In 2017 there are countless eCommerce stores in every niche, it’s a great time to be a consumer! But for the eCommerce store owner, how do you make your store stand out from the crowd and attractive more customers and sales?
Remember 2003? If you were the first to have an eCommerce store in a niche, you owned the playground and could act as you wanted. You were still pretty much guaranteed to make sales.
Alas times have changed! Every niche is now swamped with eCommerce stores fighting to be the best. Thankfully (for you), many of them aren’t succeeding in hitting all 7 points of the eCommerce boss-list.
- The product
Not every product can be new and better than your competitors but that doesn’t mean you can’t outstrip them in other ways.
To be a ‘baller’ in the eCommerce space your products need the following (at the very least!);
There’s not much that really needs said in this department — you should know by now that it’s essential that you have good quality images of your products. Pixelation of images should be left in the Noughties.
Great product descriptions and feature lists
Google changed the human psychology, we now crave information for every decision we make. We want as much information as we can possibly absorb. We then forget it 10 minutes later.
For eCommerce stores this means that the ones with the best product descriptions win. Here’s an example.
I recently purchased two quick drying towels for a holiday, I had shortlisted down to two on Amazon. I’m pretty certain that both were from the same factory and they were both the same price. How did I make the choice? I chose the one which stated that it typically dried within 15 minutes. The other simply stated that it was a ‘quick drying towel’.
The one I chose had a better (and measurable) product description, so it won.
This last one have you a little stumped? Your products need to be listed with the benefits for the customer clear and loud.
If you’re selling cosmetics you would could use something like ‘Cover blemishes all day with our skin tone concealer sticks’
For fashion — ‘Make your scarf the statement piece of your wardrobe’
Never be too salesy, that hasn’t worked since the 1950’s, but find a tone of voice that works your brand and customers.
2. User Experience
Getting visitors to your website is the hard part, so your site should be designed to make the steps to purchasing as simple and pleasurable as possible. Nothing frustrates consumers more than a website that is slow, unclear and unprofessional looking.
If they don’t click off of the site in frustration, psychological alarm bells ring in their head ‘is this site secure?’, ‘do I trust this site?’ or worst of all ‘maybe Amazon have what I’m looking for?’.
With platforms such as Shopify, this SHOULD be less of a problem but you still need to put yourself in the shoes of your customers and try to browse and purchase on your site. Check that all the links on your site are working.
Oh and make sure your site works on mobile. This is increasingly becoming more and more important to the bottom line of eCommerce stores, so stay with the crowd. Only the weak get left behind.
Branding is a HUGE subject and one that we could dedicate an entire book to.
Successful branding requires a branding strategy that defines how customers perceive your store and the products you offer.
Start with the basics;
- You stores mission
- The problems you solve
- How you want your store to be perceived
- The qualities you want to be associated with your store
Then move on to;
- Your unique value proposition
- Your take on traditional branding
- The personalisation of your brand
- You customer service levels
- The social channels you want to use
This should be a solid foundation to begin thinking about your branding but I recommend that you look further into branding.
4. Social Proof
Social proof comes in a lot of forms but for eCommerce the most important is customer reviews.
That’s because we all love reviews, we trust them and many of us base our entire purchasing decision on them.
If you don’t have the customers yet, influencer reviews and testimonials can work just as well.
Contact the influencers in your field on social media and ask them if they would be interested in reviewing your product. Dependent on the niche you may have to pay for the privilege but the results can be outstanding!
Small hinges open big doors…
5. Third Party Channels
You might be in direct competition with the big-boy platforms such as Amazon and eBay but that doesn’t mean you can’t get into bed with them.
You may have to pay commissions to the platform for each sale but if it’s profitable, why not?
This can be a great strategy if you are looking at building a brand rather than an eCommerce store in the longer term.
6 . Charitable and Social Partnerships
Unique Selling Propositions (USPs) can be hard to come by. We’ve seen niches where every product is almost identical.
A great way to combat this is with a charitable partnership. This can be anything from a percentage of each sale going to a charity of your choosing or a tree planted for each book ordered.
Or if you are involved in the manufacturing stage of your products, you can introduce the charitable angle at that stage. Examples being the use of recycled materials or the hiring of disadvantaged groups to work on the products.
A popular angle that we see in the US quite consistently is the reference to the store owners military past. ‘Veteran Owned’ or ‘Veteran Manufactured’ can be a draw for some consumers.
The limit really is your imagination.
Fundamentally, people want to help others and if a purchase from your store can give them a sense of satisfaction at helping others, you can guarantee that this will influence their buying decision on some level.
7 . Customer Service
This one should be obvious but we’ve all experienced bad customer service at some point, so it’s still happening!
Customer service should be at the heart of every decision you make with regards to your business. Here at Rogue Digital we’ve focused our entire business around being the best in the industry for customer service. Guess what? It works!
The most important book you should read regarding eCommerce (I know that’s a big claim, but trust me!) is Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh.
Tony tells his story of founding Zappos and how he focused in on customer happiness to succeed where others couldn’t. Spoiler alert, Zappos made him a Billionaire. It’s a killer read and one we cannot recommend enough!
Follow these 7 Tips and your eCommerce store will be heads and shoulders above the other stores in your niche.
Want more killer eCommerce marketing tips? Head over to our blog and resources section at GoRogueDigital.com