Top 10 Points Every Online Store Owner Must Consider
Every year brings some changes for online businesses, and you, as an online store owner, have to be prepared for them.
New marketing trends, serious competitors, new advertising platforms – all this affects how an online business operates. In this article, we will discuss the main points every online store owner should consider in 2022.
Let’s get to it!
1. Create New Benefits for Customers
Consider current trends and think about how they can help your online business. Has the coronavirus situation led to a decline in orders? Offer free, targeted delivery to your customers.
Study your competitors’ offerings and form your unique selling proposition (USP). You can bet on your product, price, service, or benefits your target audience or even the entire community will receive.
Develop a great loyalty program for your customers. Say, you can use yellow price tags for temporary discounts on certain items; orange price tags – for permanent discounts on purchases of multiple items; green price tags – for discounts of up to 40% on high-value products. Your online store should always have discounts so that customers know they will always get a nice cash bonus or a useful product.
Betting on sustainability is another way to stand out. Many online health food stores, for example, offer not only eco-friendly products but also eco-friendly delivery. For a thoughtful and health-conscious target audience, such an offer will be really valuable.
Can’t stand out with an innovative product or creative service? Offer your customers same-day delivery like some online mattress stores do.
2. Influencer Marketing: Choose Your Business Face
Attracting your target audience to your online store will be more effective if you use influencer marketing. This method of promotion has a high ROI (return on investment) and is more beneficial compared to traditional advertising.
You want to choose carefully because influencers can help improve your ecommerce brand. Here is what to look for:
- Focus on your target audience. Unless you have a big brand with multi-million dollar budgets for media and outreach advertising, look for a niche blogger whose audience matches yours;
- Consider geographic location data and the demographics of your subscribers. This is especially true for local businesses;
- Pay attention to audience engagement and activity. You can start by assessing the ratio of likes/comments under your posts to the number of subscribers;
- Analyze who drops likes and comments on the last couple of dozen posts. Evaluate the ratio of the number of subscribers to the number of likes under the post. If it’s much more than 5-10%, chances are that your influencer is faking it with likes, if much less – it’s the subscribers. However, unfortunately, falling within this norm also does not guarantee good faith.
These four points will help filter out the least suitable accounts for promotion. The rest will need to be tested to evaluate the results.
According to Business of Apps, the most effective channels for influencer marketing are Instagram (93%), TikTok (68%), Facebook (68%), and YouTube (48%). According to Andrew Macarthy: the average cost of an Instagram post in 2021 is as follows:
- Nano influencers (1-10K followers) – $10-100;
- Micro influencers (10-100K followers) – $100-500;
- Mid influencers (100-500K followers) – $500-$5K;
- Macro influencers (500K-1M followers) – $5-10K;
- Mega influencers (1M+ followers) – $10K+.
A common tactic is for an influencer to publish a post on his/her page about your product. This can be a photo or video review that explains all the advantages/features of the product.
The right mega influencers are brought in to increase brand awareness. These are celebrities in certain niches who have more than 1 million followers. You can try Influencity to search for the right influencers.
The advantage of advertising with mega influencers is their wide reach. The disadvantage is, obviously, the price. Therefore, only online stores with a large turnover can cooperate with mega influencers.
In case you can’t afford advertising with mega influencers, you can consider macro-influencers, mid influencers, and so on. The final price is always decided in negotiations with the influencer.
When choosing an influencer for your online store, remember that it’s not a million of subscribers that will get you results. The main criteria here are the presence of a target audience among subscribers of the influencer, the activity of that audience, and the cost of advertising.
Apart from the feed, you can also advertise your online store in Instagram Stories. Drop your attractive Stories every day, alternate different types of content (informational, educational, entertaining, engaging, advertising), use masks, filters, hashtags, surveys, quizzes, tests, countdown timers, geo-tags, and other effective tools to engage customers in communication. Don’t forget about clear CTAs (calls to action), run test campaigns, analyze, optimize, and be creative.
3. Use Cross-Promotion
If you want to extend your reach and attract the target audience to your site, you need cross-promotion. The essence here is the cooperation of two companies to increase demand for products/services in a win-win manner.
Cross-promotion can be done in the form of joint competition, contests, joint events, influencer posts, promotional videos, giveaways, podcasts with guests, email marketing, interviews, and webinars.
The result is that customers become more motivated to buy from your online store. The latter increases sales and brand awareness, and the customer gets a nice prize in addition to the purchase.
The advantage of cross-promotion is that you calculate your promotion budget yourself. Together with your partner, you set the conditions for promotions/giveaway
4. Get Customer Feedback and Analyze It
Honest feedback from your customers is one of the best ways to promote the online store; and prospective customers trust verified ecommerce reviews more than any other source. It’s another person’s review that tells your target audience that you have high-quality products/services, on-time delivery, great support, and affordable prices.
How to get more positive customer feedback:
- Locate a convenient feedback form in a clear place on your website. Make sure anyone can leave a review without the need to register;
- Keep in touch with your potential customers and respond to feedback regardless of its tone (positive, neutral, negative) or if there’s a question in it;
Improve your brand reputation. Customers often leave feedback and ecommerce reviews not on the site of your online store but on various forums or special review sites. You want to register there to follow the reviews about your company and respond to them on time. This way, you will increase the credibility of your brand and be able to respond to negative feedback.
5. Offer Fewer Options
For many companies, this concept is simply unthinkable – of course, offering more products is a great way to increase sales, right? However, this scheme doesn’t always work. In fact, in many cases, the more products, the less determination.
If you have a wide range of products, structure your website or product catalog to offer your site visitors as few choices as possible. This will make it less likely that a visitor will be overwhelmed by dozens of different products.
You want to organize your online store products into more specific categories so that visitors can more easily find exactly what they are looking for.
Additionally, you can also emphasize a smaller number of uniqu
6. Simplify Your Ordering Process
Approximately 68.7% of online shopping carts are abandoned before the purchase stage due to extra costs, complicated checkouts, and account creation requirements. This is a big deal – eCommerce stores lose $18 billion in sales revenue each year because of cart abandonment. Thus, you want to simplify the checkout process as much as possible, as well as make it as easy to navigate your site.
Eliminate any unnecessary steps that might discourage a potential customer from making a purchase. Remove all the unnecessary fields and make sure your customers won’t have to fill everything in all over again (if they come back to place another order).
7. Demonstrate Trust Signals
Legions of your satisfied customers will make a much bigger impact than the best promotional text. Put their positive comments on your product/pricing pages or even your homepage.
Don’t forget, however, that if you choose to show your average star rating based on customer reviews, it’s best not to include a maximum integer (5.0) because that would be judged as false “clickbait” advertising. Nobody’s perfect, and everyone understands that.
Similarly, including trust signals can be a great way to increase online sales, as this creates a better perception of your brand in the minds of your potential customers, eliminating their doubts.
8. Ensure Reliable and Fast Web Hosting
It’s no secret that the speed of your website determines your Google search rankings. You can check your online store’s page load time with Google PageSpeed Insights or use a suitable CMS for that.
If your website has speed problems, there are 2 ways to solve them as follows:
- Find an NVMe hosting provider. That can help boost your site speed.
- Ask your website developer to optimize your site performance.
9. Optimize Everything You Can
For your eCommerce to be successful, you need your online store website to be intelligently designed and optimized. A messy web page that takes a long time to load and shows useless information will negatively affect conversions. Vice versa, a website where anyone can quickly find and buy the necessary product in a few clicks will increase the conversion rate many times over.
Consider the following points:
- Accessibility from all mobile devices: mobile search has long eclipsed desktop search. Make sure your website provides a good UX on all devices. And don’t forget about the shortest possible page load time;
- Provide your online store visitors with an option to return to their shopping carts later, even if they use a different device. Don’t expect mobile visitors to convert in one session because they (almost certainly) won’t. However, they might convert later if you make it easy for them;
- SEO. If you want to sell more, people need to be able to find you easily, so advertising on search engines (organic and contextual), as well as optimizing meta tags, site content, its structure, internal linking, etc., is a must.
10. Use Remarketing Campaigns
Whether you’re running a PPC campaign or a Facebook ad campaign, any digital marketing initiative takes time, money, and effort to implement. If you don’t involve remarketing, commonly referred to as retargeting, you’re essentially counting on potential customers converting right away, which almost never happens.
Given the often “thorny” customer journey that today takes at least one or two days (across multiple devices), remarketing not only keeps your brand at the forefront of potential customers’ minds but also gives them additional opportunities to finally purchase your product.
There you have it! Use our recommendations to promote your online store and succeed. Also, once you have identified your target audience and chosen a relevant domain name for your website, pay special attention to the choice of your hosting provider – the full-fledged website needs fast and stable hosting with round-the-clock tech support and daily backups, so you can restore everything at any time. In addition, a web good hosting provider will always help optimize and configure the work of your website.
Good luck with your promotion and may your customers be loyal!