E-commerce marketing, Promozione

Lando Barbagli /

How to do marketing for e-commerce

The year 2020 was when online shopping came of age. Now and in the near future, e-commerce will definitely be among the key sectors driving the economy.

How to do marketing for e-commerce

illustration of Emily Bielski

A recent industry report forecasts that e-commerce will account for 20.4% of global retail sales by the end of 2022; this number was only 10% five years ago.

So, the numbers are on the side of those who want to sell their products online but, as we like to say, it is not enough that the wind is blowing the right way, you also need to know how to manage your ships’ sails. 

Just opening an e-commerce business does not automatically mean reaching your customers and meeting their buying needs. To be successful, you need to create a platform that works well. It is especially key to work with care for your users’ expectations and customer satisfaction, taking up strategies that combine commercial promotion, marketing, communication and data measurement

At isendu, we support our customers by helping them to develop the full potential of their online platform. We know that excellent technical functionality and shipping automation are the foundation for growing and providing top-notch services.

Because we know how important it is to have a considered, integrated comprehensive overview, we have put together a full guide to digital marketing for e-commerce, going deep into the aspects needed to develop an excellent plan.

Define your market and the positioning you want in it

There’s no question that the first step to developing your marketing strategy is defining your market and identifying exactly the positioning you want to achieve. You need to create a business plan for your e-commerce , a key tool for planning every aspect of your business

Here are some practical tips to get you started:

  • Determine buyer personas — this is a very powerful marketing tool to identify the types of customers who might buy your products by building their profiles as if they were actual people. Each “person” will have a name, age, study and work career, traits, dreams, fears, and purchase habits.
  • Based on what comes out of your personas, you can identify market segments that are most attractive to you. For example, if your e-commerce shop sells eco-sustainable children’s clothing, you might realize that among your personas are young parents who like to use social media and follow suggestions for choosing quality products.
  • Once you have identified the segment (or segments) that are most important for you spend some time thinking about these questions: what are the needs of these buyer personas? What are their habits? What sites do they buy on? Who are your main competitors? Look for reports and databases that can support your analyses
  • Do a thorough benchmarking analysis on your competitors’ sites, and identify your strengths, uniqueness and weaknesses to better understand how you can stand out from others. 

Choose the e-commerce platform that’s right for you

One of the first things to do is choose which platform to use. This decision should be taken considering the strategic needs of your business. This is the point: there is no one CMS that is better than all the rest, but there is the right CMS for you.

We suggest considering one of these:

  • WordPress: this platform was originally made for blogging, so not specifically for selling online, but it has integrated plugins (such as WooCommerce) that let you manage orders if your quantities are not too large. It is definitely an option to consider, including because of its backend’s ease of use. 
  • Shopify: this CMS was made for the e-commerce world. Shopify is very high quality and easy to use. But you should be aware that the basic package only offers a few requirements, so you will almost definitely need to purchase additional services. 
  • Magento: though its quality is assured, its use is not intuitive. If you choose Magento, we suggest finding the support of a professional.
  • Prestashop: this is an easy-to-use CMS and has good customer assistance if needed. Definitely to be considered, including for beginners.

Envision the online shopping experience you want to give your customers

The experience that your users have while shopping on your site is just as important as the shopping experience they have in a physical store.

Everything they come across while browsing – your visual identity, the site architecture, the usability of buttons and calls to action, the clarity of the information – help give them a good user experience.

Remember that your task is to make the process of buying simple, pleasant and hassle-free, so that your customer knows what to do and makes a decision, without too many steps, about what to put in the cart and click the buttons that will lead to the final “click” to buy.

Pay careful attention to content and SEO

Good SEO optimization for e-commerce will let your site rank well on Google, leading the way to customers who want to reach you. 

How do you set up a good optimization strategy?

  • First, identify your users’ search intentions – based on the buyer personas we talked about earlier – and the keywords your target clients search on Google
  • Set up the content of your site based on the extrapolated keywords
  • Set metatags, meta descriptions and alt text for each image
  • Remember to also enter the heading tags, which divide the text paragraphs in hierarchical order
  • If you decide to open a company blog, make an editorial plan based on keywords
  • initiate link-building actions on other sites and share actions on social networks
  • Work on technical aspects as well, such as mobile optimization, page loading speed and checking that all links work.

How to promote your e-commerce using social media

The social media world is essential for those who want to open an e-commerce site. You can use social media to meet your customers, dialogue with them, tell them about your brand and your values, and inspire those who follow you, leading them to take action – and to click! – on your site pages. Let’s consider what choices some famous e-commerce shops have made and take inspiration from some of their best practices.

Instagram: the example of Mapiful

Mapiful is an online poster and print shop, which lets you create a map – of a city, a place or even constellations – customize it with phrases and details and print it in different sizes. 

On Instagram Mapiful posts pictures of cozy interiors and corners of the home, favoring a palette of soft, bright colors, and then it gives inspiration with tips for leisure time at home and gives advice for crafting and home organization projects.

Mapiful made an interesting choice to not only talk about its products, but also look at the world of interior design and comfortable home living, which elicits the needs of those who want to make their home spaces more beautiful and add to them with unique, personalized items.

Facebook: Cortilia case study

Cortilia very effectively communicates on Facebook —this is an online shop from which you can order fresh and natural food, selected from over 250 agricultural producers. On Cortilia’s Facebook page, it highlights the beauty of its food, making mouths water, and then has extra content such as the stories of businesspeople, recipes, weekly menus and much more. Plus, with a view to creating communities, it always responds carefully to user comments and encourages dialogue under posts. 

IKEA on Twitter

Although IKEA is not a primarily online store, it has strongly incentivized buying through its site, boosting its features and orienting its communication to the digital experience. IKEA’s Twitter account is an excellent example, perfectly in line with the smart, engaging, young and direct spirit of the experience of shopping in its stores. 

Pinterest: the Westwing case

Westwing, one of the largest online furniture stores, chose to organize its Pinterest account as if it were an extra display window arranged by product and home settings, heightening the feeling of being inspired by a “cool lifestyle within the home.

E-commerce and email marketing

While you can communicate with your community on social media, you can speak to your customers one-to-one with a newsletter.

Choosing to subscribe to a newsletter is an act of trust and appreciation. Those who choose to get your newsletter are part of your client-base and deserve special care.

Here are a few tips for effective email marketing:

  • Perfectly tailor the registration process and welcome users who subscribe to your newsletter enthusiastically with well-crafted content. So, avoid automatic messages sent by software, customize welcome messages and develop a strategy to reward new subscribers, such as a discount code.
  • Convey a sense of exclusivity with personalized content, previews, reserved discount codes, etc.
  • Pay close attention to visuals and graphics to make your newsletter identifiable at a glance. Reading it should be an immersive experience!
  • Set a call to action for each newsletter — What action do you want your users to take after reading it?
  • Measure data, including open rates, subscribe and unsubscribe rates, and compile periodic reports and create new goals based on them. 

The importance of online advertising for e-commerce businesses

You might also consider another marketing action, the use of online advertising, such as Google Ads and Facebook Ads.

Google Ads for your e-commerce business

Google Ads is a Google tool that lets you promote your site through paid placement, to make your e-commerce site appear in search results. If you have the resources to invest a considerable amount in your overall strategy, this advertising channel can be interesting and have good results.

Promote your online shop with Facebook Ads

With Facebook advertising, you can also get good results by investing smaller amounts. This could be the right strategy for you if it is part of a communication and digital marketing plan that focuses on social media, putting out sponsored ads, A/B tests, lead generation campaigns, etc.

As we will also see below, every time you make a sponsored action, it is essential that you analyze the data and understand the results the investment produced.

When is it an advantage to be on e-commerce marketplaces?

When you start selling on your e-commerce site, it can be worth evaluating also being on major marketplaces. Let’s look at some of the options.


This platform needs no introduction. Choosing to sell on Amazon means choosing efficiency and quality of experience. Being on this marketplace is worth it if you invest in preparing your product listings and if you carefully evaluate its logistics options. You can choose to ship independently or use Amazon’s own logistics services. It could also make sense if the products you are selling are not strictly linked to the specific qualities of your brand and need no personalization. The risk is that on Amazon, the seller might fade a bit into the background.


Selling on eBay is particularly worthwhile if you sell used, vintage, collector or original products. Though the marketplace actually sells everything, it is popular with those who love unique things. 


Etsy is the land of craftspeople, handmade products and high-quality craft treasures. If your e-commerce business works in these realms, selling on Etsy could be a good choice for you.

5 tips for earning customer loyalty

We are almost at the end of our practical mini-guide for marketing your e-commerce business. Now it’s time to discover 5 ways to make your customers loyal and increase their positive perception of your brand.

  1. Take a lot of care with your products’ packaging. The container in which your products arrive is the first physical encounter that your customer has with your shop. The packaging should represent your style and values and taking care with sustainability is also appreciated. 
  2. Send a small gift with the goods — it could a small item, a sticker, a card to use as an inspirational image or bookmark. What’s important is that it’s something unique that the customer can have in view to keep you in mind.
  3. Send an email asking for feedback or reviews. Have your customers tell you about their experience, and reward those who give you their time with another small discount.
  4. Put on special promotions for customers who have already bought from you, for example, on their birthday 
  5. Personalize their shopping experience with promotions at Christmas, summer vacations or other times of the year related to holidays and anniversaries, ideally tied to your products 

How to measure your e-commerce site’s return on investment

When it comes to examining the results achieved, your e-commerce KPIs always speak clearly and tell the truth, if you interpret them correctly.

For example, Google Analytics lets you view and thoroughly analyze the performance data of your site, understand how traffic to certain products is generated and the path the user takes before concluding the purchase process.

Social-media generated data are also key and let you see the engagement with your pages, and which posts best convert into user actions and clicks on the site.

Because this is such a key aspect, isendu supports its customers by providing business intelligence services just for e-commerce, This lets you view all the information you need quickly and practically, download data in spreadsheets, monitor shipping trends and analyze the impact of shipping costs on your revenue. Do you know how much it costs to ship a single package? This is essential information for anyone with an e-commerce site that needs to create a profitable and sustainable business plan.

The importance of an integrated e-commerce strategy

Think about it: in the entire world, there are no two e-commerce shops that are the same. So, the specifics of your online store exclusively define your brand. which is why it is key to develop an integrated marketing strategy that shows off the value of your specific qualities.

As you gradually reach more and more customers, what will then make your performance truly impressive will be your shop’s logistics organization. isendu gives you support specifically on this complex aspect, allowing you to automate the shipping process, save time and eliminate errors. 

If you are looking for the best way to grow your e-commerce and want a reliable, well-organized partner, get in touch any time

Lando Barbagli

Written by:

Lando Barbagli

CEO di isendu

Amo creare aziende animate da un forte senso di appartenenza.

Illustration of:

Emily Bielski

Communication Designer and Illustrator

Emily Bielski is an illustrator from the Midwestern United States. She is currently working towards her MFA in Illustration and Visual Culture from Washington University in St. Louis.

Emily Bielski