While there are a lot more factors that help drive sales to your online retail store, these online retail marketing tips are a good starting point for those of you just beginning your entrepreneurial adventure or for those who already have an online store and are looking to improve their ranking and help drive more customers to their websites.
Be SEO Minded
SEO, for those who have yet to hear of the acronym, means Search Engine Optimization. Your online retail store needs to be optimized for search engines. That means your page URLs, content, images all have to be optimized and target the correct keywords for your product. SEO can be quite complex and time-consuming. You can hire a professional to ensure that your site is optimized or you can do it yourself.
Offer Enough Products for Sale
Offer plenty of products on your online store. This may seem like a no brainer, however, I actually consulted with a manufacturer who wanted to launch an online retail store. They only offered seven products! Their competition was selling over 100 of the same type of items, but with different variations and designs. Who do you think was selling more products and earning more profit? If you plan on selling anything online, have enough products that your customers can select.
Use Plenty of Product Photos
Images of your products help sell the product. Have plenty of product images to showcase. If you have color variations, show the different colors. Show application photos of your product; show the product being used. If you are selling clothing, show people wearing them. If you are selling dishware, show them set on a dinner table. People like to see how the product is used.
Submit Your Sites to Search Engines
You can wait for the search engines to crawl your online retail store website or you can submit your website to them for faster crawling.
Submit Your Products to Google Product Feed
Submitting your products to Google’s product feed will help get your products into Google’s, and its partner sites, SERP’s (search engine results pages). When you do a search for a particular product you want to purchase, you will notice websites, especially online stores, in the search results pages. You also see product images on the side of the SERP’s. These products are in Google’s product feeds and every time a search is conducted for a specific product, that product type will be displayed. Adding your products to the feed is a good way to gain exposure.
Send Monthly Newsletters or Product Updates
If you are not already doing it, you need to; sending monthly newsletters to your current and prospective customers. Sending traditional newsletters could prove to be too costly. However, you can send email newsletters to your current customer.
In addition to emailing a monthly newsletter, sending an occasional product update email helps keep your customers informed about current and new products as well as keep your name on their minds, for future purchases.
Be an Expert in Your Field
People tend to make purchases from “experts”. Become an expert on your products and tout your expertise, not only through your email newsletter but on a blog. Write blog posts and discuss how to use your product, industry news, new products, the history of your product, the future of the product, and so on. By being an expert, you will find that you gain more credibility in your market and more business.
Use Video to Promote Your Products
Using video is easy and inexpensive. You can create a channel on YouTube and broadcast your product commercials. The best approach is to demonstrate how to use your products in the videos. You can discuss the benefits of them as well as showcase the product. Be creative!
Promote Socially – Create Buzz
Use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other social media sites to help promote your online business. You can create some buzz about your online store or products through social media. Posting new products, information about your online store and current products, sales, or trivia information that engages your audience will help keep your store’s products and brand name in front of your audience. the more you engage your customers and potential customers, the more chances you will increase your sales potential.
Offer an Affiliate Program
Most online retail stores have an affiliate program, which is a program that allows other website owners to earn a little extra money for promoting your products. Most online store scripts and CMS sites have affiliate capabilities either built into them or by adding a plug-in. Affiliates are paid when they drive traffic to your site and a sale is made. By using Affiliates, you are creating a sales force all across the internet.
Called loss leaders in the marketing world, the “freebie” is designed to get your customers to buy more products or at least visit your online store and make a purchase. If you are selling books online, your freebie could be a bookmark. The idea is to entice the customer to make a purchase. Offering discounts is another way to help stimulate sales. Most shopping carts offer the ability to add coupons to their customers. These coupons could be included in your monthly email newsletters.
Incorporate Direct Mail Pieces
Promoting your online retail store should not be limited to just on the internet. If you are a local retailer and offer products to a local market, incorporating traditional direct mail pieces to your marketing mix can greatly increase your traffic, offline and online. On any marketing piece that you mail out, you should always include your web address and a reason why the customer should visit your online store. Perhaps you are offering a discount; include the coupon code on the mailer. Maybe it’s a new product; include the specific URL page the product is listed. Sending a traditional direct mail piece without relevant online information is not only ineffective but a waste of money.
There is a lot of planning that goes into launching and growing an online retail store. There re many strategies for operating an internet store. The 12 online retail marketing tips above are important tips that will help you off to a competitive start, not to mention, help pave a path toward success. Remember, consistency and patience are key when it comes to growing your online business.
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