In the Last five years, Ecommerce has grown immensely in the United States. We are starting to see retail sales drop from brick and mortar stores, but online shopping sales exploding exponentially. Cyber Monday sales are greater than Black Friday sales and more and more people are utilizing the convenience of online shopping.
In 2013, sales through Ecommerce business was just over $262 Billion dollars. Experts estimate that by 2017, that number will grow to almost $500 Billion. This means that now is the perfect time for you to take your already existing business online or finally start your dream Ecommerce business that you have always wanted. If you are brand new to the world of Ecommerce, there are a few proven strategies that will help your business boom.
You Need a Niche
If you want to out sell the competition and drive the most traffic to your site, you have to find a way to set yourself apart from the rest. Do you have a new and innovative way of doing something? Do you offer a service that no one else in your area can? Maybe a new spin on an old favorite? Whatever your business is, having a specific market and targeting that market is key to your success. If your current territory is saturated in what you are already offering, you will need to make sure your marketing strategy will involve pointing out how yours is different or better.
You will also want your website to be personalized and tailored to your target market. There is web technology available to help customize your shoppers experience on your site. Another thing to keep in mind is that you remain consistent across all social media channels. If your niche is organic cleaning supplies, you want to make sure the message of organic, natural, non-toxic and other related material is saturating all of your platforms. You want your customer to see you as an expert on the field and trust that your product or service is the best out there. This will also bring repeat customer traffic back to your product.
Make Sure Your Site is User Friendly
There is nothing more frustrating for an online shopper who is forced to give out a lot of personal information just to be able to use the checkout function on your website. Many customers still shy away from creating accounts because they are worried about email spamming and their personal identification information being on the internet. Having a guest check out option and many indicators that you have a secure checkout is going to decrease the number of people who abandon their shopping carts online.
The greatest reason for cart abandonment however is unexpected shipping charges. Many online shoppers shop because of the convenience of not having to browse a store and that many good deals can often be found online. When a guest goes to checkout and sees a shipping charge that negates the good deal they think they are getting, the shopper can be left with a very sour impression of your Ecommerce site. Adding a feature to the shopping cart to calculate shipping as they add items will make your customers feel better about their charges when they get to the payment screen. You can also have shipping discounts appear automatically in shopping carts rather than ask customers to type in a coupon code.
Making your site as easy and friendly to use as possible will enable guests to leave positive reviews and create repeat traffic. Giving the best customer service possible is not only a concept that brick and mortar stores live by, but one that online shops must also be highly aware of as well. Over half of new customers say that reviews are a big influence over whether they purchase from an online business. Happy customers will be some of the best free marketing you can get.
Tap into Technology
Many beginning entrepreneurs do not realize the plethora of internet technology they have available to them. Almost every social media platform including Pinterest and Facebook have technology to help you market your product through paid advertisement and analytical tools to help you convert more traffic into purchases.
There is cloud based technology that will allow you to view the health of your business across all social media channels. Any time you have paid advertisements, such as pay per click method on Pinterest, Facebook, and Google, you will also be able to access software that shows you which ads are being clicked on the most often, what time your ads are being clicked on and even who is clicking on your ads. Understanding the analytics behind the business is going to help you to target your audience more efficiently and cater to your customers’ needs better.
Researching trends is going to be a big part of your marketing experience to grow your ecommerce business. You will want to know which keywords are trending online for SEO purposes, what is the hot selling item on Etsy and what pins are getting pinned the most on Pinterest. Viral content is important to understand be able to apply to your own business practices.
Being mobile friendly is also going to ensure that your ecommerce business is in front of larger audiences. Mobile commerce is the fastest growing platform and business that do not invest in great mobile options for their websites are going to see a decrease in revenue very quickly.
Today’s technology is booming and you will want to make sure you are not left behind when it comes to innovation. Companies are beginning to experiment with drone delivery, smart devices and augmented reality. Make sure you stay current on new technology and inventions that will put your ecommerce business ahead of the curve.
Drive Traffic and Conversion
Having a top notch marketing strategy, paired with your technology use and user friendly website is going to ensure the longevity of your online store. In 2016, almost 80% of people in the United States were active on at least one social media platform. Developing accounts for your business on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other platforms is a sure fire way of getting the most out of your online presence. Make sure that your image is consistent, you have used your technology to optimize keywords and audience, and you link back to all your website and other channels.
Driving traffic through social media is the best way to gain free brand ambassadors and marketing. Each time one of your followers repins, retweets, or shares your post, you are getting more and more exposure. Most of these sites also have advertising options that will maximize your presence.
Email marketing with those that do sign up for accounts to your page, or pay for a subscription is also highly effective. Giving customers incentive to come back such as special discount sales for email club members, free shipping promotions and early access to sales makes customers feel valued by your business. You can also include a newsletter with links back to your website, blog or social media channels in your email campaign. Many times customers that receive emails like this will also share with their friends and family which creates even more FREE traffic for your shop.
Almost 75% of your websites traffic will come from searching google, Bing, yahoo, or another search engine, as well as direct marketing. The most important aspect to driving your ecommerce traffic is going to be through these two methods so being able to combine technology with your creative process is going to boost your sales and conversion rate. Keyword optimization as discussed earlier paired with paid advertising methods to promote your business on search engines and social media platforms will remain the bulk of your marketing budget and strategy indefinitely.
Lastly, let me know your thoughts and what other tips for your ecommerce business that has helped you. Leave a comment below and I look forward to hearing from you.