The capital needed to start an ecommerce business is significantly less than opening a brick and mortar store. All that’s required is a modest investment to cover any upfront costs.
Membership fees to the marketplaces your selling in, your ecommerce website, various seller software and of course the cost of your inventory. These are only some of the necessary upfront costs of online sellers.
Although it’s not impossible to start a business with no money, the old adage stating that “it takes money to make money” is genuine. Make it a point to invest in techniques to boost your revenue. Here’s a list of tasks that will be well worth your time.
Create a business plan
Believe it or not, not all entrepreneurs make a comprehensive business plan. Designing a well thought out business process is crucial to the success of your ecommerce business. Failing to plan is planning to fail, don’t be a statistic.
Set time aside to do proper research and <href=”#7a5ba3f65555″>create an effective business plan. Carefully build a sound business process that will carry the business through its daily operations.
The only investment for this critical task is your personal time. As we all know, time is one of the most valuable resources. Even more so for aspiring entrepreneurs.
Optimize product listings
Spending money on marketing is one thing but adequately preparing to convert window shoppers is another. Doing this task doesn’t require extra funds. Planning is all that’s needed to create and optimize a product listing to sell.
There are several critical components for Amazon listing optimization that reign true across all eCommerce listings. The first thing to do is to fix the title of the product listing. An optimized title has the brand, model number, size, key feature, color and quantity of the product.
Use quality images and—if possible—make a short video on the product in action. Online shoppers like watching videos and seeing the product at work. A complete product description section is also crucial. List the full physical and technical specifications.
Include the slang terms of the product to help it rank better when someone searches for it. In the process of building listings that sell, make it a point to optimize for Amazon and Google SEO as well.
Maximize social media
The power of social media is undeniable. The majority of online shoppers spend mass amounts of time on social media. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are among the most popular social media platforms in modern society.
Business owners need to create company accounts on each of these platforms to maximize their reach on social media. Social media is a free resource that can be immensely effective for marketing ecommerce products.
Established social media channels would be ideal platforms to share discount coupons to potential customers. Don’t make the mistake of not using this powerful free marketing tool for business.
Run PPC campaigns
Pay per click advertising is another powerful tool every ecommerce entrepreneur needs to master. Keep in mind that this marketing strategy will cost money. You will be paying Amazon to have your product advertisement pop up in front of potential customers.
This tactic will only be useful if you have a product listing page that has been optimized to convert. Allocate a sufficient budget for PPC campaigns. Run manual campaigns tied to keywords that have been carefully selected.
Then run an automatic campaign for Amazon to mine effective keywords for each product. PPC is customizable for each product and grants the user full control over every campaign. Make sure to set a maximum daily limit for each PPC campaign.
Doing so will prevent any unforeseen charges on your Amazon billing statement. Let each campaign run for a couple of weeks to accumulate data. Then compute for the ACoS (Average Cost of Sales). The way to do that is by dividing the cost of PPC by the total number of sales.
Social media influencers have loyal followers that spend hours watching their videos. Instagram or YouTube stars would be perfect for this purpose. Depending on their popularity they can have anywhere from tens of thousands to millions of followers.
Reach out to influencers that are known in your product niche. Look for influencers that you think will do great in reviewing your product. To make it worthwhile, don’t even bother contacting influencers with followers below 50k.
Select a few influencers and contact them with an offer to send them your product for free in exchange for a review on their channel. If they really like the product, some influencers would be more than happy to do the review free of charge.
Others would not be so inclined. For the ones that would charge a fee for a review, select the influencer that would provide more value. Consider that fee as part of your marketing budget. Be aware that this marketing method can be tremendously effective.
If an influencer has 50k subscribers and five percent decides to purchase the product, that comes up to 2500 sales. Stock up on adequate inventory to make this marketing method a success. One of the worst things in ecommerce is running out of inventory of a hot product.
Create urgency to push for sales
The sales tactic of creating a sense of urgency is used by every business that depends on sales to succeed. Stores in the mall go on three-day sales every so often. Home TV shopping channels promote limited time offers for products and so on.
The same premise is used in ecommerce. The crafted urgency has to do with the number of products in stock. For example, if online sellers that have 500 units in stock and indicate that on the store then the likelihood of the customer buying is low.
Online shoppers that are not worried about the stock running out will just procrastinate and may decide to make the purchase at a later time.
However, if the same seller indicates there are only 5 units in stock, then the customer will get worried that they may lose the chance to buy the item they want. The only investment in this specific method is the time required to update available units in inventory.
Money back guarantee
When selling on Amazon, sellers are required to process customer returns and refunds as needed. Some sellers fail to take this seriously and end up with a bad review. The worst-case scenario is there are too many bad reviews and negative feedback that Amazon ends up suspending or banning the account.
Proactively offering a money back guarantee to customers will put online shoppers at ease. They will be more comfortable in making a purchase when they know that they can get their money back just in case. The money back guarantee is already a well-known fact to tenured Amazon shoppers, but if you have a standalone eCommerce shop you’ll need to provide the same security. Promote this offer on coupons that can be shared throughout social media.
Provide discounts and coupons
Every consumer loves getting discounts for their purchases. This method is useful when launching new products or moving stagnant inventory. Create promotions for products that need a significant boost in sales.
If you’re selling on Amazon, you can create promotions through the inventory management tools available to you in seller central. Set the maximum number on how many times the discount code can be used. The next step is to shorten the product listing’s URL.
Search for your product on your Amazon store, copy the listing’s URL and paste it to bit.ly. Save that shortened URL and create a discount coupon using simple photo editing software.
Use the best picture of the product, create a text box and list the discount code along with the shortened link to your product page. Add another text box stating, “one per customer only”.
Starting an ecommerce business is easy. Making it profitable and stable is something completely different. Most ecommerce startups fail to meet sales quotas and customer service metrics.
They end up bankrupt before they even really got a chance to really start. Don’t be a statistic. Hit the ground running by accomplishing the tasks listed above and grow your business.