What Is Inbound Marketing for E-commerce?
The eCommerce sector is growing rapidly. Business owners often find attracting and engaging customers with traditional eCommerce marketing challenging. Through inbound marketing, businesses can succeed in the eCommerce industry.
Inbound marketing attracts the right audience, establishes trust and credibility, and makes them interested in purchasing products or services. But what is inbound marketing for eCommerce?
Inbound marketing for eCommerce is a marketing approach for getting shoppers to come to you. In a broader sense, it is a marketing strategy that focuses on attracting and bringing prospective customers to the online store with valuable content and experiences.
In this concise article, we’ll walk you through the realm of inbound marketing in eCommerce and the core strategies to grow your online store.
Why Does E-commerce Need Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is an effective process of attracting and making targeted customers purchase your products or services. E-commerce needs inbound marketing to attract targeted customers to your online store and interest them in purchasing your products and services.
Inbound eCommerce marketing helps create a strong online presence, engage targeted customers, and drive conversions. It will help you to focus on delivering value to your target audience and achieve long-term success.
E-commerce inbound marketing can increase your website’s visibility in search results and drive organic traffic to your eCommerce site. It will increase your chances of reaching more potential customers.
Moreover, it aims to provide higher conversion rates for your eCommerce site. Inbound marketing is 10x more effective than outbound marketing at increasing lead conversion rates.
Furthermore, inbound marketing is a cost-effective lead-generation process. Instead of relying on paid advertising to generate sustainable results, it focuses on organic tactics such as content creation, search engine optimization, social media engagement, and email marketing.
If you want to attract customers who live near your business location, you must use local inbound marketing. This approach will drive more engagement and raise your eCommerce business.
E-commerce Buyer Journey (Inbound)
The buyer journey is the path of a buyer to discover, evaluate, and purchase a new product or service. In eCommerce, each customer has a different purchase journey. But with an inbound eCommerce buyer journey, you can visualize how customers interact with your brand. Let’s look at the five stages of your eCommerce customer’s buying journey:
It is the initial stage, where prospects become aware of their problem. The awareness stage is all about education. Capture the prospects’ interest by showcasing your industry knowledge and expertise through inbound marketing strategies.
Make consumers familiar with your brand through captivating content, ‘How-To’ blogs, videos, industry reports, social media advertising, and email marketing.
In the awareness stage, prospects already defined their problem and decided to address them. Attract stage helps buyers to understand different methods and solutions for solving their problems.
After making prospects aware of your brand, draw these prospects in further with engaging blog posts, videos, or social media campaigns. They are yet to be interested in finding service providers at this stage. So, create content that contains the best solutions to fulfill their needs.
This stage helps prospects to make a purchasing decision. However, there is no assurance that they will purchase from you. Your goal at the desired stage is to stand out from the competition.
Prospects have narrowed down their option into a few possibilities. You need to stand out among those options at this stage. Develop their desire for your products with persuasive storytelling. Let them know that your product or service has the best value and features.
Buyer personas probably figured out the best solution for them while entering the conversion stage. They already follow your website or content and clearly know about your brand, products, and services.
In the conversion stage, you need to clear the doubts of your prospects and convert them into loyal customers. Give them testimonials and case studies from your current customers to prove your product or service works.
Advocacy is the final stage of the eCommerce buyer journey, where your customer has experienced your products or services and spreads their opinion about them. Their opinion can either be positive or negative depending on your service.
Ensure high-quality products and services for your prospects to satisfy them. Satisfied customers are loyal to your brand and will spread the positive word about your brand. Provide value to your loyal customers to turn them into advocates of your company.
The Core Strategies of E-commerce Inbound Marketing
In eCommerce, attracting and retaining customers is a dynamic challenge. With inbound marketing, it becomes easy. E-commerce businesses are embracing this customer-centric approach to engage prospects.
You need the core inbound marketing strategies to make your eCommerce inbound marketing successful. These effective strategies will help you to build customer relationships, drive growth, and establish trust and credibility in the industry.
Content marketing is an engaging way to create and share valuable and informative content to attract potential customers. It is the foundation of any successful inbound marketing for eCommerce.
It is a cost-effective lead generation strategy of inbound marketing. Content marketing costs 62% less and triples the leads compared to traditional marketing.
Your content should contain an attractive story that addresses your audience’s pain points and connects deeply with them. It will improve your brand awareness and establish trust with potential customers.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
E-commerce search engine optimization (SEO) is vital for potential customers to find and browse your online store’s website anytime. SEO helps to rank your website and drive organic traffic from search engines like Google.
With SEO, you can research keywords and identify the search terms your target audience uses to find products and services like yours. Customers who search online for a particular product are most likely to buy it.
SEO is important for eCommerce stores to increase the flow of qualified traffic. So, optimize your product pages and descriptions with SEO and increase the chances of appearing in search engine results.
Push Notification Strategy
Push notifications are brief and clickable messages on customers’ devices. It can be crucial to your eCommerce marketing strategy to boost sales and enhance customer engagement.
Push notifications are gentle reminders to keep customers engaged. Create a sense of urgency by offering personalized deals and discounts. It will instigate the users to take action. You can also promote eCommerce subscriptions and loyalty programs through push notifications to drive repeat purchases.
Social Media Engagement
It is the biggest platform for connecting with desired audiences, sharing valuable content, and building a community around your eCommerce store.
Social media plays an important role in your inbound marketing for eCommerce strategy. It is a popular platform among internet users. Internet users worldwide spend 151 minutes on average per day on social media.
You can share valuable and engaging content on social media platforms where your target audience is most active. Engage with them by responding to their comments, messages, and questions to build a community around your online brand.
You can also utilize hyperlocal social media marketing to improve your brand awareness and boost sales of your local eCommerce business.
It is a personalized and direct way to nurture your customers. Email marketing keeps your brand in mind and converts prospects into loyal customers.
Inbound email marketing helps to engage potential customers in your eCommerce sales funnel. They are already in the middle of your sales funnel as they might have seen an advertisement for your store or been inside before.
So, as an eCommerce brand, you need email management services to keep in contact with previous customers, nurture relationships, and encourage repeat business with them.
Personalized emails are a great way to share important updates, gather feedback, and send offers or coupons. Email marketing is the highest converting channel for many e-tailers, providing consistent revenue.
Collaborating with influencers helps eCommerce brands to promote their products or services to an engaged audience. It is a powerful strategy in the realm of eCommerce to drive sales and enhance brand awareness.
Inbound influencer marketing helps you to reach a wider and relevant audience. It is the best way to grow traffic and revenue as influencers influence their followers to make purchase decisions, highlighting the benefits and features of your eCommerce products or services.
Influencers related to your business can expand your reach, build authenticity and trust, and create a buzz around your brand. They will work as your brand’s advocates and spread positive messages to boost your reputation.
Key Metrics and KPIs to Measure Success
The success of inbound marketing for eCommerce isn’t just about sales numbers. You need to clearly understand the overall impact and progress of your eCommerce inbound marketing campaign.
You need a set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and key metrics to measure your progress effectively. E-commerce KPIs will help you to determine which strategies work for your online store and which don’t. It also helps to determine where to focus and what changes you need to increase your eCommerce revenue.
Before deciding which KPIs to track, you must define your online store’s specific eCommerce goals. Then. Identify relevant KPIs that can help you to reach the goals. Lastly, track your KPIs to measure your eCommerce success.
Traffic and Engagement
Traffic and engagement is an eCommerce metric to measure the number of visitors to your website and how effective your marketing efforts are. This metric helps you to understand which pages on your website are most popular and how engaged your visitors are.
You must analyze the traffic and engagement metrics to identify which eCommerce website pages need improvements. Measure the bounce rate and the average time visitors spend on your site to understand traffic interest and engagement.
Conversion rate is the percentage of visitors who take an action, such as making a purchase, on your website. It reflects the effectiveness of your eCommerce website in encouraging visitors to take action.
It is an important KPI to measure the success of your inbound marketing for eCommerce strategy. Conversion rate indicates how attractive your products or services are and how engaging and optimized your site is for customer conversions.
Suppose you have 1,000 website visitors, and you have made 150 sales from them. So, your conversion rate is (150 / 1000) * 100 = 15%.
Customer Loyalty and Retention
Customer loyalty and retention rate is the percentage of customers who stick with your online store and continue to shop for a long time. A higher customer retention rate reflects a strong customer loyalty towards your eCommerce store.
Suppose you had 250 customers at the beginning of the year. You acquired 50 new customers during the year, and at the end of the year, you have 150 customers. So, your customer retention or loyalty rate is [(150 – 50) / 250] * 100 = 40%.
Common Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them
E-commerce is a competitive and challenging industry. You must know the common pitfalls of successful inbound marketing for an eCommerce campaign. You can avoid these common eCommerce mistakes and run a successful campaign with proper knowledge.
Not Understanding the Target Audience:
The first major problem that affects your eCommerce website is not understanding the target audience. If you don’t understand the target audience, you can’t engage them with your content or services.
Create detailed buyer personas to know your audience’s preferences, pain points, and behaviors. If you can fulfill their needs and desires, you can attract and convert more audience.
Ignoring Mobile Users:
Mobile devices have become an important part of every individual. People search on the internet more from their phones than any other device. So, a significant portion of eCommerce traffic comes from mobile phones.
Neglecting mobile users is a common mistake most eCommerce businesses make. Ensure your eCommerce website is optimized for a smooth mobile experience. Mobile-friendly websites can attract and retain more customers.
Neglecting Post-purchase Engagement:
Post-purchase engagement is an essential part of the customer journey. It is the time when customers are the most excited and vulnerable. However, most businesses forget about nurturing them.
Neglecting post-purchase engagement leads to missed opportunities to turn customers into loyal brand advocates. Post-purchase customer experience improves customer loyalty and brand reputation and influences customers’ decisions.
So, implement post-purchase email sequences, loyalty programs, and personalized recommendations to keep your customers engaged and returning for more.
Overlooking the Importance of Consistency:
Consistency is important for branding your online store. Overlooking consistency will make it hard for the audience to recognize and trust your brand.
You must maintain consistent branding and content style to engage and retain your customers. Ensure regular updates on your website and social media channels to provide your audience with what they expect from you.
Successful E-commerce Inbound Marketing Campaigns
Most eCommerce giants use inbound marketing to make their campaigns successful. A successful eCommerce inbound marketing campaign raises brand awareness, builds a loyal customer base, turns more leads into customers, and grows revenue.
Amazon’s product recommendations, Sephora’s personalized beauty tips, Dollar Shave Club’s viral videos, and HubSpot’s inbound marketing blog are examples of successful inbound marketing for eCommerce campaigns.
Each success story showcases how inbound marketing can lead a brand toward growth. You can use these stories as an inspiration for your eCommerce marketing campaigns.
The best ways to make your campaign successful are to know your goals, know who your target audience is, try different inbound marketing strategies to figure out what works, and continuously refine those strategies.
Inbound marketing has become the most essential marketing tool for businesses to achieve success. It is a powerful strategy to attract, engage, and delight customers in a natural and valuable way.
Inbound marketing guides modern eCommerce businesses toward success. You can ensure sustainable growth and customer loyalty by understanding the eCommerce buyer journey, implementing core strategies, measuring key metrics, and avoiding common pitfalls.
As eCommerce continues to evolve, you must utilize inbound marketing to catch up and compete with your competitors.