15 Creative Marketing Tactics Online Stores Use (That You Should Too)

marketing tactics

When building out your online store, you need to find a way to differentiate yourself from other brands. By doing things differently, your store will have a competitive advantage. Whether it’s a highly optimized site that has higher conversions, or a more personalized experience for the customer, your store will outearn the competition by implementing creative marketing tactics. The stores on this list do things that sometimes seem counterintuitive in ecommerce. Let’s take a look at the 15 creative marketing tactics online stores use (that you should too).

Adore Me: Store Quiz

marketing tactics

Customers who want to see Adore Me’s products must fill out an online quiz before entering their site. When you take the quiz you’ll be shown pictures and descriptions to help determine the best products on the site for you. The first question asks: ‘It’s Friday night, what do you wear?’, with the options of ‘Pretty Playful,’ ‘Seriously Sexy,’ ‘Classic & Cute’, and ‘Hot Romance.’ Their images include pictures of women of different sizes and skin colors to represent a wide demographic and to avoid alienating any of their customers. At the top right corner of the quiz there’s a red icon that reads ‘Your First VIP Set $19.95 + Free Shipping’ with the original price being crossed out. First, they’re referring to your first set as VIP to make it more appealing. They’re also showing your savings on the first purchase. And they provide free shipping so you won’t be surprised with any hidden costs. At the end of the quiz, you’re asked for an email and password to be shown your style. By providing them your email, they can send promotional emails to you. I highly recommend signing up for their email list as a marketer, as  they consistently have attention grabbing subject lines and copy that’s worth learning from.  

ASOS: Find Out What Size People Like You Bought

marketing tactics

On all of ASOS’ product pages, there’s a section beneath size where you can find the right size for you. Customers who share the same height and weight as you are likely to share the same size as you. This helps lower return rates, as you’re creating a more personalized and catered experience. As a high volume store, there’s enough data to make this feature work effectively. Since online shoppers don’t get to try their products on before buying them, this helps ensure that customers order the right size the first time.

ModCloth: Virtual Stylists

marketing tactics

ModCloth have a great marketing tactic — they offer free stylist appointments for their customers. Customers can ask stylists for advice on accessorizing looks for special occasions, picking the right wedding dress, and more. Instead of referring to them as customer service representatives, they refer to them as Stylists as this which brings customers more value. Customers can choose from three stylist options: Personal Styling, Bridal Services, and Wardrobing. They offer fashion advice that suits the style, size, and taste of each individual customer creating a personalized shopping experience. Customers are free to book a 1 on 1 appointment to receive helpful advice from knowledgeable stylists. They can also help with gift ideas for friends, specific product questions, and figuring out the right size for you.

Beauty Habit: Include a Special Offers and Free Gifts Section

marketing tactics

Including a special offers section either on your store’s top navigation or footer is a great marketing tactic that can help increase sales. If you offer free gifts with specific product bundles, you can include them on a special offers and free gifts page. Each page includes the specific discount code to redeem to receive a free gift. Customers who look for discount codes before purchase will be happy to find an entire page of special offers that’ll save them money or provide them with a free gift. Beauty Habit’s page includes free samples, free gifts with minimum spend, and more. Their page has 36 offers, which is an extensive variety for customers to look through. Depending on the offer you provide, your ‘Shop Now’ link can lead customers right to the checkout page to ease them into the sale.

Sammy Dress: Share and Get It Free

Sammy Dress uses the ‘Share & Get it Free’ marketing tactic on their online store. For a customer to get the item for free, they need to share it with their friends, and encourage them to purchase the item. Each friend who joins Sammy Dress receives a $50 coupon that they can use on the store. When your friends make purchases, you can potentially receive the item for free. You can view the details for the program here. Offering a coupon can help convert a new customer, and once they’re in your sales funnel you can remarket to them via email, retargeting ads, and more.

Estee Lauder: Monetize the About Us Page

marketing tactics

A simple marketing tactic that Estee Lauder use on their About Us page is including three items that customers can add to their cart to monetize their page. As a Shopify store owner, you can create a buy button to add products to your about us page. Having your top three most popular products on your about us page can help convert users who are trying to learn more about your brand before making a purchase on your store. This helps optimize a popular store page to help improve your chances of customer conversion.

Sand Cloud: Include a Discount Wheel

marketing tactics

A marketing tactic you can include on your online store is actually available for Shopify users through the App store. You can add a discount wheel like Sand Cloud, where you offer discounts, free shipping, or nothing at all. Customers are required to enter their email address to spin their wheel, which can help build your email list. This spinner only appears when a customer has an exit intent which means they plan on leaving your website without making a purchase. Customers can’t always access the spinner as their browser remembers if they’ve been shown it before it or not. Sand Cloud is using Wheelio on their store.

Naja: ‘Get $15’

marketing tactics

Several top ecommerce stores are now adding a ‘Get $15’ link on their store’s top navigation, like Naja. This marketing tactic gets customers to sign up to become an affiliate for your store. Customers who are interested in making money will be lured in with the ‘Get $15’ offer. These customers will be happy to refer you to their friends, especially as they’re getting paid for it. When customers click the link, they land on a page that tells them that they’ll be paid $15 for the referral, and that their friend will receive a $15 discount as well. It also mentions the restrictions which is that the referral needs to spend a minimum of $75. Having a minimum restriction prevents you from losing money in the transaction, which means that your store remains profitable. Having an affiliate program in place can prove to be profitable as customers who promote your products are more likely to be loyal, and it lowers your acquisition costs making it the perfect marketing tactic.

Casetify: Using GIFs As Product Photos

marketing tactics

As a store owner you should be finding unique ways to make your products stand out. Casetify does just that by making their main image a gif showcasing how their product works. Customers can clearly see the moving glitter within the glitter case so that they can see the product in action. This can help customers visualize the benefits of having the products. Many phone case brands sell glitter cases but fail to show what sets them apart from other products. You’ll add more value when a customer sees how your product works.

Valfre: Buy Now, Pay Later

marketing tactics

Valfre uses a payment gateway called Future Pay, which allows their customers to buy their products without a credit card. Customers are required to pay $25 a month to use the service due to the deferred payment plan. Stores that sell high-ticket items like furniture have popularized this marketing tactic but we’re starting to see more online retailers offer this type of service to their customers. The benefit of having a buy now pay later marketing tactic is that it allows your customers to shop even if they haven’t gotten paid yet. Having an app like this on your store can help prevent abandoned carts and convert customers who wouldn’t have the financial resources to pay today.

Choies: Flash Sales

marketing tactics

Under Choies’ Sale section, they have a Flash Sale collection where products have steep savings. Their product listings page has countdown timers beneath each product photo to create urgency. Most associate flash sales with holidays like Black Friday. However, you can run flash sales on your store year round to promote particular items on your website. By changing your products in your Flash Sale regularly, you can promote a wider range of products. It also keeps your page fresh, so that customers keep coming back to see new flash sale items.

Topshop: Provide a Student Discount

marketing tactics

Top UK fashion retailers like Topshop, or ASOS, offer a student discount to students who visit their store. Students receive 10% off discount code that they can use on their purchase through a popular student discount brand called Student Beans. Customers need to be verified students in order to receive the discount. Those outside the UK, can find student discount brands for their country to run a similar program.

Dixi – Mood Board with Shoppable Links & Treats Section

marketing tactics

Dixi implements two creative marketing tactics on their store. First, they have a mood board with shoppable links. The page contains relevant images that suit the interests of their customers. Some of the pages include product images. When customers click on the product image, they can choose to ‘Buy Now’. Store owners can use an app like Shopify’s Shoppable Instagram Galleries to create a similar page on their website. Under Dixi’s treats section, customers can reap several rewards. They can receive 15% off by signing up for their email list. They have a giveaways page where customers can enter to win prizes, like free wallpapers.

Style Keepers – Pre-order

marketing tactics

A marketing tactic Style Keepers features on their website is Pre-Orders. Customers can choose to pre-order new items before they arrive in stock. The product page lists the expected date of shipment. This is great marketing tactic for those with stores that constantly run out of inventory due to popular demand. You can allow customers to pre-order items so that you remain profitable while also guaranteeing customers their orders. Those who carry inventory may also implement this marketing tactic on their store to know how many quantities they should be ordering for specific products. Another benefit of the pre-order is that it allows your customers to have guaranteed access to your products, which can help them to feel like a trendsetter.

Fashion Bunker – Envelope With Notifications

marketing tactics

When a customer first visits the Fashion Bunker store they’ll notice a small envelope with notifications on the top right corner. We’re used to clicking to view notifications, thanks to social media and phone apps, which makes this an effective marketing tactic for retailers. When a customer clicks on the notifications, they’ll view ‘Today’s Offers’, which includes discount codes they can use on their purchase for that day. First time customers get a bonus 15% off their first order which is listed at the top.

When implementing different marketing tactics, it’s important to try new things and test the results. The stores featured in this article have set themselves apart from the competition by adding features to help boost their conversions, and create a better shopping experience for their customers.

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