An eCommerce business is going to be a challenging journey, no matter your budget, knowledge, and skills. Of course, outlining your strategy and figuring out what you must do, when you must do it, and why you must do it, will surely create better odds for your business.
Scaling up the ladder and overstepping your present competition isn’t easy. In fact, for your eCommerce site to sell more than other competitive platforms, you’ll have to do your best to raise its awareness and reputation.
You can only do that if you know how to do that, right? So, in today’s post, we’ll cover 8 essential strategies that should skyrocket your e-commerce platform quality and success, bringing it to the attention of the masses. Remember, when it comes to eCommerce, you can never optimize too much!
1. A Comprehensive Outline of Your eCommerce Strategy
Whether you work alone or with the help of a team, you should first detail your business executive summary. I believe that this step is both the first and the last steps whenever you must create a marketing plan no matter the type of your business.
The executive summary is the document that classifies, aligns, and brings together more elements of your marketing campaign. This includes the distribution plan, the off-line marketing plan, the on-line marketing plan, the conversion strategy, potential joint ventures, techniques for increasing the orders, and also the affiliate/referral strategies.
Your business’ executive summary shall be the first resource that new employees or freelancers must check in order to understand your brand, its mission, its strategy, and its short to medium term objectives.
2. A Great Understanding of Your Objectives
When you start a marketing plan, you’ll want to start with the basics. I would recommend you start outlining your long-term objectives before anything else. Every business has different goals and expectations. Most of the times, the higher the expectations the bigger the results, but that’s not a general statement. Your eCommerce goals might include:
- Launching your new eCommerce site (startup)
- Launching a new product or a new product line
- Penetrating an existent niche market
- Creating a new niche market
- Improving the distribution
- Improving the customer service
- Improving the brand’s reputation
- Scaling the business to new heights
Depending on your circumstances, needs, and wishes, you should outline a few big plans for the year or for the next following years. Either way, make sure you have a clear deadline.
Once you’ve established the big goals, you must split them into pieces and identify smaller goals that, collectively, will contribute to the achievement of your bigger objectives. Mark the deadlines on the small goals and stick to them no matter what!
3. An Exceptional Understanding of Your Target Audience
The #1 rule for selling is basic: know your audience well, and you’ll never struggle to sell again. This is more like a non-written rule that most webmasters and businessmen fail to cover in detail.
The digital environment is a competitive environment. You may have millions of potential customers and you might not know how to target them. Well, the first step to the process is the audience selection. Here’s how you should go about it:
Set aside some time for brainstorming (alone or with your team) and try to imagine the “best customer” or the “ideal customer”. This is an imaginary person (called a “target persona”) who is most likely to be interested in the products your brand is promoting and selling. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What’s the age, gender, nationality, culture, religion, political affiliation of my target persona?
- What hobbies, interests, passions, desires, wishes, wants, craves, does my target persona currently have?
- What are my target persona’s most pressing needs, concerns, problems, sorrows, fears?
- Where does my target persona spend his/her time on the web? Is it social channels? Google? YouTube?
- What’s the emotional state of my target persona? Happy? Confident? Fearful?
- What would make my ideal customer choose me over my biggest competitors?
Take it from here but don’t stop. You can ask yourself many more questions before fully covering all the details about your ideal customer. If you already have traffic and email subscribers, you should definitely develop and promote a few surveys. Your customer’s direct answers will help you modify and stabilize your current image of an ideal target persona.
4.Consistent Insightful, Relevant, and Valuable Content
“Whether you’re selling pancakes, food, clothes, or jewelry, content remains one of the essential components of a successful marketing strategy. You can’t sell products unless you know your audience. That, you should have already got covered. But then, once you know who you’re “dealing with”, you must first catch their attention.” – Jana Fervid, CEO at AustralianEssays.
Awesome content (interactive, educational, relevant, qualitative) is all you need to make a good impression. You should develop a blog around your products and post new content on a consistent basis. There are a number of reasons why this strategy is truly profitable:
- Great content improves your SEO rankings (therefore leading to more opt-ins and sales).
- Great content improves your brand’s reputation.
- Great content improves your customer’s trust.
- Great content diminishes your customers’ barriers to purchase.
- Great content makes you a great brand, not just some random eCommerce platform.
5. Social Media Marketing Focus
eCommerce sites are basically dependent on social media channels. Why? Because most of the customers are spending time there. Generally, digital customers have two big approaches: they seek a product out of a need or they’re pitched with a product on social channels.
Of course, an eCommerce site without a social presence is likely to be considered a scam, or a fake, because let’s face it – what respectable business doesn’t have at least a social account nowadays?
Depending on your niche, on your target audience, and also on your intuition, you should select one or two social networks and put all your focus into them. After you’ve figured out the characteristics of your target persona, you must figure out which social channel he/she prefers the most.
For example, if you were to sell cute personalized t-shirts, Instagram and Pinterest would probably be the best social channels for your, all due to their visual nature.
If you sell expensive products such as high-quality tech, then LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook will be much better choices. Either way, establish where you’re heading and start outlining your social strategy as soon as possible.
6. An Exceptional Customer Service
Customer service is a strong differentiator when it comes to eCommerce stores. Every now and then, a customer won’t be satisfied with your services. It may be the distribution, a damaged product, or maybe they simply don’t like what they’ve received. In this case, the first thing he’ll do is try to contact your customer service.
If your customer support is helpful and can find the proper solution, everything will be fine. If your customer service lacks professionalism or is not existent at all, your business might be in trouble.
You see, a dissatisfied customer is your worst enemy because he can influence the public opinion by leaving disgusting reviews about your brand. Of course, one customer won’t be a big problem, but when there are 10 dissatisfied customers which leave 10 awful reviews, your sales will slowly start to drop.
A great customer service doesn’t deal only with the problems after the purchase. In fact, it deals with every stage of the customer’s journey, including the before-purchase stage. If you can, offer your site visitors a live chat where they can address their most pressing questions before they decide to purchase.
You can also offer free shipping (a good incentive for new customers) and see how that works out for you. Free shipping doesn’t necessarily have to be free shipping, as you may add a few extra dollars to the product’s price, or you may offer free shipping to orders that exceed a certain sum.
7. Search Engine Optimization
Lastly, don’t forget to optimize your eCommerce store for the search engines. Content marketing and social media marketing go extremely well with a search engine marketing strategy. These three big marketing practices are truly interconnected.
Whenever you publish new content on your blog (and then share it on social channels), ensure that it’s also optimized for Google. SEO is a complex practice, and it cannot be performed by newbies. In case you have the necessary budget, I’d advise you to hire an SEO professional who can deal with your on-site and off-site optimization.
Otherwise, you should start learning the basics and start covering them step-by-step until you notice results. Here is a basic eCommerce SEO optimization guide that might help you. If you want to continue with the advanced stuff, here’s another (more advanced) SEO guide that will offer even more insights!
The difference between e-commerce businesses and successful e-commerce businesses lies mostly in their strategies and their way of approaching the market. Of course, the branding elements matter too, but that’s something that you should already be dealing with since you have launched.
Take these strategies into consideration and try implementing some of them.It wouldn’t hurt,right? I promise you great results as long as you remain consistent and persistent. Good luck!
The views, opinions and positions expressed within this guest post are those of the author alone and do not represent those of Bitbond. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are not guaranteed. We accept no liability for any errors, omissions or representations. The copyright of this content belongs to the author and any liability with regards to infringement of intellectual property rights remains with them.
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