5 Tips to Help Your Ecommerce Site Compete with the Big Boys
Being an entrepreneur in today's overwhelmed business world can be difficult, regardless of the industry, and
unless you have experience like the corporate officers of big companies, the journey can be sort of hit-and- miss.
One way to approach business is ecommerce, internet based sales. Some businesses are using ecommerce to
expand on the services they already provide while other businesses are completely online. To compete with big
businesses, use these 5 ways to improve ecommerce guidelines, and develop them into a unique personal style.
1. Allow Contact
Customers have questions about products, prices, comparisons, and sometimes they just want help making a
decision. Simply putting contact information inside a footer at the bottom of a website helps if not wanting to
dedicate an entire section. Common methods of contact include postal mail, phone, email, live chat. Postal mail
tends to be the slowest form of communication among today's technology, but it is necessary when shipping
products, handling returns, issuing checks, relaying confidential documents, and if customers really prefer a hands-
on method of communication, they can write letters. Even today, postal mail is relevant. Phone contact maintains
the personal aspect of being voice-to- voice, knowing a person is, or is not, speaking to you, the pace of the
conversation tends to be speedy, so less time is occupied, and this is the most common type of customer service.
Email is handy in the sense it provides visual copy, and it can be handled by a small team, sometimes one person,
but it can be tedious to maintain when inboxes become full, so sometimes email is reserved for important system
messages like invoices, confirmations, shipping status, rather than general customer service conversations. Live
chat is an emerging method with the major upside being the visual that prevents miscommunications because both
parties can read exactly what is being said, and the conversation can change speeds as necessary. Choosing a
method of customer service depends on the business, and often times the available human resources determine
your customer service handling methods.
2. Show Pictures
Using pictures to quickly display products sets each item apart from the others, and customers can easily see a
major description of the product without spending time reading. Make sure your pictures are appropriate to the
item. Use good angles that show the entire item. Avoid using distracting backgrounds by cropping the item out
with a photo editor. If customers cannot see what they are buying, they are likely to go to a local store where they
can walk in to see the product in person, or they will go to a website that offers the description they need.
3. Describe Products
A good title over each product can set a proper first impression while making browsing easier to customers. Also,
include an extended product description that can be technical, or persuasive. When there is no product information
at all, the customer is in the dark about the product. A simple description at least describes the products physical
features to address any discrepancies about what the product is. Some extra things to include are its capabilities,
parts, installation process, warranty. Providing thorough information about products can provide customers with
reassurance, allow them to compare items, and even direct them straight to what they are looking for, not to
mention save the business time in managing returns, complaints, exchanges because customers order the right
products the first time.
4. Organize Layouts
A neatly setup website will increase page views, and more page views typically means more sells. By improving
visibility, customers can scan through pages quickly with less stress, and they will want to visit more of your
pages, simply because of the attractive appearance. Some general rules to keep in mind are: straight aisles with
equal spacing, good display sizes for easy viewing, use of logos/symbols, categorized navigation links within a main
header/sidebar, and colors/themes that are nice to look at. If customers enjoy viewing your site, and they have
fun, chances are those customers will return. Appearance is not everything, but it can change a person's opinion
about your store's products.
5. Price Appropriately
Supply and demand is important. If overpriced products can easily be found somewhere else, the store with the
high prices better have a good reason to be marked-up. Often times higher prices can relate to the store owner's
expertise, elaborate packaging, good customer service, extended return/exchange policies.
Keeping up with major retailers that might be seen on television can be difficult, but it doesn't have to be. Use
those retailer's websites to learn their business practices. Read their mission statements to see how they focus
their business plans. Check out their customer service, pictures, product descriptions, website appearance, and
prices. Offer a personal experience that the big stores are not capable of providing.
Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who has worked in eCommerce for the last five years. She currently writes
for Rakuten Super Logistics and recommends them for all your product fulfillment needs to further your success.
It is true that advertising comes in many shapes and forms, however; they are tied into four main groups. It is very important when choosing a local advertising campaign that you understand these groups and plan accordingly.
1.) Awareness Advertising: This is a campaign where you make people aware that your product or service even exists. Traditional version of this type of advertising are:
3.) Promotional Advertising: This is a campaign that is designed to target existing customers to keep them coming back to you and to entice new prospects to choose you over an competitor.
4.) Presence Advertising: This is a campaign where your customers get to know you. This could be a longtime customer or a new referral, however; the first thing that people except is to learn more about you. They expect that you will have a website, reviews, videos, tours and more.
As mention earlier in this article there are many types of advertising solutions our there but the bottoms line is that each of them falls into one of these four strategies. A good healthy campaign will incorporate a blend of all four; awareness, directional, promotional and presence all in one advertising program.
Imagine Nike... They launch a brand new line of running shoes. They need to make the public aware of the new product and they may run advertising on TV, Radio, Billboard, Newspaper, Magazine, Online Display to draw attention to this new product. They will run a Search Engine Marketing Campaign and SEO because the awareness program is like priming the pump, driving people to go online and search for this new product that they seen or heard about. They want to learn more so they look for Nike's website and YouTube videos. Lastly the searcher decide if they will purchase today or just wait until they become last years model. A great promotional offer on your Facebook page just might help in a "Buy Now" decision.
I hope this small illustrations of the advertising cycle elements and what it may look like in a real life scenario helps. If you are looking for an advertising consultant we at e67 agency would love to speak with you. Contact us today.
Marketing on a small business budget is always a headache within it's self. You have great ideas for your advertising but not the budget to support it. You ask what do I do? Let me share with you a simple tip that is free.
go back to the basic. Back in the day it was common to hand out your business cards, attend a few networking socials, engage with your local community and that hasn't change. This advertising was FREE. What has change is how we do it. In the world of the internet age it is necessary to take these same networking actions to an online platform.
Social media is a great place to start. Create your network online by setting up a Business Facebook page then have your customer become followers. As followers they will receive all the communication information that you choose to post on your page, weekly specials, upcoming events, new products launches and more. Your followers can even share this content with their friends. Did you know that an average Facebook member has over 300 people in their friends list. Yes, the power of networking has change.
It is a good use of your time to do the same with as many of these social profile company as you can manage time for. The major platforms are Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Youtube and Pintrest just to name a few. Pick two of these just to get started. They should keep you busy.
When using any social platform, remember the 80/20 rule. Eighty percent of your content should NOT be marketing or sales pitches. This is a easy way to disengage followers or worse, lose them. You want to give them valuable information that may help them and make their life better. Example: If you are a carpet cleaning company spend more time teaching people how to get that grape juice stain out themselves than talking about the special you can give them to hire you to complete the job. People will appreciate you, trust you as a market authority and begin to talk about you ( free word of mouth ). There will be people that will discover you whom has a bigger problem than a small spill and needs to hire a professional or just decides that they don't have time nor the patience to do that type of work and would want to hire you. Here is where the twenty percent marketing comes in, make sure that people have a way on contacting you. If you are running a special find a way to drop ( not slam) it in.
I hope that this was helpful. If you would like more information or ideas for advertising contact us today for a free consultation.
Brian Taylor - owner of E6:7 Agency, marketing & advertising expert - Specializing in web design, SEO, Internet Marketing and Social Media Marketing