In 2020, global e-commerce sales are projected to reach a staggering 4.20 trillion dollars, and the number of people that buy online will rise to slightly over 2 billion. You might think that the e-commerce business is a gold mine, but the reality is not that bright. Small and medium e-commerce stores have to compete with global and local giants, and this fight is as uneven as you could imagine: the 90% of new e-commerce stores fail within the first 120 days of operation

The main reason for these failures is insufficient promotion efforts that result in poor online marketing performance and lack of search engine visibility. No wonder that owners and managers constantly ask themselves what is the most effective way to promote their e-commerce website.

To help you find the most profitable ways of stimulating the growth of your e-commerce, we have prepared this list of strategies that are the equivalents of a traditional shopwindow that captivate visitors and bring buyers to your store.

The best ways to promote an e-commerce website


Optimizing the content on your website for search engines is one of the easiest and cheapest digital marketing strategies for e-commerce that at the same time can bring excellent results if done well. It is estimated that almost 40% of e-commerce traffic comes from search. Good product and category descriptions optimized for carefully picked keywords attract users that search for a given phrase in search engines, meaning that this traffic is already of a decent quality. 

However, the outcomes might not be immediate and you’ll have to equip yourself with patience to see the long-term effects. It also requires a set of specific skills: writing, technical, analytical, and so on, so if you don’t have them in-house, it might be a good idea to outsource SEO to an experienced agency.

Recommend-a-friend referral program

A Nielsen study found that word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family are the most trustworthy form of advertising. 84% of consumers admit that they trust recommendations from people they know. How to use this knowledge to generate traffic on your website? 

For example, you can move the traditional WoM mechanism online creating a recommend-a-friend referral program and offering a gratification for those users that bring new customers. Examples? Dollar Shave Club, the e-commerce subscription model pioneer, offers a 5$ dollar credit for every new user that registers using a referral link. That’s a classic win-win: users can redeem their credits for products, the company gains new clients, and the referred customers can get thrilling offers from the Dollar Shave Club!

Dynamic Ads

Facebook’s Dynamics Ad is a product-focused advertising format tailor-made for e-commerce which can prove to be extremely profitable. By using a product feed containing the data from your directory, you automate the process of creating product ads on Facebook and Instagram, which is invaluable especially for these online shops with thousands of items. What is more, with Facebook’s rich targeting options, you can precisely select the audiences that you want to reach and provide them with relevant dynamic content. Dynamic ads are also great for retargeting, upselling, and cross-selling. Ad personalization is extremely important because nowadays, 59% of consumers admit that personalized content based on their previous interactions with brands influences their shopping decisions. Therefore, online shops that use dynamic ads can see even a 12x increase in ROAS.

Influencer marketing

Teaming up with an influential person with a strong social media following is increasingly the preferred strategy for many e-commerce from industries such as beauty, fashion, travel, and healthcare. Collaboration with influencers can help you either attract qualified traffic to your website or generate sales directly thanks to discount codes. You can pretty well target your campaigns by analyzing influencers’ audiences using adequate tools (eg. Influencity). Moreover, influencer marketing most probably will continue to grow in popularity and efficiency due to the rise of new social media platforms (TikTok, anyone?) and analytics tools.

Which one of the strategies is the most successful? That depends on many factors, different things can work for different businesses, so you must try and decide which one fits your business best. Don’t hesitate to seek advice or assistance from professional agencies: they might be helpful when choosing an adequate strategy and executing it.