Digital Marketing Vs ECommerce 101

I’ve been asked this questions too many times “What’s the difference between digital marketing and ecommerce?”

Interesting enough, it usually came from head hunters.

So here’s my take on the differences:

Digital Marketing 

It’s part of the overall marketing. It’s one of the many marketing means, like OOH, Print, TV etc. Digital marketing includes anything marketing means with digital media, which includes but not limited to:

– Your Own Website

– Search Engine Marketing

  • Paid Search
  •  Image
  • To put it on layman terms, you basically paid a few keywords/query related to your brand/products, when people type in these keywords, your ad appears on the search results as ad. It’s paid advertising
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • According to Wikipedia, SEO isis the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s “natural” or un-paid (“organic”) search results. In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page), and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, video search, academic search,[1] news search and industry-specific vertical search engines.
  • Search Results
  • Again, Laymen terms, you user different strategy to make your website attractive to the search engine so they rank you higher when people search

– Display

  • Display includes banners and text links (this is more important for cultures that love to read, eg. China)

Yahoo Home Page Screen Cap– eDM

  • Including sending emails to your own database and to the database of others – still one of the most cost-effective methods for driving quality traffic to your site especially in-house eDM
  • an eDM from Kate Spade
  • Social Media Marketing
  • For this I can go on and on… See 4Cs for Social Media Marketing and blog
  • Facebook
  • Weibo
  • Instagram
A Shoppable online magazine

A Shoppable online magazine

– Mobile Marketing – any marketing done on mobile or tablet platforms including advertising, website, app SOLOMO etc.

ECommerce 

Ecommerce is according to Wikipedia, “commonly known as e-commerce or eCommerce, is a type of industry where the buying and selling of products or services is conducted over electronic systems such as the Internet and other computer networks. Electronic commerce draws on technologies such as mobile commerce, electronic funds transfer, supply chain management, Internet marketing, online transaction processing, electronic data interchange (EDI), inventory management systems, and automated data collection systems. Modern electronic commerce typically uses the World Wide Web at least at one point in the transaction’s life-cycle, although it may encompass a wider range of technologies such as e-mail, mobile devices, social media, and telephones as well.”

Laymen terms again, it’s the act of doing business on digital channels. For that you need marketing and operation.

For different industries, operation can be very different. Just to name a few:

– Hotels/Travels – Operation involves the payment gateway, booking engines on the site and how it links to the reservation system in the hotel or air ticketing system

– Online learning – Operation involves payment gateway, how the online subscription is manage. How you are billed monthly, when your subscription end etc

– Retail – This is very complicated. There’s a term called – Fulfillment. Basically, operation includes planning assortment and inventory for ECommerce, warehousing the products, packing the products, payment gateway, application integration middleware, ERP, shipping the product out, return & exchange and aftersales.

Of course, there’s the marketing side of Ecommerce which is quite overlapping with digital marketing. However, Ecommerce marketing is not just using digital means, you see OOH sides or print advertisement or even TVC promoting online sales. This is Ecommerce marketing too. So, it’s not purely digital.

Getting more confused?  One Sentence, digital marketing is one of the marketing means; ecommerce refer to the whole process of doing transaction with digital media. Hope it helps.

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