6 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
There’s no better time to get into ecommerce than today. The market for online goods and services is growing rapidly, and technology is getting better at meeting the needs and expectations of consumers.
But as profitable as ecommerce can be, you can never do away with competition. That’s why as an entrepreneur, it’s always wise to have marketing goals that can get more visitors to your shop, convert these visitors into customers and ultimately grow your business.
It’s easy to get lost in the din of ideas about ecommerce, so I’ve listed six marketing goals that you should definitely adopt for your store.
1. Optimize product pages for search engines
As more and more people hop onto the ecommerce bandwagon, it’s becoming more urgent for brands to invest in SEO or search engine optimization. Having the right optimizations in place, especially on your product pages, makes it easier for search engines to find your store and show it in relevant search results. Ultimately, this will lead potential buyers to your store and help establish its name in the niche it falls under.
Gaining organic rankings offers long-term value. However, there’s a quicker way for your store to show up on the search results, and that is via paid ads. For a price, your store can get a high placement on search results and get a traffic boost — a great complement to your organic SEO efforts.
Related: 10 Fundamentals to Understanding SEO
2. Capture leads through social media
Online shopping has become an indispensable part of the new normal, and businesses that use multiple social channels ultimately sell more products than those that don’t.
A great place to start social media marketing is Instagram. It’s a business-friendly platform, especially with its features that let sellers tag products on their posts. With Instagram, brands like yours can easily turn ordinary browsing into a convenient shopping experience for users.
You can also capture leads through other social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. But before you settle on a platform, check first if your target audience uses it. It wouldn’t be wise to stretch your time and resources on several social media sites if your ideal customers use only a couple or so.
3. Collect email leads through signup forms
It’s normal to have store visitors who may eye certain products but aren’t ready to make a purchase. These visitors usually need a little more convincing or nurturing, and this is where a signup CTA and email sequences come in handy.
With a signup form, you can collect people’s information and then send them messages and deals that could persuade them to buy. You may use a mix of different signup forms, such as popups and static opt-in boxes.
When someone fills out your form, they’re basically giving you permission to contact them. You should take advantage of that by having email sequences ready. Your emails should aim to nurture your leads, counter any buying objections they might have and eventually lead them to make a purchase.
4. Boost sales through upselling and cross-selling
Upselling and cross-selling are powerful tools to increase the value of a customer’s purchase. Plus, they could help customers know more about your offers even if they don’t immediately buy.
Upselling is when you offer a better and more expensive product than what the customer is looking at on your product page or checkout page. Meanwhile, cross-selling is when you suggest an additional product that can improve the customer’s experience with the product they have in their cart.
Let’s say you’re selling bags. On every bag product page of your store, you can try to offer upsells by displaying one or two more expensive bag designs close to the main product’s images. This way, shoppers will have more options and could decide whether to go for the cheapest bag or the one with the best features.
For cross-selling, an example is offering travel accessories, like a sanitizer bag tag or a neck pillow, that go well with travel bags.
Amazon is one of the most popular platforms that actively offer upsells and cross-sells. Next time you shop on Amazon, pay attention to their product recommendation sections packaged as Frequently Bought Together, Similar Items and Top Picks For You.
5. Reduce abandoned carts
It’s common knowledge among online entrepreneurs that up to 97 percent of store visitors are there simply to look around and click away. That’s why it’s not surprising that abandoned carts are a common problem for ecommerce. In fact, cart abandonment rates could go as high as 87 percent, which should spur your goal of reducing these incidents.
You must assess what could be stopping shoppers from completing their transaction. It could be due to a complicated checkout page, limited payment methods, lack of trust badges or other issues.
You can minimize potential problems by displaying badges and logos shoppers can easily recognize, such as those of cybersecurity companies like Norton and McAfee.
6. Build customer loyalty
Did you know that it’s far less expensive to sell to a past customer than acquire a new one? This is why brands invest in customer retention, and one way to do this is through a customer loyalty program.
Rewarding loyalty can benefit both your customers and your brand. With it, you can give customers compelling reasons to purchase and repurchase from your store. And if your rewards are one of a kind, they’ll likely spread the word to their social circles and help you with word-of-mouth marketing.
Rewards can come in the form of discounts, freebies, waived fees or exclusive items. The key point is to create offers that can inspire loyalty and increase your customers’ lifetime value.
As an ecommerce business owner, setting goals and taking action — especially for marketing your brand — are what will help you scale. You can’t go wrong with the goals listed here, but be sure to keep track of your niche, monitor your progress and adjust your strategies as needed. Hopefully, the six insights I’ve shared have helped you understand how important marketing is and the many different ways you can strengthen your ecommerce brand.