How to navigate these common roadblocks to grow a successful business
You don’t need to be told again: eCommerce business is booming in 2021.
Kiwis are shopping online more than ever before, and established retailers are seeing the value in offering high-quality eCommerce options to capitalise on this trend.
But it’s not quite as simple as just building an eCommerce site and seeing the sales roll in.
As the trend grows so does the competition, and it takes more to not only be noticed but to win over the hearts (and wallets) of your target customer.
So what can you do to smooth the road to success for your eCommerce business? These are 5 things that commonly trip up small businesses in New Zealand – and what you can do about them.
1. Nailing your pricing
One of the hardest parts about launching your product into the world is getting the pricing right. Too high and you’ll struggle to compete with cheaper options, too low and you’ll struggle to turn a profit. Then you’ve got to consider overheads and marketing costs, and it can quickly get complicated.
So how can you nail your pricing to find a happy medium?
We advise our clients that you don’t want to compete on price, or you’ll quickly find yourself in a race to the bottom. Instead, look for other ways to compete – customer service, product range, flexible shipping options, etc.
You could also look at offering regular sales or discounts for email subscribers to encourage return customers.
When you are working out profit margins, remember to include a set marketing margin too, so that your advertising and business can scale together.
2. Building a brand reputation
“eCommerce businesses have one big disadvantage against traditional brick and mortar stores – they’re perceived as being less trustworthy. Building brand reputation helps counteract this, and if you can make people aware of your brand prior to purchase, that trust battle is already won.” – Josh Sexton, Digital Performance Director, Sprocket
Building a brand reputation is more than just having people remember your name, it’s about creating positive associations with your name and products through good customer experiences.
Businesses of all sizes can protect their reputation by actively engaging with their customer base and improving customer relations at all levels, from pre-purchase through to ordering and post-delivery care.
Responding graciously to online comments – good and bad – is important to establish your company as one that cares about its customer feedback and can be relied on to listen to customer needs.
3. Getting found through SEO
Just having your website online isn’t enough to get it found. With dozens of competitors vying for the same keywords within your industry, you’ve got to ensure your technical and on-page SEO is all in ship shape each time you publish.
“eCommerce businesses typically have a large range of products for sale. Each of these products are able to be optimised individually to rank on google and pull in free organic traffic and sales.” – Josh Sexton, Digital Performance Director, Sprocket
An SEO optimisation process will ensure your site is complying with best-practices, can lift your ranking on the search pages, and deliver ongoing, sustainable traffic and revenue for your business.
The potential for growth from SEO optimisation can be massive, but not all business owners have the time or knowledge to do this themselves. Partnering with an experienced digital marketing agency can allow you to capitalise on these opportunities without having to take time away from running your business.
4. Producing consistent content
Consistent, relevant content is the core of any social media or SEO strategy. As well as telling Google that your site is active and fresh, it tells your audience that you’re knowledgeable in your area and have the skill to solve their problems.
But creating consistent content can become a real burden when all you wanted to do was sell your product – now you have to write blogs every week too?
Many businesses choose to outsource this part of the process, either through their digital marketing agency or to a trusted writer. For business owners who do it themselves, a content calendar is key to ensure they remain on schedule and know what they’re writing about from week to week, reducing any hesitation around topics or timelines.
Anything relevant to the products for sale is worthwhile – how to use the products, maintenance, updates to improve their use, or related topics. Consistency matters more than frequency, so start small with a manageable number of new content pieces per month, and build from there as you grow.
5. Making sense (and use) of your data
Once your analytics is set up, making sense and use of your data is important to help increase efficiency in your campaigns, improve your overall ROI, and grow your revenue as a result. Many business owners shrink away from analytics or put it in the “too hard” basket, not realising how vital data is to helping you scale successfully.
An understanding of proper set up, analysis, and implementation of your data can dramatically improve your advertising performance, making the difference between a campaign that breaks even, and one that triples your income that month.
Customer purchase journeys aren’t as simple as seeing an ad that then directly leads to a sale – we need to look at attribution as a key data point for determining marketing success.
It is our job to analyse the different roles that traffic sources play in these complex journeys, and assign credit where credit is due, so that we are able to properly optimise campaigns and allocate suitable budgets for the future.” – Josh Sexton, Digital Performance Director, Sprocket
We recommend partnering with an experienced digital marketing agency for support with analysing your data and implementing the findings. Sprocket Digital live and breathe data and digital marketing, and we know how to use it to help eCommerce businesses grow.