For those who are living under the rock, e-Commerce (or electronic commerce) is an industry that involves buying and selling of products or services through the internet. To better illustrate, this is your eBay, Zappos and Amazon.
One of the biggest pitfalls of e-Commerce marketers today is being too conservative and one-dimensional. An online shop is born every hour, one of them could be a fierce competitor of your business. You cannot be complacent and too stiff about taking some risks and see where the trends are leading you.
Create a Mobile-Friendly Website
In a Smartphone era, you have a big advantage of gaining traction and traffic when you optimize your website for Smartphones and tablets. A lot of people are using their iPhones and Android phones to shop and transact online, more than their computers and laptops. Strong 4G and LTE connections intensify these activities.
Other companies have already created mobile apps so that they can be easily accessed via the menu screen of a Smartphone.
Business Intelligence and Analytics
Business intelligence and analytics access data that are not easily recognized by the naked eye. Shopping behavior, ad impressions, number of clicks, traction within a specific timeframe etc. are some of the crucial elements that can bring you success. These are what business analytics is made for.
Diving to the integral part where the data already tells you “what your customers truly want” will provide you with vivid directions for your business.
Build A Strong Reputation
Word of mouth is still a powerful form of advertising, as deepened by the rise of social media sites where people can freely interact and drop bombs to businesses with poor quality customer service.
How to build a strong reputation?
Make sure that when you set-up a Facebook page, you would religiously address all concerns coursed by customers as polite as possible. Turn your happy customers to brand advocates.
Utilize third party review sites such as Yelp, Angieslist and Trip Advisor.
Digital Coupon Marketing
Have you heard of the television program “Extreme Couponing” where shoppers pay as low as $10 for an $800 worth of purchase at a grocery store?
Digital coupons, especially for starters, will allow you to promote and distribute your brand better. A flyer/digital ad gets normally ignored because an individual can get nothing out of it. Coupons are vouchers of discounts and freebies. Humankind has this universal tendency to seize anything that is free.
This is also an opportunity to convert accidental visitors (freebie-phylics) to avid fans of your website.
Social Media Factor
To say that social media is one of the best advertising tools is an understatement. There is no need to convince you that it will boost your e-Commerce business. The question now is how will you leverage its power?
Facebook has paid advertisements that can make your brand pop out in someone’s news feed randomly. Twitter also has “promoted” tweets. Ultimately, what you need to do is enhance engagement.
Imagine what 10,000 likes and 1,000 shares can do for your business. Multiply these figures with the number of friends each “liker” or “sharer” has. That will be your exposure in a matter of minutes or hours.
A “tag and share” Facebook promo for a product launch could be a sound idea.
Improve Website Performance
Everyone hates a sluggish response when browsing a website. Couple this with hard to navigate interface, and you have a perfect disaster called “pushing patience-deficient customers away”.
Hire services of a good hosting provider that can truly beef up your site’s performance. Make the site user-friendly.
Maximize Content Marketing
Content is your fundamental instrument to attract engagement, especially within social networking sites. Forget about bombarding your articles with power keywords. You can place a call to action and link back at the closing part.
Easy and Secure Payment Scheme
Who would like to do business with an e-Commerce site that is vulnerable to hacking and security breaches? I won’t.
Partner with trusted online payment solutions such as PayPal, if you can’t afford the tedious way of setting up an internal payment platform of your own.
Be Transparent in Pricing and Taxes
Avoid hidden charges or misleading information such as “get as much 50% discount” and “other charges may apply”. Be straightforward with your pricing. If you can already compute it with necessary tax/es, by all means, do so.
A lot of consumers nowadays appreciate honesty of online merchants. Apply the golden rule – would you want to get excited over buying something for “this much” only to get frustrated in the end because of hidden charges?
Built-in Currency Converters
Draw more crowd to your website with value added features. If you are shipping worldwide, it is best to have a built-in converter for currencies. This would make it easier for your customers to compute how much they will shell out using their own currency, and make decisions.
E-Commerce is more than a trend. It has become a whole new industry that presents massive opportunities for those who want to grab one.
Photo Credit: Flickr/StormKatt