E-commerce is booming and if you are not selling online then you are losing in the market. But with that rise, competition is also rising, and it is very important to have an e-commerce strategy to succeed. without a clear understanding of your e-commerce strategy, you will not succeed, if you think that by just opening a store people will buy automatically then that will not happen, there are millions of stores online and many more on platforms like Amazon, so for a successful e-business you have to build the online presence and for that, you need to have following characteristics:-
- Market understanding
- Trust Building
- Value Delivery
- Digital Marketing Techniques
- Security / Assurance
- Customer support
- Community / Tribe
Market understanding and Niche selection.
Understanding what the customer wants is the most important factor before opening an e-commerce business if you produce the best product ever but the customer does not want it then it does not make sense, don’t make what you like make what markets want.
Analyze the competition in your niche, if your niche is very competitive, then it will be difficult, so try to enter that market with a different angle, position yourself with some differentiation strategy.
Find a profitable business, if your niche does not have much profitability then it does not make sense to put much effort into it, find out if it is profitable and then only proceed to it.
Trust is scarce these days, and gaining your potential customers trust is the most difficult thing.
Why someone buys from one company and not from another even if they are selling at a cheaper price or provide more value, the answer is trust and it takes time to gain someone’s trust. If a customer has trust in your product or service that is a more valuable thing than anything else.
Trust is built when the company delivers what they have said day after day, they are consistent with their action and their words, which creates a deeper connection with customers, which leads to building trust and then they transact with you. Once trust is built you get the benefit for a long time from that relationship
Trust can be increased by creating the marketing funnel. Marketing funnel helps in creating trust.
In a marketing funnel, a customer is passed through different stages and with each stage, trust gets stronger, so it’s better to educate people through content in beginning and bring them to the top of the funnel, rather than trying to sell straight off. The funnel is very important for small businesses as they are not famous and it takes time to convince people to buy their products, so step by step they are brought deep into the funnel.
Top of funnel – blogs , books , info graphics, videos , podcasts,
Middle of funnel – online courses , subscriptions, events
Bottom of funnel – testimonials , sales pages, sales videos
To have a successful enterprise what you need to do is deliver value and that’s it. If you deliver value to your customers consistently then they will come back again and will spread the word.
Value is decided by customers, not by a marketer, if they think that their perceived benefits are more than what they are paying, then in that case you win, you have delivered value.
Do it consistently and you are on the way to building a brand.
Timely delivery – Delivery within the stipulated time, if you can not deliver on that date do not provide false dates, you must deliver within said date, otherwise, it will form a negative impression on the minds of the customers.
Digital Marketing Techniques
To be able to make most of your e-commerce store, you must be able to apply digital marketing techniques to attract more customers-
Major digital marketing techniques are :-
SEO – it’s about organic listing on the search engine, SEO techniques help you rank up in search engines. apart from it, you can use local SEO techniques also if you are serving only a specific location. ( To read more about E-commerce SEO strategies you can visit this in-depth article written by Sandeep Mane.)
SEM – it’s about ads on the search engines, people who are searching on the search engines are hot leads and they are looking for products consciously and chances of their conversion are much more if you are able to attract them through ads.
SMM – it’s about social media strategy, building a community of like-minded people, and also attracting potential customers by ads based on their interests. ( Please note that these days Facebook ads are prone to get banned, to get complete information on it read this article.)
EMAIL AND LEAD Marketing – It’s about creating a long-term relationship with your customers and bringing them into the funnel by a lead magnet and then taking them deep into the funnel.
Security / Assurance
Whenever someone does a transaction with his credit card then he just wants to be sure that his card will not be misused, for that you need a secure website and make them comfortable that their transaction is safe.
Site security – HTTPS site is a must when you are selling on e-commerce, you will not make sales otherwise, people will not buy, and also search engine will not prefer to show your website in SERP.
Money-back guarantee – most of the time people are not able to judge the product online incorrect way, so they must have the option of return back if they do not like it, which makes them secure and it increases sales.
When customers buy online they do not have direct contact with the buyer so you must have robust customer support so that their queries can be solved quickly and a direction can be provided to remove their queries.
FAQ section – Provide a FAQ section and cover all the most commonly asked questions there.
Live support – If customers still have doubts in their mind they must be able to connect with the person on live chat or live call to clarify doubts. It will help in increasing sales and build a long-term relationship with the customer.
Testimonials / Feedbacks
Testimonials are like online word of mouth, it helps customers make a required decision and it is also the most influencing factor when the customer wants to buy, human beings are social animals and are influenced by what others say, if you have positive reviews it helps in exponential growth in sales.
Feedbacks helps in improving our product, our product continually goes for improvement, our first product is never the final product, it goes through the cycle of improvements based upon customers’ feedbacks.
Community / Tribe
Marketing is changing it’s not about advertisements anymore it’s more about the community.
There were days when you just can advertise and people will buy, but now it’s changing, people now avoid it, so now the best you can do is to build a community of like-minded people, and bring them together, build trust with them and then people will themselves ask for you offering, and will spread your idea.
Build your community by providing people a platform to connect, bring them together and build a close-knit tribe, who share the same psychographics.
Provide incentives to loyal customers, make them feel special, and show appreciation of yours toward them.
E-commerce is becoming challenging day by day and to be successful in it, you need to put effort and have a proper strategy to approach the market and tools to achieve the goal.
Click here to read more about Successful E-Commerce Business in 7 Steps by Turjoy.