Once you have your store set up, you’ll need to spend time marketing and promoting your business. Even if you’re on a huge platform and you’re getting good traction, you still want to inspire brand loyalty in your customers.
A simple way to promote your business is to use content marketing and search engine optimization. You can do this by having a blog you keep regularly updated. Your blog content should be in the same niche as your store. If you sell pet supplies, then your blog should be about pet care. This gives you the chance to educate your readers and point them toward your products at the same time.
As soon as you have a blog, start a mailing list. Your email list allows you to contact your subscribers about sales you’re running, new products you have available, and discounts you’re offering.
When you have a mailing list and blog with some content, it’s time to get on social media. You should be on several different platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram. Use hashtags to find and share relevant content.
How to Scale Your Business
Scaling a business is all about growing it without creating more work for the owner. This gives you the freedom and time to focus on activities that bring in profits.
The biggest step to scaling your business is to improve the customer experience. As soon as your customer makes a purchase, they should be sent two emails.
The first one should be a confirmation of their order. The second one should let them know what’s happening with your order. But you shouldn’t be sending these emails yourself. They should be part of an automated campaign that’s triggered as soon as a new order arrives. This saves you time and reduces customer follow-up.
You should also focus on how to improve shipping. One of the easiest ways to do that is to offer email or SMS notifications. This way your customer will be aware of what’s happening to their purchase every step of the way. To do this, you can use a service like Twilio or Phone Tree.
Regardless of what products you offer, you need a backup way to complete orders. This can be done through a third party fulfillment service. You may have to pay a little more and you may even lose money on a transaction but it’s a great customer service move. When customers are satisfied, they return to your shop again and again.
Best Practices for E-Commerce Shops
The most important part of running an e-commerce shop is making it simple and easy for customers to check out. It doesn’t matter how great your products are, if customers can’t easily checkout, they’ll get frustrated and leave before the transaction is finished. Fortunately, you can prevent this from happening by following these best practices.
Use multiple payment gateways. When you only accept one type of payment, it can lead customers to abandon their cart. Try to offer at least 2-3 different payment gateways. That way, your customer can pick the one they prefer to use.
Offer affordable and quick shipping options. When your customer is ready to checkout, the first thing they look for are your shipping choices. They want to know when they can expect their item and how much you’ll charge for this service. Give customers several options so they can choose the one that works best for their needs.
Minimize page load time. More consumers are making purchases from their tablets or smart phones than ever before. This means that your page load time is important. If your shop takes too long to load, then your potential customer is likely to move on.
Keep your checkout speedy. Your customer’s transaction is more likely to be completed if your checkout requires only a few screens. Ideally, it should be no more than 3 pages of information—one for the customer information, a second one for the payment gateway, and the third for shipping options.
Make customer service accessible. Don’t make your customers hunt for a contact number or email address. This information should be visible on every page of your site. If you outsource customer support, be sure to train your representatives so they’re fast, knowledgeable, and friendly.
Major retailers are shutting down local stores, citing customer preferences for shopping online as one of the main factors. Big-name closings include JCPenney with 138 stores, Payless ShoeSource with 512+ stores, RadioShack with 1,000 stores, and others. With the number of online buyers increasing, it will literally pay to get in on the ecommerce boom as soon as possible. Use these tips and strategies to start cashing in with your own ecommerce business.