Published on June 7, 2020 by Access Keys
Are you planning on setting up your very own eCommerce store? If so, you have selected a lucrative market which is showing no signs of slowing down.
According to research, worldwide retail sales through eCommerce will reach $4.9 trillion in 2021. When compared to the $1.3 trillion generated in 2014, this is an expected 265% growth rate for the industry.
While Amazon will continue to dominate the eCommerce market, these figures show there’s enough money around for newcomers to prosper. Yet before that can become a reality, many elements need to come together and function properly.
This is why using the popular WordPress platform, which has many support channels available, is recommended for beginners to the world of online retailing. To further help you on your journey, here are four key steps to running a successful eCommerce store.
See what is in this blog (table of contents) hide
- What is WordPress?
- Optimize the user experience for customers
- Continually analyze the situation and competition
- Have insurance in place
- Draw people in with effective marketing
What is WordPress?
WordPress is one of the most popular platforms for users to create their own website or blog. The stats speak for themselves: over 400 million people use WordPress, totaling at over 75 million websites. What’s more, 35% of the internet uses WordPress to host and create websites.
WordPress can be utilized to create a vast array of websites, from eCommerce websites to portfolios for prospective job applicants, to social networks and websites for your business. Whatever you wish to create and manage is possible. Whatever theme you want to use is easy to install and utilize.
So, how do you run a successful eCommerce store with WordPress?
Optimize the user experience for customers
Your users are the most crucial aspects of your eCommerce store. Without website visitors, you won’t sell any of your products or services, and those who don’t achieve sales will not last. It’s for this reason why you should make exceptional customer service a priority. Customers remember stores that provide them with something special, stores that make them feel they come first, no matter who they are. Firstly, to do this, your website must be optimized to supply customers with first-class user experience. There are several ways in which this can be done, including:
- Use a highly rated premium WordPress theme
- Make it responsive and easy to navigate.
- Speed up page loading times.
- Provide clear images and in-depth information about products.
- Provide methods for customers to contact you.
By doing this, visitors to your website are more likely to stick around and browse what you have to offer.
What’s more, you need to personalize every customer experience. Personalization is a vital aspect of any customer service strategy, and WordPress eCommerce stores are no different. Luckily, WordPress has introduced a feature known as ‘Experience Builder for WordPress.’ Creating a personalized customer journey entails having to build individual customer profiles, process these profiles, then create custom content. ‘Experience Builder for WordPress’ allows users to do just this, all from the WordPress platform. A user can build a cross channel experience that intrigues and speaks to their visitors on WordPress. You now have the opportunity to define your target audience (are they young, old, married, single, children, childless?), vary your site content for each, and build a brand new customer journey that grabs attention. You can test the personalized content and analyze real-time results to ensure it’s working for you and your eCommerce store.
Continually analyze the situation and competition
To run a successful business, there’s no time to sit still. You must be continually looking at what is happening around you. What new products are being introduced in your sector? Are customer trends changing? How will WordPress updates affect your website?
Carefully examining the competition is especially advantageous. It will give you a heads-up to market changes, while you can also react to any promotions or new product lines they introduce.
To effectively analyze your competitors, you need first to know who your competitors are. It sounds an obvious step, you may think you naturally know your competitors, but you might surprise yourself once you take the step to analyze thoroughly. A great tool for analyzing who your competitors are is SEMrush. By using SEMrush’s online tool (free for 30-days with a trial period), you can see where your competitors are ranking for specific keywords and be able to adjust your strategy to accommodate this. As an eCommerce store, you aren’t only competing against other small businesses. You’re competing against global brands, big and small, as the internet opens up the whole world to your products and services.
Once you’ve discovered who your competitors are, you need to gather as much information about them as possible. No amount of information is too much in this case. Find out what their products and services are. Find out what they charge for specific items. Assess their branding, including their website, social media, even as specific as the colors they use on their logo and the font they use online. Finally, try and find out what other businesses and customers think of their products and services. Do online reviews paint a negative or positive picture? Do they receive complaints on their social media channels regularly? If so, how do they deal with them?
By curating as many details on your competitors as you can, you can then pinpoint their weaknesses and strengths. What do they do best? Where do they fall down? What makes them popular? Discover this information, and you can adjust your own eCommerce business to fit the market needs. Use their strengths and make sure you outshine them. Ensure you don’t fall down by copying their weaknesses.
Have insurance in place
Small business insurance should be regarded as an essential purchase. You might be fortunate enough never to have to use it, but insurance will provide cover if a customer blames your business for causing damage, or if an accident happens at work.
When you get small business insurance quotes, ensure you find a provider that supplies the right level of coverage. As a small business, you do not require the type of treatment a large corporation receives, for example. By getting the right amount of coverage, you will ultimately pay less for your insurance.
Draw people in with effective marketing
The great thing about digital marketing is its accessibility. Large organizations will tend to throw giant bundles of cash at their advertising efforts, but small businesses can still achieve success while investing minimal funds. The bonus of digital marketing is some of it is free – making it a cost-effective way to boost your reputation and website visitors.
Although for that to happen, plenty of elbow grease and creativity is required.
Fortunately, there are many different marketing methods available to draw potential customers in. Social media is one of the most effective and can be effectively utilized free of charge, but a lot of time is required to build a following and presence.
For example, you can create a Facebook profile for your business, allowing you to engage directly with customers and potential customers, attracting them to your business. Of course, complaints do happen, and social media is a prime spot for customers to vent their fury. What matters is how you deal with it. It can feel like an easy solution to ignore the posts and hope they go away, but this option will only enrage the customer further. Instead, you need to reply to every complaint or positive review. By doing so, you prove you care, and this links once again to customer experience and a personalized experience. Additionally, when you reply to a complaint in a public arena like social media comments, other customers can see how you deal with them, and it reinforces trust in your business. Customers can trust you to acknowledge their unhappiness and work on changing it. This is invaluable in the modern era when customer reviews are so crucial to the way businesses are perceived.
Other platforms include pay-per-click ads, sponsored content, and email marketing. There are also SEO plugins on WordPress to boost your visibility in Google searches. SEO is crucial for any business, regardless of whether the website is built on WordPress or not. However, it is key to note that SEO isn’t an instant solution to boosting your site up the SERPs. A good SEO campaign will take at least 6 months to see a difference in your ranking, so you need to commit to this form of digital marketing.
Ultimately, the platform itself isn’t the key – it is the message you deliver. Whether it’s a giveaway or promotion of a new product, the content has to cause your audience to react positively.
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