Launching your online store is a major accomplishment, but it’s only the first step toward running a profitable business. Developing an effective, comprehensive marketing campaign and following through on your plans are the essential next measures.
After all, website promotion is a stepping stone for quality traffic generation to help get customers in ecommerce. Before you jump headfirst into promotion, however, you need to prepare and follow a marketing checklist that covers all of the bases.
Why is checklist creation important?
Regardless of the items that your store sells and who your customers are, there are numerous strategies that you can use to drive website leads.
In addition to the numerous items that you’ll want to review in your ecommerce checklist for the launch of your business, marketing requires your full attention.
Because of the importance of a well-rounded marketing strategy, creating a plan of action that’s tailored to your business’s products, audience, and budget is essential.
Ecommerce marketing checklist
When you think about promoting your website, you may initially consider paid ads on Google and promoting a specific product individually on social media. However, these are only a few of the many methods that you should incorporate.
This handy checklist for ecommerce marketing can help guide your efforts in promoting your business effectively!
1. Create a content marketing strategy
All aspects of your marketing efforts should be cohesively branded. In addition, they should appeal to your target audience and focus on their needs and wants.
Through the creation of a game plan for your content marketing and the development of customer personas, you can set the foundation for a cohesive, effective approach.
After your customer personas are properly developed, you’re ready to identify keywords and themes that are most relevant to them. Then, use your content marketing strategy to make thoughtful decisions as you proceed through the other items on this checklist.
2. Maintain consistency with your content marketing strategy
Some ecommerce business owners may begin to doubt the effectiveness of their efforts if they don’t see rapid and significant results. In reality, it can take several months before you begin to see results from your efforts.
Avoid the temptation to make significant adjustments to the strategy too soon. Consistency is essential to achieving optimal results.
3. Stay up-to-date with your industry’s news and trends
Your customers want to have an amazing experience with your company and your goods if they choose to make a purchase. Positioning yourself as a leader in your field and touting your goods are only part of the battle.
In addition to establishing high expectations through marketing messages, your goods and services must live up to the expectations that you set.
One of the more important factors that contribute to your ecommerce success is monitoring relevant news and trends. You must always project an image of being on top of your game.
Furthermore, your knowledge of trends and developments may help you to develop new products and to reposition your business quickly if a need arises.
4. Leverage user-generated content
While you and your team will prepare a significant portion of online content, you can also use content generated by your customers. This may include product reviews on your website or business reviews on a third-party site. It could also involve videos and images for added oomph.
It’s appropriate and even beneficial to ask customers with whom you’ve recently done business to provide feedback. Ensure that you set up a system to solicit feedback in a timely manner so that customers’ opinions of your products are fresh in their minds.
5. Add fresh content to your website often
Fresh content on your site serves two critical purposes. First, it’s essential for superior rankings on search engine results pages.
Second, it gives your customers a reason to continue returning to your site. Fresh content may include blog posts, details on promotions, new merchandise, and more.
6. Categorize products strategically
A sign of a thoughtfully designed ecommerce site is users being able to make minimal clicks to find what they’re looking for. In addition to having a search bar, your website needs to feature product categories.
These categories should make sense and should collectively cover all of your merchandise. If you have too many categories for customers to quickly browse through, make a few large categories with more refined subcategories.
7. Optimize your website content for SEO
While you can pay for advertising on Google and social media platforms, you might prefer to focus on driving free traffic to your website organically, especially if you’re working with a smaller budget.
Search engine optimization (SEO) has become increasingly complex over the years, but there are some simple and effective techniques that you can use to optimize your site. By doing so, you can help your website to rank higher on search engines like Google, which in turn can increase traffic to your store.
In addition to incorporating targeted keywords throughout your website, you should use meta tags for each page. Everything from backlinks to the relevance and age of content play a role in optimization. Because SEO techniques are evolving, this is an important area to monitor.
8. Use high-quality images
Customers often prefer to visually inspect, feel, and even test features of products before making a purchase in person. Because these steps are not possible with an online purchase, customers rely on information they pull from product descriptions and images.
Every product on your website should have at least a few high-quality images. An image zoom feature may also be advantageous to view details close up.
9. Give every image on your site a proper name and use alt text
Search engines like Google pay attention to details like the file names for images on a website. Giving each image a purposeful, optimized name can provide your store with the extra boost that it needs to rank better.
For an added benefit, add descriptive alt text to each image. This is the text that will display instead of the image if the image doesn’t load for some reason on the page.
10. Start an email newsletter
If you aren’t actively requesting and capturing your visitors’ contact information, you’re missing an incredible opportunity to magnify the power of your marketing reach.
Consider the amount of time, energy, and money that it takes to bring a lead to your site. When you gather contact information from those leads, you can directly communicate with them in the future.
A regular newsletter is a great way to build your brand image. You can also use it to stay in touch with customers, to promote new goods, to offer expert-level advice, and more.
You may be inclined to buy an email list to get started, but the power of an opt-in list is incomparable.
11. Add infographics to your site
Do you have stats to share with your website visitors? Do you want to show off a process, cycle, or something else? Infographics are an excellent way to explain complex ideas with images, charts, and a small amount of text.
Infographics can take a while to develop, but they are often worthwhile. Consider that your visitors can quickly absorb seemingly complicated information or steps when they are presented in a clear, easy-to-understand visual display.
12. Try guest posting on other websites
If you’re looking for a cost-effective way to reach new potential customers, guest posting on an affiliated blog is a wonderful idea.
Rather than posting on a site that directly competes with yours, choose a website that offers related products that your own customers may also use. Site owners often add guest posts to each other’s sites for mutual benefits and without receiving direct financial compensation.
13. Use Google Ads
Google is the irrefutable king of the search engine industry, so it makes sense to give yourself an edge with Google advertising. Google searches play a major role in many shoppers’ product selection processes.
The majority of users won’t look beyond the first page of results when searching for a specific site or product. Unfortunately, obtaining a top placement on search engine results pages is easier said than done.
Furthermore, the organic results aren’t actually at the top of Google’s results pages. There are usually at least one or two websites that have paid for that top spot. Paying for Google Ads could be a reasonable step to take while you work on your store’s SEO.
14. Start a podcast
If your only marketing efforts are in the forms of text and still images, you’re missing out on incredible opportunities to get noticed online. Podcasts are increasingly popular, and your own podcast can position your business as a leader in your industry.
It simultaneously enables you to establish loyalty with your customers and communicate with them directly. Your own podcast also allows you to showcase new items or special features.
15. Use a variety of social media platforms
Social media platforms provide both free and paid marketing solutions for ecommerce businesses like yours. Each platform offers unique features and appeals to different users. However, most businesses should be active on at least a couple of the leading social media networks.
Facebook continues to be a leader in social media. Its appeal is that users from teens through seniors are active on the platform around the globe. You can set up a business page, establish a group, and create a store all through Facebook.
Instagram is affiliated with Facebook. As a result, when you pay for ads on Facebook, you have the option to run them on Instagram as well.
Instagram is an image-based platform that also has a broad reach across many demographics. One of the more common ways that ecommerce businesses use Instagram is by spotlighting products or features through individual posts.
Like Instagram, Pinterest is an image-based platform that is ideal for showcasing products. In addition to creating pins and boards for your merchandise, you can promote your blog posts, podcasts, and more through the site.
While a picture speaks a thousand words, a video with moving images, text overlaps, and audio can say so much more. YouTube provides you with a convenient platform for posting videos.
These videos can then be linked to your social media profiles, your website, or other areas. Use your YouTube videos to show off features, create how-to demonstrations, and in other ways that are relevant to your business and appealing to your target audience.
16. Automate your posts on social media
A cornerstone of social media marketing success is consistency. Several automation tools are available that offer a planning calendar, the development of a post queue, and more.
These tools save time and maintain a predetermined posting schedule. Consider trying several of these tools to experiment with their features before you commit to one.
17. Collaborate with influencers
When you tap into the incredible power of online influencers, you can reach thousands or even millions of users. Influencers may recommend a product that you sell or could tout how amazing your entire business is.
They might share a video, a blog post, or a photo to help promote your business. Collaborating with influencers involves getting on their radar and making a great impression.
18. Reward customer loyalty
You already know that you want to maximize the full benefit of all of your visitors by building an email distribution list. In a similar manner, you also want to optimize the benefits of satisfied customers.
You can give your happy customers an incentive to return through a loyalty program. This may include special discounts, free merchandise, early access to new merchandise, and other perks.
Likewise, provide encouragement or incentives for your loyal customers to refer your ecommerce business to friends and family.
19. Exceed customers’ expectations
Customer satisfaction is paramount in the success of an ecommerce business. Always ask for reviews and feedback on the items you sell and on the overall customer experience.
All negative comments should be properly addressed, and they may offer insight on areas where improvement is needed.
You should set reasonable expectations throughout the marketing process so that your customers are pleased with your products and with the services that you provide. One way that this is accomplished is by overdelivering on promises.
20. Send abandoned cart emails
The abandoned cart rate of a typical ecommerce website is startlingly high. In fact, a study from Statista found that the average rate in March 2020 was about 88%!
Abandoned cart situations involve potential customers on whom you spend time and money attracting to your shop. They liked at least one of your products enough to place them in a virtual cart.
With this in mind, it makes sense to reach out to them another time or two about the items that they abandoned in their shopping cart.
Several applications and plugins have features specifically designed for this purpose. Consider offering a limited-time discount or another incentive to entice the shopper to finalize the purchase.
21. Use upsell techniques
Upselling is an effective way to encourage your customers to purchase more expensive goods to increase your store’s average order value.
One way to do this is to add a “Customers Also Viewed” feature at the bottom of a product description or in a sidebar. Other ideas are to use popups, newsletters, and emails to get the word out about recommended products.
22. Offer free shipping
Did you know that the overwhelming majority of online shoppers expect the store to pay for shipping? While some consumers may still buy a product if the shipping fees are reasonable, others will leave the website and search for an alternative.
If you can’t afford to supply free shipping for all orders, consider offering it for transactions over a specific dollar amount.
23. Request customer feedback
Customers want to know that the websites that they do business with care about them. They also want to know that these businesses are easy to reach and are focused on improving.
Whether you ask for a customer review or you send out a post-purchase survey, make an effort to learn more about each customer’s experience.
24. Offer discounts or free gifts for special events
When your customers sign up for a newsletter or other promotions, you can collect information on special events, such as a birthday or wedding anniversary.
As these dates roll around, provide the customer with a complimentary gift or a special discount to build loyalty. You can also offer birthday discounts in exchange for the customers supplying their email address, helping to build your email list.
25. Keep tabs on your marketing budget and key metrics
With so many unique ways to promote your business, you understandably want to maximize the reach of your marketing budget. Consider experimenting with new marketing strategies strategically so that you can analyze the results.
By keeping up with key metrics, you can gradually learn how to make the most out of every marketing dollar spent.
For most businesses, the majority of these strategies are relevant and beneficial. All marketing efforts should begin with the development of a budget and a content marketing strategy. From there, you can customize your plan based on the unique nature of your business, using this checklist as a guide!