It is estimated that in 2019 alone, 1.92 billion people purchased goods online. It is predicted that these numbers will only increase as online retailers snap up more of the market and the in-person retail industry suffers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
ECommerce, then, is big business in the most extreme sense of the word. It is a retail revolution spurred on by a technological paradigm shift. You won’t be surprised to learn that eCommerce is extremely competitive. Thousands upon thousands of sellers, big and small, compete to grasp those precious consumer dollars.
How might you get ahead in such a viciously competitive industry? Well, it isn’t easy. Your product is by far your most important asset, but a good product alone won’t help you get ahead.
Instead, you need to take a multi-pronged approach to get your name to the top of the pile and your parcels flying across the world. Here are some tips for making it big in the wild west world of eCommerce. It is important to note that online selling can be a risky endeavor.
Budgets can run out of control, and viral popularity can quickly dissipate. Unless you are willing to really commit investment and effort, you won’t be able to stay afloat.
Make Your Aims And Values Clear
The eCommerce market is pretty crowded. In order to stand out from the crowd and get lots of custom, you’ll need to make sure that you have unique aims and values that are clear and consistent.
Customers need a reason to choose you. Price and product are important, but so is a clear vision. Aims and values can be transmitted through aesthetics, articles, copy, and of course, the way you do business on a day-to-day basis.
Ethical business practice should go hand in hand with success. Customers have a choice, and more often than not, they choose to shop in a way that aligns with their ethics.
Never Lose Your Focus On Customer Experience
Customer experience goes hand in hand with product quality when it comes to the most important factors in an eCommerce business success. Customers return time and time again to vendors that offer prompt and helpful customer service, swift deliveries, and easy to navigate sites.
On the other hand, one bad customer experience is enough to drive away hordes of potential purchasers. In the internet age, word of mouth travels fast, and consumer rights issues can blow up overnight.
It is vitally important that you do not fully automate your customer services. Customers with issues are far more likely to escalate their grievances if they are not able to talk to a real, empathetic human being.
Search Engines Are Important
Search Engine Optimization is the process of boosting your company’s presence on the web by increasing its ranking on search engines. This is wildly important for eCommerce businesses, which receive lots of their customers through search engine inquiries.
If, for instance, you are selling custom socks, you’ll receive far more custom if a person searches ‘custom socks’ on Google and your eCommerce site is the first website to appear.
Search Engine Optimization (or SEO for short) is big business. You’ll want to hire an experienced agency that can offer multiple SEO solutions – including the use of freelance writers to boost your search engine visibility.
Hire Some Experts
eCommerce is a huge and complex area of industry. Although this can make it seem rather daunting for the novice, it also means that there is plenty of help at hand. Trouble with marketing strategy? Firms like Nuanced Mediaoffer marketing consultation to eCommerce businesses looking to reach new markets.
Ryan Flannagan is the Founder and CEO of NuancedMedia, an international e-commerce marketing agency specializing in Amazon. Nuanced and Ryan have built a large client base earning total revenue of over $1.5 billion. Ryan is a published author and has been quoted by a number of media sources such as BuzzFeed and Modern Retail. To connect with Ryan, check out @Ryanflannagan on Twitter or via Linkedin.
Marketing isn’t the only area in which you can seek help. Design, branding, long-term business strategy, and shipping are all fields in which experts can offer you advice. It is worth pointing out that a little advice often goes a long way – the things you learn from seasoned experts will stay with you for the rest of your career.
Don’t go overboard throwing money at consultants and strategists, though. Make sure you ask trusted peers who they choose to work with. There are snake oil salesmen out there offering too-good-to-be-true business advice at a cost. Check which companies any prospective consultant or agency has worked with before. Success tells a story!
Market Across Multiple Channels
If you are looking for success in eCommerce, then you had better be well versed in multi-channel marketing. Marketing successfully involves getting your brand and service out to the broadest possible selection of relevant consumer communities. This cannot be done in the modern age without multi-channel marketing.
Also known as cross-channel marketing, multi-channel marketing is the practice of spreading a message across multiple platforms in a blended and coordinated way. In order to pull multi-channel marketing off effectively, you’ll need to do some stringent market and platform research.
Quantitative data collection and analysis across platforms is necessary in order to identify which social media, news, and entertainment streams you wish to market on. Identifying where on the internet your potential consumer base calls home and targeting these places specifically is absolutely crucial.
Don’t just jump in and put your name everywhere without considering whether you are spending your money wisely. Advertising is expensive, so targeting the correct channels is essential business practice.
A huge amount of eCommerce trade is generated through multi-channel marketing. Thanks to the algorithmic content selection structures of major social media platforms, customers can be very specifically targeted. For some, this might be terrifying, but for an emerging eCommerce business, it can make a huge difference.