eCommerce Insiders

The Road to First Sale – 12 Ecommerce Marketing Channels (Part 1)

I guess every ecommerce owner remembers their first sale. I know I do.

It was Tuesday evening, I just got back from my sports training and as every online retailer does, checked my email in spite of the time … only to receive an order notification from my site. And it wasn’t just any order, someone had purchased three of the most expensive bike racks I carried.


To say I was ecstatic would be an understatement.

But this sale didn’t happen by itself. It came after weeks of promoting the store day and night and trying many different things to see what might work.

Every new online retailer wonders how to promote their store, to gain customers and sales. Remembering how I had similar dilemmas when starting out I decided to list all main channels you can use on your way to your first sale. And the one after that. And the one after that, and….

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization is a set of techniques aiming at making the site easier for Google and other search engines to index and rank.

SEO is also considered one of the most important online marketing channels. And for a reason. According to this Marketing Charts data, organic search is on average responsible for 15.81% of new ecommerce customers.

Moreover, organic traffic is free and converting at a high rate. People landing on your site from search are typically looking for solutions you offer and therefore are more likely to buy.

But, there is a catch. These days, it is increasingly difficult to rank high for competitive phrases. Plus Google’s constant changes to their algorithm mean that your rankings aren’t as stable as they used to be.

More Info:

Email Marketing

Email is another one of the most important marketing channels in ecommerce. According to this research by SeeWhy academy, it delivers the most converting traffic to the checkout page with typical percentage of conversions reaching 67.37%. Other research proves that for every dollar spent on email marketing, a typical return is just over $44.

Customers prefer email too. According to Jakub Nielsen, 90% of customers prefer to receive updates from brands via emails. And only 18% consumers say they never open an email from a brand.

Email plays a significant role in ecommerce marketing efforts. But, at the start, when you don’t have many customers your focus should go towards building other channels and then, building an email list.

More info:

Adwords and Other Pay Per Click Advertising

Pay Per Click advertising is a Google’s alternative to SEO. It works very simply. You set up ads and specify what keywords they should show up for. Every time someone clicks on one of your ads, Google will charge you for a click. You can also specify how much you are willing to pay for a click and that amount will determine how high on search results page your ad will appear.

One of the biggest advantages of using Adwords ads is that it offers instantaneous results. Your ad can appear on top of first page of Google’s results within few minutes of setting it up.

But, the downside is that it can consume a lot of money. Unless you manage your campaigns regularly, Adwords can quickly burn your entire advertising budget without offering enough return on investment.

More info:

Banner Advertising

Banner advertising allows you to place graphic ads on other websites. These ads will vary in size and format depending on a site you want to advertise on.

Banner advertising is a great way to increase your store’s visibility and position it in front of a target audience. There is, however, one thing you must remember when engaging with banner advertising – those ads are highly disruptive to the user and thus not all web visitors have a positive attitude towards them. As a result, many people install ad blockers in their browsers to hide any banner ads for them.

Nonetheless, banner advertising remains a good way to creatively showcase your store to a targeted audience.

To get started, browse ads marketplaces like which allow you to find websites you’d like to advertise on, see their traffic stats and place ad directly on them.

More info:

Print Advertising

Contrary to a common belief, print isn’t dead yet. Of course many publications have closed down or are struggling, and others moved entirely online. But there are still plenty that thrive in the traditional media world.

Depending on your industry or niche, there might be publications your customers read that could be a real goldmine of advertising opportunities.

Moreover, with large chunks of advertising budgets moving onilne, prices for traditional print ads have gone considerably down.

More info:

Content Marketing

Content marketing is a relatively new channel, although it is very quickly becoming one of the most commonly used ones by businesses of any size.

Content marketing is a practice of publishing and promoting content to build engagement with a target audience, to gain authority, build trust, and develop relationships with them.

Content marketing is not a direct sales channel though, at least not many transactions happen directly through it. At the same time, it can drive customers to your store and position you as a valuable resource in your industry.

More info:

Pawel Grabowski

Pawel Grabowski is a copywriter and content marketer and the founder of, the content marketing agency helping SaaS companies grow the user base and generate quality leads with targeted content strategies.

Find out more about Pawel at and connect with him on Linkedin.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *