Shopping from the comfort of your home has never been easier.
Add to cart here, flash sale alert there, and before you’ve even blinked, your order has arrived directly to your doorstep!
Who could have told us two decades ago that this is what the future of shopping would look like?
If you are a start-up or small business, you might be thinking of creating an online shop to sell your products to increase revenue.
Now is as good a time as ever – especially considering that 46% of Australians have been shopping more frequently online since the COVID-19 pandemic started!
Is an online store good for a business?
The forced closure of non-essential trade as well as stay-at-home orders have sadly affected many small businesses around the world. In stark contrast, however, eCommerce has thrived, impacting consumer behaviour like never before.
Launching an online store is easy, but growing it is a different story.
If you’re thinking of upscaling your business and want to start an online store, here are some mistakes you need to know – and most importantly, need to avoid, right from the start!
Which website is best for eCommerce?
Shopify is considered one of the most popular eCommerce platforms that reported an average monthly revenue of $82.6 million in 2020.
Shopify is an online eCommerce platform that gives you powerful and seamless tools to help you find new customers, drive business sales, and help you stay organised, day-in and day-out.
Shopify is ideal for new businesses and for sellers who want to explore better ways to sell their products online.
Can I open multiple Shopify stores?
Yes, you can have multiple Shopify stores, but you need to use different accounts. In most cases, you will not need more than one store for one business.
However, if you are running multiple businesses and selling a variety of products on different websites, it makes sense to have a separate store for each site.
If you’re thinking about launching an online store, follow these five essential tips.
1. Understand who your target audience is
Most importantly, make sure that there is a market for your products!
Do you know who your ideal customers are? What is their demographic profile? Knowing who your target audience is isn’t enough; you have to understand them, too.
You need to uncover their needs and interests. What pain points do they face? What problems do they want solved?
Not everyone is your ideal customer. You may need to define who your target customers are so you’ll know what their specific needs are and how your product can better address them.
If you’re clueless and you don’t have any idea who your customers are, then you’re potentially wasting time and energy by creating an online store for people who have no interest in or need for your product.
There are many different ways to define your target market, such as:
- Conducting marketing research
- Analysing the purpose behind your products
- Studying your competitors
- Building customer profiles and markets
2. Have a specific marketing plan
Your marketing plan helps you to understand where your business is going, how you’re going to promote it and if such marketing strategies will align with both short and long-term business objectives.
A marketing plan directs all your efforts towards one common goal so that your time, budget, and energy is never wasted.
Even before you launch your online shop, make sure that you have a marketing plan in mind that will keep you grounded in what to expect and how to get there.
In addition, a marketing plan is important for your business as it will:
- Help you manage your resources efficiently
- Ensure consistency in your marketing activity
- Provide you focus and clarity
3. Outsource to the experts if need be
Time and money are essential investments that you will pour into your business.
However, as a start-up, you might be trying to take care of it all yourself, from operations and web design through to copywriting, inventory, and marketing.
Saving on time can help you become more productive as a business owner and at the same time, give you more ideas on how you can better promote and convert your visitors and increase your sales.
Outsourcing tasks lets you hire experts that are adept in their own unique fields. This means you, too, can concentrate on doing what you do best.
If you lack the necessary skills or resources to perform integral parts of running a business, then outsourcing is a fantastic way to get the professional skills you need at a more variable and affordable rate.
Some of these outsourcing services may include:
- Bookkeeping and accounting
- Graphic design
- Professional photography
- Search engine optimisation
- Admin tasks
4. Create a content plan
A well planned and well-executed content plan for your online store can help improve awareness, traffic and most importantly, sales.
You need to firstly identify your ideal customer and target market to plan what your content will look like.
Through this, you can easily identify ways and find means to connect with your potential customers and answer all their questions before they’ve even had to ask them.
In addition to creating blog posts and other marketing collateral, you also need to pause and consider:
- The imagery and product images you use on your website
- Writing detailed product descriptions to reduce buyer hesitation (and to optimise products for SEO!)
- Monitoring product reviews; if someone leaves a bad review, follow it up with them and make the necessary compensations to leave them satisfied
- Offering different payment methods and even payment plans
5. Prioritise social media presence
Marketing your online business doesn’t only happen using your website. You will need to use social media to promote your product and drive traffic to your business website.
Your social media presence matters in directly selling your product and quickly communicating with your customers.
Just this year, Australia reported almost 80 per cent of its population to be active users of social media.
Social media has become the easiest, fastest, and most convenient platform for your customers to keep in touch with you not only before the purchase, but after, too, as they become a long-term customer (and advocate for your brand!)
When your business uses social media, there are a lot of things that you need to consider, such as:
- Brand awareness (strategically using hashtags to reach more customers)
- Advertising (putting money behind sponsored posts as well as influencer marketing)
- Customer service
- Social interactions (replying to questions and engaging with users)
- Consistent brand messaging (looks matter!)
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eCommerce SEO can help you get the results you want for your business!
We help you improve your ranking and create an effective SEO strategy designed specifically for eCommerce websites, helping to turn your website into a thriving online store.