Starting an eCommerce business can be challenging. You need to have a clear strategy, understand your target customers, and have a way to sell your products online. Even with these challenges, eCommerce is growing at a rapid rate. The global eCommerce market is projected to reach almost $20 trillion by 2022. If you’re willing to take on the challenge of starting an eCommerce business, here are four strategies that can help you succeed.
Build a brand before you start selling online
If you’ve ever purchased something online, then you’ve dealt with the disappointment that comes with a poor shopping experience. One bad experience may not lead to lost sales, but poor experiences can affect your ability to build a successful eCommerce business.
To help ensure that your customers have a great shopping experience, you’ll need to build a brand before you start selling online.
Great branding will help you stand out among your competitors. If you want to sell your products online, then you’re going to be competing with many other brands. If you don’t have a clear brand identity, it’s going to be difficult for you to stand out from the crowd.
Great branding is memorable.
When customers can remember your brand, it’s easier for them to shop with you again. Great branding helps customers identify with your brand. If you can connect with your customers and help them identify with your brand, it’s easier for them to trust you and purchase from you again.
Great branding helps you build momentum before you start selling. When you’re ready to start selling your products online, you’ll need to have built some momentum. Before you start selling, you can use your brand to gain more exposure and build that momentum.
Branding is King. All the big businesses build brands, and as a small operator so should you.
Develop a solid supply chain & logistics strategy
When you’re ready to start selling your products, you’ll need to have a clear logistics strategy. One of the most challenging aspects of eCommerce is creating a supply chain that can fulfill orders quickly and efficiently. If customers place an order and don’t receive their product, they’re likely to become frustrated and shop with someone else next time. To ensure that none of your customers encounter this problem, you’ll need a solid logistics strategy.
Here are three ways to develop a solid supply chain and logistics strategy for your eCommerce business.
Identify your top pain points — When you’re developing your logistics strategy, it’s important to identify your top pain points. What is your biggest challenge when it comes to shipping products? Once you’ve identified your top pain points, you can use them as a guide for developing a strategy that can help you solve these issues. For example, if you are in the USA and you are doing dropshipping you may find that the shipping times take long from China. This could be a pain point.
Identify your ideal customer — One of the most important things when it comes to developing your logistics strategy is identifying your ideal customer. Once you’ve identified the type of customer that you want to purchase from your eCommerce business, it’s easier to decide how you want to ship products to them. For example, if you are in the USA, then it is much easier to target customers in your own country. Or if you are in Australia, then you should focus your energy on Australia.
Research your competitors — Once you’ve identified your ideal customer, you can use their preferences as a guide for how you want to run your logistics strategy. One way to do this is by researching your competitors and how they handle their logistics. For example, other Shopify stores and stores in your niche. Research them to find out more, go to their “Shipping Policy” on their site for further information.
Once you have done all this research you can formulate your plan. The How, What, When, and Where. For example — How — dropshipping model, What — your health products, When — ship 2 days after receiving the order, and Where — International, from China to the USA.
Leverage influencers to market your eCommerce business
One of the best ways to market your eCommerce business is by partnering with influencers. Influencers are people who have a large following (say 10k and up) and can help you get your products in front of new customers. Before you start marketing your eCommerce business, it’s important to find the right influencers to work with. To do this, you’ll need to create a marketing plan and identify the best influencers to reach your customers.
Here are three ways to find and partner with the right influencers to market your eCommerce business.
Research marketplaces — Before you start looking for influencers, you’ll need to research marketplaces and tools that can help you find the right influencers for your eCommerce business. Once you’ve identified these marketplaces, it’s easier to find the right influencers and build a relationship with them. Two of these marketplaces are Instagram and TikTok. Both of these places have a wide variety of influencers that can be used for any niche e.g., health, tech, and beauty. I would recommend that you look up influencers in your chosen niche, and approach them only. As influencers that aren’t in your niche will not be able to send you specific customers.
Engage with your customers — One of the best ways to find the right influencers is to engage with your customers. When you’re engaging with your customers, you can use their insights to find out who they are and what they’re interested in. It’s important to note that you won’t be able to reach out to everyone. It’s best to focus on customers who have shown interest in your business. So, this could include customers who have commented on social media posts i.e., Instagram or TikTok, reaching out to them to find out more information about them to help your brand.
Build a referral program — Once you’ve partnered with influencers and started marketing your eCommerce business, it’s important to continue building relationships. One way to do this is by creating a referral program. A referral program allows your customers to earn rewards each time they refer someone to your eCommerce business. It’s important to note that you don’t want to create a forced referral program. You want your customers to feel like they want to share your business with others. So, a referral program could include things like discount codes, so that the customer can benefit through a discount, and then the referee would earn a % on all purchases when using this referral code.
Offer free shipping to attract new customers and gain exposure
One marketing tactic that many retailers use is offering free shipping. While this may seem like an unnecessary expense, it can lead to increased sales and new customers. If you’re just getting started with your eCommerce business, it’s important to offer free shipping as much as possible. By offering free shipping, you’ll be able to gain exposure and attract new customers.
The best part about this strategy is that it doesn’t cost you anything except for the time it takes to process the orders. Offering free shipping shows that you’re willing to go above and beyond for your customers. If you’re able to offer free shipping, it shows that you are dedicated to making your customers happy. When customers know that you’re willing to go above and beyond, it makes it easier for them to shop with you again in the future.
Sometimes e-commerce stores use a free + shipping method, where the customer doesn’t pay anything for the product but only pays for the shipping. Depending on the niche of the business, this promotional strategy can work. However, generally speaking, it’s good to have at least a $15 profit built into every product that you sell. So, it may not be good in that sense.
Starting an eCommerce business is challenging, but it can lead to great success if you follow the 4 steps in this article. Before you start selling products online, it’s important to create a brand, develop a solid supply chain and logistics strategy, find the right influencers to market your products, and offer free shipping to attract new customers. These strategies can help you succeed and overcome the challenges associated with starting an eCommerce business. This is how you become successful, is by following a formula for success.