eCommerce Marketing Ideas for 2018

Posted on 29 December, 2017

Counting a last few days to 2017, we bid adieu to a promising year. I remember the exact same time last year, sitting on my desk on a late evening and thinking about what new things are we going to do next year. I had no idea, neither my team and nor did my clients. We were so busy shaping marketing strategy for the holiday season and getting the most out of it. It was the time when we hit record breaking sales, so there was no point on spending time on what we are going to do next year instead of getting the most out of it now.

Most small/medium businesses face this; they put every resource into effect during Holiday season and don’t plan ahead. After Christmas, everyone is like what now? I did my homework early this year and prepared an article out of the F.A.Qs I get every year. This article is for our clients and every business who are at the stage I mentioned above.

This article includes a list of PRACTICAL ideas which can be adopted by a medium sized eCommerce business to grow in 2018. I will spare big words like Big Data and Machine learning because let’s face it, small businesses cannot invest time and money in those things, instead, I am going to list down tools which use Big Data and Machine learning to improve UX.

Let’s dive into the questions.

Do I really need an eCommerce marketing strategy for 2018? The strategy used in 2017 worked pretty well, can’t we continue with that?

Yes and No. You can leverage what worked in 2017 but that doesn’t mean we should not try new and better things. There is a possibility to get a higher ROI from new strategy or there are even chances that old strategies might become obsolete. In tech, you will have to innovate every day.

How should we approach content marketing for eCommerce in 2018?

Content marketing is tricky for eCommerce. With availability of so many resources online, eCommerce managers often get confused on what type of content to create, what channel to publish them on etc. I often see marketers touting their own horn to sell things they are good at and people believing it is the next big thing. Don’t trust and try everything that you read online, see what fits your industry and audience. Make content based on what stage of purchase your customer is in, once you have enough content generated for each stage, the conversion rates will shoot up. Refer below image to see what type of content helps for what stage.

To create a successful strategy, you must understand what your audience needs. What they are searching for on the internet and how you can add value to it. When you make a content strategy, make it for the people and not for search engines. If we talk about content for eCommerce, most people are looking for the ways they can use a particular product, its features, reviews, pros, and cons etc. People want to know how a product can add value and utility compared to other products. Make content which revolves around the things which can help people make a decision and lead to conversion.

Video is going to be big in 2018. In 2017, we saw a big growth in video consumption on all social media platforms. Facebook saw a 4X increase in video consumption YoY and Cisco reports that 75% of web traffic by 2020 will be videos. 2018 is the right time to jump on the ship. Even Amazon has started a special program for product videos this holiday season. Even we started using video for our clients in baby, home appliances, and electronics segment, it brought a 3 figure growth in sales across some products. 

A video review program can be started to encourage people to submit video reviews showing the use of the product. A few video reviews can make a big difference in the sales. 

You can move hearts and minds with video in ways you just can’t with text and standard display

- Jason Kint, chief executive officer of Digital Content Next

What should be eCommerce mobile strategy?

Having a mobile strategy or not is no longer a debate. Most eCommerce websites are mobile friendly and have a mobile accessible view, still most eCommerce businesses lack mobile-only strategy. Marketing strategy used for desktop does not always work for mobile. A customer can be on different purchase touch-point on desktop than he is on a mobile device.

2018 should be a year of a separate mobile-only strategy where retailers focus on how people interact with their mobile store and optimize it accordingly. It is a common statistic that conversion rates and engagement is lower on a mobile device than the desktop. Your mobile strategy is in the right direction when the engagement and conversion rates are more than the desktop device.

Keep the following points in mind while making a mobile-first strategy for your eCommerce store:

  • Optimize the speed. A website which loads faster, converts faster.
  • 1 click checkout and payment
  • Mobile responsive email content
  • Easy Navigation, filter and sort options
  • Start preparing for mobile app

How should we use AI/Machine Learning for eCommerce?

First things first, don’t let yourself carried away with the fancy words like Artificial Intelligence. AI is used in eCommerce to improve UX and convert more people. You are already using it at multiple places. To get the most out of it, you just need to do it in an advanced way. Most common uses of AI and Machine learning in eCommerce are:

  • Dynamic Remarketing Ads
  • Segmentation and personalization based on user attributes and past behavior (Use Google Optimise)
  • Payment Fraud Protection
  • Product recommendations 
  • Supply and Demand prediction
  • Dynamic pricing
  • Automated customer support messages

Deliver product suggestions based on past purchase and search data to make it more relevant, don’t just show suggestions based on product attributes. Recommend products which have higher chances of sales to that particular customer. There are apps like Nosto, which can help you achieve this goal with a few simple clicks.

Another thing you should take advantage of is chat bots. Chat bots are growing in popularity, they are pretty useful and can help you tons of hours of customer support. You can configure automated messages and reply based on keywords. They are really easy to configure and can help gain customers confidence.

What else should we do to get more sales in 2018?

Leverage Shopping Ads

Shopping ads from Google AdWords is one of the most powerful tool under-utilized or utilized inefficiently by eCommerce merchants. We have had amazing results for our clients by optimizing shopping campaigns. If you approach shopping campaigns in a right way it can prove to be the best channel for sales. If you are already using shopping ads, try allocating a bigger budget on it and see the results.

Get more data from the visitors

eCommerce merchants often fail to collect data from customers. When you are not as big as Amazon, people won’t trust you with their details to sign up for an account. E-commerce stores drive thousands of targeted visitors to their website but most of them leave without giving any information. This is like throwing money into the dustbin. E-commerce stores miss out on this and there is a huge opportunity. Imagine if you have data of 20% people who visit your website. This database of targeted leads can make a huge impact on marketing and number of sales.

Image Credit : glassesusa.com

People won’t readily sign up for a newsletter or create an account with you (unless they are bots), you will have to offer them incentives to do so or a simple nudge to make them aware the benefits of signing up. The newsletter box in the footer is not touched since 1998, so don’t expect everyone to sign up from there. Approach a creative way to gather those data and use it in the right way.


2018 is going to be a year of growth. Tighten your seat belts and get ready for the ride. With innovation in eCommerce happening every day, the ride is going to be a bit bumpy. Emipro has a team of eCommerce consultants who can help you make the ride smoother and achieve the growth you desired. Contact us now if you looking to take your eCommerce store to the next level.


Shetul Majithiya , Digital Marketing Executive

Biznote

About Emipro

Being an emerging leader in IT market since 2011, Emipro Technologies Pvt. Ltd. has been providing a wide range of business solutions in Odoo & Magento. We are pleased to have a large pool of contented customers with our meticulous work in the domain of ERP & e-Commerce. Our customers are companies of all sizes ranging from startups to large enterprises who realize that they need a professional internet solution to generate revenue streams, establish proper communication channels, to achieve desired goals and streamline business operations. [....] Read More

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