If you’re reading this, it probably means you already have a budding e-commerce business. Regardless if you started out as a brick-and-mortar store or are operating exclusively online, you already know that a huge part of today’s marketplace can be found online, and currently 58% of Americans do their shopping online.
In a previous post, our guest writer Steven Smith walked readers through the basics of e-commerce: from finding a platform and creating a name, to doing your market research and finding the best shipping partner. And once you’re done checking off those boxes, now comes the next part, which is taking your business to the next level.
After all, e-commerce is very competitive, especially with more and more brands digitizing operations on a daily basis. To stand out, you need to be making sure you’re reaching out to the right people and maximizing the appropriate channels. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
Be active on social media
Even with the best product or service, you can’t just expect people to find you on their own. Sometimes, you have to actively make your brand visible. The easiest way to do that is through social media. However, with countless sites out there, how do you know which one to focus on? Well, it depends on what your goal is. Facebook, for instance, remains the most popular choice and is great for paid advertisements. On the other hand, Business News Daily notes that Instagram is great for flexing your brand’s artistic side. Of course, there’s also Twitter for sharing short updates and YouTube for in-depth video content. Rather than make an account for everything, choose the best one to complement your main site and formulate a strategy from there.
Keep everything on-brand
If you want your brand to stick, you need to establish a common theme that customers can immediately associate with your store. For instance, anyone can recognize the iconic green palette of Starbucks. But over the years, the major coffee chain has also become known for its sharp use of design and playful balance. This is something they’re consistent with—whether it’s their copywriting on social media, or the images they use. Now, ask yourself: what kind of emotions do you want your brand to convey? Calm and comforting? Wild and fierce? Sleek and stylish? Make sure whatever your branding is it translates to everything you put up online.
Part of running an e-commerce business is acknowledging dynamic digital trends. True enough, HP highlights the mobile phenomenon as one of the ‘5 Most Important Technology Solutions for Small Business in 2019’. Their statistics reveal that smartphones are responsible for 50% of online traffic, which means that this is one trend that all businesses should pay attention to—regardless of size or nature. Whether it’s creating an app or offering virtual payments, your business should start adopting strategies with smartphones in mind. Because if your site isn’t optimized for mobile, then you risk losing customers if they have to struggle just to get through your site.
Build an online community
Engaging your market in meaningful ways is integral in making them feel valued as customers. By building a community, you give consumers a conducive space to support your brand and interact with like-minded individuals. Sephora is a company that does this very well with Beauty Board—a platform they created where followers can share looks they like, tag their favorite products, and exchange thoughts with fellow make-up lovers. That way, customers can have a deeper relationship with your brand beyond just another service or product they use.
The introduction of e-commerce has revolutionized the way businesses approach their markets. It’s less “what do I want to my customers to see?” and more “what do the customers want from me?” Answer the latter, and you are already taking a positive step forwards.