Launching and building an eCommerce store is not as complicated and difficult as it once used to be.
Today, the entry barrier to setting up an online store is lower than ever before, with tons of solutions available that make it affordable and practical for those who do not have the technical expertise to start selling online.
However, building a beautiful store is only half the battle. It won’t start increasing your sales numbers until more and more people come to know about it. While there are plenty of hacks out there to increase your revenue, sometimes going old school can prove beneficial.
Make your online store sales-ready
There is no overnight success story here. Before you delve into the various marketing strategies that you could apply, are you convinced that you’ve built the perfect store front? Do you know what makes it stand out from other stores? Simply having a different colour palette here will not do the job.
With the ever-increasing competition in the eCommerce industry, it is crucial that you look at every single detail of your online store and make sure it stands out. For example, your domain name - how much time did you spend thinking about your online identity, one that will be a key in all your marketing messages?
A good domain name builds a strong foundation for a store. To ensure that your domain name is perfect, you need to see if it checks the following boxes:
● Is it short and simple?
● Is it meaningful and relevant to your business and industry?
● Is it free of hyphens, numbers, and modified spellings?
● Is it keyword-rich?
● Is it strong enough to offer great branding potential?
This may seem like a lot, but a domain name on a .STORE extension can help you check all the boxes above. .STORE immediately establishes that you’re selling something, it's keyword-rich, and offers a strong branding potential.
For example: www.bettergarden.com could be a website that talks about gardening, or a blog that shares tips on how to build a beautiful garden. However, www.bettergarden.store immediately establishes that you can buy garden supplies here because of the word “store” in the domain name.
Once you have a beautiful store with the perfect domain name set up, start implementing the following tips to build your audience online and increase your sales.
1. Run effective PPC ads
Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing is a useful way to generate targeted traffic and create a buzz about your online store. With PPC marketing, you purchase clicks on your advertisements, so you are essentially buying guaranteed traffic.
However, optimizing campaigns to achieve maximum click-through-rate (CTR) and minimum cost-per-click (CPC) is a challenge for most marketers.
To address this issue, carefully choose the keywords associated with your advertisements. Ideally, it would be best if you targeted long-tail keywords that show strong intent. Long-tail searches are phrases such as "buy [item] online in [location]" or "[brand name] discount codes" or “online store for [item]”. Long tail keywords normally have low search volume to ensure that the traffic you’re getting is very specific to you.
Traffic that comes from such targeted ads tends to have a higher conversion rate. Therefore, you will see a much better Return on Ad Spend.
Moreover, use a “bait” in the advertisement that compels people to click on the call-to-action button. For example, it can be a flat discount on a purchase or a “buy 1 get 1 free” offer.
2. Build a targeted mailing list
Once you get traffic to your website, your next challenge is getting those new visitors to come back.
If someone purchases products from your store, you will get their contact details as a part of the checkout process. You can use these details to promote other similar products that might be relevant to them.
Apart from this, to build an email list you could offer a discount code, a downloadable guide, or any other useful resource or incentive to visitors to encourage them to sign up for your mailing list.
For example, if you sell computer parts, offer an ebook titled “A Guide to the Best PC Builds.” If you sell supplements, provide free workout programs. Choose something that adds value to your customers.
3. Use cross-channel marketing to reach offline shoppers
If you have a brick-and-mortar store, use that as a platform to market your online presence and vice-versa.
For example, considering that most stores are shut, you could put a sign outside your store asking users to visit you on your online store. Maybe add a discount coupon there to gauge how many customers saw that sign and visited your website.
Using the example of a supplement store again, consider sending out a few tasting samples to customers who visit your site and then ask them to share their thoughts on social media and earn rewards in return.
Ask your existing customers to refer you for a free gift. Since your existing customers already know and trust you, they are your most powerful brand advocates. Therefore, utilize every opportunity to cross-promote your online store by connecting with them.
4. Build and maintain a powerful social media presence
When using social media for your brand, don’t share content for the sake of sharing. Make every single message and post count. Study your target audience and create accounts on platforms where they engage the most. Make sure you spend some dollars to advertise your business by using various engagement strategies.
Be less promotional and share informational content that provides value to users. Not only can this tactic help boost engagement on your social posts, but over time users will start trusting you for your expertise in the field.
Paid social media advertising can be used in combination with organic marketing. It helps generate leads, raise brand awareness, and increase sales. Use branded short links such as bettergarden.store/shovel or bettergarden.store/fakegrass instead of a cryptic link shortener.
For example, if you sell apparel, target people on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. If you deal in B2B products, LinkedIn and Facebook are your best bets.
5. Run well-planned sales promotions
Since you’re just launching your online store, it’s important to raise brand awareness. Attract people by promoting sales and offers. Set your prices so that there is sufficient margin to allow you to run seasonal discounts and marketing promotions.
Learn about the psychology of pricing, and how techniques such as anchoring, comparison, and tiered pricing can help to shape your customers’ opinions about your products and whether they are aimed at them or not.
The bottom line: Be consistent and patient
It takes time to build a brand. Be patient and consistent in your marketing efforts.
While PPC marketing will give you an increase in traffic, other techniques can take longer to gain traction. Be prepared to invest in online marketing to promote your store for at least one year before you decide whether or not the niche is profitable or not.
Start with a solid foundation for your online store: Get a .STORE domain right now at Rebel for only $8.99 (that's a total savings of 86%. Now that's good business).