6 Best Marketing Tips to Boost Your Ecommerce Business During a Recession

6 best marketing tips to boost your ecommerce business

Last year, the market faced a tough challenge with skyrocketing inflation, and the word “recession,” familiar since 2008, has been looming ever since. 

From unexpected economic shocks, like the pandemic, to other unforeseen events, the possibility of a recession still exists.

Economists predict a 65% chance of a mild recession this year, indicating that the recession hasn’t disappeared; it’s just been delayed. During a recession, when things get hard, businesses often grapple with limited funds and shifting customer habits. But what if we viewed recessions as opportunities to get creative and try new things in marketing?

Let’s explore how you can turn challenging economic times into chances to grow and strengthen your marketing efforts!

How does a recession affect marketing?

When a recession happens, it affects marketing and investments in big ways. With tighter budgets and people spending less, business risks can feel overwhelming. 

But can there be positive effects on marketing during a recession? Absolutely.

Economic downturns create unique opportunities in the market, pushing marketing teams to come up with new, more cost-effective ways to build brand awareness.

In the turbulent atmosphere of a recession, data-driven marketing becomes a guide, helping businesses find the most effective tactics. 

While marketing budgets might need cuts, a recession can also push you to make the most of your spending, focusing on strategies that give the best ROI. 

So, the key to handling a recession might be to change your marketing plan, using the downturn as a chance to be creative and adapt using recession marketing strategies.

How to craft a resilient recession marketing strategy?

Crafting a resilient marketing strategy during a recession involves:

  • Making savvy decisions about your marketing budget
  • Strengthening bonds with your existing customers
  • Tailoring your messaging to resonate with customers’ changing needs

We’ll examine each of these marketing tactics and discover the potential they have for helping your business navigate an economic downturn.

1. Assess and adjust your marketing budget

During a recession, your marketing budget can feel like a leaking boat. The key is to plug the leaks by cutting wasteful expenditures and steering resources toward high-impact marketing channels. 

It’s the time to scrutinize every marketing dollar, ensuring it’s being spent in a way that maximizes ROI and helps you save money.

This doesn’t mean you should stop marketing altogether, but rather focus on spending smarter, which includes optimizing your advertising spending and evaluating your marketing investments. 

What does it mean exactly? Check all the marketing tools you use, analyze the results they bring, and make sure that you only pay for tools that have a positive ROI. Do the same with your paid ads. Stop the ads that don’t bring as many conversions, and spend more on the ones that convert above average. 

By doing so, you can make the most of your marketing costs in challenging times.

2. Prioritize customer retention and loyalty

Your existing customers are your loyal crew members in the stormy sea of a recession. 

Prioritizing customer retention and loyalty is not just cost-effective, but also ensures a steady stream of revenue at a time when new customer acquisition can be challenging. It’s about strengthening the bond with your customers, ensuring they feel valued and appreciated.

Offering exclusive promotions and personalized messaging can go a long way toward fostering customer loyalty during an economic downturn.

3. Adapt your messaging to address changing consumer needs

During a recession, consumers’ spending habits often shift. They become more price sensitive, seeking value for money in every purchase. That’s why you need to adapt your messaging to cater to these evolving needs. You could consider offering flexible payment plans or emphasizing the value proposition of your products.

Remember, during tough economic times, you’re not just selling a product or service; you’re offering solutions, comfort, and assurance to your target customers.

4. Focus on conversion rate optimization

In tough times like a recession, it’s crucial to concentrate on CRO and turning website visitors into buyers and satisfied customers. Rather than trying to get more new visitors by increasing ad spending, it’s smarter to improve the conversion rates for the ones who have already arrived on your page. 

This approach can save you money. 

CRO is also helpful for finding and fixing any issues in your sales process, ensuring long-term success and a strong base for keeping your customers happy.

6 creative digital marketing strategies during recession

During a recession, it’s essential to break away from conventional thinking and consider inventive digital marketing methods. Similar to a captain finding a new route through a storm, you can navigate the economic challenges by establishing strategic partnerships, prioritizing content marketing, and making the most of user-generated content.

Let’s check out each of these strategies to assess their capacity to assist your business in coping with difficult economic circumstances.

1. Match your ads to your landing pages

As your marketing budget gets tight, you should be focusing on maximizing every dollar spent to boost the ROI of your ads using personalization. 

Don’t send your traffic to a single generic landing page… instead, personalize the copy and the value prop of your landing page so the customer receives a tailored experience.

A good recession marketing tactic is when you match your landing pages to your ads.

If you’d like to personalize landing page headlines based on your ad copy, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to set it up with OptiMonk.

2. Tailor your offers to customer needs 

Customers become more budget-conscious during a recession period, making it even more important to tailor your offers to their needs.

In the down-selling approach, the key is to align with the customer’s budget and suggest an alternative product that is more affordable yet shares similar features with the initially considered item. 

For example, if the customer cannot afford a larger TV, you can offer a smaller one with similar features. This tactic is effective because it helps capture revenue from customers who might otherwise leave without making a purchase.

Pro tip: Take a cue from Macy’s, highlighting their best deals with vital colors and a visible call to action.

Macy's visible call to action

3. Monetize your traffic better with AI powered popups

Struggling with low popup conversion rates? It’s probably because you’re showing the same generic message to each visitor, making it irrelevant for most of them.

One of the best ways to increase consumer spending is by personalizing your welcome and exit offers.

With OptiMonk’s Smart Popups, you can tailor the experience not only for your existing customer base, but for your new visitors, too.

This tool allows you to double your popup conversion rate and scale it to all your landing pages without any manual effort.

Here’s an example of how Seoulbox did it on their site.

Learn more about Smart Popups here.

4. Utilize collaborations and partnerships

During recessionary periods, businesses have limited budgets, making it harder to reach new audiences. Co-marketing, however, allows you to easily access and expose your brand to a broader audience. 

If your products and services complement each other, this synergy can create a compelling value proposition for customers. Through strategic co-marketing partnerships, you can cross-promote products, share resources, and introduce fresh perspectives to your business.

5. Focus on content marketing

Content marketing is a cost-effective method for building your brand. By delivering valuable content and information to your customers, you can establish expertise in your field and cultivate trust with your audience.

Craft high-quality, long-form articles optimized for competitive keywords to enhance your visibility in search engines. 

Additionally, create short videos for platforms like Instagram to educate your target audience about specific products or services. Remember, it’s not solely about selling; it’s about informing, educating, and adding value for your audience.

This approach attracts customers seeking information and builds a strong reputation for your brand in the long run.

6. Leverage user-generated content

In tough times, like during a recession when people are careful with spending, real user stories can help earn trust. User-generated content, where customers share their real experiences, is a strong way to show that others trust your brand. 

It’s a cheap way to get interesting content without needing a big budget. 

Encouraging users to share their stories also creates a feeling of community around your brand. When times are hard, people look for connections and shared experiences, and this can make them trust your brand more and decide to buy from you.

How to monitor your marketing efforts?

Getting through tough economic times requires more than just a solid marketing plan. You’ll also need to keep an eye on things and change your plan when necessary.

Let’s see a few tips on how setting realistic goals and being flexible can help keep customers interested and boost sales during a difficult economic period.

1. Set realistic KPIs and goals

Setting realistic KPIs and goals is akin to charting a feasible course through the storm. These KPIs and goals act as your compass, guiding your marketing efforts and helping measure their effectiveness. You’ll need to concentrate on achievable targets that align with your business goals and the current economic climate.

By keeping a close eye on these KPIs, you can verify that your marketing efforts remain aligned and are creating the intended impact.

2. Be agile and responsive

In a recession, agility and responsiveness can be your best allies. You should be focusing on adapting your strategy to the changing circumstances.

This means being open to change, ready to pivot your marketing strategy as needed, and always striving to meet the evolving needs of your customers.


What are some effective marketing strategies for boosting an ecommerce business during a recession?

Explore strategies such as optimizing product pages, leveraging user-generated content, and forming strategic partnerships. These approaches can enhance visibility and drive sales during a recession.

How can I set realistic goals for my ecommerce business during a recession?

Consider aligning goals with your overall business objectives and the economic climate. Focus on achievable targets that contribute to long-term success, such as customer engagement and sustainable sales growth.

Should you cut marketing in a recession?

Cutting marketing in a recession might seem like an easy solution for some breathing room, but it can cause losses in momentum that hurt your SEO, online presence, and brand reputation. Instead, commit to maintaining marketing investments to build a solid foundation for future growth.


Navigating a recession can be a daunting task, but as we’ve seen, it also presents opportunities for innovation and resilience in marketing. 

By adjusting your marketing budget, prioritizing customer retention, leveraging digital channels, exploring innovative marketing approaches, and continuously monitoring and adapting your marketing efforts, your business can not only weather the storm but also emerge stronger when the economy recovers.