customer loyalty is to start a loyalty program. Acquiring a new customer is costlier than existing customers. Loyalty program increases the customer lifetime value. A loyal customer shops repeatedly at your website and without putting any acquisition cost. In simpler terms, if you are spending $5 to acquire loyal customers, over a period of time, you may earn more than $100 from your loyal customers. Check out the below to understand why Loyalty program should be an integral part of your marketing strategy:
- Study by Bond shows that 81% of customers continue shopping with the same brand because of the loyalty program
- Statistic report by Bond suggests that 66% of customer shops based on the benefits of a loyalty program
- 73% of customers are more likely to suggest the brand with good loyalty programs
- Cost of acquiring a new customer is 25X costlier than retaining existing
Starting a loyalty program is very simple. You can use loyalty programs to offer:
- Extra discount
- Early peak to the upcoming sale event
- Complimentary gifts on purchase
- Access to premium products before launch
You can design lots of benefits to customers. To start with loyalty programs create a loyalty point system in your website and offer loyalty points to the customer based on:
- Amount of transaction
- Number of times they purchase
- The volume of a transaction during the certain period like week or month or during a sale event
- Register for premium service like Amazon Prime
Design your loyalty program depending upon your business needs.
Increase Subscriptions & Sale during Shopping Events
There are major sale events that happen every year. Prepare your strategy to acquire new customers during these events. This is that time of the year when people are looking to shop more and this gives you a premade platform to target or acquire new customers. Every country has their sale events during festivals or some occasion. Black Friday sale, Cyber Monday sale, New Year sale are few of the sale events when people are looking to shop to get discount. How to maximize your presence during such an event:
- Make a list of the top sale events of the year
- Either create a separate landing page or promote your offerings on your website
- Create subscription opt-in related to the event to increase your subscriber
- Send push notification or e-mail your subscribers regarding the event
- Create a countdown timer on your website
- Promote not only the sale but also show the savings
- Offer increased loyalty points for customers shopping during the sale event
- Send complimentary gifts during festival sale events
- Reach out to relevant bloggers and sponsor gifts if they are running any contest
- Run a contest on your website
- Promote your products in social media using the trending hashtags like #blackfriday2018, #cybemoday18
- Connect to affiliate websites to promote discounts offered by your website
- Reach out to bloggers to promote your website
This is the time of the year when you can increase your subscriber number as well as conversion. Plan out early to rip the maximum benefits.
Optimize Conversion Rate
You can bring traffic to your website using paid advertisements as well as through organic traffic. However, if your website is not optimized for conversion, it will lead to losing customers. Below are the ways to optimize your website for conversion:
- Professional Quality Product images: Product images are the 1st thing customer will see on your website. Product image reflects the quality of the product. Ensure to put high-quality product images to improve your conversion.
- Product Copy: Have a clear explanation of the product. Mention the product features, its benefits, use cases for a better understanding of the product.
- Trust factor: Use the trust seal to create trust factor on customer’s mind.
- Checkout flow: Keep the checkout flow simply without any distractions.
There are many other conversion optimization tactics to improve conversion rate. Implement them and see the difference.
Reviews & Ratings
Before making any purchase, people check for the reviews and ratings of the product. It creates a trust factor in the customer’s mind about the product. As per a study, reviews are very critical for product success:
- 88% of user considers reviews as a personal recommendation
- 73% trust business only if they have positive reviews
- 68% of user creates a buying list based on the product reviews
In short, a good review of your product increases the chance of conversions. To generate a product review, you can:
- Offer coupon code on giving reviews
- Give loyalty points for people sharing reviews on social media
- Send push notifications or e-mail asking for reviews
Product reviews can make or break the conversions. An e-commerce website with a good number of reviews stands out as compared to a website with no reviews. Create an easy way for the customers to share their review on your platform. Product reviews are user-generated content and help to keep your page fresh which in turn improves your organic ranking as well. You can even create a landing page showcasing all the positive reviews and promote it to increase your sale.
Sell on multi-channels
To increase your sell, do not rely only on your website. Identify the different channels to sell your product. Selling through multiple channels increases the chance of conversions. Some of the well-known third-party channels are:
- Online marketplace: There are lots of online marketplace website through which you can sell your products. These online marketplaces showcase products from all the major brands available. These websites offer a single platform for a user to shop anything. Some of the top online marketplaces are Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Flipkart, Tesco and more. Start promoting your products on these platforms.
- Facebook: Using Facebook, you can create stores and sell directly to your followers. Creating a shop on Facebook is very simple. It has all the options including the payment. Check out help documents from Facebook on store creation.
The e-commerce market is very competitive. However, with the right planning and strategy, you can be ahead of your competitors. Now that you have plenty of ideas to get started, I hope you find them useful for your e-commerce business.
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