How to establish and nurture an e-commerce business

From traditional selling and trading, businesses are jumping into the Internet market bandwagon — and it’s not hard to understand why.

Companies and entrepreneurs understand that they can leverage the Internet to promote and sell their products and services. Online businesses offer customers the convenience of not having to leave the home or office to purchase something.

This is why business owners hire online marketing consultants in order to maximize their web-based business’ earning potential.

Social media consultants and representatives are employed by companies to reach out and connect to customers and possible clients.

The Internet is indeed the hottest marketplace now, but how does one start and grow a business online?

Successful business people and entrepreneurs know that to start an online business, one must analyze the needs of the market and fill it.

Think about online marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay, or even classified ad sites such as Craigslist: Someone thought of putting up a website to make shopping and selling easier than direct or traditional means.

Billions of people are online every day and these people are your potential customers! Browse the Internet and find inspiration on what the competition has not yet done and work to fill that demand.

After finding your niche, showcase your products and service offerings by building a stylish, functional, and easy-to-use website. Remember that your website serves as the storefront of your online business – it represents the company and your vision.

Keep the design and navigation as simple as possible; a complicated and cluttered website may confuse and frustrate customers.

A well-designed website should look professionally made and hiring a website developer should not be too expensive.

As part of your marketing strategy use:

  • video,
  • audio,
  • and graphics

to attract visitors and further enhance your message.

You may also include promotional links and opt-in offers to entice buyers to purchase online.

Writing the right content will definitely attract visitors and generate more sales.

Sometimes, a customer is not sure what he needs or wants, so it is up to you to present the possibilities. If done correctly, compelling content has the power to convert online visits to purchases.

In order to establish credibility to the viewer, describe how your product or service can solve the need or problem. Let the reader know that you can solve the problem, that you can meet their needs.

Speak about the benefits and advantages of your products and services.

Testimonials from current customers and clients work as a good marketing method to guarantee the effectiveness and quality of your offerings. Always remember to create the sense of need and urgency to the visitor, and then as a finishing point, never hesitate to ask for the sale.

Utilize search engines to drive traffic to your website and convert traffic into sales.

The ultimate goal in setting up a business online is to profit from targeted online buyers. Online marketing strategies such as

  • search engine optimization,
  • affiliate marketing, and
  • pay-per-click

help boost website traffic as compared to depending solely on organic hits and clicks.

You may also conduct keyword searches to find out what customers are looking for. This will ensure that customers searching for products and services similar to yours will have no difficulty in finding you.

Focus on not only driving visitors and improving your website traffic but also in growing your conversion rate which can be achieved through the proper utilization of web marketing methods.

Use the power of social networking and email marketing to promote the company and its brand, products, and services.

One of the goals of networking is to grow connections but it also raises the opportunity to build lifetime business relationships.

Probably the cheapest, if not free, online marketing tool is the use of social networking websites and sending promotional material through email.

Most businesses advertise using Facebook and Twitter because these will be seen by Facebook friends and Twitter followers. Encourage Facebook friends and Twitter followers to share these ads and links to other people or other connections.

Email marketing is useful in sending information, promotions, and deals to active customers as well as new prospects whose email addresses have been collected through the opt-in offers on your website.

Follow up with customers and patrons to increase their loyalty towards your brand and the company.

Recognize that customers become loyal to a company if they feel rewarded and valued. Opportunities for upselling and back-end selling should not be that difficult if clients feel they are getting more than what they are paying for.

You may also offer other products that complement the customers original purchase. Electronic coupons which may be redeemed by the customer on his next purchase will encourage brand loyalty.

Online businesses face steady competition as startups offer new products or existing companies revamp their marketing strategies. It is important to stay ahead of the game by continuously improving products and services as well as finding ways to retain customers.

Customer feedback is essential in any business.

It is better to receive complaints because it gives the company the oppportunity to review mistakes, clarify any miscommunication, and redeem the business from customers’ disappointments.

A customer who was not satisfied but did not render feedback to you will most likely move on to your competitor. Thus, it is important to have a dedicated online representative to handle customer feedback and complaints.

Customers will normally air their questions and rants over social networking sites so be sure to have someone monitoring these. Remember, after-sales is just as important as closing the first sale.

Whether planning to start a big or small business, it is important to have a solid marketing plan for your products and services.

In order to nurture an online business, it is vital to implement the proper utilization and integration of online marketing strategies.

A solid business and marketing plan involves developing, perfecting, and producing the products and services, using technology to promote and market strategically and, of course, never forgetting to complement it with great customer and after-sales service.


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