Global ecommerce sales are set to reach a staggering 4.2 trillion in 2020. But even though the opportunities are ample, many smaller ecommerce websites are struggling to compete with the enormous companies like Amazon and Walmart.
To survive in today’s digital selling environment, ecommerce stores must followthe best practices of the industry and constantly looking for ways to improve sales and carve out a larger space in the marketplace.
So, in this article, let’s go over some of the most important things you must consider if you want to grow your ecommerce business consistently.
1. Refine Your Ideal Customer Avatar
As an ecommerce store owner, you must always be looking for ways to cater to the needs of your audience better.
After all, the store that’s able to meet the requirements of its audience most closely is the one who will likely make the sale, so taking the time to continually refine your ideal customer is absolutely crucial.
As you grow your ecommerce business and start making more sales, you will no doubt receive a lot of valuable insights about which traffic sources are the most profitable, what types of products sell best, and what your customers respond to. Use this information to zero-in on the things that are working and maximize their potential as much as possible.
Since you don’t have the resources to pursue every single avenue, you may be forced to delegate some lead generation or marketing efforts to make sure that you sustain the growth in areas that deliver the best results right now.
2. Improve the UX
Putting together an ecommerce website that drives sales is a very complicated process, so you should stick with proven ecommerce UX best practices that have worked for others and have generated a consistently positive result.
For one thing, you should be very strict about what you allow on your homepage. After all, everything that doesn’t serve the purpose of guiding your site’s visitors towards making a sale is basically a wasted opportunity, so make sure that your site is clean, uncluttered, and to the point.
Another aspect to consider is navigation – you want visitors to find the products that they’re looking for with ease, so think through how you’re sorting your selection and make sure to offer related products that could be useful.
You can also use navigational cues to direct people where you want them to click next and help those visitors that aren’t sure where to find something.
If you want to keep your visitors (as well as Google) happy, make sure your site is as fast as possible – even a half-second delay could frustrate a significant part of your prospects and make them reach for that X on the tab.
If you want to persuade at least some of the people that are about to exit your site, experiment with using exit-intent pop-ups to showcase your best products and give one last irresistible offer.
3. Differentiate Your Paid Ads Strategy
It’s hard to imagine running a successful ecommerce website without using some form of paid advertising. Sure, there are probably a few exceptions to that get by with SEO or organic social, but for the majority of growing ecommerce store, paid ads are an essential tool.
For one thing, they are very easy to measure, and if you can find a successful approach, you can scale it relatively easily.
What’s more, paid ads allow you to get in front of people who you couldn’t reach any other way, which helps to expand your audience at a much faster pace.
But when developing your paid ads strategy, it’s important not to limit yourself –most companies run Google and Facebook ads, but today, there are plenty of other options you could try.
For instance, you could run a Gmail ad campaign and engage your audience in their inbox, where they are much more likely to click and read your message.
These ads look almost exactly like regular emails, so if you put together the right offer and introduce your business, you could get people to opt-in to your list or even buy from you.
4. Use Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing can be a game-changer for your business, but only if you know how to use it correctly.
Today, hundreds of online sellers use social media influencers to promote their products, but even though it can be incredibly effective, not all of the campaigns end up being profitable.
One mistake that’s made by a lot of less experienced sellers is going after the big-name influencers or making decisions based on the number of subscribers.
For one thing, these types of influencers are typically much more expensive to work with, which can put a bigger risk for campaigns that haven’t yet proven to be successful.
What’s more, these bigger audiences tend to be less focused, so unless your product has a proven mass appeal, you are not likely to make a lot of sales.
The much more effective approach is identifying and working with micro-influencers. These are social media figures who can have anywhere from a few thousand to tens of thousands of subscribers, and who compensate for their lack in numbers by having a very loyal, engaged, and focused following in specific niches.
If you can find these types of influencers in your niche and get your offer in front of their audience, you will have a much better chance of success.
And since these influencers are smaller, they are likely to be more willing to work with you and accept more reasonable arrangements, putting less pressure on your campaign to succeed immediately.
5. Increase Your Lifetime Customer Value
In this article, we went through some effective strategies for attracting new leads. However, for most ecommerce sites, the biggest potential lies in getting more out of their current audience. After all, these are people who have already shown trust in your company and decided to buy from you, which means that they are likely to be interested in more similar products.
Attracting new customers can cost as much as five times more than retaining old ones, so while lead generation is important, you should have a clear plan on how you will engage your old ones.
And it all starts with ecommerce email marketing.
If you can get the contact information and permission to send regular updates from people who buy from you, there’s no limit to what a well-crafted email marketing strategy can accomplish.
Many ecommerce companies make sales to the same customers for years at a time,providing them with exclusive deals, special seasonal offers, relevant product suggestions, and much more.
You can also use paid ads for retargeting the people who you know have bought from you in the past, as they already know and trust your brand, and so if they see an offer that they like, they can buy right there and then.
Author: Tom Slipkus
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