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Marketing strategy for eCommerce – how to prepare?

by | 28 October 2021 | eCommerce management, eCommerce marketing | 0 comments

Are you facing the vision of starting an online store? It would seem that choosing the right system for running an e-store that offers a wide range of sales management, inventory management and customer contact is crucial. Technically, yes, but the marketing strategy for eCommerce and the game plan have a huge impact on success. So how do you prepare to achieve your goals?

What exactly is a marketing strategy? Simply put, it is a comprehensive plan and vision of the project, which should include competition analysis, your company’s potential, business model, planned integrations, communication style and the way you want to stand out on the market.


Marketing strategy for eCommerce – what should it take into account?


A good marketing strategy for an online shop should be based on a business plan. Evaluating the planned profitability of the shop, fine-tuning the assortment, determining the pricing policy, etc. will allow you to better prepare a strategy that will enable your next actions to get closer to achieving your goals in the e-commerce market. When facing the challenge of preparing a marketing strategy, it is worth being aware that during the process of its building a number of problems, mistakes and bottlenecks come to light, as well as ways of acting which, often unconsciously undertaken, bring results – strategy planning allows you to catch them, which gives you the opportunity to refine and continue them. The process of building a strategy consists of several stages, which complement each other. What are these stages?


6 stages of building a marketing strategy for eCommerce


Strategia marketingowa dla e-commerce


Situation Analysis


Which is where you are now. The analysis of the situation should include:

  • customer analysis – If you are just starting the adventure of e-commerce, create a persona – a representative of your product audience. Think about the needs and expectations of your future customers. If you’re already in the business, but want to make a difference, think about why existing customers buy from your shop, why some come back, why others buy just once, and so on.


  • competition analysis – Check what works for others and what aspects they have weaknesses in. Follow how they create themselves on social media, how their advertising looks. Analyzing the competition will give you inspiration for good practices and will allow you to see the shortcomings that you can improve in your actions, reaching customers with a better, fully developed offer that responds to all their needs.


  • SWOT analysis – i.e. strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This is one of the key elements of marketing strategy. At this stage it is worth engaging an independent consultant or agency of specialists who will be able to objectively determine what is worth improving and what needs to be changed in your e-business. Even if it’s the weaknesses that dominate the list, don’t be discouraged, and treat it as an opportunity for growth – remember that if you don’t establish a ‘cure’ plan, you won’t achieve your goal of increasing conversions and developing brand awareness.


  • analysis of the effectiveness – of the tools used, the results of employees / agencies – a frequent problem, especially at the beginning of running an e-shop, is working in the dark. It is of course perfectly normal that we want to appear on the market, unfortunately, often wanting to stand out from the competition, we use inappropriate solutions or implement ill-considered actions. This is, for example, about an inadequate method of communication, which does not harmonise with potential clients (otherwise we will create a message for the representatives of the Z generation, differently for people from the business industry, and still differently for the elderly, who are often just taking their first steps on the Internet, teaching buying online), burning through the budget for advertising campaigns that are not consistent with each other or completely do not work for the specific product you offer (of course, the testing phase and investment in advertising are necessary to be able to determine what works and what works no, but if you see that your current actions are not producing results despite many attempts, just let go and focus on other forms of reaching the customer), or focusing only on acquiring new customers while neglecting those who have already made a purchase.


  • trend analysis – this is a point that is somewhat related to the analysis of competition – do you see a threat in the form of large brands that regularly increase the scope of their activities? Obviously, this can be demotivating, especially if you are new to the market, but try to find a niche – think about it – perhaps because you have a small online store, will you meet the expectations of consumers who are tired of big e-stores?




That is, the path you want to follow. Goals should define not only the vision of the company, but also its mission. If the goal is only revenue, we should change our thinking and look at the issue more broadly. Of course, establishing margins, striving for customer satisfaction, or wanting to build brand value are all hugely important, but without defining the brand’s message and what it wants to represent and evoke in its audience, it will be more difficult to make a profit. When thinking about the purpose, think about why your brand is supposed to mean something, what values it represents – if the e-store owner and team don’t know this, customers won’t see the potential either.

Remember that consumers are more and more conscious at the stage of making purchase decisions – they like to buy products offered by brands which not only encourage them to buy, but also present certain values and specific ideas. The mission is also important from the point of view of employees – people prefer to work in a team which likes what it does and is not only focused on increasing profits. When defining your goals, don’t forget to establish KPIs, budgets and measure key indicators such as cost per order vs. cost per new customer, retention rate or conversion rate.




Described as the smallest and most difficult part of a marketing plan. When establishing a strategy, you should define:


  • a persona representing the target market
  • positioning, that is how we want to be perceived by the market
  • customer experience
  • Brand DNA, i.e. its core that builds the brand image in the eyes
  • of the e-store owner, colleagues and potential buyers.


Marketing strategy for ecommerce also involves working with a SWOT analysis. Analysing your strengths can help you build your strategy. Also build on the weaknesses by turning them over. Do you offer relatively expensive products? When creating a message addressed to consumers, do not focus on high price, but on quality, which goes hand in hand with the amount that the buyer has to invest in a high-class product (remember that “expensive” is a highly subjective term – what for some is a huge amount, for others it may be a small expense if the goods meet the needs of the buyer)




That is, figuring out how you want to direct your actions and those of your team in order to achieve the goals you set beforehand and stick to your strategy. A common mistake is to equate strategy and tactics. Remember that strategy should always be above tactics. What does this mean? If your strategy is to promote green solutions and living in harmony with nature, tactics should include, for example, choosing appropriate packaging that is recycled and fully biodegradable, presenting solutions that allow consumers to change their current habits and take care of the environment. Tactics should also take into account the method and channels of communication – social media offer great opportunities, but not every channel is appropriate for every specificity of an e-shop and its assortment or target group.




So finding out what, when and how you will do it. The most important thing is to prioritise projects and specific tasks based on current resources (human, time and financial). If you work in a team of specialists, remember to improve your work by, for example, supporting the team with training, running projects in a suitable system, or organising regular meetings, weekly planning, monthly report.




Checking if you, your team and the eshop got to the place you were headed. Constant control of goals, KPIs, critical points in the operation of the store, campaign analysis, but also recommendation of changes and regular brainstorming that will allow for business development are essential if you want to achieve success.

As you can see, a marketing strategy is a process – a one-off plan will therefore not be enough. If you want to achieve your goal, build brand awareness and increase conversion, you must remember that your business is transparent, as well as the activities of you and your team.


Marketing strategy for an online store – is it needed?


As you can see, preparing a marketing strategy is a process that takes time. If, after reading the stages of its construction, you asked yourself the question: does my company need it? I answer: YES! Unless you want your new business to fail before it takes off for good. The marketing strategy allows us to organise our activities, set a specific goal, ensure the correct sequence of actions, and thus – minimise costs, which, especially at the beginning of the online store, may exceed our capabilities. Thanks to a properly prepared plan, we are able to harmonise business and promotional processes, ensuring synergy in specific areas of our activities.


A well-prepared marketing strategy:

  • gives us the opportunity to set realistic goals for ourselves and our team
  • allows for precise budget estimation and limitation of its burnout
  • makes it easier to choose the direction to which the company is heading
  • enables the acquisition of knowledge about the needs and behaviour of customers
  • allows you to trace and learn about the customer purchasing path
  • allows you to predict actions, thus eliminating the chaos, which is easy to find at the beginning of the adventure with e-commerce
  • gives the field for faster response to changes taking place on the market and responding to customer needs
  • enables better adaptation of tools to the specifics and needs of the company.


When starting to prepare a marketing strategy, it is worth taking a long-term approach – this does not mean, however, that you have to create a rigid framework for action and stick to initial assumptions – on the contrary, closing yourself off to certain patterns and not going beyond them is the easiest way to failure. As I have already mentioned several times, strategy is a process, and a process is changeable, if only due to the fact that it is influenced by external factors which we are not able to foresee (such as, for example, a pandemic which verified the activity of many companies). Specific actions, often also the chosen objectives, should be regularly confronted with the current situation on the market – a single planned advertising campaign will not bring the desired results all the time – remember about seasonality, changing customer needs, or opportunities that you have at the moment. This is also true for e.g. advertising campaigns – a one-time published creative will stop being effective after some time. This does not mean that you should immediately give up this type of activity – instead of getting discouraged, test other formats, engage the community, and above all – test!


Marketing strategy for eCommerce – 3 activities you should remember


Audit of the current situation – both for your company and competitors. Many online store owners omit this point or carry out the analysis only at the beginning of their activity, assuming that they are “sitting” in it every day, so they keep their finger on the pulse. Nothing could be more wrong! The market is dynamic, the needs and expectations of customers are changing as often, they are becoming more and more aware, and don’t forget that the competition is awake and the actions you have chosen may not work – regular audits will allow you to improve the operation of the company and the entire team, avoiding routine, which can be deadly in e-commerce

Building on strengths – the SWOT analysis is one of the crowning points of the strategy. However, we often over-focus on weaknesses. There is nothing wrong with that, as long as we do not ignore the advantages and issues that set us apart from the competition. From time to time, invite the entire team to a meeting, brainstorm and verify what you are better at than others and why it is you customers should want to buy. This is a great time for new solutions to be clarified, or for new goals to be created that will make the company grow

Regular verification and removal of errors – both on the website, and checking the effectiveness of actions in order to eliminate possible omissions or solutions that do not bring the desired results. The analysis should focus on:

  • conversion factor
  • the most effective sources of traffic
  • bounce rate
  • time on the page
  • assisted conversions.




When conducting activities on Social Media channels, also monitor the mood of your customers, ask them for feedback – encourage them to share their opinion not only about the products, but also about the website and service issues – this will allow you to improve the actions taken so far or change their direction – remember that the feelings of customers should be key for you. 

Grzegorz Sękowski
Grzegorz Sękowski

eCommerce Manager at Paul Rich – multimillion jewellery premium watch brand. Shopify & Shopify PLUS consultant, blogger and ex-founder of napnell.pl

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