According to the U.S. Census Bureau News, the adjusted first-quarter Ecommerce sales for 2018 was over 123 billion dollars. We can clearly see that more people and entrepreneurs are turning to online shopping marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, Alibaba, Etsy, as well as, ecommerce websites. If you are looking to get your piece of this lucrative pie, then you need to understand how to develop an effective ecommerce strategy because the rules of the game change daily as browsers, search engines, and laws keep evolving to keep pace with this new type of buyer-seller relationship.
Developing a Successful Ecommerce Strategy
Understanding each Ecommerce Channel will help you to provide the best customer service. Amazon, eBay, and Alibaba are some of the most common marketplaces for online product sales and success there is based on your understanding of these channels to increase your visibility and market share. The challenge is managing all these marketplaces, your Digital Marketing Strategy, your Website, and an effective Social Media Marketing Strategy to gain visibility and improve your web sales.
Your success depends heavily on your ability to share your unique value proposition with your potential customers. Some of the challenges you will face are learning to effectively use Pay-Per-Click Marketing (PPC), Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media Marketing, and other types of pay to play platforms. Unfortunately, you can easily go broke by not closely monitoring your Return on Investment (ROI) for these platforms. Remember this is a process and sales are progressive in nature, your Digital Visibility will grow over time by properly integrating a sound Ecommerce Strategy with your Digital Strategy. As a business owner, you need to accept that spending money to make money is a necessity, not a choice!
I. Competitive Research
Start your strategy by learning, take the customer journey through your competitors’ sales funnels by visiting their sites and listings. Perform a thorough User Experience (UX) Analysis. Determine what you enjoyed about the experience and what you didn’t. This will involve using various devices and browsers while keeping track of their SKU’s (Stock Keeping Unit) and how easy it is to get products with a variety of options. Take note of what you discover so that you can prepare your own Ecommerce Strategy. You are effectively dissecting your competitions Ecommerce Strategy so you can differentiate yourself from them and how you can fill the gaps they are leaving in the marketplace.
Starting your Ecommerce Strategy by researching the competition’s current position will provide you with invaluable information into how you can present your own unique value proposition to the marketplace. You will learn a lot about the customers’ purchase journey. Engaging with your competitors’ Customer Service will further provide you with information into what they are doing to either succeed or what is causing them to fail. Our team calls this the good, the bad and the ugly of online buying propositions. If you want to win while reducing your risk, then you should find a specific niche in the marketplace and own it rather than trying to be the One Stop Shop of Ecommerce. Focus your efforts on a specific customer need and fill that so you can capture and own your segment of the Ecommerce buying space.
Now that your strategies are in place you can begin to focus on your Ecommerce Website which is your Digital Storefront. Although you may be selling through other Platforms; this is ultimately where you want customers to purchase from so you get the highest profit margins. To develop an effective Ecommerce Website you need to focus on Security, UX, and SEO. This will help you convert visitors into paying customers and possibly even loyal customers which will help grow your brand.
After perusing through your competitors’ offerings you will see how they are leveraging their Ecommerce websites, so you should have an idea of what works in your market. Smart Insights Top Strategies for Ecommerce Success Post provides insight into quality Ecommerce Website Development,
You don’t have to revolutionize the online shopping experience to attract customers. You just need to make it easy for them to use your website and ensure they know who you are, what you provide, and where they can find you.
Just like the rest of your business, your e-Commerce Website is an investment in the growth of your company. Would you open shop in a ratty abandoned warehouse and expect customers to visit you there? So, why would you go with a low-end website that is not optimized to convert? Your website is a reflection of your company make it a good one!
Executing Your Ecommerce Strategy
You have a finalized Strategy and Ecommerce Website it is time to begin putting your preliminary planning into action. Your products need to be well placed in the marketplace based on your Differentiation Strategy. This involves ensuring that you are properly pricing your products so that you are receiving enough revenue per product to realize a return, as well as, ensuring that your business can provide the Customer Service expected from an ecommerce business. Some components of your Customer Service as an ecommerce business includes shipping times, effective customer data security, and quality of customer communication.
I. Establishing a Consistent Digital Presence
All businesses need processes to ensure they provide high-quality services and your online store is no different. Luckily, technology can be used to automate your business processes. In addition, offering discounts and other targeted marketing activities should be in place to generate business.
Get your pricing right and be patient, remember things do not happen overnight! Unless you spend lots of money on advertising upfront results will not occur overnight. Online marketplaces offer an alternate method of selling online with a cost.
II. Discover Ecommerce Opportunities
Transforming your online store into an informative buyer solution with great customer service, while offering additional options is a long-term process. To remain successful in the digital buying space your company needs to remain flexible and adapt to the changing demands of the market and online platforms. If you have invested time into the foundation of your ecommerce company, then you will have clear direction and goals to guide your business to success.
In addition, understanding and improving the challenges for your customers in paying, receiving product and ease of upgrading products after a sale. Go a step beyond your competition!
III. Monitoring Your Ecommerce Strategy
Continually tracking and monitoring your strategy’s performance allows you to remain agile during its’ execution. It is important to continually monitor to the success of your products on each Platform. You also need to review your product pricing, descriptions, and images on a regular basis for improvement opportunities.
Monitoring will also provide you with better insight into your UX so that you are able to improve your website’s conversions. You can gather user data their engagement throughout your sales funnel. With this data, you can optimize your SEO, paid advertising, and Social Media to qualified leads which will also result in a higher conversion rate.
Soliciting feedback and rewarding customers for doing so will provide you with invaluable insight into your customers’ experience. Customer Loyalty and feedback are assets which will lead to growth. Gaining market share and keeping it takes some effort!
Web analytics should be active and you need to know where your leads are coming from so you can prioritize your most lucrative Digital Marketing Channels. Pay attention to how and why customers purchase from you and do more of that!
Track and review any customer service issues and categorize this information by type of issue to continually improve their buying experience.
Laris Media’s e-Commerce Strategy Recommendations
Marketing is necessary to drive sales, whether you use a platform with turnkey solutions or build your own ecommerce website and promote it in the digital space. Yet, going it alone is hard, especially if you have never done it before.
Using an experienced Digital Marketing Team, like Laris Media after you have done your homework will help boost your Digital Presence.
Place yourself on the right Digital Platforms to improve your Brand Awareness and increase your ROI. Remember, in product sales, the customer is always first!
Contact the Laris Team for your Free Consultation Today!