Marketing used to be simple.

Before, it was all about the TV commercial, the radio spot, billboard, newspaper and magazine spots. But in an increasingly digital world, the Internet has provided marketers with the opportunity to reach audiences through a lot more platforms. The advent of blogs, social media, websites, microblogs, streaming sites—all these basically changed the entire marketing playing field.

That said, there’s no better way to learn how to improve your ecommerce strategies than by listening to the pros.  

Here’s a collection of the top tips that experts in ecommerce marketing have to offer:

1. Put yourself in the shoes of your customer

In ecommerce, customer experience is everything. It’s the main reason they will keep coming back and is an important driver of recommendations. Take it from Jeff Bezos himself, the founder of—the world’s largest retail selling platform today:

“If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful.”

To build a great customer experience, you have put yourself in your customer’s shoes.  What you like in this case won’t matter—because the important thing is what your customers want. This requires you to get to know your customer and think like them. Build your inventory on what customers want; don’t try to guess. There are numerous tools that you can use to learn about your users.

2. Talk to your users

As Meg Whitman, the President and CEO of Hewlett-Packard says, “communication is at the heart of ecommerce and community.”

Leveraging on the multitude of communications platforms that are now available to marketers can do a lot for your business. The great thing about the internet is that it has managed to democratize the way we communicate to our users. Where businesses were once limited to static billboards, ads and TV spots, we now have the option to display ads, comment on it, create conversations, and reach out to users, making reaching out to customers and communicating with them easier by leaps and bounds.

By far, the most effective way to do this is via email and social media. So make these channels a priority. Make sure you capture their contact details, when they visit your site and use it reconnect with your users and build a relationship with them.

3. Learn from your competitor

Jack Ma, Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group said it best when he shared this piece of advice: “You should learn from your competitor, but never copy. Copy and you die.”-

Ecommerce business owners want to succeed in their ventures, and to do this, they turn to techniques and methods that have worked for competition. The thing is, not all businesses are built alike, no matter how similar your business model is to  others. What may have worked for your competition may not work for you. It doesn’t reduce your risk of failure, it actually amplifies your brand’s resistance to be original and unique.

Remember that as your business grows, it’s inevitable that you will encounter challenges and failure. Look at them as opportunities to learn and make sure that these instances take you a step forward.

4. Implement a funnel approach

Paul Graham of startup incubator Y Combinator succinctly shares this tip about growing customers:

“You can’t wait for customers to come to you. You have to figure out where they are, go there and drag them back to your store.”

Achieving this is simple when you take a funnel approach to your ecommerce strategy. You start by learning about your customer, who they are, where they are, how to engage them, and mapping out their customer journey—starting with how they hear about your site, down to finally making a purchase.

Be realistic about your expectations. Very few customers will actually complete their purchases after visiting your site the first time. Be patient and study carefully how you can best capture their attention and hold it. Knowing these essential touch points will be essential to your success as a business.

5. Listen to what everyone, not just your audience, has to say

Founder of Shopify, Scott Lake explains that “[M]aking a profitable e-commerce store is hard work. I love the fact that Shopify clients help each other in our forums. I love the fact that everyone feels like we are in this together and that we all will succeed together.”

Your customers will talk—about why they want your product or service, why they chose to buy from your instead of competition, why they will keep coming back to you moving forward. They will discuss other brands, other needs, what they hope to see moving forward. They will share their experience on your website, talk about your product and how much they love or hate it. Listening in on these conversations is essential to learning about your brand, product or service.

But if you’re a retailer, it could also mean that your suppliers have something to say. Partners are also critical to gaining insight into how you can best run your business.

By focusing on your audience, mapping out your strategy and using the right tools to use for your ecommerce strategy, you’ll be well on your way to succeeding as an ecommerce entrepreneur.

If you have a quote from an ecommerce expert that you’d like to share, feel free to share it with us by leaving a comment below.

And if you’d like to find out how we can help give your site a boost, get in touch with us today.