6 Little Known eCommerce Marketing Hacks to Try in 2021
Your eCommerce website is one of just 24 million stores currently live on the Internet.
And just like you, they’re all trying to get their product in front of customers and make sales.
In such a competitive environment, the difference between success and failure is found in small margins.
Brands willing to go the extra mile will survive and thrive, while those who are happy to coast will eventually shut up shop.
So, today we’re going to break down six eCommerce marketing hacks that will help tip the balance of success in your favor.
These tactics are explicitly chosen thanks to their ability to deliver serious bang for their buck. After all, who doesn’t like to get major returns for relatively little effort?
Let’s get after it.
1. Write Blogs (But Not Just Any Blogs)
“Blog regularly” is frequent advice for eCommerce marketing entrepreneurs. But in reality, blogging is a massive waste of time without the right approach.
See, you should only blog if you’re sure it’ll bring customers to your door. While ‘company updates’ are nice, such content won’t translate into revenue.
What you need to do instead is:
- Undertake keyword research to figure out what your customers are searching for
- Sort keywords by the highest volume vs. lowest competition
- Write helpful blog posts using your keywords
- Guest post or use HARO to attract backlinks to your blog
For example, let’s suppose I’m into the gym, but I’ve got noodle arms. So, I hop over to Google and search for ‘best arm workout.’
Here’s what I see:
Yes, that’s right, none other than athleisure brand Gymshark nabbed the top spot for that search term (They’ve got one of the best examples of a Shopify blog)
And according to Ahrefs, this simple blog post is attracting over 4,000 organic visitors each month:
But hold up, aren’t these visitors just a vanity metric?
Not at all! When I click on the blog post, not only am I introduced to the Gymshark brand, but they also drop a cookie into my browser to retarget me with Google Ads Remarketing over the next few weeks.
Hey presto, I’m in the upper stages of their eCommerce sales funnel.
Copy this strategy by figuring out the problems your customers search on Google and then creating a post that provides the solution.
ProTip: To learn more about this strategy, check out Ahrefs ‘Blogging for Business’ course. Access used to cost $500, but now it’s absolutely free!
2. Slather Buckets of Social Proof
Imagine you’re hungry and there are two restaurants on your street.
One is packed, the other is empty.
Without knowing about either joint, which would you choose?
Most folks will opt for the packed restaurant because it’s got what we call ‘social proof.’
And the thing is, this persuasive effect is just as pronounced online, with 88% of folks trusting online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
For example, check out how food supplement brand Huel slap social proof on their homepage to instantly boost credibility:
But they don’t stop there – scroll down the page, and you’ll find testimonials from registered dieticians who vouch for the product’s efficacy:
Huel also adds social proof at every stage of the buyer’s journey. For example, they’ve got customer testimonials and media features on their:
- Product pages and landing pages
- Social media accounts
- Customer emails
Seriously, take a leaf out of Huel’s playbook and start giving your customers the social proof they need to buy.
ProTip: Collecting social proof can be tricky. Add an incentive to your post-purchase emails (e.g., $10 off your next order) to encourage reviews. Also, ask customers to use your #hashtag on social and then feature the best user-generated content for your brand’s main account.
3. Leverage Your Thank You Page
The thank-you page is the most underutilized page in eCommerce.
Think about it – your thank you page…
- Has a 100% ‘open rate’ (unlike your post-purchase emails)
- Gets viewed on average 2.2 times by customers (more impressions = more conversions)
- Is your first chance to make a great impression on new customers
- Gets looked at by customers who are ripe for an upsell or cross-sell offer
Despite these facts, most eCommerce stores have thank-you pages with no conversion goal. Their order confirmation page simply lies dormant, with its potential revenue untapped.
All you need to do is look at how eCommerce titans like Amazon leverage their thank you pages and follow suit:
Notice how Amazon has added product recommendations and offers related to the customer’s browsing and purchase history.
They’ve also added a social sharing feature so the customer’s friends and family can hear about the purchase (hello social proof!)
Upselling and offers aside, there are lots of optimizations you can make on your thank you page. For example:
- Collect customer feedback on your store while it’s fresh in their heads
- Use quick surveys to segment customers and sharpen your ecommerce marketing
- Gather birthdays and send customers a gift via an email auto-responder
- Add a welcome/thank you video to build rapport and loyalty
In short, if you’re not optimizing your thank you page, you’re sitting on one of the most valuable conversion opportunities in your entire business!
ProTip: If you use Shopify, check out ReConvert. It’s the number one app for thank you page optimization and post-purchase upselling in the Shopify ecosystem.
4. Send Handwritten Notes
In a time of faceless corporations and digital everything, there’s something special about getting a handwritten thank you note.
Now, if you’re getting hundreds of new customers per day, this isn’t the growth hack for you.
But if you’re starting out, a simple thank you note could be all it takes to turn a one-time shopper into a customer for life.
For example, imagine getting a note like this after buying a new pair of boots from Taft:
For something that might take you perhaps three minutes per order, sending notes is an awesome way to build a community around your brand and keep customers coming back for more.
5. Ask Customers to Spread the Word
74% of consumers say word of mouth is a key influencer in their purchasing decisions.
And from a growth hacking perspective, word-of-mouth ecommerce marketing is incredibly cost-effective and has the potential to absolutely skyrocket your growth.
By far the easiest way to get started is to set up a referral program.
For example, mattress retailer Casper offers customers a $75 Amazon gift card if they refer a friend to the brand (plus the friends get 20% off their order too!)
This tactic was instrumental in growing Casper’s customer base from zero to over one million in a few short years.
Notice in particular how they offer a win-win for both customer and friend. Structure your referral offer in a similar way.
Additionally, you want to make it as easy as possible for customers to participate. Put a link to your program on your thank-you page and in your post-purchase emails for maximum uptake.
6. Build an Army of Micro-Influencers
Brands like Gymshark and MVMT were basically built by hopping on the Instagram influencer wave of a few years ago.
Such brands capitalized on the fact that big influencers were massively underpricing their promotional services at the time.
Nowadays, large influencers are wise to their value – a single collaboration with a 1M follower account could easily set you back over $10,000 dollars.
A better solution in 2021 is to build a network of micro-influencers to promote your brand.
Micro-influencers typically have between 1,000-25,000 followers and have several advantages over their larger counterparts, such as:
- Better levels of engagement
- A more intimate relationship with their audience
- Much more affordable rates
- A one-to-one working relationship (as opposed to a big influencers team/agency)
To find micro-influencers, search hashtags related to your niche and compile a list of accounts with less than 25k followers who look like a great fit.
Reach out to them with a proposal – it could be a free product in exchange for a review, an affiliate link, or a special discount for their followers.
Rinse and repeat until you have a team of brand ambassadors who’ll promote your business to the moon!
ProTip: Make sure your shortlisted influencers have an engagement rate of at least 3%. (i.e., the number of likes on each post should be roughly 3% of their total following).
Go Forth & Grow Your eCommerce Business
Growing your eCommerce business takes dedication, perseverance, and patience.
In reality, it’s unlikely that one single tactic will catapult your business into eCommerce glory.
More often than not, it’ll take heaps of trial and error to figure out the best growth strategies for your brand.
So, over the next six months, throw each of the six tactics outlined above at the wall and see what sticks – the results might surprise you.
If nothing seems to work, then maybe it’s time to get in touch with an expert agency like the folks here at JSMT Media.
Leverage their digital marketing expertise to create an ecommerce marketing plan that delivers the results you’re looking for.
This is a guest post from Fintan Meagher – content marketer at ReConvert. ReConvert is the easiest way to add thank you page upsells, cross-sells, surveys, and more to your Shopify store.