Growing a business whether online or in a physical store is no child’s play. Marketing is the same for online and offline businesses. Each of them may have specific differences which may be an edge over the other but they both need intentional efforts and skills.
For e-commerce (online) businesses, the advantage is you can reach a large audience without going overboard compared to physical businesses where what you might be able to reach is your immediate location or country. However, selling online avails you of the chance of building a worldwide business.
E-commerce has taken the larger stat of small businesses with some targeting audiences in their locality while some sell internationally. With the growing online retail business industry, you cannot create a store on platforms like Shopify and hope customers will visit to buy with no proper marketing plan.
That is why in this guide, we will see the marketing strategies that can help you grow and expand your e-commerce business as a Shopify merchant.
Marketing Strategies To Expand Your E-commerce Business
1. Elevate marketing effort
If you have been marketing that rates 3 on a scale of 5, when looking to expand your business in terms of sales and customer acquisition, you need to double your efforts.
Marketing is crucial to any successful e-commerce business. That is why big brands spend thousands to millions marketing their brand. Don’t fret if you are just starting. You might not have access to that kind of fund. However, there are ways you can market your brand to meet your desired result at any stage of your business. There is always a budget to work with when it comes to growing any business.
Digital marketing which includes emails and social media is one of the marketing strategies you can explore as a merchant. Small brands can reach customers and build sales cheaper and easier. With social media, you engage customers by creating engaging content that resonates with your target audience. At the first stage, this content gives your brand visibility which can be converted into traffic and finally to sales.
2. Expand your product line
Depending on the e-commerce niche you sell in, you might need to increase the products you sell in your store. An increase in product line gives you a better chance at increasing the number of customers your store attracts. You will be able to drive more traffic to your store since new products will serve the needs of some customers you do not serve initially.
To use this marketing skill, you must first research the market to identify products that are in demand but not yet offered. Whether these new products will be related to your existing product niche or not depends on how you want your brand to be seen.
Consider adding complementary products that are related to your existing product line to increase cross-selling opportunities. You can also consider sourcing products from new suppliers or manufacturers to expand your range of offerings.
3. Website optimization
The first interaction any visitor or potential customer has with you is on your store’s website. And most often, the first page a new visitor will see is your homepage. In any case, that does not override other pages on your website. There is a purpose for each page in leading customers to make a purchase.
Optimizing your website is paramount to improving customer experience and improving the ability for search engines to find your store when a user sends a query related to a product that you sell. Online buyers can tell from the design of your store whether you are a brand to be taken seriously or not. Store design contributes a great deal toward creating a good first impression.
After locking a customer for a minute with your design, you need to implement other schemes that can nudge them to check your products and probably buy on their first visit. There is a lot website optimization can do for growing or expanding an online business.
The key points to note when optimizing your store include quality product photography, a user and mobile-friendly website, an easy checkout procedure, a good product description, and more.
4. Promos and discounts
Free shipping, price slash, BOGOF, and timed discounts are some of the endless incentives to attract buyers to your store. Incentives are not only useful for acquiring new customers, but they also create repeat customers.
Customer retention is a goal when expanding your e-commerce business. With expansion in mind, you do not want one-off purchases from customers. Offering discounts and incentives can help you build a strong community of returning buyers and make repeat buyers out of first-time customers.
Offers and discounts also help you create sales urgency which encourages customers to spend more and increases sales for you. As a result, when it comes to this marketing strategy, you need to be strategic about it so that it does not affect your profit margins and product value.
5. Focus on customer service and reviews
Usually, before an online buyer buys from a store, they want to read reviews from existing buyers about the brand in general. They also want to read reviews specifically about the product they are interested in. Reviews from existing buyers become a point of contact for new buyers and old customers.
Hence, you need to encourage customers to leave reviews after making a purchase. And to get customers to leave positive reviews, you need to provide them with a good shopping and buying experience. Pre-purchase and post-purchase experiences are very important.
You can strengthen customer relationships and build trust through post-purchase experiences. When you keep in touch with customers after a purchase, you constantly remind and encourage them to visit again.
Provide excellent customer service by promptly addressing inquiries, offering easy returns and refunds, and ensuring timely order fulfillment. Encourage customers to leave reviews and testimonials, as positive feedback builds trust and credibility, leading to more conversions.
Expanding your e-commerce business requires a strategic approach that involves optimizing your website, expanding your product line, offering promotions and discounts, increasing your marketing efforts, and diversifying your distribution channels. By implementing these strategies, you can attract new customers, increase sales to existing customers, and create a stronger brand image.
However, it’s essential to conduct market research and ensure that your expansion efforts align with your brand’s values and goals. With a well-executed expansion strategy, you can take your e-commerce business to the next level and achieve long-term