10 Affordable Digital Marketing Tips for an Ecommerce Startup

Promoting a ecommerce startup

Now there are lots of ways to go about promoting your e commerce startup, but when there’s a funds crunch and every resource counts, then you better be careful about each step you take. Here are some tips, tricks and strategy suggestions that should help you better promote that e commerce startup of yours.


1. Stop spending money on increasing likes on Facebook Pages

Organic reach is at an all time low. Yes, you may hope that most of your customers may come from facebook, but there is simply no point these days in spending any money on facebook likes. Less likes and more hits on a website will lead to more conversions, concentrate on the latter.

Recommended Read : Stop Creating Facebook Pages, Start Building Websites Instead


2. Don’t use the boost post feature on your facebook page

The next temptation is clicking on boost post because facebook says it helps you reach out to more people. It does, but it is flawed. The right way to go about boosting a post is by going in your ad manager and targeting as extensively as you can. Make sure you choose interests, demographics as well as behaviour considering your target audience.


3. Don’t use twitter to simply promote, use it to hunt for customers instead

There’s a tool on twitter that most people don’t seem to use. Advanced Search. Use it to find customers looking for products that you sell, and then tweet to them in as personalised a manner as you can. Many many companies do the same, you should try it too.


4. Instagram should be on top of your mind

Pictures speak a thousand words, ones on Instagram can get you orders too. Upload pictures of all your products, customers, related pictures, banners and just about everything one by one. Add all the hashtags in the world that relate your product. Add your web address and a phone number if possible. Slowly people will discover. Slowly sales will happen.

Recommended Read : 10 Instagram Marketing Tricks to make your campaign Rock


5. Write about your startup, share your experience

Now this is a subtle, yet not so subtle way of making your startup reach your audience. This article made me order a Socratees tee. Stories about your startup, blogs where you share your experience, posts on LinkedIn talking about your business can earn you partnerships, admirers and customers.


6. EMail Marketing

The most important thing that most people miss out on. Now don’t start sending mass mails to lists you bought on the internet, but do this carefully and rightfully. Once somebody gets in touch with you, it is your job to engage them and make sure they come back again. You must subscribe to Utpatang and Nirogam‘s mailing list to see how its done right.  (Goes without saying you should subscribe to our mailing list too)


7. Facebook profile as a tool for promotion

Now stop acting shy, will you. You have started up and its time to tell the world about it. Be the salesman you ought to be, and sell. There’s no better place to sell than home and no better people to sell to than friends. They wouldn’t be the first ones to buy, that’s a different story, but you’ve got to harp on about the startup on your profile. Don’t sell the products directly, but sell your customer’s experience, their testimonials and just what you and the company is up to. If biggies like Vijay Shekhar Sharma (PayTM), Kunal Shah(FreeCharge) and Alok Kejriwal(Games2Win) can do it effectively, then so can you.


8. Partner

T.E.A.M (Together Everybody Achieves More) said an Archies Mug that I saw one day. What you can’t do alone, you can do together. Try looking for opportunities to partner, try to see how can you mutually benefit by partnering with somebody. This is often the most overlooked aspect of them all, yet the most effective. We go all gaga looking for partners.

9. Attend events

Now don’t just attend any events, but look for ones where you might end up finding relevant people to your domain. I made a lot of friends over the years at Indiblogger and Rodinhoods events, and many have turned out to some of the most helpful people over time. It is not about how many people a person networks with, but whom one meets that matters. Meet people offline, connect with them online, build relationships for a lifetime.


10. Stop Selling

Ya right. Don’t sell. Just become incredibly interesting. Ok, a little interesting to begin with. That’s how Happily Unmarried, Chumbak or Daily Objects became so big. They just became so interesting over time with their products, promotion and more. It took them lot of time, might take you a lot too. But if you concentrate on becoming more interesting with your products and as a company over time, then that’s lesser time you will spend on selling your products over time. Become interesting, people will want to buy themselves.


Think I missed on some important points? Please add them in the comments below. Hope this helps you e commerce portals on how to market and promote your startup better. All the best! For any related queries, comment here or head over here to our forum for getting answers to all your digital marketing queries.

E Commerce : The Great Indian Palika Bazaar

I love e commerce. I really do. It has made life easier for a lot of people. It has also created lots of job opportunities for a lot of people, B School grads and delivery boys alike. It has also taken away business from thousands of retailers, but that’s another story.

First came the bookstore, then came the deal merchants, followed by the recharge coupons and then came the tipping point. I am not an avid reader of books, but this one by Malcom Gladwell, titled ‘Tipping Point’ suggests how every trend, every industry sees a build up to a point after which it tips and spreads everywhere like wildfire. India has seen an e commerce revolution, and everyday there are many new players joining the bandwagon. Palika-Bazaar

With time, the book merchant expanded, the deal model didn’t seem to be paying off, and well there was never going to be enough money in just phone recharges. So they all started selling, the same thing. Clothes to gadgets to kitchen appliances to unusable items, they all sell it all. Its like a Palika Bazaar out there, with everybody doing their best to lure you to their store. Logging on to the internet has become much like entering Palika Bazaar, whether or not you want something, there’s somebody selling you something. Some shout louder, some are more creative, but one way or the other, they all want to catch your attention and make you visit their site. Once at their store, you browse around, ask “Kitne ka doge?”, make up your mind and move ahead. They then try remarketing, with a sales boy chasing you offering better prices for the same deal. But you are a seasoned shopper. You go to another store, and the story continues before you finally put something in your kart at one store.

The merchants at Palika Bazaar are smart enough to give deep discounts and yet manage to earn a profit, thus making it a win win. E commerce brands on the other hand are concentrating right now on just making the customer win. 2013-2015 has truly been the years of discounts in India. From free frames to cash backs to free rides to even Onion being made available practically for free. While the going’s been great and we have many customers who’ve adopted online as their first preference while buying something, it might be time for companies to start concentrating on the part of making profits as well. The good part is that there have been healthy signs of etailers cutting down on deep discounting and rationalising costs, just hope to see more of it happen in the time to come.

As for the customers, well, there’s nothing an Indian loves more than getting a good discount :)

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