How to create an ecommerce marketing plan

As you’re laying the groundwork to your ecommerce future, it’s important to go through these exercises while writing your business plan to ensure that your methods and strategy are well thought out and will pass the test of time.

It can’t be overstated: these are the prerequisites to creating an effective marketing plan and building a successful business.

1. Executive summary.

Now that you’ve gathered substantive advice from knowledgeable mentors, the big picture overview will come into focus.

By writing an Executive Summary, you’ll be taking the first steps to crafting your ecommerce marketing plan.

2. Goals & objectives.

Make your goals and objectives VERY clear and specific.

Once you begin to execute, there’s no shame in amending your goals if they turned out to be too low or too high.

Eventually, your primary focus should be creating realistic, attainable goals. And then, layering in “stretch goals” to really excite the team.

That being said, make sure to include specific goals and metrics, such as:

  • Increase sales by X% during the slow season.
  • Increase AOV by X% on Black Friday & Cyber Monday.
  • Increase email marketing conversion rates by X%.

3. Mission statement & value proposition.

  • What’s the purpose of this company?
  • What do you do?
  • What don’t you do?

You (or the company leadership) must be able to answer these basic questions.

Not all companies need a philanthropic element to the business (which would be nice) but there needs to be a clear mission and value proposition.

4. Target customers, personas & markets.

Know your audience.

If you don’t have a clear understanding of who you’re targeting, what characteristics define them and where they’re located — you’re bound to run inefficient campaigns that waste money targeting low-converting, unqualified individuals.

Make sure you know the following:

  • Age ranges.
  • Gender breakdown.
  • Geographic location.
  • Purchasing power.

5. Situation analysis.

“You can only know where you’re going if you know where you’ve been.”

Therefore, perform a thorough assessment of the current state of the company, the competition and the overall marketing plan.

Leave no stone unturned. A better understanding of your current situation will lead to better decision-making, and eventually, better results.

6. Pricing & positioning strategy.

Ensure your pricing and positioning provides real value to your target audience.

Forcing products upon your target customers that they deem to be overpriced is a losing proposition, especially when price comparing is SO easy these days.

Therefore, do your research!

Of course, there are opportunities for testing and refinement throughout your product’s lifecycle, but by doing a little more work up front, you’ll be better off in the long run.

7. Distribution & fulfillment plan.

Even if you’re starting small, you should have a clear understanding of the distribution and order fulfillment requirements that will evolve as you grow.

Whether you are packing and shipping yourself, overseeing a small team, or leveraging a third party fulfillment shop, you need to know whether your fulfillment processes can meet the demand of your upcoming marketing push.

After you’ve written your plans, be sure to spend a good chunk of time tweaking, refining, and evolving them over time.