Online shopping has seen tremendous growth in the past few years. The big giants like Amazon, Alibaba, Flipkart, Rakuten have changed the face of commerce industry and have set a benchmark for others to compete with. These e-commerce stores have earned not just huge revenues but the trust of their consumers by offering them a seamless shopping experience.
Why does your e-commerce startup need a differentiated strategy?
The e-commerce industry revenues in 2020 amount to US$2,284,974m and they are expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.1% amounting to US$3,122,333m by 2024. The number of users currently stands at 3471.94 m and is projected to be 4636.34 m by 2024. With such promising prospects, the e-commerce industry has seen a rise in a number of startups too. But it isn’t easy for startups to survive in a stiff competition. Thus, it becomes imperative to have such strategies in place that make the startup stand out in the crowd. Take a look at some of the ways you can practice to achieve this:
1. Establish goals and then plan
Have clearly defined goals which are attainable and measurable. They could be increasing traffic to your website, or generating some particular amount of revenue or selling a particular number of your products in a particular number of days or increasing engagements of your social media posts etc. If you set up goals in the beginning, the chances to steer away from the right direction are less since you can go back and refer to your goals and know where to move ahead.
Planning how to move further after establishing goals puts your business on the right track. Assess where you stand in the market at the moment and where you see your e-commerce startup in the future. Then, research and chalk out a plan.
2. Ace the Branding game
How people perceive your business is an important factor in its success. The name of your startup, its logo, the colours of your logo and your website, the theme on your website, your mission and vision statement, all come under branding. These aspects are what makes you unique and the more they resonate with your product offerings, the sooner they grab people’s attention.
You should communicate with your audience regarding the points of differences of (PODs) your products and What makes them better? Do you offer customization? Do you have better delivery options than others? Can people save their time by using your product? Does it make them healthy? Does it make them look beautiful? Highlight the USP of your business and make your consumer aware of why they should buy from you.
3. Power of Social Media
Social Media is a powerful tool for your business to grow. Properly utilising different platforms available can bring you closer to your audiences. Make sure you chose the right platform according to where you most likely to find your target audience otherwise you would find your efforts and money going down the drain.
For your e-commerce startup, you can start by posting some creatives revolving around your products and brand with the intention of creating awareness among consumers about your business. Make them striking enough that it makes customers stop scrolling their screens and take a look at them. Post videos and quick to read articles for users to understand how and why to use your products. In the initial stages, your focus should be on making people aware that your business exists and what purpose it serves. Communicate using different content such as blog posts, videos, how-to articles, infographics etc. At a later stage, you can try your hands at advertising some of your best selling products on low budgets using Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn Ads. Using the art of storytelling, spread word about your business with some engaging content. If people find your posts interesting, they will like it, share it and this word-of-mouth will grow your business. You can also use influencer marketing to spread the word about your business.
4. Emerging technology and Trend
You must keep an eye on emerging trends and technology and embrace them to up your game. You can use AI triggered emails to send reminders to your customers to shop from you, to inform them about new products added in your store or any promotional offers you are giving, or an interesting read you just posted on your website.
Many businesses are now employing drones to reduce delivery time like Amazon and Dominos. Did you know that almost 62% of consumers believe that Augmented Reality can help them when shopping for goods? Brands like Sephora, Rimmel London, Tommy Hilfiger, Kylie cosmetics are using augmented and virtual reality to ease product buying for their customers wherein they can ‘touch and feel’ their products. Some brands are even offering online filters via social media apps where the customers can try a particular lipstick shade or an eye frame.
5. Good UX and Responsive Web Design
Did you know that 47% of users expect a maximum of 2 seconds of loading time for a website? And that 51.12% of global web traffic originates from mobile devices? One of the most important things you should dedicate your time and efforts to is your e-commerce website development.
Make your website navigation easy for your customers so that they can have a hassle-free shopping experience. Ensure that your homepage has a good layout and the colour scheme enhances your branding. Add high-quality images for your products from multiple angles along with true product description for the customer to view and know about your product. Make sure that the ‘About us’ info does justice to your business. Add some video content as a step by step guide for your customers explaining how to shop from you. Add product guides, especially if your store sells technology products. Analyse not only the traffic to your website but also the bounce rate from the landing pages and the checkout page. Fix any issues found while analysing. And do not forget to make your website responsive to mobile devices. You may even consider developing a mobile application for your business.
Besides offering cutting-edge products, you have to come up with strategies that bring people further down the marketing funnel from the awareness stage to the buying stage. And the more you make the shopping experience at your store convenient and offer customer support, the more will people buy from your sore.
Ekta Patel is an e-commerce consultant and technical writer at Selected Firms. She has 5 years of experience in content development, e-commerce development services, magento website development services and custom e-commerce solutions. She is a digital enthusiast who loves to write on various trends including Tech, Software, Web and Application Development. She is a passionate blogger and loves to read and write. Besides her passion for content writing, she is an avid fan of football and loves to dance.