Platforms like LemonStand are making eCommerce accessible to every entrepreneur. While in the past you needed to a pile of money and months to build an eCommerce site from scratch, today you can do it in days. What’s even better about eCommerce platforms is that they serve as an anchor to the additional tools your company needs to strengthen your digital strategy.
At Unfettered Socks, we utilize several core pillars to bolster our eCommerce platform, streamline our operations, and draw consumers to our site:
When it comes to eCommerce, data needs to be at the core of everything you do. As your business grows and expands, you need to understand who your customers are and where they come from in order to scale up and find more of them. Google Analytics easily integrates into any eCommerce platform for an incredibly robust look at the users who visit and interact with your site.
Having analytics from day 1 means you are building your company with a strong backbone, well-positioned for growth. Make sure to monitor your analytics to find trends within your customer base, to see where customers are being referred from, and to understand how to acquire new consumers.
Integration with social media allows consumers to be drawn to your site from other platforms, and to share content on your site with other platforms. It’s an integral two-way street. Most importantly, it’s the first step to acquiring new consumers because it’s absolutely free.
Make sure to activate social sharing buttons on most pages on your site to give customers a seamless way to share your brand. Also, design your social pages to reflect your brand’s site from inside out to create a consistent image across platforms. Make it easy for your consumers to connect with you on their preferred platform, and have a clear and unique strategy for generating content and followers on each distinct platform.
- Acquisition: When it comes to advertising, Google is a great place to start. Their ad platform is relatively user-friendly, and Google is known to give SEO preference to regular users. Two birds with one stone!
- Retargeting: AdRoll is a very user-friendly tool to go after lost consumers through retargeting. Their analytics helps you carefully measure your ROI, and their customer support is unbeatable. Once a consumer visits your site, a tool like AdRoll helps you convert them into a paying customer by serving ads to them across various platforms.
- Paid Social: While Twitter, Pinterest, and soon Instagram all offer paid advertising options, Facebook is really the most developed and reputable social advertising platform. Facebook’s Power Editor offers a robust tool for segmenting and targeting consumers and understanding exactly how your dollars are allocated. Use Facebook to A/B test your ads to see what consumer types and what photos/copy perform best when trying to engage users.
- Email: For email marketing, both for dropped consumers and existing customers, Mailchimp is the leading solution. You can integrate it easily with an eCommerce platform like LemonStand, and you can create beautiful templates without having major design skills. Don’t forget that every interaction your customer has with your brand is an opportunity to build the relationship, even down to the confirmation email they receive when they purchase your product. Make sure to customize that email (either design it yourself or use an add-on to create it) in order to ensure a satisfied customer from start to finish.
Any company selling a physical product needs a backend tool to manage the shipping process. Stamps.com from USPS helps create shipping labels, generate tracking numbers and integrates the whole process directly into your site. When your site is up and running, you want to spend time acquiring new consumers, not bogged down in packaging and shipping. Shipping services are a crucial component of the business strategy in eCommerce, and allow you to focus your attention on growth.
Reviews / Testimonials
- Native Website: Be sure you set your eCommerce site up to offer customers the ability to leave product reviews directly on your site. You can do this through app add-ons for eCommerce platforms, or by developing the functionality yourself. Reviews are valuable for a few reasons. First, it incentivizes new customers to convert on your site because it validates the quality and performance of your product. Second, it builds up content on your site, which actually strengthens your site’s SEO. You are essentially crowd-sourcing content to build credibility for your site.
- External Sources: As people start to use your product, it’s important to be able to monitor the buzz you are generating on the web so that you can capitalize on that momentum. Google Alerts are a great way to be automatically notified of mentions of your brand on the internet – set up an alert for relevant keywords in addition to your brand name. Tools like HootSuite and SproutSocial make it easy to passively listen on social media channels for mentions of your brand or conversations on relevant topics that you’ll want to join to generate buzz.
Dozens of other applications and services are available to help streamline your management and customer acquisition strategy (and more are coming out each day), but these are the industry leaders that have helped us launch and grow our eCommerce business.