Kick-Start Your 2021 E-Commerce Marketing Strategy: 5 Tips

As hectic as 2020 has been, it’s been a landmark year for e-commerce. While total retail sales in Q3 2020 rose just 7% over 2019 levels, e-commerce sales rose 36.7% in the same period. Online shopping is more prominent than ever, so an effective e-commerce marketing strategy will be essential in 2021.

While consumers may be shopping online more, that doesn’t guarantee success for any web store. You need a way to stand out from 24 million competitors, not to mention e-commerce giants like Amazon. These five tips can help you give your 2021 e-commerce marketing strategy the edge it needs:

1. Upsell, Cross-Sell and Bundle

In the past, many consumers were hesitant to spend much money online, so larger product bundles felt like a risk. During the height of the pandemic, the average items per order rose by 60% as in-person shopping declined. People are now more comfortable with online spending, so it’s time to upsell, cross-sell and bundle.

When a customer looks at an item, try showing them a similar or complementary item. Analyze ad interactions to find out what types of bundles or other products a user might buy. Now that customers tend to buy more at once, these recommendations are more likely to be effective.

One of the best ways to stand out in a crowded marketplace is to offer a better customer experience. A complicated or uncomfortable buying experience is one of the leading causes of cart abandonment in e-commerce stores. If you want to attract and retain customers, make your site as user-friendly as possible and advertise that comfort.

Look for opportunities to offer a service that many competitors don’t. For example, online clothing retailers see return rates as high as 30% due to poor fits and incorrect sizing. Offering and advertising features like custom sizing and easy-to-understand sizing guides can attract more customers.

3. Consider Targeting New Demographics

A lot of e-commerce marketing strategies in the past have focused on younger audiences. After all, younger people tend to use the internet more often, but that’s starting to shift. While people aged 25-34 have the highest online purchasing penetration, the 45-54 and 65-plus age groups saw much larger increases in 2020.

Older customers’ online purchases are growing faster than other demographics, so they’re ripe for targeted marketing. Optimizing ads for these traditionally overlooked age groups can help secure business from this blossoming market.

Social media has always been an ideal place for marketing, but now it can even support sales. Instagram rolled out its Shop feature in 2019, and that year, 11% of its users bought or looked for a product there. Facebook and Pinterest see higher on-site purchases, with 15% and 47% of users shopping on the platforms, respectively.

As social media usage keeps growing, the chance that users will buy products directly from these sites increases. Listing products on social media shopping pages also streamlines the customer journey. Enabling on-site purchases could attract new customers who might not venture onto your website.

5. Optimize for Voice Searches

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a pillar of e-commerce marketing, and a new side of SEO is starting to emerge. As of 2018, 62% of smart speaker owners had bought products using voice commerce. With adoption rates for these devices growing, it’s becoming increasingly crucial to optimize for voice searches.

Smart speaker adoption has increased by at least 32% each year in the past two years. If this trend continues, it won’t be long until most adults own one of these devices. E-commerce sites can’t afford not to tap into that market.

Start Your 2021 Marketing Strategy Today

2021 is here, so optimizing your marketing for the coming year needs to start now. Online stores have more opportunities than ever to make sales, and larger ones at that. If you follow these five tips, you can kick-start your 2021 e-commerce marketing strategy today.

About the Author

Shannon Flynn is a technology and business improvement writer. She is the Managing Editor at ReHack.com and has written for sites like TechDayHQ, Re-Work, Innovation & Tech Today and more. Follow ReHack on Twitter to read more pieces by Shannon.

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