15 eCommerce Marketing Ideas to Grow Your Online Sales

Do you want some new eCommerce marketing ideas?

eCommerce continues to grow year after year and customers can get burnt out on the same marketing strategies over and over. It can feel like an endless marathon trying to keep up with every trendy eCommerce marketing ideas and tools.

In this article, we’ll share our favorite eCommerce marketing ideas that you can pull off with just a few simple steps.

  1. Grow Your Email List
  2. Catch Abandoning Visitors
  3. Offer Prizes
  4. Show Personalized Offers
  5. Recover Abandoned Carts
  6. Nurture Potential and New Customers
  7. Show Social Proof
  8. Create Urgency
  9. Stay Top of Mind With Push Notifications
  10. Announce a Product Launch or Flash Sale
  11. Upsell, Cross-sell, and Downsell
  12. Host a Contest
  13. Start an Affiliate Program
  14. Invest in SEO
  15. Supercharge Your Onsite Search

What Is eCommerce Marketing?

In simple terms, eCommerce marketing is any activity meant to lead customers to buy your products.

There are 3 main goals of eCommerce marketing:

  1. Driving traffic to your online store
  2. Converting visitors to customers
  3. Retaining customers so they purchase again

There are many different eCommerce marketing ideas you can try to support each goal. But it’s important to make sure you’re paying attention to all 3 goals.

After all, getting tons of traffic to your eCommerce site is meaningless if you have no plan to convert that traffic into actual sales. Likewise, if you’ve got no plan for retaining customers, you’ll have to work much harder constantly bringing in and converting new visitors

How to Pick the Best eCommerce Marketing Ideas

Every business is different, so how do you know which eCommerce marketing idea will work best for you?

First, you need to know the main goal of each strategy. It should be one of the 3 goals we mentioned above: bringing visitors to your online store, converting visitors to customers, or retaining customers. You want to have a set of balanced marketing strategies that support all 3 goals.

Next, you need to consider the timeline for each eCommerce marketing strategy. That is, how quickly can you expect to see results? Some strategies, like abandoning visitor recovery, can boost your sales immediately. Other strategies like SEO pay off in the long run. Again, you want to balance your eCommerce marketing ideas to work for you now and later.

Finally, you want to pick the right tools to support your marketing ideas. There are hundreds of eCommerce marketing software tools out there. We believe that your strategy should drive your choice of software. Never buy a tool without a plan for how you’re going to use it.

On the other hand, the right tools can enable you to use strategies that wouldn’t otherwise be possible. So for this list, we’ve picked eCommerce marketing ideas that can be implemented with just a few easy-to-use tools.

If you already have a specific goal or timeline in mind, feel free to skip right to the eCommerce marketing ideas that support that goal. Otherwise, keep reading for the complete list!

Drive More Traffic:

Boost Conversion Rates:

Improve Customer Retention: 

Top Easy eCommerce Marketing Ideas

Now let’s take a look at some practical eCommerce marketing ideas you can start using today. We’ve included a mix of goals and timelines so you can pick the ones that work best for your business.

1. Grow Your Email List

Goals: Conversion, Retention

Timeline: Long Term

Before you do ANYTHING else, you should focus on growing your email list.

That’s because this is part of the process that can take the longest, but it’s also one of your company’s most valuable assets.

The more robust your list is, the more traffic and sales you can generate to your online shop.

But what’s the best way to grow your list? The most proven method is using a variety of optin campaigns.

By that, we mean things you’re already familiar with, such as:

  • Popups
  • Floating bars
  • Fullscreen welcome mats
  • Gamified spin wheels
  • And much more…

When you present special offers, discounts, or any kind of lead magnet in these campaigns, you’ll be able to grow your list FAST.

To help you out, we recommend using a tool like OptinMonster:

OptinMonster can implement many of the eCommerce marketing ideas on this list

OptinMonster is the #1 lead generation software in the world. It allows anyone to create stunning, professional, and high-converting campaigns in a matter of minutes.

Plus, there’s ZERO coding skills required. Here’s how it works…

You start by selecting the campaign type and template you want.

OptinMonster offers you lots of various campaign types to help you reach your audience in new and engaging ways.

This protects your audience from “popup fatigue,” which is something that happens when you reuse the same popup campaign over and over on your site.

When you’ve landed on a campaign type, you can choose from dozens of pre-built templates and Playbooks that are ready to go:

basic template

These templates are designed to save you time, energy, and money as you grow your email list.

From there, you’ll be able to personalize your campaign to your target audience with OptinMonster’s drag and drop editor.

If you want to change any text in your campaign, for example, you can do so directly in the builder:

change text to build scarcity

And to add new features to your campaign, you’d simply need to select and drop them into place:

This lets you create high-converting campaigns with advanced functionality in minutes.

That’s just a quick overview on creating optin campaigns to build your list. Check out our other suggestions for getting more email subscribers or this quick video tutorial on how to build your first campaign in OptinMonster.

Get Started With OptinMonster Today!

BONUS: Done-For-You Campaign Setup ($297 value) Our conversion experts will design 1 free campaign for you to get maximum results – absolutely FREE! Click here to get started →

2. Catch Abandoning Visitors

Goal: Conversion

Timeline: Short and Medium Term

Another way OptinMonster can increase your sales is by keeping visitors on your website. To do this, we use one of OptinMonster’s best features: Exit-Intent™ Technology.

In plain words, OptinMonster can detect when visitors are about to leave your website and show them a targeted offer to convince them to stay.

Those visitors might decide to buy something after all, or they can join your email list and become customers later. Either way, that’s revenue you’ve recovered from drifting away forever.

There are many different offers you can use to convert abandoning visitors, such as:

  • Related posts
  • Suggested products
  • Discounts
  • Gift with purchase

In fact, Kennedy Blue used exit intent offers to convert 7% of abandoning shoppers and increase their sales by 50%.

Check out our list of exit popup hacks and ideas if you want to turn more abandoning visitors into happy customers.

Creating exit intent popups with OptinMonster is simple. Create your campaign in the drag and drop builder, then set the targeting rules with one click.

Select Exit Intent Targeting Rule

3. Offer Prizes

Goal: Conversion

Timeline: Short Term

Gamified campaigns are some of the most effective eCommerce marketing ideas you can find. Everyone loves to feel like a winner, and the element of chance adds to the excitement.

Coupon Wheel - Gamification for customer engagement

Coupon wheels are also a great way to harness the Zeigarnik effect. The Zeigarnik effect refers to people’s tendency to continue taking action after they’ve taken the first step.

When a customer sees a fun coupon wheel popup, chances are, they’ll spin to see what their discount or prize will be. Once that’s happened, they’re far more likely to opt in with their email address to receive their coupon.

OptinMonster’s coupon wheels even allow customers to copy the code with one click and use it immediately at checkout.

Gamified campaigns are a great way to recover abandoning visitors by catching their interest and addressing price objections.

Learn about other gamification marketing ideas to boost your sales and conversions.

4. Show Personalized Offers

Goal: Conversion

Timeline: Short Term

Personalizing your eCommerce website is a great way to stand out in a crowded marketplace and boost your conversion rates.

With OptinMonster it’s easy to show the right message to the right customers at the right time. For example, you can use Page-Level Targeting to customize your discount offer to match the page the customer’s looking at:

dynamictextreplacement-om2-1-1-1 (1

You can also use MonsterLinks to trigger a popup recommending a related product whenever someone clicks Add to Cart. For example, when someone adds a GoPro camera to cart, OptinMonster can suggest adding some memory cards.

gopro upselling lightbox popup

You can even customize your marketing campaigns based on the user’s location. For example, you may offer special delivery options or shipping deals for certain regions.

Visitors from other regions might be annoyed seeing irrelevant popups. With OptinMonster you can easily hide these campaigns from anyone who doesn’t qualify for the offer.

These are just a few of the most popular targeting rules you can use to personalize your eCommerce campaigns, though there are many others.

Ready to see for yourself? Click below to start your 100% risk-free OptinMonster account today:

Get Started With OptinMonster Today!

BONUS: Done-For-You Campaign Setup ($297 value) Our conversion experts will design 1 free campaign for you to get maximum results – absolutely FREE! Click here to get started →

5. Recover Abandoned Carts

Goal: Conversion

Timeline: Short and Medium Term

This strategy is similar to converting abandoning visitors, except focused on customers who have already added items to their cart and maybe even started the checkout process.

If you have their email address, you can send an automated email sequence to try and recover that abandoned cart.

asos-abandoned-cart-email-preview

Abandoned cart recovery emails are a powerful way to boost your revenue. Instead of giving up on those customers, you can send emails reminding them about the products they were interested in. These emails are a great place to address the issues that stopped them from buying, such as:

  • Shipping costs or timeline
  • Questions about the product
  • Product price

You can use an email service provider (ESP) like Sendinblue or Constant Contact to set up an automatic abandoned cart email sequence.

6. Nurture Potential And New Customers

Goal: Conversion, Retention

Timeline: Medium and Long Term

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, your exit intent campaigns and cart recovery emails just don’t work right away.

Don’t give up! You can still continue building relationships with potential customers by providing valuable, trustworthy content, including recommendations for your products that can help them.

The way to do this is through email marketing.

zoom welcome email email list best practices

Even if a customer makes it through your abandoned cart email sequence without purchasing, you can still send them helpful emails about the problem they’re hoping to solve. By positioning your brand as a reliable resource, you can keep your solution in front of them for when they’re ready to buy.

Here are some ideas for nurturing leads with mid funnel marketing, and a tutorial for how to create an email autoresponder series.

Don’t forget about your past customers either! Selling something else to an existing customer is often much easier than selling to a brand new customer.

Email marketing is a great way to keep in touch after the sale. Send your new customers helpful tips for getting the most of their purchase, upsells or cross-sells they might like, feedback surveys, or testimonial requests. Nurturing these existing relationships can save you a lot of effort in the long run.

7. Show Social Proof

Goal: Conversion

Timeline: Short Term

Social proof is like the positive version of peer pressure. When customers see that lots of other people are buying a product, they tend to assume that the product is worth buying.

There are several types of social proof, such as:

  • Expert: an expert in the industry says that a certain product is good
  • Celebrity: a famous person that your customers admire endorses your product
  • User: real users share their positive experiences with the product
  • Crowd: a large user base shows how popular your product is
  • Friend: personal connections recommend your product or interact with your brand
  • Certification: an industry authority approves of your product

One of the easiest ways to display social proof on your eCommerce site is with TrustPulse.

TrustPulse is the best social proof app for WooCommerce, Shopify, WordPress, and any other eCommerce platform you can think of.

You can use TrustPulse to display notifications of visitor activity, such as purchases, email list signups, event registrations, and more.

When a potential customer sees that real people are buying from you, that’s evidence that your product is good and your business is trustworthy. That will make them more likely to buy from you.

8. Create Urgency

Goal: Conversion

Timeline: Short Term

Another effective way to use TrustPulse is to generate urgency or fear of missing out (FOMO).

TrustPulse has a special type of notification called “On Fire” notifications. Instead of showing a simple feed of visitor activity, these notifications show how many visitors have purchased or signed up in a certain amount of time.

This adds a sense of urgency to the social proof. If lots of people have recently bought the product you’re considering, that product might go out of stock. If you want to belong to the “in” group that has this product, you’ll be moved to purchase it more quickly.

9. Stay Top of Mind With Push Notifications

Goals: Traffic, Conversion, Retention

Timeline: Short to Long Term

Besides exit intent popups and email marketing, push notifications are another great way to recover abandoned carts.

Web push notifications show up on the devices of visitors who have opted in, even if they don’t have the original website open. This is a great way to remind potential customers that you exist.

Once they click on a push notification to go to your website, they’ll be able to make their way through the rest of your marketing funnel.

You can also use push notifications to do the same things you might do through email marketing, like abandoned cart recovery and lead nurturing. Some users prefer push notifications while others would rather get emails, so it’s just a matter of finding what works for your audience.

10. Announce a Product Launch or Flash Sale

Goals: Traffic, Conversion, Retention

Timeline: Short to Medium Term

When you need to jumpstart your eCommerce marketing, special events like launches and sales give you something new to tell your audience about.

New products are a great reason to contact your existing customers. You can specifically target customers who have bought complementary products, or send an announcement out to everyone.

Similarly, you can decide to hold a flash sale with very little notice and send an email or push notification to your list of potential customers. Those who previously abandoned their carts might find this kind of announcement especially compelling. The time limitation and surprise of a flash sale can motivate hesitant customers to act.

You can make your announcement with OptinMonster with a scheduled, targeted campaign:

You can also announce your special event with email marketing or push notifications as discussed above.

Learn more with our beginner’s guide to flash sales.

11. Upsell, Cross-sell, and Downsell

Goals: Conversion, Retention

Timeline: Short to Long Term

You don’t just want to get more individual customers. Ideally, you’d be able to increase the overall lifetime value of a customer as well. That’s where upselling and cross-selling come in.

Upselling is when you encourage customers to buy a higher-priced version of the product they originally intended to purchase.

Cross-selling is when you sell related or supplementary products based on a customer’s purchase of or interest in another product.

Downselling is another way to increase the customer’s purchase amount, except it’s an increase from buying nothing to buying something. Downselling is when you offer a lower-priced alternative to a customer who has decided not to buy a product because it’s too expensive for them. It’s another way to recover abandoned carts.

You can upsell, cross-sell, and downsell using targeted popups and slide-in campaigns in OptinMonster. Learn how to boost your eCommerce sales with an in-cart upsell popup.

You can also add downsell emails to your abandoned cart sequence, or place cross-sell recommendations in a post-sale email sequence.

Finally, you can use push notifications to share upsell, cross-sell, and downsell opportunities with users on the go.

12. Host a Contest

Goals: Traffic

Timeline: Medium to Long Term

Contests are a great way to build engagement and drive traffic to your eCommerce site. You may have to wait awhile to see the engagement turn into sales, but growing your audience is never a bad idea.

One easy way to host a contest is to use RafflePress.

RafflePress is the best WordPress giveaway builder, allowing you to run any giveaway or contest easily on your website while still being extremely shareable on social media.

Participants can earn entries for visiting a sales or product page, sharing the giveaway on social media, referring friends, and more.

All of these actions can drive plenty of new traffic to your online store. If you have some of the conversion strategies from this list in place, you’ll be ready to turn those visitors into customers.

13. Start an Affiliate Program

Goals: Traffic, Conversions

Timeline: Medium to Long Term

Affiliate programs are an amazing way to leverage one of your best assets: your existing customer base.

By paying commission on sales brought in by your affiliates, you can easily turn your biggest fans into an enthusiastic and credible sales force. You also minimize your own risk because you don’t pay anything for affiliate marketing until the sale is made.

The easiest way to create and manage an affiliate program is to use a plugin like AffiliateWP. We especially like AffiliateWP for its ease of use, live affiliate tracking, and premium affiliate experience.

The success of your affiliate program does depend in part on the reach and influence of individual affiliates. But AffiliateWP makes it easy to support your affiliates with automatic payouts, unlimited creative assets, affiliate portals and landing pages, and more.

14. Invest in SEO

Goals: Traffic

Timeline: Long Term

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the process of making your eCommerce website show up prominently in searches.

The websites and products on the first search engine results page (SERP) can get many more clicks and conversions than those on later pages.

If your shop runs on WooCommerce or another WordPress eCommerce solution, AIOSEO is the best WordPress SEO plugin for eCommerce.

You can easily optimize your product title and meta descriptions for search. AIOSEO can also help you get those coveted rich snippets in Google to drive even more traffic toward your online store.

Goals: Conversion, Retention

Timeline: Medium to Long Term

Our last eCommerce marketing idea isn’t commonly talked about but is still incredibly powerful: customizing your onsite search.

If customers can’t find what they’re searching for, they won’t be able to buy your products.

WordPress default search function is limited when it comes to eCommerce. All the important product details, tags, comments, and other metadata are ignored in default WordPress search. Customers are limited to exact word searches in the product title, description, and excerpt.

So if your store sells different products called “Baseball Caps,” but a customer searches for “hats,” nothing will show up. Even though the customer was looking for something that you sell, if they can’t find it, they can’t buy it.

SearchWP can solve this problem for you by making all your product data searchable. You can also create custom search engines to help your customers find what they’re looking for, and what you want them to find.

There you have it, 15 new eCommerce marketing ideas. Pick one or several to try depending on your goals and timeline and let us know how it goes!

Check out our ultimate eCommerce optimization guide for other ideas to improve your conversion rates.

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Jennifer Duann Fultz
Jennifer Duann Fultz is a content writer and course creator. She has a passion for helping small businesses grow sustainably and ethically. In her spare time, Jennifer enjoys writing fiction, cooking, and exercising.

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