Many online shops explore new ways to cut through the noise and attract more customers as eCommerce competition grows. But, of course, all business models are different, so the processes required for success vary depending on the particular case. While eCommerce can provide an excellent opportunity for entrepreneurs to launch their own businesses online, it’s essential first to understand the basics of eCommerce marketing before applying creative eCommerce business ideas to generate more sales.
What is Ecommerce Marketing?
Marketing today is a vast field, with many niches that take time to explore. Of them all, eCommerce marketing is the most widely known and valuable, given its ability to drive traffic and sales for businesses selling products online. The principles associated with eCommerce marketing are at the heart of every strategy eCommerce businesses use to reach a larger audience and optimize profits.
eCommerce marketing encompasses on-site and off-site actions that share one common goal – generate referrals and drive action toward products or services a business sells online. The eCommerce marketing mix includes various strategies across numerous marketing channels. To help provide guidance on where to start, we have compiled ten of the best eCommerce business ideas you can implement today.
10 Best Ecommerce Business Ideas to Generate More Sales
Now that you have a solid grip on what eCommerce marketing entails, you can begin crafting an effective strategy to increase sales and bolster your company’s success. The best way to determine what will work best for your business is to track your results to see what works for you.
1. Utilize affiliate marketing and other advertising methods
One of the most straightforward eCommerce business ideas you can pursue is affiliate marketing. This monetization program engages affiliates to earn a commission by marketing products and services you sell through your eCommerce site.
Instead of increasing your website traffic, capturing new prospects, and generating leads, you can leverage your affiliate’s online success to spread the message about your products and services. You will have to develop an affiliate program to facilitate the entire project and provide affiliates with relevant links they can use in their blog posts, social media accounts, or videos.
Affiliate marketing offers quite valuable benefits to eCommerce businesses such as:
- Insightful reports (impressions, clicks, leads, and sales);
- Considerable ROI (you don’t need a marketing team or ad space);
- Easy to scale;
- Affiliates provide social proof.
2. Integrate social media into your page
Social media platforms are powerful tools you can use to pursue numerous opportunities for improving your marketing and sales. There are almost 4.3 billion people on social media. Regardless of your target market, you can leverage social media to reach your prospects, generate leads, and capture sales.
Integrating social media into your page invites users to check out your social media profiles. We are talking about a type of social proof as consumers have an opportunity to quickly check how you interact with your customers and look for ratings.
How do you decide which social media to integrate into your pages? You should begin by selecting the social networks where your brand is most active. Then, you can target some new platforms, publish new content, engage with consumers, and build an audience.
Also, remember that not all social media platforms are created equal in terms of what goals they can help you accomplish. For instance, if you want to advertise your products through lifestyle marketing, the best option is Pinterest.
On the other hand, Facebook is great for direct sales and social commerce, TikTok is the number one choice for increasing brand awareness, and more and more companies are starting to use WhatsApp for customer service.
3. Implement Live Chat to your page
Live chat is one of the best eCommerce business ideas. Live chat usually refers to a pop-up window on your eCommerce website. Its primary purpose is to facilitate interaction between customers and your brand. Live chat is an important piece of the engaging eCommerce customer experience puzzle.
It’s another tool your customer support team can use to provide the next-level service to your customers. The best thing about it is that it works across devices and enables real-time interaction. Your customers will be able to reach your agents whether they are shopping on their computers or mobile devices.
The most noteworthy benefits of live chat include the following:
- Saves time for your customers and your teams;
- Helps customers get answers to their questions faster;
- Capture valuable insights from customers;
- Adds human touch to online shopping.
Integrating and using live chat is straightforward. With modern live chat software solutions, you can set up and start using live chat on your eCommerce store within minutes. In most cases, you can customize the chat widget to match your website color palette and design and reflect your branding strategy.
4. Make sure your page is mobile friendly
Did you know that approximately 33% of online shoppers make a purchase on eCommerce websites every week using their mobile devices? The mobile experience is gaining importance as the number of mobile shoppers increases yearly.
Optimizing your website for mobile should be your number one priority. Customers will have difficulty navigating your site if your home page, category page, and product page are not mobile-friendly.
Mobile-friendly design is also a vital search engine optimization (SEO) signal for all the leading search engines. If you make your pages mobile-friendly, the search engines will evaluate your site as more user-friendly and relevant. It can help you climb search engine result page (SERP) ranks, improving your store’s online visibility.
While we are at SEO, let’s see what else you can do to capture more sales.
5. Optimize SEO on your website
SEO is often overlooked, but an essential marketing technique that can help you attract more customers and generate sales. The fact that 33% of eCommerce visits come through clicks on search engine result pages is more than enough proof that you need a good SEO strategy.
Most consumers don’t go past the first search engine result page, so ensuring a top position in SERP directly translates into more relevant organic traffic. In your case, relevant organic traffic means highly qualified leads intending to make an online purchase.
SEO encompasses numerous practices revolving around making your site more user-friendly and more relevant for the search queries of your target customers. It all starts with identifying keywords your potential customers use when searching for products online. Your job is to identify these keywords and incorporate them on your website.
You can develop off-page SEO strategies such as building backlinks, adding your shop to Google My Business, and improving your Social media presence, but your initial focus should be on on-page SEO.
On-page SEO includes:
- Improving web page load times;
- Making web pages mobile-friendly;
- Using keywords in title tags, image alt text, and meta descriptions;
- Improving the content quality (regularly publishing relevant blog posts using appropriate HTML headers);
- Adding links to other pages (internal linking);
- Improving website navigation.
It usually takes time to see results, but good SEO will pay off in the long run.
6. Personalize email marketing messages
Email marketing is a valuable asset you can use to promote products to both your potential and existing customers. You can leverage your customer data in your CRM, and email subscribers list to capture consumers’ attention and generate more sales efficiently. Email is valuable because you can use it to achieve a wide range of goals.
To achieve more optimal results, you shouldn’t send a uniform email to all the consumers. Instead, the email subject line and copy should reflect their unique needs, wants, and stages of the buyers’ journey they are in. In other words, you should personalize email marketing messages to get the consumers to open your email and click on the link.
Before personalizing your email messages, you need to segment your customers and find out the most relevant information for every segment. For instance, a welcome email is perfect for new subscribers, while discount emails are more suitable for customers with a history of purchases.
You can go one step further and personalize email marketing messages, basing them on the previous purchase history and informing customers about the products they may find interesting and useful. You don’t need to do this manually.
7. Upsell and cross-sell your items
Upselling and cross-selling are also incredible opportunities for generating more sales through eCommerce web stores. Recent research has found that these two tactics can increase sales by up to 30%.
A quick reminder, though – upselling is a sales technique you can use to entice customers to spend more on products of higher quality. Cross-selling is also a great sales technique. However, its goal is to encourage customers to buy products related to the product they’ve initially decided to buy.
Adding upselling and cross-selling to your eCommerce marketing strategy is relatively straightforward. However, since it requires some technical knowledge and experience, you should work with your web development team to add these options to the relevant pages of your site.
8. Use scarcity tactics
Scarcity is one of the most powerful psychological triggers to create a sense of urgency and convince shoppers on your site to click that “Buy Now” button and complete a purchase. It all boils down to sending the right message at the right time.
In this case, the message is “Your chances of getting the product are low.” This type of message communicates that a particular item is scarce, automatically making it more precious in customers’ eyes. The fear of missing out on the opportunity to purchase the item later entices customers to complete a purchase as soon as possible.
To provide accurate information to your customers, you must step up your inventory and order management practices. Consider looking into order management systems to keep tabs on all products in your inventory and easily tell which products you can advertise as scarce.
When it comes to scarcity tactics, you can use any of the following:
- Time-sensitive offers (count-down timers for sales promotions and discounts for new customers and complementary products);
- Limited editions (new product launches and seasonal products);
- Quick-turn products;
- Time-sensitive free shipping;
- Buy in advance products that are temporarily out of stock.
You can also reach out to your existing customers with a last-chance email to notify them about great time-sensitive sales and exclusive offers.
9. Retarget existing customers
Retargeting is a marketing strategy many eCommerce businesses use. Its main goal is to retain customers and increase sales. Retargeting is a specific type of marketing that targets consumers who already know about your brand and have taken an interest in the products or services listed on your online shop.
Depending on the eCommerce platform you used to build and launch your store, you can retarget customers by installing one of the relevant retargeting plugins or add-ons. The most basic steps you can take to succeed at retargeting is to segment your potential customers by checkout process (the page after they decided to leave your shop) and type (first-time, returning, current, dormant, seasonal, and year-round customers).
The next step is to create personalized ads for every customer segment or use email retargeting if you have already captured their email addresses.
10. Minimize cart abandonment
Cart abandonment has been a considerable challenge as long as the eCommerce industry has existed. Abandoned carts or baskets are a percentage of consumers who add items to their cart and leave without completing a purchase. Therefore, if you minimize cart abandonment, you will automatically increase sales.
Fortunately, there are many ways to address this challenge. Start by revisiting your call-to-action buttons – the consumers must be able to see what they need to do next. The links to check out all the different options and head straight to checkout should be prominent.
Choice of delivery options should also be easy to distinguish if you offer this option to your customers. Also, it’s beneficial to capture consumers’ contact information by requesting them to register, but some consumers don’t like it. Finally, ensure they can shop as guests, so they don’t abandon their loaded carts.
Gathering employee feedback is another effective process improvement strategy for reducing cart abandonment and enhancing workflows to serve customers better. Analytical tools that track customer buying patterns and any problems they might encounter at checkout can further complement this process.
So, these are some of the best eCommerce business ideas that you can use to generate more sales.
Running and managing an eCommerce business is a constant struggle to outsmart the competition to attract more customers, keep them loyal, and generate more sales. As you can see, you have more than a couple of options to increase profit.
Some of the eCommerce business ideas we’ve shared with you are easier to follow than others. Some require you to use additional resources, while others require you to make changes to your website. Whichever course of action you decide to pursue, monitor the results to ensure the effectiveness of your strategy.
Oliver Stasinszky is an outreach team lead at LiveAgent, with an e-commerce and customer service background. Passionate about writing, reading, and learning how to play any musical instrument he comes across.