You therefore believe that starting a new eCommerce business is a brilliant idea. Or perhaps you have already established one and are unsure on how to make it successful. Whatever your circumstance, there are a number of things you can do to prevent your eCommerce store from becoming lost in a sea of websites and disappearing without a trace.
Starting a business, whether it be a conventional one or an internet eCommerce business, can be difficult. Approximately 20% of small businesses fail in their first year, and about 50% fail by their fifth, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These don’t only apply to eCommerce firms, but they do show that you can’t just launch an online store and expect customers to click (or tap) their way there. To ensure that they purchase things from your store and return for additional visits, you must be proactive in locating potential customers and collaborating with them.
How to Grow your eCommerce Business:
1. Identify Your Target Audience
One error that many new users make online is attempting to be everything to everyone. Although that would be OK for enormous organizations like Amazon, it is not how the majority of prosperous enterprises function. Even Amazon didn’t begin in that way. They began by selling solely books, then once they had had some success, they diversified their product line.
You must choose a target market for your goods. You must specifically pinpoint the demographics of those who are most likely to be interested in your offerings. When you realize this, try to think like them. What goods do you think you might easily find for them and that they would most enjoy? You can concentrate on marketing these products once you’ve developed a supply (or production line) for them for your target market.
Too many enterprises are started with a focus on the product. They wish to sell a product that they have. However, it is ideal to approach the development of your company from a marketing viewpoint, i.e., identify the products or services that would enthrall and interest your intended target market.
2. Encourage Repeat Business
Selling to an existing customer rather than a stranger is significantly simpler. Don’t disregard customers who have already made up their minds that they enjoy your stuff. They will return if you reward them with excellent customer service, premium goods, and affordable prices. If you’re fortunate, they might even tell their friends.
Too many companies focus the majority of their marketing efforts on luring new visitors to their websites. They fail to see that they already have a loyal customer base who will buy from them again as soon as they require a repair or similar new product.
Some businesses favor acquiring new clients above current ones, which may leave existing clients feeling unwelcome, underappreciated, and taken for granted. This is especially true if you use a subscription-based business model, which increases customer churn as they switch suppliers in order to receive another “welcoming” discount.
You might think about offering promotions like “buy one, get one free” to your current clients on particular product lines, depending on your markup. Giving your consumers loyalty cards and rewarding them with a certain item after a certain amount of usage is another typical approach.
3. Offer Upsells and Cross-Sells
Cross-sells and upsells both seek to increase the value of a purchase. Additionally, they help you develop a relationship with the customer and eventually promote repeat business.
Upselling is the practice of persuading customers to buy a comparable, more expensive product than the one they first intended to. When you persuade clients to purchase similar or complimentary products, you are cross-selling.
For instance, you might have written an eBook that you market through your online store. You could program a pop-up to appear after a customer buys the eBook to urge them to upgrade to the more expensive “elite” version, which includes more parts. This is an example of an upsell because instead of the more basic item they were planning to buy, you are selling them the upgraded and more lucrative option.
By displaying product feature charts, you may frequently upsell by showing the consumer how the more expensive item offers more value than the cheaper one they were initially intending to buy. Due to this additional perceived value, the buyer typically leaves happier even if they paid more.
Cross-selling refers to complementing products that fill gaps left by the original product and provide satisfaction. These are frequently items that the client might have bought in the future regardless. Cross-selling is a common feature of online merchants’ checkout pages. For instance, Amazon frequently suggests more products that you might be interested in.
Both of these strategies can encourage repeat purchases while showcasing the breadth of your product line.
4. Provide Excellent Customer Service
Making sure you provide the greatest customer service is another approach to promote repeat business. Keep in mind that the transaction is just the beginning of the sales process. Contrary to a physical store, buyers typically cannot touch or physically experience your goods before making a purchase, so you must allay their concerns by making the purchasing process as simple as you can. Additionally, you must give them the assurance that if anything goes wrong with their purchase, you would support them and give them the confidence to buy from you.
People relying on product reviews while making judgments is another crucial aspect of eCommerce. Nearly 90% of consumers, according to Oberlo, read product reviews before making a purchase, and 56% of consumers read at least four reviews. Additionally, nearly 50% of internet users claim to publish online reviews at least once per month. So, if you want your consumers to sing your praises, you must provide excellent customer service.
Negative customer feedback won’t just make it less likely that someone will be a satisfied repeat client. They also put off other potential customers from trying your goods. Instead, they will visit another website where they may spend their money with confidence because it has better reviews.
5. Market to All Stages of the Buying Process
Beginners in the eCommerce industry frequently believe that all they need to do is advertise and customers will come running. Customers actually go through various stages of the purchasing process, therefore you need to tailor your marketing to each one. Before they spend their hard-earned money, they go through a purchasing funnel. The purchasing funnel comes in a wide variety of forms, but the following is a typical one (from top to bottom):
- Need recognition –a potential customer realizes that he/she has a need
- Information search – he/she begins to look for information to help solve the problem
- Option evaluation – the potential customers reflect on what he/she has discovered
- Purchase decision – the customer is ready to make a purchasing decision
- Post-purchase evaluation – once the customer has made a purchase, he/she evaluates whether it was the right decision
There is a temptation for eCommerce enterprises to start their marketing at Step 4 right away. But if you do that, you can overlook everyone who is still in the early phases of the process, or who isn’t quite ready to buy. And when they are ready to make a purchase, they will choose one of the companies they have already shortlisted over you.
The procedure isn’t linear either. Customers complete the process at their own pace and frequently out of order. The optimum marketing strategy should cover each of the five stages.
6. Remember That Most eCommerce Businesses Can Operate Globally
If you run a traditional business, your clientele is essentially only allowed to come from the neighborhood where your store is located. The only option to increase your customer base (short of implementing some kind of eCommerce extension) is to establish more branches, which will cost a lot of money. However, the majority of eCommerce companies serve a worldwide clientele.
You should think about include information about international shipping on your website if your product is in any way relevant to a global audience. Of course, if your product is digital, shipping it anywhere in the globe won’t cost you any more than it would to send it locally.
7. Use Marketing Automation to Offer Special Discounts
This is a different way to use cross-sells and upsells. A series of emails following a purchase can be configured (even SMS with the right software). To inform your clients and offer after-sales support, you can set up nurture email (or message) sequences. Additionally, these emails might give the customer exclusive discounts on goods that interest them.
This is especially helpful when you’re selling stuff for an activity or event that clearly follows another, like selling items for weddings or new births. You may send out tailored messages, providing discounts on things appropriate for that period, as the wedding approaches or as a customer’s infant passes various life milestones.
Recognizing customer occasions, such as their birthdays, anniversaries, and even seasonal holidays like Christmas, is another application for marketing automation. You can program a series of personalized messages to remind you of the important day. These might provide a dollar-off coupon for the customer’s upcoming purchase. For instance, you might offer every customer a $10 off promo code on their special day.
8. Consider Content and/or Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing and content marketing are two effective online marketing strategies. Both entail creating informative material that will appeal to your target audience. The primary distinction between the two is that with content marketing, you typically produce and disseminate the content yourself, but with influencer marketing, you pay influencers with sizable followings to carry out those tasks. As we’ve seen, positive ratings are advantageous for all eCommerce companies. The impact is amplified when influencers write those reviews.