Plan to Grow Your E-commerce Business

Plan to Grow Your E-commerce Business

Sometimes business just happens. You have a good idea, and you run with it. Next thing you know, you’re in business. If you think this Cinderella story ends there, you may not be in business for long.

Getting a lucky start is just that…lucky. Now you have to work hard to maintain your market share and grow your business. In ever changing market conditions, this is the challenge. The solution is…make a plan!

Number One Online Business Challenge

Challenge is a nice way of saying, its going to be hard. The first step is to define the challenge. The hardest part of doing business online is visibility. You may have the best product on the most beautiful website, but if customers cannot find you, they will purchase from someone else.

The internet opens up a seemingly endless pool of customers who are not bound by borders. The customer base for your products within a 20 mile radius of your location is limited. When you make them available on the internet, millions of people could potentially buy from you…if they can find your website.

Unfortunately, you were not the first business owner to discover the huge market potential on the web. Now your website sits in a crowded field of competing products, animated storefronts and misinformation. You need to rise to the top of the search results to survive.

The Plan That Works

Regardless of what market you compete in, e-commerce businesses face the same issue of visibility. You need a plan to improve your visibility if you want to benefit from the large market available on the internet.

Focus on these steps to move out of the crowd and start growing your e-commerce business:

Clean website design

Design is subjective to taste and trends, but there are some ways to stand out. I recently reviewed a website for a client who does a majority of his business online. His website is so difficult to navigate that customers call and place their orders over the phone. This is definitely a design fail.

You need a website that welcomes visitors and makes it easy for them to find the information they are looking for. Although you are in e-commerce, many first time web visitors may come looking for information rather than to buy a product. You want to greet them with beautiful visuals and an uncomplicated navigation.

One thing I always ask when I review a client’s website is, what do you want customers to do when they get here? Too many options create paralysis. It should be clear to the website visitor what they are supposed to do on your website. In e-commerce, the buy button needs to be easily accessible, for instance.
When you increase your visibility, you want potential customers to be looking at the very best representation of your business.

Focused content

Give customers and future customers information they can’t get anywhere else. Fill your website with useful tips for using your product and details about how it is made or why it is better than the competition.

Provide free information that would appeal to your customers. If you sell dog products, give free tips for dog training or dog adoptions. Develop your credibility in the field by sharing your knowledge on your website.

Keep your web content focused on your products and your business. This is not a good platform for your political views or charity efforts, unless they relate to the products you sell. Use your web content to speak to a narrowly-defined audience based on your ideal customer profile.

Optimize your website for search engines

This step is not as tricky as it sounds. Search engines are looking for targeted content to return for viewer searches. When they make it easy for the web browser to find what they are looking for, the search engine is successful.

Working with the search engines is as easy as making the purpose of your website very clear. The world wide web runs on keywords. Figure out what keywords convert for your products and use them…over and over and over!

Do not stuff your website with keywords. The 1980s are over! Search engines are more sophisticated now. Take every reasonable opportunity to use relevant keywords in your web content. A great way to do this is with a blog, posting fresh relevant content to your website consistently.

Coordinate your social media presence

Even if you are selling plumbing supplies, you can take advantage of social media to grow your business. Business to business sales are completed by people, and people are on social media. Many social media sites offer an easy way to define your audience and get your information in front of the people who matter to you.

Visually-driven social media platforms are especially effective for product sales. Photos of people using your products can capture an audience rather quickly. With a few choice words to build curiosity, you can drive traffic to your website.

Wash, Rinse, Repeat

A basic plan for growing your e-commerce business is most effective through repetition. From the above ideas, create a task list and keep going! If you need help developing consistent content to boost your website visibility, check out our blog service.

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