How do you find the best e-commerce marketing mix for your webshop?
How do you get more out of your webshop with e-commerce marketing? A question that many a webshop owners and e-commerce managers have. After all, you want to stay ahead of your competition, or overtake them. And you want more people to know about your product, so that you can sell more of it. In short, you want more turnover. To achieve this goal you need to work smarter in your marketing, not harder. That's why we have an article about which marketing mix you can use best for your unique webshop.
In the fifteen years that we’ve been around, we have seen many webshops come and go. Especially in recent times, the shops seem to pop up everywhere. No wonder, after the developments with Corona last year. However, time and again it turns out that only those who have a rock solid marketing strategy are able to stay alive when the competition is getting rough. That’s why we would like to help you with your strategy by means of this article. Let’s go!
What is the marketing mix for e-commerce?
Perhaps not an unimportant concept to explain: the e-commerce marketing mix. This term stands for the combination of channels you use to promote your webshop.
The channels we recommend are those we are currently using successfully for our clients. Tried and tested, so to speak. Each channel on its own is a nice-to-have when implemented, but if you really want your shop to go great lengths, then it is advisable to choose a combination of these.
The 7 channels that determine your e-commerce success
For marketing your webshop you can think of channels like Instagram, Pinterest or advertising through Google. But there is more. Did you know that the ROI of email marketing is higher than any other channel? Or what personalization can do for your average number of orders and order value? We've listed the seven most influential channels for your webshop below.
1. Content for e-commerce
Where would we be without content? Good stories, beautiful images and compelling videos are priceless for your brand and products. For webshops it’s a channel you definitely don’t want to overlook. Especially when you want to go from medium to large company.
Because if you sell products, it is extremely important that you understand your target group. The better you understand your target group, the better you can respond to their needs. If you do this in the right way with content, you turn a visitor into a buyer, and that buyer in turn into a loyal fan. And if something is easy to score, then it is a repeated purchase. So... where to start?
Start with your content strategy, which answers the questions:
Who are you?
What are your mission and vision?
Who is your target group?
What stages does it go through to make a purchase?
How can you retain your target audience?
What is your sweet spot content?
From your content strategy, you build a content calendar, in which you can, for example, deploy the hygiene, hub, hero strategy. Here you arrange everything, from evergreen content to thematic content, so that at any given moment you can send the right message into the world that appeals to your target audience.
Your content strategy is the absolute basis. If it is in place and your content calendar is right, then you can use it as the basis for your digital marketing strategy. This way, you’ll make sure the story you tell across all channels is the same and consistent.
Want to read more about content strategies? Check out our article on how to create a strong content marketing strategy in five steps.
Content types for e-commerce
Not unimportant is the content type you use. Of course, you can make it as crazy as you want, but start with a good basis. We can’t stress this enough: quality over quantity. Better one good post a week, than ten bad ones.
For an average webshop, we use the following content types:
Blogs: because who doesn't like a good story?
Social posts: spreading the message is just as important as creating it, so share it in multiples (of course in a customized form per channel)
SEO copy: regular text is nice, but it does not attract new visitors. SEO copy does. Therefore this is unmissable for every webshop. In addition, targeted SEO pages not only deliver short-term successes for your advertising, but even more long-term success with regard to organic website visitors. No wonder that large online shops like Bol.com, Zalando or Wehkamp invest a lot of time and money in optimizing their findability for search engines.
Infographics: explaining something that is just a bit too big for video and too small for text? Infographics are perfect for many web shops to explain more about a production or ordering process for example
2. Search Engine Optimization for e-commerce
If you have a successful webshop, then you probably already do something with SEO. We therefore assume that you are familiar with the terminology. Hopefully you also know that it is not just a matter of putting in a few keywords. If you really want to achieve results and get your customers from organic search engines, then this is the number one best investment you can make.
If you want to achieve high rankings, you will need to focus on good SEO copy, optimal running website technology and excellent link structures. With a continuous focus on those three pillars, you will achieve results like no other. But that continuous focus is crucial. You are not there with one time investment, and certainly not if you want to compete with large giants such as bol.com or Amazon.
What should your focus be?
Technology: ensure that your website is fast, mobile friendly and has structured data to match.
Content: product and category copy that adds value and is of real use to the reader, as opposed to a sales or marketing pitch peppered with keywords. But also: optimally laid out images, with relevant alt and image texts
Link structure: ensure that there are plenty of links from relevant websites with a high domain value. Preferably you do this organically; such good products make others want to write about you and link to you. But you can also do this by means of a barter deal or a small payment.
3. Search Engine Advertising for webshops
The most well-known method for achieving quick and easy results is paid advertising within search engines (SEA). You may already be doing this on a small scale, or on a large scale without the desired results, or you simply want more. Whatever your situation is, you came here because you are not yet getting the most out of it. And that's where we're happy to help.
Also with SEA, it's crucial to keep in mind which phases your buyer goes through before they proceed to purchase. You may already have sketched out this customer journey when you put your content strategy on paper. If not, we definitely recommend looking into this.
Hungry for more? Discover our 7 SEA best practices
For this customer journey, we like to work with Google's See ThinkDo Care model. You could also use other models, such as the AIDA model.
What could your journey look like? See the example below. From there, it's important to set KPIs for each phase, and to consider which channels you want to use.
For example, for the average e-commerce customer, we work like this:
See phase - high reach prospecting
Inspiring banner campaigns that give a good image of the brand
A video campaign that perfectly expresses the company and the campaign - also responding to the pain point that someone experiences
Think phase - retargeting and intentional prospecting
Product related banners that are deployed via retargeting on website visitors who have shown high interest (stay long on the site, view many products)
Search campaigns that are high on purchase intent, with long-tail keywords (not 'shoes' but 'compare white shoes')
Banner campaigns for prospecting, where we use target groups that either respond to competitors, or keywords that are very relevant to that target group
Shopping campaigns, more on this later
Do phase - retargeting high interest
Search campaigns for the highest buying intent, focus on e.g. 'buy white shoes'
Remarketing on highly interested target group from think, such as shopping cart abandoners
Care phase - retargeting existing customers
Via email campaigns, but more on that later
As you may already be able to see, this kind of marketing strategy has quite a bit of work to do. You simply won't get there in a day. Nevertheless, marketing in this way is the one you will get the most out of. After all, you work towards your goal in a very structured way and you serve your (potential) customers in every possible way. They can hardly ignore you anymore.
4. Advertising via Bing & Google shopping
I just mentioned it briefly, but this time it's a bit longer: advertising through the shopping campaigns of Bing and Google is extremely important in your marketing mix for e-commerce. Of course you can do this on a small scale, with the shopping feed from your website and run paid and unpaid. You can also do it more seriously. What should you think about then?
We successfully deploy these best practices for our customers:
Segmentation by search: the very first thing we do is segment products based on the type of search that is entered.
Suppose someone searches for "Chanel bag", then of course you want to offer a bit more than someone who searches for "Mulberry bag" (for those who don't know, that second brand is quite a bit cheaper). This segmentation makes it possible
Benchmarking: new in Google Shopping is the Benchmark report. With this report we can see exactly how the pricing strategy of our shopping account compares to others.
This gives you insight into the prices used for specific products and whether your prices are above or below those of the competition. In this way we gain more insight into the performance of our shopping campaigns and we also know better what we need to steer on
Segmentation by Product ID: if you sell different products, they will probably come with different margins and costs. For the same reason as segmentation by keywords, we want to be able to set a different bid for each product. That's why you could divide your Google Shopping feed into different product IDs
These are just three of the many methods in which Google Shopping can be used successfully for your business. Either way, it's always a good idea to make Shopping part of your marketing mix. Especially if you want to be able to immediately drive a purchase.
A crucial part of Google Shopping is your shopping feed. If you want to use shopping optimally, then feed optimization is again indispensable. More about our approach below.
5. Feed optimization (+ expert tips)
Whenever we really want to take the next step with shopping for a client, we call on Tom, our feed optimization and shopping specialist, for help. If there is anyone who knows how to get the most out of a shopping feed, it's him.
What does he look for when optimizing a feed? At least the following:
Product titles SEO rewriting/optimization: to make our customers' products optimally findable in Shopping, we use SEO search terms to optimize the product titles. By for example already adding the category and color, the chance that products will be shown and thus sold is much higher.
Provide all necessary information to Google: we work with Channable for this, but there are also other programs, such as datafeedwatch. These programs indicate which information is missing and make it easy to supplement this information. Again, good for impressions
Feed segmentation by margins or conversion rates: custom labels allow you to segment even further than just by product ids or categories. These labels help you to intelligently bid on better performing categories or products that have a higher or lower margin
6. Personalisation and Customer Data Platforms
Webshops that have high monthly visitor numbers also benefit from personalization via Customer Data Platform (CDP) in their marketing mix. Such a CDP collects in one system all relevant information about your customers so you can set personalized triggers on your customer journey. Especially if your webshop has a larger format, this is the way to stay close to your customer.
Because let's be honest: nothing is more annoying than receiving emails and marketing messages that are totally irrelevant to you. And that's where you run a bit of a risk as a webshop giant. For example, after I was looking for a baby gift for a friend, I received an email from Bol.com not much later asking if I was interested in strollers. Hold your horses, I'm not there yet. But these kinds of 'mistakes' now really require a different marketing technique. Because by now we are all a little tired of sending messages.
For years, personalization has been the keyword for being relevant to your visitors, customers and fans. It's no coincidence that we spend more and more time setting up, thinking about and elaborating buyer personas and customer journeys. At the same time, we collect gigantic amounts of data. If you combine these two elements, then it becomes increasingly easy to provide a good, personalized and yet automated service to a visitor.
For example, the effect of personalization is:
Increasing the average conversion rate on your website
Increase your average order value
A loyalty program for loyal customers
Reactivation of inactive customers
Reduce advertising costs with data-driven ads
Increase authority by cleverly requesting reviews
So does your web shop receive enough visitors, and do you want to be able to continue to serve them personally? Then a CDP is ideal for that.
Want to learn more? We talk more about this on Emerce
7. Email marketing for e-commerce
So far we have focused on attracting and enthusing new visitors to your webshop. We also talked about how you, as a brand, can better reach your target group and how data can support you in doing so. All of these elements are extremely crucial to the success of your web shop. Now that we've discussed these five elements of the marketing mix, it's time for the golden oldie: email.
And we're not talking about your thank-you-for-your-order emails. No. We're talking about the automations you can set up to provide your visitors with an optimal experience with your label! Here are five of those examples that you would actually like to set up for your web shop today:
Number 1: Product lifecycle emails
These emails are data-driven and tailored to the "lifecycle" of products. For example, think of a monthly email reminding the customer that it's time for new hair gel, lenses or tampons. So you send product lifecycle emails on a regular basis, and dress them up with a super-relevant message to increase the likelihood of repeat purchase.
Number 2: Cross-sell email
With these emails, based on previous purchases, you recommend to your customers which products would also fit with this. So you can easily realize a cross- or upsell. For example, a nice hocker with a sofa that someone just bought. Or a skipping rope, after someone has bought a mat and weights in your webshop.
Number 3: Abandoned shopping cart email
The email you send the moment someone has placed something in their shopping cart within their account but then left your website. In this e-mail you remind the leaver of his filled shopping cart. An easy, efficient and smart way to do remarketing.
Number 4: Review email
With the review email you ask a customer to rate your webshop. These reviews are necessary, because as a webshop you want to appear reliable. Of course you can achieve this by putting your money where your mouth is, but especially by having others confirm this. The easiest way is to let the reviews run via a third (independent) party, such as Kiyoh. Such companies have a set method for collecting reviews. This way you don't have to reinvent the wheel.
Number 5: Winback email
The winback email is a message for the customers that you haven't seen in your web shop for a while. You want to win these customers back and that's why you use a winback campaign for this. In this e-mail you emphasize that you have not seen the customer in a while and you make a special offer.
The common denominator
In this article, we discussed the ideal marketing mix for e-commerce businesses. Of all these, there is one message that keeps singing through each channel: whatever you do, go for quality.
Ensure perfection in everything your brand puts online. Whether it's your SEO, content or advertising, if you want to take your web shop to the next level, you need to do it right.
How do you do that?
Be of added value: with a personal message and messages at the right time to the right person, you can be of added value to your customer. And that's what you want. That's what makes customers fans.
Deploy the right people: you can keep working on your copy, your design, your communications, but if you want to scale up you can't possibly keep doing it alone. So use the right people. The recipe for turning quantity into quality.
Go for user-friendliness: of course you can make everything SEO-friendly, but if it comes at the expense of text and user-friendliness, you're not helping anyone. Always ensure the right balance between what the machines say, and what people want. That human algorithm is crucial to your success.
This is how you set up your e-commerce marketing mix
In this article we discussed what the e-commerce marketing mix is and which channels you can best use for your e-comm business. But there is more. In the coming period we will share all the ins and outs of marketing for e-commerce businesses. For example, we will discuss our e-commerce tactics per channel, we will share an e-commerce benchmark report across industries, and you can download the ultimate guide to e-commerce marketing.