At this point, you’ve likely researched your business idea, written a concrete business plan, and decided on a platform for your online store. Now that the research is out of the way, you can start the more exciting process of actually creating and selling your products online! This half of the digitization plan focuses on marketing your website, attracting customers, and learning how to utilize different tools to help your store stand out amongst your competitors.
Must-Haves for Your Online Store
In part 1 of this topic, we discussed the importance of having a mobile-friendly, fast, and simple website to ensure a positive customer experience. Choosing the right online platform for your business will certainly help in these aspects, but there are a few steps all entrepreneurs must take, regardless of their hosting provider:
- Choose and register a domain name. Create a name for your business if you haven’t done so already, and brainstorm potential domain names for your website. Make sure the domain name is reflective of your company and immediately informs customers what type of products you sell. You can check if a domain name is available by using the Whois Lookup search engine.
- Design an attractive website. According to one study, online shoppers can decide if they like a website or not within just 50 milliseconds. If your website is unorganized, looks “cluttered,” or things are difficult to find, your sales will likely suffer. So take the time to decide on a template, choose an attractive color scheme, and ensure that all information is easy to find for potential customers.
- Show off your products! Every one of your products listed on your website should be featured in a high-quality photo alongside a concise product description. Include statistics and features to entice customers, and finally, make sure to leave a place for people to read or write product reviews.
Basics of Ecommerce Marketing
Once your online store is ready to launch, it’s time to start diving into some marketing strategies. It’s not enough to just have a website to sell your products; you’ll have to use other platforms and strategies to encourage consumers to check out your company! Luckily, the internet makes it easier than ever for businesses to promote their products and connect with customers for little or no money, so even if you’re on a tight budget, you can still effectively market your business. That being said, here are a few of the best ways to promote your online store:
- Use social media. Using sites like Facebook and Twitter is a free and easy way for business owners to spread the word about their company and directly engage with consumers. You can connect with other businesses, take part in online conversations, and even use social listening tactics to see what people are saying about your business. Social media is more important than ever, especially with old-fashioned sales methods (such as cold calling) becoming unappealing and ineffective to potential buyers.
- Create a blog. Write a few articles a week to share on your website and your social media pages. You can constantly get new ideas for blog posts by answering customer questions, describing an up-and-coming project, sharing a funny story about what happened at your workplace, or any other positive content. Maintaining an up-to-date blog shows your customers that you’re dedicated to your company and if your post is especially relatable, it may be shared all over social media!
- Have an email list or newsletter. Everybody likes getting a good deal, so make your email marketing strategies appealing to loyal customers. Encourage customers to enter their email for special discounts, coupons, early access to new products, or other incentives to sign up to receive company updates. You can also use emails to remind customers if they abandoned their cart without purchasing anything or by sending brief surveys to gain a better perspective of a shopper’s experience.
- Understand SEO. SEO, or search engine optimization, is simply a tactic for business owners to help their website appear on the first page of Google when a customer searches for similar products or keywords. You can use tools such as Moz, Google analytics and SEMrush to know which keywords work best for your competitors and to better understand what customers are looking for.
- Consider selling on multiple platforms. Instead of just selling your products through your website, make them available on sites such as Amazon and eBay in order to boost sales and increase the reach of your company. In fact, selling through third party platforms can have multiple benefits, such as Amazon’s FBA (Fulfilled By Amazon) program. Businesses who take advantage of this program will never have to worry about managing their inventory again because Amazon will store, pack, and ship your products for you!
The world of ecommerce can be intimidating and might seem daunting at times, but with the right tools and mindset, 2019 can become your most successful year yet!
If you have any questions, or feel ready to take the digital leap, we can help you! Find out how we can help you set up your online store.