Did the global pandemic lead to you losing your job or having to close down a business and start again? Or did it perhaps show you it’s time for a work change, to focus on doing something you’re passionate about?
If you’re in any of these positions, you might have recently opened an online store or be thinking about launching one soon. If so, you need to understand that this is a growing market but also a competitive one. To ensure your time, money, and energy is well spent, you must be smart in how you go about things. Consider some top tips for making your eCommerce store more competitive in 2021 and beyond.
Have a Clear Point of Difference
With so many other online stores trying to get consumer attention, it’s crucial to find a way to stand out from the pack. Develop a clear point of difference for your eCommerce site and brand. Work out what your venture can provide to shoppers that others can’t, or things you won’t do that competitors do and customers don’t appreciate.
You might set yourself up selling to a particular niche of people currently not catered to or sell unique products. You could have an interesting, creative brand that attracts attention for all the right reasons, sell things in an unusual way, or cater to a different price point to other stores.
Research the competition to learn what is and isn’t currently on offer, so you’re sure of your unique selling proposition (USP). Also, consider whether the way you plan to stand out in the crowded marketplace is going to be popular enough to work for you. That is, will your point of interest attract enough interest to ensure your business is viable long term?
Get More Leads by Utilizing SEO
Marketing is a key part of generating leads and sales for your online business. Don’t think it’s enough to simply “build it, and they will come.” You must be proactive about getting your brand name and website out in front of people, so they know your store exists. One of the best ways to do that is via search engine optimization (SEO).
SEO grows your website’s visibility via organic search engine results (the non-paid traffic versus paid advertising avenues). SEO drives traffic and increases brand awareness, and the results of searches on engines such as Google are the main way many customers find the products they want to buy online today.
You’ll find it hard to compete if you don’t utilize this strategy, so it pays to commit to focusing on it as one of your prime marketing avenues. It usually takes time to build up top results, though, so be patient. If you don’t have experience in this area or enough time or energy to work on it yourself, hire a company specializing in this type of marketing, such as V Digital Services.
Create a Well Laid Out Website
Another critical factor is the website or platform itself. To generate enough sales, you require a user-friendly online store that’s easy for people to navigate around. If they can’t find what they want with ease and get stuck at certain points, they’ll soon click away and try another eCommerce store.
Create a site that comes across as professional, too, and that’s easy to read with text in a clear font in a decent size. Leave plenty of white space on each page, rather than jamming it with too much text and graphics. Also, break up text into quick-to-read information bites. Use quality graphics, especially those showcasing the wares you sell. It pays to provide multiple photographs of each product plus videos where possible, too. Furthermore, work to have a fast-loading website, as people get frustrated if loading time goes beyond a couple of seconds.
An effective website has a consistent brand presence and displays site seals, payment and other logos, contact details, reviews, testimonials, and the like. These factors help to build trust with shoppers and show them your business is genuine and reliable. Plus, you need a website that displays nicely on mobile devices, since so many people browse and buy on smartphones and tablets these days.
These are three of the most important elements involved in creating a competitive eCommerce store. Some other strategies to use are:
- Providing excellent customer service
- Engaging with shoppers at multiple touchpoints through the shopping journey
- Being active on social media sites
- Making payments easy for people and providing multiple payment options
It takes time, energy, money, and commitment to developing an online store boasting plenty of happy customers and corresponding sales. However, if you follow the steps above and act strategically, you’re sure to start seeing positive results soon.