Tips and Tricks to Get Your eCommerce Business Up and Running

 

Getting Started

Starting an eCommerce business can be intimidating, but there is no better time to start than right now. The eCommerce industry has been experiencing unprecedented growth in the past few years. Lockdowns related to the COVID-19 pandemic caused a lasting shift in the way consumers shop. In fact, in the first quarter of 2022, the U.S. Department of Commerce estimated that eCommerce sales totaled $250 billion. 


Starting an eCommerce business is similar to starting a traditional brick-and-mortar store, but requires much less initial investment. eCommerce retailers don’t have to maintain a storefront or pay much staff to keep that storefront running. This means that starting an eCommerce company is surprisingly cheap compared to a physical business. Still though, every brand needs a solid business strategy to keep them on track. Begin your journey into eCommerce by drafting a company vision statement that addresses all the major elements of a business strategy. 


Here are the 4 basic components of a business strategy that your vision statement should include:

  • The identity of the company
  • The target audience
  • The issue your company aims to solve for customers
  • How your product is a direct solution to that issue


Your company’s vision statement shouldn’t be longer than two or three sentences. Remember to ensure that the vision statement is something every member of your organization can rally behind. Feel free to edit your vision statement as the direction of the company evolves. 


Example vision statement: XYZ fishing supplies aims to encourage young adults and families to get into the sport. Our focus on casual fishing equipment sets us apart from other more expensive stores. 


Top 5 Tips

  1. Offer Free Shipping

Free shipping may be easy for eCommerce giants like amazon to offer to their customers, but the same can’t be said for smaller eCommerce retailers. Still, these smaller brands need to recognize the power of free shipping. Online shoppers are even willing to pay higher prices for the same products if free shipping is offered. This presents an interesting opportunity for smaller eCommerce brands that normally wouldn’t be able to cover the costs of shipping. By adding the cost of some, or all, of the cost of shipping to the price of a product, smaller online retailers can offer “free shipping” at no cost to them. 


Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich


  1. Prioritize Providing a Good User Experience

With the number of stores joining the eCommerce industry, competition can be pretty steep. An effective way to separate yourself from your competitors is by providing a superior user experience. User experience refers to the way potential customers engage with your website and how easy it is to navigate. Websites that have a poor user experience generally have higher rates of cart abandonment. To understand your website’s user experience, test it for yourself. Start at the homepage of your website and try to navigate to a specific page using only the menus and buttons available on the screen. If you can intuitively get from the homepage to your destination, then congratulations, you’re providing a good user experience!


Here are a few quick tips for providing a good user experience:

  • Include eye-catching visuals
  • Add a search bar tool
  • Optimize your site for mobile users
  • Improve loading times


  1. Invest in Multiple Marketing Channels

Digital marketing is one of the most impactful tools eCommerce businesses have when starting out. The logic here is fairly straightforward, people can’t purchase anything from your company if they haven’t heard of it. Digital marketing is a way of engaging with your target audience and earning your brand some recognition. 


There are several different forms of digital marketing, but the two we recommend focusing on are social media and content marketing. Social media is pretty unavoidable these days. Billions of people across the globe use social media, and businesses have begun to follow them. The primary benefit of social media marketing for businesses is the free publicity it generates. You can begin advertising your products immediately with virtually no time or monetary investment. Additionally, social media allows you to engage with your audience in a way practically no other form of digital marketing does. You can quite literally respond directly to your audience to drive conversation about your company. 


Content marketing benefits businesses in two distinct ways: generating buzz around your business, and organically directing more traffic to your website. With content marketing, you create a blog post, article, or video that your target audience would find interesting. The content itself will act as a marketing tool, but it can also improve your website’s SEO. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of editing your website to rank higher in Google search results. Content marketing can actually organically increase your website's ranking by proving to search engines that the content you create has value to your audience. 


  1. Reduce Your Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate

A unique challenge facing eCommerce brands is shopping cart abandonment. Nobody goes to a brick-and-mortar store and loads up a shopping cart only to leave the store without actually buying any of those products, but this is fairly common when shopping online. Fortunately, email marketing can function as a solution to this issue. With shopping cart abandonment emails, your eCommerce brand can target previous users who haven’t finalized their purchase. You can then encourage these users to return to your store and finish their purchases. 


  1. Understand Your Audience

It’s important for businesses of all kinds to understand their audience. Understanding your target audience allows you to engage with potential customers more effectively. Remember, different demographics have different shopping habits that you’ll need to account for. Customers may have different payment or shipping preferences based on factors like age, income, and location. Try to learn about what demographics your audience fits into before trying to engage with them. 

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