Giving Your E-Commerce Startup The Best Chance

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E-commerce is expanding and evolving at a fast pace; customers are choosing to shop online, instead of visiting a physical store, at a higher rate every year. However, for many online retailers, maintaining a steady flow of consumer traffic is becoming more of a challenge due to new brands being launched, and tempting in customers, every day. For your business to stand out, and to effectively convert traffic into sales; you’ll need to implement as many practical and efficient processes as possible. Whether you’re turning your side-hustle into a dream full-time job, or you’ve taken the plunge, and invested in your new business wholeheartedly; it’s worth taking some time to polish up those crucial areas so that you can flourish as a company online. The following are some areas to consider if your business needs time and investment to give your sales a boost.

Straightforward Processes

You need to focus your attention on how smoothly and efficiently your business is running. Saving time and unnecessary effort on everyday tasks will save you cash in the long run and ensure that your processes run smoothly. Therefore, it’s vital that you implement technology and software to help your company wherever you’re able; it could save you the cost of hiring another member of staff to complete tasks, which will add up to thousands of dollars annually.  Looking into sales funnel templates is a great place to start; you’ll help to ensure that each area of your website is working hard for your visitors, which will turn them into customers.

Having a fast and reliable system to sort out your payment transactions and invoice processes will increase visibility and help your business get ahead of the rest. By improving on the time it would take a human to sort through data and paperwork, you’re online retail company will be able to focus on the customer and the quality of the service you’re providing. Substantial improvements to behind the scenes of your company will always have a direct and visible effect on how things come across at the front end of your brand and website, so choose your tech wisely.

Maintaining the level of social media quality and consistency that was discussed earlier, can also be a laborious task. Therefore it might be worth considering using a social media management platform to help you run your online empire and spread the word about your brand. Utilizing the technology that’s available on your tablet and smartphone is another business savvy way to boost your productivity and sales. There are a variety of apps available that can do everything from tracking your expenses and stock control, to planning your schedule and meetings; downloading them and seeing what works for you might be a smart choice for those who don’t want to spend money on a PA.

Make Sure That Your Audience Is Engaged

Knowing exactly who your products or services are going to sell to is vital to the success and longevity of your business. Therefore, you need to invest in some market research and find out exactly what your key audience want and expect from your brand. Ensuring that you supply everything a potential patron is after when they arrive on your site, is the only way to make and increase sales. Figure out how and where your customers are engaging online, and become a regular part of their conversations and what they see on social media. Your Facebook posts and Tweets don’t have to all “sell sell sell,” but they should be relevant to your brand identity and spark and interest with your future brand ambassadors.

So, if you’re a serious professional service, you’ll want to post content that will attract and engage your audience in the correct manner. However, if you are a young and vibrant brand; make sure that your content reflects your personality by using humor and pop-culture references to grab their attention. You can filter in information about your products and special offers to ensure they click through to your website and start shopping. Maybe you want to tempt a more mature generation of shoppers onto your site; you could use a printed marketing campaign and ensure that your brand is popping up in relevant newspapers and magazines so that consumers will visit you. Many consumers now prefer to shop online, so you have a massive market to reach and tap into; just make sure you head down the right avenues for people to see you.

The Dos And Don’ts Of Getting Your Brand Noticed Online

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You can’t sell your products if no one knows about them, that is why it is so important to get your brand noticed online. Of course, this is a task that in an ever more complicated digital world can sound easier to do than it is in practice. Luckily, though we have some savvy tactics that can help your brand stand out amongst the online crowd, just read on for more advice.

Do be an expert

First of all, to get your brand not just noticed online buy trusted as reliable, it can help to be thought of as an expert and leader in your field. Of course, you are probably wondering how exactly you do this, and it’s through a multi-pronged approach.

Firstly, it can be helpful to get published in relation to the field that you work in, something that it is now straightforward to do with sites like Linkedin. Also, don’t forget that setting up live streams and webinars for free can help push your status in the eyes of potential customers up to expert level.

Remember too, that by establishing your brand as an expert in your field you will garner positive regard, and trust with potential customers. Something that can then be used to leverage later sales on and so contribute to the success of your company.

Don’t forget about effective SEO

Also, it’s pretty vital to remember that a big part of getting noticed online is about potential customers being able to find you either when they look for the product you are making or your brand specifically. Of course, this is something that is achieved in large part by search engine optimization SEO.

SEO is all about showing up in relevant search results, and good SEO will get you on the front page. This is especially important because research shows that the majority of clicks that converts to purchase are ones that come from the 1st page of searches, and so if you can ensure you show up there you are much more likely to get your brand noticed online in a meaningful way.

Of course, type SEO into a search engine (Don’t worry it won’t break the internet!)  and you will get a million pages explaining the difference between onsite and offsite, as well as what backlinks are, and how to write long tail anchors.

Luckily, if you are too busy running all the other aspects of your business to bone up on this subject, there is another option, and it’s to use a company like BCC Interactive SEO Agency to help you get found online. Something that will free you up to focus on the other pressing jobs you need to do, while still ensuring that your visibility will be maximized in an increasingly digital world.

Do engage your customers

Also, to get your brand to stand out above your competitors online, it’s crucial that you encourage the engagement and interaction of your customers. Happily, there are many ways that you can do this effectively.

The first is, of course, by using social media to not only humanize your brand but also help to create and maintain a community around your business. To do this, you will need to provide the opportunity for your customers to interact with you and each other and ensure that their voices are heard when it comes to developing a new product, or making important decisions.

Additionally, it may be possible to take customer engagement to the next level, depending on the product you are offering. This next level is where you use a small group of ‘superfans’ to promote your product through reviews and word of mouth.

Of course, they are not paid to do so and so retain their objective status in the eyes of other potential customers. However, there are tactics you can implement to ensure that such superfans maintain their momentum such as online VIP groups, exclusive offers, newsletters, and even opportunities to visit your premises. Yes, such things take some thought and work, but with the positive coverage that they generate for your brand online, they are well worth the investment.

Don’t neglect your visuals

Simple online videos can get your point across quickly and effectively.

Lastly, when it comes to getting noticed online, it’s vital to not forget about the value of visuals, as well as the material that is written. In fact, with images and videos being consumed voraciously, the visuals that you use can play a huge part in raising awareness of your brand.

 

To that end, it’s important to include original photos, illustrations, and videos on your website, as well as have them hosted on other sites as well. Then in combination with the tips above you should be in the perfect position to get your brand to stand out from all the others, online.

Meet The Jaclyn Of All Trades

Jaclyn Mullen Headshot

Jaclyn and I met through a mutual friend a while back and during our first meeting in person guess who showed up? Conan O’Brien. We didn’t bother him at the time, but from that point I knew the star power that Jaclyn could reel in. I’ve never seen someone so committed to her work and since I follow her on several platforms, there’s rarely a day I don’t see an update from her. I didn’t think you could be in multiple places at once, but Jaclyn proved that theory wrong. She truly is the Jaclyn of all trades and I hope you’re able to gain some insight from this interview with her:

1) Briefly tell us how your career evolved into being an entrepreneur/consultant for social media, marketing, branding, etc.

I was studying Music Business at the University of Miami when the industry transitioned from CD’s to Mp3’s. I had always been in some form of guerrilla marketing (thank you DECA in high school). I always understood HOW to get a product into people’s hands and have them share it via word of mouth. But all of the sudden, the Internet allowed us to share an intangible product, in this case music, and still generate word of mouth plus, we could TRACK the impact and read people’s responses. From there, I started using Myspace personally then Facebook, Constant Contact and eventually LinkedIn and Twitter. Year after year, the Internet became more and more a part of my life from using it to create my own personal brand to find a job to using to to connect with customers when I was in business development/branding and the blogging space to lastly, over the years, teaching business owners and other professionals how to use it to engage with their audiences.

2) What do you consider your biggest strength as an entrepreneur?

Being outgoing. That strength allows me to meet a lot of people which in turn means I can connect a lot of people and bring them together. Plus, talking to people also serves as market research for me since so much of the social space deals with psychology, content creation and human behavior.

3) What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

Dealing with unforeseen life circumstances/family emergencies while trying to grow my company. I managed to overcome them thanks to a healthy client roster & being SUPER organized however, it’s important for service based business owners (myself included) to think about and work towards scalability/generating some passive income. If something happens to you, and you’re the business, the business shuts down unless you have another revenue stream or a team in place.

4) How would you describe your style/ personal brand?

Fun, Polished, Inviting. I fit in with my peers but can talk shop with the industry thought leaders too. I know how to balance between being an expert, being engaging and creating experiences for my people too.

5) What advice would you give other entrepreneurs trying to build/grow their brand?

Leverage the power of strategic alliances. Look for people to cross promo with and set up multi-channel cross promo campaigns, i.e email newsletter, blog posts, Twitter to start. Most people only rely on one channel for cross promos and you won’t get the full impact of exposure. Also, focus on quality vs quantity. Engage the people who like or share your stuff day to day. Thank them! In due time, THEY will help you grow those numbers and acquire more people. Rounding this out, you have the potential to talk to A LOT of people online but that doesn’t mean those people are the right audience for you. Segment your audience, i.e know where you need/want people to be located as an example so you can hone in and find the people who are likely to need your products/services/advice.

Want to access more marketing insights and support from Jaclyn? She’s creating an MIY Guide (Market It Yourself) featuring advice from brand managers at charity: water, Yes 2 Carrots and more. Sign up to learn more: www.jaclynmullen.com