Starting an e-commerce company is one of the most exciting things you can do: with billions of people around the world on the internet, the possibilities are endless.
Many e-commerce businesses have gone viral thanks to the right types of content and strategies. The more your business scales, the easier it is to create a recognizable brand around it – and the more the brand becomes recognizable, the easier it becomes to make a sale.
So, how do you get started on the fast track to scaling? Of course, the first step is determining your brand positioning. “Try to picture your online store as an apartment complex or house. To build a solid building, you first need a strong foundation,” shared Nicole Blanckenberg. Once that foundation is built, it’s time to funnel the traffic to establish your brand further. Here are four ways to attract attention and potential clients to your e-commerce store.
1. Understand your customer’s journey.
Depending on what your product or service is, there are different social media sites that may serve as your sales funnel. It’s important to understand what these are and how customers interact on them: in other words, understand the “customer journey.” How does your ideal customer discover your product on a social media advertisement, and what compels them to click the advertisement to learn more?
A common mistake many e-commerce brands make is treating all social media sites the same, thinking their customers are the same across all of them. “The way people behave/buy is unique to each platform, and the competition on these markets (especially in Q4) will be fierce,” says Jeremy Delk, CEO of Delk Enterprises. For example: Facebook buyers vs. Amazon buyers vs. Pinterest buyers… Each of these platforms has their own customer journey, and brands that fail to cater to those quirks appropriately, will fail to compete.” Make sure to market to customers differently across each platform, and tweak your methods as needed.
2. Engage influencers to market your product.
Gretta Van Riel, CEO of SkinnyMe Tea, has built now five multi-million dollar businesses online. Her secret sauce? Engaging influencers and accounts with large followings. “Everything starts with demand,” she reflected. “The power of influencer marketing is trust. If a customer follows someone they trust, and that person tells them to buy something, they likely will… and you can then capture an understanding of that demand before manufacturing,” she recommended.
It’s true: eyeballs are great, but eyeballs from Instagram and social media followers who trust what influencers are telling them are far better. It’s essentially an endorsement on your product. So, make sure to allocate a portion of your marketing budget to get even micro influencers (accounts with a lower number of followers, but devoted followers nonetheless) to post about your product, and watch that demand stream in.
3. Maximize the algorithm.
Of course, you also have to make sure your brand is reaching your target customer on Google Search results, too. Quin Amorim is the CEO of Prolific Zone, an agency that specializes in helping businesses sell more online. “You have to ‘please the algorithm,’ so to speak, in order to rank well and become visible to customers,” he explained. “What most people don’t know about SEO is that it wants to show people what’s most relevant to them. If traffic is coming to your website through your keyword then not purchasing anything, the algorithm doesn’t think it’s relevant. So, offering coupon codes for 50-100% off to customers is a prime way of priming the algorithm to find relevance between your website and the keyword, since most people will convert when offered such discounts.”
Try tricks for SEO to make sure you’re ranked as high as you can be. If brand building comes down to brand recognizability, being among the first to come up in search results for (for example) “facial scrubs” is of the utmost importance if you sell facial scrubs.
4. Utilize free traffic from niche websites.
And since we’re talking about maximization, there are ways beyond social media marketing and SEO to drive traffic to your site. Jana Neer is the co-founder of ECommerce Brand Academy and recommends utilizing free traffic from niche websites and then utilizing the Google display network for retargeting to increase sales from those that didn’t convert as well as new products for customers. “An example of a niche website is Houzz, and by using just this one website to drive free traffic, we have multiple online furniture stores that we use for dropshipping that make us $5,000 to $10,000 a month on autopilot,” Neer shared as an example.
Building an e-commerce brand can seem like an uphill battle, but as long as you’re continuing to generate traffic and converting to sales, you’re doing a great job. Apply these four tips to rev your ecommerce engines: you’ll be a recognizable brand name in no time!