3 Things to Consider When Launching a WordPress Ecommerce Site

How to choose the right platform for e-commerce and what is the most popular way to promote your business online?

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Starting an e-commerce business is easier than ever before.

But even though there are plenty of opportunities, and the worldwide e-commerce market is set to surpass a staggering 3.5 trillion U.S. dollars in 2019, you still need to make the right choices when launching if you want to carve out a place for your business in the marketplace.

So, in this article, we’ll go over some of the most important things to consider when building an online store that will help you maximize your chances of success.

Choosing the Right Platform: Why WordPress?

There’s an abundance of e-commerce solutions that online sellers can use, so why should you choose WordPress and not other popular options like Shopify or Wix?

Well, for one thing, you only need to look at which platform is the most popular, and you’ll find that WordPress is leading by a landslide, with more than 28% of global e-commerce stores using its WooCommerce plugin.

Since WordPress is an open-source platform that’s used by millions of people across the world, it has an abundance of features and customization possibilities that make it the best choice in almost any situation.

What’s more, the basic version of WooCommerce is free, and it doesn’t have transaction fees, unlike some of the other popular options that charge you for every sale that you make.

Since it’s used by so many online sellers around the world, the number of themes and different layouts you can use is almost endless, and it seamlessly plugs into the WordPress interface and allows you to create a site that is unique for your business while still following the best practices of the industry.

So, while you should still conduct your own research and compare what Shopify and other platforms could offer, WooCommerce is the leading solution for a reason – the combination of powerful features, affordable pricing, and integration with WordPress make it a safe choice in almost any situation.

Figure Out Who You Want to Reach

After figuring out the technical side of launching the site, you need to look at the bigger picture and identify the audience that you want to target.

Most e-commerce store owners have a general idea of the types of customers they want to attract, but if you’re going to have any chance of standing out from the hundreds of generic stores, you need to put in more effort into developing your customer avatar so that you can cater to their needs better than the competition.

While this process may seem time-consuming, it might be the most crucial step in starting an online business.

The knowledge and insights that you gain during the research phase will dictate all of your next decisions, so don’t be afraid to spend as long as necessary gathering information and getting to know your prospects, as that will serve you for as long as you run your online store.

But how to conduct thorough market research for your e-commerce store?

Well, if you have any experience with selling to a similar audience, the first step is looking at the data that you already have and trying to identify the very best customers that you want to attract.

But even if you’re just starting out, you can get just as many insights by monitoring competitors and by conducting thorough online research.

You should compile information about your target audience’s demographics, as well as their interests, problems, biggest pain points, online browsing habits, and anything else that could be relevant.

Then, use this information as a basis for every decision that you make, starting with your brand name – you can use a domain name generator to come up with an available name that will resonate with your audience and will offer unique branding opportunities.

Develop a Comprehensive Marketing Strategy

It won’t matter how good your e-commerce store if you won’t be able to attract a consistent stream of visitors that are interested in what you have to offer.

That’s why developing a comprehensive marketing strategy is a crucial step to the success of your online business.

Many novice online sellers focus all their efforts on creating their store, thinking that they’ll figure out how to attract traffic once they have the site up and running. Unfortunately, this usually results in their site idling for months without any visitors, eventually getting closed down because it didn’t generate any revenue for the owner.

The only way to avoid that is to start working on your site’s promotion while it’s still little more than an under construction landing page informing visitors that the site is coming soon.

But how can you effectively promote your online store, especially if you’re just starting and don’t have a large marketing budget?

Well, lucky for you, there are plenty of affordable ways to promote your business online and steadily grow your traffic until you start making sales on a regular basis.

Let’s explore a few of them below.

SEO

One of the most popular methods used by millions of e-commerce stores is Search Engine Optimization or SEO for short.

Basically, it involves optimizing your site to appear on the search engine results pages for the relevant keywords in your niche and gaining a steady stream of customers who are actively looking for stores just like yours.

While there are several guides on SEO that you can find online, it all boils down to two main aspects:

  • On-site SEO, meaning making your site user-friendly, relevant, and easy for search engines to analyze;
  • and off-site SEO such as links to your site from other websites and social media, which show Google and other search engines that your site has valuable content.

The only drawback of SEO is that it can often take a long time to show results, especially if you’re targeting more competitive keywords, so it’s essential to use other strategies until you can start appearing on the first page of Google results.

Content Marketing

Another growingly-effective strategy is using content marketing to promote your business.

By publishing valuable content, you can not only build a loyal following of readers but also position yourself as an authority in your field and earn the trust of your target audience.

But how to use content to achieve the best results?

Well, the first step is to start a blog on your e-commerce site.

If you took the time to develop an extensive customer avatar, you should have an abundance of content ideas that help prospects get answers to their most pressing questions, overcome objections, and help them choose products that suit their needs best.

Once your blog is set up, you can start pursuing guest posting opportunities to grow your audience and attract readers that could be interested in your products.

You can use cold email outreach templates to craft compelling messages to webmasters and blog editors, offering to write a relevant article on their site in exchange for a backlink and a short description of what you offer.

Influencer Marketing

If you’re looking for the single most cost-effective way to quickly gain an influx of sales, you’d be hard-pressed trying to find a better option than influencer marketing.

It has been able to produce incredible results in almost all e-commerce niches by providing relevant and well-targeted messages through an influencer that is trusted by his following.

The entire process is relatively simple:

  1. Identify influencers or social media figures in your niche who have an audience that could be interested in your products.
  2. Craft an outreach email offering them to partner up and run a promotion on their social media page.
  3. Develop a message around your products and your brand that’s also in line with the influencer’s voice and audience expectations.
  4. Run the campaign and make sure you can keep up with the flood of sales that follow.

While an influencer campaign can get quite expensive, depending on the number of followers that the person you want to partner with has, if you run a successful campaign, you can expect a return that is well worth the initial investment.

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Published on June 3, 2019 by David Schneider. Filed under: , , .

Dave Schneider is the founder of LessChurn, churn reduction app. In 2012 he quit his job to travel the world, and has visited over 65 countries. In his spare time, he writes about SaaS and business at DaveSchneider.me.

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