Every cloud has a silver lining.
Since the beginning of this year, the world has been battling the COVID 19 pandemic and the resulting economic downturn has hit hard. Many businesses have closed down and there are many others who are struggling to stay afloat.
However, with the widespread closure of most brick and mortar stores and the prevailing social distancing norms, one of the few sectors that has benefited and has in fact seen growth is that of ecommerce.
This presents an opportunity even in these bleak times. It is a good time for any online store to perhaps change/ tweak a few aspects of the business in an effort to increase the visibility of the product / brand. Such enhanced visibility at the right time and place will surely have a positive impact on sales, the most important metric for any business.
So let’s explore some ideas that could help improve the visibility of your business and translate to higher sales.
Expanding Your Reach Through Marketplaces
Now that your online store has gathered some traction and created a brand image, how about adopting a multi-channel strategy to drive sales further? How about casting the net wider by joining one of the popular online marketplaces to sell your products?
Your product catalogues, when uploaded on marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, Qoo10, Lazada etc can help you reach a wider range of customers. Moreover, each of them have established programmes and tools that can support and help you to get products in front of the right customers at the right times. They can also help you take care of meeting customer expectations for fast and free deliveries.
All these marketplaces have a huge audience, but the choice of which one to list on largely depends on the nature of the product you are offering and the right match for your brand identity. So understand your product and its unique selling point to make it stand out in a crowd.
Listing on Amazon the market leader, or even eBay can help you reach a global audience but it is undoubtedly a very competitive marketplace. However, such an environment is a good place to test how people react to your products in different price sensitive spaces and stay abreast of trends and developments within the industry. Sharing a bit of your revenue as a commission with the marketplace is the price you pay to greatly enhance the size of your total addressable market. A worthwhile try!
Enhanced Engagement Through Social Media
Social media is most likely an existing part of your marketing strategy but this is the time to give it that extra push as that’s where most of the online shoppers are going.
The key is to use consumer metrics and insights to understand the customer base in a deep meaningful way. Such data can provide a lot of information on your customer’s habits, preferences and behaviours so you can devise a very targeted marketing plan.
If the target audience of your personalised beauty products are millennials then there is no better place to be than on Instagram. A clever use of hashtags and getting an Influencer to showcase your products works well. Not only can you attract the attention of your target customers by posting and interacting with them on this medium, you should also be able to close sales through this app.
Facebook continues to be the most widely used social media platform and engagement with your customer through Facebook Ads can be very fruitful. This is especially true if for example you are selling an organic health food supplement targeted at the Boomers and Gen X demographic.
Reach out to your customers over social media by starting a conversation with them and asking them valuable questions and provide viable solutions that help in winning their trust and loyalty. User generated content like customer reviews and also media mentions can also be influential in building credibility and trust among new customers and should be highlighted as and when necessary.
Improving the Website’s SEO Capabilities
For any incremental sales to take place, it is important that the browser is able to find you in the worldwide web and hence the importance of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) cannot be undermined.
A conscious effort at improving your SEO strategy can help improve your chances of getting a higher rating on Google/ Yahoo searches that will translate to higher traffic. There is the availability of a wide range of analytical tools and data regarding the customers behaviour and buying patterns that can help understand the efficacy of your SEO strategy. Research a little to understand this better and use your platform’s in-built SEO capabilities to your advantage too
In addition to a mobile friendly well optimized website that loads quickly, work on using the right keywords and improving the quality of content. The inclusion of cleverly chosen keywords into your product URLs, meta descriptions and image descriptions can do wonders in increasing your chances of being found by that new customer in this busy marketplace.
To enjoy sustained growth and success, it is important for every entrepreneur to be nimble and be ready to adapt to emerging trends by making changes to their business strategies whenever necessary.
While there are no guarantees to success, one must not let up this opportunity to grow revenue and profits especially in these difficult times.
Sales that drives revenue is the most important metric for all businesses and these are just some ideas that when adopted will help the ecommerce store reach out to a wider audience that will hopefully lead to more conversions and hence higher revenues.
“To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities.” Bruce Lee