Small business has taken quite a blow lately, but many small business owners have decided to embrace the saying, “If you can’t beat ‘em — join ‘em.’’ These brick-and mortar-businesses are going online to generate new revenue streams.
If you’ve started to build your own eCommerce venture, you have surely heard of Shopify. It’s one of the largest merchant platforms serving U.S.-based entrepreneurs and business owners, with over one million current users. While other platforms are out there, many people new to eCommerce prefer Shopify for its simplicity.
With Shopify, even beginners can have their shop up and running quickly. But don’t let this simplicity fool you. Shopify helps users create professional, eye-catching websites and user-friendly online shopping experience. How simple it is to use does not compromise the quality of the end result. For this reason, many people experienced in eCommerce also use Shopify to create attractive, functional online stores.
1. Use your personal online accounts to advertise
This tip might seem overly simple. However, many people fail to realize the power of their online network. Here’s how it works: your accounts provide the exposure as friends ‘like’ and ‘share’ your posts, elevating your brand beyond your own circle of friends.
Because each social media channel is a little different, you’ll need a strategy to maximize the impact of your digital marketing efforts. However, some things are universal. Creating clever, memorable hashtags and posting pictures and videos are important. For Facebook, you can send ‘invites’ for special sales or ‘go live’ for product demonstrations. The possibilities are endless, but don’t forget the main purpose is to drive traffic back to your selling site.
2. Seek out a partnership
It’s true — there is strength in numbers. A partner who has a non-competitive, like-minded brand can be a great asset, especially if that partner is also selling online. If this is the case, your products are now on two websites, reaching a bigger audience.
An example of a creative partnership would be one person selling skincare products and the other selling hair care items. Now you are working as a team, sharing products with each customer base. For example, you can add a sample of your shampoo to a skincare package in hopes of getting a sale in the future. The possibilities are wide open to offer coupons, other discounts, giveaways, ‘go live’ demonstrations, and more.
3. Have a strategy for cart abandonment
According to Debutify, 60% – 80% of online shopping carts are abandoned before reaching checkout. If you don’t have a strategy to prevent this loss of interest, you need one to redirect shoppers back to the items they once saw as ‘cart-worthy.”
Nearly half of all abandoned cart reminder e-mails are opened and a third of those help lead customers back to your website. These results warrant using a reminder e-mail to get those items out of the cart and into customers’ hands. But don’t think just any old e-mail will do the trick. Be creative. Write a catchy subject line that grabs the customer’s attention. Consider making it personal and address them by name. Add coupon codes and other discounts. But mostly, make sure you add an unmistakable sales button or link that redirects them back to your site to complete the purchase.
4. Check out influencer marketplaces
Influencers are hot commodities these days. They may not be ultra-famous, but they are internet famous, and in the digital age, that’s quite enough to help drive some loyal customers to your site.
Of course, you want to search for an influencer who matches your brand. You might be thinking you have no idea how to go about finding someone interested in endorsing your company. This is where the influencer marketplaces come in.
Sure, you can try to contact someone directly through their social media, but you will most likely get lost in the shuffle. Influencers either sign up on these sites or pay to be there, letting you know they are open to checking out products you are selling. Grapevine and Famebit are two of the most popular marketplaces today.
5. Invest in PR and advertising
There’s a lot to be said for paying a little to make a lot. Hiring a public relations firm can help skyrocket your sales by helping you gain focus and create a plan. Their network of media influencers is a powerful tool to drive more sales.
Purchasing Google ads and social media ads is also a popular strategy for showcasing your business. Often the first thing people do when they need something is look it up on Google. With some good SEO, your site can be at the top of the search list.
Another way to get at the top of that list is by purchasing text ads that show up in search results or by using shopping ads that show a product photo and a price. These shopping ads are generally featured with other similar products and have the link to your site if a potential customer ‘clicks’ for a better look.
If you’re thinking about pivoting your business to an eCommerce format, choosing a website platform will be one of the first things you do. Shopify has a multitude of themes and add-ons to help you create a professional, user-friendly website. Then let the tips above guide you through the rest of the process.