It is undeniable that the e-commerce sector has grown dramatically in recent years and it seems that there is more available on the internet than ever before. The question is, how do you transform a simple website into a successful e-commerce business? Here are some hints to consider if you’re wanting to succeed in e-commerce.
Analyse the market and your potential in it
If there are already businesses out there promoting the product you want to advertise this does not mean that you have no chance of penetrating that market. If you have a good knowledge of marketing, especially in terms of SEO and digital marketing, your business could have great potential. But how do you even find these gaps? What we would recommend is that you research the web pages of the main competitors in the sector that interest you. Analyse the amount of traffic they get, their keyword traffic and also their DA (domain authority). Many businesses are not prepared to compete with a business, even a very young one, with a strong SEO strategy. This could be your way into a market.
Find the gap
Nowadays, it is extremely difficult to find a gap in the market. However, if you take the time to fully analyse and research the market you want to break into you will probably find that there is something missing that nobody else has thought of. Take the label industry for example. Lost property in school has always been an issue, which is why as of 2010 people started to open online businesses selling clothing labels. This market has been growing in popularity in the UK ever since, with more and more people looking to invest in it.
Be savvy with promoting your business
Advertising is hugely important for businesses of every size but especially so for smaller companies. Here are a few tips to make sure you don’t waste your budget:
- Focus on the organic search – make it your top priority. Make sure that people looking for specific items (i.e. using specific keywords) can find you easily. Invest in a solid SEO strategy.
- Use banner ads on other websites. Select websites that will be relevant to your target market; they don’t even have to be big companies such as The Guardian or Forbes. If you find a website with a good number of visitors and that shares your target market then you’re onto a winner.
- Use social media. It has been shown that small e-commerce businesses with an active Facebook or other social media account are deemed more trustworthy and can therefore generate more conversions. It also opens up another channel through which you can interact with customers.
- AdWords is your friend but be careful: while it can be a great way to increase your revenue, it can also be an easy way to burn money. Only start an AdWords campaign if you have good brand value and if you can show your customers that you are trustworthy. It is also important that you have a solid understanding of how AdWords works – otherwise it can be a highly frustrating method of losing money.
Take new opportunities
Chances are you have a very specific idea for your business, of what you are going to sell and to whom. This is a good thing! However, this does not mean that you have to close the door on any opportunities that may not 100% fit with your business idea. For example, if originally you planned on selling your product(s) to individual customers, you could still approach businesses as potential customers. Of course, this would require a slightly different strategy, both for approaching them for a sale and then subsequently dealing with them as customers, but opens the door to more revenue and more customers. While devising a new strategy would take you time, you would already have the materials and the knowledge of how to produce and meet customer demands. What have you got to lose?
Get on top of SEO
Many companies don’t pay as much attention as they should to SEO, favouring the operations side of a business. This gives newer businesses with a solid SEO strategy in place a chance to edge into the market.
- Keywords are crucial in order to reach your intended customers. Use Google tools or another premium tool to analyse which keywords will be best for your business but also to see how your competitors are faring in terms of organic search.
- Content, content and more content. Creating valuable marketing content will increase your DA and also help you to reach new customers. Any content that you do create, be sure to promote it on social media and other websites. This offers you another way of engaging with your audience which could lead to more sales.
- Ensure that your website is as user-friendly as possible to make customers experience of using it as pleasant as possible. If you have a website which is easy to navigate, where customers can easily find what they are searching for with any relevant information clearly laid out, this will do wonders for your conversion rate.
- Load time and mobile user experience have an influence on your Google ranking. Make sure that your site is quick to load and easy to navigate for mobile users.