Coming up with unique business ideas is no mean feat. Though, even the best ideas are of no use, if you don’t take the next bold step and turn them into a reality. To help you turn your ideas into a successful online business, we have compiled this list of 28 tips. From creating your website to interacting with your target audience, these practical tips will make your journey much easier.
How to Start and Grow Your Brand: 28 eCommerce Tips for Entrepreneurs:
- 1. Create a website that is aesthetically pleasing
- 2. Pay attention to your navigation
- 3. Stay clear from trending niches
- 4. Use subcategories for your products
- 5. Include a page dedicated to FAQs
- 6. Start a blog
- 7. Work with influencers
- 8. Grow your presence on a number of social media channels
- 9. Grow your list of email subscribers
- 10. Create adverts
- 11. Provide free shipping
- 12. Don’t just copy your copy
- 13. Use the right keywords
- 14. Build external backlinks
- 15. Use video
- 16. Ask customers to write product reviews
- 17. Use user-generated content
- 18. Implement a loyalty program
- 19. Make your relationships with your customers a priority
- 20. Price your products fairly
- 21. Promote upselling
- 22. Treat your customers to sales
- 23. Try to recover abandoned carts
- 24. Embrace automation
- 25. Use a selection of payment gateways to make shopping easier
- 26. Focus on your strengths (and outsource your weaknesses)
- 27. Stay consistent
- 28. Keep an open mind
1. Create a website that is aesthetically pleasing
While it is important that your website is informative and easy to navigate, it should also be aesthetically pleasing. Luckily, there are countless themes and templates available that will help you to create a site that will be a visual feast. After all, your website will be a virtual storefront and will shape your target audience’s first impression of your brand.
2. Pay attention to your navigation
Did you know that users click more often on the first and last items in your top menu? You can use this to your advantage by instead placing a popular product category in the first spot. Another good strategy is to create a page just dedicated to items on sale and then place it either in the first or last slot.
3. Stay clear from trending niches
It is best not to build your entire eCommerce store around only trending products. Instead, identify a popular specialized segment in the market like fitness products or men’s clothing. You can then always add a few trending product ideas like bamboo toothbrushes to your product range.
4. Use subcategories for your products
While your top navigation will usually only have your general categories such as Men, Kids or Women, it is still important to create specific subcategories. Not only does generic categories make it harder than it has to be for customers to find a product, but it also does not help with SEO. If you are selling women’s clothing, for example, you can use subcategories like clothing, shoes, and accessories which you will further subcategorize by using product categories like boots, sandals, and sneakers. This step will become even more important as your store and its product range expand. At the end of the day, if your target audience can find specific items easily, they will be more inclined to support your store.
5. Include a page dedicated to FAQs
All eCommerce sites should have a page just for frequently asked questions. Here you can include information about your returns policy, shipping and other questions related to your products. For example, if your online store sells clothing, it can be a good idea to include information about how the sizing works. Not only will you be able to redirect customers to this page, but it can actually help to limit the number of queries you receive allowing you to focus more of your time on other important tasks like marketing your store.
6. Start a blog
Creating a blog is one of the easiest ways to improve SEO and drive more traffic to your eCommerce site. What is more, you can even consider monetizing your blog by for example including relevant links in your blog posts. Even if you have no intention to turn it into an additional stream of income, it is a great resource that you can use to teach your target audience more about your products. That alone is more than enough reason to pick up the pencil.
7. Work with influencers
It might take time and hard work to identify the right influencers for your brand, but influencer marketing is not as costly as you might expect. According to a Bloglovin’ study, more than 80% of micro-influencers charge $250 (or less) per sponsored post on Instagram. What is more, it is also extremely effective. Our own influencer marketing survey revealed that 90% of respondents believe that it works. So, if you have not done so yet, start to build a relationship with influencers.
8. Grow your presence on a number of social media channels
Long gone are the days that your brand could be on only one social media platform. Nowadays, it is best to use multiple social media platforms. It does not even necessarily have to mean more work as there are numerous tools available. After all, it could just be that the one platform that you concentrated all your marketing efforts on will no longer be that popular in the near future. You just need to think of Myspace and it is clear that you need to grow your presence on at least three social networks.
9. Grow your list of email subscribers
While email is not new, it remains one of the effective marketing tools. To help you promote your products and online store by means of email marketing, you will need to grow your list of email subscribers. You can then, for example, send exclusive offers to your email list or share your latest blog post with tips that your target audience will find valuable.
10. Create adverts
To make money, you need to spend money. One place where you can spend your profit is on advertising. Retargeting ads, in particular, work very well. In short, retargeting ads are shared with those who have visited your website in an attempt to try and get them back.
11. Provide free shipping
If you can try to offer free shipping to your customers, it can be a great incentive to your target audience to support your brand. Plus, if your biggest competitors offer only paid shipping, free shipping can also help you to set yourself apart.
12. Don’t just copy your copy
If you take the time to write original product descriptions, you will be rewarded with more sales. Unlike Ts & Cs, people actually read product descriptions. In many instances, potential customers turn to the product description if they are unsure about if they should buy the product. So, if they are only greeted by a few bullets about the product’s specs, the chances are that they would rather continue their online shopping.
Effective product descriptions tell a story and include details like the inspiration behind the product to help add more personality to the item. They also focus on the advantages of the different features, instead of solely listing the dimensions.
13. Use the right keywords
While it is important to use social media channels and work with influencers, you should not forget about search engine optimization (SEO). By creating an SEO strategy and identifying the right keywords for your niche, you can generate loads of organic traffic. The best part is that unlike other forms of advertising, an SEO strategy does not necessarily have to cost money.
14. Build external backlinks
To help you reduce what you spend on advertising, you can focus on creating external backlinks. You can, for instance, write guests posts for relevant blogs. At the end of the day, if you can increase the number of sources that can generate traffic to your online store, you can decrease what you spend on other forms of advertising.
15. Use video
Not only can product videos help you to provide information about your products, but they can also be used for marketing. According to MarketingMag, consumers’ attention spans are even shorter. Now, you have only 2.7 seconds to grab their attention. As video is more engaging than texts or even images for that matter, they can help to capture attention more effectively than just relying on text.
16. Ask customers to write product reviews
Social proof is invaluable. So, don’t be shy (or lazy) to reach out to previous customers to ask them to write a short product review. It really helps to give potential customers that reassurance that they might need to buy one of your products.
17. Use user-generated content
In addition to asking your customers to write product reviews, it is also a good idea to ask them to share some of their photos in which they use or wear your products. While you should have high-quality product photos, consumers also want to see what the products look like in real life. Just remember to get permission to share these photos and give customers the credit.
18. Implement a loyalty program
A loyalty program can really help you to grow your base of returning customers. One of the main benefits of having repeat customers is that they tend to spend more than first-time customers. Needless to say, you should still focus on attracting new customers, but too often businesses forget about improving the user experience for their loyal customers too.
19. Make your relationships with your customers a priority
By sending personalized emails to your customers from time to time, you can get a much more accurate understanding of their needs which will ultimately help you to deliver a better shopping experience. If you find that customers are reluctant to share their feedback, you can include PROMO codes as motivation and a sign of your gratitude. It might take time, but you will definitely reap the rewards.
20. Price your products fairly
If your strategy is to compete on price, be warned that it comes at a cost. Truth be told, customers do not mind paying for a product if they believe the price to be fair. At the end of the day, to stay afloat your online business needs to remain profitable. So, stay clear of always trying to offer your product at the lowest possible price.
21. Promote upselling
One way to boost your sales and increase the average value of your orders is to make use of upselling. You can, for instance, share a list of similar products and offer discounts if they add one of these similar products to their purchase.
22. Treat your customers to sales
Sales can benefit both customers and online stores. Your customers will feel as if they scored, while it can help you to boost your sales. It is a good idea to add countdown timers to the products on sale as this can create a sense of urgency. You can also include a dedicated section to sales in your menu.
23. Try to recover abandoned carts
While abandoned carts are completely normal, you should still try to see if you can recover at least a few. To help you do this, you can send your potential customer a follow-up email a few hours after he/she failed to complete the transaction and a few emails a couple of days later.
24. Embrace automation
There are many tools available that you can use to automate aspects of your daily operations. From social media marketing to simply sending invoices, try to embrace automation in various ways. Not only will it help to reduce human error, but it will free up time that you can then instead spend on scaling your business.
25. Use a selection of payment gateways to make shopping easier
If you can, try to provide your customers a selection of popular payment gateways. This way, they can pick the way that they prefer to pay which will ultimately make their shopping experience easier.
26. Focus on your strengths (and outsource your weaknesses)
As an entrepreneur, you do not have to be good at everything. Though, you do need to know what you are good at, know what your weaknesses are and have the wisdom to outsource your weaknesses to experts.
27. Stay consistent
Consistency matters a lot. Consumers like to know more or less what they can expect. This also rings true for when you are posting to social media or adding new products. It is a good idea to add new blog posts or products on the same day each week. This way, you will encourage customers to visit your website and social media channels often.
28. Keep an open mind
Successful eCommerce businesses experiment a lot. From big hero images to a seemingly insignificant call-to-action button, there are many different elements that you will need to test. So, be sure to experiment with both your website and adverts to see which deliver the best results. By taking the time to test different ads, graphics, copy, etc., you will gather invaluable data that will help you to get to know your target audience much better.