You’ve probably heard the stories of how a new store quickly rose from obscurity and went on to make millions of dollars in a short period of time. You’ve been probably been thinking of the possibilities for your own store, and you’re dreaming of your own success scenarios.
You should stop.
I’m not here to tell you that E-Commerce success is incredibly hard to obtain, or that you’ll never reach millions of dollars in revenue. All of that is entirely possible with E-commerce.
There is one ingredient that cannot be omitted: work.
To the public, you’re an unknown entity. To rise out of obscurity, you have to go the extra mile to become visible in your market.
You have to hit the ground running. You have to make your business visible. If you’re an existing business that is going to start selling online, you probably already have revenue coming in, which means that you probably already have a budget. When you have a budget, you can afford to pay someone to handle your SEO, and you can likely afford pay-per-click ads.
But what if you have no customers? What if you have no preexisting revenue? What if you’re low on capital? To get to the next level, you’re need to generate revenue. For many fledgling online retailers, this is a catch-22. They don’t have customers or revenue, and they don’t have the capital to become visible to start generating sales. You don’t do it by hoping that people will buy your products.
The truth is that when you have no preexisting foundation, you are in a hole. And to climb out of that hole, you have to get work.
How to become visible in your market
Back in the day, there was no search engine, nor was there a Facebook. Businesses didn’t have convenient tools to help them get seen online. To acquire more customers, businesses went the extra mile. Sometimes that meant handing out flyers, knocking on doors, going to tradeshows and networking.
If you run an online store, the philosophy is the same. You need to go where your customers are and reach out to them. It involves sparking the initiative.
Reach out to journalists that have covered your industry. Find the journalists who have written about your competitors and show them how you’re different. Keep the emails short and personalize them with unique subject lines and email body content.
Your customers are on social media. You just have to attract them. Social platforms devour memorable, visual content. Photos and videos with catchy titles and captions will entice prospects and will help drive traffic to your page or profile.
Chances are, you are not getting the most value out of your blogging campaign. Instead of merely putting posts on your own blog, find relevant websites in your niche and ask to write for them in exchange for a link to your website at the end of your post. This will open your business to a wider audience.
When you first get started, you need to leverage influential relationships. Find businesses that have a relevant audience or customer base in your industry. Brainstorm ways to make your products or services complement each other, and contact these businesses. If you make it clear that your business brings significant value to the table, eventually someone will say “yes”. These cross-marketing ventures can be an excellent way to quickly grow your business from nothing.
Once you’ve acquired your first customers, you need to incorporate them in your growth strategy. Use an incentive-based referral program that rewards the referrer when he brings a new customer to your business.
You should never be apologetic about taking the initiative and using an aggressive growth strategy. First-time retailers are often timid when it’s time to advertise their brand because they are afraid of pestering people. When you have a large marketing budget, you can use more passive strategies, but when you start from virtually nothing, you cannot afford to simply recline and wait for the sales to pour in. You will have to go and get them. When you put in the time, you may be surprised how successful you may become.
Are you ready to discuss your next eCommerce project with the leader in shopping cart website development and digital marketing? If so, contact Zen Agency today! We are a group of web development experts, specializing in WooCommerce.