Having a great product or service for consumers is all fine and good, but in a global marketplace, you’ve got to market it, sell it, and promote it to customers. You may have a fabulous brick-and-mortar shop, but there is likely a greater audience that wants or needs your product or service. Much like creating an eye-catching window display, your website can attract quality buyers and increase sales using an eCommerce store.
Here are five things that we’ve found to help you create a successful eStore:
Do Your Homework
Before setting up your store, research who else may be selling a product similar to yours or offering the same service. There is valuable information to be gleaned from watching others who are already attracting the same customers you are looking for. Maybe they are aggressively marketing their brand, maybe they are offering discounts, or perhaps they are presenting new products. Watch the trends and track what the competition is doing well. When you see the pattern, then you can tweak it or improve it for your own needs.
Part of your homework should be to pay attention to the design or layout of other eCommerce sites to gather ideas for your own layout and functionality. Many things you can see at a glance are how they present images of their product, pricing displays, or what kinds of calls to action they use.
What you may not see are other important things like making sure that taxes and shipping rates are set up on your ordering page, setting up a reliable payment method such as Paypal or Square for both the desktop or mobile user, and auto emails to communicate with your customers.
Personalize Your eCommerce Store
Tailoring your site to individual purchasers is a simple way to build relationships and boost sales:
- Create a sense of urgency to purchase or engage by offering a limited time offer using a discount or a freebie when they provide an email address or make a purchase.
- Offer suggestions for your services or products at specific times of day or by the location of the customer.
- Suggest items or services based on what industry or market they are in.
Earn the Trust of Your Customers
An important part of your online sales plan should be to let your visitors get to know you and to keep open communication. There are several ways to do this that will build trust with them.
Make your product or service accessible and easy to find including any information about them. Similarly, strategically placing an FAQ page can answer questions before customers need to ask. If further information is requested by consumers, provide excellent support by offering chat windows which not only adds a personal touch, it can capture information and convert shoppers into purchasers.
People desire information about how you do business and blogs are an effective way to communicate. By blogging you can reach out to your target audience in a friendly way, tell stories, provide examples of your service, market specific products, and share successes gently, but effectively. Additionally, strategically embedding tags and keywords in the titles and body of the blog, you can drive up SEO and visibility, thus increasing sales opportunities.
Promote Your eStore
Your eStore isn’t much good if others cannot find it. There are a few basic things you can do to help yourself:
- Make your site easy to find – give it a simple URL and business name.
- Leverage applicable social media outlets – again, keep it simple. You don’t have to use them all, but whatever venue you choose, use it well.
- Create an event or seasonal calendar to promote special sales or promotions.
- Keep your customers in the loop about what is happening with your products or services. Use email, social media, and your blog for best results.
Consider Long-Term Promotional Options
The suggestions provided here are great for initial setup and short-range goals, but the future counts, too!
Retargeting is an excellent way to continue reaching out to visitors to your site. A potential customer’s purchasing journey is not a straight line from shopping to purchase. You may need to circle back with them, perhaps multiple times. Retargeting does that.
There are many reasons why shoppers abandon their cart, but by sending those lookee-loos a reminder email, they are far more likely to come back and finish the purchase. These emails can be automated, increasing your efficiency and increasing your bottom line.
Upselling and cross selling are simple and effective ways to promote products beyond those that their customers have previously selected. It’s the simple burger-with-fries-and-a-soda concept – find things that go together and suggest them to shoppers.
For more information regarding long term strategies, check out this blog post by Neil Patel.
By doing your research, personalizing your eStore, earning customer trust, promoting your storefront, and thinking about long-term goals as well as current goals, you can create an enviable eStore.