The online marketing of an ecommerce site can be tricky and there are many things to consider when looking at your web strategy. Use Google Adwords to start studying what words potential customer’s type into Google. Internet advertising  can be very worthwhile and the level of advertising activity will depend on your budget, the size of your business and how competitive the marketplace is. Here are a few questions you must ask yourself when considering a digital marketing strategy.

  • What is your niche market?
  • If you’re not catering to a niche market, who are your competitors?
  • How can we be different than our competitors?
  • Where do potential customers like to chat or interact online?
  • Are there any particular pages online devoted to enthusiasts of your product?

Here are some activities you can implement to increase your web visibility to potential customers.

1. Put your products on 3rd party sites like Google Shopping, eBay etc.

This will  add to the visibility of your product and your site  while also opening the door to potential sales. Customers like to compare prices and if you’re pricing or terms are more than the next company offering the same product, you’re more likely to get the  sale, and in the case of a repeat purchase the buyer may go to your site directly, establishing loyalty. This may also generate positive word of mouth on social media, like Facebook for example, as someone may post something really favourable like; ‘Hey, I got the same thing at half that price from Joesbooksandrecords.com. Check it out’. Invariably other potential customers will investigate. Conversely, over-priced items or late or expensive shipping may engender ill-will and damage your standing as a viable ecommerce site. For tips on using social media follow this link.

2. Blog regularly.

Blogging takes time. There may be days when you’re tired, lack ideas or are just too damn busy to sit down and think of quality subject matter. If you’re really under pressure, delegate. Find someone in the company who can write an engaging post of sufficient quality. But always try and tie your posts to your product or industry. Include what is known a ‘call-to-action’ such as a brochure download, invitation to enter a competition or a special offer on one of your products. This will raise conversion rates, improving the  chance of a sale.  By having well written, fresh blog content you may become seen as a thought leader in your area and this engenders trust in your product and company, all the while building your online presence. Ensure the blog is on your ecommerce site and that you have links in the posts that go to products on other pages.

3. Try not to have too many images.

Having too many images on your site may slow it down and as they can take a long time to load. Resize images to make them smaller or use a different file format like .png . Online shopping is supposed to be a pleasurable, exciting but ultimately relaxing experience. Watching a swirling circle on a screen, while your page is struggling to load under the weight of product images is far from relaxing for a customer and will usually result in a shower of expletives being fired in your sites direction. Potential customer lost!

4. Make sure your site is easy to navigate and that user errors are quickly  rectified with prompts.

This is related to point three as it relates to the functionality of your website. If a user cannot easily find what they want on your website they will leave,  Google what they were searching for again and may happen upon another site offering the same product. Also if a user enters incorrect details into a form it should be easily corrected and the user should be able to proceed quickly  to the next step.

5.  Make your site’s content and presentation different from your competitors.

For customers this relates to the old adage ‘if you have two things that do the exact same thing then you don’t need one of them’.  From a customer’s viewpoint if two sites are offering the same type of products, pricing and content then one is superfluous. Make your content fresh, unique and interesting and ensure it is decidedly different from your competitors. Develop a unique online identity don’t simply be ‘one of the pack’ by having stale generic content. There are limits to what you can do regarding the pricing of your products. You must make a profit and your products are probably going to be priced similarly to your competitors, so try to offer something extra that your competitors don’t offer e.g. free shipping on some items, discounts on certain combination purchases, 2 for 1 offers etc.

6. Use audio and visual presentations.

Nothing engages the audience better than visual content. Aside from catching the eye, video allows you interact with your potential customer far more effectively than using plain text and static images. For example, a clothing company may use models in a video which is a far greater and more effective tool than having a static image as a sales technique. It is the nearest thing a potential customer has to being in an actual store. Think about your product and try to present it in unique and imaginative ways.

7. Use Keywords.

Use keyword research to see exactly what a potential customer is will type into a search engine when searching for your product and include this in the product description for a Search Engine Optimised approach.

A Note on Niche Markets.

Try to become an expert in your market. If you have a niche market, engage with enthusiasm on Facebook pages or other social media devoted to the area.  Enthusiasts for a unique product or lifestyle love talking about their hobbies, preferences etc. Often, the more specialised the hobby or interest the more close-knit and vocal the global community is. There may be people from all over the world discussing it and arguing over it and generally engaging with others. Engage with them through their forums, boards etc. Make inroads into their communities. Comment on some of their posts. Friend them on Facebook. Identify their needs. Make yourself accepted as one of them. More importantly, make yourself seen to be an enthusiast just like them who can ALSO understand and satisfy their needs and product requirements.

Let people notice that you understand your market and can answer and solve problems that are unique to that group. Often language is important so using the right terminology can give a good impression of expertise in an area.If you can master an empathetic approach to your conversations,  you are almost guaranteed increased site visits and conversions.  Niche markets will also use very specific keywords to get to your products. Know what these are and use them on your site. This interaction is also a valuable and informative source for market research.

The marketing of an ecommerce website takes time and as you learn you may tweak your approach to ti according to your knowledge of your market.  It is not an overnight process and you need to have a reasonable working knowledge of Google Analytic, Webmaster tools and Google Adwords and learn to interpret and use the information they provide. It is a learning curve but ultimately it should be rewarding and fruitful one. If you need help with your E-Commerce web development why not give our sales team a call? We would be delighted to offer you some obligation free advice.

Enjoy!

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