March Is Almost In The Books! Is Your Ecommerce Store Fined Tuned To Pay Off?
By now, you’ve added up all the pluses and minuses from this past year’s holiday season. If you haven’t, what are you waiting for??? Its the end of the 1st quarter! And hopefully, you’ve had a good season. But if you haven’t, or perhaps the positive cash-flow didn’t meet your expectations. Have you found the reason why you weren’t able to meet the goals you set for your eCommerce site?
Running an ecommerce business is just as hard as running any other business, perhaps harder in some ways. Yes, you don’t have the regular overhead as you would in running a “Brick n Mortar” store. But if you’re doing your job correctly, you’re still spending a bit of cash in trying to market both your brand, the products your selling and making sure your website layout and design is right up there with the best of them to get that website visitor to click on the “Add to Cart” button and make that sale.
We don’t have to tell you that owning an ecommerce business is hard! Gone are the days when the phrase “Build it and they will come” was the catch-phrase of the day. Owning your own web-based store is not all ice cream and cake, you need to be constantly tweaking it so it keeps performing, and by performing we mean making you MONEY! After all the stark reality is that entrepreneurship is hard!
But, are you getting the traffic to the site in the first place in order to turn that visit into a purchase? That’s the key indicator. How many visitors are actually unique? And how many of them are actually making a purchase from your site?
Remember, just because you went through all the time and trouble of creating (with a designer or web-development company’s staff) your eCommerce store, development is really never over. Constant analyzing and making adjustments is on-going. In fact, before you ever flicked the switch and started marketing your new store, it should of went through some “User Testing” to determine if the overall layout, navigation, and design hit all the points necessary for someone to easily move around on the site in a time-sensitive nature. Remember, you know the store from the main page to the sitemap. And yes, we do still encourage everyone to create a sitemap for your store. Most platforms today automatically create it on the fly for you. But is always a good idea to customize it a bit, so it has the look and feel of your main design and has a few elements that add a distinctive look so it’s not generic.
The user-testing will provide you with important first-hand information on what works and what is causing a speed bump to someone looking for specific information about your products, your store policies or even about you as the owner. This way, you can head off some issues that may cause instant abandonment that won’t do your cash-drawer any good.
Now, let’s say the design and functionality and the user-testing have been accomplished and your good to go. So, you point the DNS, enable the shopping cart and Wala, you are now live! But something seems to be wrong, you’re not getting that influx of clicks, let alone orders coming into your bank account. What’s going on you ask? Well, remember that old saying from the movie “Field of Dreams”? If you build it, they will come! Well, that just doesn’t work that way today, especially when you consider that there are literally thousands of websites being made live every day, and that includes a high percentage of eCommerce stores. So just because you made your store live today doesn’t mean you’re going to start enjoying the gravy train. You need to put it out there for people to find.
Well, the key is to use today’s social media platforms in the best way possible. Hopefully, you did this in the planning and creation stage of developing your website, by doing some research analysis to know what types of social media would best be served by targeting your store with them. You need to identify and become associated with some large followed posters. You may want to consider identifying these people, then approaching them with some of your products for them to review and in turn post favorable comments about their experience with the product, your branding, and your website which it is available from.
Get started by looking through Instagram for the popular accounts that may consider featuring your product to their hundreds, thousands of followers.
How do you find these popular accounts?
By searching through WEBSTA, a site that catalogues the most popular Instagram hashtags and users. By typing in “Your Product Type” in the search bar, you get to see both the most popular related hashtags as well as users who have “That Product” in their usernames or bios.
You might also check out WEBSTA Hot, which features the most popular hashtags trending now.
By doing your homework, you can identify various popular posters and you can see how many followers they have. You may be able to find some pertinent information about him/her, which may include the URL to their website or they may have a blog and naturally a Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter accounts. By using what you have discovered you may find their “Contact Information” and can thereby get in touch with them and pitch them your idea of their trying your products and then writing a post or review about them. Its really a win-win. They get to try and keep a great product and you get the benefit of getting your product and brand out there and getting the exposure of their many followers.
Another effective way to target Instagram influencers is by using the Instagram app on your phone. You can check the “popular page” which contains photos that are trending and have thousands of likes. Look for photos related to your industry and click over to the user’s profile to see if he/she has a large audience and a way to get in touch.
Now, this is really just the tip of the iceberg. Working and re-working your eCommerce store never really stops, but in order to garner the sales your looking for this year, you need to keep constantly analyzing it. There are tools out there for this, Google Analytics is just one of many, but a very good one. And we can post several blog topics about just this one tool and still have more to write on the subject. So, to make it easier on you, if you are really serious about making sure your eCommerce store is clicking on all cylinders, why not give the marketing team from Black Arrow Marketing a call to discuss what your goals are and let them provide a free evaluation of your existing store and offer you recommendations, both pro and cons, about what works and what needs a little help. Give them a call today, remember the 1st quarter of the year is just about over, you need to get the ship on course, so it can sail right into that safe harbor of positive sales before the year-end! Call them today at 1. 888.225.4780