Top 5 ecommerce success tips from 3DCart
About the author
This is a guest post from Bryan Shaw. Bryan acts as the Community Manager for 3dcart. He has a M.A. in journalism coupled with years of experience in the ecommerce industry. If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to post your queries in the comment section. Alternatively, Bryan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What works for some e-store owners doesn’t necessarily work for others, and that’s why you need to discover what’s best for you and your business. Doing so will be a process, and often times a painful one, but at the end of the day, the hope is that you’ll stand alone atop the ecommerce summit ready to beat back the competition with knowledge and experience. And in an effort to help you obtain both, we’ve compiled a top-five list around what it truly takes to thrive as king of the online sales mountain. Enjoy, and please post your questions in the comment section below.
- Find your niche
In the land of ecommerce, competition is fierce. And before you start an online store, you’ll need to decide what to sell.
This is one of the biggest decisions for ecommerce merchants as many rush into hot-topic industries hoping to make a quick buck. And before we continue, let’s shatter the idea that opening an online store is an easy way to make money. It’s not. Being a successful e-store owner takes hard work, time, and perseverance. You need to have passion coupled with vision, strategy tied to execution, and perhaps above all else, you need to find a niche market.
Pick a product that allows you to keep a narrow and specialized focus. So rather than selling a wide selection of fashion accessories, try selling designer sunglasses only. Taking on too much too fast will hurt you in the long run.
- Study your competition
Know your competitors. Study them carefully, sign up for their newsletters and follow them on social media. This will help you set standards for your business, create effective marketing campaigns and outshine them in every way possible.
This type of research is particularly relevant for prospective online merchants. If you’re thinking about entering the world of ecommerce, it’s important to understand the marketplace you’re approaching.
- Be an expert
If you’re not knowledgeable and passionate about your products, your online store won’t succeed. Become an expert in your industry and showcase your knowledge with blog posts, product descriptions, promotional videos, social media posts, email marketing and newsletter campaigns.
In addition to knowing about your products, being passionate about your profession will drive your success. There’s no substitute for organic interest — you either have it or you don’t. Demonstrating genuine enthusiasm for your products and your job will encourage others to get on board with what you’re selling.
- Connect with your audience
One of the major drawbacks in the online shopping world is the line of separation that exists between merchants and their customers. Many assume ecommerce virtually eliminates the need for direct human interaction, but this is a misconception. Successful online stores are fueled by human interaction, especially in the golden age of social media.
Use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and the like as tools to connect with your audience. Harness the power of social media to build an active online community around your brand — one that interacts, converses and shares information relevant to your store and industry.
In addition to social media, email marketing, newsletter campaigns and blog sharing are also critical pieces in the connect-with-your-audience puzzle. Furthermore, each will drastically help improve SEO while extending organic visibility through stellar content creation.
- Keep aesthetics and functionality in mind
Your ecommerce store should be beautiful, user-friendly and fast. Choosing the right template is key, and customization is always a good idea.
When creating your website, give users an amazing visual experience. Online shoppers aren’t coming to your store to read, and studies suggest that a new shopper will only spend 25 seconds perusing your homepage before deciding whether or not to make a purchase. Twenty-five seconds is not a lot of time, so keep your website clean, modern and easy on the eyes.
When it comes to functionality and speed, remember this: bounce rates and shopping cart abandonment are directly tied to website performance. The slower your store functions, the less money you will make.
Another aspect of functionality is navigation. Make it user-friendly. Often, this includes a well-organized header, footer and categories list. You may also want to add a search field and site map on the homepage of your store. This will help your shoppers find exactly what they are looking for within seconds.
Internet trends are constantly changing, so whether you’re a brand new ecommerce merchant or an old pro, there’s always research to be done and new tactics to try. Use these tips to kick off or improve your online business, and let us know what works for you in the comment section below! Thanks so much for taking the time to ready everyone, and happy selling.