E commerce Marketing Strategies for 2021 & Beyond


The pandemic has changed the way consumers shop. People are going out lesser but they are shopping online more than ever. A McKinsey report shows that for businesses to keep up, they are quickly moving online, accelerating the digitalisation timeline by as much as 7 years.

From brick-to-mortar to click-to-order, it requires strategic planning, customers’ needs analysis and long-term vision for the brand.

Thus, the E commerce marketing strategies for 2021 should synergise and complement with other marketing channels such as social media, content development, SEO, social selling and email marketing.

E commerce marketing is explained as the practice of using promotional tactics to drive traffic to your online store, converting them into paying customers and finally retaining these customers’ during the post-purchase process.

Let us explore a few E commerce marketing strategies that is geared towards the 21st century.

Understand and define the target audience and objectives ad goals

Before embarking on any marketing strategy, like any other business online or offline, one needs to be able to understand and define clearly who their target audience is going to be for their business.

Without a clear understanding or idea of who the target audience is going to be, chances are you will be running an inefficient campaign targeting the wrong audience.

Make the outreach efforts personal by taking time to learn more about the customers. People, in general, would appreciate the efforts more when they feel special and as a result, these will then help to grow a loyal customer base for the business.

Optimize your website

When designing the E commerce site, it is important to test the site layout, language, and placement of conversion elements. When a customer visits the site, it is vital to make sure the process and experience is easy, straight forward and simple, that they would eventually feel inclined to purchase the products without facing any problems or errors within the whole process. 

Must have features to include on a website: 

  • Simple site navigation navigation buttons
  • Easy-to-read language and text
  • Design elements that lead to a clear call to action
  • Mobile-friendly layout
Content Marketing

Content marketing is a strategy one can not neglect when strategizing for E commerce marketing. It involves creating various forms of content like images, videos blog post and text to share with the audience.

Implementing a content marketing strategy is one of the best ways to generate traffic, connect with your followers and generate more sales.

Social Media Marketing

Social media E commerce marketing is a powerful tool to have in a strategy plan. It allows one to generate engagement and interaction, divert traffic to the site and eventually converts followers into customers.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization or SEO is an integral part of any online business that wants to succeed. Using certain keywords within a content will flag a website, as one of the matching results in search engines, when users are searching for something specific.

Advantages of E commerce marketplace for businesses
  • Provides an additional channel to market and sell your products
  • Reduces marketing costs compared to other sales channels
  • Creates new opportunities for overseas sales
  • Offers a convenient way to compare prices and products from a single source
  • Provides a level of trust between you and the buyer by joining an established online marketplace
  • Impartial reviews of products and services give new customers the confidence to buy
  • Offers opportunities to establish new trading partnerships with traders and suppliers, either within or across supply chains
  • Provides greater transparency for both prices and stock availability
  • Operates round-the-clock without any time constraints, problems or varying international trading hours
Disadvantages of E commerce marketplace for businesses
  • E commerce marketplaces sites can sometimes charge commission on every sale and fees can vary from site to site.
  • May impose restrictive terms and conditions in terms of how one can communicate to customers.
  • Marketplace limitations as to how your business can brand its online presence
The rise of Shopee as the top E commerce marketplace in Asia

Founded in 2015, Singapore based Shopee is now the leading E commerce marketplace site in the Asian region, measured by average monthly active users on the app. Headed by CEO Chris Feng alongside COO Terence Pang, Shopee is a social-first, mobile-centric marketplace in comparison to their biggest competitor Lazada.

4 key factors that led to Shopee’s success


Research shows that Southeast Asians are the most engaged mobile Internet users in the world. According to the Google, Temasek and Bain and Company report, there are 360 million Internet users in the Asian region and 90% of them are connected to the Internet primarily through their mobile phones.

Shopee immediately saw this as an emerging trend and the way forward for E commerce. The brand then focused its efforts on optimizing user experience and engagement through the mobile app, in order to fit the needs of the younger generation, who grew up communicating, collaborating, and entertaining themselves on mobile devices.


Taking a hyper-local approach

By understanding each market and its user behaviours, Shopee is able to respond and match to their needs specifically. As well as having local offices and teams in each of the markets that it operates on. Each market is highly localized and different from one another in its product categories and marketing campaigns.

The brand also runs localized initiatives for festivals like Chinese New Year or National Days, and offers a variety of payment options to match specific country-level needs.


More than just shopping

In terms of personalization, Shopee successfully leverages on both data and AI to identify patterns and insights from users’ browsing and purchase data, and uses new technologies like AI and AR-powered tools to help brands and businesses to give their audiences distinct shopping experiences.

Rather than focusing solely on driving transactions and competing on price, brands and sellers alike engages with customers and creates a brand affinity through these experiences.


Support for merchants & digital inclusion

Shopee’s Seller Centre continually updates with new functions that make it easier for sellers to track and manage their sales performance, payments, inventories, and deliveries on Shopee.

The app also provides a range of data and visualisation tools to track and obtain shopping insights and data, as well as a platform where merchants can create vouchers and other promotional tools for their audience.

While creating an E commerce marketing strategy can seem to be a daunting task, it becomes easier when it is broken down into smaller, manageable pieces or areas to look out for. With the right mix of marketing techniques, businesses will eventually improve their conversion rates and attract customers that will continue to grow over time.


Hashtaqs has worked and partnered with E commerce businesses from various industries to drive brand awareness, promotions, customer loyalty and audience reach beyond existing customer database and network.

We develop a user-friendly, smart E commerce platform that could recommend products to your customers and integrate chatbots to help you interact with your customers in real-time to close the deals faster. Stand-out from other E commerce competitors and differentiate yourself through unique design, layout, a compelling story and smart recommendations.

Hashtaqs uplifts business through brand transformation and marketing advisory and implementation online and offline, internationalisation through business matching and community development.

Our consultancy work is supportable with the funding scheme of up to 80% for local SG businesses. Contact us for a consultation at +65 8868 1418 or email us at [email protected]. For more info, visit www.hashtaqs.co

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