How to Keep Growing Your Online Retail Business Long Term
Produce great content
Useful and interesting content is essential for every social media marketing campaIt doesn’t matter if you’re planning a vertical or horizontal growth, your online retail business has to be ready for whatever comes next. Attracting new customers and growing is slightly different for an online store compared to its brick-and-mortar counterpart.
As a retailer, you provide goods and services that people need, but you also have fierce competition. This applies to all industries, from food to appliances and electronics. Hence, this is not an easy game to master and dominate.
The only way to set yourself apart from the rest is to keep finding new ways to grow. People recognize the effort and they always reward it. However, this is not a one-time thing; this growth has to be something you practice on a daily basis. It should be your company’s regular policy.
However, that’s not so easy to achieve. When you start an online store, you believe that you’ve done most of the job, but what follows below will convince you that it just may not be the case after all.
Nail the basics
If you have already dealt with the starting phases of establishing and running an online retail business, it’s not bad to remind yourself of some basics.
You shouldn’t forget that you still have to get the basics right since they can hold you back from growing. Let’s see a couple of important segments related to this aspect.
Easy payment system
It’s absurd to lose customers because your online store doesn’t offer their preferred payment method. This should never be an excuse, and it’s wild that many people don’t realize that PayPal isn’t the only option used by people to pay for products online.
If you don’t know what methods to feature on your online store, you should do some research on popular online payment solutions.
Make the ordering process simple
If a lot of people abandon your cart, that may be a sign that your ordering process is more complicated than it should be.
Many people abandon carts simply because the ordering process is too complex. In other words, you should allow your customers to check out with only three to four clicks. Also, do not ask for the information that isn’t related to their order.
A great social media strategy
In order to have constant growth, your audience needs to be constantly reminded that you are there and that you have something to offer.
We are living in the 21st century and it’s pretty clear that your target audience uses social media and company review sites. So, you need to be wise and use that to your advantage.
Do everything you can to get your products to sell faster online. A good part of this is to deploy a comprehensive social media strategy for your online retail business.
ign. Avoid posting salesy material, and instead try to push content that is useful but also covers your products or services.
It has to be related to your business and it should provide additional value to your audience. Provide tips and how-to tutorials for your products and services. Compare your products and do everything to provide valuable info that is interesting at the same time.
Each post should help your customers make informed purchasing decisions. Also, make sure that you deliver content in the form they prefer. Some may prefer video content to articles, so make sure you get it right.
Talk to influencers
Influencer marketing is slowly becoming one of the best ways to promote something.
So, take advantage of it and implement it in your social media plan. As a company, you need to partner with a prominent social media user, better known as an influencer. That is, the user needs to have a lot of followers who will always consider their piece of advice, especially when it comes to purchasing various products.
The influencer should promote your product on their page, but this mustn’t look too cheesy. If done properly, this kind of promotion will not only increase your sales figures, but it will also drive considerable traffic to your website. And that is essential for growth.
Growth has a lot to do with marketing, and thus, your marketing efforts have to be diverse. Besides implementing a solid social media plan, you should also consider taking advantage of email marketing.
Email is not outdated, no matter what people say. It is still effective and it will definitely help you generate more revenue and grow.
Just remember to put emphasis on the content you push in your email marketing strategy. The emails should be personalized to some extent and they have to spark interest. Content, in general, has to be top-notch.
Of course, sending out emails right after new people register or subscribe on your website can be difficult. There are a lot of tasks that are dull and should be automated. Fortunately, you can turn to email marketing software for that. That will make the whole process easier.
A solid loyalty program goes a long way
Know that it will cost you more to acquire a new customer than to sell to an existing one.
Also, your existing customers tend to spend more than new customers. If you’re not sure about this, you can think of situations in your own life when you have found out about a new product in a store you never bought in before. First, you buy one to two items, and if you become a regular customer, you increase the number of items in your cart. It’s rather simple.
It’s obvious that customer loyalty really pays off. And having a customer loyalty program serves as a sign that your business is maturing well. You are recognizing and showing respect to your regular customers; that is how it should be and that is how the big players in the industry do it.
If you’re still on the fence about customer loyalty programs, know that loyal customers convert and spend with brands they like more often, and they also tell their friends and family about their positive experiences. On top of that, the US is a prime example of how efficient these programs are, since 40% of online shopping revenue comes from repeat customers who make up only 8% of site visitors.
Security is something that the vast majority of your customers will appreciate when they’re shopping on your store. That is precisely why you should put emphasis on securing your business online.
Security is essential, so you should at the very least have a secure sockets layer (SSL) connection. This connection encrypts data that passes through your website.
Moreover, it will help you protect your customers and your business when a payment goes through your site. If you store customer data (contact info, credit card numbers, etc.), you will want to make sure that you have sufficient security.
Growing can halt abruptly if you fall victim to a cyber attack or data theft. That is exactly why security is essential for growth.
You have already passed one major milestone – launching your business. And that is definitely something you should be proud of.
However, if you want more success, you have to grow, and that is something that cannot be achieved quickly. Implement the practices above and stick to them, that is the way to achieve something great in the long run.
The best bit about this is that when you create a great and successful online shop, you can easily sell online shop whenever you get tired of running it. And then, you can start all over again. This is another perk of online retail.
Contributed by Dave Schneider, the marketing manager at Albacross, the free B2B lead generation platform. In 2012 he quit his job to travel the world, and has visited over 65 countries. In his spare time, he writes about SaaS and business at Dave Schneider.me and runs the churn reduction app, Less Churn.