Finding your place in the marketplace, carving a niche for your product or service as per your target audience will help you scale your E-commerce store and make your business stand out amongst other online stores.
Statistics have confirmed that there are more than 24 million E-commerce sites in the world. E-commerce startup owners feel intimidated by this overwhelming competition in your niche.
But while you feel overwhelmed, here is the thing you must understand: the crowded field means there is existing demand which means E-commerce is a lucrative business to be in.
As E-commerce startups, remember you don’t need to beat giants such as Amazon, eBay, and Walmart to have a successful entrepreneurial venture. All you need to do is find a void in the marketplace and create your niche.
6 effective digital marketing strategies for you to gain an edge over the competition:
1. Content Does Your Talking
The statement ‘Content is the King’, and indeed it is. Great content offers value to the target audience, which encourages conversions. The content builds interest. A survey conducted shows that 80% of consumers appreciate learning about business from the content on the website.
Relevant, to the point, engaging, high-quality content persuades your website visitors to take action in favor of business. You need an effective content strategy:
Awesome About Us Page
The About Us page is of critical value to the website as it is on this page that you will share content to differentiate your brand from your competitors. Many E-commerce business entrepreneurs overlook this page. You must remember the About Us page is an opportunity to share your brand’s credibility and customer trust.
Make sure the page tells a story about your business and how it evolved; you need to share the mission and vision of the company and explain who you are and whom you want to serve. Include content that renders hum touch. The content should be easily readable and understandable and easy to digest.
Try and put a face to the company by showcasing yourself and members of the team. People connect with brands at a deep level when they see the type of personal content that helps to relate.
You need to narrate an engaging brand story and add a touch of personality when promoting the brand’s values. Post videos and high-quality photographs to add a human touch. Write short and crisp copies to explain your beginnings and the journey. Tone can be personal and subtle in form persuasion so that visitors know more about your product offerings.
As a PPC agency, we know how to create a perfect blend of both to tap on increased visitors.
How-to content is one good way to engage the audience and fulfill their need for information. Marketers apply many strategies to boost traffic. E-commerce marketers, though, must focus on sharing instructional content amongst other online marketing strategies.
The instructional content, such as How to content, will improve traffic to the website but lead visitors down the marketing funnel and take customer engagement to the next level.
Start with effective content research in the niche you deal with for good instructional content. Many content creation tools are available that help you set ahead of the competition. The instructional content should educate the audience and entertainingly present facts and knowledge. The audience likes engaging videos, visuals, and photos, so keep this in mind when creating content for the brand.
For example, a Website selling furniture and home improvement online stores can share instructional video content which will educate the audience.
Encourage User-Generated Content (UGC)
User Generated content generates high-quality, unique, and authentic content for the brand. It will enable you to have an edge over the competition. The study states that 79% of customers who share UGC have a significant impact on purchasing decisions.
User-generated content is more valuable than stories and posts shared by brands on social media. You can conduct contests, engage in social listening, and share-worthy content for user-generated content. People use social media to share their achievements, interests, and passion with others. Use tools like Facebook Audience Insights to get an idea of user activity, page likes, demographics, purchase activity, and location.
For example, an online store selling women’s clothing shares the pictures of women wearing their clothing and showcases it.
2. Customer Experience
First, let us clarify that customer experience is not a mere sales journey. It is more about each step in the sales cycle and beyond that offers opportunities to make the customer feel special and enable your brand to differentiate from the competition.
We emphasize that you need to focus on the entire customer experience to ensure you go a long way with your customers. A loyalty program is one way to enhance the customer experience. Offers and deals such as exclusive discounts for loyal customers can make them feel special. This will differentiate your brand from others that don’t offer any privileges.
Sell Solutions to Customers
The biggest example is Amazon- CEO Jeff Bezos is obsessed over ensuring customer experience as the number one priority for the organization. The E-commerce giant’s business model is based on how best we can serve our customers.
You must listen to your audience’s problems to set your brand apart. You need to know the audience’s problem and offer solutions, fix issues, and connect with them.
The micro-moments are part of the sales journey, which are intent-rich moments when a customer:
- Wants to know: In this person is exploring and researching but not necessarily purchase mode
- Wants to go: in this person is interested in buying a product in a nearby store
- Wants to do: a person wants help to complete the task or try something new
- Wants to buy: ready to purchase and need help deciding what and how to buy
For example, a user searches for American Fast Food Joint; Google will show the list of restaurants nearby. The user is experiencing I want to Go micro-moment. Micro-Moments are periods loaded with intent, context, and immediacy, and the customer is about to take action.
To differentiate, you need to anticipate micro-moments and commit to being useful at that time. You can do this by researching when and where your audience is searching online and offering insights about micro-moments and search behavior.
Let us say you have a seasonal product to sell; you monitor when your prospective clients search for offers. When search spikes, you can launch a PPC campaign to leverage micro-moments. The PPC agency helps you identify the right keywords to plan an effective marketing strategy.
3. Customer Trust
Earning the trust of your customers is a very effective way to differentiate your brand from the competition. It will help you scale your business. Winning the trust of your customers may not be that easy, especially when you are a new startup in the market. These are tips to build a trustworthy brand:
Collaborate with Influencers and Other Brands
Partner with small or big brands and influence your niche. This will add credibility to the startup and enhance the online reputation. For tie-ups with influencers, you can reach out to bloggers, micro-influencers, and reporters in your niche, bring an authentic voice to the brand, and foster trust.
Make-up brands can collaborate with Beauty influencers; Restaurants can collaborate with Food bloggers, and so on. You need to find influencers related to your industry.
Ratings, Reviews, Testimonials, and recommendations boost your brand’s online credibility. The study suggests that 78% of customers trust online ratings and reviews just like personal recommendations.
It is critical to show average ratings and customer reviews on the About Us page or product pages. You can offer a small incentive to encourage customers to leave an online review of your brand. Flaunt customer reviews of products and breed trust for your target audience.
Exceptional Customer Service
Offer exceptional customer service to boost customer loyalty and customer retention. It will help them build your brand’s reputation as a customer-centric organization.
Remember to live up to the promises you make in your ads; else, people will not trust you.
Have a dedicated team that offers customer service. Set the standards high by quick speed and quality in customer service.
4. Multiple Payment Options
Multiple payment options will help your customers complete the purchase transaction with ease. Wide varieties of options are available for popular payment gateways. Ensure that the checkout experience is convenient and seamless.
It may seem a hassle to manage multiple payment gateways, but it is worth it to include popular ones that are easy and secure, and people trust them. Offer credit card and debit card payment options as well. Allow customers to save payment information to smooth the experience in the future. Examples are Apple Pay, Major Credit and Debit cards, Google Pay, PayPal, etc.
5. Generous Return and Refund Policy
The study suggests that shoppers check the website return policy page before making any purchase. You must have a reassuring return and refund policy that is very well explained and easy to understand for your customers. You have explicitly mentioned it.
The study stated that 92% of people re-purchased from the website when they returned. The product process is easy and hassle-free.
This will strengthen the customer-company bond, and trust will be built. This gives you an edge over your competitors. Your brand will stand out in the E-commerce space.
Free returns and exchanges are helpful. Help your customers make the process easy by sharing videos to show how to make the process smooth.
6 Flexible Shipping Options
Customers may get dissuaded from the extra cost of shipping goods, and they may leave and not complete the checkout process. The study has shown that the extra cost of shipping and taxes are why customers abandon the carts.
So how can you differentiate and stand out from your competitors by offering flexible shipping options? Offer free and expedited shipping to your customers to gain an advantage over competitors.
You can offer free shipping on standard delivery and charge a premium if customers charge for time-specific or expedited delivery.
On High Value, Orders Offer Free Shipping
Apply shipping charges to low-value orders as this will encourage the customer to purchase more to get free shipping benefits.
You can use low-cost regional carriers or tie-up with postal service for a reduction in the cost of shipping. The competition in the E-commerce landscape is fierce. Thousands of businesses are entering the e-commerce marketplace.
It is tough for start-ups. But if you can differentiate from competitors and implement foolproof strategies, then your brand will stand out amidst the sea of E-commerce, and you will generate profitable revenue.