The internet is a powerful platform providing a broad awareness of online stores. Millions of people are online every day, searching the internet looking for services and products. Online shopping is increasing every year and is seen as a convenient way to purchase products and have them delivered right to your door without the hassle of dealing with large crowds and waiting in line - you can also shop at whatever time of day works for you!
Online stores also have the ability to incorporate a range of marketing and sales techniques that give people that extra incentive to buy your products and come back for more.
There are a number of benefits that an online store (eCommerce website) can offer your business:
1. You can operate your business from anywhere
Imagine processing orders from the comfort of your couch. You can be anywhere around the world and still oversee your online store. As long as you have access to the internet, emails and phone calls, you can do it all!
2. Lower set up & running costs that a physical store
The expense of setting up an online store is that much lower than a physical shopfront. With everything automated online, you save on the additional expenses of rent, wages and other business overheads such as electricity and rates. The money that you save on these things, can then be used to develop your online store and invest in online marketing campaigns to bring even more customers to your store.
Once set up, an online store can basically run itself. With payment systems that automatically process transactions and deposit the profits into your bank account, automatic invoices sent to customers after they've completed their purchase as well as notification emails sent to you after every sale. Therefore, what time you do have to dedicate to your store, you can use to develop marketing strategies, special offers and expand on your product range etc.
You may only want to start out small and offer a selection of your products to keep your online store manageable whilst you get used to how it all runs. However, if things are going well, you can always expand and offer a larger range as well as bundles and special offers which target popular buying trends that you have noticed from your customers.
4. Shop when YOU want
There is no such thing as trading hours when it comes to an online store. Customers can shop whenever they want online. This opens you up to expanding your customer base world-wide. You can also use marketing strategies to encourage online sales during specific times or offer time sensitive incentives to attract sales and improve conversion rates.
5. You can easily measure your sales
Easily track how many orders are processed through your site, your average cart total, cart abandonment rate and percentage of total revenue your website has achieved at regular intervals.
So with all of these benefits, you can see the positive effect that it would have on your business. It is also a safeguard in terms of your business can continue to run if in the unlikely event, you are forced to close your shopfront.
Once you have established an online store, there are a number of ways you can successfully market to drive your sales.
Upselling is offering a customer a slightly more premium product than the one the customer was originally considering. Sometimes your customers don't know that a premium product is available, or they may simply need more evidence to understand how an upgrade in a better fit for their needs.
There are 2 main considerations when using upselling to increase sales:
- Make sure your upsells are related to the original product - they need to be slight improvements on the product they are already looking at, not something completely different.
- Be sensitive to the anticipated price range of your customers - you don't want there to be a massive price jump that they won't even consider the upsell.
With over 500 million daily active users, Instagram is one of the fastest growing social apps around, connecting consumers, influencers, and brands.
If you take compelling photos, use hashtags strategically, and post at the right times then you’re well on your way to building a large Instagram following of people who are interested in your products. The key to mastering your organic Instagram presence is engagement with your followers.
Try running contests or going behind the scenes to showcase your product development process. You can also pay to play on Instagram. For ecommerce marketing, adding products to your Instagram posts and stories gives your followers a direct path to purchase, which is key for increasing your online sales.
3. Free Shipping
Including the price of shipping into your product price can help manage expectations of customers, avoid buyer reluctance & increase revenue. This is growing in popularity within online stores as customers prefer to invest their money into products if the vendor offers free shipping.
It has also become somewhat of an expectation with a lot of customers as the big companies tend to offer it or at least offer free shipping when you spend over a certain amount.
Shipping costs have proven to cause buyers to pause and question their confidence in their purchase right at the end of the process. If there is too much of a spike in cost, it can cause them to reconsider and abandon their purchase.
Consumers will often spend around 30% more on products if they know they are getting free shipping.
Offering free shipping can also bolster your brand's credibility and encourage customers to return to your store again.
Sometimes all customers need is a little incentive! Providing discounts and offers for your online store is like dangling a big fat juicy carrot in front of their face. Add in the exclusivity of only getting access to that discount if they are part of your mailing list, then you can almost guarantee some sales will be coming your way.
Sometimes the incentive can be as simple as offering free shipping for any purchase.
When the customer is made to feel like they are getting something out of their purchase, then it builds trust and encourages them to return to your store for future purchases.
The wonderful thing is that it is so easy to implement these marketing strategies within an online store as opposed to a physical store.