Scaling is at the forefront of the mind of every ecommerce entrepreneur. Online retail is the way of the future, especially after the world-halting effects of COVID-19. With more customers than ever doing their shopping from home, web-based businesses of all shapes and sizes should be fighting their hardest to get a seat at the table of ecommerce.
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But how does ecommerce growth happen? And what can small and medium-sized online retailers do to expand their business and remain competitive in a veritable sea of rivals? In this article, we’ve collected the advice of 7 ecommerce experts to show you how it’s done.
Top Industry Tips: Ecommerce Growth Strategies
If you can’t beat them, join them.
You’re not going to outsell Amazon. Well, you might one day outsell Amazon. But big-name ecommerce brands have an extraordinary monopoly on the world of online retail. And until some drastic shifts happen, it is to your best advantage to have some product moving through Amazon, eBay, Rakuten, among others. Joining up, at least in part, with one of these ecommerce giants and any other channel you can get your hands on for a maximum market potential. Once you have established your brand on one of these sites, traffic to your independent website will follow.
Whether it’s customers, partners, clients, or others, help them remember you with a follow up, or a check in. Connection and networking makes the world go ‘round, and any time business is slow or you need a boost, you should have a vast supply of friendly faces you can turn to for support. Don’t skimp on marketing, and let your customers know what’s back in stock or what seasonal specials you have going on. Reach out to another retailer and ask if they want to collaborate with you on an instagram collaboration. Keep yourself fresh and active in the minds of those around you.
In other words, set clearly defined business goals. Having a road map, complete with pit stops, interim destinations, and contingency plans can be a long-term solution, but will ultimately help your business grow into the size, shape, and notoriety you dream of. And don’t be afraid to get specific, and dream big — maybe you want your business to be the next Amazon. And what is it going to take to get you there? Is that 2500 new customers in the next two years? A local production facility and a fleet of 200 trucks? Scour the details of your road to success, and plan for every one of them. This will empower you to take the reins on your online business’ growth.
Go write about it on your blog.
Seriously. There’s no better way to garner audience attention, build credibility, and run an SEO-driven marketing campaign than through blogging.
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Content production is a business in and of itself, and can be a surefire way to help expand your ecommerce brand. If you like, content can even come before you break into the world of retail. If you need more proof, check out the innumerable youtubers and instagram influencers who’s webcam content has resulted in the ownership of multi-million dollar ecommerce platforms. Prove to your audience you know what you’re doing by offering thoughtful and well-researched content alongside your product.
Speaking of influencers…
Do you want the youth vote? Reach them where they are by partnering with social media moguls to get your products recognized. Ecommerce marketing solutions like to laud email campaigns as a way to reach customers, but kids these days are almost exclusively accessible through platforms like Instagram, Youtube, and Twitter. Plus, in the early days of your ecommerce existence, live reviews from already-trusted personalities can help lend your as-of-yet-unknown-products some credibility. If you have the means, consider sponsoring a video, or collaborating with a popular instagrammer to grab the attention of the younger millennials and zoomers.
Figure out your brand.
Getting customers to notice, recognize, and return to your business is all about branding. And every touchpoint in your customer experience should also provide a brand experience — your social media marketing campaigns, your shopping and purchasing journey, your customer support — literally everything. The end-goal of any retail business is to become a household name, and solidifying who you are and what you’re about, and then synthesizing that into an instantly recognizable brand is how you get that started.
Invest in scalable customer support.
Businesses do best when they have top-notch customer support systems in place. This is for your employees as much as for your customers. As your business grows, you will have a larger number of customer inquiries and complaints to deal with. To keep customers satisfied and taken care of, there should be minimum wait time, and maximum care delivered by your customer service representatives. And this starts with a program or policy that allows your reps to do their jobs. Any customer service solution that you choose should be able to grow with you, allowing you to keep your customers happy and cared for every step of the way.
Last Thoughts: Ecommerce Growth Strategies
Ecommerce growth doesn’t happen overnight, but you can help it along with these top tips from industry experts.