The Ultimate eCommerce Marketing Checklist cuts through the complexity and demystifies eCommerce marketing, breaking it down into 5 primary campaigns, 8 sub-checklists and more than 90 achievable steps you can use to start growing your online store today.
Do you feel confused about today’s complex eCommerce marketing landscape?
Are you frustrated by the lack of quality traffic and consistent sales?
Do you want the most up to date road map to, finally, grow your online store?
If you said “yes” to any of the questions above, you need this checklist and flowchart.
Launching an eCommerce store is exciting. After months of effort, you’re ready to make your online store a continuous and stable source of revenue.
But despite all the effort you’ve put into launching your store Ecommerce data shows that only 2% of your visitors will be ready to buy on the spot. Another 47% will buy at some time in the future, And 51% will never buy from you.
It’s a shocking truth, and the reality that eCommerce store owners face every day.
How To Use The Checklists
- To get a big picture perspective of the sophistication of your sales and marketing systems. Use the flowchart to highlight the campaigns you are employing in your store.
- To identify opportunities and blind spots. Read through each checklist and tick the items that you are already using in your store. Then tally up your total score. This will give you a quantitative assessment of your sales and marketing. Take action to improve your score.
- To identify the best campaign to focus your efforts on. For a qualitative assessment give each action item a score on a scale of say 0 to 5. Then tally up your score for each checklist.
eCommerce Marketing Is A Multi-Step Process
The primary purpose (and challenge) of your Sales and Marketing is to identify the 49% who will potentially do business with you.
The biggest mistake we make when building a strategy to achieve this purpose is to think it’s a one-step process. It’s not! In fact it’s a journey with at least 5 milestones.
Your job as SMarketer of your store is to lead visitors seamlessly and effortlessly through this journey. To achieve that you’ll need to use a portfolio of tactical Sales and Marketing campaigns that work hand-in-hand to acquire leads and sales for your online store.
These five primary campaigns work together to build a relationship with prospects… to turn strangers into friends, friends into customers, customers into repeat buyers, and repeat buyers into raving fans.
- Introduce your business to people in your market who have never heard of you before (acquisition)
- Convince them to engage with your content (engagement)
- Entice potential shoppers to take you up on your entry point offer (list building)
- Convert subscribers into first time buyers (conversion)
- Sell more to your best customers (monetization)
The eight checklists that follows will help you identify both opportunities and blind spots in your SMarketing systems and campaigns.
eCommerce Marketing Checklist #1 – SMarketing Playbook
Smarketing is the process of aligning the marketing and sales teams around common goals within a business or organization, with the goal of improving revenue. – HubSpot
When you have a tight marketing budget – and even when you don’t – you have to put brains before budget to compete with all the noise in the marketplace.
Your SMarketing Playbook outlines your sales and marketing strategy and tactical campaigns. At the very least it should include the following:
- Ideal shopper profiles
- Shopper journey map
- Advertising hooks.
- Goals and key performance indicators
- Sales system framework
- Traffic system framework
- Inspiration and competitive intelligence
- Role models
- Direct competitors
- Indirect competitors
For more information on creating your own eCommerce SMarketing Playbook read The “Tight Budget” eCommerce Marketing Strategy That Simply Works
eCommerce Marketing Checklist #2 – Store Features
This checklist highlights the e-commerce website elements that are most important to consumers. This is what you should focus time, energy, and budget on improving.
- Speed – your site must be fast. 3 out of 4 shoppers say they’ll leave an e-commerce website if it’s slow to load
- Intuitive – navigation, common cart elements, and site features must be easy to find and use.
- Responsive – 51%+ of store visits are via mobile. The store must work seamlessly across all devices.
- Security – ensure you go all out on an EV SSL certificate and publish third-party security audit certifications.
- Payment options – give your shoppers more than one payment option.
- Customer service – offer a chat or phone number to respond to sales or service requests.
- Comprehensive product information – shoppers often aren’t ready to purchase, they are actually there to research. When you provide all the information they need, they’ll be more likely to make the purchase when it’s comprehensive.
- Product images – the more the better. 26% of consumers say they’ve abandoned an online purchase because of poor-quality images or too few images.
- Product videos – shoppers who view a product video are 174% more likely to purchase
- Search function – searchers convert better; and it gives you product ideas
- Blog – without one you’ll have a hard time running acquisition campaigns
- More information pages:
- About Us – tell your story in text, images and video.
- Contact Us – clearly define response times
- Why Buy From Us – include a video
- Shipping Information – costly shipping charges and lengthy delivery times will impact sales.
- Return Policy – let visitors know your return policy before they purchase.
- Faq – the more questions you can answer the easier you’ll convert shoppers
- 404 Page – link to shop
- Terms And Conditions – use Shopify’s free content generator
For more information read What Consumers Want from E-Commerce Websites.
eCommerce Marketing Checklist #3 – SMarketing Technology Stack
Run this checklist to ensure that you are not flying in the dark when it comes to measuring the impact of your eCommerce sales and marketing campaigns.
The items on this checklist are not nice-to-haves, they are must-haves.
- Google Analytics Advanced Ecommerce tracking
- Google Analytics Goals
- Checkout Funnel Goal
- Potential Shopper List
- Basic Google Analytics remarketing audiences
- Google Analytics and Search Console integration
- UTM campaign tracking codes
- Facebook pixel event tracking
- Basic Facebook remarketing audiences
- Basic Facebook pixel conversion tracking
- eCommerce platform and Facebook store integration
- Email service provider and ecommerce platform integration
- Google Analytics and AdWords integration
- AdWords and Search Console integration
- AdWords conversion tracking
- Google Shopping feed
eCommerce Marketing Checklist #4 – Acquisition Campaigns
The objective of these campaigns is to introduce your business to people in your market who have never heard of you before. Because of the superb targeting it offers, the best place to go and find these people is Facebook. Depending on your market you can also expand your acquisition campaigns to Pinterest and Twitter
- Facebook posting schedule – keep it simple and consistent. List the days you’ll post, who will post and what they’ll post. Balance product and sales posts with engaging content.
- Post Boosts – a quick and easy way to boost engagement and grow page likes organically.
- Engagement campaigns – a more sophisticated way to boost post and page engagement and the preferred way to boost posts.
- Video views – probably the most cost effective way of creating awareness and to build large remarketing audiences.
- Page Like campaigns – valuable when you need to get your first 100 page likes; and when you can create Lookalike Audiences based on your ideal shoppers.
- Brand Awareness campaigns – helps expand your reach.
- Tag products in posts whenever applicable – this helps build awareness of your store and products.
- Shop links – link to the relevant pages on your store in posts whenever applicable. Use UTM parameters and a link shortener.
eCommerce Marketing Checklist #5 – Content Amplification Campaigns
The primary objective of these campaigns is to convince people to engage with your content. A campaign can have one or both of the following two goals:
- Pixelling (So that you can run ads to these people later)
- Segmentation (If they click on a blog post about vegetable gardening, we know that they’re not JUST interested in gardening, they’re specifically interested in growing their own food…. and we can make them a more relevant offer.)
We divide the campaigns into two categories.
Inbound Traffic Campaigns
- Editorial calendar – publishing engaging content and optimizing it for search engines is one of the keys to your success as a eCommerce marketer. You don’t need to blog everyday. Start with a few evergreen information pages that will help your shoppers make informed buying decisions.
- SEO – check the success in Google Analytics. And work consistently to improve it.
- Direct Traffic – a measure of the success of your brand awareness and offline campaigns.
- Social Traffic – a measure of the success of your acquisition campaigns.
- Referral Traffic – a measure of the success of your outreach campaigns.
Outbound Content Amplification Campaigns
- Facebook Cold Traffic Campaigns – this is the #1 source of new traffic and shoppers for eCommerce stores. The goals of these campaigns are to pixel visitors and to build Custom Audiences. Target these campaigns at audiences that have never visited your store before:
- Engagement custom audiences
- Lookalike Audiences
- Interest targeting
- Email Campaigns – reminding potential and existing shoppers of your existence. And segment them based on their clicks.
- Facebook Warm Traffic Campaigns – similar to email campaigns these campaigns remind people who have visited your shop before to visit again. Then segment them based on their visits. Target these campaigns at Custom Audiences using the following objectives:
- Facebook’s Traffic (Link Clicks)
- Facebook Traffic (Landing Page Views)
- Facebook Conversion (Content Views)
- Google AdWords – using AdWords to drive traffic to content is not for the fainthearted. But when done correctly it can be a very effective way to build remarketing audiences.
eCommerce Marketing Checklist #6 – Enticing Entry Point Offer
Gone are the days when people exchanged their emails in return for a newsletter. Today you have to offer them something of value. The objective of these campaigns is to build a list of potential shoppers – as opposed to building a list of information seekers (newsletter subscribers).
- Enticing Entry Point Offer (EPO) – think this through carefully as you’ll be investing a lot of resources in promoting this offer.
- Email automation – check and double check that the process is functioning smoothly.
- Onsite targeting campaigns – make your EPO as visible as possible.
- Landing pages
- Banners leading to landing pages and/or popovers
- Exit intent pop up boxes for desktop visitors
- Scroll, or time on page, pop up boxes for mobile visitors
- In content text links to landing pages
- Sidebar subscribe boxes
- Facebook Retargeting campaigns using the Conversion objective
- Run ads to warm audiences, excluding your potential shopper list.
- Run ads to people who visited the landing page but didn’t opt in.
eCommerce Marketing Checklist #7 – First Time Shopper Campaigns
The primary objective of these campaigns is to convert potential shoppers into first time shoppers.
- Pre-Purchase Email Campaign – an automated email series sent to people who’ve signed up for your EPO enticing them to take you up on your offer.
- Cart Recovery Campaigns
- Emails – an automated email series sent to people who’ve signed in and then left their shopping carts. Make them an offer they can’t refuse.
- Popups – an advanced campaign to reduce cart abandons.
- Facebook Product Catalog Sales campaigns – promotes Facebook store
- Targeted at Potential Shoppers
- Targeted at Warm Audiences
- Facebook Conversion Campaigns – promotes eCommerce store. Depending on the size of your audiences you can run campaigns for Product Views, Add To Cart and Checkout
- Targeted at Potential Shoppers
- Targeted at Warm Audiences
- Onsite Retargeting – an advanced campaign to point shop browsers to specific products based on what they’ve viewed.
- Shop SEO – you can expect more organic traffic from Google when you invest the resources to optimize your shop pages. It’s also a prerequisite for running the next three campaigns.
- Catalog pages
- Product pages
- Google Search Ads – optimized for conversions.
- Google Search Ads for Remarketing Lists – when your remarketing lists warrants it.
- Google Shopping Ads – slightly more advanced campaign setup but then runs on autopilot.
- Google Display Ads – when your remarketing lists warrants it.
eCommerce Marketing Checklist #8 – Repeat Shopper (Monetization) Campaigns
Repeat shoppers are so special they warrant their own campaigns.
- Post Purchase email series – the primary purpose of this series is to reduce buyers remorse and to delight your shoppers with your service.
- Cart Recovery Campaigns
- Emails – don’t send existing shoppers the same series as 1st time shoppers. If possible use dynamic retargeting.
- Popups – don’t use the same popups as for 1st time shoppers.
- Promotions and Flash Sales – these are the bread and butter of eCommerce stores. Campaigns use a combination of email and Facebook remarketing audiences. In many cases you can run the same campaign to both potential shoppers and existing customers.
- Potential shopper promotions.
- Existing customer promotions
- Flash sales
- Facebook Dynamic Retargeting – target existing customers.
- Onsite Exit Intent Retargeting – advanced campaigns aimed at existing customers.