Ecommerce businesses have become highly popular among entrepreneurs in recent years due to the ease with which one can start and maintain them, but the platform does come with a few things to consider. Selling items exclusively online means you have to get creative when it comes to attracting new customers and standing out from the crowd since there’s no street traffic involved. How do you find a customer base and turn them into loyal shoppers? Make sure your website and marketing plan are as tight and organized as possible.
Create a marketing plan
Your marketing plan should be as detailed as possible so you can set goals and look for funding when it becomes necessary. Identify who your competitors will be and narrow down your target market by statistics such as age, location, and buying interests. Come up with a plan for multiple channels of communication with your customers, from strategically-created social media accounts to blogs to professional-looking videos. Be sure that your social media strategy delivers value to your customers. But don’t overdo it with promotions.
Do some research on SEO and how to make sure your blog posts and relevant media show up in search results online. Keep in mind that you’ll need funding for advertising and other marketing interests, but there are several ways to save money to invest in your business, such as incorporating in order to secure a lower tax rate (among other benefits). If you file the incorporation paperwork yourself or hire a service to do it, you’ll save yourself quite a bit in attorney’s fees.
Make your website stand out
Once you know who you’re marketing to, it will be easy to design a website with your customers in mind. Keep things simple and easy-to-navigate, and look for software that will allow you to keep up with your inventory as you make sales. Make sure you give plenty of payment options and give your customers various methods of communication so they can reach out to you with any issues or comments. Your site should also be accessible for people of all abilities. This is an easy way to make every transaction feel more personalized, and that kind of customer service is essential when you’re running an online business rather than a face-to-face one.
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Simplify the experience
Along with providing various payment options and giving customers several ways to get in touch with you, it’s also a good idea to simplify their experience as much as possible by creating an app for your business. With so many people attached to the mobile experience these days, it’s important to give them a way to interact with your products and advertising while they’re on the go. As with the website, keep your app simple and streamlined, as mobile users are notoriously fickle. If they can’t find what they’re looking for in a few seconds, they’re likely to move on. Look for pros who can help you build the perfect app for your needs.
Once you have a few satisfied customers under your belt, don’t hesitate to ask for reviews of your business on your social media pages or on Google. This is a crucial yet often-overlooked way to gain more followers, and you can incentivize customers to write reviews by offering discounts or coupons for their next purchase. Word-of-mouth is still a good way to create buzz, it just needs to be updated a bit for the times.
Starting an ecommerce business is a great way to build upon your ideas and become your own boss, but it does require some consideration. Do your research and detail a solid plan before getting started so you’ll be well prepared.
Article by Marjorie Jones
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