If you’ve considered expanding where you sell products, beyond your current ecommerce store, now is the time to do it. Ecommerce continues to grow in profitability as more and more consumers turn to the web for product purchases. Those purchases take place all over the web, whether they’re made on hosted shopping platforms, which are branded to sellers, or through online marketplaces. If you want to expand, the best approach is to analyze individual marketplaces, and determine which ones would be the most lucrative with minimal deployment time. This way, you can develop, and prioritize a strategy to test one marketplace before expanding into another. The ecommerce space otherwise known as electronic commerce relies heavily on the Internet and various technologies to run many businesses and organizations.
On the surface, an e-commerce platform is just another company’s use of technology to sell products or services. Many of these platforms are user-friendly to the buyer – all you have to do is just click and buy. Internationalizing sales operations enables firms to reach out to new target markets. And increase revenue by expanding and accessing a brand new customer base and sales potential. Many brands, manufacturers and retailers have expanded their business across borders using the advantages of online selling to tap the potential of their products and services in new markets. The Internationalization of technical solutions including platforms, payment options, SaaS software and supplying technology, is something that is rarely highlighted. Expanding sales activities across borders ultimately means acquiring more customers – and thus seizing opportunities otherwise left unused.
Exploring new markets means exploring growth potential. Unlocking this potential mostly requires taking a number of organizational steps and investing in a structure capable of generating leads and revenue. Outsourcing can therefore be an opportunity to try out a new market in an easy and controllable. Your product is successful in your home-market. Working in a new market needs a focused and well-structured approach, so it’s recommended to launch your activity with a profound and good solution from the start. Being first mover makes in many cases an important difference and gives you an irreversible positive step ahead. Therefore be sure you enter new markets as first mover, but be sure you don’t flood with organisational issues and challenges. When working solely or in addition to your existing salesforce you can assure yourself with a scalable and flexible solution which can easily support you in covering all growth potentials.
Here are the 6 surefire ways to make you give a better idea how you should expand your ecommerce empire:
Find A Profitable Niche
It can pay off to diversify and start afresh in a new, unexplored niche. Don’t feel like you have to always jump on the latest bandwagon. But you need to definitely consider new product options every now and then. They can help you grow market share and diversify your brand. As long as you aren’t putting loyal customers off. There are loads of ecommerce keyword and product research tools out there – some of them platform-specific, some of them more general. Have a good look around to get a real feel for a niche before you commit. It’s a good idea to keep an eye on the latest retail and search environment. Use tools like Google Trends to help you identify emerging keywords.
Try to keep your finger on the pulse, and be ready to move with new products that makes sense for you. Before everyone else gets there. At the end of the day, when you want to grow your e-commerce Business, you need to be focused on one thing: acquiring more customers. Links are the currency of the ‘net. They’re a vote of trust. High-quality, relevant links are the best way. When you find communities of your ‘best buyers’ online — websites, forums, podcasts, review sites — and build a relationship with them, you can offer them a sample of your product to review. If they like your product, they’ll write about it. And when they write about it, they’ll link to you. And when they link to you, you’ve just earned a high-quality, relevant link to your site from someone who reaches the same audience as you.
Sync And Analyze Data
You’ll need to make sure you have a solid system in place for handling incoming orders, managing inventory and fulfilling orders across multiple channels. Each marketplace pulls from the same inventory, but those channels don’t talk to each other. You’ll need a platform to sync all of your information. Online shoppers have unimaginable choice and tend to be very picky, often focusing on finding the best offer rather than being loyal to one retailer or shop. Retaining customers has become a real problem among online retailers, with almost every single etailer trying hard to ensure that shoppers are likely to come back again. There is plenty of tools and tactics that are commonly used to lure shoppers back – from offers and discount vouchers to thank you emails and loyalty programmes.
These are all a great additions however they will not work if the retailer doesn’t know the customer. Equally, generic newsletters and emails are much more likely to be ignored then the ones containing a bit of a “personal touch”. Most of etailers already have the necessary data but do not use it fully to help personalise selling and make the shoppers feel more special. Creating unique profiles for shoppers based on their purchase history and interests as well as demographics helps to target communications and offers which in turn is making shoppers more likely to come back.
Going multichannel is a fantastic way to grow your ecommerce investment. Virtually at the click of the button you will be able to access more customers, and more sales. Invest in expanding your current sales platforms, and build out your own dedicated store in order to grow. Multichannel inventory and data management can be complicated – you need the right tools to help you scale and manage your operations. Make sure that customer experience doesn’t suffer – don’t spread yourself too thin, too fast. Some channels will make more sense for your product or niche – make sure you conduct research before blindly diving in. The most important thing in ecommerce is to constantly test. Test everything that is on the site as your original ideas may not be the best ones, or existing processes may need refining.
This will not only provide you with more customer insight but will help to deliver a better user experience. Applying elements of persuasive design to get the customers to do what you want will have a significant impact. Utilise online tools such as visual web optimiser to drive a better customer experience and implement improvements which will ultimately drive your bottom line. It’s also important to involve yourself in the online ecommerce conversations, there is a weekly twitter conversation on ecommerce called ecomchat, http://ecomchat.com/. This brings together many of the industry’s best and brightest to discuss best practices across a number of different topics. Joining these conversations or even just watching them allows you to immerse yourself and deliver your own best practice and understand how quickly it evolves.
One of the main reasons individual online retailers expand into online marketplaces is the potential for increased sales. So expanding into a popular platform like this can translate into a major boost in sales for your business. Make sure you’re capable of fulfilling orders from these increased sales. Acquire new customers. Eighty-one percent of shoppers research products and brands before making purchases. This can lead to increased traffic to your site, where you can then build rapport with the consumer. Also, the “find everything you need” nature of marketplaces creates better sales opportunities. For instance, customers may start searching for one product, and discover something you’re selling instead, which translates to new customers that otherwise might never find you. Start paying listing fees.
Aside from hosting and transaction fees, it costs you nothing to list products on your own site. If you expand into marketplaces you will have to pay listing fees. These can include any combination of flat rate charges, as well as a percentage of each sale. Fee structures vary from site to site, and the fees you pay might even depend on the category of your products. You have to consider your margins when taking on these extra costs of doing business in a marketplace. You could significantly boost your ecommerce business by tapping into global markets. By listing internationally, you can gain instant access to potential buyers around the world. And gain direct access to buyers. You can also target international buyers from 208 countries including high-potential emerging markets. Selling internationally can help you to even out seasonal peaks and troughs.
In growth mode, new customer acquisition is important, and an aggressive digital PR campaign is important for awareness. To get media attention, you need a strong value proposition – what makes you different and special? If you’re in a highly saturated industry, how can you do things differently? Do you have a creative business model, a great brand story? A unique app experience? Any new e-commerce business needs to stand out. Competing on price isn’t profitable and attracts fickle customers. If you want to stand out from the giants. you need to do things differently. You can’t compete on price because they have superior economies of scale. so you’ve got to figure out what they don’t have. With your store, you can tell your story of who you are. Why you are passionate about your products. And give them that personal connection to your company.
Go out of your way to provide the best experience possible and make the buying experience unique to your customer. When you build this bond with your audience. You’ll see word of mouth marketing becoming the primary leader for growth. And you can start to incrementally grow your business to new levels. Once you find that product/market fit. You need to figure out which marketing channels allow you to most effectively hit that particular buyer persona. Where do they hang out and which apps and social networks do they use most? Some critical thought can help you narrow it down to a few channels. But your true answer will come from experimenting. Finally, once you find a channel that works. Focus on that channel and keep testing and optimizing.
Be Socially Active
Selling products on social platforms is a brilliant way to combine great content with relationship building. Social media advertising is cheap and can help you find new customers fast. As long as your ads are good and appropriate for the platform – you have a good chance of people clicking on them. Social campaigns are especially good for seasonal campaigns and time-specific offers. You want to invest in product listing ads (they tend to perform better), retargeting, and personalization to get the most out of your ad spend.
Programmatic bidding is also growing on social. Great organic social media is all about great content and interaction. It’s more about the give and take, less about promotion. You need to be clear on what your audience want to hear in order to succeed. Good reviews are super important on all seller marketplaces. Encourage people to leave honest reviews and deal with any negatives one quickly. Don’t let a bad experience spiral out of control on social.