From US$2.9 billion in 2018, the global eCommerce retail sales have doubled to US$4.8 billion in 2021. Looking at these figures alone, we can all agree on the fact that eCommerce has become the best option for startup entrepreneurs and established brands alike to widen their reach and grow their businesses.
The retail industry has greatly changed in 2021 due mainly to movement restrictions aimed to minimise face-to-face contact in traditional brick and mortar stores. As COVID-19 pandemic began putting eCommerce at the forefront of retail, the competition has grown rapidly. In general, businesses that were able to adapt to digital platforms thrived while traditional retailers, even several prominent ones, have already filed for bankruptcy.
Whether you’re planning to get started with eCommerce or you already have an eCommerce platform in place, these strategies below will surely help your brand grow and succeed this 2022.
1. Look for an eCommerce platform that will grow with you.
There are a lot of reliable eCommerce platforms that allow you to set up your eCommerce website in the easiest, fastest way possible. Two of the most popular options are Shopify and WooCommerce. While most of these solutions claim to offer tremendous benefits to brands like yours, it doesn’t always mean they are the best choice for your business. Before choosing an eCommerce platform, you might want to answer these questions below:
- How much are you willing to pay for a platform?
- How many products are you planning to sell?
- What features and capabilities do you think you will need?
- What level of customisation are you looking for?
- Will you have a technical support team of your own?
Answering the question above will help you choose which among the list of eCommerce platforms best fits your brand. Tip: Select an eCommerce solution that you think will grow alongside your business. After all, you don’t want to spend much money on a platform you can only use for a couple of months.
2. Spend time reviewing your market product fit.
According to Gretta van Riel, a serial entrepreneur from Australia who has founded four multi-million dollar eCommerce businesses, your customer is not everyone. She added:
”New entrepreneurs think that their product is so amazing and it’ll appeal to anyone. Therefore, their target market is everyone. Nobody can afford to market to everybody. So to get more ROI (return on investment) out of your marketing, you need to find the group of people who your offer is the most compelling for.”
If you have already made the same mistake of marketing to everyone, don’t panic. What you can do is create a customer personas based on the customer data you already have such as the demographics and psychographics of your target market
3. Invest in web design.
Your website is the storefront of your business. As such, you need to make sure that it has all the things your customers will need.
Consider your website title and meta description as your window display. Since it’s the first thing your customers will see once they arrive on your page, you want the title and the description to be enticing enough to make customers click on your website.
Users should be able to navigate your site seamlessly. Every page of your website should lead users to where you want them to be.
Remember that first impressions matter so make the most out of it.
4. Leverage the power of social media.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and TikTok are just some of the best social media platforms that provide great opportunities for businesses to connect and engage with customers and potential buyers. It is a high-traffic area where most of your customers are usually at. In fact, research shows that there are expected to be 3.96 billion social media users worldwide in 2022, a 4.8 percent increase from a year ago.
Posting on social media can help your customers discover your brand, look into your website and eventually move forward to the next step in the buyer’s journey.
5. Use ratings and reviews.
People value other people’s opinions and experiences, that’s a fact. With 77% of customers reporting that they ‘always’ or ‘regularly’ read reviews when browsing local businesses, we can all agree that online ratings and reviews are now an integral part of eCommerce.
Ratings and reviews hold tremendous power. When integrated properly into a brand’s marketing campaign, reviews can help increase consumer trust, establish credibility and build social popularity.
6. Automate business processes.
Technologies that seemed impossible before have turned into today’s reality. Automating eCommerce processes, for instance, has been the name of the game for most brands on the playing field. From marketing and communication to shipping, there are many aspects of a business that can be automated for better allocation of resources and increased productivity.
Automation doesn’t only mean removing humans from the picture such as using chatbots to answer basic questions from the customers. It could also mean email workflow, ticket creation and unpublishing out-of-stock products.
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eCommerce is something every brand should strive to develop and improve this 2022. By following the steps listed above, your business will surely thrive and stay afloat of the competition.