The ecommerce world is booming. The industry as a whole is still poised to grow over 20 percent in 2018, despite already experiencing a massive increase in sales. This means there’s still plenty of room for new players to enter the fray. However, you shouldn’t just jump into owning an online store without doing a bit of research. Here are five elements essential to ecommerce.
You almost certainly won’t be successful in the ecommerce space if you don’t spend any time on marketing. There are many advantages to having an online-only store. However, one drawback is you don’t get the benefit of foot traffic. People are either going to seek out your brand because they know it, or you’re going to direct them there through marketing. Your strategy should incorporate several approaches:
- Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most common methods of online marketing. This is a way for brands to increase their online relevance by pairing their content with highly specific keywords. SEO can help brands rise in search engine results.
- Influencer marketing involves teaming up with relevant social media users in order to promote your products. This is quickly becoming a go-to approach for online stores.
- Refine your target audience to focus on people who are most likely to purchase your goods. Finding a niche for your online store minimizes wasted resources.
- Remember analytics. You should be referencing your data as you go. This way, you can refine marketing strategies based on proven successes.
Whether you’re selling snowboards or doilies; you need to have a solid brand image. However, many complex aspects go into building a successful brand. Site design is a good place to start. How appealing is the layout of your online store? It should be enticing to both new and returning customers. This will help lend legitimacy to your brand’s image. It’s difficult to overstate the importance of a solid logo. Consider using a logo maker to level up your site’s appearance.
Once you have an idea for your store, you need to figure out how you’re going to acquire your inventory. Here are several popular options used by ecommerce retailers:
- Selling items, you’ve designed yourself. This is the approach taken by brands really trying to be distinguished from the pack. You can outsource production or find a local manufacturer to do the work.
- Drop shipping allows ecommerce vendors to skip the production phase and act as a middleman. You can market and sell products, which will be sent directly from their manufacturers to consumers.
You almost certainly will need to have a shipping and handling strategy for your ecommerce store. Most people shop online because they want to get goods that aren’t readily available nearby. You should determine shipping costs. It’s important to note free shipping plays a huge role in lowering cart abandonment rates. Even if you lose a bit of money paying for shipping, the benefit of more conversions can offset this. Keep an eye on your metrics to see how shipping costs play into conversions.
This is a very real part of the shipping process. More than 30 percent of items bought online will be returned. That means your return protocol can play a factor in three out of every 10 sales. Strive to provide free returns for customers. You can also consider giving them store credit depending on your particular situation.
If you master these five elements essential to ecommerce, you will be on the path to success. You’ll also find yourself with a wealth of happy and loyal customers.