Having started and begun developing your eCommerce business, you will inevitably be wondering how best to grow your store. Having seen there are not that many resources specific for Australia, we felt that a guide like this specific for the country would be welcomed.
In summary to grow your eCommerce business you will need the following:
- Growth methodology
- Channel selection
- Plan and organise action
Marketing consultants, agencies and employees will all have their own answer to the million dollar question, ‘how do I grow this business?’. Sadly, there is no consensus on a universal methodology.
If you were to ask my opinion, it would be this. Most eCommerce stores struggle at the beginning because they do not have 1 reliable channel to generate profitable sales.
What gets in the way of this is trying every channel out there at the same time, then not capitalising on what works to bed down one channel before moving onto another. Here is a suggestion
- Choose one channel to start and make that work with positive ROI
- Then build out your marketing automation and email marketing
- Next, add another channel
- Take a moment to improve the effectiveness of both channels
- Continue with the next channel and so on
To grow your store, you will need to add and improve additional channels. eCommerce stores have a large variety of channels to choose from, including:
Search / SEO
Optimise your website for search traffic. This involves tweaking the technical parts of your website, upgrading the content, and building quality links. This channel can work well for products with existing high search volumes.
Create interesting content that increases brand awareness, website traffic and ultimately conversions. Typically content marketing relies heavily on creating very high level work that is both relevant to your products and targeted at your customers.
Use Google Ads for shopping or keyword ads to bid on searches related to your products.
Display advertising covers Google (and Bing) display ads, YouTube video ads, gmail ads, and other image based ads. These are often used for remarketing to people who have already visited your website and viewed a product, or added something to the cart.
Social and influencer marketing
Social media is well known these days. However influencer marketing involves working with popular profiles on social media sites and blogs to request product placements to drive awareness or sales.
Paid social marketing incorporates Facebook, Instagram and even Pinterest marketing. Often used as the main marketing driver for new brands and for remarketing to visitors who
Email marketing includes both monthly to weekly newsletters but also follow up sequences such as upsells and customer notifications.
Partnerships and affiliates
Partnership marketing describes how brands can connect with other relevant organisations, such as a charity or social group, to offer rewards in return for promoting sales.
Affiliates is an established channel where you can offer discount codes or special links for an affiliate to promote in return for a payout for every sale.
Market places include platforms like Ebay.com.au, Amazon.com.au and even Fishpond.com.au where sellers list products to be sold via the marketplace platform.
Your website is a channel that needs to be properly managed. There are many elements to your website as a channel.
The user interface and user experience (UI/UX) of your website will be a major lever on how many of your visitors convert into sales (conversion rate) but also for other results such as number of customer enquiries and return requests.
Your website can also drive conversions by collecting emails or using a chatbot to support customer enquiries.
Payment options are a major conversion rate factor, with often the more payment options offered the greater the conversions.
With a survey of the marketing channels, you will need to choose which channel/s to focus on. This can based on a range of considerations:
- Internal competencies
- Evidence of success from competitors
- Key relationships with media or suppliers
- Existing material (e.g. Videos, articles, etc)
Generally, many eCommerce stores will choose initially to develop the paid marketing channels such as Facebook and Instagram for their initial scalable marketing tactics. Following this, attention is often paid to the website and email marketing channels to ensure the best possible revenue per visitor.
Planning and Actioning
Now that you have a growth strategy in place, you will be able to create and follow through with a plan in your business to develop and grow these channels.
This may involve:
- Meeting key employees or with suppliers such as contractors and agencies to develop a channel strategy and define resource requirements
- Approving budgets or financing growth
- Setting targets such as revenue targets but also milestone targets, for example having set up a particular initiative or created the marketing material needed to use that channel
- Setting quarterly plans of action
- Measuring performance weekly, monthly and quarterly