Marketing for eCommerce budget allocation can be a real struggle. Especially when there are so many marketing channels and platforms vying for your attention and each evolving rapidly.  Keeping up takes a lot of time and mind space — two things business owners and many marketing managers may not have the luxury of.

Before we begin, you may wonder why you should pay attention to what an agency (which is not your agency) has to say about allocating your marketing budget for eCommerce. So, here are a few reasons:

  • We have years of experience working in different verticals of digital marketing for eCommerce companies. From PPC to SEO to pricing strategy, we have more than dipped our toes into various marketing tactics. We have seen what works and what doesn’t.
  • We have worked with several eCommerce companies and delivered measurable results like increased site visitors and increased conversions.
  • Our clients stick with us long-term, proving that our marketing strategy for eCommerce combines high quality with efficiency.

Let’s dive into the meatiest, juiciest parts. We’ll begin by looking at a few statistics related to Commerce and eCommerce marketing.

  • The U.S. and Canada are home to about 1.3 million eCommerce companies.
  • Revenue from retail eCommerce in the U.S. is estimated to exceed 1.3 trillion dollars.
  • Many eCommerce companies allocate a significant portion of their gross revenue to advertising expenses.
  • A Nasdaq study predicts that by 2040, 95% of all purchases will be through for ecommerce

Explore Key Digital Marketing Channels for eCommerce Success

eCommerce isn’t going anywhere. If anything, all studies point to it growing bigger. So, as an eCommerce business, what marketing channels should you consider to make a place for yourself in your customers’ minds?

While there is really no limit to creative ways in which you can market your products, some of the common digital marketing channels we tackled are:

  • Paid Search Ads
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Content Marketing
  • Email Marketing
  • Website Design and Marketing

Below, we will weigh the pros and cons of each and give each of them a verdict!

Paid Search Ads

These are most popularly run through Google for digital marketing for eCommerce. The ads are paid placements at the top of search engine results above organic listings.

Google search ads have an average ROI for those using them. However, most browsers scroll past the ads and go to the organic results.

Pros of Paid Search Ads

  • Works immediately once it’s running
  • If done well, it’s a great way to find shoppers with high intent to buy
  • It will work with your current website. You can send clickers right to your existing product and category pages

Cons of Paid Search Ads

  • Likely, you’ll need an expert to set up and run your marketing plan for eCommerce.
  • Does need a fair amount of budget to work effectively
  • The bid price is based on what your competition is willing to pay. It can get expensive in a super-competitive market

OUR VERDICT: It Depends. We usually recommend our clients aim to rely more on SEO over time.

Paid Search Ads Work Well For:

  • Retailers with high-name recognition where shoppers will be searching for a specific brand or product name
  • Remarketing campaigns
  • Larger budgets — your campaigns get more effective over time

Paid Search Ads Can be Difficult For:

  • Retailers with a wide variety of product types and stocking levels
  • New-to-market products no one is searching for on Google yet
  • Small budgets and low-margin products

Social Media Marketing

These are paid placements designed for effective social media marketing for eCommerce within someone’s feed.

Typical ROI for those using social media ads is significant (it’s difficult to measure ROI for organic posts). Social media ads cost more today than they did in previous years.

Pros of Social Media Marketing

  • Organic works well if you have a following, but you require time and $ to get there
  • It’s an uncomplicated way to increase your “touchpoints”
  • It’s easy to do for fun and visual products

Cons of Social Media Marketing

  • It’s hard for an agency to do well — you typically need someone on staff to do the organic posts
  • Costs are skyrocketing, and ROI is tanking due to recent privacy laws, so we recommend you diversify your social media marketing strategy for eCommerce and not put all your eggs in this basket
  • Nearly impossible if you have a “boring” or B2B product

OUR VERDICT: No/it depends. Over the past two years, we’ve seen social media marketing really struggle for our clients. For most brands, it makes sense to change the strategy to focus on SEO and PPC.

Social Media Marketing Works Well For:

  • Fun and visual products like clothing, accessories, and lifestyle items
  • Target your market for eCommerce by focusing on customers within a niche that offers easily accessible social ad options.

Social Media Marketing Can be Tough For:

  • “Boring” and B2B products
  • With soaring costs and shrinking returns, investing in this area could leave you high and dry. Instead, diversify your marketing strategies instead of relying too heavily on this option.
  • Anything you can’t explain and compel a shopper to buy with one imagemarketing for ecommerce

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

It is the strategy of optimizing your website to rank well on Google for relevant search terms, making it the easiest organic marketing for eCommerce. Organic listings appear below the paid ads, and there is no cost incurred when someone clicks on your organic listing to visit your website.

The top 3 Google search results receive the majority of all clicks. On average, eCommerce companies allocate a small portion of their revenue to SEO efforts.

Pros of SEO

  • If you do it well, SEO is a fairly stable source of traffic
  • Some of it can be DIY
  • It is self-compounding — over time, your return from SEO work will outgrow your investment since it’s not pay-per-click
  • If you engage a digital marketing agency for eCommerce and later choose to part ways, you will still reap the benefits of their work

Cons of SEO

  • It takes time to see results, especially for new websites
  • To really compete on a large scale, you will need to hire experts
  • It is a more difficult form of digital marketing, so it can be expensive

OUR VERDICT: Yes. We are huge advocates of SEO. The traffic has high conversion rates, and nearly every ecommerce business can benefit from this strategy.

SEO Works Well For:

  • Most businesses, since Google is the #1 source of eCommerce sales
  • Businesses that don’t want to rely on ads forever

SEO Can Be Difficult For:

  • New businesses
  • Small budgets
  • Generic products or hyper-competitive spaces

Email Marketing

Email marketing for eCommerce involves sending promotional emails to your mailing list, which may consist of earned contacts or past customers.

According to Constant Contact, the average ROI on email marketing is $36 for every dollar spent. However, seeing success with this form of marketing requires a larger team of designers, photographers, and copywriters.

Pros of Email Marketing

  • If you’re internet savvy, you can probably DIY
  • Has a good ROI if you have a good list of past customers and earned contacts
  • It can be an easy way to boost sales even if site visitors don’t buy the advertised products

Cons of Email Marketing

  • Generally needs some graphic design know-how to perform well
  • Open rates are on the decline as it becomes oversaturated
  • A successful marketing strategy for eCommerce relies heavily on having a high-quality list of contacts.
  • Good lists take a long time, and other forms of marketing to buildd

OUR VERDICT: Yes. It works well for our clients that have an established customer base, but for brands that don’t have a repeat buy type of product, it can be difficult.

Email Marketing Works Well For:

  • eCommerce companies where you can purchase directly on the website
  • “Fun” products like clothing and lifestyle items
  • Businesses that cater to their target market for eCommerce and often engage in frequent sales and promotions

Email Marketing Can be Difficult For:

  • Businesses that sell only one or two products because it can get hard to keep content interesting
  • eCommerce companies that don’t run sales or promotions
  • Products that are not repeat buys, such as home appliances and other durable goods

Website Design and Branding

It encompasses more than just a Shopify account with a Fiverr logo — it involves allocating resources from your marketing budget for eCommerce to establish a trustworthy shopping platform and cultivate a distinguished brand look and personality.

Most visitors are unlikely to return after a poor website experience. Memorable brands are correlated with higher price points and can typically charge 2X more than their competitors.

Pros of Web Design and Branding

  • Stronger, more memorable brands have an easier time with visual ad channels
  • Shoppers trust and buy from polished, professional websites
  • A strong brand helps both customers and employees feel more connected

Cons of Web Design and Branding

  • It can be difficult to measure ROI, as it is a more intangible marketing asset
  • Going beyond the basics requires design and aesthetic skills
  • It can be hard to get buy-in from stakeholders who don’t “believe” in it
  • Investing in it from a top-tier digital marketing agency for eCommerce is often a significant one-time expense, with success being subjectively defined

OUR VERDICT: Yes/it depends. Website design and branding are necessary to some level for every client, but they can be done pretty simply for most. Then, as a company grows, we develop a stronger brand identity.

Web Design and Branding Works Well For:

  • Businesses that have a unique point of view and story
  • Visually pleasing and fun products

Web Design and Branding Can Be Difficult For:

  • Small budgets
  • Products and companies that don’t have a lot to say — B2B or “boring” products
  • Founders who lack an eye for design

marketing for ecommerce

Unlock Your Growth Potential: Experience Expertise with Clicta Digital

At Clicta Digital, we are committed to delivering high-value, no-nonsense expertise in marketing for eCommerce to our clients and their customers.

If you enjoyed the information in this post, contact us for a free consultation and see what it’s like to work with a growth marketing agency that’s in sync with your business.