digital marketing

Sincere steps to launch, build and launch a profitable online store

Whether you are considering establishing your e-commerce business as a side job or as a full-time job there are a couple of steps to take into consideration when starting.

From defining which is the product you are selling, to your brand, business name, which platform are you going to use to build your store.

I know, it can be overwhelming. But we are here to make this process much easier and provide the necessary resources and tools to get you started.

Find “The Product” you are going to sell

This is the most important and crucial step. Without a good prduct, you are going to struggle and spend hours for very little or no benefit. I see it constantly, there are a lot of entrepreneurs coming to me saying

I launched the store, I spent X hours and Y money on ads and still I don’t get sales”.

True, there can be many reasons behind that statement, but what I find as the most common mistake is the little research is done on the product before launching an online shop.

So let’s get started

What can you do to find “your product”?

Let’s start by differentiating 2 types of products you can sell:

  1. Commodity Products. Those are the products everyone needs such as clothes, toys, makeup, accessories. Now you must be aware that this will be the products that can be easily replaced and have higher competition.

A commodity product is low in value, easily replaced, and can only compete with a low price. Because of this scary prospect, the goal of nearly every e-commerce marketer is to build a brand that is so valuable that their product can never be a commodity. “, Cara H.

These are products you can buy anywhere, from Amazon to eBay or Walmart — toys, food, sports accessories, etc. That is the reason a lot of e-commerce entrepreneurs are afraid of the high competition behind them and there is a high possibility once the competition starts the product will become obsolete.

2. Niche products. There are a lot of entrepreneurs that design/invent their own version of a product to innovate traditional categories such as food, personal hygiene, jewellery and many others.

Some good ideas of current niche products are food and drinks on the go, buy it for life products, craft drinks or smart backpacks just to name few.

Take a look at LilyBee Wrap for instance. They are selling reusable food wraps with innovative and eco-friendly solutions.

eCommerce: Commodity vs Niche Products 1

Smart backpacks are an innovative solution for entrepreneurs, digital nomads or business people travelling a lot. They come with a lot of accessories such as chargers, USB, Bluetooth, RFID and other extras that we are not even sure how to use.

eCommerce: Commodity vs Niche Products 2

Amazon, eBay and Walmart can buy items in large quantities being able to lower the price of a product, therefore your startup will not be able to compete.

However, offering unique products along with commoditized ones and building a great brand and customer experience you can find the perfect formula and not fall behind.

Now it is a matter for you to learn what drives you to sell a certain product.

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Even nowadays, there is a mismatch between what retailers offer and what costumers want or need. Modern consumer behaviour has been altered so much during the last years that even in a healthy economy, retailers have struggled to see their benefits.

It is not because shoppers aren’t shopping but because their buying process has evolved into a long and more complicated one. Therefore you need to understand their behaviour to define your omnichannel strategy and make sure your brand will dominate and increase sales. We have prepared some tips to help you go through it:

  1. Start with your internal structure first. That will give a seamless customer experience. To do that you have to make sure system inventory syncs and supply chain management tools are working properly.
  2. Pick the channels you know best and you feel with most comfortable working with. Pick one and becomes the best at it, only in that case move to a second or third channel.
  3. Consumers engage with brands across different communication and sales channels. This can be overwhelming, especially at the beginning, but research is creating new knowledge. Dive deep in each channel and adopt new ones incrementally. Try to use tools such as Hootsuite to plan your resources accordingly.
  4. Draw the customer journey to see how each customer interacts with the store. The goal of this is to think everything from the perspective of a customer and understand their purchase story.
  5. You should start creating the same message across all channels to present a unique and consistent image to your customers.
  6. Try to learn as much as possible from your audience’s preferences. Which are the devices they use to visit your site? Is that a mobile device, tablet or pc? Which are your competitors? The answers to these questions will bring you closer to your customer’s needs.
  7. Always start with the target customer in mind. Spend time in the communities they are part online, facebook groups, influencers they follow in Instagram, podcasts they listen to. This will help you understand which are the motivations they have and the channels they use.
  8. Which are your principles? Have you already envisioned which are the principles? Strategies and tactics you will use in order to become successful. In other words, your brand’s “Why?” and the hopes, dreams, fears and desires of your prospect.
  9. The importance of understanding the differences between the communication channels – some are good for strong sales. Some for testing. Some for unloading obsolete products.
  10. Is important to think about how to make customers’ shopping experiences seamless since it can be a huge differentiation when it comes to sales, marketing and converting shoppers.

So let’s recap and see again the main steps to kickstart your new channels strategy!

  • Define your ideal customer. Who is your target customer? If you notice a purchase pattern between millennials, why not trying out Instagram? That is a good starting point.
  • Define your goals. Don’t go into a channel with 0 goals. Having a defined goal is crucial to measure your sales and ROI.
  • Define your acquisition funnel. Pencil out your acquisition funnel: attract, acquire, nurture, convert, and retain. Define what are you going to do for each step.
  • Know your metrics & track everything from day one. You should begin tracking everything immediately so that you can start gathering data around your customer behaviour.

As a conclusion, consumers prioritize convenience, experience and quality when making online purchases. Also, eCommerce becomes an integral part of life and if two years ago it was fast delivery and quality packaging. Today, while those factors are valued a brand’s opportunity to reach, retain and extend customers’ lifetime value lies in giving them what they want, how and when they want it.

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With debilitating competition coming from companies such as Amazon, Walmart or Costco, retail stores are struggling. There were 16 chains that filed bankruptcy in the US in 2018 and 50 more did it the previous year.

Why retail is dying?

There is a new shift in the retail industry from the mall and physical stores to online purchasing on smartphones and tablets. As large chain stores struggle to keep up their sales, there is a rise in online sales, independent and artisan retailers. They are stepping up to take their place on the high/main street.

It is common for big brands to announce job cuts, bankruptcy filings. A renowned luxury fashion brand announces deep job cuts. A multinational shoe retailer has filed for bankruptcy protection. Another store chain, once the biggest name in retail confirms that its future it can be in danger.

This trend has been named as the “retail apocalypse” and is one of the biggest the business world has seen. This is not only due to technological innovations but also due to the death of malls across different countries, not only the US.

Is there still hope for retailers?

Despite the bad news we still have hope. Companies like Nordstrom, Walmart and Dick’s Sporting goods plan to open stores. They are fighting against the odds and work to reimagine the customer experience. Their strategy is to cut down cost, minimize labour and infrastructure costs while offering a wide breadth of products.

Other retail stores are experimenting with experiential retailing to provide a more engaging brand experience for customers. In a similar direction, others are re-examining their loyalty programs to bring back customers to their shops.

What is more important, many retailers are investing in technology to provide unique experiences that are not possible to provide in brick-and-mortar stores. Thes initiatives include virtual reality, apps and e-commerce store. This trend is common in the sports retail industry, where companies such as Adidas launched its own app available in more than 25 countries. And as their CEO confirms “there is no doubt e-commerce and e-commerce through a mobile environment is the future of our company”.

How eCommerce changed consumer retailing?

Consumer shopping habits are changing drastically thanks to the explosion of eCommerce,

… and online shopping is quickly becoming the preferred way to shop for consumers around the globe. Here are a few innovations that allowed this change to happen:

The rise of mobile shopping has blurred the line between the physical store and the online experience. Consumers use mobile for different reasons during the sale cycle:

To discover new products

  • To locate products and compare prices
  • To create and manage shopping lists
  • To make purchases
  • To review purchases

Customers expect a seamless shopping experience that is customized to their shopping preferences.

But more important, according to Accenture’s 2018 Pulse Check research, more than 90% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands that recognize them and personalize the experience.

Digital marketing transformed shopping into a Social Activity.

Consumers today rely on the opinions of others to guide their purchase decisions, and they have immediate access to those reviews. Anyone on social media can be an influencer for a brand.

As a conclusion, the shift to e-commerce is imperative since eCommerce gives customers immediate access to information, ability to shop on different devices and the option to share their experiences on social media, which has completely altered their expectations and the way they shop.

These are only a few reasons why eCommerce and the implementation of new technologies can boost your retail business revenue. For more info do not hesitate to contact us.

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