Part of growing your online business is choosing and using the right marketing tactics and tools. Your strategy includes everything from creating brand awareness to driving new sales and retaining current customers. As you grow, you can turn to all sorts of different tools that help you manage and execute your marketing strategy. These tools can improve quality and save you time.
To help you choose the right tools, we put together a list of the best eCommerce marketing tools to try for your online brand.
Choosing the Right eCommerce Marketing Tools for Your Business
As you look into new marketing tools to use, consider the following for your business:
- Marketing goals — Are you more focused on driving traffic, increasing conversions, or upselling current customers?
- Budget — How much can you invest right now?
- Technical capability — Do you need a user-friendly tool or a robust one that you could hire someone to help with?
Considering your needs upfront will ensure you select a tool that can immediately add value to your marketing efforts.
1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Any business online should know the basics of Search Engine Optimization, or SEO. It’s the practice of improving both the quantity and quality of web traffic to your site through organic search engine results. Unlike paid ads, you do not pay for this traffic either.
The main purpose of SEO is for your site to rank high in Google’s (or any search engine) results for the keywords that matter to your business. The higher you rank, the more likely a user will click on your link and land on your site to make a purchase.
On the first page alone, the first five organic results account for 67.6% of all the clicks. [Zero Limit Web]
When it comes to SEO, don’t overlook that the focus is to drive the RIGHT traffic to your site. If you sell leather purses only, you don’t want to attract customers looking for leather boots instead.
Overall, SEO is hard work and an essential strategy for your business. You won’t improve overnight, but it should be viewed as a valuable long term strategy.
You can also invest in SEO tools that will help you understand and improve your current SEO strategy:
2. Social Media
Social media is a must-have for most brands. It’s an important channel to create and foster a dialogue with your customers, whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.
An average of 3 hours per day is spent on social networks and messaging. [Globalwebindex]
But, remember that your brand doesn’t need to be on every social media platform. You only need to be where your customers are. If the majority of your customers don’t use Pinterest, then don’t have a profile there. Sometimes less can be more. Only put time and effort into the platforms that will make a difference for your brand.
These are popular tools to help you manage, schedule, and track your posts across different social channels:
Beyond marketing, eCommerce platforms like Shopify have also added built-in social media buy buttons that turn these platforms into additional selling channels. Your posts can turn into simple and convenient for customers to make purchases, without even leaving the social channel itself.
3. Email Marketing
Despite the hype around other channels like social media, email marketing could be the most important marketing tactic for your eCommerce brand.
Roughly 80% of businesses rely on email as their primary channel for acquisition and retention. [Emsarys]
Why does email work so well? Because it’s built upon trust. A customer gave you their personal information such as an email address. Then, it’s up to you to build a relationship through their inbox that’s engaging and valuable for them. Email marketing can be everything from content sharing and product promotions to your transactional info that includes order info and shipping statuses. Either way, email is an important part of the customer experience with your brand.
To get started with email marketing, read about tactics to help build your email list and creating email campaigns that convert for eCommerce.
As you grow your email strategy, here are some of the best tools to help you create, manage, and automate your email marketing:
4. Paid Ads
Many eCommerce brands also turn to paid ads like Google Ads and Facebook Ads to help find and attract new customers.
If you’re just starting out, ads can be a great way to connect your new brand with users searching for terms related to your products. And, you can use ads to target customers that are ready to buy now.
Either way, always pay attention to your keywords so you’re only paying for relevant clicks and impressions. You don’t want to waste your money on someone who will never buy from you.
While usually necessary, ads can be one of your biggest expenses. And, the cost of advertising is also increasing.
Facebook CPM rates have grown 90 percent year-over-year for marketers. [A.list]
And because of that, many brands strategically try to not rely on ads as their main marketing channel. Instead, they focus on the long term strategy of improving their SEO and word of mouth referrals for new customers These are channels that you have full control over and will likely pay lower overall customer acquisition costs.
Here are some of the tools to help you managing your paid ads across various platforms:
5. Text Message Marketing
Outside of email, more brands are experimenting with SMS text messaging as ways to reach and market to customers. The idea is that more shoppers are browsing and shopping on their phones. So, you want to make it easy for them on their favorite devices to shop with you.
47% of people say they’re likely to opt-in to receive texts from a brand they like. [Privy]
Text message marketing can help turn casual browsers on your site into repeat customers. Your shoppers can opt in to receive texts from you, so you can send shoppers back to abandoned carts or send coupon codes.
Use text messaging to complement your email marketing efforts with these tools:
6. Loyalty Programs
An important part of online selling is retaining customers and motivating them to make multiple purchases with you. And, data shows that it can be cost-effective to market to existing customers over new customers.
Acquiring a new customer can cost 5x more than retaining an existing customer. And, increasing customer retention by 5% can increase profits forms 25-95%. [OutboundEngine]
Fortunately, there’s all sorts of ways to engage with existing customers so they continue to interact and buy from your brand. You can use strategies like loyalty member programs, referral commissions, and more.
To help you drive and manage eCommerce loyalty programs, check out tools like:
7. Analytics / Optimization
Any good marketing program needs to define their key performance metrics and track them. Analytics is your insights into user behavior and understanding the impact of your different marketing tactics. You’ll be answer to questions like:
- Which marketing channels converts the best
- Which marketing channels have the best ROI
- Where your web traffic comes from (organic, social, or paid ads)
- What web page layouts do users prefer
- What web pages do users spend the most time on
- How many users abandon their carts
With the right data in your hands, you can make informed decisions about your eCommerce marketing so you know what to improve and how.
Top analytics tools for eCommerce marketers are:
- Google Analytics — Free web analytics tool to track web traffic and more
- Kissmetrics — Product and marketing analytics for websites and apps
- CrazyEgg — Heatmaps and A/B testing for website optimization
- Hotjar — Heatmaps and behavior analytics tools for optimization
Many brands need access to easy-to-use design tools to support their marketing efforts. Fresh and modern graphic designs can help attract new customers and prove that you’re a trustworthy brand. You can use design on your website, emails, social media, and paid ads.
Here’s some user-friendly tools to help elevate your graphic designs and brand image:
Aligning Your Marketing with Your Conversion Funnel
As you develop your marketing strategy for your online business, you should consider how each of your tactics and tools help you move your customers through your conversion funnel.
What’s the conversion funnel? A conversion funnel represents the steps a potential customer takes to find your brand, make a purchase, and even refer you to their friend. Funnels are often broken down into these categories:
- Top of the funnel (TOFU) is for generating awareness for your brand and products
- Middle of the funnel (MOFU) is the tactics you use to increase conversions
- Bottom of the funnel (BOFU) is how you generate customers and ensure they’re happy
Here’s an example marketing funnel from PixelMe that demonstrates how different marketing tactics are used according to where customers are at in the funnel, or their purchasing journey.
Thinking about your customer’s actions in relation to these steps allows you to map and match your marketing efforts to your customer’s current needs. In the long run, approaching your marketing with this mindset allows you to become more intentional. You’ll create more targeted marketing content that has a purpose whether it’s to foster brand awareness or convince someone to buy right now.
How to Improve Your eCommerce Marketing
As an eCommerce marketer, you’ll always experiment with new tactics and tools to grow your business. Check how some of other helpful resources to continue to improve your marketing performance: