The eCommerce industry is rapidly expanding. For those of you with an eCommerce business, this is both a good and bad thing. For one, it means that there are plenty of customers for you to market yourself to, with more coming along every day. However, at the same time, there is an increasing amount of eCommerce sites, resulting in increased competition. According to some estimates, there are anywhere between 12 and 24 million eCommerce sites currently online, which means no matter your niche, you likely have some stiff competition.
To draw in your share of customers, you need to have a solid foundation for your eCommerce business. Setting up a strong foundation will help your business survive in the early stages and thrive as time goes along. Below are the 4 pillars you should seek to build your eCommerce business around for the best chance at success.
The first thing you should focus on is your website. As an eCommerce business, this is where the majority of your customer interactions will take place. You need to impress customers from the first moment they arrive on your website and ensure they have a good experience all the way through checkout. The most important factor to consider is whether your website is simple to navigate.
For example, how many steps are involved in the process from finding a product to checking out? It should be as easy as possible for customers to buy the items they want, so look to reduce steps whenever possible.
It should also be easy for customers to find what they are looking for. You can make this easier by adding features such as a search bar, a recommended products section, and creating a more organized hierarchy for your product listings. Once you’ve created a website that’s easy for everyone to use, then you can begin to focus on driving more sales.
The next thing to focus on is your marketing approach. When it comes to marketing an eCommerce business, you want to take an omnichannel approach. This means having several different marketing strategies for each channel.
For example, rather than just marketing your eCommerce store through a social media site like Twitter, you can also focus on Instagram and Facebook. Then, in addition to social media, you can also focus on optimizing your website for search engines, running ads, and establishing a referral marketing campaign. The more channels you have running, the more chances you give yourself at getting discovered.
Of course, running all of these different marketing strategies takes time and resources, two things that you may not have a lot of. One option is to start small with one or two channels, then expand as you go. Another option is to work with eCommerce marketing services. Hiring an outside service may cost more money but it may also provide you with a strong return. For instance, working with an outside source would free you and your team up to focus on other things and may draw in a lot more visitors, thereby increasing revenues.
Consider your own situation to determine whether you should keep your marketing approach in-house or work with expert services.
Just like with marketing, you should also have an omnichannel sales approach. While the primary source of your sales will likely come through your website, where customers add products to their virtual cart and go through the checkout process, there are other ways to generate sales.
For instance, if your eCommerce store sells clothing, Instagram would be a great way to promote your products. To begin, you should make use of an Instagram growth service to increase your follower count. However, if those followers do not convert into paying customers, you haven’t accomplished much. As a result, you should consider setting up an Instagram shop that will allow your followers to purchase your products directly from the app. Now, thanks to social media, you’re generating sales directly.
Explore new avenues for generating sales, such as over the phone or through a live chat feature. You may be pleasantly surprised to discover that your eCommerce site isn’t the only way to generate sales online.
Finally, the fourth pillar of a good eCommerce strategy in 2021 is basing all your changes on concrete data. It’s important that as you’re making decisions, you’re doing so off of data about your website and your audience. For example, before you invest a lot of time and money training your customer service representatives in sales, learn if this is something your audience wants.
There are many ways to gather data. One option is to establish website tracking data using tools like Google Analytics. You could also conduct surveys or focus groups to learn more about your audience. However you do it, collect as much data as you can, then analyze it carefully to make the decisions on how to go forward.
Establish Your 4 Pillars for Continued Growth
The sooner you implement the 4 pillars mentioned above, the sooner you’ll start seeing results. Best of all, the above pillars will not only help you in the near future but for years to come. Running a successful eCommerce business isn’t always easy but with a strong foundation, you can continue to draw in customers and stay ahead of your growing competition.
Founder Dinis Guarda
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