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Digital Marketing - Study Notes:

The process

Let’s have an overview of what e-commerce is really trying to achieve.

It involves the following:

  • Generating relevant traffic
  • Driving that traffic to the right landing pages
  • Re-marketing to customers that leave
  • Converting as many of these customers as possible all the way through the purchase funnel to buying product

Generating relevant traffic

Think about that big funnel that we spoke about in Module 1 that starts at the broadest point that’s trying to put as many relevant people into that funnel as possible and funnels all the way down to the bottom of getting people to buy. So, in the Royal & Awesome business, we think about three different groups of people as relevant traffic.

Aware of brand and product

First of all, you’ve got the people that are aware of our brand and are interested in buying our product. We do lots of marketing efforts to increase that number of people, increase awareness of our brand, and make them want to buy our product. And we’ll speak about some of those later on in today’s lecture.

Aware of product, not brand

The second group of people are people that are aware of the type of product we sell, but not aware of our brand. So, these would be people that are searching online for things like bright golf pants, tartan golf hats, funky golf trousers, that sort of thing.


And then the third group of people is people that are aware of our competition. So, they might be searching for other brands that offer a similar product that we do. And so, again, we want to make sure that we show up against or we show up when those people are searching for what they’re looking for, and show up in a way that triggers people into coming to our site and having a look around.

Driving that traffic to the right landing pages

We want to make sure that those people, when they come to our site, come to the most appropriate page.

In a lot of instances, that most appropriate page is the homepage because it’s the best introduction to what our site is all about and what we offer. However, it might not always be the most relevant page. For example, if someone is searching for ‘bright golf hat’, we know that they’re already in the market for a hat, rather than a general piece of apparel, so it makes more sense for us to bring them in on a page that just shows our range of hats and that lists the features and benefits of those products because that takes them one stage closer to the end goal of getting to buy our product. Whereas, if we brought them in on the homepage, they would have to navigate through that homepage, find the hats category, and go from there. So, it’s just one additional step that makes it slightly more likely that they would have dropped out of the purchase process.

Re-marketing to customers that leave

As we know and as we understand, people will drop out, a percentage of people will drop out at each stage of that purchase funnel. And so point three here, the re-marketing, is about how we best capture information about people while they’re on our site so that we can market to them again after they’ve left to make it more likely that they come to buy from us in the future. And in today’s presentation, we’ll speak quite a bit about some of those tactics.

Converting as many of these customers as possible

We want to limit the number of people that leave our site so that the maximum number of people go all the way through from entering the site, right down to buying. And there’s lots of different things that we can speak about, about how we optimize our overall site to make that conversion rate so the percentage of people that come to our site who go on to buy as large as possible.

Key pages

Now let’s look at the different pages that you would have in a traditional website. I think it’s useful to make an analogy here between an e-commerce site and a typical high-street shop, and we can see how the kind of rules of the different places and stages on the website and in the shop compare to each other.


Your homepage on your website is the equivalent of that first shop window that you see on the high street, and potentially the first sign you see when you go through the door. So, the role of the homepage is really to give people an instant understanding of what this web page is selling and what type of brand it is. So, for example, if you’re stood outside an electronics shop and it’d be typical to see in the window some examples of those types of products. You might also see big banners and red writing that says, ‘Sale’, and so that would let you know that this is an electronics shop and that price is one of the key things that they’re differentiating on.

Conversely, you might be stood outside of an Apple shop and you see a few electronic products, but not right in the shopfront, and you don’t see any communication about price until you’re into the store. And again, this tell you something different about how that brand’s portraying itself. Likewise, when you get to the homepage, you’ll typically see some communication and imagery about what the brand is all about, and you may or may not see imaging or messaging around pricing. And again, that will tell you whether it’s going to be a price-led website, or whether it’s offering something else as its main value proposition.

The other thing that’s really important about the homepage is, it will help you navigate where next throughout the website. So, on most web pages, you’ll either see a navigation along the top of the page that helps direct you where to go next, you’ll typically see a search bar so you can type in specific searches, and you might see some tabs on the main page that will allow you to go to those categories directly.

Likewise, in a real store, as soon as you walk through the door, you typically see some signage that says, “Cameras over here. Computers over here. Laptops here. Mobiles here,” and allows you to very quickly get to the section of the store that’s most relevant to you.

Category page

That then takes us onto the category page or the particular category section of the store. So, again, using our electronics example, if you’re in the market for buying a new camera, you would’ve come in through the door, seen the sign to cameras or seen the section that had lots of cameras in it, and migrated over to that. Then you’d be looking to see, “Right, what are the different types of cameras that are here?”, based on either product features or on price, and they’ll most likely be grouped together in that way.

Likewise on a website, so taking Royal & Awesome as an example, our products are grouped into categories, so we’ve got all of our pants on one page, we’ve got all of our pants or trousers, for those in the UK, I should specify, and shorts are all in one category, hats are all in one category, our polo shirts are all in one category. So, again, you group like products with like so that it’s easy for people to assess which of those products within the category they want to buy.

Site search

As we’ve spoken about earlier, another key thing that you want to have on your website is a site search so that if people haven’t been able to quickly find that category that they’re looking for, they can do it through using the search on the site.

Product page

The next stage is the product page. And again, the equivalent of this in-store is when you’ve seen the whole range of cameras that are available, you’ve gone to the area that has the ones that are in the right price point with the right features, and then you’ve decided that, actually, you’re really interested in one of those products and you’re going to pick it up and you’re going to have a look and you’re going to have a thorough read of the different features it’s got available.

So, back on the website in the Royal & Awesome example, this would be where you’ve selected a particular pattern of trousers and you’re now having a look at the product imagery we’ve got there, you’re having a read of the description, you know what price point it’s at, you know what size it’s available, and you’re thinking, “Is this the type of product I want to buy?”

Shopping cart

In both the web and the store example, once you’ve made that decision to buy, you then add the product to your shopping cart. And again, in the web example, you would be able to, before you go to checkout, see all the things that you’ve put into your basket, review how many of them you’ve got, what price they’re at, and at that stage, go on to checkout. In the real shop example, again, you would have a genuine shopping cart or a genuine shopping basket, and you can see what’s in there and review whether that’s everything you want for this shopping trip before you go to checkout.


And then, checkout is pretty straightforward. It’s where you hand over your money or your credit card and you have confidence that that money is going to be well looked after, your information on your credit card is going to be well looked after and kept safe, and in return for you handing over that money, you’re going to get the product back that you were expecting.

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Graeme Smeaton

Graeme Smeaton is the founder of Royal & Awesome. Along with a proven track record in defining and delivering marketing strategies that drive significant growth and create real shareholder value, Graeme is highly commercial. He has extensive experience managing PLs and other key financial statements, while being an operational board director of AFG Media Ltd, and has experience negotiating with suppliers, distributors and licensing partners.

By the end of this topic, you should be able to:

  • Identify the channels and formats used to generate e-commerce customer interest including e-commerce websites
  • Analyse user behaviour on an e-commerce platform
  • Critically assess opportunities for creating e-commerce conversions

    Data protection regulations affect almost all aspects of digital marketing. Therefore, DMI has produced a short course on GDPR for all of our students. If you wish to learn more about GDPR, you can do so here:

    DMI Short Course: GDPR

    The following pieces of content from the Digital Marketing Institute's Membership Library have been chosen to offer additional material that you might find interesting or insightful.

    You can find more information and content like this on the Digital Marketing Institute's Membership Library

    You will not be assessed on this content in your final exam.


      Applied E-Commerce
      Graeme Smeaton
      Skills Expert

      Marketing strategist Graeme Smeaton will introduce the key concepts of effective e-commerce and will teach you how analytics allows for refinement of the model. You will become familiar with the elements of a successful e-commerce website and the process of traffic generation. Graeme will also introduce you to various sales tactics, including channel selling. Finally, you will recognize how the e-commerce Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems can help you maximize user experiences.