The Ultimate Guide to Online Marketing – From Start to End

If you’re looking to dip your toe into the online world, it can be tricky to know where to begin. With so much advice out there, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. We’ve collated some of the most essential advice on how to market an e-commerce store, from setting up your Shopify account to generating sales and retaining customers.

Set Up A Shopify Account

Running an online shop is a fantastic opportunity to connect with customers worldwide, but you need the right tools to make it happen. One of the most popular e-commerce platforms is Shopify, which provides a range of features designed to make setting up a store as simple as possible. The experts at Shopify have curated a list of top tips on how to successfully launch your online store using their platform, as well as tips on how to grow your business using their innovative tools.

Whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur or you’re just venturing into online marketing for the first time, you’ll find all the advice you need in this one place. From the very beginning, you’ll want to set up your Shopify account and get to work on building your online store. You can also find a whole host of community-led initiatives on Shopify, such as webinars and podcasts that can help guide you along the way.

Pick A Product Theme

When it comes to building a physical retail store, one of the first things you’ll want to consider is the theme you’ll use to design the space. If you’ve been paying attention to the fashion and retail magazines, you’ll know that trends come and go, but there are some that truly stand the test of time. It’s now possible to equip your store with the elements that made these particular styles so popular in the first place, and provide a shopping experience that customers have always desired.

One of the fundamental ways in which Shopify differs from many other platforms is that they offer a range of template themes that you can choose from. These are the bones of your e-commerce store, and as you make changes to the appearance of your site, the functionality will not be affected. Changing the template does not cost anything.

There are four basic themes to choose from when you set up your account. These are: Classic, Minimal, Material and Luxe.

Invest In Good Quality Photos

When people consider buying clothes online, the first thing that comes to mind is most likely the design of the site. If the pictures of the clothes aren’t clear enough, or if they’re of bad quality, then you might lose a sale. When it comes to e-commerce, the buyer expects that the clothes will look just like the photos on the site, so take the time to invest in high-quality images.

Pro-Tip: Look for the ‘lightbox’ display type on Shopify, as this allows you to use photos from your phone or Instagram directly on the site. If you choose to use an external product, make sure that you have purchased the license to use their images and ensure that they are not illegal or copyrighted.

Use Schema

The best digital marketing platforms now offer additional features to make SEO and web traffic work for you. In simple terms, schema enables you to add structured data to the metadata of your articles to provide search engines with more information about what you’re offering.

Pro-Tip: Use schema to give your articles more information regarding the products or services you’re promoting, or to categorize them based on a particular theme. This could be product specific information, such as the color, style or material of a product, or it could be information regarding the company, such as their phone number or address. Not only does this increase the chances of your articles being found, it also provides the data to be more specific with, as you’ll see in the next point.

Personalize Your Site

Customers should feel as though they’re visiting a real store when they visit your site. If you’ve ever shopped at an online store, then you’ll know that the experience is somewhat similar. The key difference is that with a virtual store, you can add a personalized element to make it feel more ‘live’. This could be anything from changing the font used to display your products, to adding a face (or animal’s face) to the product photos.

Pro-Tip: When choosing a header for your site, make sure that it works well with the overall design of your site. The best headers compliment the design of your site and don’t take the attention away from the content.

Optimize Your Store

Once you’ve picked a theme and started building your store, it’s time to start optimizing it for the web. There are plenty of free tools online that you can use to discover the optimum performing versions of your site’s URL and mobile-friendly theme.

Pro-Tip: Use these tools to discover the existing issues with your site’s content, design and functionality, and then use this information to make the necessary improvements. In a nutshell, this is known as ‘building a better mousetrap’. Once you’ve done this, you can use search engines to find the new URL and spread the word online.

Create A Social Media Strategy

If you’re serious about finding global customers and having your store seen by the ‘right’ people, then you’ll want to create a social media strategy. You can use various platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, to connect with people who want to hear what you have to say. Depending on how big you want your audience to be, you can choose between paying for a pro account or using the free version of each platform.

Pro-Tip: If you’ve been paying attention to social media trends, then you’ll know that content goes ‘viral’ online. If this sounds like something that might appeal to your audience, then create content that is uniquely yours and share that on your various social media platforms.

Use Analytics

You can use various tools, such as Google Analytics, to track the performance of your site. With these tools, you can discover the demographic information regarding your visitors, as well as find out what content is and isn’t working. Analytics can also help you discover the ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ products on your site, as well as identify which promotions work and which ones don’t.

Pro-Tip: As you use analytics to track the performance of your site, try to remember that the information is more effective when used collectively. If you have a website with multiple locations, then you can use the geographic segmentation feature to group together information based on the locations of your visitors. This can help you discover the best way to market your site based on the region you’re in.

Understand User Behavior

In the same way we advise our readers to read the reviews when shopping for a new pair of shoes, or to scan the ingredients before buying any food product, it’s important to understand user behavior when marketing an e-commerce store. This is extremely important, because you don’t want to market the same way to different groups of people. Instead, you want to understand what makes each group of people behave the way they do, and adapt your strategy accordingly.

Pro-Tip: When it comes to marketing your e-commerce store, it’s important to look at the bigger picture. Instead of just focusing on sales, it’s important to examine what makes your customers behave the way they do, and determine if this is similar to or completely different from the audience you’re currently targeting.

Measure The Results

The best way to understand if your efforts are paying off is to track the results of your campaign. The experts at HubSpot have compiled a list of 18 ways to track the success of your online marketing campaign, from website traffic to social media engagement. If you’re serious about expanding your global reach, then consider using a digital marketing platform that offers analytics.