Ecommerce Marketing Survival Guide for 2024 (+Free Worksheet)

Ecommerce Marketing Survival Guide for 2024 (+Free Worksheet)

In ecommerce, what worked last year won’t necessarily work again this year. The strategies, tactics, and tools that marketers rely on change so quickly that you constantly have to adapt to stay competitive.

In this article, we’ll discuss how to plan for the year ahead, go over some new marketing trends to keep an eye on, and share one CRO hack for each month of the upcoming year. 

Let’s get started!

Planning

Starting the year by doing a website audit is a great way to set yourself up for success. Analyzing your website is the best way to uncover potential issues and discover opportunities for improving your website.

You should use Google Analytics and its comprehensive reports to understand the problems that visitors face while browsing your website. 

If you identify any low-performing visitor segments, you’ll know where to focus your CRO efforts. What is a low-performing segment, you might ask? It’s a visitor segment that has significantly lower conversion rates compared to other segments (as can be seen in the example below).

Google Analytics report by traffic source

Analyzing your conversion rates based on source is just one of the many ways you can identify these opportunities for improvement. You can also check conversion rates by country, device, landing pages, and so on. 

Of course, numbers don’t tell the whole story on their own. But, they do give you clues as to what your major customer journey challenges are. If you have a page with an exceptionally high bounce rate or an ad with a very low conversion rate, you can usually conclude that there are problems with the customer experience.

You can also use heatmaps or mouse tracking software, like Hotjar, to examine the customer experience from the shopper’s perspective. 

Another great approach involves conducting customer interviews, which can help you gain in-depth insights into the way your customers perceive your brand and sales process.

Once you’ve investigated and found some opportunities for improvement, you need to prioritize them in order of importance. The RICE scoring model is one way to prioritize your list. It’s composed of four components: Reach, Impact, Confidence, and Effort. 

RICE score

Once you have a prioritized list, it’s time to start moving down the list.

If you’d like some help coming up with personalized plans to improve your ecommerce store’s performance, check out our worksheet. It includes a 25-point checklist to help you uncover the most critical optimization opportunities for your store. And based on your answers from the checklist, you’ll get a tailored list of opportunities, prioritized for maximum impact on your store’s performance. Download it here for free!

Want to know what’s next? Here are six of the top trends that are poised to shake up the ecommerce world in 2024. 

1. AI and Machine Learning

In 2023, AI marked its entrance onto the stage, making waves across various industries. However, the real spectacle is set to unfold in 2024 as AI seamlessly integrates into the daily operations of marketers across the world.

AI has already found its footing in certain areas such as content writing, video editing, and brainstorming, and the tools at marketers’ disposal are already diverse, with over 10,000 available (as showcased in this comprehensive collection). However, 2024 is poised to witness a remarkable expansion of its applications. 

All kinds of tasks will benefit from leveraging AI, including predictive analytics, conversion rate optimization, chatbots for customer support, and enhancing overall user experience. 

The more time and effort that you can outsource to AI, the more energy you’ll have to devote to big-picture thinking and actions. 

2. Personalization

Another big trend that has been around for a while is website personalization. The ability to tailor the online shopping experience to individual preferences through personalized product recommendations, content, and offers is a marketing superpower. 

But in 2024, thanks to the new AI developments, website personalization will become available for smaller businesses, too. New tools that enhance personalization, like OptiMonk’s Smart Personalizer, are set to make a big impact in 2024.

3. Owned channels and audiences

Building and leveraging owned channels is a key strategy for 2024. Your own media channels can bring you much more benefit than relying on platforms that you have very little control over (think social media channels). 

Email and SMS lists are one of the most powerful forms of owned media because they give you direct access to a base of subscribers who are familiar with your brand.

4. Social commerce

Social media drives more and more of consumer preferences and buying behavior. But the old-fashioned way of using social media for promotion with the intention to drive traffic toward a website is now gone.

In 2024, integrating shopping features directly into social media platforms will allow users to discover and purchase products without ever leaving Instagram or Facebook. This will make it much easier to maximize the benefits you get from your social channels.

5. Green commerce

There’s a growing consumer awareness and demand for environmentally friendly and ethically sourced products, which leads to a rise in sustainable and ethical ecommerce practices. 

Make sure that you stay on top of green trends and that your customers know that they’re supporting an ethical business.

This can earn you a lot of goodwill throughout 2024!

6. Subscription services

The subscription model is set to continue growing in 2024 across numerous industries. Customers are continuing to find subscriptions easier to manage than constantly returning to stores to make the same purchases over and over again.

Tools you should try out

In this section, we’re featuring some cutting-edge tools that you can use to level up your ecommerce store in the coming year. 

1. OptiMonk Popups

In 2024, it’s time to stop burning money on ads and focus on turning visitors into leads effectively. You can go pro with OptiMonk Popups, the most powerful popup tool for increasing conversions. 

You can build your subscriber list with email popups, boost average order value with free shipping bars, stop cart abandonment with discounts, and collect visitor insights with surveys.

2. ShoppingGives

ShoppingGives

With ShoppingGives, you can create a fully customizable social impact strategy that best meets your brand’s needs. 

Providing the only end-to-end donation management solution for any ecommerce, DTC, or omni-channel brand, this is a tool you should take a close look at. 

3. Shopify Translate & Adapt

Shopify Translate & Adapt

Boost traffic, improve your SEO, and build trust with audiences around the world by localizing the content on your Shopify store for different markets. 

Translate & Adapt lets you auto-translate up to two languages for free and manually add as many translations as you wish.

4. Postscript

Postscript

With Postscript, you can drive conversations and conversions across all stages of the customer journey. Whether 1:1 or at scale, Postscript assures your texts are customized, conversational, and compliant. 

Use SMS marketing to grow your list, develop your message strategy, deliver customer service, and drive purchases with Postscript.

5. GOAFFPRO

With GOAFFPRO, you can start your affiliate marketing program in minutes, giving your customers/influencers a portal to register and become affiliates. 

After signing up, they’re provided with a referral link which they can use to promote your products on their blog, Instagram, etc. They’re then rewarded for any purchase made using their referral link.

6. OptiMonk AI

OptiMonk AI

OptiMonk AI is an AI-powered CRO platform designed to automate processes like A/B testing and personalization to maximize your website conversions. 

It’s built for marketers looking for new, data-driven ways to improve the efficiency of their marketing without having to hire a CRO team.

Marketing calendar for 2024

If you want to achieve the best possible results in your seasonal campaigns, you have to plan them out well in advance. 

Here are some key shopping dates that you can use to guide your sales and promotions this year.

Dates you shouldn’t miss in January:

  • January 1: New Year’s Day
  • January 14: Australian Open
  • January 15: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • January 28: Data Protection Day

Dates you shouldn’t miss in February:

  • February 1: LGBT History Month
  • February 1: Black History Month
  • February 4: World Cancer Day
  • February 10: Chinese New Year
  • February 11: Super Bowl LVIII
  • February 13: Mardi Gras
  • February 14: Valentine’s Day
  • February 19: President’s Day

Dates you shouldn’t miss in March:

  • March 1: Women’s History Month
  • March 3: World Wildlife Day
  • March 8: International Women’s Day
  • March 10: Mother’s Day (UK)
  • March 14: National Pi Day
  • March 17: St. Patrick’s Day
  • March 19: March Madness
  • March 29: Good Friday
  • March 31: Easter

Dates you shouldn’t miss in April:

  • April 1: April Fools’ Day
  • April 1: Easter Monday
  • April 7: World Health Day
  • April 11: National Pet Day
  • April 22: Earth Day

Dates you shouldn’t miss in May:

  • May 1: International Workers’ Day 
  • May 4: Star Wars Day
  • May 5: Cinco de Mayo
  • May 12: Mother’s Day (US)
  • May 27: Memorial Day

Dates you shouldn’t miss in June:

  • June 1: Pride Month
  • June 14: UEFA Euro 2024 begins
  • June 16: Father’s Day (US)
  • June 29: Tour de France

Dates you shouldn’t miss in July:

  • July 1: Wimbledon
  • July 4: Independence Day (US)
  • July 7: World Chocolate Day
  • July 14: UEFA Euro 2024 ends
  • July 17: Emoji Day
  • July 23: Amazon Prime Day
  • July 26: Summer Olympics begins

Dates you shouldn’t miss in August:

  • August 2: International Beer Day
  • August 8: International Cat Day
  • August 11: Summer Olympics ends
  • August 26: Women’s Equality Day
  • August 26: International Dog Day

Dates you shouldn’t miss in September:

  • September 2: Labor Day (US)
  • September 21: Oktoberfest

Dates you shouldn’t miss in October:

  • October 14: Columbus Day
  • October 14: Thanksgiving (Canada)
  • October 19: Get to Know Your Customers Day
  • October 31: Halloween

Dates you shouldn’t miss in November:

  • November 5: Election Day (US)
  • November 11: Veterans’ Day
  • November 28: Thanksgiving
  • November 29: Black Friday
  • November 30: Small Business Saturday

Dates you shouldn’t miss in December:

  • December 2: Cyber Monday
  • December 9: Green Monday
  • December 14: National Free Shipping Day
  • December 24: Christmas Eve
  • December 25: Christmas Day
  • December 26: Boxing Day
  • December 31: New Year’s Eve

A new CRO hack for each month

Short on time but still want to boost your website’s performance? We’ve got you covered. Check out our curated collection of 12 CRO hacks—one for each month of the year. These are quick, effective strategies that will enhance your online presence and drive results. 

January: Launch a post-purchase attribution survey 

Launching a post-purchase attribution survey is a great way to discover where your customers are really coming from and measure attribution in 2024.

This is an important strategy for any ecommerce store, but it’s especially important if you’re engaged in a lot of brand building, demand generation, offline marketing, or social marketing. That’s because it’s often difficult to tell how effective these strategies are. Since many consumers use multiple devices before making a purchase, Google Analytics has a hard time detecting when these strategies were effective and when they weren’t.

It’s crucial to understand where each customer discovered your brand so that you can direct your marketing budget towards what’s working and stop wasting money on what’s not.

The best way to solve this problem is to set up a popup on your thank you page and ask your customers where they heard about you. Asking your customers directly is the best way to get real attribution data.

February: Turn your simple email popup into a segmentational popup

In February, it’s time to take your email marketing to the next level. Say goodbye to generic newsletters and say hello to tailored messages by building your list with segmentational popups! 

Speaking to each subscriber directly will lead to higher open rates and better results on all your email marketing campaigns. 

Here’s how it works:

  1. First, ask for your visitor’s email address in exchange for a discount.
  2. Once a visitor fills out your form and subscribes, step two comes into play, and this is the game-changer: ask a simple question that will allow you to segment your email list and send personalized emails to these subscribers. At this point, nearly all of your subscribers (95%+) will answer your question without hesitating.
  3. Armed with this insight, you can not only segment your email list, but also recommend relevant products right there on the third page of the popup while displaying the discount code.

Start segmenting your email list now and achieve higher engagement while making your subscribers happier, too!

March: Optimize product pages

Product pages are a vital touchpoint in the customer journey. They can make or break a sale depending on everything from the quality of your product images to how well your product descriptions explain the benefits of your products.

Use the power of AI to optimize thousands of product pages at the same time & boost your revenue. Let AI create new headlines, descriptions, and other smart elements for your product pages that will captivate your audience and supercharge your conversions.

Once our AI generates the new elements for you, watch the magic unfold as automated A/B tests start, measuring the impact of these changes on your conversions.

Learn more about optimizing product pages with AI here.

April: Set up a free shipping bar

Studies have shown that 9 out of 10 consumers consider free shipping to be the most tempting incentive to shop more online. That’s exactly why a free shipping bar is your secret weapon to boost sales.

A free shipping bar is a simple yet powerful banner that sticks to the top or bottom of your webpage. It announces to your visitors that the sweet reward of free shipping awaits them once they reach a certain order value.

It’s a psychological nudge that encourages customers to add a little extra to their carts, which helps to increase your average order value.

May: Stop abandoning visitors without discounting

Discounts are a strategy that many ecommerce stores swear by. But some ecommerce store owners don’t want to give away discounts—which we understand! 

In many cases, visitors aren’t even leaving because of your prices, which means that offering them a discount won’t help. Instead, try to help them find the products that they’ll get really excited about.

You can encourage product discovery (and decrease bounce rates) by promoting your trending products in an exit-intent popup. And, best of all, OptiMonk can take care of all of this for you dynamically!

June: Start running automated A/B tests

As the summer begins and sales slow down, it’s time to dig deep into experimenting. One of the top ways that AI will make an impact on ecommerce is through revolutionizing A/B testing.

OptiMonk’s new Smart A/B Testing system can help you boost your landing page conversion rates with AI. All you have to do is pick the elements on your website that you want to test and let our AI do the rest of the job. That means you can get all the benefits of A/B tests—including an improved customer experience and sky-high conversion rates—on autopilot, thanks to AI.

Learn more about Smart A/B Testing.

July: Show a welcome back popup for returning visitors

It’s rare that people buy from a website on their first visit—especially if they’re searching for a product that’s on the expensive side. They probably want to check out other options, compare products, and consider their decision carefully. But that doesn’t mean that they won’t return to buy from you later. 

When it comes to returning visitors, your best bet is to make the user experience as smooth as possible by helping them continue where they left off last time. You can show them their previously viewed products so they can continue with a single click (or they can simply close this message if they’re not interested in those products anymore).

If you’d like to boost returning visitors’ conversion rates, you should definitely implement this tactic!

All you need to do is set up a welcome message for returning visitors and show them their previously viewed products.

August: Remind users about their coupons to encourage redemption

Are you tired of giving away coupons to customers only to find that they never use them? It’s time to take action and ensure that your coupons are being put to good use.

If you want to make sure that customers don’t forget about their coupon codes, it’s a good idea to set up a follow-up sticky bar.

This is the perfect way to keep an active coupon at the top of your customer’s mind, since it’s always on screen but doesn’t interrupt the shopping experience. This reminds your visitors about their unused codes and pushes them to finalize their purchases.

Don’t let your coupons go to waste, set up coupon reminder bars and drive more sales!

September: Recommend relevant products in blog articles

Do you have a blog? Do you often talk about your products in your articles?

If your blog articles aren’t driving sales the way you’d hoped, you should spice them up a little bit by embedding some product recommendations. This can help you get an increase in conversions, engagement, and cart value.

When you add embedded product recommendations to blog posts, you should promote products that are relevant to what the post is about. For instance, a blog post about how to gain more energy could recommend energy-boosting smoothies.

Take your blog to the next level and transform your readers into loyal customers!

October: Increase the ROI of your PPC campaigns with AI

As the holiday season slowly starts, you need to make sure that you get the most out of your PPC campaigns. 

Online businesses that run a lot of paid social and search ads can immediately improve their ROI by using personalization to match the messaging on their landing pages to their ad copy.

Many stores run PPC ads that have a lot of different versions of their USP (either to target different keywords in search or different segments on social media) but all those customers are funneled to a single landing page. This leads to many of your potential customers finding content that’s not relevant to the reason they click on your ad in the first place.

Personalizing your landing pages for each and every visitor can ensure you achieve customer-message fit. Tailor any headline, description or text based on the exact ad that your visitor clicked on—100% automatically.

Learn more about personalizing landing pages automatically

November: Run seasonal offers

Add a seasonal spin to your regular 10% off. This is a quick, easy way to improve the effectiveness of your offer! By making the discount seasonal, it will feel more like a limited-time opportunity, automatically increasing its urgency.

For example, during the holiday season, you can use a Black Friday design, and then switch to a Christmas design after the sales event.

Luckily, with OptiMonk’s pre-made seasonal templates, you can set up these campaigns in just a few minutes and schedule them in advance. The added sense of urgency is a great way to boost your conversion rates.

December: Personalize your homepage messaging for returning customers 

Once a visitor becomes a customer, you have lots of information about them that you can use to create personalized experiences for them in the future.

If your website gets lots of returning customers, you should leverage what you know about them to deliver personalized experiences. This will increase your returning customer conversion rates and keep them coming back for more.

For example, you could welcome them by name in the above-the-fold section, and then you could present relevant information and/or recommendations. This way, they’ll feel more connected to your brand and will be more likely to purchase from you again.

Wrapping up

Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed our roundup of what’s ahead in the ecommerce world in 2024. There’s no time like the present to plan for the future! 

As highlighted in this guide, starting the year with a comprehensive website audit sets the stage for success by identifying opportunities for improvement. Then, you can use our comprehensive list of key shopping dates for 2024 to plan and execute seasonal campaigns effectively. 

As you journey through 2024, this survival guide should serve as a valuable resource for you. So bookmark it and come back to it regularly throughout the year!