The birth of the Internet has given many marketers the power to promote their goods from the comfort of their own home. But as the Internet develops, so must e-commerce stores and eBay sellers. Online competition is plentiful, and it pays to be prepared when making first steps in e-commerce.
Many may assume that to get actively selling online you merely need an eBay account, or some sort of e-commerce store and you’re good to go. Nothing could be further from the truth. Physical shop needs to ensure that potential customers knew it was there and what do you offer. The same applies online. People have a plethora of options when it comes to shopping online. E-commerce stores need to ensure that all bases are covered when coming up with a marketing strategy.
Below are some tips that will assist those looking to enter the world of e-commerce. Build a viable marketing strategy for your online store that not only benefits you, but also your customers!
Think of a Relevant Name for Your Online Store
Many people think that any name will do for their online shop or e-commerce store. Nothing could be further from the truth. Business names should be a reflection of what it offers, while being simple to remember. The same business name should be included within all of your URLS were possible. This includes any websites, social network profiles and marketing materials. Also think of a catchy slogan for your store, something that’s straightforward, but encompasses the message you are trying to portray.
Research Your Niche
Starting a business without researching your niche first can see you fail before you even start. When deciding what to sell online, you should look online for what already exists, and what else you can bring to the table with your e-commerce site that doesn’t already exist. If you enter a niche market and find yourself competing against an established company with a sturdy reputation, you may find yourself losing out. Niche research allows you to find out what your potential customer base is looking for. It allows you to look at what isn’t being offered, and whether this could be something you could implement into your business to give it a much-needed kick start. Once you’ve researched a niche, don’t think that it will stay the same, you need to constantly research your niche to ensure that you are minimising risk at all times.
Ensure Your Potential Customer Base Is Aware Your Store Exists
As mentioned earlier, for a business to be successful, its potential customer base needs to know it exists. This can be done via a number of different methods, depending on what your e-commerce store has to offer.
You can set up social network pages with platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook and start promoting your store. You might consider investing in social network pages to reach a large volume of people within a short period of time.
Ensure that your store is optimised so search engines are able to find you following enquiries they receive. For your site to appear, it has to have information that is relevant to the potential customer’s initial search query. Times has changed the world of search engine optimisation. A few keyword-stuffed descriptions doesn’t cut it anymore when it comes to being found within search engines. There has to be relevant content in place that educates the customer, as well as being relevant to your business.
Store owners should also focus on where to submit their ads. Social bookmarking sites can help you promote websites or pages to a number of different people within your niche at a very low cost. Store owners can also use relevant forums to promote their store, as long as they follow the community guidelines.
Don’t be tempted by services that offer likes or followers for a small fee. These are automated bots that will not interact with you, thus making them irrelevant to you. Building up followers and page likes is straightforward as long as you use the relevant channels and services available. Store owners should also interact frequently with their customers using social network channels. If you find logging in and out of social networks cumbersome, then why not look at software that shows all your social networks within one location (Hootsuite, for example).
Decide on What Payment Methods You Should Include for Customers
Payments are the lifeblood of your business. Keep that in mind when creating a digital marketing strategy for your online store. Today’s digital world gives customers a number of choices when it comes to making a purchase. Some may use the standard debit or credit card, while others may use a merchant such as PayPal. All of these can be easily accepted on your site. It can be worth researching other currencies that are becoming popular online. For example, Bitcoin is a crypto-currency which is becoming the must-have currency online. The popularity means that if you accept Bitcoin as a payment method, you could see your store bring in a few more sales.
Focus on Retention as Well as Acquisition
Having a sudden influx of customers can be exciting. It can also be a very busy time for the e-commerce store owner. However, it is important that you value each and every customer who transacts on your store. The experience they have with you when making a purchase, will be a deciding factor as to whether they purchase from you again. Focus on keeping the customer informed about their purchase and thanking them for their custom. If anything should go wrong with a customer’s order, then notify them. While it may not be what they want to hear, they will respect you more for being honest. Keeping your existing customers happy means they will return, as well as they might recommend your store to friends and family.
Build a Mailing List
Remember that customers may visit a number of different e-commerce stores during their shopping spree. Therefore, it’s important that you remind them of what special offers you have, or any new additions to your stock or service. Build up an email list that will allow you to contact them with ease as and when required. A pop-up form could be introduced into your store that offers some kind of benefit if they subscribe to your email list. It could be for instance a voucher code that offers a discount when they make a purchase from your store. This can also be done in line with your content marketing. There’s every chance a customer could make a purchase based on the content they’ve read on your site. Another idea can be to introduce the form at the checkout section of your store. There are also a number of services that allow you to organise your email contacts effectively. In order to sell on eBay, the site also offers a similar service for store owners and merchants, allowing them to acquire subscribers so they can inform them of relevant promotions and special offers.
Invest in a Content Marketing Strategy for Your Online Store
The Internet may be a hive for online shoppers, but it’s also home to those looking for product and service information. An online store with in-depth descriptions is an ideal move. Offering content based on your store can help educate your potential customers about goods or services you offer. If you sell something that helps streamline an otherwise time-consuming process, then content can be created that highlights these benefits. Within the content a link can be placed offer a link to your store. Store owners could run their own independent blog, or look to submit a blog to a relevant website within their niche. Store owners should also ensure that any content is relevant to the product or service they are selling.
Consider Affiliate Marketing
While you may be able to reach a large number of potential customers, affiliate marketing allows you to target a collective of potential customers. There are a number of programs available regardless of what platform you use to sell. Website owners can include your banner on their high-traffic sites. It not only provides you with a new influx of customers, but also rewards the website owner with a cut of the revenue. However, it is important that you only place such promotions on relevant sites that fit into your niche. Having banners on non-relevant websites not only causes confusion, but very rarely leads to a successful conversion. Affiliate Marketing should play a crucial role in creating a marketing strategy for your online store.
Consider Customer Relationship Management Software
Every business will have to tailor their particular marketing strategy to fit with their desired customer base, but research still remains key. If you wish to pick out particular trends you could even consider introducing CRM software. It does allow those with a customer base that’s currently evolving to search for trends. Such software can also help build up customer profiles. They allow store owners to tailor their marketing emails so they are relevant to their proposed audience.
Finally, you should audit your marketing strategy frequently. It will help you ensure you have an in-depth knowledge of where your customer acquisition comes from. If you find yourself receiving customers from one avenue, but none from another, then it may make sense to invest more into the platform that is offering you customers. Evidently, some platforms may offer fewer customers but larger orders. There’s no denying that running a business online can be just as difficult as running a physical store. Yet using the correct tools with a positive ethos can see your store build a robust reputation as well as a loyal following. This article should have given you a clear picture of what to consider when creating a marketing strategy for your online store!
Marketing for an ecommerce company is not cheap, but there are no simple ways of avoiding it. If you find yourself short on cash for marketing activities, you can always get a small business loan or a loan for eBay sellers to help you finance you campaigns and give your eShop the boost it needs.
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