Ecommerce: The Essential Components Your Site Needs to Turn Visitors Into Buying Customers

Making sure your brand’s website is living up to its fullest potential should be at the top of any ecommerce leader’s to-do list. 

Making sure your brand’s website is living up to its fullest potential should be at the top of any ecommerce leader’s to-do list.

We’ve all been there. You head to a company’s website to check out a product or service offering and while the website may avoid the dreaded slow page-load, it’s not exactly a wealth of information. A website that is poorly designed or just plain lackluster isn’t doing your brand any favors and certainly won’t entice customers to conduct their business with you.

There’s no shortage of articles on the web of how to attract more website traffic, and while a strong SEO strategy truly is essential, it’s too easy to overlook what it is that keeps people coming back. After all, your business would prefer regular visitors to its website rather than someone who visits once and never again, right? (Of course, you would!)

Related: Building an Ecommerce Website: 8 Technical Aspects You Need to Know

Everyone knows that ecommerce has been on the rise for years, but nobody expected 2020 to turn out the way it has, and in relation to the topic at hand, its impact on ecommerce. According to TechCrunch, ecommerce sales in April jumped nearly 50 percent. While that jump didn’t continue to climb at such a rapid rate in the following months, this year is expected to see an overall jump in ecommerce sales of 18 percent. With those kinds of numbers, making sure your brand’s website is living up to its fullest potential should certainly be at the top of any leader’s to-do list.

Long story short, if customers don’t have a pleasant experience on your website and find it to be of value, they won’t give you their business. Which is why entrepreneurs and business owners should be asking themselves: “What’s my website offering to the customer?

Customers want to learn something when they visit

The reason you’re on this article is the same reason visitors come to your brand’s website — to hopefully learn something. That could be as simple as your business’s contact information. However, your chances of turning a website visitor into an actual customer are going to substantially increase if you teach them something of real value. What products or services do you offer? What separates you from the competition? What new industry insights or developments should potential customers know about?

Related: What Comes Next for Ecommerce and Digital Retail?

Don’t make the mistake of simply thinking of this as marketing, what your website should be providing is insight and context. Take for example furniture. You could simply create website marketing that highlights the appeal of a leather couch, but a more effective strategy would be a buying guide that offers both the advantages and disadvantages of a leather couch compared to one with fabric upholstery. Customers who are more educated are going to make a wiser purchase decision, which in turn, is going to increase the likelihood they’re happy with their choice and your business.

If customers don’t learn something visiting your website (or at least feel it was worth their time) they won’t be back. So teach them something.

Don’t let a lack of customer support result in a lack of customers

The rise of ecommerce is due in large part to the convenience it offers, and a big part of the equation to factor in is customer support. If your business makes it difficult for visitors to reach out and make contact, then it’s really shooting itself in the foot. Studies have shown that 89 percent of consumers would take their business elsewhere within a week if they received poor customer service. Avoiding that starts with offering complete contact information: email, social media channels, phone number, and yes, a physical address. Reliable contact information is one of the things consumers demand on a business website, so do your brand a favor and provide it.

Companies should also consider using live chat to provide 24/7 support to visitors. Most businesses probably don’t have the manpower to operate an in-house customer support team around the clock, but artificial intelligence has come a long way in recent years. Providing AI customer service can also help keep track of recurring issues visitors may be having and provide valuable feedback for customer support managers.

Wow them, but don’t overwhelm them

Imagine if you walked into a brick-and-mortar store (remember those?) and all the products were haphazardly tossed all over the place, no signage, no organization, just as much stuff as possible randomly scattered about. You’d probably do a 180 and move on to someplace else. That’s exactly the sort of thing that potential customers are going to do if your website tries to cram too much onto a single page — especially if it’s the ever-so-important homepage.

Related: 10 Tools to Help Your eCommerce Business Get off the Ground 

Take Apple for example. Its website is incredibly clean with large images that pop. It wows the visitor without overwhelming them. Even the copy is kept rather minimal and crisp, yet folks can still easily find what they’re looking for with the navigation bar at the top.

One of the best things you can offer visitors to your brand’s website is visual appeal. We’re visual creatures and our brains process images infinitely faster than text — around 60,000 times faster. Even if your business offers as many products as Amazon, you don’t want to make the mistake of bombarding visitors to your website with all of them at once. Let a few kew images do the talking.

The right SEO strategy is key for driving traffic to your business’ website, but if visitors are disappointed once they get there, they’ll never return. In this day and age, a brand’s website is often its most powerful selling tool, so take the necessary steps to ensure that it offers real value to existing and new customers.

6 Smart Insights You Can Use to Guide Your eCommerce

When eCommerce revenue hit $700 billion in 2017, statistics confirmed how rapid and constantly it will grow by 23 percent year over year. Meanwhile, this has always been the hope for eCommerce owners. Amazon is a prominent example; this company has confirmed how fast the shopping world is going. Amazon first launched back in 1994,…

When eCommerce revenue hit $700 billion in 2017, statistics confirmed how rapid and constantly it will grow by 23 percent year over year. Meanwhile, this has always been the hope for eCommerce owners. Amazon is a prominent example; this company has confirmed how fast the shopping world is going.

Amazon first launched back in 1994, selling books online. But today, the company doesn’t necessarily have one clear-cut specialty as they sell everything with $232 billion in net sales annually.

However, if you’ve chosen to become an eCommerce entrepreneur, thriving top among nearly 24 million e-commerce stores across the globe requires a foundation that will help stand even if the environment seems stormy. How to focus is one thing; what to consider is another. The critical analysis is to improve future success; to match a must-win attitude actualizing your goals of domination. However, be smart.

Hauling your eCommerce store to a successful destination might have been tugging at you; as such, consider the following for your success in the eCommerce business, to be smart is a sneaky way to get top fast surreptitiously.

1. The Layout of Your Store

You must have an option to choose regarding the layout of your store; however, only those reviewing your store would know what the option is about- Good, Very-Good, Excellent, or Worst. A store layout doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to do something that has never been done before. In fact, by implementing a store layout ideas that have been used in the past, you can make your store more comfortable.

E-Commerce doesn’t only depend on price and product selection. Although these factors are critical to getting customers into your store. To convince them to make a purchase takes more than just price and product selection. You need to attractively and conveniently display products in an appealing and presentable way. A poor store layout can have a crushing effect on sales and conversion rates.

When it comes to product layout, it’s best to stick to convention and follow what market leaders are already doing. Customers can be very fickle. Customers, in return, want the shopping process to be easy and satisfying. They prefer a pleasant shopping environment, the merchandise is easy to find, and there are sufficient items.

However, when you implement the right store layout, it shows you understand your customers, creating customer flow that makes your eCommerce business successful.

2. High-Quality Products

The world is changing at pace with so many intellects coming day after day trying to improve past products. Likewise, users always want to be satisfied at any cost to make them free from any deficiencies. High-quality products mean a lot to customers, as it is believed that they come with unique features.

Choosing a product for your eCommerce store to sell may very well be the most critical and difficult decision you will need to make if you’re aspiring to become successful. It is essential, you update and fill your store with high-quality products.

A good brand is an indicator of good quality, and people are brand conscious. It’s easy for customers to rely on buying products from trusted brands with a good quality feature as people are making smarter purchase decisions and the trends are slowly changing. However, you must behave rationally and tend to look at the positive elements of having a good product there in your store.

3. Bring to Being Marketing Strategy 

Customer demand for online shopping may be underestimated if you haven”t researched it. The heart of a smart owner tends to insight a marketing strategy that can attract more positive attention, interaction, and sustainable conversions.

When it comes to marketing, you’re focusing on customer relationships more than just endlessly and exclusively promoting your own products. No matter which marketing solution you choose, you must get the right to ensure that this eCommerce marketing strategy will work for you.

There are many different types of marketing strategies. But how many of them will actually work for your eCommerce business? What kinds of marketing strategies should you choose to pursue, and why?

  • SEO Sooner, Rather Than Later: Search Engine Optimization is an essential part of marketing, and you want to make sure that both your business site and all of your individual product pages are fully optimized for the exact keywords your audience is searching for.
  • Content Marketing: Content making is a very powerful tool that pledges after SEO. Most times, people call it blogging but far beholds. It allows you to communicate your industry to customers in the simplest reading method and market personally. One big reason content marketing works so well for eCommerce is that Google is infatuated with content. Meanwhile, content is one of the three most significant ranking factors.
  • Email Marketing: At its very core, email marketing is simply sending promotional emails. Email marketing has been found to have an ROI of 3800 percent. The average order value of email marketing is three times higher than social media. To reach your audience most effectively, provide useful content within your emails. However, you have to be very careful about the content within your emails and who is included in your outreach.

4. Ads Investment For a Worthwhile Bunce

Tracking customers while they’re browsing the internet is a smart way to get them back to your store. This is a very powerful technique, if not all, successful eCommerce leaders used and are still using.

Marketing, on the other hand, is based around product, place, price, and promotions. It’s the sum of all the steps you take to get your store product to market while generating attention and interest in what you’re selling. The best advertiser is often discovered through pure experimentation and how habituated to advertisements.

Over 65 percent of Instagram users look for online shopping inspiration while also looking to discover new brands. These are users who are looking for stores like yours to purchase from. However, investing a token to yield promotion might be worth it to increase your awareness so people start purchasing from your store.

Besides that, powerful Facebook ads can be. A mattress company, Purple, has generated 75 million dollars in sales just by running Facebook ads. Although, many social media pay this attribute. However, this only goes to show how powerful investing in Ads can be for you and your eCommerce store. This opens up your existing product lines to a vast new audience without having to launch any new products and establishes a forward-thinking that is aligned with changing societal values.

5. Customer Retention

Growing your eCommerce, you need a collection of activities so as to increase the number of repeat customers and to increase the profitability of each existing customer.

A study from Harvard Business School showed that an increase in customer retention of  5 percent could increase profits by 25–95 percent. Many eCommerce is now shifting and focusing, so that customer retention is something they work towards from the start, rather than thinking about it later.

Without a doubt, when you’ve just started your store, there is one thing you should be focused on: getting customers. However, once there is an acquisition, you should introduce retention elements to encourage each customer that you have acquired to buy more.

According to Marketing Metrics, the likelihood of selling to an existing customer is 60-70 percent, and the same figure for new customers is 5-20 percent. Therefore, retention marketing is recommended to be done earlier. It’s a major shift in focus that recognizes the value of marketing to your existing customer base rather than constantly trying to grow it.

Regardless of what your store is made of, the fact remains: customer retention is essential to your long-term success. If your eCommerce has a healthy flow of new customers each month, then leveraging those customers with a solid retention strategy is one of the best things you can do to safeguard and maintain an increase in your profitability.

6. Analytics and Go-Over-Again; Free tool to use is Google Analytics  

To improve growth strategies,  eCommerce owners need to monitor their progress. These analytics serve as a staple component of your marketing strategy that will allow you to monitor and grow online conversions.  Analytics are coupled with customer surveys, customer experience reviews, and heatmaps are very powerful tools and give you great insight into potential areas of improvement.

Based on the actions that your visitors take, such as visiting the product detail page but not adding anything to the cart or making a purchase, you can create segments and retarget these visitors accurately. If you work actively with this type of data and reports, it can be used as valuable input for efforts to improve merchandising efforts, conversion rates, and revenue.

Now You Know

With rapidity growth occurring, eCommerce owned the portion of the customer journey covering all of the steps necessary for a customer to find, understand, and choose a product. As such, you should work closely in the initial phases.

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Adedeji Omotayo

Adedeji Omotayo is a Digital marketer, PR expert, content writer; the CEO, founder, and president of EcoWebMedia, a full-service digital marketing company. Adedeji is passionate about technology, marketing, and at the same time work with both small and big companies on their internet marketing strategies.

Amazon Live Is A Thing: Here’s How Your Brand Can Benefit

As ecommerce shows no signs of slowing down, brands and influencers have a new way to boost awareness and sales. Here’s why you should try Amazon Live today, along with some guidance how to start your own Amazon Live stream to boost your brand awareness and sales.

As ecommerce shows no signs of slowing down, brands and influencers have a new way to boost awareness and sales.

Ultimate Guide to Social Media Marketing by Eric Butow, Jenn Herman, Stephanie Liu, Amanda Robinson and Mike Allton is available now via Entrepreneur Press. Order from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books.

The phrase “innovate or die” is one way to describe the life of any ecommerce brand right now. We are seeing many get creative by deploying user-generated content for digital ads. Influencer marketing is a staple in marketing budgets, and live streaming is a big part of content strategies. This is why Amazon Live and its new influencer program presents an intriguing opportunity for brands and influencer entrepreneurs to “innovate.”

You already know the usual suspects for live-streaming platforms: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitch. But is Amazon Live worth exploring? Here’s why you should try it today, along with some guidance how to start your own Amazon Live stream.

Related: 10 Laws of Social Media Marketing

What is Amazon Live?

Imagine the infomercials on QVC, except instead of being on TV, you’re showcasing your products on Amazon.com, the world’s largest retailer. For a more literal explanation, Amazon Live is a live-streaming feature for Amazon sellers and influencers to promote products and drive sales through live video. The tool became available in 2019, and all broadcasts appear on Amazon.com/live. Compared to Facebook and Instagram, broadcasts usually stay on the brand or an influencer’s profile. With Amazon, there’s a dedicated landing page where shoppers can discover and watch streams that are “live now” or have previously streamed.

It’s quite the sales tool, as you can give live demonstrations, chat with customers in real-time, unlock extra benefits the more you stream and grow your following on Amazon.

How do you start an Amazon Live stream?

The nice thing about Amazon Live is it’s free and simple to get started. However, it’s not available to all users. You need to be part of the Amazon influencer program with an active storefront, be a U.S. Professional Amazon Seller who uses seller central or a U.S. Vendor with an approved Amazon Store.

If you meet the requirements, here is all you need to get started:

  • Download the Amazon Live Creator app.
  • An iPhone or iPad (the app is currently only available for iOS users).
  • A strong and stable Wi-Fi connection.
  • You can go live directly from the app or connect to an external mic or camera using broadcast software like Restream or Ecamm or a video encoder.
  • I also recommend having a tripod for stabilization if you’re streaming via an iPhone or iPad.

When you’re ready to go live, you will be asked to pick a brand of the product you want to showcase (the brand needs to be registered with Amazon’s Brand Registry). Then you add products to your product carousel to display during your stream, name the stream and either go live now or schedule for later.

What are the benefits?

For ecommerce brands….

Two marketing trends continue to rise and deliver positive ROI. Live streaming is growing fast, with 47 percent of live-streaming viewers worldwide streaming more live video than the previous year — and all signs point to this number continuing to grow.

Influencer marketing budgets are a real thing, and the numbers show it works. Almost 90 percent of marketers say the ROI from influencer marketing is comparable to or better than traditional marketing channels.

With Amazon starting its influencer program, it’s a great opportunity for brands to work with influencers — especially live streamers with an established audience to help increase brand awareness and boost leads and sales.

For Influencers….

This is where things get interesting. There’s a sense of exclusivity added with Amazon Live and extra incentives for influencers. Here’s why.

  1. Only influencers accepted into the Amazon Influencer Program will have access to broadcast on Amazon. For all other platforms such as Instagram, Facebook or YouTube, you don’t have to worry about that, and you’re competing much more for attention.
  2. Amazon Live rewards influencers when they stream more and earn more. You start as a Rising Star and can earn an A-list status where your products show up on the Amazon.com homepage. Check out more about Amazon levels here.
  3. When you go live, your followers are notified and your stream automatically appears on your influencer page. As an influencer, your business thrives on traffic and sales, and when people buy from your Amazon live stream, you earn commission on top of what brands pay you. (You can see if you’re eligible to be an Amazon influencer here.)

See how some top influencers, like fitness and transformation expert Corrie Calliet and fashion-and-style influencer Shea Whitney, use the platform.

Related: Beginner’s Guide to Social Media Marketing

So, is Amazon Live ultimately worth trying?

The stats and signs are all pointing to yes. Even though Amazon Live isn’t as well-adopted by users like Instagram and YouTube, there’s no hiding the influence Amazon has on the ecommerce world. Amazon was responsible for 45 percent of U.S. ecommerce spending in 2019, and that number is expected to grow to 47 percent this year.

With the right planning and promotion, you can easily showcase how products can be used, leverage special offers and build a strong following that leads to more sales.

From what I hear from other influencers and business owners, Amazon Live is a best-kept secret, and it feels like only a matter of time before more brands and influencers jump on the opportunity. So, in my professional opinion, I think it’s worth being one of the early adopters. I mean, it’s freaking going live on Amazon.com.

Why Your eCommerce Sales Funnel Isn’t Working (And How to Fix It)

Do you have your online store up and running, but sales are not living up to your expectations? There is a big chance that your eCommerce sales funnel is leaky. Let’s find out why your eCommerce sales funnel isn’t working and how to fix it in order to make a fortune with your online store in 2020

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Do you have your online store up and running, but sales are not living up to your expectations? There is a big chance that your eCommerce sales funnel is leaky.

With more than 79% of leads never converting into sales, you have to pay close attention to each and every single prospect that could become a paying customer. Analyzing your sales funnel, from the moment your customer-to-be lands on your website for the first time, to the moment he or she clicks “buy”, can help you understand how to improve your process.

Truth is, there might be plenty of reasons why your funnel isn’t bringing you the results you are looking for. In this article, I will analyze a bunch of them and suggest fixes you can implement right away to make a fortune with your online store in 2020.

Ready? Let’s dive in.

You attract poor quality traffic

It’s common to see eCommerce businesses that get tons of traffic coming to their stores thanks to SEO or paid advertising, but the conversion level is next to nothing. There are plenty of possible explanations for this situation and the first one to explore is the poor quality of traffic brought to your page.

What does it mean?

Simply, people coming to your website do not
fit your buyer persona criteria and they land on your page without real
intention to buy anything from you. For example, it’s possible that your
article will organically rank for keywords that you did not intend to rank it
for, and which would not help you convert.

Take a look at the article titled The Best Innovative Chatbot Examples by Industry written by Tidio Live Chat and two organic keywords that it started ranking for: “adult chatbot” and “adult chatbots”.

- Why Your eCommerce Sales Funnel Isn’t Working (And How to Fix It)” alt=”The best innovative chatbot examples by industry ecommerce sales funnel” data-=”” data-src=”https://www.jeffbullas.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/The-best-innovative-chatbot-examples-by-industry-ecommerce-sales-funnel.png” />

As Tidio offers chatbots to be installed on websites (such as eCommerce stores) to help automate the sales process and improve customer service, everyone coming to the blog after searching for “adult chatbot” is probably not someone with a potential of becoming a lead.

That is an example of bringing to your page poor quality traffic with little chances of converting. If your website or a blog is attracting new visitors that aren’t qualified and interested in your product or service, that means that your content marketing and SEO strategy might be at fault.

How to
fix it:

Improve your content marketing and SEO

The most important step you can take in order to start bringing relevant traffic to your online shop, is to start producing SEO-optimized and useful content. This can range from starting a company blog to improving your meta titles and descriptions of your products. Here’s where you should start.

  • Invest in a company blog

Having a company blog with content around your
brand and your products is a powerful way to educate your users about what you
have to offer. For example, take a look at how BestSelf – an eCommerce business
selling journals and planners that also runs a blog related to their products.

- Why Your eCommerce Sales Funnel Isn’t Working (And How to Fix It)” alt=”BestSelf eCommerce blog for ecommerce sales funnel” data-=”” data-src=”https://www.jeffbullas.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/BestSelf-eCommerce-blog-for-ecommerce-sales-funnel.png” />

The content on their blog is heavily focused
around their products which is very helpful for their SEO efforts. Moreover
it’s also very educational which helps in building trust and authority.

Once you’ve started your company’s blog, you can use free tools such as AnswerThePublic in order to find new content ideas for your company’s blog. For example, let’s say you are selling yoga mats. To generate ideas for your articles, you can simply write “yoga mat” and check the most popular searches for this query.

- Why Your eCommerce Sales Funnel Isn’t Working (And How to Fix It)” alt=”AskThePublic tool to find new content ideas for companies blog ecommerce sales funnel” data-=”” data-src=”https://www.jeffbullas.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/AskThePublic-tool-to-find-new-content-ideas-for-companies-blog-ecommerce-sales-funnel.png” />
  • Implement user-generated content

Engaging your customers to share content relevant to your brand is a great way to start bringing new traffic to your online shop. A popular way to do this is via social media channels. For example, it’s common to run giveaways, contests, as well as hashtag campaigns where your followers publish their own content and use the specified hashtags in order to enter the competition.

Take a look at how Frank Body has approached this and keep in mind that they have achieved $20M in annual sales in 2017 by investing in content marketing.

- Why Your eCommerce Sales Funnel Isn’t Working (And How to Fix It)” alt=”frankfeedback user-generated content for ecommerce sales funnel” data-=”” data-src=”https://www.jeffbullas.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/frankfeedback-user-generated-content-for-ecommerce-sales-funnel.png” />
  • Level up your SEO game

The topic of SEO for eCommerce businesses is a complex one and it includes both: on-page and off-page SEO related to your landing pages as well as your content. A good place to start would be to run a technical SEO audit and improve technical issues such as:

  • URLs
  • Title tags, meta descriptions
  • Image alt text
  • Page speed
  • Sitemaps

After that, it’s time to ensure that your website’s content is optimized. I won’t go into details of the whole process for SEO content optimization, but the key here lies in keyword research. And here’s a great guide that can help you design your SEO-optimized content strategy.

Focus on link-building

Once you’ve created SEO-optimized content, you should move on to start building links to your content. I won’t go into details explaining each strategy, but backlinks will help you rank your content (and your online shop) higher on search engines and, as a result, bring more organic, high-quality traffic.

For example, BestSelf started building links for one of their most popular products – a Self Journal. This has helped them to start bringing in 3.5k of organic (free) traffic on a regular basis.

- Why Your eCommerce Sales Funnel Isn’t Working (And How to Fix It)” alt=”Self journal goal setting planner for ecommerce sales funnel” data-=”” data-src=”https://www.jeffbullas.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Self-journal-goal-setting-planner-for-ecommerce-sales-funnel.png” />

The faster you master building links to your products and your content, the faster you will see qualified traffic coming to your store.

Experiment with product promotion
and content distribution

Organic traffic is one thing, but there are
also other ways that can help you bring qualified traffic to your website.

  • Social media

Social media should be a key component in your eCommerce marketing strategy. Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Pinterest, and soon probably also TikTok are powerful channels for bringing tons of traffic to your store. You can either try to attract traffic with your organic social media reach or invest in PPC advertising.

Nowadays, it’s quite tricky to build a huge audience on social media platforms from scratch, as the market is overfilled with companies that have been doing this forever. In this case, using paid, targeted ads might be the way to go.

For example, here’s how ConvertKit runs their
Facebook ads using their customers’ testimonials to come across as more
trustworthy.

- Why Your eCommerce Sales Funnel Isn’t Working (And How to Fix It)” alt=”ConvertKit experiment with product promotion and content distribution for ecommerce sales funnel” data-=”” data-src=”https://www.jeffbullas.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/ConvertKit-experiment-with-product-promotion-and-content-distribution-for-ecommerce-sales-funnel.png” />
  • Influencer marketing

Instagram influencer marketing continues to be a big thing in 2020, and it’s a tactic you should leverage. It works like this: A customer sees a post shared by their favorite IG influencer, who – for example – is raving about a brand new lip balm. The post ends with ‘link in bio.’ The customer then clicks the link and is directed to the eCommerce store where they can buy the lip balm or – at the very least – opt-in to the sign-up form.

Influencer marketing is successful because, while new customers might not trust you yet because they don’t really know who you are, they DO trust their favorite influencers. It’s literally the best endorsement you can get.

To make influencer marketing work, you need to find influencers who’ve got the same target audience as you.

  • Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing connects you to marketers
who use their content creation and promotion skills to a) raise awareness of
your products and b) direct traffic to your store.

It’s an excellent strategy because it takes a
load off your plate. Instead of you working tirelessly to qualify all leads, affiliate marketers do some
of the job for you (for a fee, of course).

All you need to do is find expert independent
marketers in your niche (you could create an affiliate program, which is what
Amazon and many others do) and they will then write about your products on
their blog, and even create videos about them. They’ll also include a little
link in their content to your store.

You don’t have a clearly defined
target audience

Another issue that might be contributing to your low conversion rate is the fact that your target audience isn’t clearly defined. If you don’t really know who you are marketing to, it’s hard to get people to buy your products or services. Having a clear picture of the needs and wants of your customers-to-be is what will help you deliver the solutions they are looking for.

How to
fix it:

Analyze your product and the
market

To understand who could benefit from using
your product, you can ask yourself the following questions:

  • What needs and gaps does my
    product fulfill?
  • What features and benefits does my
    product have and what problems does it solve?
  • What group of people would benefit
    the most from using my product?

Ideally, you should do that for each and every one of your products in order to understand their core benefits and how they can help solve problems of people considering buying them.

While researching the target market, you
should collect information related to:

  • Demographics
  • Age
  • Location
  • Sex
  • Income
  • Most used device
  • And so on.

It’s also a great idea to take a look at your existing customer group and their behavior. You can use basic analytics tools such as Google Analytics or more advanced ones, such as Finteza to get accurate insights into your target audience and their behavior.

For example, with Finteza you could start tracking the efficiency of your funnels as well as set up some goals. This tool offers a detailed funnel visualization where you could see how exactly users landed on your site and what kind of further activities they did. This data even includes how many users click or not clicked on a particular button or even downloaded some gated content.

- Why Your eCommerce Sales Funnel Isn’t Working (And How to Fix It)” alt=”What criteria can be implemented in a funnel for ecommerce sales funnel” data-=”” data-src=”https://www.jeffbullas.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/What-criteria-can-be-implemented-in-a-funnel-for-ecommerce-sales-funnel.png” />

Conduct competitor analysis

Another way to understand and define your target audience is to spy on your competitors. Performing a competitor analysis can help you better understand their customers and where they are coming from.

In this way, you’d be able to design a strategy that could allow you to “steal” your competitors’ customers or simply attract a similar audience to your own store. One way you could analyze how your competitors bring traffic and what channels work best for them is to use a tool called BuzzSumo.

With BuzzSumo, you can check the top-performing content of your competitors and get ideas on how to produce your own. For example, let’s say you are running an online t-shirt shop for skaters and you want to create content about creative t-shirt designs ideas. All you have to do is type “t-shirt design ideas”:

- Why Your eCommerce Sales Funnel Isn’t Working (And How to Fix It)” alt=”Web content competitor analysis for ecommerce sales funnel” data-=”” data-src=”https://www.jeffbullas.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Web-content-competitor-analysis-for-ecommerce-sales-funnel.png” />

Now you can see what kind of content produced by your competitors gets the most engagement and through which channels. This should give you a good idea of how to create your own.

Design a buyer persona

After collecting enough data about your target audience, it’s time to start designing your buyer persona. You could do that from scratch or use one of the ready-to-use buyer persona templates available online.

Here’s an example of how such a persona could look for your eCommerce business.

- Why Your eCommerce Sales Funnel Isn’t Working (And How to Fix It)” alt=”Sally the dog owner design your own persona for ecommerce sales funnel” data-=”” data-src=”https://www.jeffbullas.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Sally-the-dog-owner-design-your-own-persona-for-ecommerce-sales-funnel.png” />

Your store’s landing page isn’t optimized

Depending on the eCommerce platform on which you run your online store, your landing page could be at fault when it comes to keeping your conversion rate (and therefore, sales) down.

Here are some of the most common landing pages
mistakes:

  • Poor design
  • Difficult navigation
  • Complex language
  • No clear call-to-action (CTA)
  • The discrepancy between the ad copy and page copy

The landing page of your eCommerce store is like a shop window in a regular retail shop. It’s important to have it as appealing to your visitors as possible. In order to gently push your audience down the sales funnel and convert them, their customer experience on your store’s page should be seamless. There are a few landing page best practices that you can implement in order to optimize it.

How to
fix it:

Create separate landing pages for
popular products and promotions

To start with, you should consider building several landing pages for your most popular products and current promotions in addition to your main website. This will increase your chances of bringing qualified traffic and potential leads to the products they are most interested in.

Here’s an example of a nicely done landing page for a specific product – window shades by Axis.

- Why Your eCommerce Sales Funnel Isn’t Working (And How to Fix It)” alt=”Axis separate landing page for popular products and promotions for ecommerce sales funnel” data-=”” data-src=”https://www.jeffbullas.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Axis-separate-landing-page-for-popular-products-and-promotions-for-ecommerce-sales-funnel.jpg” />
  • Add social proof (testimonials)

Here’s the thing: A prospect might be very close to clicking this “buy” button
but something is preventing them.

Often, that ‘something’ is a lack of social
proof.

Think about it: If you stumbled upon a brand new online store’s website, would you be inclined to purchase something if you have a) never heard of this store before and b) it seems that no one else has yet bought anything from them?

According to statistics, which show that we read 40 online reviews before believing a store’s star rating is accurate, you probably wouldn’t, and for good reason.

If you stick a few pieces of social proof on
your landing page, you could easily tip a dithering prospect into the
conversion zone. For example, you could add a quote and image from your
influencer, or add a few reviews from satisfied customers.

You could also ramp things up by adding a line
such as, “don’t take our word for it, take the word of …”

Don’t be afraid of adding numbers, too. If
you’ve already sold 20,000 products so far, let us know!

Here’s a great example of using social proof
on an eCommerce landing page in practice:

- Why Your eCommerce Sales Funnel Isn’t Working (And How to Fix It)” alt=”Customer hub see what our customers have to say for ecommerce sales funnel” data-=”” data-src=”https://www.jeffbullas.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Customr-hub-see-what-our-customers-have-to-say-for-ecommerce-sales-funnel.png” />
  • Improve your website’s performance and go mobile-friendly

A poorly performing website is a huge
conversion barrier. Here are a few best practices for optimizing it:

  1. Take a look at your page speed. If it’s too slow, customers will get frustrated, and they will bailout. You can use PageSpeed Insights from Google to perform a test.
  2. Implement product zoom. It is really important especially for eCommerce businesses related to fashion, as it gives customers the chance to see your products in more detail.
  3. Implement intuitive UX design and easy navigation. If a customer can’t find their way through your store with ease, they won’t hang around for much longer.
  4. Consider adding a wish-list option as they are perfect for hesitant customers who are interested but want to save things for later. When they return to your site, their wish list reminds them of the things they wanted to buy. It also helps to improve the user experience and it’s becoming a feature that people expect to see in an online store.
  5. Make your store mobile-friendly. Not only do 59% of customers make purchases directly with their mobile devices these days, but you can target them with mobile-friendly ads, such as Facebook ads.
  6. A smooth checkout process is key to reducing cart abandonment. Make it short, easy, and remove any unnecessary distractions
  • Have a clear CTA

Customers can be funny things. They have this
feeling that there’s something they should be doing next, but they sometimes
need you to give them a nudge.

If there’s something you want your customers
to do – make a purchase, add something to a cart, opt-in to a newsletter – you
need to show them very clearly how they can do it.

This is where the CTA comes in. A CTA needs to stand out on your page and it needs to tell your customers what they have to do in no uncertain teams. Be direct, concise, and action-packed with your language, and consider turning your CTA into a button. Make this button bright, optimize it with a catchy headline, and make sure you always deliver on your promises.

The way you optimize your CTA will, of course, depend on the purpose of your CTA. For example, if you’re raising awareness of a promotion, you can add the promo code in the header.

Lack of a lead nurturing process

It often happens that your website’s visitors are initially interested in your offer, but they aren’t ready to buy from you right at the moment when they land in your store. In order to convert them into customers, you need to first build trust and often also educate them about your products.

That’s where the lead nurturing process comes in. According to studies, a lack of lead nurturing sequences causes 79% of marketing leads to never convert into actual sales. That’s potentially a bunch of your customers-to-be left hanging and eventually forgetting about your business and your brand.

If you don’t have a solid lead nurturing
process in place, it’s about time you think of creating one.

How to
fix it:

Launch email marketing campaigns

When thinking of lead nurturing, you cannot forget emails. Running email marketing campaigns personalized for your leads is one of the most powerful ways of converting them into paying customers. The key word here is: Personalization.

In order to be effective in your email marketing campaigns, you have to personalize your message to each of your customer segments. Different subscriber groups (segments) should be receiving different emails, for example depending on their behavior.

That’s why segmenting your audience and collecting analytical data is so important. Here, for example, you can see an email sequence designed using Hubspot.

- Why Your eCommerce Sales Funnel Isn’t Working (And How to Fix It)” alt=”Launching your own email marketing campaign for ecommerce sales funnel” data-=”” data-src=”https://www.jeffbullas.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Launching-your-own-email-marketing-campaign-for-ecommerce-sales-funnel.png” />

As you can see, different recipients receive different emails, and its content depends on the actions they took on your page in the past. With such personalized email campaigns, you are increasing your odds of converting your leads into customers. Your emails might be educational (familiarizing your leads with your product), promotional, or related to cart abandonment or other events.

Also, make sure to always monitor the email deliverability rate, open and click-through rates to be able to adjust your campaigns when needed.

Use conversational landing pages

Another way to build trust with your leads and prepare them for moving down the eCommerce sales funnel is to use conversational landing pages. It’s simply a dedicated landing page with a live chat or chatbot that can help you to connect with your leads one on one.

If your leads have any questions related to
your products and don’t want to jump on a call, you can offer them a chat
conversation in real-time, instead.

Conversational landing pages are great for
nurturing your leads as they make them feel special and simply taken care of.
Using such a dedicated page you can secure your sales with customers who are
still hesitant about your brand and need confirmation that you are a
trustworthy business. Additionally, it’s an awesome way of collecting direct
feedback from the people you chat with.

Here’s an example of such a landing page:

- Why Your eCommerce Sales Funnel Isn’t Working (And How to Fix It)” alt=”Use a conversational landing pages for ecommerce sales funnel” data-=”” data-src=”https://www.jeffbullas.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Use-a-conversational-landing-pages-for-ecommerce-sales-funnel.png” />

Image Source: TopContent

Poor customer service and
retention strategy

With 78% of customers having backed out of a purchase due to poor customer experience, it is clear that your customer support can make or break your eCommerce business. Your customer service reps are the ones answering your website visitors’ questions and assisting your customers-to-be along the sales funnel.

Unfortunately, it is still as common to see customer support done poorly as it is to see businesses completely ignoring their loyal customers. A solid customer retention strategy is an important part of fixing your leaky eCommerce sales funnel.

How to
fix it:

Automate your customer support

In order to avoid an overfilled inbox as well as missing out on your customers’ emails, you can consider installing a live chat supported with chatbots on your website to improve your customer service.

Live chat will allow you to answer your customers’ queries in real-time and provide 24/7 support. Chatbots, on the other hand, can be used to automate the process and save your time and money. For example, you can create a FAQ chatbot answering the most popular questions automatically.

- Why Your eCommerce Sales Funnel Isn’t Working (And How to Fix It)” alt=”Livechat automate your customer support for ecommerce sales funnel” data-=”” data-src=”https://www.jeffbullas.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Livechat-automate-your-customer-support-for-ecommerce-sales-funnel.png” />

Another solution that you might want to consider is setting up a call center where you can communicate with your customers via phone. In order to make this work and avoid keeping your customers frustrated while waiting on the line, ensure the process is highly automated and you have enough operators to handle all queries in a timely manner.

Implement a cart abandonment strategy

There might be multiple reasons why your customers-to-be eventually decide to abandon their carts and not complete their purchase. Whatever it is, your job is to stop this from happening.

Implementing a solid cart abandonment strategy starts with running a thorough analysis of why your leads abandon their carts in the first place. Collecting this data will allow you to understand and address the issues they might be having on their journey.

The most common way for existing leads is to
use email campaigns that are triggered and sent to them reminding them about
the item left in a cart. This strategy can be effective if you’ve mastered your
subject lines and prepared a really appealing email body. However, even that
does not always work.

Another approach is rather about preventing your shoppers from abandoning their carts by making the checkout process as fast and easy as possible. It can entail adding Google Pay and PayPal payments, as well as installing chatbots assisting your website visitors in their journey.

Whatever strategy turns out to work best for you, you should keep in mind that reducing your cart abandonment rate is what can help fix your leaky eCommerce sales funnel and boost your conversions exponentially.

Reward your loyal customers

Did you know that in some industries, acquiring new customers costs five times as much as retaining an existing one?

That’s quite a lot, isn’t it?

That’s why having a healthy customer retention strategy in place is so crucial for your business. There are several ways you can reward your loyal customers. For example, you can offer them discounts, free shipping, gift cards, or… set up a referral or affiliate program for them to make a buck or two recommending your products.

Referral programs are truly a win-win situation, as you get free word-of-mouth and increased brand awareness, as well as new leads and customers while your existing customers get some cash.

The same is true for affiliate programs which
are a great solution for those of your customers who have audiences of their
own and a website.

Lastly, you can’t forget about regularly
checking in with your customers and preparing them special deals, surprising
them from time to time, or remembering about their birthdays. It’s all an
investment that you won’t regret.

Conclusion

All eCommerce stores need a sales funnel. Without one, your chances of converting cold traffic into red-hot traffic that eventually turns into paying customers are low.

Use the tips in this article to fix your flagging eCommerce sales funnel. Generate leads, nurture them, and play the long game. In other words, build relationships with your customers that last for a very long time.

Guest author: Margo is a Growth Marketing Partner for tech companies. She creates content that converts website visitors into paying customers for B2B/SaaS companies with digital marketing funnels. Get in touch with Margo on her personal blog – Margo Leads or LinkedIn.

How Ecommerce Companies Can Grow During a Recession

Even with economies disrupted all over the world, your online business can continue to count real, reliable growth, so long as it’s using the right strategies.

Even with economies disrupted all over the world, your online business can continue to count real, reliable growth, so long as it’s using the right strategies.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In recent days, economists determined that the United States has entered a recession that actually began in February. And while much of the focus over the past few months has been on businesses adapting to remote work environments, there is no denying that digital brands have also been affected.

Many ecommerce companies have experienced significant disruptions to their supply chain or faced declining sales in their product categories as cash-strapped consumers focus on necessities.

The impact of this downturn will likely be felt for a long time to come, and ecommerce companies will continue facing new changes that can either serve as opportunities for massive growth or become potential stumbling blocks. But by implementing these few key strategies, you can reduce your risk and continue to scale and succeed.

1. Create a strong brand built on a solid marketing strategy

A strong brand is the foundation on which everything else is built. The companies that continue to perform well during a recession are those that have been able to effectively communicate what makes them better than their competitors. They have a strong, easily identifiable identity that helps form an emotional connection with customers.

While certain aspects of your messaging may change to reflect current events, the core identity of your ecommerce company should not deviate. You should still show how your products are better than your competitors — whether you’re differentiating on price, product quality or something else entirely.

As Wendy Culpepper writes for Customer Think, “During and after a recession-like event, your brand relevancy and purpose will tap into a consumer’s emotions and give you the opportunity to grab or retain the brand loyalty that consumers will still be providing to the lucky recipients out there. Ensure your messaging, value proposition, benefits and actions reflect your brand purpose to garner the full value of the consumer at a time when their emotions will be heightened and have a lasting impact on their behaviors and the brands they choose for the long-term.”

Bolster your branding efforts with SEO, content marketing and email marketing. These digital tools are highly effective at communicating your brand values and reaching your customers in places where they are more ready to buy.

Related: 3 Signs Your Brand Isn’t Telling a Winning Story (and How to Fix Things)

2. Find new ways to provide value to your customers

Many customers are currently less willing to make purchases than they normally would. A global research study from McKinsey found that 70 percent of customers expected to adjust their financial habits for four months or more — and this was in June, several weeks after many areas began to lift stay-at-home restrictions.

While these specific changes are having a greater impact on brick-and-mortar retailers, overall consumer spending tends to decline during any period of uncertainty. To offset this, ecommerce retailers must find new ways to provide more immediate value to their customers.

During low-revenue periods, you may actually be well served by offering special sales or discounts on products. You might consider waiving shipping fees or tossing in a free bonus item with purchases. Focusing on the price point can help relieve customer anxiety at point of sale.

For the most effective results, ecommerce brands should target their already-existing customers. The oft-quoted Harvard Business Review study revealing that it costs five times as much to acquire new customers as it does to retain existing customers is especially crucial to keep in mind during economic hardships.

3. Reduce overhead and strengthen your margins

It can be tempting to pursue aggressive expansion when times are good, but ecommerce companies should always cast one eye on the future. Keeping your operations lean will leave your company better equipped to survive when prolonged financial setbacks occur.

Finding ways to reduce fixed costs and overhead is key to long-term survival. For example, many ecommerce brands use a drop-shipping model so they don’t have to spend money on warehouse storage.

Outsourcing certain tasks can also reduce your overhead. Marketing and finances are often outsourced to external agencies or freelancers. The monthly rate for an advertising agency’s services will likely be much less than the cost of hiring several full-time employees. For tasks that don’t require a full-time workload, a freelancer can offer services as needed, rather than being a constant fixed expense.

Effective reduction of your overhead means you won’t need to sell as many products to make a profit. Or you could lower prices to increase your competitive advantage. Even if sales slow down, you can maintain positive margins. With any such move, however, make sure that it doesn’t reduce your ability to provide quality products to your customers.

Related: 5 Steps to Cutting Overhead Safely

There is no telling what new challenges and opportunities the future might bring for ecommerce companies. While you may not be able to predict every change that comes along, you can reduce your risk of getting blindsided by taking these key steps in advance to streamline daily operations and strengthen your brand.

7 Top eCommerce Trends in 2020 to Look Out For

Trends are the most critical issue you can keep track of across every industry out there — including eCommerce. Here are 7 Top eCommerce Trends in 2020 to Look Out For

Trends are always changing, and it does not matter in which niche or industry you belong to. If you are not keeping up with the trends — you’re going to lag behind. Trends are the most critical issue you can keep track of across every industry out there — including eCommerce.

As we have stepped into a brand new year — we certainly could not have known that the coronavirus would come along. The COVID-19 has given us all kinds of new eCommerce trends to follow. Now the question is, what are some of the top eCommerce trends for 2020 that we are going to see, now?

1. Google is Becoming an Online Marketplace.

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Gone are those days when Google is only used to be a search engine. Now the company is also becoming an online marketplace.

If your brand is not super well known, the majority of your customers are going to come to your website via paid searches or organic traffic.

Hence, to put your products in a better way in front of your customers, you should optimize your website for Google shopping.

Google Shopping is one of the powerful sales channels, and it can be a great SEO hack for online stores. By integrating your eCommerce platform with Google Shopping will create a product listing ad that will automatically top the SERPs on the shopping tab. This feature can be pretty useful for those eCommerce stores that sell niche products.

Even, according to a recent study, it is said that Google shopping helps to boost sales by over 17%.

Getting started with Google shopping is also pretty easy, and you will need to go to the Google Merchant Center to sign up, and if your online store meets the ad requirements. And then, you will be able to market your platform using that platform.

2. Influencer Marketing Will Play A Key Role.

influencer marketing - 7 Top eCommerce Trends in 2020 to Look Out For

One of the best ways to get more sales for your product is influencer marketing. Although influencer marketing is not really a new thing and it’s been in the top eCommerce trend for the last couple of years now. Also, it offers you some of the great results.

However, in case you do not know about influencer marketing, then, in this case, you will have to find a popular person in a specific niche. And ask them to promote your product.

But the question is why it works? Well, most of the customers do seek a product recommendation from influencers. Also, a study says that there are 49% of the customers who look to influencers when making product buying decisions.

Influencer marketing has a huge business on Instagram, and it is said that Instagram already has a $1.7 billion industry on Instagram. And you will often find celebrities promoting different products.

However, when it comes to product discovery, micro-influencers have a far more significant impact than celebrities. So if you are going to use Instagram to promote your product, you must think of partnering with Instagram influencers in your niche.

3. Voice Search

You should also know that there will be a growing volume of voice search. According to Loop venture forecasts, it is said that by 2025 75% of the US households will have a smart speaker. And people are highly relying on voice assistants like Google Assistants and Amazon Alexa for everything.

And as in the future, more and more households start adopting voice assistant technology and get comfortable with it. They will use it to make purchases.

So what can you do as an eCommerce owner? Well, you should optimize your eCommerce website for voice searches. Like find voice search based keywords and optimize your website using them, and you are good to go.

4. Mobile Shopping is Growing

The growth of mobile commerce is also growing rapidly. Over the years, mobile shopping growth is growing continuously. And it is said that by 2021, 73% of eCommerce sales will take place on a mobile device.

And optimizing the eCommerce experience for mobile customers can be a massive opportunity for business owners out there.

Customers nowadays just do not shop online. But before they make any purchase decision they do a lot of research, browses different products and then make their mind to purchase something. And all of these things they are doing through their smartphone only.

Also, over the years, the number of smartphone users increased a lot. And the newer generation likes to do everything through their phone only compared to the older generation.

So if you are not optimizing your website for the mobile devices, then you are losing behind. Even Google is also giving more importance to mobile than desktop. So if you are serious about SEO, then optimizing your website for mobile is the best way to go.

5. AR and VR are Becoming More Commonplace

AR and VR 900x600 - 7 Top eCommerce Trends in 2020 to Look Out For

One of the significant issues for online purchases is always that the customer cannot really see the product before purchasing it. As a result, it was always a challenge to sell things like clothing, furniture, and other accessories that users like to review before purchasing.

However, AR and VR are helping users to solve this problem by allowing customers to virtually try on products without touching them at all.

There are companies like Warby Parker that have launched an app that uses AR. So the customers can try different glasses before ordering.

Even Amazon and Ikea also use the same technology to allow shoppers to see how the furniture is going to look in their homes.

So as an eCommerce business owner, you should understand what are the technological developments happening and how you can implement them. Also, you should invest in such digitalization systems to offer your customers the best shopping experience possible.

6. Visual Commerce

One of the main difficulties of running an eCommerce store is having to sell your products to those consumers who have never interacted with your product before. And this is where visual commerce comes into place.

In this case, we will need to use consumer-generated media, interactive content, engaging videos, AR to help the customers to get as much information as possible.

This way, your customers will get enough idea of how your product is going to benefit them. How the product is actually going to look and how to use it. That’s why visual commerce is in top eCommerce trends this year.

7. Flexible Payment Options for Big Purchases

If your website is selling expensive items, then there is a high chance that new customers are most likely not to trust your business. However, to tackle this issue, you can take a bunch of steps.

Like you can introduce cash on delivery. So your customers will only pay for your product once they receive it. A Money-back guarantee is also one of the features that you can introduce.

Along with that, you can offer flexible payment options to your customers. You can do so by using services like Afterpay, Final, and Affirm. These services will automatically break down large purchases into small payments over the course of several months. As a result, it will be easy for your customers to purchase your product without spending all their money at once.

Bottom Line:

So those were some of the top eCommerce trends for 2020. No matter which trend you are going to pick, just make sure that you are implementing in such a way that it is improving the shopping experience. After all, that’s the only goal that has and once the shopping experience is better. The sales are going to come in.

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Aman Jha

Aman Jha is a digital marketing author, speaker, and consultant. He is a sucker for fine words and blogs about digital marketing and startups. He has been featured in reputed publications like Entrepreneur and Yourstory and also runs a content writing agency MAXZOB

5 Surefire Growth Strategies for E-Commerce Entrepreneurs

Like I mention all the time here, trial and error is a costly and inefficient way to learn. Better to learn from others instead. One great way to do that is by attending conferences. Below are five of my favorite takeaways from Anthony Mastellone’s Digital Growth Summit on how to supercharge your e-commerce business.

5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

I dropped out of college to pursue entrepreneurship full-time. My first breakthrough came two years after with an e-commerce business that sold grillz. Through grueling trial and error, I learned everything from product sourcing and customer service to marketing, web design, financial accounting and more.

It’s how I made lifelong friends and met ultra-successful people I never dreamed I’d meet. But, like I mention all the time here, trial and error is a costly and inefficient way to learn. Better to learn from others instead. One great way to do that is by attending conferences. Anthony Mastellone’s Digital Growth Summit was the latest one I attended, and what follows are five of my favorite takeaways from that trip on how to supercharge your e-commerce business.

1. Build an attribution plan

For e-commerce entrepreneurs, it’s important to always keep an eye on what’s working (and what’s not). Attribution is how to do it. The Interactive Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) definition of attribution is “the process of identifying a set of user actions across screens and touch points that contribute in some manner to a desired outcome, and then assigning value to each of these events.”

Related: The Future of E-Commerce Will Focus on Creating Experiences

Benton Crane, CEO of the Harmon Brothers (creators of the legendary ads for Squatty Potty, Purple and others) was the first to speak at Digital Growth Summit, and he gave a high-level breakdown on how to leverage attribution as you grow your e-commerce business to make smarter business decisions. It advised:

  • Message testing.
  • Image testing.
  • Learning ad blitz. (This is testing all the different features and benefits to see what works together. Examples could include pricing, sizing, portability, function, etc.)
  • Scale up, i.e. roll all winning elements into one.
  • Then build your hero campaign and go big.

2. Target smarter

Matt Schmitt of Skup simplified a problem a lot of entrepreneurs have: targeting. They may have a customer avatar in mind, but aren’t sure how best to reach them. Schmitt recommends silos. These are four of his examples that will allow you to get a clearer picture of where to find your target consumer:

  • What magazines do they subscribe to?
  • What associations or groups would they belong to?
  • What celebrities or influential figures would they follow?
  • And what brands or products are they using?

3. Leverage Campaign Budget Optimization

Campaign Budget Optimization (CBO) is a new advertising system by Facebook. Their machine-learning algorithm monitors targeting and performance of your ad sets, then allocates your budget to the best-performing sets based on the objective or pixel you’ve applied, using real-time data, automatically.

As per Facebook: “CBO uses your campaign budget and your bid strategy — which might be, for example, lowest cost per action (CPA) or highest return on ad spend (ROAS) — to automatically and continuously find the best active opportunities for results across your ad sets. Then we distribute your campaign budget in real time to get those results.”

In short, if you’re new to Facebook advertising, this is a great way to get in the game as cost-effectively as possible, without having to micromanage your campaigns.

4. Start using Messenger ads

Harvard Business Review conducted a study back in 2011 on online lead generation and discovered that failure to respond in less than five minutes to a new lead decreases your odds of qualifying them by a staggering 400 percent. Yet, according to Chatmatic founder Travis Stephenson, entrepreneurs shy away from Messenger.

But by leveraging Messenger (the most downloaded app in the world in 2019, FYI) with ads and an auto-responder, you’re doing instant, direct follow-up with potential customers, thus increasing your lead-qualifying and conversions capabilities. Or you can just use them to rapidly capture emails and build a relevant list. Which leads to takeaway five….

5. Use email marketing

Email averages $38 in for every $1 spent according to a Direct Marketing Association 2015 Client Report. For those new to email marketing, it can feel overwhelming at first, but remember this: It costs more to acquire new customers than recapture existing ones. And email is the easiest way to recapture, because the entire process can be automated. Email expert Jess Chan of Longplay recommends you build an automated customer journey. Do this by setting up:

  • Welcome emails.
  • Abandoned-cart emails (69.57 percent of online shopping carts are abandoned).
  • Order confirmation and shipping confirmation emails.
  • Post-purchase emails (e.g. a thank-you note or letter from the founder).
  • Upsell and retention emails (e.g. cross-sells, testimonial requests, etc.).
  • And other email auto-responders.

To capture emails more effectively, use:

  • Lead magnets (e.g. “Subscribe for our free 14-page social skills guide”).
  • Quizzes (e.g. “What kind of traveler are you?”).
  • Discount codes (e.g. “Subscribe for 20 percent off your first purchase”).

Related: The ‘Amazon Effect’

To wrap things up, use attribution to test your messaging and silos to target smarter, leverage CBOs to spend smarter, activate messenger ads to supercharge your follow-ups and, for goodness sake, stop leaving money on the table by neglecting email marketing. I’m using all of these growth strategies in tandem, and you should be too if you’re serious about supercharging your e-commerce business.

50 Ecommerce Business Ideas

Marketplaces 2019: B2B Ecommerce Strategies for Amazon, Alibaba and Others

50 Ecommerce Business Ideas

If you’re interested in exploring online business ideas, ecommerce can be the perfect way to go. Selling online looks a bit different for everyone. With so many different platforms, products and business models to choose from, there’s no shortage of ecommerce business ideas out there. More and more people are buying products online, from everyday…

If you’re interested in exploring online business ideas, ecommerce can be the perfect way to go. Selling online looks a bit different for everyone. With so many different platforms, products and business models to choose from, there’s no shortage of ecommerce business ideas out there.

More and more people are buying products online, from everyday items to specialized goods. Get into the action with these 50 ecommerce business ideas.



Ecommerce Business Ideas

Reselling Business Ideas

General Online Reseller

With online marketplaces like Amazon, it is possible to build a successful ecommerce business without a specific niche. You can simply purchase products at discounted price or wholesale rates and then resell them to customers browsing on those platforms.

Clothing Reseller

If you want to choose a niche for re-sold goods, apparel and accessories are always popular with online shoppers.

Home Goods Reseller

Home goods, ranging from decor to kitchen items, can also make for a very successful online shop.

Toy Reseller

Kids’ items are very popular with online shoppers. Purchase toys from wholesalers or discount shops to sell to online buyers.

Book Reseller

Book shops are popular both online and off. You can sell new or used books and even consider a niche like college books or comic books.

Refurbished Tech Seller

Tech items like smartphones and laptops are always in demand. With the proper skills and supplies, you can refurbish old items to sell them at a higher price.

Handmade and Vintage Ecommerce Ideas

Handmade Jewelry Seller

If you’re interested in selling items that you actually make by hand, jewelry is one of the biggest categories to consider.

Paper Goods Seller

There are tons of paper goods you can design and sell, from invitations to planners.

Wedding Accessories Seller

The wedding industry is huge online. You can make a variety of items, from hair accessories to photo props. Or you can source items from other retailers to sell online.

Handmade Toy Seller

These products tend to be popular with parents who want to make sure the toys their kids play with are safe and made locally.

Handmade Pet Products Seller

Similarly, you can make a selection of products meant for pets, like cat toys or dog bandanas.

Handmade Clothing Seller

Instead of sourcing clothing from other retailers, you can actually design and sew your own clothing and accessories to sell.

Vintage Clothing Seller

You could also purchase a selection of vintage clothing from shops or individuals to create a curated shopping experience.

Vintage Home Goods Seller

Similarly, vintage home goods are popular on platforms like Etsy.

Upcycled Furniture Seller

If you’re able to paint, stain and reupholster pieces, you could purchase furniture that’s in a state of disrepair and then fix them up before selling them at a higher rate.

Collectibles Seller

Collectibles like coins, stamps and baseball cards are always in demand. You can open your own online store or use platforms like eBay.

Original Art Seller

Artists, create your own website or use platforms like Etsy or Artfinder to sell your original pieces.

Custom Artwork Seller

You can also offer custom pieces where people commission portraits or specific items they want drawn or painted by reaching out to you online.

Art Print Seller

If you want to add an income stream as an artist or just offer some more affordable items, turn your original pieces into prints so you can sell multiple copies.

Print On Demand Business Ideas

T-Shirt Seller

Print on demand platforms like RedBubble and CafePress give designers a way to add specific images to t-shirts. Then they handle the printing and shipping. So you just need to create and list items.

Home Goods Seller

Similarly, you can have your items printed on a variety of home items, ranging from mugs to shower curtains.

B2B Ecommerce Ideas

Office Supplies Seller

If you’re interested B2B online business ideas, you could open a shop that sells office supplies like printers, paper and writing utensils.

Restaurant Supplies Seller

You could also focus on a specific type of business like restaurants, selling uniforms, receipt books or commercial grade cooking gear.

Workwear Seller

You might even focus on selling apparel that’s specifically for businesses or employees, like scrubs for medical workers or construction apparel.

Shipping Supplies Seller

Since so many other businesses are selling products online or sending items to partners, shipping supplies like boxes and envelopes are in high demand.

Dropshipping Business Ideas

Home Goods Dropshipper

If you want to sell home products but don’t want to actually handle items you could open up an online store and then use a dropshipping service to handle the processing.

Tech Dropshipper

Similarly, you can partner with companies that offer tech gadgets and create an online store to reach customers.

Clothing Dropshipper

For those more interested in fashion, dropshipping is yet another method you can use to reach customers without a ton of work on your end.

Food Products Dropshipper

Some dropshipping companies even have the bandwidth to handle food products like baking supplies or coffee accessories.

Toy Dropshipper

For a more family based business, work with a dropshipper that will process and deliver toys to your online customers.

Sporting Goods Dropshipper

There are a ton of sporting goods companies out there that you can partner with in order to sell products using the dropshipping method.

Automotive Supplies Dropshipper

Similarly, you can source and sell automotive supplies like tools or engine parts.

Beauty Products Dropshipper

There are plenty of products within the beauty industry that you can easily sell online, from skin and hair care items to cosmetics.

Subscription Box Ideas

Beauty Subscription Box

Beauty products also make for the perfect items for a monthly subscription box service where you ship a selection of small items on a recurring basis.

Snack Subscription Box

You might even enter this arena with a subscription box that offers various healthy snacks each month.

Book Subscription Box

Books can also work in a subscription model. Find new titles that fit into a specific genre and send them to customers each month.

Cleaning Supplies Subscription Box

You could also focus on craft supplies to give creatives a great way to try out new things.

Other Ecommerce Business Ideas

Digital Print Seller

If you don’t want to ship physical products, you could offer digital items, like art prints that customers can print themselves.

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Digital Document Seller

For more of a B2B business, you can sell digital documents like spreadsheet templates or examples of contracts.

Online Health and Wellness Shop

Health and wellness is a huge niche right now. If you want to open your own online store that offers a variety of items, from workout gear to supplements.

Online Hobby Shop

Another online store idea with tons of variety, you can offer everything from model car kits to trading card games.

Online Gift Shop

Gift shops also offer a ton of different items. You can focus on artisan goods or gifts that fall into a particular category, like those for baby or wedding showers.

Online Bakery

If you love baking but don’t want to open a full service bakery, create the same variety of products and then ship them directly to customers.

Online Candy Shop

Candy also makes for a perfect ecommerce business idea, since it keeps fairly well and is small enough to ship easily.

Online Plant Shop

Plants can be a bit trickier to ship, but it is possible to open an online plant shop, especially if you focus on small items like air plants and succulents.

Online Art Supply Shop

For an online shop that supports creativity, open a business that offers items ranging from paintbrushes to easels.

Online Consignment Shop

The consignment business model is common in brick and mortar stores. But you can apply a similar concept online where you accept products from other individuals and then sell them online, giving them part of your earnings.

Gift Basket Service

Gift baskets are popular for holidays, birthdays and even corporate functions. In your online store, offer a variety of baskets that contain popular gift items like snacks or scented candles.

Mobile Shopping Experience

More and more shoppers are turning to their mobile devices to complete purchases. Take advantage of this by creating a mobile shopping app where people can purchase your items.

Online Marketplace

Online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay and Etsy give tons of opportunities to small retailers and individuals who want to reach buyers without setting up their own online store. You could provide a similar service to other sellers by choosing a niche and creating a unique shopping experience.

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