The 6 Most Powerful Marketing Channels for eCommerce.

Dale Hornidge
Jun 5, 2017 · 6 min read

eCommerce marketing is a constantly changing landscape which can be pretty darn daunting! Don’t panic though, in reality, there are only six marketing channels that deserve your attention. Here’s our breakdown of them;

Pay-Per-Click (PPC)

There are a lot of pay-per-click channels but the two ‘Big Boys’ in the space are usually your best best bet; Facebook Ads and Google Adwords.

Both require different forms of marketing strategy but both can be incredibly effective at acquiring customers quickly.

Google Adwords works on a ‘query click’ basis. I.e the user has Googled a specific term or keyword which you have bid to put an ad on. This is incredibly useful for some eCommerce stores but the cost of Adwords has increased significantly over the last few years meaning lower costed products may not be suitable for the platform.

It’s no secret that we LOVE Facebook Ads, it’s our bread & butter. Working differently from Google, Facebook is a Content Based platform. So your strategy has to reflect this.

The reason we love Facebook Ads so much? The data that Facebook holds on users is INVALUABLE to marketers. We can target users on everything from age, gender, political stance all the way through to their hobbies, interests and income.

This means we can laser target our advertising, meaning much better returns on investments for our clients.

Facebook Ads also work on Instagram (which is owned by Facebook), this is fantastic for a huge array of eCommerce niches, fashion and fitness being two of the biggies.

More and more younger users are choosing Instagram as their primary platform while still maintaining a Facebook account. Meaning the same targeting options are available.

The other notable platforms for PPC; Perfect Audience, Pinterest, Twitter, Etsy, Houz.

These are all great platforms but they don’t have the same success in terms of cold-hard-cash as Facebook and Google for our clients.


Re-targeting is powerful, so powerful that it get’s it own section here.

Retargeting is essentially advertising to users who have visited already visited your site. Facebook and Google both allow for re-targeting and the results can be insane. Here’s three examples of why we love retargeting so much.

  1. Abandoned Carts — Every eCommerce store suffers from this, for consumers real-life often gets in the way of the purchasing process (the phone rings or their favourite show comes on the TV) or they simply forget. These people are the EASIEST people to convert into paying customers, they have already shown intent to buy.
  2. Cross-sell and Up-sell — For customers who have already bought, you can upsell to them using their specific product purchases. For instance, if the customer has bought a new pair of shoes, why not retarget her with matching or complementary accessories such as bags and belts?
  3. Your email database — New to advertising but have an email database of past customers? Perfect, we can target them specifically using a Custom Audience on Facebook. Past customers are much easier to convert than cold traffic as they already know you and trust your brand.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is the process of making your website appear on Google for specific search terms and keywords. Once you are ranking on Google correctly, the traffic that arrives to your site is free.

This is a fantastic opportunity and should never be overlooked. SEO can never be an overnight success for you, it takes time and effort so it should be a part of your longer term marketing strategy. The algorithms which the big search engines use to rank web pages are incredibly complex and measure everything from site content to user experience, domain authority and site speed.

The easiest way to keep on top of your SEO is to use a site plug-in for your website (we recommend Smart SEO for Shopify).

It’s free traffic, what’s not to love?

Affiliate Marketing

Let’s get the elephant out of the room… Affiliate Marketing has a bad reputation. It’s been used by some very unscrupulous people to market their products in the past. BUT things are changing and there are some very reputable and successful affiliate marketing programs out there.

Simply put Affiliate Marketing is the referral of traffic to your website from other websites or platforms under a partnership scheme often based on commision.

Social media has been a BIG game changer in affiliate marketing, especially for eCommerce. You can partner with social media influencers on every platform (from YouTube to Facebook) and they will promote your products for you. Often in the form of favourable review videos, video unboxings of products or just ‘shout-outs’ to your brand.

This can be a great way of building your brand’s authority quickly.

Email Marketing

We’ve lost count of how many time’s we’ve read that email marketing is dead. It’s not, trust us!

We use email marketing with our clients in almost every campaign that we run, it’s an incredibly powerful and personable tool. Oh and it’s free!

Make no mistake, users are a lot more savvy these days and expect much more than a standard weekly newsletter and mail mergers from Microsoft Office should be long-gone! There are some very powerful tools out there, (shout-out to MailChimp and AutoPilot) which allow you to quickly create beautifully designed and personalised emails that can be sent automatically.

What you send matters, so spend time one these emails. Set your goals and work to achieve them with the content inside the email.

Chatbot Marketing

What are Chatbots? Simple answer; the future.

Essentially, they are automated intelligent messaging programs that run on Facebook Messenger and other similar platforms.

How intelligent they are is really down to you but they aren’t difficult to build (often no coding is required) with tools such as ManyChat.

They can be programmed to do everything from dealing with customer orders to answering frequently asked questions.

This is a big subject area and deserves your attention if you want to beat the crowd in this market, have a look at our full article on Chatbots for eCommerce for more information.

A hell of a lot has been written about the power of content marketing over the last 5 years and make no mistake; content marketing is the MOST powerful marketing technique available today. so why’s it not in our list?

Because it should be included in all of the marketing channels we’ve suggested. It doesn’t need to be the main focus but it should always be there.

Consumers want value and you can offer value through content.

I’d love to hear your experiences with the above channels, what’s worked best for you?

Want more killer eCommerce marketing tips? Head over to our blog and resources section at

Dale Hornidge

Written by

Founder of Rogue Digital, a hotel and tourism marketing agency.

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