Growing Your Ecommerce Store
During 2020, e-commerce grew 44% in just the 4th Quarter alone. Ecommerce data analyzers hadn't predicted growth at that capacity until 2026. While this left many companies primed for success and growth, others wonder why they don't see the same results. Being able to stay ahead of trends to 'strike while the iron is hot' is significant; however, doing so in a sustainable way is the real trick. Here are some tips and strategies to grow your e-commerce business:
Use Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing will increase sales and conversions of your e-commerce store through setting up partnerships and relationships with your target community. It is a fantastic way to keep marketing costs low while getting new customers to your site. This marketing technique involves setting up a code or a link that others can use to market for you. Once a customer makes a purchase using the link/code they received from a friend or social influencer, that influencer gets a small percentage of the purchase. Keep in mind that the larger the following, the larger percentage you will have to offer in return for sharing the link or code (whichever way you would like to set it up).
It is most profitable to promote one or two products with affiliate links. Try not to confuse the consumer and be specific about what the customer will receive using the link/code.
Not sure where to start? Using affiliate software is a great way to match with an influencer and start earning from affiliate marketing.
#ShipTip: To increase incentivization, offer a percentage discount or free shipping to encourage the shopper to use the code or link. Though the promotions decrease when you submit a discount, it is a way to attain new customers and more products.
Successful partnerships with companies can come in many forms. The first way is to partner with a company with a similar marketplace and product inventory. Though it can be confusing for consumers to differentiate your products from the other, it has the opportunity to be successful, especially in niche markets. By using marketing promotions such as, "if you cannot find what you're looking for with us, contact our partner company," it becomes mutually beneficial with the other company to do the same.
Another way to partner with a company is by looking for a similar marketplace that sells different products. For example, a partnered company in the health and wellness space could be beneficial if your company sells massage oils while your new partner company sells massage tables. Neither company sells the other products, but you can assume that a consumer would want both massage oils and a massage table.
#ShipTip: A great way to add a bonus is to offer affiliate links back to each other's online shops. It is a great way to have data on whether the partnership is working or not.
Lastly, a company partnership to be explored would be to find a company with a similar workflow. For example, your company sells beautiful gift wrapping and gift accessories. You could partner with a big box e-commerce store or multiple small boutiques that would market to their customers who have bought a product to utilize the unique gift wrap that your company offers. Your specific partnership would most likely include these partners receiving a part of the revenue you receive from their recommendations. This type of collaboration is mutually beneficial because the retail shop would get a percentage of the profits when their customer buys your gift wrap, and your company would receive considerable brand awareness and an increase in sales. This partnership takes a bit more work and tends to work best with larger companies with a larger following.
Target Other Markets
If you wonder why your current marketing efforts aren't working, you probably are not marketing to the right target audience. The best way to solve an issue is to use a CRM and A/B testing to determine if your message is wrong. You'll want to start by looking at one or two other markets and work to target their audience. When you take the time to test and analyze, you can truly hone in on what messaging is right and who is suitable for your company. The goal is to create a loyal following that grows and pivots with you, not against you.
Focus on the Customers You Already Have
The single most expensive thing that a company will do is acquire a new customer. It is much more cost-effective to continue to sell to your existing customers. For e-commerce, that can be an effortless thing considering that your relationship started online. Customers who buy online want to communicate online, so there is no reason to turn to traditional marketing forms such as radio or print. You can automate the right kind of messaging, when to send it, and how.
It's crucial that you do not always try to hard-sell them when you communicate with your customers. Retailers often find a better response if they offer customers valuable and authentic content to gently nudge them and remind them that the store is still there for them.
Unique promotional offers are a great way to get customers to touch, feel, and experience your product or service. The key to this step is to offer free products or services that customers genuinely love. When potential customers see how great your product or service is, you not only gain their trust but their entire network by proxy.
#ShipTip: You do not always need to offer up a full-sized free product to see the promotion results. You technically do not need to offer a product as part of the promotion at all. For example, if you are a clothing company, instead of free or discounted clothes, try offering free outfit styling for the month or free personal shopping. This category of promotion helps keep existing customers invested while gaining interest from new customers.
Be sure you know your numbers! Do not be offering anything that will make the company go belly up. Be smart and helpful!
Understand Your Product
Understanding your product goes back to the utilization of technology. Using a POS (Point of Sale) software or CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software helps get the data you need. The longer your company implements these tools, the more data can be collected and analyzed. These two separate software can help you understand when, where, and how much your customers are buying, along with so much more.
When you can understand little details about how consumers are moving through your website, you can start analyzing what is and is not working. Sometimes the placement of a product on your site is affecting its ability to sell. Other times, it is merely a low-reviewed product meaning it is not well-liked or quality made. It is essential to understand why certain products work while others don't work on your website. Do not waste your time, money, and inventory space on flop products. However you wish to unload those products up to your discretion, but a successful e-commerce site holds value in its products.
Think Outside the Box
There are many ways to "think outside the box" when it comes to marketing and e-commerce. The combination of both can be amazing! After figuring out who your target market is, make sure you understand how and where to reach them. For example, you would not want to invest time and money in television ads if your target market is Generation Z. Most Generation Z consumers do not have traditional cable. Therefore, you would have a more considerable ROI trying to promote to them Youtube or TikTok. Some consumers relate to conventional media tactics, where others can smell a hard sell from a mile away.
Increasing sales and growing your online business will heavily rely on your ability to utilize marketing properly. The best way to think about unique and exciting marketing tactics would be to start with your overall business goal, and from there, talk to your team and throw out ideas. Remember, the analytics of your product's quality and colors and your services' messaging heavily affect the marketing strategy. No idea is too dumb or too small. Sometimes an unformed idea is a great way to develop something unprecedented. No idea too small or too weird could help you create a fantastic marketing strategy.