A new year means new strategies, new ways, or maybe even a fresh start. When it comes to business, you always have to elevate or simply be left in the dust. Maybe there are some things you overlook that will genuinely help your business rise to new heights. Take some time and come up with a new approach to build your ecommerce site. To help in your journey for building a successful ecommerce site, here’s a good guide to jump start your online business.
1. Build awareness and excite others of your venture!
Still have yet to launch your site? That’s a good thing! Make people anticipate it like it’s a grand opening of a new store. You can start by posting on different forums and communities. Who knows? Maybe you’ll get valuable feedback on what type of items and content people want. You want a great way to build links just in time for an incredible launch day because of your growing influence. Capitalize off your trust and authority for your link building process.
Here are some good launch tips to make it easier:
Have an email submit on your launch page – Even before you have an official launch, collecting emails shows interest and more so, anxiety to see what you’ve been cooking up! You can create your own launch page or use services like BetaList for even app based launches.
Guest posts still work – Guest blogging is perfect because you can build an audience by bringing people to your site launch. People can contact you via e-mail or even pick your brain right on the post you’ve written. This early interaction will surely help your efforts in creating a successful launch.
Insane traffic from outbound links on launch – With all of the commotion built up over time, you’ll bet your last dime on an incredible set of links. Use the momentum to reach out to others.
Unique and clean design – Content is always great, but where is the whip appeal? A sleek yet not overbearing design will surely help you out. You always want to stand out where others conform. Your visitors will get a great first impression of your personality.
Take some extra time with your first blog posts – Let’s say you have a great product you are trying to sell and you really took time to write an excellent post. The power of comments, shares, likes will give you natural link juice and help build a strong initiative to your product promotion.
Even if you’ve been in the game, it never hurts to re-evaluate and re-launch your brand. Your failures often lead you into much more fruitful success.
2. Build genuine relationships with bloggers/influencers
Of course you’re out there to build links and find ways to reach audiences, but that’s not an easy feat if you don’t build a proper relationship with others. A smart method to take is start building a relationship before and after launch to really help the connection of you and your potential client.
Here are some relationship building tactics to connect with them:
Go mid-level then work your way to the top – You have to pay your dues like everyone else. You’ll be hard pressed to build relationships with ecommerce owners who have a very successful brand because you’re not at that level yet. Try to target and contact mid-level bloggers that aren’t bombarded with an incredibly booming business and an email account that keeps them extremely busy. They’re more enthralled with keeping the contact window open.
Stalk influencers – This is a work in progress and may take you a while to find out. Go on the search engine and type their user name or real name to find out what forums or communities they frequent. Sign up to the forum and get really involved by leaving comments, answers, and anything of value.
Reciprocation is key – You want links and shares? So do people you are looking to build a relationship with on Twitter, Facebook, or any social network. Share their posts and they’ll gladly return the favor. Showing true excitement for their posts exhibits a certain respect and interest. Create great call to action in your tweet and tag the influencer.
Get there early – One effective way of getting the attention you want is by consistently commenting on good blog posts, but being one of the first there. Why? You get more traffic to your brand from being a valuable comment contributor. The owner sees you like the content and may contact you personally for a joint venture or guest posts. That’s what it’s about – “like” factor. This is important to set up before you start selling products.
3: Don’t be afraid to hire an expert on your niche
You may have to spend some dollars, but it’s well worth it to have an expert write a few of your posts. For one thing, you have an authoritative voice on your page and he can bring a great first wave of people to your site that you wouldn’t see for months. There’s nothing like getting quality information from a seasoned vet, and it helps you test the waters to write your content based off the post (using your own flavor, of course). A guest blog puts a new perspective on your page that you can delve into deeper or even have proving this method ineffective. Mixing your content in with a few posts from a hired professional shows your diversity. Additionally, you’ll get much more respect because you have that connection to a leader in the game, which means traffic and conversions.
Use their influence and traction on social networks to springboard you into your own lane. All the while you’ll build up authorship markup, which only builds the validity of your own voice because of your strong backing. Google will definitely love this, but most importantly – you’ll gain more respect from the readers.
4: Well thought interviews or even livestream
Now just imagine that you’ve built a great relationship going back and forth with posts, so why not email them & ask if you could do an interview of them on your blog. Be polite but not insincere when it comes to booking the interview.
Give them respect and genuinely show them appreciation for their achievements. You don’t have to flatter them like an emperor of ancient China.
Always know that time is money for them and be prepared for rejection – it does happen. There are always reasons why they can’t accept the interview, so definitely schedule in advance. Understand that they are busy and time could be spent doing other things. Make the interview worth taking time out of their hectic schedule!
Make sure you are poised with each step to allot for time, the type of questions, etc. In fact, you should ask your readers what type of questions they want answered. This way you can narrow it down to the most asked questions; these will give you the traction you need to build your site quicker.
Of course, your format of interview is your choice. A traditional text interview as a blog post is fine. However, a video interview or even a livestream where you can see the interviewer and interviewee is a lot better! Plus you have the opportunity to promote via social media from your networks and their networks. If the interviewee has time, this would be a great way to promote your site and their page as well with a fully interactive seminar. You can post on YouTube or even have it as a video download to draw in subscribers interested in your niche. Use technology to your advantage!
5. Evaluate Mobile Ecommerce Presence
A good mobile site helps you rake in sales – IBM reported that mobile shopping soared to about 32 percent of ecommerce traffic after the U.S. Thanksgiving shopping weekend, which is over 45 percent from 2012’s numbers. ZDNet makes a great point:
Mobile transactions increased by almost 56 percent year-over-year. Shoppers use their mobile devices very differently depending on the form factor: smartphones are the “browsing device of choice,” while tablets drove twice the number of mobile transactions as the smaller gadgets. This is yet another reason for small retailers and restaurants to optimize their Web presence for mobile visitors.
Focus on a straightforward mobile design – Although there are mobile sites out there, they aren’t always optimized well for mobile devices. Always give your audience the choice of viewing your full site while on the go. However, most phones don’t load flash images and videos well, which will severely damage the user experience. You want to make sure you create a site that’s fully functional and easy to navigate.
6. Social ecommerce influence
Remember that social media has a major impact on sales volume these days. Facebook and Pinterest have a significant place in the market with referrals. Facebook advertising could be a great investment if you are looking to promote a post with a great product. Use that traffic with your edge rank to hit different Facebook feeds hard and build your page. You can also set a link up top hosting your own products as well. Not to mention, you can reach a really great targeted amount of prospects just because of how much traffic Facebook receives daily. It may cost a bit, but a great strategy can turn out a fruitful profit.
Pinterest is another great site for a number of reasons. The picture you pin by itself is grounds for getting good traffic to your ecommerce site. You can create your own Pinterest for Business type of page with more emphasis on SEO and authority for your site link. However, a real gem is product promotion and having a price set. This is a great way to entice your readers to click through. Having a good image with a description, price, and link to purchase makes it so much easier to your buyers. The easier and more detailed your description, the higher conversions you’ll make for long term profit.
7. Creating a contest for your readers
A contest is an excellent idea for promotion and engaging readers for promoting your online brand. A site such as Karmaloop really knows the value of monetizing well off a contest. They engage social media by creating a buzz through specific hash tags and have a link back to a specific contest. What this does is actually get you to register to their site. You’ll get an email confirmation and a discount for making your first purchase. Karmaloop is really creative because they will have a sale which directly involves their site such as a hat, a sweatshirt, etc. Subliminally, it’s getting you to search through the merchandise so you end up buying something regardless of a contest. They also have a good bonus for those that don’t win such as 30-40% off items for a specific period of time. You don’t have to use a Karmaloop’s model, but you can find a way to get creative with your own brand.
Why not have a question and answer contest where you ensure someone gets a good prize from paying attention to an ecommerce video tutorial you posted? You can see whoever wins in a certain period of time and give out a freebie. The person can retweet their prize and it’s a way of extending your brand. It’s way of giving a freebie but gaining followers to reach more people with your products. You can also use the video for product placement while sending a link back to your page .Also, you have a great advantage of bringing in traffic from people sharing your video across social media.
This is an extremely valuable asset. Get creative, but make your contest relevant to your post.
8. Globalization in Ecommerce
Globalization in ecommerce is becoming a great way for online businesses to flourish. In certain areas of the world, online shopping is becoming more dominant than purchases from brick and mortar stores. It’s no wonder why a site such as Shopify is flourishing with its ecommerce services to help customers build their sites in an easier manner. China is surely outbidding foreign products in a world economy, so the market is there. However, most Chinese customers would rather buy using their own commerce. Of course, this means buying off a Chinese ecommerce store. However, as more sites adapt to different currencies, local ecommerce sites may see tons of competition. Paypal is already ahead of the game with their payment system. It’s not surprising to see physical retail stores to implement online POS as a way of payment even in the store. Paypal transactions made in a physical store will be more commonplace. Why? Less people use paper money these days. At the end of the day, businesses have to continue to evolve with the consumer or be left along the waist side.
Also, you do yourself a major favor by scoping out what works in specific markets, which will step up your game in diversifying your product. Starting off locally is great, but remember – ecommerce is catching serious heat overseas. Don’t miss your flight to a new set of prospects that can turn into loyal customers because you have a product that’s under served where they live.
9: Login through Social Sites
Now this will definitely step your ecommerce site up. There are a lot of people who hate the registration process such as credit card, address, and all of that mess. Being able to login through social media allows customers to conveniently go to your site and participate, comment, etc. Security is a big issue when dealing with online stores. When you have a page that genuinely looks safe and not out to get your information for ulterior motives, it gives your prospects a sigh of relief. Besides, your customers are on Facebook, Google+, and Twitter, anyway. Why not make it easier by going through an easy registration? You can even use the social login as an incentive for a good loyalty program to aid in the next purchase.
10. Good site performance/live chat
You can have some incredible content, but it means nothing if your site is not up to par. Sure, you want a great looking site, but don’t compromise looks for functionality. You don’t want your click rate to drop as a result of a poorly optimized site. Look at a site like Amazon or even Facebook. If their site is down or running slowly even for a minute, this costs a lot of money because of products and advertising. Just imagine yourself on a smaller scale. You don’t want to start off your brand with a poor rapport especially prospects who are just getting in touch with you and your brand. Just in case they do run into any issues, a 24/7 live chat would be great for your ecommerce site. A live human assisting you in your time of need is just what the doctor ordered. It’s a great form of customer service and it will ensure your customer stays on your site. It helps your site get positive reviews, tweets, and positive Facebook statuses. Remember that your site performance, customer feedback, and live chat all coincide to give the best user experience as possible.
11: Guest blog while keeping your off-site discussions
It takes time to build your brand. Don’t think that a few guest blogs will build you long term traffic. The market can go up and down like an elevator. Even if you do get some great traction, it’s always good to leave your two cents on certain sites just to be sharp and refresh your ideas. Sometimes, a new perspective on things will help you create new and exciting content. You need this from time to time to stay sharp! Never feel like you can settle on the same content and products.
Win your customers over time as you release consistent products and content. Trust is a huge thing, so it’s your job to never let your customers second guess your intentions.
12 : Focus on the way you distribute your content/products
Great content is like having two nice slices of bread without the filling or slice of meat to hold the sandwich together. It’s equally important to find the right avenues of viewing your content. If you haven’t received the results you deserve, here are some reasons why you may not be excelling:
No one saw your post – You have to work at expanding your reach. You can’t sell any products without properly selling yourself.
Still not familiar with you– You may have subscribers, but that doesn’t matter after just a week or so. You honestly need to take time and spend months or years creating value. This is to build a long term customer!
Still need to work on your trust – The true leaders of this industry have been in the scene for a while. They’ve been through the ups and downs and really know exactly what they are talking about. Your voice needs to be gold. You have to earn that trust with your new customers.
A fresh start is just what you need to create a better ecommerce brand. Sometimes, you have to reinvent yourself, but you learn that the interaction between your brand and the people is sacred. What type of value are you giving your customers? Also, how are you going to capitalize off your re-launch? Find more modern ways that a lot of your competitors don’t even consider. Don’t just jump in full force without a game plan. Scope some sites, forums, and online communities. When you’ve setup enough awareness and good content, you have a great launch under hand. Use this as a preliminary guide for your new site, but make sure you find what works for you!