We’ve seen a continuously rising trend in online shopping for many years. But since the pandemic hit in 2020, sales have accelerated beyond projections. Ecommerce revenue will likely reach $5.02 billion in 2022 alone.
Brick-and-mortar stores are sticking around for the long haul, but there’s no denying that an increasing number of consumers are looking for convenience and choice. Because consumer behavior constantly evolves, your company must stay up to date on the latest trends and find ways to grow revenue.
Keep reading for some practical advice on making money with eCommerce.
Ecommerce stands for “electronic commerce.” It essentially pertains to any commercial electronic transactions on the web. Purchasing or selling any products or services online can be considered eCommerce.
In other words, eCommerce refers to the selling and buying of physical goods (e.g., shoes, books, vitamins, etc.), services (e.g., consulting, online courses, workshops, etc.), or digital goods (e.g., ebooks, software, media streaming, etc.).
Here are a few of the primary means by which eCommerce sites make money.
Many eCommerce entrepreneurs make and sell their products through their websites, which means you own the entire brand and everything you produce.
Whether it’s arts and crafts, clothing, or any other types of products, you can make a profit if you have a unique skill. This eCommerce model would also apply to farmers who grow crops and ship them to customers.
Many entrepreneurs also open eCommerce businesses to sell products made by other manufacturers. With this model, you essentially choose products to buy from distributors, store them in your inventory, and sell them through your online store.
While this approach requires less physical labor, it still comes with administrative tasks and requires good management skills. Also, you may not make as much money per product because you have to purchase them upfront.
As a drop-shipper, you are a middleman between suppliers and consumers. This model allows you to purchase products from various suppliers, and you don’t have to buy anything upfront.
One of the main perks of dropshipping is that you don’t have to carry as much physical inventory. You sell items to your customers, and the suppliers fulfill and ship the order.
Dropshipping has become a popular eCommerce model for beginners and professionals because it has low start-up costs. But you must stay current with the latest trends while remaining aware of the product categories that sell consistently over time.
For instance, some of the most popular categories year after year include jewelry, home and garden, beauty, and women’s clothing.
White labeling (AKA private labeling) is when an entrepreneur buys pre-made products from a manufacturer or supplier and puts their private label on the product. This labeling eliminates the need to produce your own product and allows you to sell under your brand.
If you specialize in making one specific product but want to add various related products to your selection, white labeling could be the perfect approach.
Every eCommerce model requires you to source goods for a lower price than you sell them for. The challenge comes with the additional customer acquisition and retention costs, managing an online store, and others.
That’s why you have to use effective strategies to experience healthy profit margins.
So, what are some tangible steps you can take to boost your online store’s bottom line? Here are a few examples:
Your priority should be your eCommerce website itself because it makes the first impression on potential customers and keeps current customers coming back. Make sure that you have excellent site speed, meaning that each page loads quickly so that customers don’t abandon your site.
Your site must also be easy to navigate. If customers open your homepage and are confused about getting to the pages they are interested in, they will leave.
If you sell products, you need to have high-quality images and copies. Product photos, product descriptions, CTAs, and testimonials can go a long way in convincing leads to convert. Moreover, look for opportunities to upsell your customers, which means that you recommend additional related items when customers are checking out.
Speaking of the checkout process, make that as fast and easy as possible for your customers. And remember to display your security badges so that consumers feel comfortable browsing your site.
Search engine optimization (SEO) refers to any practice that helps your website achieve more visibility on search engine results pages. The most common are on-page, technical, off-page, and onsite SEO tactics.
Your primary focus should be on keyword research, which determines what kinds of keywords customers in your target market are searching for. While comprehensive SEO tools can be well worth the investment, you can also get an idea of what your customers need by analyzing your competitors and looking at search box suggestions on popular engines like Google, Amazon, and Bing.
All the content on your website should be SEO-friendly. SEO-friendly means that you should consider keyword placement in your landing page copy, blogs, product descriptions, and other content.
You also need to pay attention to the technical elements of SEO, like ensuring your site has an appropriate sitemap. A sitemap allows search engine crawlers easy access to your website. Making your site faster and mobile-friendly will make a big difference.
When it comes to off-page SEO, invest time and energy into link building. This simple technique can make your site more authoritative in the industry; all you have to do is find credible sources to link from your written content. Speaking of written content, be sure to maintain a steady, consistent blog with articles relevant to the products or services your company sells.
On-site SEO refers to tactics used to enhance your site's user experience. This involved factors previously discussed, such as making your site fast, easy to navigate, and easy to purchase from.
Expanding your selection of products is another way to boost your sales. Expansion essentially means adding more products to your catalog. Of course, you don’t want to add just any products; the key is to find items that will solve a problem or meet a need of your target customers.
There are a few steps that can help you determine which products to include:
Listen to your customers.
Review what your customers are saying about the items you carry or have carried in the past. You can find a ton of valuable information by looking at which things have pleased and displeased your customers. For example, if customers have raved about a side table your company sells, you might look for other side tables or similar pieces to add to your catalog.
On the other hand, if customers have complained that a specific chair you sell is hard to assemble, you might consider offering an assembly service to each customer that buys the product. And don’t forget to review customer service feedback emails sent to your support team.
Try to complement your catalog.
If you are experiencing success with certain products, it makes sense to continue selling them and find other items that will complement them. An example is adding a selection of shoe care products if you sell lots of shoes. Or, you might consider providing customers with a warranty service if you sell electronics.
Keep selling what works.
One of the most common-sense methods for choosing new products is to look at what you are selling the most and offer variations of those items. Say, for instance, that you sell smartphone cases. You can sell the same models in different colors, offering your customers the same quality with more options.
This variety also improves user experience on your site because visitors don’t have to search through several pages before finding the item they need.
These days, there are many tools to help you succeed in eCommerce. The key is to determine what you need the most help with and research the various tools to help you reach your goals.
For example, essential tools like website builders, eCommerce platforms, data organization systems, and file hosting plans are necessary. And there are plenty of free eCommerce tools that will help with certain aspects of your business, albeit they have limited functions that may eventually fall short of your needs.
If you need to enhance your shopping and checkout experience, look to top-notch shopping cart tools that can boost user experience and conversions in the process. And consider any tools that can help you with the following:
Though often used interchangeably, retargeting and remarketing are two different campaigning tactics used to increase sales. Retargeting refers to the strategy of acquiring new customers who have interacted with your site without making a purchase. Maybe they simply browse your site, create a wishlist, or even put items into a shopping cart.
Nonetheless, these are visitors who left your site before buying from your business. Retargeting means that you try to bring these interested visitors back to your eCommerce store to purchase.
Remarketing means that you attempt to reach previous customers. The point of this tactic is to re-engage customers so that they keep buying from your company.
Because remarketing is typically performed through SMS messaging and email, it is a cost-effective method of boosting sales. Remarketing essentially keeps previous customers aware of your brand and increases your customer lifetime value (LTV) by enticing customers with exclusives, reminders, and incentives.
Ecommerce is not going anywhere. And if you want to run a successful online store, it’s essential to understand how you can improve your process and site to encourage your target customers to purchase more.
Along with considering the information and advice above, keep researching other ways to boost your bottom line and keep your brand top of mind.
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