Research shows that it’s increasingly important for any business selling goods or services to have an online presence. It has been found that over 85 percent of people start their process of shopping via computers and smartphones, with 35 percent of people preferring to shop via laptops.
There are several ways to go about this, with some being easier and some are more adaptable than others, but whichever way you go, you’re bound to meet some hefty competition. So, to help your business either muscle into the online space or enhance its current standing in eCommerce, here are some useful tips and tricks to help you compete.
Choosing between your own web store or an existing platform
For anyone selling something online, there’s always the big question of whether you should build your own website or set up a store within an existing platform like Etsy, Amazon, or eBay. Going with a recognizable platform is the easier route. Still, it is limited in how far you can customize your offering and relay your brand, and you’ll usually end up paying a chunk of your earnings for the privilege of using a popular platform.
Having your own website requires more work, but it can be a much more effective way to put out your brand’s message and advertising your offering in a way that you see fit. That said, you have to make sure that your website is attractive and easy to use, with research showing 94 percent of users will exit a website if they deem it to be unattractive. Your website’s aesthetics are therefore incredibly important to online shoppers.
Many businesses find that a two-pronged approach is useful, with a storefront on a popular platform being able to give the brand exposure but it being backed-up by an independent website which, perhaps, offers something better. However, this does mean that you’ll need to manage on two fronts and, thus, compete on two fronts.
Recognizing the demand for mobile
Just as online shopping quickly became a dominant force, mobile shopping is creeping through as well. Hindered for years due to a lack of compatible websites and a dislike of paying through a small device, there are now enough high-profile, mobile-optimized websites that people expect to be able to use a mobile site. This is reflected in mCommerce research (mobile online commerce), which predicts the form of online shopping to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 25.5 percent over the next few years.
Going with a platform as the basis of your online offering generally means that your storefront will be mobile-optimized. That said, even if you’re building a new website, most leading design sites like GoDaddy offer a way for you to mobile-optimize your new platform. Some truly inspiring mobile web designs to draw from include Shutterfly, Etsy, Typeform, and Zappos, as they’re all sleek, responsive, and easy to use.
The most tried-and-trusted methods can still work online
Many people embarking on a new venture into eCommerce think that it’s a brand new space with new rules and preferences. However, the same methods of appeal on land can be very effective online. There are so many areas to compete across, but the one method which will always catch the eyes of shoppers is that of offering something for free. Special offers, welcome offers, and free stuff never fail to weigh into a customer’s decision to buy from you or someone else.
This can be as simple as offering free delivery, as many stores like ASOS and Next do, but the most effective offers give something that can be quantified in value. The healthy food brand Graze broke onto the scene by offering a free box of their food to newcomers. In the highly-competitive space of iGaming, the best new casino gaming platforms feature bonuses of top value to help them compete, including free spins and a percentage of initial deposits back. A special offer that can be immediately identified for its value will always help to make your platform stand out.
Paid traffic advertising is the way of the world
To get your name out there and get eyes on your products and services, there’s nothing wrong with getting into the advertising game. Now, of course, you can generate organic traffic by ranking highly in search engine results and writing search-friendly content, but paid traffic has proven to be very cost-effective when done properly. It can quickly generate sales, with avenues like Facebook Ads helping to raise brand awareness a great deal.
That said, it does take some fiddling to find out how to manipulate paid traffic to be useful for your business and what you’re advertising. With these strategies, it’s best to go in small bursts, at least initially, to test the waters and find out what works. Having a mindset of testing, analyzing smaller samples, and trying different campaign ideas is key, and while figuring it out will take time, it’ll be time worth spent. After that, lean into the successful campaigns.
Competing online can be a daunting project, but as you can see above, there are some key areas that you can home in on to enhance the standing of your business and its offering.