Many of Endless Aisles’ retailers begin launching their e-commerce business when they first receive our plugin. Typically, they have heard that e-commerce sales are on the rise and they are excited to watch their business grow with the industry in upcoming years. However, simply receiving our catalog of products does not guarantee a sale. The truth is that many of the brands you publish have been sold in thousands of other stores across the US.
Profitable sales depend on how you can attract and sustain your consumers. The perfect business strategy involves thinking about how you can stand out from other shops, and ultimately use that unique selling proposition to make your new store successful. Here are some tips to consider as you plan your business strategy.
Observe and Create Your Target Local Customer
Create your target customer’s profile based on the demographics of your brick and mortar customers and their interactions with your brand on social media. Once you create this person, it will be easier to narrow down your marketing goals and design your site so that it will stand out among other small businesses in your area.
Work On All Social Media, SEO, and Content Before You Launch
Have a good foundation of Search Engine Optimization content before you publish. This way, your site can gain Google recognition faster. It also allows your site to appear more legitimate to your consumers if you have a few blog and social media posts already published. Don’t forget to optimize page descriptions with local keywords! Our partners at Pet Store Websites help with this as part of their services.
Sell Brands You Believe in
Another way you can stand out from the crowd is by handpicking the brands you feature front and center or as part of a product recommendation strategy. This will allow your spotlight merchandising strategy to be different from the majority of other retailers’ and allow you to give your consumers a more personalized, quality experience. It will also give consumers a sense of your values as a company, which will build a stronger sense of trust between you.
Advertise Your Commitment to the Local Community and Charities
It is always beneficial to create a Partners Page. This shows your commitment to your community and also does wonders for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). By creating blog posts about your partners (with links to their site) and having them do the same, you boost each other’s online rankings and attract similar local customers.
Highlight Your Story and Philosophy
Now that you have a target consumer audience, and you have hand-picked your favorite brands to sell, create a page about your store philosophy. This will allow you to clearly state your mission and show why your store is different from the rest. You have the local market advantage over big e-commerce players – make sure you show your store, staff and other illustrations of your differentiated local service offerings.
Don’t Publish Your Site Prematurely
Retailers often want to publish their site to start selling as soon as they get set up with Endless Aisles. You want to be sure that you site is ready for stranger’s eyes from the very beginning. Make sure that there are no blank photos, spelling errors or un-clickable buttons. Make sure that everything is responsive to different browsers and mobile devices. Check to see if there are any 404’s or if any buttons or images cannot be clicked. Test out your design layouts on family and friends to get an outsider’s perspective.
Hopefully these tools will help you to build a strategy that allows your business to stand out from the crowd . A key takeaway should be to stay true to your values as a local company and clearly express that throughout your website!
For more information on how to design your e-commerce site, read our article 10 Essential Design Features for Your Ecommerce Site.