A Comprehensive Guide to Creating an Ecommerce Marketing Plan in 2023

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The main goal of an ecommerce marketing plan is to drive traffic to the website, increase brand awareness, and ultimately generate more sales.

Learn how to create a marketing plan for your ecommerce business in this brief guide.

What Is an Ecommerce Marketing Plan?

An ecommerce marketing plan is a comprehensive strategy that outlines how an online business attracts users and converts them into paying customers. It is a roadmap that guides an ecommerce business through the process of reaching and engaging with potential customers, converting them into paying customers, and retaining them over time.

Why an Ecommerce Marketing Plan Is Important?

A marketing plan lays out your business strategy for acquiring new customers and selling more products and services. There are several reasons why it is important:

  1. It helps businesses define who their target audience is and how their product solves the audienceโ€™s needs.
  2. It helps identify the channels and tactics that are most likely to reach their target audience.
  3. An ecommerce marketing strategy sets specific goals and timelines for each marketing activity, so businesses can track the progress toward their overall objectives.
  4. It provides a framework for measuring and evaluating the results of marketing campaigns.

7-Step Marketing Plan

Here are the seven main areas you have to figure out to create a solid marketing plan.

Product and Positioning

The main question to answer here is โ€œwhy would a customer choose your company over someone elseโ€™s?โ€ Whatโ€™s something that makes your ecommerce business or product interesting to users?

There are multiple angles from which you could approach positioning to make yourself distinguishable: product differentiation, the target group of users, pricing, quality, convenience, and customer service.

Understand your strong sides and put them in advertising copy and visuals.

Customer Profile

A customer profile is a detailed, data-based description of your ideal customer within your target audience, that helps you understand your customers' needs, preferences, and purchasing habits.

Once you have it, you can create a persona that represents your ideal customer. Your ideal customer persona should serve as a basis to target your ad copies, content marketing, and email marketing.

Here are some key elements to include in a customer profile:

  • Demographics: age, gender, location, income, and education.
  • Psychographics: interests, values, and attitudes.
  • Behavioral: purchase history, website visits, and social media engagement.
  • Goals and challenges: what motivates your customers to buy and what obstacles do they face?
  • Communication preferences: how your customers prefer to receive information and interact with your brand.

With a good understanding of your customers, you will have a better idea of how to appeal to them and what channels to use for digital marketing.

Consider the Marketplace Differences

If you are going to sell via a marketplace, make sure to plan for it in your ecommerce marketing strategy. Keep in mind that all of them have their own audience, geography, allowed products, as well as pros and cons.

I.e.: Amazon, eBay, and Etsy. eBay has a live auction option along with the usual fixed-price selling, while Amazon does not. Etsy only allows handmade, vintage, or craft supplies to be sold there, while retailers can sell virtually anything legal on eBay and Amazon.

Paid Ads

Paid advertising is one of the most effective channels to drive new visitors to your website and to do retargeting for returning ones (including shopping cart abandoners). The statistic proves that businesses continue to invest in it more and more.

Some of the most popular advertising platforms include Google Ads, Facebook & Instagram Ads, and TikTok.

Consider these points when preparing a paid ads campaign:

  • Be clear on who your target audience is, and what platform is best to reach them.
  • Determine your budget โ€” how much you're willing to spend on ads daily or monthly
  • Create compelling ad copy: clear, concise, and attention-grabbing.
  • Make sure to track your ROI and adjust: add more budget to well-performing campaigns and stop those that bring little or no sales.
  • Test and optimize: experiment with different ad formats, targeting options, and ad copy to determine what works best for your audience.

Social Media Marketing

According to Digital 2023 Global Overview Report, there are now 4.76 billion social media users around the world, equating to just under 60 percent of the total global population.

This makes social media an effective marketing channel for ecommerce businesses that want to reach potential customers, engage with their audience, build brand awareness, and drive traffic to their website.

When creating an effective social media marketing plan:

  • Choose the right platform. The audiences of different platforms overlap: based on the same Digital 2023 Global Overview Report, less than 1% of users are actually unique to any platform โ€” which means that you do not need to be on multiple platforms to reach the majority of your customers.
  • Create valuable content. It should be appropriate for the platform you chose. I.e., doing content marketing on Facebook would be very different in style from doing it on LinkedIn.
  • Engage with your audience. Ask questions, run polls, and respond to comments and messages from your followers to keep your audience engaged.
  • Use paid advertising to increase the number of people who see your posts. Organic reach on social media is limited, so consider using Facebook and Instagram ads, Twitter-promoted tweets, or LinkedIn-sponsored content.
  • Track your results. Use social media marketing tools to measure your reach, engagement, and conversions, refine your strategy, and improve your results. Meta offers three tools to get insights โ€” Meta Business Suite, Facebook Ads Manager, and Facebook Events Manager.

Organic traffic refers to the traffic that comes to your website through search engine results pages (SERPs) without any paid advertising. It takes time to show results, but it is a more sustainable long term than paid ads.

Focus on these points when creating your organic search strategy:

  • Keyword research. Use marketing tools like Google Keyword Planner to find the most relevant and conversion-worthy keywords.
  • On-page SEO. Optimize your website's content, meta tags, and URLs with the identified keywords. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly and has a fast loading speed to improve user experience.
  • Content marketing. Create high-quality, informative, and engaging content that incorporates informational keywords and attracts users to the top of the marketing funnel.
  • Link building. Build quality backlinks from reputable websites to improve your ecommerce website's authority and search engine rankings. This can be achieved through guest blogging, outreach campaigns, podcast appearances, news mentions, etc.

Goals and Analytics

A good ecommerce marketing strategy needs to set clear goals, specify the timeframes for achieving them, and define KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that will help track the progress.

A few examples of digital marketing KPIs are:

  • Marketing ROI.
  • Customer acquisition cost.
  • Customer retention rate.
  • Conversion rate from website visitors to buyers.
  • Social media engagement.
  • Email open rate.

Analytics tools like Google Analytics or CRMs like HubSpot can help you monitor your website KPIs, while social media platformsโ€™ analytics and other software would cover other marketing activities.


An ecommerce marketing plan is an essential tool for any business that wants to succeed. By providing a clear roadmap for reaching and engaging with potential customers, staying organized, and measuring the performance of marketing activities, ecommerce businesses can maximize their return on investment and achieve long-term success.

Michael Doer

Michael Doer is an independent content marketer who writes about digital marketing, ecommerce, and business advice. Reach him on LinkedIn to ask about anything.

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