Creating an online store is only a small part of the journey. The world of eCommerce is competitive and congested, so if you want to succeed you’re going to need a strong marketing strategy. There’s no one-size-fits-all model for advertising, but here’s a rundown of some of the best practices to help your store grow.
- Make it user friendly
First and foremost, you need to make your store as user friendly as possible. If you go through all the hard work of marketing, giving out offers and making your products look appealing, only to have a clunky store, then your efforts are wasted. Customers will click away from your website and word of mouth will be negative. Make your store easy to navigate, display your most popular products on the front page and ensure that all the correct security protocols are in place. Many eCommerce operators turn to developers such as BlackBelt eCommerce to ensure that their platforms run smoothly. Bringing in developers means that you always get the most up-to-date knowledge, designs and (should any problems occur later) support.
- Leverage social media
Social media is undoubtedly the most powerful marketing platform of the modern age. It gives marketers a direct line to their customers and allows them to build a customer base almost overnight. Social media opportunities and algorithms have tightened up over the years , squeezing organic (free) reach, but platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter remain your best bets for driving traffic to your store. Establish a routine posting schedule, use the correct hashtags for your niche and remember to cross-post. This means sharing posts between platforms (perhaps Instagram and Twitter) to ensure that you reach the maximum audience. Mix up video, text and image content, too. All of this helps to build a long-term brand.
- Use offers
Offers are a fantastic way to draw new customers into your infrastructure. Money-off vouchers, free product samples and discounted subscriptions can all be used to grow your customer base early. Better still, you can integrate these with a social media campaign, perhaps rewarding customers who follow you on Instagram with a discount. Offers are important because they build brand loyalty and increase repeat custom. If a customer enjoys their discounted product, they’re likely to return to your store at a later date and make another purchase. In the long term, it’s repeat custom that will be the lifeblood of your business.
- Build a brand, not just a catalogue
Brand building is a nuanced process but it’s easy to recognize a company such as Apple or Coca-Cola that maintains a strong company image. The best way to build a brand is to keep your content coherent. This means a uniform colour scheme that’s replicated across all platforms, and a recognizable company logo, tone and, of course, product line. Brand building is linked to niche selection. Choose a type of product to specialize in (perhaps health food) and then tailor your entire market presence around that niche. This makes you recognizable, trustworthy and highly visible.