If you want to make your mark in the world of eCommerce, you need to stay at the top of your game. While a lot of people launch an online store with a “set it and forget it” mindset, the most successful entrepreneurs know that you need to constantly update your processes if you want to grow. Here are four tactical ways to improve your eCommerce business, today.
Strategy #1: Implement an “Omnichannel” Sales Approach
If you’re not already selling on more than one channel, you’re behind the times. 86% of modern shoppers bounce back and forth between more than one channel when making purchases. Globally, 25% of shoppers use four to five channels to make a purchase and 65% research online and buy offline while half do the opposite, so your products should be available at least two different places.
These stats show that you should offer your products both online and off. You can do this easily with modern technology. The omnichannel explosion is why Shopify, the leading eCommerce platform, provides its users with free credit card readers, connecting offline transactions with online inventory management systems.
What if you don’t Want a Brick and Mortar Store?
Many online entrepreneurs opt-out of brick and mortar business structures for many reasons: overhead, convenience, etc. If this is you, that’s fine. You should still offer your products on sites other than your website. Here’s an example.
One idea is to offer your products on at least three main channels: your branded website, Walmart Marketplace, and the Amazon Marketplace. This allows you to piggyback on traffic from multiple sources, opening up unlimited sales streams.
[Screenshots sourced from MightySkins]
Strategy #2: Revamp Your Marketing Strategy Every Month
How long has it been since you’ve analyzed your marketing strategy? When was the last time you added a new tactic? Many entrepreneurs recommend updating your marketing strategy every single month. While this isn’t a black and white rule, you need to consider the fact that trends and consumer behavior are constantly evolving — your marketing strategy needs to grow and change with them.
I don’t know when you’re going to read this article for the first time, and the tactics that work best for you are going to depend highly on your products and customer base. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to visualize your product roadmap to find inspiration for the best way to appeal to your audience.
With a defined product roadmap, you will bring life to your vision while able to see each stage of the product and identify areas to improve your marketing. For example, if you’re not looking at the big picture, you may ignore your packaging and put too much effort into social media.
Strategy #3: Keep a Close Eye on Your Competitors
Do you know what your competitors are up to? If all you know about your rivals are their prices and what they post on social media, you need to step up your game. There’s more to a competitive eCommerce business analysis than this.
In fact, you should be able to gain a level of insight that allows you to scale your eCommerce marketing strategy at every touchpoint and each stage of a shopper’s buying journey. Essentially, you need to spy on your competitors in each of the following areas:
- Search keywords
- Evergreen and top content
- Responsiveness/ mobile-friendliness of their website
- Number of indexed website pages
- Social media presence and engagement levels
- Advertising tactics
- Website changes over time
- Backlinks from offsite pages
- Content topics
- Pricing strategies
Knowledge is power. The more metrics in your competitive analysis, the stronger your business strategy and the greater your success.
Strategy #4: Clear Out Your Excess Inventory
How much dust is piling up at the back of your warehouse? The answer should be, “none.” If you have another answer or you don’t know, it’s probably time to clear out your excess inventory. Carrying excess inventory can cost you up to 30% of your profits per year. If that doesn’t compel you to take another look at your stock, I don’t know what will.
How Can You Get Rid of Unwanted Stock?
Once you’ve had some time to look at your surpluses, you may be scratching your head wondering how to get rid of it. The obvious solution is to add a clearance section to your website, but that’s not your only option. And, a clearance page doesn’t always work as you would hope. Sometimes, it’s just not enough.
So, here are some other intelligent inventory reduction strategies to inspire you:
- Run a competition or a giveaway to create buzz and let your excess go at the same time.
- Double rewards points or offer bonuses on surplus item purchases.
- Setup a pop-up store in a shopping mall or at a special event.
- Send your unwanted or surplus items to social media influencers.
- Donate the items taking up warehouse space to charity.
- Advertise your items as “back in stock” or “limited” to create extra hype.
- Extend your return policy on surplus items.
- Consider trading your products with another retailer.
- Place your excess items next to your hottest-selling items on your website.
- Package surplus items in bundles or lots.
- Update your product listings with new titles, descriptions, and images.
[Screenshot sourced from Flawless Vape]
The above strategies are sure to help you clear out products that are weighing your business down. As a bonus, they might spark some ideas to help you sell more of products that are already selling.
Today, you have the opportunity to build outrageous success online. You only have to know how to do it. Implement these tactics to make your mark in the eCommerce industry. Sign up for Flippa’s newsletter to learn more about running an insanely successful online store.
Ashley Kimler is part of the superhero team at Heroic Search in Tulsa. She’s been working in the digital marketing industry for over a decade. Follow @ashleykimler and @heroicsearch on Twitter to see what she and her team share next.