E-commerce Selling Tips for Your Business
The internet has transformed into something so much more powerful. At one point in time, you could use the web to simply find information, send emails, and perhaps play the odd text-based game. Today, more and more tech-savvy entrepreneurs are using the internet to build an entire business and sell products. These businesses have a lot of competition from across the world, however. When one person has an idea to sell a particular item or service, someone somewhere else has the same idea and may have a head start on the project.
The demand to shop online and completely forego retail stores has increased exponentially over the past few years. Fewer people are interested in taking a trip into the city and visiting a busy store, waiting in line to checkout their items, and dealing with the nagging of a clerk selling annual subscription plans or magazines. Online stores cut out the annoying portion of the shopping experience and offer the products for sale in a convenient location. To make those sales, though, you need to get your product in front of the right audience, at the right time.
The Importance of Customer Reviews
Anyone who has purchased an item online has laid eyes on the typical customer review. On Amazon, the review comes in the form of a star rating with a few paragraphs or sentences from the client who bought the item. A high rating means more people will view your product. In fact, some people will completely filter out low rated products from their online shopping experience.
Here are a few statistics for you:
• 90% of online shoppers read reviews relating to a product or service that interests them
• 88% of online shoppers trust online reviews more than personal recommendations
• A business with “excellent” reviews is 31% more likely to acquire business from a savvy shopper
• 92% of online shopping user a local service if it has a 4-star rating
• 86% of people will not purchase from a company with negative online reviews. They seek out the product or service elsewhere.
To acquire reviews from happy customers, the plan is to offer quality products or services and exceptional customer service. If an individual feels welcomed and treated with respect, they are more likely to return to your online store and leave a good review.
A survey performed by Duke University found that the average e-commerce business spends just 9% of their overall marketing budget on social media. This number is expected to grow to 22% in the next few years, and rightly so. E-commerce marketers are beginning to recognize how social media can help connect their audience with a product. Effective social marketing can equal real value for an online entrepreneur.
A few examples of how social media can help your e-commerce business thrive and sell more products include:
- Customer Research – There are too many people using social media networks even to count these days. Using your specific social networks to segment the audience and better understand a demographic you are aiming for is the first step. This should help your e-commerce business to deliver targeted messaging and put the right product in front of the right customer.
- Customer Service – More and more online buyers are turning to social media to field their complaints after buying a product. These complaints are often directed at the business that sold them their new paperweight. By responding to these complaints quickly and in a respectful manner, you minimize the potential damage done to your reputation and have an opportunity to win back the customer.
- Customer Engagement – Releasing a new product to the world? How will anyone know the details if you don’t share the product via social media? By engaging your online customers through social media networks, you kick off the tried-and-tested marketing method known as word of mouth. When one user spots your new release on their Twitter or Facebook feed, they share the product to their friends, who in turn share it with their buddies. It is a circle that leads back to you.
SEO Tips for E-commerce
Did you know that effective SEO can double your online sales? Most online entrepreneurs are skeptical when they hear about such results. It truly sounds unrealistic to many. It is not, though.
For starters, building an e-commerce website is a team-based project. It requires a web designer, information architect, and potentially an SEO consultant working together from the very beginning. The result is an effective, eye-catching e-commerce website that brings in results. Next, enable Google Analytics so you may track your e-commerce. With tracking enabled, you can see where your strengths and weaknesses lie – where the customer is spending money or clicking away.
Be prepared to tweak your SEO. There is no ready-made optimization kit for an e-commerce website, believe it or not. SEO experts can work their way through your links, ensuring optimization is at its very best on each page.
Don’t Forego Google/Facebook Advertisements
You may have heard bad things about Google and Facebook advertisements. That’s okay. In reality, both platforms can be exceedingly useful for an e-commerce business. Facebook, specifically, allows for Dynamic Product Advertisements, which are a template for your entire product catalog. These templates pull images, product names, and pricing from your e-commerce product catalog based on details you have uploaded. If you have hundreds, of even thousands, of products, this is the perfect advertisement solution.
If your e-commerce business has multiple products – maybe not in the hundreds – but they vary widely, consider using multi-product ads. While the downside to such advertisements is that you do not put focus on any single product, you can show off the variety you currently have on the marketplace.
To fully utilize product advertisements on both Google and Facebook, you need quality product shots for each item being sold. Without the right shot, most potential buyers will click elsewhere or find the same product at a different store. Sell those products!
Whether you are a growing e-commerce store or just forming a business plan, utilizing the above tips will help your products stand apart from the vast competition. We say vast, but don’t let that discourage you. There is always room for another business in this growing marketplace we call the internet.
Making use of SEO, advertisements, and customer reviews are the basis for good marketing.