Whether you are launching a new business or a new income stream to expand your existing one, understanding how to make the move to online retail means re-evaluating how you think things should be done. Ecommerce software, practices, and marketing strategies are all constantly evolving, so the only way to stay ahead of the competition is to be constantly learning new tactics and strategies for success across all these areas.
- Who Is Your Customer? The Answer Changes
When you are doing local market research for a brick-and-mortar store site, it’s easy to look at demographics in the area, your sphere of influence for advertising and marketing, traffic on your street, and other factors specific to the location. What about when that location is digital, and there is no single locality whose population it aligns with. To be successful in that space, you need to ask yourself how you will be found and who it is that you think will find you online.
The good news? It’s possible to target your ideal customers and appeal to them in the digital spaces they are already using. You just need to understand how different social networks fill different niches and appeal to different populations. From there, you can build a platform on the relevant ones that will support your outreach. Targeted advertising tools help you make sure the marketing budget sends the message to the people who will respond positively to your product. From there, it’s up to you to build an effective ecommerce store that closes the deal.
- Dig Deep To Find Cost Efficiencies
Your quotes for supplies, shipping costs, and other necessities need to be scoured for opportunities to save. Will your best carrier rate still be the best when your business triples? It helps to have constant shipping rates comparison that are regularly updated to reflect the volume discounts, partnerships, and resulting costs for each major carrier. That way, you can decide which ones to use when you send your goods to customers.
Follow the same process with your suppliers, and consider whether you want to be doing all your own order processing. If you wind up needing extra warehouse space, it might wind up being easier to turn over your entire fulfillment process. Of course, if you do enough business, in-housing gets to a more profitable return down the road in most cases. It’s worth studying both sides while you make these decisions.
- Develop Your Digital Funnel To Build Sales
Once you know who you are trying to reach and where they can be found, you can escalate to building a marketing funnel. When you are ready to start fulfilling orders, that funnel delivers you prospective customers, and you need to decide what to do with them. There are a few productive options, and it’s a good idea to develop separate campaigns aimed at each of these objectives. They do not all have to run simultaneously, but there is something to be said for a multi-pronged approach.
- Get followers on social media
- Make sales on your online store today
- Customer retention and loyalty
- Build blog or site traffic by extending your digital reach
Each of these major goals has a different best approach, but they all help feed into each other if you plan for it. Once you understand how to bring the customers to you and you have built the platform to do it, the rest is pretty much learning to consistently deliver the quality experience that customers expect, no matter where they are.
Building a Local Business With an Online Store
If you have a brick-and-mortar location and you are expanding into online retail, it helps to remember that your goals for local traffic to your store require a completely separate approach to digital marketing from your goals of building an ecommerce platform that delivers nationally. Localizing content and building a funnel that ultimately results in a trip to you or an order for in-store pickup requires a much different focus, but one that still uses the same tools.