When you open your own ecommerce store, it has the potential to transform your life. You can turn your hobby into a job, supplement your income and even turn it into your full time career. The right promotion and advertising campaigns will gain traffic to your site, interest, and ultimately, more customers! There are a great many things you need to consider, whether you’ve just started or have been developing your business for some time. We take you through our top five tips for boosting your ecommerce site. A little effort can pay dividends to your business.
Choose the right merchant account
Choosing the right merchant account for your store can be a tricky business, especially as there are so many different options to choose from. You want a merchant account that will maximise your income and not charge you per transaction. There are also combined gateways and merchant accounts to make the process smoother. Axcess is one of the most trusted providers of merchant accounts, and can clear your records with the banks and reduce chargeback rates if you have had problems in the past. We work with hundreds of banks and acquirers to find the right solution for you. Your merchant account should be specific to your business and tailored around you.
Shopify offers automatic merchant accounts for merchants who set up their shop with them, and Axcess offer a combined gateway and merchant account. Depending on the provider of your store and what you want from it, comparing your options will ensure that you find an option appropriate for you.
Find the right promotional tools
Are fliers and business cards going to benefit your business, or will building a social media following have a bigger impact? Think about who you want to target, and how big you want your audience to be. If you run a local service for a specific area, think about distributing your business cards and posters appropriately. If you want to target a national or even global audience, a crafted online marketing campaign could get the interest your company needs.
Facebook should be used with caution, you can pay to get your posts promoted but you want to ensure that you’re reaching the right audience. A better scheme would be to use Google AdWords, which only charges you when there is a successful click through conversion on your advert.
LinkedIn is a great tool to share presentations and promotional documents for your business. If you recently held a successful seminar or have top tips to share with those in your industry, creating a presentation for Slideshare can gain you a great deal of interest. Pinterest and Instagram can be good for visual promotional tools. Invest in a good camera and photography kit and take some quality shots of your products. To find out more about online marketing strategies for your business, read our previous article covering the best strategies.
Research your competitors
This is a very important step. Research the top competitors to your company so you know how to get the edge over them. Specifically, find out what they do well and what they don’t. Social media is a good way to gauge how your competitors are using different mediums to reach their customers and grow their audience. However, remember that there is a fine line between taking inspiration and copying your competitors work. This applies to websites more than anything, as copying sections from websites will incur serious penalties from Google, leaving your website lower on search engine rankings. Also, this is potentially plagiarism, which nobody wants to have on their track record.
Have a business plan and marketing strategy
It is worth investing a few hours in researching and creating this strategy. What results do you want to see? Who do you want to target? Will you have to implement a website redesign yourself or hire an external agency? Set out your aims very clearly and how you’re going to achieve them. Creating an SEO optimised site will lead to organic traffic from Google based on what they’re searching for. Take thirty minutes to an hour to plan this out and make a proposal on a word document.
When hiring an external agency, set a budget and be sure that you’re getting the right results for your money. Get the agency to break down exactly what they will deliver and how. You don’t want to be snared with ridiculous prices for a site that will attract no conversions. It can be a worthwhile investment finding a reputable company, so ensure that you receive monthly reports to check progress on this.
Know your audience
Research will pay off, find out who is visiting your site and your competitors and mould your strategy against this information. Target at them specifically without seeming like a spammer. If you know a certain demographic will respond better to a certain technique, then tailor that to them. There are ways of working out your demographic, either through customer surveys or via visitor data on your website. Google Analytics and AdWords are great tools for this, as they can break down the specific demographics of your visitors. Customer surveys are also a great tool, but it’s good to offer something like a discount to encourage customers to fill them out.
We hope that these top tips will help you on your way to your ecommerce site being as profitable and successful as it can be. What are your tips for ecommerce? Comment below and we’ll feature you and your suggestion in a future article.