Since the birth of the World Wide Web, e-commerce has exploded into a multi-billion pound industry. Virtually anyone with an Internet connection can set up their very own online store. Not every store, however, is fortunate enough to enjoy lucrative reward. Marketing plays a huge role in the continued success of any business, maybe more so for ecommerce - you can’t accidentally walk into someone’s online store. Now, depending on the size of your business, your budget may range from shoestring to lavish, but remember - pumping money into ineffective marketing channels is the same as flushing it down the toilet. Work smart.
Ensure Your Website Works Well
Your website is a virtual representation of your business, if it looks shabby or unprofessional people will feel unsafe inputting their card payment information and you will have lost a sale. Another thing that can’t be overlooked is the importance of proper grammar and punctuation. If you’re not completely confident in your own copywriting abilities, it could be worth hiring a professional editor to check over the site. What you invest in your website you’ll see returned in sales, don’t lose customer confidence over a few silly spelling mistakes!
Search Engine Optimisation has become a huge deal over the past few years. This is because without optimising your site for SEO, your site won’t appear in the top results of major search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. It’s how the majority of people will find you, so this can’t be overlooked. Do some research use a keyword tool to see what people are searching when looking for businesses similar to yours. This will give you some idea of what keywords to include on your website. See here for a comprehensive guide to SEO by Google.
Pay Per Click advertising is used to direct traffic to your website. The good thing about the way it works is you only pay a publisher (e.g. Google) when your ad has been clicked on. The downside to PPC is the traffic isn’t organic. However, it still brings people to your site, which is why many companies invest in this advertising model when starting up. You can set a daily amount that complements your budget, increasing and decreasing as you see fit. Business is about seeing what works and what doesn’t, experiment to find out!
Starting a blog can be a great way to bring organic traffic to your site. Be sure to write interesting, funny and useful content to get return visits. Blog about your industry, blog about current affairs, create help guides. Writing in-depth informative content will make you appear as an authoritative. This is what’s going to bring people back again and again.
Do not underestimate the power of social media, it’s one of your best marketing tools! Set up a company page on the sites that complements your business. There’s Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Pinterest... the list goes on. Give people an incentive to come to your social media pages, write engaging posts and don’t forget to update regularly (but not too regularly, you don’t want to annoy people with too many cat pictures).
Remember this is a direct line to your customers and potential customers. It may seem obvious, but don’t forget to include a back link to your actual website in the bio of every social media page. Now go forth and utilise the mighty power of social media!
While a majority of marketing happens online these days, some people forget about all the things they could be doing to market their business offline. This includes newspapers, magazines, television, radio and newsletters. Some of these can be fairly expensive, however, there are many local magazines and newspapers with cheap advertising fees. Ask around and see what you can find.
Customer satisfaction is of paramount importance. If that isn’t obvious to you then maybe you should rethink your business strategy. Good customer satisfaction can leads to positive customer reviews, a wonderful form of PR and free advertising. Do you read company or product reviews before you make a purchase? How many times have you not bought something because of a negative review? Keep your customers happy, and your reputation will be safe!