An e-commerce store doesn’t have to be a huge operation. It can be perfectly useful as a side hustle: something you run in your spare time to bring in some extra income. But regardless of your intentions when you open a store, you obviously want it to succeed. The worst-case scenario there is that you attract too much business, and that’s a good problem to have.
If your store is going to thrive, it needs marketing. You also need to setup an e-commerce implementation strategy to achieve the results you’re looking for.
The internet is a vast ocean of possibilities, after all, and a store that receives no promotion will sink rapidly. Your prospective customers can’t buy from your store if they don’t know it exists. Now, there are two main ways to promote a website: you can pay attention and clicks, or you can accrue them organically.
Paying for promotion can work very well, as any decent PPC company will tell you — but it can put a serious burden on your budget, and that’s tough when you’re fairly new to the game. In this post, then, we’re going to set out some e-commerce marketing tactics that can help you achieve steady growth without committing to paid marketing options. Let’s get to them.
Invest strongly in technical SEO
There are many stores out there that struggle to rank well despite having solid content. Why? Because there are technical factors holding them back. Their pages load too slowly, perhaps, leading Google to rate them less highly. Or maybe they lack consistent internal linking, leading to their structures being unclear (Google likes clearly-structured websites).
There are also many elements of accessibility to contend with. Your store needs to be fully mobile-responsive and decked out in a clear design that uses strong contrast and easy-to-press buttons. Depending on the scope of your operation, you might also benefit from adding multilingual support: having foreign-language versions of your store allows your pages and products to rank in multiple countries.
Usefully, there are free ways to address these things. You can improve page speed by removing unneeded extensions and cutting back on rich content. You can add internal links. Provided you’re using a vaguely-modern foundation, you can easily find a mobile-responsive theme. You can even handle translation at no cost using something like the Weglot platform (also available for other platforms if you use something like WooCommerce instead).
Create digital assets to share
If you want your site to rank, you’ll need authoritative backlinks, and those are hard to earn naturally while your brand is small — but it isn’t an impossible task. What you need to do is find another reason for people to link to you: namely that your content is so good that they want to share it. Yes, an e-commerce brand can (and should) create digital content.
A prime example of something an e-commerce store can offer is a buyer’s guide. The neat thing about such a piece is that it can simultaneously provide clear value (information about how the reader can choose between similar products) and promote the store’s products without being overly pushy. When someone links to it, they generate link equity that will help with ranking and send traffic that could plausibly lead to conversions.
What you offer, though, is up to you. What can you bring to the table that people will want to share? You could create entertaining infographics using a tool like Infogram, produce rich case studies, or even record videos talking about industry updates. Provided you get a link to your store in return, it doesn’t really matter what a given piece of content involves.
Get active on social media
Social media is a massive part of e-commerce at this point, particularly when it comes to feedback. Happy and dissatisfied customers alike will share their thoughts via platforms like Twitter and Facebook, significantly influencing their followers and altering how your brand is perceived. You can’t control this process, of course, but you can engage with it.
When someone says something nice about your brand, you can thank them and ask if there’s anything else you can do to improve their customer experience. And when someone says something critical of your brand, you can rise above any jabs, respond positively, and do what you can to address the problem. This will show that you care about what people think and are committed to providing excellent service.
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This list is obviously far from exhaustive, but these three core tactics — improving your technical SEO, creating content to earn links, and being active on social media — should be part of your overall e-commerce growth strategy and will help establish your store as a real competitor in its niche.
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