Digital marketing for ecommerce uses tactics like SEO, SEM, and social media to improve site visibility in search, attract customers, and sell more products online. Discover how to market your ecommerce brand using the right channels, strategies, and tools.

Here, you’ll find:

The popular quote “if you build it, they will come” (which is actually a misremembered Field of Dreams quote, but that’s another article) doesn’t apply to ecommerce websites.

To sell products and build a successful brand, you need a digital marketing strategy tailored to ecommerce.

So where should you start? In this guide to digital marketing for ecommerce, we’ll cover the channels to use, strategies to test, and tools to adopt as you build your brand.

What is ecommerce digital marketing?

Digital marketing for ecommerce is the process of engaging, converting, and retaining customers online. A typical ecommerce marketing plan uses promotional tactics to achieve three main goals:

  • Get more people to visit your online store
  • Turn ecommerce website visitors into customers
  • Transform customers into repeat buyers and loyal fans

To build a full-funnel ecommerce marketing strategy, you need more than just a great online shopping website. You also need marketing tactics to leverage across channels like email, social media, influencer, and search engine marketing.

Why use digital marketing for ecommerce?

For many ecommerce brands, setting up a store is only the first step. Most ecommerce sites won’t attract customers on their own.

After all, the competition is pretty steep. Worldwide, there are 26.5 million ecommerce sites that cover every niche imaginable.

That’s why you need a digital marketing strategy for ecommerce to generate interest, sell products, find loyal customers, and grow your business.

With digital marketing, you can tap into a massive potential customer base. As of 2024, over 2.7 billion people shop online. And across the globe, ecommerce stores generate over $6.7 billion in online sales.

11 ecommerce digital marketing strategies

To promote your business, you need a strategy. Use these ideas for digital marketing for ecommerce startups or established brands:

  1. Optimize product pages
  2. Write keyword-driven blog posts
  3. Send abandoned shopping cart emails
  4. Promote limited-time sales via SMS
  5. Make your products shoppable on social media
  6. Collect user-generated content (UGC)
  7. Partner with influencers
  8. Reward your most loyal customers
  9. Run Google Shopping campaigns
  10. Retarget engaged customers
  11. Leverage data across channels

1. Optimize product pages

To optimize product pages, start with SEO to make them easier to find via search. Do keyword research using one of the SEO tools below. Next, incorporate the most relevant keywords with the highest search volume into your ecommerce product descriptions.

Then take steps to improve conversion rates for your product pages to drive more sales. Choose an optimized product page template from one of the ecommerce website platforms below. Then use an app or plugin to run an A/B test to see which images, descriptions, videos, or layouts lead to the highest conversion rates.

2. Write keyword-driven blog posts

A content marketing strategy gives potential customers more ways to discover your brand and learn how your products solve their problems and meet their goals. To create a content strategy, start with keyword research using one of the SEO tools below.

Then use the most popular keywords to write relevant blog posts that feature your ecommerce products. After publishing blog posts, distribute them to a wider audience by sharing them via email campaigns and your social media accounts.

3. Send abandoned shopping cart emails

Potential customers may click away from your ecommerce store before completing a purchase for a variety of reasons. Encourage them to return to your site and complete the checkout process by setting up an abandoned cart email automation.


Instead of just reminding shoppers what they left in their carts, incentivize them to make the purchase. For example, you could offer a small discount to new customers like the Asics email above does.

4. Promote limited-time sales via SMS

When you want to promote sales that won’t last long, you need a channel that’s most likely to get an immediate response. Since SMS campaigns have high open rates, they work well for short-term promotions.

For best results with SMS, make your messaging short and sweet, and link to an ecommerce product or category page that’s optimized for mobile users. Create a sense of urgency (such as a limited-time offer) to encourage customers to purchase quickly.

5. Make your products shoppable on social media

Driving traffic from social media to an ecommerce website isn’t always easy. Some social media platforms limit where you can place hyperlinks, and others reduce the reach of posts that include external links.


To work with (instead of against) social media algorithms, make your products shoppable on the platforms your target audience uses most. For example, you can list your products on TikTok Shop or on Facebook and Instagram Shops like Poppi does above.

6. Collect user-generated content (UGC)

No matter how great your branded content looks on social media, customers may see your posts more as ads. So what should you post instead? Social media users see UGC as more authentic and report that UGC influences their buying decisions.


UGC also creates social proof, demonstrating that other customers are actively buying and enjoying your products. Above, Tecovas reposts an unboxing video created by a customer.

To invite customers to create and share UGC featuring your brand, create a dedicated hashtag. Encourage customers to add these hashtags to posts showcasing their customer experience, and then repost the UGC to your feed and Stories.

7. Partner with influencers

To increase awareness of your brand and drive new customer purchases, start an influencer marketing program. Use one of the platforms below to find influencers with engaged audiences and interests relevant to your ecommerce brand.

Partner with influencers

Then work with influencers to create content promoting your new products or your seasonal specials. For example, Olipop’s partner program incentivizes influencers to create content featuring the brand in a way that connects with their followers.

8. Reward your most loyal customers

Converting new customers can cost up to 10 times as much as getting existing customers to make repeat purchases. What’s more, returning customers spend 67% more than new ones, making them a cost-effective segment to target.

To encourage customers to buy from your business again, incentivize them with a loyalty program. For example, Ulta Beauty Rewards gives customers points for every $1 they spend. Customers can then redeem points for discounts on their next purchases.

9. Run Google Shopping campaigns

With Google Shopping campaigns, you can pay to promote ecommerce products at the very top of Google search results pages. This Google Ads format features your brand name, product name, price, and image.

Run Google Shopping campaigns

Many shopping ads also display additional information like product ratings or shipping timelines. These ads link directly to your ecommerce site, which can help with retargeting.

10. Retarget engaged customers

People who visit your website and browse your online store may not make a purchase the first time around. One of the most effective ways to invite customers to return to your site and keep shopping is running remarketing ads.

You can create remarketing audiences on all major advertising platforms, including Google Ads, Facebook Ads, TikTok Ads, and LinkedIn Ads. First, install the platform’s advertising pixel and set up custom audiences to retarget people who visited your ecommerce site. Then set up ad campaigns to target these audience segments and encourage them to return and shop.

11. Leverage data across channels

To refine your marketing strategy and continue improving results, monitor metrics and attribute conversions to the right channel. HawkSEM’s ConversionIQ (CIQ) platform tracks every step of the buyer’s journey and identifies what’s working so we know where to double down.

Then we take CIQ insights and apply them across channels to improve performance across SEO, paid social, and PPC.

Our digital marketing for ecommerce businesses has driven impressive results. For example, HawkSEM helped Apotheke increase return on ad spend (ROAS) by 62% year over year with our digital marketing services.

What does it cost?

PPC costs for ecommerce vary significantly, with businesses typically spending $5,000 to $20,000 monthly on media spend, plus $1,500+ on management fees. Larger companies may invest over $30,000.

While the general CPC (cost per click) for Google ads ranges from $1 to $2, ecommerce-specific keywords vary depending on industry.

For instance, in general shopping, gifts, and collectibles, the average CPC is $2.44. Then in Apparel and jewelry, the average CPC is $1.55.

Essential ecommerce marketing channels

Which digital marketing channels should you use to promote your ecommerce brand? Here are eight to use in your ecommerce strategy:

Ecommerce website

Every ecommerce brand needs a website where customers can have a great user experience while browsing and buying. But product listings are just the beginning of what you can do with ecommerce website optimization.

With digital marketing for ecommerce sites, you can increase sales by offering limited-time discounts and running customer loyalty programs. You can also build remarketing audiences to use in pay-per-click (PPC) ads and paid social media campaigns.

Search engine optimization

SEO can improve your site’s visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs). When potential new customers search for the products you sell or the problems you solve, your site will have a better chance of appearing near the top of the page. As a result, it drives more traffic and conversions.

Optimizing your site for search can make almost every part of your website more visible, from product pages to blog posts. Incorporate content marketing and other Shopify SEO best practices, like publishing optimized blog posts on a regular basis.

Search engine marketing

Some ecommerce businesses focus their search engine marketing (SEM) efforts solely on PPC advertising. But the best digital marketing agencies for ecommerce take a more comprehensive approach to this channel.

For example, HawkSEM offers PPC, SEO, conversion rate optimization (CRO), and paid social. With CIQ, we can attribute traffic and conversions accurately and apply insights across channels to drive better results overall.

Email marketing

Email marketing is a permission-based channel that requires customers to opt in or subscribe to your email list. That extra effort can pay off, though, because the average return on investment (ROI) for email marketing campaigns is $36 to $40 for every $1 you spend.

Email marketing is great for sharing company updates and promoting seasonal specials. But as an ecommerce store owner, you can also use this channel to send emails based on customer behaviors and preferences — which can dramatically boost conversion rates.

“We’ve experienced remarkable success with email marketing. Our approach at Formen Inc. involves regular newsletters and promotional emails,” explains Andrew Grella, CEO & Founder of Foremen Inc.

“However, the key is that we don’t just push for sales, but frequently integrate educational content revolving around men’s grooming and skincare. This strategy strikes a chord, not just promoting our products but also creating a more enlightened customer base.”


With SMS, you can connect with customers on their smartphones via text messages. SMS is great for confirming orders and shipping information, and it works well for sharing limited-time promotions.

As impressive as the ROI for email marketing can be, SMS marketing efforts can lead to an even better return. For instance, Urban Outfitters saw a 27x ROI by using SMS marketing.

For SMS campaigns, open rates average 95%, making this channel ideal for getting through to customers.

Social media marketing

Over 5 billion people use social media worldwide, and nearly 6 billion are projected to use social media by 2027. With an organic social media strategy, you can improve brand awareness, build an engaged audience, and promote products and offers.

“In our experience, the most effective digital marketing channels for ecommerce are social media advertising, particularly on platforms like Instagram and Facebook,” shares Joosep Seitam, Co-founder of Icecartel. “For instance, our targeted Instagram campaigns have led to a 30% increase in engagement and a significant boost in conversion rates.”

But you aren’t limited to an organic strategy alone. With paid social media, you can create full-funnel advertising campaigns that reach both your current followers and new customers who don’t yet know your ecommerce brand.

“Facebook is our primary go-to digital marketing channel for reaching high-value prospects,” shares Peter Hoopis, Owner of Hoopis Pickleball.

“We ditched the fancy carousel ads and went for simple yet eye-catching videos and images that capture the fun of pickleball, which is the core of our business. During the last Facebook campaign, this resulted in a whopping 28% increase in people grabbing our gear.”

Influencer marketing

Not every ecommerce promotion has to come from your brand’s owned channels. With influencer marketing, you partner with social media figures who already have dedicated audiences. You pay them (with money or product) to introduce your brand and promote your products on their channels.

When done right, influencer marketing can be incredibly effective. In a HubSpot report, nearly 60% of marketers said it was the most effective marketing trend. And over 70% of marketers reported that influencer campaigns drive higher quality traffic.

Affiliate marketing

Think of affiliate marketing like the next level of influencer marketing. Essentially, affiliates or brand advocates promote your products directly. In exchange, you pay a commission or a referral fee, which is typically a percentage of the total ecommerce sale.

Top tools for ecommerce marketing

To create a successful digital marketing plan for ecommerce, you need the right tools. Here’s a quick overview of some of the most popular tools.

Ecommerce platforms

BigCommerce is a platform designed for enterprise ecommerce. It supports headless commerce, omnichannel selling, and multi-storefront expansion across new regions. With BigCommerce, you can build a completely custom ecommerce experience and attract customers using built-in optimization tools.

Shopify is an ecommerce platform for businesses of any size — including enterprise. Yet you can use it for much more than building and customizing an ecommerce storefront. Shopify integrates with platforms ranging from Facebook to Google Ads, making it easy to market your business.

Email and SMS marketing tools

Klaviyo is an email and SMS marketing automation platform. It’s ideal for sending email newsletters, product launches, sale announcements, and more. Since Klaviyo automatically tracks customer behaviors, you can use it to market to your most loyal customers.

Omnisend is an email and SMS automation platform for creating email newsletters, abandoned cart emails, website popups, and text campaigns. Since Omnisend integrates with all major ecommerce platforms, it can use your data to promote the right products to the right customers.

Social media marketing tools

Agorapulse is a social media marketing platform that supports social networks ranging from Facebook and Instagram to TikTok and YouTube. It’s helpful for scheduling social media content, responding to comments efficiently, and using analytics to find what resonates best with your audience.

Buffer is a social media management platform that can publish content, moderate engagement, and review analytics. Because it’s one of the most affordable social media tools on the market, Buffer is great for small ecommerce businesses with limited marketing budgets.

SEO platforms

Semrush is an all-in-one SEO tool for everything from keyword research and tracking to content strategy and AI-powered writing. You can also use Semrush for PPC keyword research, which can improve your search ad performance and help your brand reach more potential customers.

SE Ranking is a complete SEO platform that offers keyword research and rank tracking, as well as backlink monitoring and competitive research. You can use SE Ranking to create an SEO-driven content strategy, cross-check against the competition, and monitor the results.

Influencer marketing platforms

Grin is a creator management platform designed to discover and engage creators, build relationships, and organize campaigns. You can ship ecommerce products, provide unique promotional codes, and monitor campaigns from the platform. With Grin, you can also measure return on investment (ROI) for every influencer campaign.

Upfluence is a platform for managing both influencer and affiliate marketing programs. It helps you find the best influencers to promote your brand, manage influencers and affiliates, and pay everyone on time. It also has robust analytics to track and optimize results.

The takeaway

With so many channels to manage, choosing the most high-impact ones and managing them successfully can be challenging. Fortunately, our team is here to help with ecommerce marketing services.
From SEO and SEM to CRO and PPC, we can partner with you on digital marketing for ecommerce websites and much more. To learn more about how we can help your ecommerce brand grow, contact us today.

Anna Sonnenberg

Anna Sonnenberg

Anna Sonnenberg is a writer for B2B SaaS companies. She specializes in product-led and strategic content for marketing technology, sales automation, and productivity tools.