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Written by Kia Irving
on March 18, 2021

Wherever you are with your ecommerce journey, there’s no doubt that one of your biggest objectives is to get customers, old and new, on your website. There are many ways you can achieve this, including PPC campaigns focusing on display, remarketing and Google shopping. But today we’re looking at eCommerce and inbound marketing. Or more specifically, the lifecycle marketing automation workflows that drive traffic (try saying that quickly!).

Consumer behaviour in 2020

With a pandemic hitting, we were all online A LOT more than usual. According to research by SendCloud, in 2020, 33% of British people shopped online at least one a week, making an average of 2.3 orders monthly. For comparison sake, in 2018 and 2019 this stat was 22% and 26% respectively.

british-ecommerce-stats-2020-1

UK-ecommerce-average-spend

With that, comes a lot of browsing!

Ideal content types for ecommerce

Your customer personas will heavily influence the areas of inbound marketing you focus on to drive web traffic. For the purpose of this blog, let’s focus on those that tend to be a good cover-all: content marketing delivered through social media, email marketing.

The world is very much your oyster when it comes to eCommerce content marketing. So long as it resonates with your customers (and leads!), you have the license to be as creative as you want.

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Product edits

Years and years ago (ok, 2018 but doesn’t that feel like a lifetime ago?) Missguided were worshipped across social media for hearing the cries for a ‘jeans and a nice top’ category on their website. Have a think of clever edits and categories you can utilise and talk about across your channels.

Supporting content: video

Did you know around 90% of consumers say that videos help them decide what to buy? Of course you did! If you’re already utilising videos on your eCommerce site, make sure you’re talking about them everywhere possible! 

How-Product-videos-increase-sales

Whether they are product demos, like how to install a car seat or how to build furniture, or showing how clothing looks in motion (because who wants to buy a skirt only to discover it’s transparent when it arrives!), show it off!

Don’t forget, hosting on YouTube is great for your SEO too. As the second largest search engine (also owned by Google) using the right keywords places you in a great position to be discovered. And that’s just the organic possibilities! There are plenty of great ad options to be had too.

User generated content

When done properly (you absolutely must get consent!), user generated content is a fantastic way to showcase your products in real life. Plus it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than influencer marketing (which is also an option of course).

In particular, we love these examples from Fortnum and Mason, showing how customers recycle and reuse their famous packaging and wicker hampers.

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On-site editorial content

Blogs. Articles. News. Whatever you want to call them. These are a great way to bolster your SEO efforts, as well as engage with customers. Whether you’re talking about new products, partnerships and brands, or company updates, it matters. Have a look at our top tips on how to create articles that people want to read here.

Social media

Organic social media content

Once again, it’s important to make sure the social media channels you use align with your personas. And it’s no good being on everything if you don’t maintain an active presence (we’re firm believers in back to basics marketing if you’re struggling).

Anyway, with a winning social media strategy in place, you’re in good stead to drive traffic to your website. Make sure you’re thinking about how to create content properly, because regurgitating what’s on your website on social media won’t cut it. Consider if you need to adapt your tone of voice to suit the differing demographics of each platform.

Social media advertising

Ads are a great way to bolster your reach and engagement, as well as for remarketing. Remember, it’s not just limited to Facebook and Twitter, you also have YouTube - the second largest search engine with 2 billion monthly active users!

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Email marketing

2020 email benchmarks

Of course, some of you might be skeptical of email. There’s always a rumour on the way that it’s dying out and irrelevant these days, especially with the rise of social media. But how do you know the true success of your efforts if you aren’t able to compare your results with your peers?

Enter: Campaign Monitor’s 2020 benchmark report. Of course, there are millions of these around but this is the one we’ve decided to share.

Average email benchmarks for all industries

Open rate: 17.8%

Click-through rate: 2.6%

Click-to-open rate: 14.3%

Unsubscribe rate: 0.1%

Bounce rate: 0.7%

You know the score, so have a look at your industry averages and see where you sit:

CM_Global_Email_Benchmarks_2021_CM-_Global-_Email-Benchmarks_Industry_Totals_Graphic

Building your email marketing database

One of the simplest ways to engage with your web customers is by building an email list. It’s key to have a strategy in place here, as sending a gazillion emails when the mood takes you simply won’t cut it anymore.

How to build your email marketing list

  1. Feature your signup form on your website footer
  2. Website popups (not too many!) with new subscriber offers
  3. Share on social media
  4. Set your PPC goals to build an email list
  5. Option to sign up during the checkout process

Marketing automation for eCommerce

First things first, having a robust CRM that integrates with your website is essential. Being able to track things like customer orders, frequency and categorise their interests makes planning your lifecycle emails more efficient and easier to automate.

Customer lifecycle touchpoints

If you can track your customers, you can determine where they are in the lifecycle. This diagram from SmartMail does a great job of illustrating what opportunities you have for emails and at which points:

customer-lifecycle-curve-2016

One step that is missing here is a new customer activation email. This is typically an icebreaker with a discount code for something like money off or free shipping (more on that below). And, if you collect birthdays (although we recommend collecting birth month, as specifics without good reason e.g. age restrictions, can have backlash from customers who are ever increasingly sensitive about data exchanges).

Win-back with abandoned cart emails

Did you know that 67.4% of online shopping carts are abandoned? There are many reasons why this happens, from real world interruptions to janky checkout processes. But one thing’s for sure, if you set up an abandoned cart email workflow, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to win those customers back.

Conversion-rate-optimization-statisctics

Neil Patel: how likely are you to buy products you left in your cart, if offered again at a lower price?

Most eCommerce platforms will have email plugins that allow you to easily set up an abandoned shopping cart workflow. So ultimately, it’s down to you to decide what your pull offer is.

Newsletters that actually drive traffic

As mentioned earlier, sending regular (planned!) updates to your customers can be a great way to encourage them back to browse. It’s important to make sure you have something ‘worthwhile’ to share though, so think about new products, brands and deals. But it’s also important not to over saturate their inboxes, as this can have a negative impact!

Identify your customer segments in your CRM

By tracking and segmenting your customers based on their interests (e.g. product categories), you can be more confident that you’re sending the right content to them.

Discount vs. free shipping

In our article about ecommerce shipping and fulfilment, we found that nearly 30% of shoppers will abandon their carts because of shipping costs. But is free shipping always more attractive than discounts? In short, no.

While free shipping can be a barrier to complete a purchase, it’s not necessarily enough of a pull for existing customers. Shopify has examined 19 ways to use discounts to generate more sales.

Inbound eCommerce strategy summary

Wherever you sit with email marketing (and marketing automation!), it’s definitely a valuable tool for driving traffic to your website. If you’re thinking of revitalising your email strategy, starting from scratch or simply want a fresh pair of eyes, get in touch. Our team of certified email geeks will be more than happy to help you on your way to converting web visitors into customers.

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