So you’re an intelligent online business owner with a great new product and an appealing brand. You may be new to the digital world of ecommerce or have been in the business for some time, but with limited results. If you feel that things aren’t going quite as well as you thought they would, there is probably a reason behind it. Starting your own business is no easy feat – if it were, everyone would be doing it and enjoying roaring success. It’s easy to make mistakes. Here are 6 common marketing foibles that ecommerce entrepreneurs can fall into – and how you take steps to fix them.
Poor quality content
An all-too-prevalent blunder. If the content on your ecommerce site is boring or badly written, then it should really come as no surprise that your store isn’t doing so well. A harsh truth, but an important one. Your website copy is a crucial factor in generating sales – it is, after all, your sales pitch.
But this is where balance is crucial. Studies show that shoppers respond much more positively to a warm and confident tone of voice, rather than one that is too sales-focused. As consumers we are being sold to constantly, and we learn to filter out the noise. The best thing that you can do for your ecommerce website is to fill it with plenty of high-quality content that is simultaneously useful, friendly and optimised for search engines.
If budget allows, consider hiring a professional digital copywriter to get your marketing message spot on – and to hit those all-important keywords. Get some inspiration from these 6 ecommerce brands who write with personality and consistency.
Behaving like a narcissist on social media
A lot of ecommerce brands fall into this habit, so don’t feel bad if you have done the same. Likely you’ve seen other businesses talk of nothing but themselves, and you thought that was the way it should be done. But let’s take this out of the digital realm for a moment and consider how this comes across in real life.
Say you’re at a sales or a business networking event and you’re chatting to a small group of people. What would your response be if someone in your group ignored everything the rest of you had to say and instead went on and on about how great their business was? You would probably consider them too self-involved, right? It’s exactly the same on social media. Just like in life, the best social media marketers understand that it’s all about give and take.
So of course you want to show how great your products are, but you also need to get used to sharing external content and building relationships with others. Think from your audience’s perspective and consider what they find engaging. Share – don’t sell.
Not doing keyword research
Let’s be clear – success in online sales is ultimately a search engine game. If you haven’t done any research into what keywords and phrases are relevant to your niche, then how do you expect to turn up in shoppers’ search results? This is a biggie. Search traffic is one of the most effective ways of drawing people to your online store, and if your content isn’t optimised correctly, then you could be missing out.
It’s worth doing this properly. Spend some time and really get granular with your keyword research, as well as considering your industry as a whole. Keyword research is super important from the very outset of starting a new business, as it can help to identify the size and competition of your market. This is all about listening to your customers and being able to speak their language. If you haven’t already, use Google’s Keyword Planner to find out search volume and keyword difficulty for your primary keywords, as well as to give you ideas.
Pure, old-fashioned laziness
Of course, the reason that your store hasn’t had any visits yet could simply come down to the fact that you haven’t done much marketing at all. It’s entirely possible. You could have an impressive product and a stunning web design, but at the end of the day your customers are not psychic. How can you expect them to find your site if you don’t reach out to them?
It’s easy to feel frustrated when you look at your website analytics and see a dismally low visitor count. This sometimes leads business owners on a desperate spamming spree in an attempt to garner some attention. Spamming your potential customers is a really great way to ensure that they actively avoid you for the rest of time, so if you want my advice, don’t do it.
Attempting to inflate your metrics artificially is a fool’s game, and it won’t help you in the long run. After all, those fake Facebook accounts who ‘like’ your page are never really going to buy from you. Great marketing is about generating quality leads – and it pays to put the time in.
Paying through the teeth for web development
Even nowadays, people still believe that it’s necessary to spend thousands on a fancy ecommerce website – because that’s just the done thing, right? After all, it needs to look professional.
Yes – of course it needs to look professional. But unless the needs of your company demand a highly bespoke solution, you can save yourself an awful lot of money by using a foolproof ecommerce platform that can be easily tailored to meet your needs. Only pay for development work if your business really needs it. Unless you have unlimited budget, your money will be better spent elsewhere – on promotion or SEO optimisation, for example. A good way to start is by making use of free web trials of out-of-the-box online store builders, to get a feel for what it is you really need.
Relying too heavily on one channel
In the world of business, it’s never a good idea to put all your eggs in one basket. That’s just common sense. When all of your marketing efforts are poured into one channel, what happens if something goes wrong? Your entire business revenue could tank overnight.
Say you get all of your custom from organic search traffic. That’s a nice place to be, but Google changes its search algorithms constantly. As digital entrepreneurs, we are always one step behind. One ranking algorithm change later, and suddenly you’re buried on page 3. That’s a mighty stressful development if your customers only reach you through this one channel.
The aim is to reach out to your potential customers in as many ways as possible. Make it easy for people to find you adopting a multichannel marketing strategy that uses everything from SEO and PPC advertising to content marketing, PR and social media. And if one channel doesn’t work out for you? You’ll stay afloat.
The art of ecommerce marketing comes down to careful and timely planning, helping your audience to find you, delivering compelling content and embracing a diverse range of marketing channels. Avoid the common mistakes listed above and you will enjoy far greater success with your ecommerce marketing efforts.
Want to learn more about marketing? Check out these Five Marketing Trends to Watch in 2017.