Many startups want to start their brand new eCommerce store. While setting up an online store is easy, growing it and increasing sales isn’t.
You might get a few sales at first and become excited, thinking that you’re going to succeed very soon. But the reality is different. For many start-ups, that is where the expectation comes to an end. To keep the sales coming and grow your business at the same time, there are many more things you need to do.
One of the common reasons that business stagnates is that the store has not been set up correctly. But don’t worry! You can fix the issues and get your eCommerce business to thrive.
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- Build a Brand
The largest eCommerce companies like Amazon, Alibaba, and eBay are the most popular shopping sites out there. Millions of customers purchase products from them.
Because they are not just popular websites, they are also a brand. For example, whenever you want to buy new shoes, what do you prefer? Of course Adidas, Nike or Puma. But why them? They are all premium quality shoe brands, and people usually buy branded products without any hesitation.
To grow your eCommerce business and keep it running on auto-pilot, invest time on your branding. Branding includes fundamentals like your website’s name and logo, as well as your customer care philosophy.
Think about what makes your site great compared to competitors. Why would your customers revisit your online store? Do you provide one-day shipping? Is your product price low compared to your competitors? If you sell something on your website, or even on other marketplaces, it’s essential to ensure your product is high quality.
To get started, buy a domain name and WordPress managed hosting. For your business, we recommend you go with a .com domain extension. For more information about domain names, check out the difference between .com vs .net.
- The Right Product
Before starting your eCommerce business, figure out what kind of products and services you want to sell. Maybe you want to provide a marketplace for others, or even sell your own products.
If you haven’t chosen a product category yet, notice which products have a large market but have minimal competitors. If you want to sell iPhones on your site, you would hardly get a sale. It will be a better idea if you start selling iPhone accessories, which has very few competitors.
How do you find these low-competition product ideas?
Use a keyword researching tool. There are many free and paid keyword tools available that you can choose from. UberSuggest is an excellent keyword research tool that’s an excellent place to start. This tool works similar to Google AdWords, but it’s more user-friendly.
After entering a key phrase, you will get the total number of monthly searches, keyword competition, backlinks, and many more.
- A Killer Marketing Strategy
One of the common mistakes many start-ups make is thinking that setting up a website is the last bit of work. It’s easy for a brand new online store to get shed in the crowd. An effective marketing plan and strategy are essential to grow your store and win customers. Every marketing plan requires these two points:
- The first thing you need to understand is your target market. What do your customers think about your product? Do they purchase a product at their first visit? What do they say about your product? Are they satisfied with the price? To build a marketing strategy, you first need to ask these questions.
- Your business needs to stand apart from the crowd. There are already established eCommerce stores out there, and it’s tough to compete with them. It will be a great idea if you do something different than your competitors.
- A Fully Optimized Website
If your site is ready to go live, it’s time to maximize it for conversions. If you notice that all the popular eCommerce sites have a clean design, easy navigation, clear messages, clear product pictures, simple cart, are responsive, and, most importantly, they load quickly.
There are several things you can optimize on your website. The homepage of your site, for example, as the homepage is the relevant page of your website, how your products are organized, and a description of products, add to cart buttons on your website.
Customers are very impatient. They can’t wait too long for what they are looking for. Make it as simple as possible for them to add your product to their cart and buy.
Besides, you should know the basics of search engine optimization (SEO), so you can see how the search engines work and how to rank your products correctly. You can also learn new AdWords techniques or social media marketing.
- Figure Out Your Customer’s Needs
If you don’t know who your actual customers are and what they want, you may not be able to grow your business. Know what your target market is and what their needs are. Many company owners do not take this step seriously, and as a result, waste their time and resources on marketing that doesn’t convert.
- Provide Multiple Login & Payment Systems
More than 75% of online stores are utilizing multiple login systems. Try at least two social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter to make it easier for your target market to discover and interact with your brand. If you are using the standard registration form, try to avoid asking unnecessary questions that make customers annoyed.
Multiple payment systems also make customers happy. The most popular payment methods are credit cards and PayPal. You can also start offering a wallet system like Amazon does. Choose a better payment gateway like Stripe that auto-saves the card details on your website, so they don’t need to literally insert their card details and also enter their card number for each purchase. (But don’t forget to increase your site security with an SSL certificate before storing card information!)
- Add an Affiliate Program
Who doesn’t want to get paid for promoting a product or service they love?
Big eCommerce sites like Amazon offer affiliate commissions anywhere between 2.5 – 8% payment per sale. Your program doesn’t have to offer that much of a return, but determine your profit-sharing percentage and advertise it to customers.
Your store will certainly get more publicity this way, as affiliates assist in putting your products in front of lots of online users.
- A Hassle-Free Return Policy
When a customer tends to buy a product, the first thing he/ she checks if there is a return policy in place to see how quickly the product will be replaced or money will be returned. If you don’t have a clear return policy, most customers will leave the site immediately.
Place a return policy in a prominent place on your website that will curb future frustrations. Keep it clear, concise, and practical.
- Email Marketing
Email marketing is one of the best ways to boost your eCommerce sales and build a relationship with your customers.
Send commercial emails, information on upcoming sales, or promotional emails. Build an email marketing strategy and start sending emails to your customers. But don’t be too spammy, otherwise, you will find yourself permanently on the spam list.
- Great Customer Support
Customer satisfaction should be your priority. Selling products is just the first step in the customer-company relationship. If you are providing or selling something, then you also need to provide top-notch customer support.
Make it easy for your customers to contact you. If you provide support through an email or phone call, make sure to respond promptly. If you use phone support, clearly note your hours and also the time zone on your website.
Live chat support is excellent, but if you are running an eCommerce site, it could be overwhelming to respond to all the chats. To avoid confusion, add a FAQ section or integrate a forum on your website. It will save you time as well as help your customers.
If you are starting your eCommerce store, there are several things you need to learn and do to grow your business. There isn’t a shortcut or an overnight solution; it’s going to take work. Figure out what works for your market. Make the effort. In the end, it will pay off!
Jyoti Ray is the founder of WPMyWeb.com. He writes about Blogging, WordPress tutorials, Hosting, Affiliate marketing, and more. In his free time, he likes to read books and cook.