5 Marketing Tips for eCommerce Brands in 2023
If you’re an eCommerce brand, you’ve certainly felt the pressure of enhanced competition over the past few years. There have never been more players because it’s never been easier to launch your own eCommerce brand. Whether you’re competing against drop shippers and white-labeled brands or not, you’ve undoubtedly noticed the number of competitors increasing at an alarming rate.
If you’re going to deal with the changing landscape here in 2023, it’s important to make sure to place your efforts in the right places. When it comes to our clients, we’re definitely focusing on these areas to start.
Find and Monetize a Tribe for Your eCommerce Brand
If you try to speak to everyone, you speak to nobody in a meaningful way. Think about how your FYP looks like right now. Does it seem like there are quite a few products that live inside of your head rent-free? (The amount of anime-themed fitness gear in my feed has cost me far too much money and closet space.)
When you’re a brand in 2023, it’s important to find your tribe. Who is the smallest group of people that you created your brand or product to serve? Are there enough of those people to support and grow your brand if you got 1% of those people to buy your products? If so, you have a starting point. Make all of your advertising content, and a good portion of your organic content, to speak DIRECTLY to those people.
When you feel like you have a tribe, it’s time to monetize them. We recommend using a service like Refersion to build out an Ambassador/Affiliate program. As a base rule, smaller influencers reach a larger portion of their community and are more likely to respond to every single comment. Onboard your customers into an affiliate program and nurture that community. Don’t let your contact with them end after they sign up. Message them at least once every other week.
Optimize Your eCommerce Product SEO
Your products should satisfy a very specific need and are the best option for specific criteria. Therefore, you should be aiming to rank for that criteria. Don’t try to rank for “athletic shorts” because your ass will get owned by Nike and Lululemon every single time.
Instead, aim to create content that speaks to who you’re specifically trying to serve. Assuming that you’re selling those anime tees that fill up my FYP, you’re better off trying to rank for “Naruto themed minimalist gym shorts” than one of the higher-level terms. Target higher intent with an acceptable level of traffic.
Make sure that you don’t forget to include your product structured data and optimize your Merchant Center so that you can show up in things like Google Shopping campaigns organically.
If you’re selling in more places than your website, it’s important to optimize internal search on those places as well. You know, niche websites like Amazon.
Distribute on ALL of the eCommerce Marketplaces
Speaking of Amazon, it’s one of the places that you SHOULD be selling other than your website. We’ve talked about optimizing your Amazon store before but, you need to make sure to optimize your product pages as well. Amazon has its own style of SEO and you need to make sure that your content plays to their ecosystem.
Outside of Amazon, you need to make sure to get your products on every marketplace that could see growth for you. That means eBay and Walmart should also be part of your plan. Before you get too ‘in your feelings’ about listing on Walmart, remember that you can buy Louis Vuitton on Walmart.
In addition to Amazon, Walmart, and eBay; 2023 is a great time to use the Instagram shopping solution. They’re waving the Selling Fee until June 30, 2023. Depending on the volume you see, you can see if it’s a good channel for you after that promotion is over.
Get More Customer Contact Details
A large social media following is NOT the answer. Depending on your margins, paying for a large portion of your total transactions may not be a sustainable model. With that in mind, we’re big fans of moving people into owned channels as soon as possible. You’re one algorithm change or new feature away from your social media or advertising costs skyrocketing on you. Don’t let that sink your brand!
Your social media posts go to 10% of your audience on a good day. Meanwhile, emails get opened at 25%+ and SMS messages get opened at a rate of 90%+. The best part about the last two is that you typically don’t have to pay much each time you reach out on that platform.
Spend more money on lead acquisition campaigns, especially on social media. Make your opening offer worth converting and utilize tried-and-true tactics like targeted giveaway campaigns to grow that list.
Side note: Do NOT buy into those giveaway campaigns on major influencers’ platforms. They will grow your following but at the expense of putting your social media profiles in algorithm jail, ultimately costing you more money over time.
Focus on Non-typical Ad Campaigns
The CPM on the Meta platform is getting more and more expensive while TikTok advertising has shown little ability to drive conversions as well as some of the other social media channels. Many categories of Google Search/Shopping campaigns are having their prices driven through the roof by large brands.
All of that is to say that you should take a look at where your competition is advertising and see if there is a different angle that you could take. As an agency, we’ve seen some brands thrive when we took them into niche social media platforms or through alternative channels like CTV/OTT advertising.
Don’t get fooled by the ‘best practices’ that people share online. They are not one-size-fits-all. Look at the tribe that you started to carve out in the first place. Do they use platforms like Pinterest or Reddit more than the average person? If so, maybe you should start there where the competition is lighter.
In Summary: Narrow Your Focus
Don’t try to do everything perfectly or emulate the success of others too much. Always start with understanding your customers and then build out a step-by-step plan of attack to optimize your digital marketing over the course of months.
Remember that only your know your brand fully. While we obviously believe that a strategic partner can increase your effectiveness in a cost-effective manner, never lose sight of the fact that you’re the true expert on who your brand is at its core.
For eCommerce brands that want to help themselves, we’ve actually started a new program to help brands help themselves called the Brand Accelerator. Along with our professional friends, every month, we do live training on how brands can improve their digital marketing in the next 30 days.