Anyone operating an online store knows how easy it is to get busy doing day-to-day tasks such as finding and listing new products, inventory management, responding to queries, and shipping goods. Unfortunately, big-picture strategizing often gets forgotten.
As an entrepreneur, though, it’s vital to focus on your goals and how you might get there. This requires working on the business, too, not just in it, to ensure sustainable growth.
To build a bigger, more profitable, and solid online store over the years, it pays to narrow in on a few strategies that can have a remarkable impact on the success of your eCommerce venture.
Find Ways to Retain Current Clients
To build your business, you must retain the clients you have already won over. If you can get increasing numbers of people to come back and buy from you over and over again, you’ll save money on marketing and have a more consistent cash flow. You may also notice more referrals occur because loyal clients are more likely to recommend your business to their contacts.
To encourage people to shop with you repeatedly, learn about your target market. It pays to utilize a comprehensive session recording tool that allows you to see how shoppers use your site, which pages they visit, the products they check out, where there are when they click away from your website, and more.
To retain clients, offer excellent customer support, too. Make customer service accessible for people by providing multiple options for questions and concerns to get answered, such as via live chat, emails, phone calls, and social media sites. Ensure you have enough staff on to service inquiries and train your support team effectively.
To increase the sales you get from current customers, look for ways to upsell and cross-sell. Incorporate functions in your website that show people other products or services they can add to their cart. Plus, send follow-up emails with special offers to entice them to buy from you again. Many eCommerce entrepreneurs also have great success with loyalty programs and sending customers exclusive, VIP content.
Market Effectively to Bring in New Shoppers
Your focus can’t only be on pleasing the people who have already bought from you. To grow your online store, you’ll need to bring in new shoppers, too. Marketing is imperative here. Try multiple strategies over time to see which ones work best for your business type and your target market(s).
You might, for instance, create engaging content that you share on social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. These sites have audiences of millions of users every day and can be the perfect spot for consumers to learn not only about your products and services but your brand and the people behind the company, too.
You might also blog and send regular newsletters to subscribers to let people know about new wares and deals. Work on building your search engine rankings through optimization on Google, Bing, Yahoo, and the like, too. Plus, many eCommerce owners enjoy results from targeted paid advertising, such as on Google and Facebook.
Other ideas include letterbox drops, working with influencers, and utilizing joint venture programs where you join up with other businesses to promote each other’s wares. You could guest post on other people’s blogs or websites, book speaking engagements, and attend trade shows and conferences, too.
Another top strategy is to systemize as many functions as possible. You may find you can’t keep building your business because you don’t have any more hours in the day, and nor do your employees. Systemization saves time so you can focus on growth opportunities.
Look for areas where you can put processes in place so you don’t have to keep “reinventing the wheel.” Examine the different procedures in the business you repeatedly handle and think about how you might set up methods for streamlining them. For instance, consider stock ordering, invoice creation, shipping, uploading new products or services to your website, responding to customer questions, packaging, marketing, etc.
Determine current processes or required ones, and then see how you can make them more efficient. Question why something is done in the first place, too, since you might be able to cut out some tasks. Use the information you compile to spot quicker ways of doing things or tasks you can delegate or outsource to someone else. Document processes with a list of sequential steps and a checklist.
Winging it as a store owner will work for a certain amount of time, but once you start to grow your business, you’ll see how essential it is to develop strategies for handling things more effectively. Use the ideas above plus more to achieve your entrepreneurial goals.