It’s not that difficult to start an ecommerce business. Growing it is a different story. The enormous success of sites like Amazon and eBay can be deceiving. The majority of ecommerce stores stagnate and die not long after they launch. There’s cutthroat competition for eyeballs. The average consumer is inundated with hundreds of promotional emails and internet ads each day.
Fortunately, there are routes you can take to make your ecommerce store get noticed and give it a fighting chance. So as you work on your website’s nuts and bolts including monitoring your system logs with a syslog management tool, you should pay even greater attention on driving sales. Here’s how.
Perform a Competitive Analysis of Marketing Channels
The success of your ecommerce store will be heavily dependent on your marketing. How does your store go up against others? What marketing strategies do they currently use? You probably already have a vague idea but you need to perform a competitive analysis that will give you a more concrete and data-driven understanding.
A good competitive analysis begins with a review of your own website including areas of improvement you can immediately identify. Next, study the search engine and social media visibility of your website as well as your main challengers. Look at how you present your product and how your competitors do so. Examine the sales funnel and how you convert leads. Assess customer satisfaction and feedback.
Segment Your Audience
How many products does your store have? They could be in the hundreds or thousands. In medium to large ecommerce stores, the different products will appeal to different audiences. If you want to increase your ecommerce site’s sales, you have to make sure the marketing campaign of each product is targeted to the right market segment.
Marketing a product to the wrong audience can actually make you lose business. One study showed that nearly 2 in every 5 online shoppers abandon a store if they are bombarded by too many options. To prevent this, segment your audience into niches that you can then address through targeted campaigns.
Each visitor should see the ads that will be most appealing and relevant to them.
Improve Layout and Design
Does your website’s design and layout encourage online shoppers to buy your product and return for repeat sales? One of the best signs that you have the right design and layout is whether your website is easy to navigate and if you can easily find what you are looking for. One in every four shoppers will abandon a store if navigating it is too hard and confusing.
You can improve navigation by recommending similar or associated products, making the site secure (by using HTTPS instead of HTTP), keeping language simple, having an easy checkout process, and placing contact information in a prominent location on the page.
You can also make an immediate improvement to your ecommerce site by focusing on the CMS that you are using. Options are improving all the time in this area, and a quick look at the relative merits of Wix versus Squarespace will demonstrate the benefits that are to be had by shopping around for the best CMS. These are the most basic tips. There’s a lot more to site layout and design. You may have to experiment with different tactics to see what works and what doesn’t.
Create Helpful Blogs, Guides and Product Descriptions
There’s much more to selling online than listing the products and hoping site visitors will buy. You need to persuade shoppers why your item is different from the rest and why they won’t regret buying it.
Product descriptions, guides and blogs are one of the most effective ways to do this. Nearly 9 in 10 online shoppers say product descriptions played a major part in influencing their purchase decision. Seek to provide as much information as the customer will need to understand what it is they are buying.
You may have an excellent business plan and a great product but if your ecommerce site doesn’t measure up against the competition, your internet business won’t make much headway. Invest in research and make your website pleasant for visitors to use and you’ll increase your odds of building a successful internet company.
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