Running an eCommerce business can be exciting, gratifying and very profitable. But how do you compete against the giants?
You’ve been sitting on a kick-ass idea for years, and now it’s finally on the market. There’s no feeling like it! Your new eCommerce business is the result of unimaginable hard work, so of course you want it to succeed. We do too. But in the back of your mind, you might be thinking “How can I compete against those giant online retailers?” Your favourite ecommerce marketing company, Exposure Ninja, is here to calm those fears and help you start making waves in the eCommerce world.
Play To Your Strengths
As a new or small eCommerce company, you have a few awesome advantages over your bigger competitors. Use them wisely and you can knock those giants off their pedestals.
- Personal Interaction
If you’re running an eCommerce company yourself or only have a few staff, you should make use of the personal touch. A study showed that 40% of consumers want “better human service” when dealing with companies. That’s where you come in. A lot of big companies have whole customer service departments, which makes it hard to get across individuality. You, on the other hand, can use your own, friendly voice to chat with your customers. If they’ve got a query, they know they can talk with a person, not a robot.
- Put a Face to Your Brand
Just like your ability to talk to customers in a human way, being a smaller eCommerce company means that you can attach a face to your brand. Personal touches, like signing your name at the end of an email, can make a big difference. Customers will feel more closely connected with you and be more likely to trust your eCommerce company.
Later on down the line, you may well decide that you’ve outgrown this tactic. If that’s the case, there’s no need to switch the tone of your brand to “corporate robot”. Keep it personable, but think about what you want your tone of voice to say about the company.
- Product Reviews
Another way to build trust in your eCommerce company is to build trust in your products. Encourage your customers to review their purchases, then show those reviews on your product page. A monthly giveaway is a great way to collect reviews. If you do get negative feedback, make your response public and do everything to resolve the issue. Offering public refunds and replacements will make potential customers more confident about buying from you.
Produce Awesome Content
As an eCommerce marketing agency, here at Exposure Ninja we’ve overseen the growth of plenty of small businesses. One thing we always suggest is the need for amazing content. Having a great product isn’t enough when it comes to eCommerce. You need to get your name out there and show you’re a knowledgeable, trustworthy brand.
- Boost On-Site SEO with a Blog
The best way to increase your visibility in search engines is to create regular content. An easy way of doing this is through a blog. Publish content that your customers want to read, and make each post the most helpful one in your industry.
If you’re short of topic ideas, write down twenty questions that your customers might want to know the answers to, then write a 500-word response to each of them. There’s your blog! For more juicy tips, follow the Exposure Ninja guide to eCommerce marketing to really kickstart your online presence. A regular blog is the secret weapon of any kickass eCommerce marketing company.
- Lots of Visuals
Internet users are visual creatures. On social media — and elsewhere — images are top dog. Instagram and Pinterest are almost completely visual platforms, and even Twitter has a 140 character limit. You can embed images from all three of those social media networks.
When you’re writing blog posts and sharing on social media, include top-quality images. And don’t settle for photos taken on your smartphone! Using larger images on eCommerce websites has been shown to increase conversions, so don’t be afraid to go big.
- Animated Product Videos
Making your new eCommerce company look bigger than it is can also have a positive effect. Professional touches like animated product videos can help build consumer trust and create a solid reputation for your business. Mixing up your visual output will also boost you up the search engine rankings.
- Get Your Product Out There
You know your product is great, but how many others do? If you’ve just started selling, your eCommerce company should consider sending out some product samples to spread the word.
One of the most effective forms of eCommerce marketing is blogger outreach. If your product is relevant to the target audience, getting a review posted on a blog could supercharge your traffic and sales. In fact, the majority of people aged 18-34 rank bloggers as the most important source of information when buying a product. Send out some emails to professional-looking, established blogs and soon you could be reaping the benefits of their loyal readership.
- Contests and Giveaways
Competitions and freebies are powerful weapons in your marketing arsenal. Any eCommerce marketing agency will tell you they’re great for generating social media buzz, and also for boosting your company’s profile. People love getting free stuff, so your lucky winners are likely to tell their friends. What’s more, 20.9% of recipients of promotional products go on to make a purchase, compared to just 4.6% of those who view an online ad. A little effort here can go a long way to bringing in customers.
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eCommerce Marketing Essentials
- Speedy Delivery
Let’s be honest: no one likes waiting in for packages. In the modern age, we’ve come to expect quick and cheap delivery as standard. Research in the UK has shown that 99% of consumers expect to receive their order within one week, and almost half of shoppers abandoned their baskets at checkout due to poor delivery options. To compete with the big guns of eCommerce, you need to provide delivery options that are quick and convenient.
- Easy Checkout Process
Another turn-off for consumers is a complicated checkout process. If your customers have to jump through hoops to complete an order, they probably won’t bother. Make the system quick, easy and reliable. What’s more, if the design of your checkout is fishy, customers won’t feel comfortable with handing over their bank details. A trustworthy checkout process is a goal every eCommerce business should aim for.
- Email Newsletter
Some people think email is too old-school to be effective in the modern world, but it still has an important role to play. Getting people to sign up to your email newsletter is an excellent way of bringing in regular traffic and getting your eCommerce business into people’s thoughts. But don’t spam your customers with junk! Send out useful updates from your website and blog, as well as promotional offer codes.
It’s not easy, but being a small eCommerce business is hugely rewarding. Now you know some of the ways to rival the big fish in the eCommerce pond, it’s time to put these tips into action.