E-Commerce Strategy

E-Commerce Targeting: Niche, Broad, Mass Marketing

When it comes to marketing your products, you have a number of options. You can choose to go for e-commerce mass marketing – where you market your products to a large number of people. You can opt for e-commerce target marketing where you market your products to specific segments of customers. Or, you can use a combination of them both.

In this post, we’re going to outline the three different strategies and help you come to a decision about the best way to market your products to guarantee the best results.


You’ll learn:

  1. The pros and cons of e-commerce mass marketing
  2. The pros and cons of e-commerce target marketing
  3. How to apply both approaches to your store.

Let’s go!

What is e-commerce mass marketing?

Mass marketing is where you market your products to a wide range of audiences. Instead of focussing on one customer segment, you spread your marketing to accommodate everyone. For example, let’s say you sold phone cases. You’d use the same marketing strategies and collateral to market to all your potential buyers.

Advantages of mass marketing

First, with mass marketing, you’re able to reach a wider group of people by giving maximum exposure to your products.

Going back to our phone case examples, if you sold a range of animal-related phone cases, you could opt to market each animal case to a different group of people. Or, you could market all the phone cases to all people in a more generalized way.

Disadvantages of mass marketing

Although mass-marketing allows you to reach a wider number of people, it’s not without its faults. For example, in some ways, it’s not as cost-effective. 

If you’re running paid ads to drive traffic to your store, a wider, targeting a wide, general audience will actually cost you more than if you ran hyper-targeted ads to a specific customer segment. 

Second, not all customers are treated equally. Each type of customer you deal with will have different needs and be at a different stage in their buying process. By mass-marketing, you run the risk of not addressing specific customers’ needs. What’s more, it becomes increasingly more difficult to measure the effectiveness of your campaigns. If you’re marketing to a mass audience, how do you know which type of customers are most lucrative to you?

Third, you’ll be required to use a lot of manpower and often suffer from lower profit margins. When you conduct mass-marketing, you never get to know your potential customers on a granular level. Instead, you know top-level information about them. Because of this, you’ll have to spend a lot of money and time to attract all types of people with the same marketing messaging.

What is e-commerce target marketing?

E-commerce target marketing involves marketing your products to a specific customer segment. Going back to our phone case example, you might decide to create separate marketing campaigns to sell specific phones. You could create a campaign that targeted people who look for a case that keeps their phone safe. Or, you might target people who look for an aesthetically pleasing case.

As you can imagine, the marketing campaigns and messaging for both types of people would be wildly different.

Advantages of target marketing

Because you’re naturally targeting a smaller group of people, e-commerce target marketing is actually cheaper and more affordable than mass-marketing. If you’re running paid ads as part of your traffic strategy, segmenting your customers will make your ads cheaper and easier to scale. You’ll have a clearer idea of what works and what doesn’t work and be able to change your ad copy, targeting or budget in accordance with that. 

The biggest benefit of target marketing, though, is the relationship you can build with your customer. When your marketing message is custom made for each type of customer, it’s much easier to build a loyal, returning customer base than if you opt for general messaging.

This is something DTC e-commerce businesses understand well. By aligning your potential customers’ vision with your own product messaging, you’re able to foster customer loyalty.

Second, because you’ve targeted your products to specific people, you’re able to make informed decisions about product upgrades and improvements. You have a direct conversation line with your target audience giving you the chance to find out what changes or improvements they’d like to see from your products. If you do this on a mass level, you’re likely to run into conflicting ideas. 

Disadvantages of target marketing

Upon first look at this strategy, it does seem like target marketing is the way forward. But, there are some considerations you need to take before implementing. 

First, understand that it takes time to see results. You’re working with a smaller pool of people, so if you’re looking for mass-sales, this marketing approach might not be the one for you.

Second, you need to spend time learning about your target audience to decide what message will resonate well with them.

In our phone case example, when mass marketing you can simply use language similar to:

  1. You need a phone case.
  2. We have a wide range of phone cases for you to try.

But if you’re marketing to specific target groups (say, our safe-case example), you need to think about the exact type of messaging that would resonate with them and encourage them to check our your website and actually make a purchase.

Wrapping it up: how to apply both to your store

When it comes to implementing either target marketing or mass marketing to your store, you need to decide which will give you the biggest benefits.


Follow these steps to find out which one would work best for your store. 

  1. Does your product target a general audience or a specific group of people?
  2. Can you break down different products to suit different preferences?
  3. Does your current marketing message appeal directly to the stage your potential customers are at?

Answering these three questions will give you a clear idea about how your products are currently targeted and how your messaging resonates with that. Then, you’ll be able to decide whether or not you need to change your messaging or update the specific customers your targeting.

Do you opt for mass-marketing or target marketing within your e-commerce store? Leave a comment below.

View Comments

  • Getting the word out that a company exists is a common ecommerce marketing strategy. This type of strategy usually is for people that have relied on friends and family members to get the words out that they exist and it just isn't working. When you want to spread the word then a professional can help you come up with a plan on how they will go about telling the web about the business. This might include press releases, article postings, and even an email campaign.

  • Entire information was good but the advantages and disadvantages of target marketing were innovative. Thanks!

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Burc Tanir