“If you build it, they will come.”
Those immortal words from Field of Dreams couldn’t be more untrue in the digital sphere. The truth is no, matter how good your prices are, your shipping costs, or how unique your product is, you can’t simply rely on building a website and having people show up to purchase. E-commerce websites can be expensive to build in comparison to other website designs. They require a significant amount of work to import all your products. But the real work of making e-commerce successful comes after it’s built. So here are some helpful tips to increase your odds of maintaining a profitable e-commerce website.
Get Ready to Write a lot of Descriptions
Unless you’re only using your e-commerce website to sell to your existing customers, not many people will know what you offer. By writing in depth descriptions for each product, visitors can know if what you’re offering is what they want. This will also help in your searches as well. Because we’re not only trying to help site visitors find what they need easily, but we’re trying to help Google and the other search engines know as well. So whether you have 20 or 2,000 products each one should be well described in terms of size, variables, related products, and the use of the product where it’s applicable.
This also means it should be SEO optimized as well. Researching competitor products, how they list them, and the keywords that they use will help you rank for those products organically over time.
Get Ready to Pay to be Found
This is especially important if you’re new to the e-commerce world. It takes years to rank for products without having to pay for them. So you need to be ready to spend money with the search engines for product ads. Google has some great tools to help you efficiently advertise your products you just need to make sure that they’re bringing you an ROI and the ads don’t cost more than the product is worth. Having good ad copy and landing pages that are visitors like will go a long way to reduce that cost-per-click.
Collect as Much Data About Your Visitors as Possible
Not everyone is going to be ready to buy. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t learn who they are. Having calls-to-action that aren’t necessarily about purchasing will help those that are simply researching get needed information, and you to get needed data about them. This will help in our next section.
Nurture Those Leads
Cart abandonment is one of the biggest problems facing an e-commerce store. Some 80% of people who put an item in a cart (usually to see shipping costs) will abandon the cart to shop elsewhere. Don’t lose those people.
Just like in traditional sales you have to nurture leads that are high in the funnel to get them to close. The same thing holds true in an e-commerce website. Drip email campaigns, offering discounts, and advertising to them on social media will keep you top of mind as they continue to research the best product for their needs. So stay on top of that using a marketing automation tool or email sending service to feed them relevant content in their buying process.
Delight Your Existing Customers
It’s easier to resell and upsell existing clients than it is to go and get new ones. Your customers can also be the best way to gain new customers as well. By delighting your existing ones with great customer service, good content, and a robust social media campaign, they will share the benefits of working with you with their connections. This can have an adverse affect if you’re not doing your work to delight them too. Bad reviews and comments on social media will happen if you’re not delighting them, so be conscious of how you treat existing customers. They’re a gift.
Sometimes None of it is Enough
This is simply part of business. The most well funded startups often fail. The best marketing plans can go ignored by the population. The most beautiful and easiest to use e-commerce websites sometimes never sell. Nothing in business is a guarantee, but having a strategy for success will certainly help you toward achieving it. So if you thought to yourself, hey we’ve had this brick and mortar store, we should start selling our items online, you need to ask yourself a few questions.
First, why do you want to have an e-commerce website?
Second, can you afford to invest in its success?
Last, are you ready for what happens if it succeeds or fails?
If you can answer those questions and are ready to get started its time to build your e-commerce field of dreams and market it, so they actually will come.