If you're developing an ecommerce business marketing strategy, or exploring new ecommerce marketing ideas, one of your first steps should be determining the proper channels for your brand.
Shopify, Amazon, Instagram—today, ecommerce products can live practically anywhere. But not every channel will mesh with your product or service. With so many options for selling products online, it's essential to understand which ones will help your business reach its goals... and which could be a waste of time.
Types of marketing channels
The first step in choosing the best channels for your ecommerce business is to understand the marketing channels available. Some marketing channels are marketplaces, others are social media venues, and others are digital marketing methods.
SMS Marketing: Keep your customers and potential customers aware of your sales, new products, and events through SMS. When you engage your customers through SMS, you live on their most often-used device.
Online Marketplaces: Amazon, eBay, and Etsy provide an easy way to list products quickly and start getting sales. Selling on these platforms has advantages and disadvantages; it may be a good fit for your business if you need more resources to create your store or website. You'll gain immediate access to new customers, but they'll certainly take a cut.
Social Media: On social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and YouTube, you can target potential customers with ads and promotions. You can also use these platforms to engage with existing customers and build relationships. Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram are also marketplaces that provide product catalogs.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO): SEO can help you to get your website higher up in Google's search engine rankings, making it easier for people to find your store online. But be aware that it could take some time to build this ecommerce marketing strategy.
Email Marketing: Email campaigns are a great way to reach out directly to potential customers and keep them informed about your business and products. Use an email marketing platform to follow the laws and regulations regarding who you can contact and how frequently.
Affiliate Marketing: Affiliate marketing is when you partner with another website or blog to promote your products. When a customer purchases after clicking through an affiliate link, the affiliate will receive a commission. Affiliate marketing often operates hand-in-hand with dropshipping.
Pay-Per-Click Advertising: Paid ads can help you reach potential customers actively searching for products like yours. Use PPC as a quick boost at the start of your marketing campaigns to help build traffic for your content marketing.
There are many places where you can sell products and gain an audience. You'll probably use many of these ecommerce sales channels, but before you start, you need to figure out your campaign strategy.
Omnichannel vs. multichannel vs. single channel strategies
You don't want to manage Google Shopping, Facebook Marketplace, and a Shopify Storefront separately. Few business models can support running each channel independently, even if you're going to use a handful of channels.
So, you must choose your channel strategy in addition to choosing your channels. When selecting channels for your ecommerce business, you can use three main strategies: omnichannel, multichannel, and single channel.
Omnichannel: An omnichannel approach is when your marketing efforts are unified across multiple channels. This helps create a consistent experience for customers as they move between online and offline, as well as between different devices.
Multichannel: A multichannel approach involves selling products across multiple channels but keeping the messaging and branding consistent. This allows you to reach a wider audience with targeted campaigns in numerous places.
Single Channel: Lastly, a single-channel approach is when you focus your efforts on one channel at a time. This can be beneficial if you have limited resources and are looking to focus on one area to maximize results.
Don't feel tethered to one strategy. Many merchants will start with a single channel and then spread into an omnichannel enterprise.
Choosing the right channels for your ecommerce brand
Once you understand the different marketing channels available, it's time to decide which ones are right for your ecommerce brand. Here are some things to consider.
Consider your target audience
One of the most important factors to consider when choosing channels for your ecommerce brand is who you're trying to reach. Different channels have different strengths and weaknesses, so it's important to evaluate which will be most effective in reaching your target audience.
Is your target audience primarily tech-savvy millennials? If so, an app store or a marketplace like Amazon may be the best bet. Are you targeting seniors who prefer traditional methods of shopping? If so, eBay or physical retail stores could be better options.
Create a channel strategy
Once you've identified the best channels for your ecommerce brand, it's time to develop a channel strategy. This should include determining which channels should be used to promote your products and services, what types of campaigns you'll be running on each channel, and which metrics you'll use to measure success. Your strategy should also include a plan for expanding your reach as your customer base grows.
Engage with influencers
Influencer marketing is one of the most effective ecommerce brand promotion methods. Identify influencers who are a good fit for your brand and contact them to collaborate on campaigns or product reviews. This can be done through both organic engagement (comments, likes, and shares) and paid collaborations.
Analyze your performance
Once you've identified the best channels for your ecommerce brand and implemented a channel strategy, monitoring and analyzing your performance is important. Use data from each channel to measure key metrics like sales volume, cost per acquisition, customer retention rate, etc. Analytics will help you understand which channels have the greatest impact and make informed decisions on optimizing your campaigns for maximum success.
What's the best channel strategy for you?
The best channel strategy for your ecommerce brand will depend on various factors, including your target audience and goals. A multichannel approach can be beneficial if you have the resources to run campaigns across multiple platforms simultaneously. However, if you're starting out or have limited resources, it might make more sense to focus on one particular platform and build a strong foundation.
Ultimately, the best channel strategy for your brand is one that produces the best results, something you can determine by keeping thorough metrics.
By following these tips, you can ensure that you're choosing the best channels for your ecommerce brand and maximizing its potential. Remember that finding the right channels and tweaking your strategy may take time, so be patient and keep testing different options. With the right approach, you can build a successful ecommerce brand that resonates with customers.