Ecommerce is completely changing the way people purchase things. From apparel to cosmetics, consumers are finding the convenience of online shopping to be completely irresistible. It’s estimated that there will be over $480 billion in ecommerce sales in the U.S. by 2021. While this number may seem huge, it’s still a relatively small amount of retail as a whole—about 10 percent. Still, ecommerce sales are increasing at a much faster rate than retail.
This means it’s either the perfect time to start an ecommerce shop or adopt an online presence for your brick-and-mortar retail business. Here are six tips for running an ecommerce retail store.
Consider Your Niche
Before you do anything else, you need to narrow down your audience. This might seem counterintuitive. After all, don’t you want to appeal to the widest possible consumer base? Doing this is an effective strategy if you’re a managing a massive company like Apple. However, most ecommerce stores need to target a highly specific niche. Refining your consumer base allows you to do more effective marketing, and place smarter items in your inventory.
You Must Market Yourself
You can’t run a successful online store without doing a bit of marketing. There’s one thing inherently missing from an ecommerce site: a physical storefront. This means people won’t see your business unless you advertise it to them; in other words, there’s no foot traffic.
Luckily, there are some great ways to go about this. First, you should make sure your social media platforms are up to snuff. Gaining followers on social media is essentially free marketing. Influencer marketing is one of the hottest new ways of attracting new customers. This is where brands team up with relevant social media personalities to promote a product or service. Note that this part of the process may or may not be free.
Listen to Your Data
Your data won’t lie to you. You might misinterpret it, but that’s on you. And that’s exactly why you need to take extra care when collecting and using your data. Make sure to utilize some form of online retail analytics when running your ecommerce store. It’s essential to keep track of KPIs such as sales over various time periods, average order size, average margin, and conversion rate. Software is making it more reasonable than ever for SMBs to get deep insights from data. The brands that do the best job of data management will see the greatest success in the long term.
Make Sure Mobile Presence Is Solid
Maybe getting into ecommerce is a big step for you. The world of online shopping is still relatively new; so, there are many people in this situation. Regardless, you need to quickly get yourself up to speed on all the industry trends. Mobile friendliness is an essential component of a successful ecommerce strategy today. Already, about 55 percent of time spent on retail sites happens on a mobile device.
Learn about SEO
There’s nothing intuitive about search engine optimization (SEO). Still, it can be extremely useful for boosting your brand’s online presence. If you’re unaware, SEO is a way to boost your ranking in search engine results. This is accomplished by using certain keywords and meta terms on web pages, as well as a host of other things. Image resolution and page load speed are also key for strong SEO. Google keeps updating its SEO algorithm, which means you need to continually be changing your SEO practices.
Never Stop Learning
Ecommerce isn’t a world where you can do the same thing for generations. There are going to be new advances in the online shopping world every year. Don’t be intimidated by this prospect. Embrace the challenge. If you’re prepared to constantly learn new things, you will be able to find your place in the ecommerce realm.
There’s a lot you need to keep in mind when operating an ecommerce store. Consider these six tips to stay on top of your brand’s online store.