The world of ecommerce is booming with currently over 26.5 million ecommerce sites operating all around the world. While the USA is ahead with almost 14 million sites, it is worth mentioning that the UK is the second largest country with the most online retail sites.
That is no small deed, indeed. However, many small businesses struggle to move to the next level. Finding a popular product is, of course, a great way to start your ecommerce journey. Yet, a good product is not enough to make growth possible and sustainable.
What you can expect in this article:
Using a scalable platform
What is the first ecommerce platform that comes to mind? If you are thinking of Shopify, you may want to reconsider your options. Indeed, if you are targeting growth as a priority, you need to invest in a scalable platform that can adapt to your evolving needs without breaking the bank. This platform is not Shopify, but Magento.
Currently, Magento powers over 700,000 ecommerce sites, compared to over 4 million with Shopify. Price and customisability differentiate the platform. As an open source platform, Magento is fully scalable, and best suited for complex pricing rules, multi-store capabilities, and fully custom checkout processes. As such, it’s by far the best option for those who wish to expand abroad and adapt to international transaction practices. While there is no such thing as plug and play with this platform, you will need to work with a Magento web developer to unlock its full potential.
Being visible in search engines
Of course, great SEO is a necessary starting point. But if growth is your priority, SEO alone isn’t enough. You will need paid search marketing to maximise your search engine visibility.
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising allows you to place your products at the top of search engine results, increasing your brand visibility to potential customers. Another handy tool in the Google Adwords toolbox is the Google Marketplace where you can showcase your products to a vast audience and display it above the search results. Naturally, visibility is only one side of the coin. The other side is about smart targeting, as there is no need to make your brand visible to people who wouldn’t buy from you in the first place.
For small ecommerce businesses, the focus when using PPC is on keeping the cost as low as possible. But the DIY approach can be time-demanding and ineffective without dedicated expert know-how. That’s why, if growth is your goal, you want to invest in your Adwords strategy with a professional marketing agency.
Using influencer marketing to reach new markets
When you hear influencer marketing, you are probably thinking of the likes of Kim Kardashian and other celebs getting paid an astronomical amount of money to promote products on their Instagram posts. Influencers come in different shapes and sizes, and not all of them have the charisma of Kim, which, as it turns out, happens to be a good thing for many reasons.
First of all, Kardashian was fined last year for failing to disclose that was paid to promote a product, which forces many brands to question their influence approach.
Secondly, small businesses are unlikely to be able to afford her fees, and more importantly, her followers may not be relevant to your business expansion. But this is a good thing as there are plenty of micro influencers around with way less followers and a more relevant demographics for ecommerce ventures.
Working with micro or nano influencers can be crucial to reach out to a new market, such as expanding abroad or to a new demographic. Smaller influencers are more likely to establish a trust relationship with their followers, which makes their promotion of your business more credible and positive.
Improving shipping logistics
Picture the scene. Your local customers can receive their order in 24 hours at a low cost. But your international customers, who are discovering your brand as part of your expansion strategy, need to wait almost a week for delivery and pay extra cost for shipping. If this sounds unfair to you, you can only imagine how your customers must feel.
More often than not, expansion strategies fall flat on shipping difficulties. International customers are not willing to pay the price, both literally and figuratively, for shopping from your brand. As such, you want to establish a clear shipping strategy from the start, ensuring that you can promise your remote audience fast and cost-effective services; otherwise, why would they choose to purchase from your business when they can use a cheaper local competitor?
In conclusion, ecommerce growth is a delicate goal that requires the implementation of new structures and practices for your operations. To thrive in the competitive world of ecommerce, you can’t afford to neglect these vital steps to growth.