More than ever before, the e-commerce field is expanding due to the growth of digital buyers globally. For example, in 2016, an estimated 77% of internet users in the US purchased their goods online where the figure is expected to grow to 81.3% by 2020. Despite the growth in the industry, more online entrepreneurs find challenges penetrating in the market mainly due to competition especially in the prices of products they sell. Below are some of the tips that would help every online seller to make the business profitable and sustainable.
Minimize the number of clicks
Customers have a short attention span of seconds when they visit a website hence it’s essential to ensure that you grab their attention by minimizing the number of clicks. Avoid obstacles such as wanting them to register when they first visit your website or lengthening the buying process. Additionally, make navigation on your site easy by cleaning up any mess that may be on your website mainly due to installing software.
Promote your yourself and your products
If you don’t reach to your customers and tell them about your products, they will probably never know about their existence. So what can you do to attract them? Invest considerable time and energy promoting yourself through things such as guest post and writing great articles. Get prospective buyers to visit your store by using techniques such as Search Engine Optimization as well as advertising through Facebook and Google Ads.
Provide great customer service
Excellent customer experience will guarantee you instant sales as well as repeat business which can be done through social media. Social media gives you invaluable feedback from your customers and you also get to answer questions they have through live support chat. Additionally, you get to have an innate understanding of what your customers want hence you consider their needs. Lastly, selling online requires patience as it may require testing of different strategies to find out which one works best.
While it’s a common belief that digital marketing is the only practical way to achieve your marketing goals, offline advertising still acts as a useful boost to online marketing. Some of these low-cost offline strategies are known to increase leads or sales. Which are some of these ideas?
Invest in creative business cards
Quality business cards for you and your staff serve to let your business known in your field and beyond. It’s essential to invest in a unique design that not only showcases your values but also bring out some creativity. In this case, go beyond the usual white to include a colored cardboard. Additionally, a portrait business card can be used as opposed to landscape.
Network all the way
It’s no doubt the best way creating opportunities for your business is through networking. Every meet-up is a chance to engage with your potential customers. You can grow your network by attending related activities near you as well as creating strategic partnerships mainly with non-competing firms. In case there’s no business group around you, consider rounding up interested parties or do some research on sites such as Meetup.com.
Offer free products
This method is useful when selling low-ticket items that are regularly used. It is a low-cost marketing strategy that may motivate customers to even buy high-ticket things in the hope of getting more rewards. Additionally, competition and prices are a favorite online and offline marketing technique where you can gather credible customer data.
Stand out on packaging
Boost your delivery the best way you know how by adding some well-thought branding and marketing to your products. For example, you can offer free stickers to your customers which is cost-effective yet straightforward means to edge the competition while increasing the brand’s exposure. Additionally, you can give away knick-knacks for every purchase made which serve to spread the word about your product or services.
Research indicates that the economic impact of buying local products goes beyond keeping money flowing in communities to improving the fate of the nation as a whole. In comparing the result of buying from supermarkets vs. buying locally, New Economics Foundation found that purchasing local products helps money to stay in the community twice more often. The results of domestic purchases hence serve to strengthen a community’s economic base among other benefits discussed below.
It is estimated that U.S transports and ships close to $2.2 trillion in product imported from more than 150 countries. International shipping and U.S transport results to 25% of CO2 emissions in many states. Additionally, U.S factories dispose three million tons of hazardous chemicals into water, land and air. Buying local will mean reduction in the transportation, energy emissions used in production process, as well as minimal congestion.
Employment and local prosperity
Local businesses can create jobs and provide better wages than what chains can offer. Additionally, investing the dollar close to home strengthens the community by supporting farmers as well as producers. It is estimated only 18 cents goes to the farmer out of every dollar hence buying directly from the locals will mean more cash for the farmers or producers.
Improvement in the economy
Buying local will result to flow of money in the community which keeps the economy growing. Locally businesses contribute to more significant shares or revenue in their different economies which enrich the community at large. It also fuels economic innovation with the increase in small businesses which results in a reduction of the prices in the long run. Further, the product-based competition facilitates diversity and high-quality products to meet the demands of local consumers. It’s, therefore, no doubt that buying local is the way to go economically, health-wise and environmentally.