E-commerce Marketing also termed as online shopping, is becoming more widespread as more consumers look to the Internet for purchasing results. Consumers can find a wider diversity of goods, often at more competitive prices, than they would at their local brick and mortar retailers. According to Understanding Online Shopper Behaviours by Forester Research, E-commerce business-to-consumer product sales totaled $142.5 billion in 2011, representing about 8% of retail product sales in the United States.
E-commerce marketing is basically the process of driving sales by raising consciousness about an online store’s brand and product offerings. Digital marketing for e-commerce applies traditional marketing principles to a multichannel, data-driven environment.
E-commerce marketing can be divided into two general actions: driving website traffic and enhancing the user experience for conversion. Both are important components to growing an online business — failure in one is all but sure to undermine any success in the other. Seasoned marketers can flourish in a digital landscape, starting with a solid foundation of common terms.
E-commerce Marketing Channels
- Pay-per-click Advertising (PPC): Effective PPC campaigns drive users with intent to purchase, making it more effectual than many traditional advertising platforms. Businesses Firms bid on the impressions for paid listings at the top of search engine results, paying on a per-click basis. Impressions are usually determined by user search query, with strategy revolving around which keyword bids yield the highest ROI.
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM): Used a synonym for PPC, stating to paid advertising campaigns. SEM is used to describe efforts on Google’s AdWords platform and paid platforms on further search engines, such as Bing. This complicated term is also used by many marketers to describe all paid and organic efforts.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Unlike the paid media chances described above, SEO traffic comes from unpaid “organic” outcomes on search engines such as Google and Yahoo. Successful SEO necessitates adherence to best practices on a product page level in tandem with content creation, inbound links, social media engagement, and many other factors that search engine algorithms take into attention.
- Display Advertising: Banners, sidebars and many other predominantly-visual advertisements that appear on other websites. Display ads are simplified by ad networks such as Google Display Network.
- Affiliate Marketing: Recommendations from other websites with industry or product-focused content such as reviews, evaluations, and testimonials. Successful affiliates have a reliable following or receive traffic from some of the above channels. They usually receive a set commission of referred sales, often determined on a case-by-case basis.
- Email Marketing: Newsletters, unrestricted cart notifications and remarketing all use email to target all the past and potential customers.
E-commerce Marketing terms
- Google AdWords: Google’s advertising platform pioneered the PPC model and exploits the company’s majority shares of the search market.
- Search Engine Results Page (SERP): The cumulative results from users performing a search engine query, comprising organic and paid listings. Having results on the first page of SERPs is critical to obtaining new customers.
- Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO): The process of refining every aspect of a website so that more visitors purchase. Quicker load times less clicks to purchase and more enticing product descriptions/images make it easier for users to evaluate your products and follow through to The most common metric for evaluating CRO efforts is conversion rate.
- Conversion Funnel: The steps taken by a prospect to become a customer, beginning with consciousness and ending with a purchase. Higher-priced items generally have a longer sales cycle, while low-cost items can alter in a much shorter period of time.
Keeping up with e-commerce marketing trends
All industries grow, but online marketing tends to mature at a rapid rate. Search engines and advertising platforms are regularly changing their requirements, rules, and algorithms that determine results. As such, it’s vital to stay abreast of major changes. Some extremely successful SEO tactics can become liabilities overnight. As Google and other search engines refine their algorithms to deliver the highest-quality results, it’s critical to monitor these developments and make sure your store is compliant.
Conversely, algorithm updates can also offer opportunities. Hummingbird increased the standing of semantic search, permitting SEOs to rely less on exact-match keywords. Less rigorous keyword requirements leads to more creativity, and high-ranking product results today are not as reliant on inclusion of precise product keywords. Other updates have favoured websites with excellent informational content, increasing the standing — and opportunity — of utilizing blogs, buying guides, and other methods of content.
Staying plugged into the community and getting the scoop on the latest e-commerce marketing tips is a great idea for online business owners who want to find out proven strategies and execute them for short and long-term results.