For many budding entrepreneurs, establishing an online store is considered a no brainer.
The internet is a fantastic place, rife with business opportunities, offering low start-up costs and an instantaneous global reach.
However, a few years on from the digital revolution, the online landscape is looking a little saturated -- with big brands, media influencers, and other new stores all scrapping for attention -- maintaining a strong presence online is no mean feat.
While establishing a foothold may be harder than ever, with the right approach, climbing the ladder has never reaped higher rewards.
There remains no real distance separating you and your consumers, just a search engine and a click of a mouse. If you have a will to sell and a strong plan in place; your audience is there, waiting for you to make the right moves.
Here are 5 effective tactics that new online stores should take to get ahead in marketing:
Social media has changed the way we perceive the world and is one of the single largest ways the internet has shaped modern culture. So, of course, tapping into this unending resource should be high up in the marketing strategy of any successful business.
Influencers, in particular, are a valuable commodity that helps bridge the gap between a store and its consumers. Current buying practices stem from a decision-making ecosystem, meaning, we are influenced by recommendations in a trusted community.
Remember, the influencer is the consumer’s friend, not a faceless company with an agenda.
A recommendation from an influencer is a powerful opportunity, as they are the figureheads of an existing community. Word travels to numerous others who want to share their same values (giving reliability and notoriety to your new store).
Working with an influencer will humanize your brand, making consumers more likely to approach you. Fortunately for new businesses, smaller influencers tend to be in the same scrap for attention, so working with each other can be an all-round beneficial practice.
Be an expert by creating a blog
Creating content is a key and effective marketing tool for a developing brand, especially if you know who and what to target.
Therefore, integrating a blog, that is aimed towards your particular niche is one of the best things a new store can do. As you are establishing yourself as a reliable source of information about the products or services you sell.
To observe success through utilizing this strategy you’ll need to maintain a consistent level of output and obvious value in what you are writing.
Aim content at people you want to attract to your store, be sharp, snappy and palatable for online readers. People do not generally have the time to wade through long essays, best to stick to interesting, digestible snippets of information.
Be aware of SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) refers to the actions taken to raise the position of a website in search engine rankings. This creates a higher rate of organic traffic regularly traveling through a site.
This, in many ways, is the core of any online marketing technique and is applicable to all businesses -- young or old, large or small. For an online store, this means that more people are naturally finding you online on a day to day basis.
Helpful tools such as Google Lighthouse can be used to aid your understanding of how well your website is performing. The more effective your SEO, the greater your overall marketing strategies will perform.
Explore every channel
As with all businesses it is important to take note and understand trends in the marketplace. Ecommerce is certainly not a predictable market, making it vital to cover every avenue.
For example, we are witnessing a huge swing to phone usage. It has been projected that in 2021, over 50% of e-commerce sales will be made on a handheld device. This illustrates that buying habits are developing rapidly alongside technology, to be successful a business must know how to keep up.
Social media is a fantastic way to start molding your channels into a functional multi-use platform, directly connecting you with the customer at the point of sale. Over time you will begin to pick the trends and tactics that work best for you.
For mobile shoppers, though, digital drives the customer experience. For this reason, using one platform to manage sales across all channels (store, marketplaces, and social) is a must. Exploring every channel and allowing potential customers to reach out on their terms channel will help new stores stand out in crowded markets.
Find brands to collaborate with
As discussed, the online world is full of competitors, but sometimes it can be incredibly effective to work with other companies.
Find a company that fits alongside your work, which does not directly compete or affiliate with existing competitors.
Reaching out for cross-promotions extends your store's sphere of influence. Suppose your company sourced and sold pre-loved collectible sneakers, and you found another company that restored, cleaned and customized sneakers - this would provide easy and compatible opportunities for you to work together for mutual benefit.
For example, work together on Interbrand promotions and promote them on your social media pages. You could also write blogs on one another’s websites about each other’s expertise.
The possibilities of cross-promotion are endless, go get creative. Given the right brands, it can be a sure recipe for success.
Setting up a successful new online store is tricky business nowadays and can feel daunting to many professionals.
However, implementing these 5 strategies will give you and your new store the best chance to reap the huge rewards the e-commerce industry can offer.