Your e-Com Biz
More than likely, if you have not incorporated e-commerce into your business yet, you probably thought you had nothing to offer, right?
Today, businesses are rewriting the rules and melding various business models into a more personalized, branded business model that serves more than just one market and yes, adding e-commerce as well.
Millions are made yearly by businesses that are able to think outside the box and then work outside the box as well.
Such is e-commerce for “small business.”
If your business currently provides a specific service – whether you are a plumber, electrician or provide any other service – you may have never thought of offering your customers additional products, affiliate products, industry reports or maybe even “how-to” videos right from your website…
Maybe it’s time!
With the internet, almost every category of business imaginable is reaping the benefits by adding an e-commerce element to their website – one that creates additional income and adds to their current product line or services.
Maybe it is not simple “information” you need, but the right information that fits your current business. Information that will guide you and help you put your own product ideas into the marketplace while further serving your current clients and customer base.
You can very easily run around in circles, spend a bunch of money and never actually find the right answer that fits your specific needs…
Or you can focus on a platform that allows you to weave all the good points of ecommerce into additional profits with the least amount of start–up costs, time investment or big learning curve.
It does not necessarily matter what your competition may look like online - your business may already have a built-in customer base that is loyal to your brand or service and will feel confident in purchasing just about anything from you.
Consider too, that your business can offer unique selling points that businesses elsewhere may not be able to offer (such as location shopping, pickup or delivery) via their e-commerce strategy.
At the other end of the spectrum and for those of you that don’t think you have any products or services to offer or with which to benefit from with an e-commerce presence, think again!
First-time entrepreneurs rarely invest a lot of capital in their ecommerce businesses up front, hoping to return their investments within six months to a year. After launching a simple store, concentrate on ecommerce marketing 110%. Anything else can wait until you’re sure you can generate traffic and reach potential customers.
The secret to ecommerce marketing is to find the right channel for your products, and then to perfect your marketing strategy until bringing in one new customer costs less than what you earn from a sale.
You want to aim for that infinite loop where you spend less than you earn each day. Also, make sure you reinvest all of your profits into your ads. This isn’t the time to pocket all your earnings.
Instead, keep a close eye on the relationship between profits earned and money spent on ecommerce marketing by checking your advertising ROI twice a week at minimum. Ideally, do it daily. Sell products that have high enough markups to cover your marketing expenses on a consistent basis. Since ecommerce marketing can cost a lot of money, make sure you price your products well.
Don’t rationalize that putting $100 to work will bring you word-of-mouth referrals or returning customers. A $100 investment should bring you at least $101 dollars in sales so that you can reuse it on advertising again.
Only once you get to this point can you begin to optimize your store design, invest in creating great brand image, and look for ways to generate more money. You can’t optimize a store if you don’t have any customers to test different features on first. Thus, ecommerce marketing is really essential to standing out from your competitors and generating sales.
A great ecommerce business plan does require some investment, however. Putting money into your advertising tactics should ultimately convert to sales, and you need sales. Unless you have a bigger budget, you should exclude long-term ideas like SEO or email marketing for now.
Prioritize your time and money by exploring all options. With direct advertising like Facebook or Adwords, you can get more sales immediately. It’s best not only to learn how to run your first e-commerce marketing campaign on Facebook, but also how to optimize it. Alternatively, read how others are approaching Instagram marketing or the latest trends in advertising on Snapchat. With this knowledge and inspiration, you can apply new strategies to your own ecommerce business.
When it comes to assessing the performance of your ecommerce marketing efforts, test your advertising campaigns instead of your product pages. This will keep you from getting bogged down trying to analyze and change all of the small details of your store. Just focus on the advertising and marketing, not the ‘buy’ button on the product page.
While much of the advice about how to start an ecommerce business seems easier said than done, it certainly helps to have a clear idea of the first steps including launching a simple store and dedicating your energies to ecommerce marketing. From here, we can begin to explore the particulars.
As you develop your own ecommerce business plan, start lean and set all other things aside to focus on sales. Don’t worry about having the perfect product or the best looking web design for your store in the beginning. Jump in and learn by doing. Use the sales aspect of your ecommerce business as your lighthouse because it is the driving force behind any successful store. Once you begin turning a profit, invest the funds into an ecommerce marketing plan to continue growing your business. Only then should you start to hone in on other important details like optimizing your store.
You’ve got everything you need at your fingertips to make this the year your business takes off.