Even if you don’t want to admit it, marketing plays a huge role in ensuring a company does well out there in the big bad world of commerce. Marketing does make business happen. If you don’t market your product, how will anyone ever know about it? According to Socialnomics, “marketing was, is, and will always be the engine of trade”. This statement is completely true and we would be fools to not take that seriously.
If you own an online store, you know that it isn’t easy in making sure you always reach the amount of sales that you want to every month. Also, since online businesses are technically new and there is no right or wrong way in handling your business, you need to find out a combination of ways that works best for you. The best recipe needs to be slowly cultivated and put together because every business is different. However, the team at ThunderQuote have come up with 5 steps that we think will catapult your online store and increase its profitability significantly.
#1 Establish Your Brand’s Personality
When you first start out, always expect that no one has ever heard of you before. In all honesty, that might be true because when you first start out, the chances of people finding out about your business just by luck is quite impossible. Don’t assume that anyone knows your business just yet. Your idea might be the next unicorn online store but your potential customers have no idea who you are, they don’t trust you yet and they surely have no idea about the products or services you are about to offer the world.
Therefore, it is very important for you to get out there immediately. However, you should not market your store without setting your brand’s personality first. Find out how you want to market your brand to the masses. If you go in without a certain image or vision, you are likely to change your mind multiple times in the future which will not only affect your progress but also cause confusion to your customers.
In addition to that, also ensure that the persona that lies behind your brand always stays the same. The way you communicate to your customers or investors should always be constant. This builds consistency which will then translate into trust. The more people trust you and what you stand for, the more likely it is for people to engage in business with you.
#2 Plan Ahead
This is something that we always advise our readers on – always have a clear plan. Online stores are hard to keep up because so much of the things that happen is intangible and it’s easy to lose focus of just what you need to do. A lot of people go into online businesses with the purest of intentions but because they’re not equipped with the information that they need to make it, they fail miserably.
Some of the examples of the planning that you would need to do is to have a clear idea of your target market or customers, customer service, selection of products, pricing plans, marketing plans, promotional tactics and so much more.
All these plans need to be made beforehand, way before you even start your business because it’s crucial to know right exactly where you’re going and how you’re going to expand your business.
#3 Know The Industry
Entering into the online retail industry might prove to be a feat but if you have prior knowledge and a better understanding of the industry, you will easily succeed. You need to have the discipline to constantly learn and be on top of things with your company. The more you know the better you will be at handling any type of hurdle coming your way.
A lot of businesses crash and burn within the first few years because of reasons like,
- Lack of Vision
- Lack of Industry Knowledge
- Bad Marketing Strategies
- Failing to Establish Goals
- Failure To Plan Finances
Therefore, to help combat all these problems, the best things to do is to get smart and get smart fast. Always stay on your toes and don’t stop learning especially with the ever-changing nature of online trade. Furthermore, as the market gets increasingly saturated, you will have business rivals everywhere. Get a good marketing advisor to ensure your company stays on top.
#4 Blogging and Social Media
Since you have chosen to be an online business, you need to conduct yourself like an online business owner. One of the main things you can start to do besides maintaining your business website is to create a blog. It’s come to a point that we feel that every website should have a blog. You don’t need to be a master wordsmith to blog but rather you can just write about the current economic climate within your industry, you can blog about fashion trends (if you’re selling clothes) and you can blog about how you handle your business as well. People love reading and blogs are a convenient way for people to get information.
With a blog, you get to show your potential customers that you’re a normal person too. Build your brand by being relatable. Allow them to get to know you well. Let them in on your passion and what values you hold near and dear. Once your blog takes off, you will be building a “community” and with this community, you can develop a loyal customer base to ensure that your store continually thrives.
In addition to blogging, social media marketing is also incredibly important. Read our previous post on social media marketing tactics you might have missed out on. It gives you an insight to marketing tactics that you might not have even thought to work on. Times are changing and it’s good to get on that bandwagon of change. If you don’t, you will get left behind.
Referencing the picture above, it’s true that most of your customers will be lurking on social media talking about their new purchases. They will update statuses and show off their new purchase all over the internet. This is the best place for you to scout around for feedback and reviews of your company. If they’re good, you could use them as testimonials to increase the credibility of your brand. In addition to that, maintain a good relationship with your customers on social media. Thank them if they raved about your product and apologise and offer a solution if they were not happy with the purchase. Slowly but surely you will build a great online presence.
#5 Paid Ads, Everywhere
It’s true that you still need to fork out some cash to get your brand out there when it comes to marketing. Social media will help immensely but during the early budding stages of your company, no one will have followed you. This means that you need to build your brand in some other way. Now this is where paid ads will help. Use the right keywords to ensure your brand gets front page advertising!
With all these avenues at your fingertips, it’ll be impossible for your brand to not become the next big thing sooner or later!
ThunderQuote is the “Gebiz for businesses” and most comprehensive business services portal in Singapore, Australia and ASEAN , where hundreds of thousands of dollars of procurement contracts are sourced every month by major companies like Singapore Press Holdings, National Trade Union Congress and more.