The 7 Step Checklist to Develop a Digital Strategy for Your Ecommerce Site

Your sites up and running.  Now what?  You need to create a digital marketing strategy.

Without it, your website isn’t going to make you any money.

The average consumer encounters 20,000 brands every single day.  Of those 20,000 brands, only 12 have a lasting impact on the customers.  In order to truly make money online with your site:  You need a plan to market your ecommerce site.

Use this 7 Step Checklist to develop a digital strategy for marketing your ecommerce site.

Define Your Brand’s “Why?”

At first glance, this question seems simple.  You decided to create an ecommerce site to make money online.   Now imagine yourself telling a customer that: “I started this website because I want to make money.”

Do you think you’re going to close that sale?  Of course not!  Which is exactly why you need to dig deep and find your answer.  For example: If you’re a mom who decided to monetize her blog in order to provide for her children, there’s your ‘why’.

When you put that ‘why’ into application with your customer, the conversation comes a lot easier.  “I started this website to empower stay at homes with the tools they need to make money with their blog.”

Create an Interactive Story for Your Brand

Storybranding isn’t new.  It’s been around for a long time.  Creating a story for your brand give your visitors an opportunity connect with you on human level.  Though obviously a little cost-intensive for new marketers, GoPro does an excellent job at this process with their website’s video channel.

Not only do they showcase their product on a regular basis, they encourage the submission of athletes and adventurers around the world.  This compelling content leads to a lot of new visitors that weren’t even looking for a GoPro.

The point is: To make the sale you need to make an impression.  The end goal of storybranding is to create an impact that nurtures customers and captures leads.

Your brand story is similar to the concept of company culture.

Define the Goals

If you only set general goals, you’re going to get general results.  In order to offer true benefit to your strategy, goals need to represent actual milestones you wish to achieve.

Let’s take a look at this concept in action:

  • Increase leads by 50% in Q3
  • Gain 10,000 subscribers in 6 months

Notice how all of the examples are actionable statements?  Your goals need to be similar.

The beloved method of goal-setting amongst marketers, educators, and athletes alike is the SMART system.  This system operates on 5 ‘goal-checking’ principles that help you define a game plan.

(Image source: Capterra )

Develop Customer Personas

Without a digital presence, it’s hard for visitors to get an accurate view of who you are what you represent in the world.  On the other hand, without knowing who your customers are you’re always playing a game of risk vs. reward.

Envision your customer.

  • Who are they?
  • Where do they come from?
  • What do they believe in?
  • How do they make decisions?

Once you’ve got an idea in your head, it’s time to start creating persona sheets that detail who your customers are.  With a better image of how they interact with brands and make purchase decisions, you can gear your marketing efforts to cater to their needs.

Here’s a detailed example of a persona from HubSpot.

Try to create 3 or 4 different personas. These personas will help you make vital strategy decisions, as well as cater your efforts to the individual needs of the persona at hand.

In time, your personas will segment and expand, leading to more pinpointed marketing efforts and email campaigns.

Create a Customer Journey Map

How will these personas interact with you?  Creating a customer journey map helps you cover all your avenues by detailing how a visitor finds your website and eventually becomes a customer.

Use this example to cover your bases:

(Image Source: Shopify)

Customer journey maps help you understand the habits of your visitors.  Once you’ve defined the elements of your journey map, you can use the information to address issues and find opportunities for success before you promote anything.

Identify Your Marketing Channels

How are you going to market your website?  It’s not enough to just let a website sit.  You need to market that site and promote your products.  Define what marketing channels you intend to use.

Think about your personas.  Which social medias are they likely to use?  Will they read blogs or look for reviews?  Review the information in your persona and journey map.  Decide which platforms will be most beneficial to your strategy.

After all, there’s no point to joining SnapChat is your personas wouldn’t use the app.

Develop a Content Strategy & Draft a Month of Content

Now that you’ve got the fundamentals of your digital strategy established, it’s time to start thinking about the ads and content you’ll use to boost your presence online.  Make a list of your channels and begin to brainstorm ideas.  Pull up a Google Calendar and try to draft an idea for the entire month.

This also works as a way to cross-check your initial ideas for a content strategy.  If it’s hard to find topics and produce engaging ideas from what you’ve laid out in your content strategy, it’s a good indication that you need to rehash the details of your content strategy.


If you follow this 9 step checklist, you’ll be well on your way to planning your resources and launching your plan of attack.  Ecommerce is profitable.  But with 571 websites being created each minute online, it’s never been more important to find your audience and make your voice heard.

Still feeling overwhelmed? Take your strategy piece by piece.  Better yet, ask us for help in the comments.

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