Starting An E-Commerce Brand: 5 Areas That Will Supercharge Your Growth
Here are some of the things new e-com business owners think of when they hear about growing their brands:
- Crazy product research to find the best products to sell (aka those with low competition but in-demand)
- Unique marketing angles to appeal to and convert more prospects
- A good social media strategy to build a potential customer base and increase sales
And a few more other bells and whistles that can sound quite out of reach if you’re just starting out. Of course, you certainly need a lot of this stuff.
But there’s certainly going to be a learning curve and a good deal of frustrations to deal with.
The good news is that this doesn’t have to be the case. You can set up your store for long-term success by focusing on the following five areas early on.
1. Search Engine Optimization
By now you know just how search engines, especially Google, are a big part of your buyer’s journey. It’s kind of a no-brainer — anyone looking to make an online purchase is going to start by searching the product on search engines, more so when they don’t have a specific E-com brand in mind.
Speaking of, Google has a remarkable dominance, with 49 percent of shoppers admitting they use the search giant to discover or find a new product.
That aside, SEO is miles above social media in terms of traffic, bringing in over 1000% more organic visitors (that’s right — one thousand percent).
That’s why you can’t afford to skimp on E-com SEO. Here are a few pointers you can implement right away:
- Do some keyword research to find out what your target customer base is searching for.
- Optimize your product pages to include the keywords you found above. We’re talking about the images’ alt texts, page titles, meta descriptions, and product descriptions. Don’t be spammy with the search phrases, though.
- Improve your site architecture to help your visitors find information easily and signal to search engine crawlers the relationship between the various pages.
- Speed up your site
- Make your website a breeze for mobile users because they’re the largest chunk of online shoppers (over 70%).
- Start link building to increase your site’s authority.
You can also run a site audit to uncover the main areas you should be paying attention to.
2. Email Marketing
Email marketing has been around for some time now and doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere. And that means there’s no reason you shouldn’t be having it in your e-com marketing armor box.
Start collecting your visitor’s emails right away and build a relationship with them by periodically communicating with them. This will be quite valuable down the road when you send them an offer.
It also ties into customer retention, another area that we’ll be looking at in a few.
So, why is email marketing so important (AKA why should you even bother)? Here are some interesting stats:
- Email marketing has a 4,400% ROI (good luck finding a marketing channel that’ll beat that).
- 60% of customers say they’ve made a purchase decision based on a marketing email they received according to OptinMonster.
- 20 percent of e-commerce traffic is from email
- Up to 81% and 80% of businesses use email for customer acquisition and customer retention respectively.
Of course, randomly typing up stuff and hitting send won’t be of much use. You must have an email marketing strategy in place to take advantage of the important role this channel can play in growing a business. For a start:
- Create an emailing calendar
- Personalize your content — over 80% of customers are likely to buy because of this.
- Be ready to run a few tests until you find what works best for you.
- Have a way of segmenting your audience.
3. Customer Retention
Of course, when you’re just starting you shouldn’t focus on retention that much. Getting the word out and converting new customers AKA acquisition should be your priority. This is hard enough for most businesses out there, so it’ll be a bad idea to let all the work go to waste.
Don’t let the customers walk away forever. Have a system early on to keep them around for as long as you can. As you’ve seen above, sending targeted and engaging emails is one sure way of ensuring this. But a few other ways exist including:
- A customer loyalty program
- Discounts or credit
- Customer accounts
- A customer referral program
Remember, though — none of these will work if the purchase process isn’t smooth for the customer. So you might want to work on that first.
4. Pricing Strategy
There’s a lot to say about how you should approach pricing your products. It definitely needs its own blog post.
The biggest driver here is profit because, you know, you’re running a business. What use is a business if it isn’t generating ROI? Getting the right price point is a balancing act between this (profit) and not letting customers feel like they’re getting fleeced.
That being said, pricing is also not necessarily about the numbers. Human behavior — your customers’, that is — plays a role too, and it’s definitely something you should consider when trying to settle on the most ideal pricing strategy.
Ultimately, you’ll need a good amount of due diligence to find what works for you.
As a new entrant, reviews offer the much-needed social proof that can go a long way in providing momentum for your store.
Thought no one reads them? Well, I got news for you.
87 percent of consumers read reviews, either occasionally or on a regular basis. And not just reading. Quite a chunk of these consumers trusts reviews just as they would a personal recommendation. So the earlier you implement them on your e-com store the better it’ll be down the road.
But don’t leave everything to customers.
Basically, you should have a system in place to ensure you get a sizable number of reviews. Such a system might involve straight-up asking the customer after the product is delivered or offering incentives (discounts or free shipping).
There are a lot of moving pieces when you’re trying to get your e-com brand off the ground which can be too much for a newbie. So it goes without saying that you shouldn’t go down that route.
These four areas will provide a solid base as you figure out the rest of the stuff.