Ecommerce is a tricky beast to plan and implement. There are a number of moving parts that one doesn’t normally see in other business models, and the approach will always vary from one Ecommerce client to another, as the basis for any digital marketing strategy should revolve around one’s customers and how they consume information relevant to your products and services. That said, ecommerce marketing and digital marketing are not aligned in exclusivity, as the best ecommerce marketing agencies use all digital channels to promote products and grow their client’s business.
This article is intended to help members of the C-Suite, executive managers, and internal marketing teams learn why ecommerce marketing has failed for so many businesses, while guiding leadership teams in the right direction to securing services designed to work for your specific business model, and to attract and convert your target customers.
1. The Ecommerce Marketing Approach
One of the biggest reasons why ecommerce marketing fails for businesses is they choose an approach that doesn’t make sense for their business. More than 70 percent of businesses searching for ecommerce marketing solutions do so by entering search phrases like “ecommerce SEO” or “SEO for ecommerce”. But what we found is that most people searching with these terms don’t really have a full grasp for what they need to be successful, and most of the time SEO alone won’t help them hit their growth goals. When searching for an ecommerce marketing agency, make sure to determine an approach that’s based on your customer’s buying behavior and your sales cycle. If you have a longer sales cycle, and your customers tend to do an abundance of research before making a purchasing decision, then a custom growth stack could be your ideal solution. However, if your sales cycle is short or even instantaneous, and your buyers don’t need to do any research, than an ecommerce SEO strategy running side-by-side a paid media campaign, could be the most cost-effective way for you to hit your sales goals. A top ecommerce marketing agency will work with you to define various approaches, and help you select one that makes the most sense for hitting your high-revenue goals.
2. Ecommerce SEO that’s Outdated and Poorly Executed
Search engine optimization is the hardest marketing strategy to engineer and execute, and ecommerce SEO is even more challenging. With companies offering multiple products that are similar, yet different, an effective ecommerce SEO strategy must utilize content that captures the features and differences of each product, and use tactics to attract specific buyer personas of shoppers most likely to convert to revealing how each product provides the best solution to their needs.
Unfortunately, most ecommerce SEO strategies executed by digital marketing strategies are outdated, poorly thought-out, and garner no results that lead to actual conversions. When interviewing ecommerce marketing agencies, make sure their SEO efforts reflect the following:
- A rewrite of all titles, tags and meta descriptions
- Keyword research and creation that focuses on both broad and longtail version with context
- Rewrites of homepage content and primary pages to create a healthy environment for SEO to work
- Creating pillar pages that link to main product pages (or in some cases the home page) that come complete with their own set of custom blog clusters
- A measurable approach that shows month-over month organic growth
- An SEO approach designed to work with other strategies, such as ecommerce email marketing and paid media
Gone are the days of keyword stuffing and writing solely for Google’s algorithm. Today’s winning ecommerce SEO strategy will use a modern approach that focuses on buyer needs. In addition, this strategy will create an evergreen approach that will continuously ranks the right content for specific year-around events. For example, running an ecommerce SEO strategy for Black Friday sales can be done in a way so the content will rank well for years to come, placing your company and it’s products well ahead of how your competitors appear in the SERPs.
3. Failure to Run an Effective Ecommerce Email Marketing Strategy
If you aren’t running an ecommerce email marketing campaign, you are missing out. Ecommerce email marketing may not be as hot a topic as it was 10 years ago. But thanks to the advent of marketing technology and robust CRMs, this strategy can play a significant role in reaching the right leads most likely to convert into paying customers. Unfortunately, most businesses ignore this strategy, or it is done in a poorly executed manner by internal teams lacking the experience and right tech tools to really see improvements to their bottom line.
A top ecommerce marketing agency will have a CRM like HubSpot that allows marketers to see where every lead came in from, the stages they took to move through the funnel, and where they dropped off, or where they converted. In fact, HubSpot even reveals the names of every lead, where they work, and what their job title is. With this advanced insight that Google Analytics can’t provide, ecommerce email marketing strategists can get a better understanding of their buyer’s needs, score leads appropriately, and segment them into specific buyer personas before nurturing them with a stream of emails using the right cadence, with an intimate level of content that speaks directly to their needs by offering your products as they best solution.
Once your ecommerce marketing agency has an active email marketing campaign running, other strategies like SEO and paid media can help direct traffic to multiple stages in the funnel and increase lead volume and conversions.
4. Lack of Data, and the Inability to Analyze the Right Data
Another main reason why ecommerce marketing fails for so many people is they have no idea what data to pay attention to, and how to decipher it. Understanding the right data is central to your ability to hit growth goals because it is what ultimately allows you to increase leads and sales. Novice teams will focus on rankings and visitors to certain pages, as well as session durations. While these are certainly important to track, they are not the most important things to follow and dissect.
When most people implement inbound into their ecommerce marketing strategy, they tend to center their focus on getting new leads in the funnel. But once you have collected a significant number of leads, it’s crucial to keep the pipeline clean by determining who is really interested in your products, and who the pointless looky loos are. This is where lead scoring come in, and focusing on the right data will help you effectively score leads, create high-quality opportunities, and filter out the garbage leads of uninterested parties that exist to clutter your pipeline. This means knowing where they converted from, the types of content they engaged, the forms they filled out, and the time in which their buyer’s journey stages played out displays crucial data that can be used to optimize all marketing strategies in the approach. But if you are just using Google Analytics, most of the data you are examining brings much uncertainty and guessing, whereas a CRM that tracks lead conversions and engagement at a deeper level will give you and your ecommerce marketing agency all the data necessary for fueling an agile approach that will gild your bottom line in gold.
Ecommerce marketing strategies for larger business require a higher degree of data analysis, conversion rate optimization tactics for wider buyer persona cohorts, and a number of other challenges not commonly seen in smaller business needs. Keep these points close in your decision-making process when looking for an ecommerce marketing agency, and you will be off to a great start for ongoing success.
Is a Growth Marketing Stack Ideal for Your Ecommerce Marketing Approach?
It just might be! Or ecommerce SEO tactics with paid media might be a better fit for your business. Let’s start here: download this FREE guide on the WEBITMD Growth Stack and see if it makes sense for your business and customers. Then give us a call; we would love to learn about your products, sales cycle and customers so that, together, we can carve out a custom approach that will help you hit your target revenue goals.