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4 Ideas For A Better Store: Before You Start Your Own E-Commerce Adventure

— Or How To Make The Most Of Your Unique Opportunities On A Global & Overcrowded Marketplace

“E-Commerce has gone mainstream and everyone and their mom is starting an e-shop. We don’t even call it e-commerce anymore — it’s just commerce. Traditional brick & mortar businesses are in the game too, fighting for the same online audiences you are.”

Because competition is so harsh — and global — in any vertical, you need to make sure you do this right.

1. Be Unique — Create A Personality For Your Store So Your Clients Will Remember You

Jenny going shopping.

Meet Jenny. She’s a mom in her 30′s living in Helsinki, juggling life between her partner, kid and a full-time career.

A minimalist at heart, in her daily life going shopping online, she feels there are too many products to choose from; too many items to pay attention to; too many diverse brands to recognize — it’s all becoming a blur.

Jenny: “It’s overabundant!”

As a future shop-owner, what does this tell you? You will not compete with Amazon and sell everything. How can you? It’s too hard. Think how are you different. What can you do to make Jenny’s life easier?

Craig going shopping.

And perhaps in addition to Jenny, you’ve also got Craig — a busy software developer in his 30s living in London, likes to bicycle and bought a pair of flip-flops online last month. How can you help him?

So it seems your audiences are all over the place — different locations and purchasing different product categories. How are you going to differentiate your offer for both Craig and Jenny? And should you try to please both?

Jenny driving to the shopping center.

Focus on Jenny. She’s Craig’s girlfriend and told her to buy those flip-flops because next month they are going on a vacation together in Spain. — Female shoppers are key influencers and make 70% of the online purchase decisions or influence them. Jenny commands 80% of the euros Craig spends when shopping online.

So Tell Jenny A Story. She’s in your store. Make sure your store becomes best friends with Jenny.

What is your store’s name? Does Jenny know? What does your store look like — and feel like? What does your store make Jenny feel? Delight. Warmth. Value.

Your store has a Personality. The Story, Reasons & Values that you have put into carefully crafting this experience make it Her.

This is important.

It will influence the way you write Product Descriptions, the types of Images you use, and the products you choose — or don’t choose — as part of your Product Selection.

And ultimately —the types of clients your store will attract.

Does She attract Jenny?

Your main selling point will be memorability.

An elderly man selling pancakes with cute drawings on them. You can also set up a simple Popup Store at a festival to promote your online brand — making it feel more tangible.

It doesn’t matter whether Jenny is looking at your product on her iPhone — or decides to drop by at the Popup Store you’ve opened as a creative marketing stunt — to make sure everybody at the weekend neighborhood festival has a chance to see your best merchandise.

Jenny needs to recognize You. Your brand experience should be unique and memorable. And it’s almost like she remembers you as a friend.

Don’t Be Me Too — Find Ways To Market The Unique Quality Of Your Brand & Stand Out From The Crowd

It’s when Jenny is reminded of that wonderful experience at Your Store that magic begins to happen. It’s the difference between a Jenny who’ll teach her mom to buy her first product online from You — and the client who’s so indifferent he can’t remember your store’s name.

— And buys from the competitor.

You can sell Anything — So Find Your Niche

Selling carefully crafted display ampersands for designers.

How? Choose an idea and start talking about it online.

Spend a month talking about it. Write blog posts, do interviews, comment on related blogs — and see if the idea you’re pushing gets other people responding. Why? Because these people are your future market and if you get their interest with media, you can later turn them into customers. If there’s no interest, you already know you’re pitching the wrong product.

This is called testing.

You can also do it without writing a single blog post. It won’t be as accurate and you won’t be building an audience doing this— but you can use the Google Keyword Research toolset to see how many people are looking for the keywords related to the products you’re selling.

This will give you a ballpark figure of a potential market size.

Start with an idea.

IDEA: “Sell organic bread and grandmother’s natural blueberry jam to busy urban moms who still care about the health of their family.”

You can see how many people look for “organic bread” or “blueberry jam” and drill down in the research results. Then investigate related keywords and wider categories: “organic jam”, “natural jam”.

See where your buyers come from. People coming in through Google search might not be from your home country. More often than ever, sales will increasingly come from buyers outside your home market. Does your product travel well?

Improvements in speedy delivery and increasing wealth in non-European nations means that buyers can come from other languages. Think about whether your product is something no-one else on the planet does as well as you? — You could become the leading world expert in that specific niche.

Once you have your product chosen and published in the store, you need to start building a community. Connect audiences to You. People who come and use your site are your ambassadors in the real world. What gets sales going is virality and this happens if people start telling other people about your brand in an authentic way. Word to mouth marketing. Build a community around your brand. Wherever you’re having a conversation.

The packaging made you smile? :-)

It matters how do you present your product. Just look at these examples of packaging to understand what I mean.

This is where A/B testing comes in. New e-commerce packages allow you to create 2 versions of the same product page.

Then you can test which version works best and choose the one that translates into more successfully completed sales.

2. People Will Enter Your Store Using Their iPhones & Androids — It’s called “Touch Commerce” — Make It Easy

It’s not news that people spend more time on their mobile devices — iPhones, iPads, tablets, Android devices, and whatnot — than they do on their laptops. And while actual purchase on these devices has not caught on just yet — the opportunity is huge.

Starbucks is just one among many selling their products on mobile.

The investments made by the likes of Google and Amazon in the mobile commerce space let us expect that as usability improves and as it becomes easier to make purchases on the go, mobile, touch-based commerce will go mainstream. For now, tablets are more important than mobile phones in shopping. People like to sit down to make their purchases. However push notifications on the mobile screens can be important reminders to improve the percentage of successful sales.

For your client the shopping experience becomes seamless. Purchases are synced between devices. If Jenny forgets to push the Buy Button because a friends calls just the moment she’s about to, send her a nice reminder message. She can complete the purchase in her car through the mobile app. Your fulfilled purchases % goes up and she is happier because the purchase arrives faster.

3. Use Image-Rich Social Channels To Drive Audiences To Your Products — They Will Feel More Attracted

Pinterest attracts customers to your store.

Pinterest and social channels beyond Facebook and Twitter can drive valuable conversions to your store. Pinterest recently introduced Rich Pins that allow you to share pricing and availability information real-time with your Pinterest audiences.

Choose the products you highlight on Pinterest. It’s better to tease the client but not overwhelm her. She will come to your page. Choose products that have gorgeous photography as this is what people are most attracted to. Secondly, invest time into writing product descriptions that tease and make her want to see more.

High quality email marketing and blogging has time and again shown to be an effective tool to create sales. Always write unique content. If you don’t, Google will banish you to the land of bottom of search results and people will leave you with boredom.

Product pages need reviews to make them feel alive. This content works for both Google and your human visitors.

Don’t compete purely on price. But try this: Make all your products 20% to 50% cheaper for 12h and sell until stocks last. In a marketplace full of confusion, grabbing their attention and making your clients decide fast is a good way to break through the noise and make sales — profit on low margins but high number of sales.

4. Follow Your Metrics Religiously

Finally, measure!

This is the only way to know where to invest your time. What’s working and what’s not — so you don’t waste time & resources you could be investing in something that brings results.

Kris HaamerKris Haamer

 

 

 

 

How do Experts Get Results? Altex Experts now offer the service of creating and marketing online e-commerce stores. We have the Experts that can show You step-by-step what works and take care of the rough patches on your way to success. You should get in touch today.

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