How to Get Started with E-Commerce Marketing

In 2014, North America spent a record-breaking $11.62 trillion on retail goods and services. The National Retail Federation estimates that online sales will make up 16% of total retail in 2020, which is good news for those interested in e-commerce marketing.

You may be wondering how to get started with e-commerce marketing. Wondering if online marketing is right for your business? Want to know what you should be doing vs what you should avoid?

We’re going to cover all the basics of e-commerce marketing.

The Basics Of E-commerce Marketing

To get started, it’s important to understand the basics of e-commerce. First, let’s look at online marketing and e-commerce marketing together. Essentially, online marketing refers to marketing activities that take place on the web and social media. This could include things like website content, social media posts, and email marketing.

E-commerce marketing, on the other hand, refers to the marketing activities that take place in or through retail channels. This could include email marketing, text messaging, banner ads, and social media campaigns. When you consider that retail sales account for about 16% of total consumer spending, it’s not hard to see why these marketing activities are so important.

Why Email?

It’s easy enough to use email marketing, due to the fact that most people are already doing it. According to HubSpot Blogs research, 62% of respondents use email marketing, while 48% use social media to get the word out about their brand. Still, email remains one of the most popular forms of digital marketing. Let’s take a look at the figures:

  • 51% of respondents use email marketing
  • 45% use social media to get the word out about their brand
  • Just 4% use traditional advertising (like billboards and radio ads)
  • 1 in 5 use their smartphones to research products and places (i.e. Google Search)
  • 1 in 3 feel that social media is more effective than email in engaging with audiences
  • 80% of respondents use social media to stay in touch with friends and family

An Example Email Marketing Campaign

Let’s say you’re a business that provides beauty products. You’ve probably seen the email marketing campaigns for Sephora, Ulta, or Estée Lauder, and you know what they look like. These companies send out emails with special offers, discounts, and information about their newest products. The beauty industry earns a lot of revenue through email marketing, and it’s not hard to see why.

Depending on the size of your business, you may want to consider what platforms you’ll use to send out your emails. Will you use a third-party service like MailChimp or something built into your own website?

MailChimp, for example, is a popular email marketing service with over 24 million users worldwide. It’s a free service, which makes it quite popular. If you’re looking to get started with email marketing, MailChimp can be a great option. However, if your goal is to grow your business through word of mouth, you may want to consider building a subscription-based email marketing platform on your own.

Mobile Marketing

Like any other form of digital marketing, mobile marketing is growing with every passing year. According to HubSpot Blogs research, 47% of respondents use their smartphones to research products and places, while 46% use email marketing, and 35% use social media to get the word out about their brand.

It’s important to understand the differences between desktop and mobile search. When a user types in a search query on their smartphone or tablet, they are usually looking for something specific. For example, if they are trying to find a hotel in San Francisco, they may type in “Hotels in San Francisco” or “SF Hotels” into the search bar, depending on whether they are looking for a business or an individual hotel.

This is known as local search. Similarly, if they want to find a sports car, they may search for “sport cars” or “sporty cars” depending on whether they are looking for individual models or compact cars in general.

For those looking to grow a business through digital marketing, mobile marketing is an increasingly important tool. Not only can you get the word out about your brand via social media, your website, or even email marketing, but you can also conduct mobile marketing research on your phone or tablet. This research can be incredibly valuable, as it gives you the opportunity to test new products and gather feedback from customers without having to spread yourself too thin.

Measuring The Effectiveness Of Your E-Commerce Marketing Strategy

It’s important to consider how to measure the effectiveness of your e-commerce marketing strategy before you start using this tool to promote your business. There are a number of elements to consider, such as:

  • How well is your website performing?
  • Are visits to your website resulting in sales?
  • How is your social media strategy doing?
  • What platforms are your target audiences using?
  • Are you seeing any signs of online harassment?
  • What is your overall experience with online marketing?

These are just some of the many questions you should be asking yourself to determine the effectiveness of your e-commerce marketing strategy. You should also be considering the role that SEO, content strategy, and email marketing played in the success of your efforts.


Search engine optimization, or SEO, is an integral part of any e-commerce marketing strategy. You want to ensure that your website is listed prominently in Google when customers use search engines to find what they’re looking for. In practice, this means creating high-quality content for your target audiences and ensuring that your website is built on a solid foundation.

You can use a tool like Google Analytics to track the performance of your SEO strategy and determine the effectiveness of your various content marketing and social media efforts. For example, you may notice that a product video is performing better than a text-only blog post, so you can determine that video is the best way to promote your business.

Content Strategy

When an audience visits your website, they usually have a clear idea of what to expect. That is, unless you have completely messed up your content strategy. A content strategy is a plan for creating and updating content to grow your business.

As part of your strategy, you should be using content to establish yourself as an expert in your industry, to offer helpful tips and tricks, and to encourage people to learn more about your business, product, or service. You can also use content to demonstrate your empathy and connect with your audience. When someone stumbles upon your blog post, they can feel that you’ve truly taken the time to understand their situation and can connect with you on a human level.

A well-executed content strategy incorporates a variety of content types, including video, infographics, blog posts, and social media. When planning your content strategy, you should consider what drives action. For example, does your target audience really care about your animated explainer videos or blog posts about fashion trends?

Email Marketing

You don’t need a special event to get started with email marketing. You can simply create a form on your website that allows customers to sign up for your email list.

The nice thing about email marketing is that you don’t need an enormous list to get started. As long as you have a way to get in touch with your audience, you can use email marketing to grow your business. You should consider using a tool like MailChimp to help you get started.

Even if you only have a handful of email subscribers, you can have an influential email list. This is particularly valuable when you consider that people already trust you, as a trusted source of information.

The advantage of email marketing is that you can send out regular emails, containing helpful tips or advice, or you can send out occasional emails with special offers, discounts, or new product announcements.

As a business owner, you may be wondering how to get started with e-commerce marketing. You may want to consider starting a blog to build your e-commerce brand. Through your blog, you can write helpful blog posts about e-commerce, product reviews, and other topics that are relative to your niche. You can also interview industry experts and other prominent people in your niche to gain credibility.