eCommerce is projected to reach $4.5 billion in retail sales in 2021. And with 96% of Americans having made at least one purchase online, it’s not surprising why the eCommerce industry is hotter than ever before.
But with more customers comes steeper competition.
Luckily, there are strategies that can give you an edge and help you stand out, even in the most competitive industries.
Let’s explore four essential strategies every eCommerce store should implement in 2021 and beyond.
Create an App
82% of online users in the US have used their mobile phones to make a purchase. This fact further establishes that online audiences are not only actively shopping but are doing so using their mobile devices.
Because of that, eCommerce brands that cater to the mobile audience better will gain a considerable advantage over the competition that’s still scrambling to optimize their web design and sort out the various bugs that mobile users have to deal with.
By developing an app for your eCommerce store, you can provide a native and more convenient experience for your users, adding robust features and exclusive functionality that you couldn’t replicate on a website.
But how to create an app for your store?
Well, even though the process can be complicated, it can be broken down into actionable steps, especially if you perform thorough audience research and clearly establish your goals.
You can not only improve your User Experience (UX) but also optimize the app to increase conversions, getting more out of every prospective customer.
What’s more, since an app requires a commitment and a download to the smartphone, you will gain the opportunity to continually engage your audience, offering them exclusive deals, reminding them of your store, and getting them to participate in your promotions.
Utilize Networking Opportunities
One of the integral parts of running a business is networking. And while it may not be as strongly associated with the eCommerce world as with some other fields (like tech), it still cannot be understated how much of a difference the right connections can make when trying to gain an advantage in your niche.
The good news is that with the help of professional social media platforms like LinkedIn, networking doesn’t have to be a time-consuming and complicated process. Using a LinkedIn automation tool, you can automate many processes such as growing your network, building message chains, and generating valuable partnerships.
But how exactly can you use LinkedIn to your advantage?
Well, one of the primary reasons why LinkedIn can be valuable is the business opportunities that it can bring.
Sure, if you’re in the B2C field, you probably won’t find your customers hanging out on LinkedIn. But you can connect with people in your industry, sharing valuable insights and learning how to run your store better.
You can also identify promising merchants and suppliers, forging new partnerships, and improving your offers.
Finally, you can stay on top of industry news, always knowing what’s happening and getting in front of any trends that might be developing.
Take Full Advantage of Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is one of the most powerful marketing strategies in eCommerce. If you use it correctly, you can not only improve brand awareness and expand your reach but even make the strategy your primary tool for growing your online business.
It works so well because influencer marketing utilizes two critical components of any campaign – targeted audience and leveraged authority.
When you work with an established and respected influencer in your field that has real Instagram followers, you can gain access to their followers, usually, people who are likely to be interested in your product.
When the influencer shares your product, you will gain access to thousands of people you wouldn’t reach otherwise.
And since these people are following a prominent social media figure, they are used to hearing their opinions and have learned to trust them. When the person endorses your products or services, that will instantly make your brand more credible and make the process of selling that much easier.
Influencer marketing can be especially beneficial for eCommerce brands. They have products that the influencer can try out on camera, promoting them and showing how they work and why they’re the right choice.
Make Your Brand Stand Out
When you’re operating in a competitive market, your only chance of standing out is to develop a strong brand that will help you build a loyal audience.
Since it’s hard to compete on price with multinational corporations, you need something that will make you different and allow you to break through to the people you’re trying to reach.
But what are some of the most important aspects of branding that you should consider? Well, start off by gaining a deep understanding of who you’re targeting and the companies you’re competing with.
By seeing what other companies in your market are doing, you will identify some of the common themes in your field and will probably find some areas that are neglected. And by talking with your target audience, you will discover what people find the most important and how you can use their core needs in your messaging.
Then, design your brand elements such as the logo and the color scheme to fit your audience’s expectations.
Today’s consumers make split-second decisions about who they want to work with, so you have to be very deliberate about the visual elements that you end up using.
Finally, you can’t underestimate the importance of having a strong brand voice. The messaging that you use on your website and in your promotional materials will largely decide how your audience sees you, so think about how you can create a compelling argument while also connecting with the people that visit your eCommerce store on a personal level.
Launching an eCommerce store is a lucrative opportunity, as the online retail market is larger than ever before. But at the same time, competition is more challenging as well, so you need to know exactly how to develop and promote your business if you are going to succeed.
Some of the vital things you should consider include:
- Catering to your mobile audience by creating an app;
- Making the most out of the available networking opportunities;
- Partnering up with prominent influencers in your niche;
- And developing a memorable brand that your audience will love.