Over the last few years, we have seen a boom in eCommerce sites largely because selling and buying on the internet is becoming the norm of our lives. Entering this scene can be very competitive, even more so if you are involved in a very popular niche. But fret not.
This article will walk you through several techniques on how to promote an online store and by the end of it, you’ll be more equipped than you think.
Before I dive into the topic, I assume that you already have a custom business domain that’s connected to a reliable website because all the techniques that I’ll be recommending will fall back on these factors. If you are still deciding on which platform, please head over to my SiteRubix review to learn how to set up a WordPress easily.
Alright, let’s get started.
Ways to Promote Your Store
(1) Start Blogging Already
Many people jump into eCommerce by doing this – create a store page, upload a few images, set the selling price and wait for the sales to come. Guess what? This approach isn’t going to work for 2016 and beyond.
I did an interesting research about setting up an online store recently and the findings lead me to believe that thin content with just product images and descriptions will have a hard time ranking on the search engines.
When was the last time you saw a site like this while searching to buy a product online? Besides the Amazon marketplace, I am guessing not many. In order to show up on the first page of Google, you need content – textual to be exact – and there’s no better way to achieve this than through blogging.
There are many things that you can write in a business blog; your team, sales launch, product insights, behind-the-scene kind of things and the list goes on. For each blog post, you’ll target a specific keyphrase and elaborate on the topic.
Do that twice a week for 6 months and you’d have published almost 50 blog posts – each attracting a different type of audience to your site and eventually, checking out your online store.
There’s nothing much to invest in writing blogs – in the beginning anyways – besides a keyword research tool. For most of the part, you are just putting your skills and creativity into words and tap on all the free traffic that are already on the internet. The good news is, not many online retailers are doing this enough, so you’ll definitely be ahead of them if you start blogging now.
(2) Boost With Videos
Video is a great content to boost engagement. While blogs deliver information, videos communicate on the emotional level of your viewers. Through this medium, customers can have a better idea about your product offers and it is an awesome marketing tool to build trust.
And if that’s not convincing enough, here’s a web stat – you’re 53 times more likely to show up first on Google if you have a video embedded on your website. In addition, you can also upload them onto YouTube to drive extra traffic to your online store.
Again, many businesses still lack when it comes to video marketing, so there’s definitely an advantage to implement this technique now than later.
(3) Get Listed on Google
This technique is great if you own a physical retail and offer an online shop at the same time. What it does is that Google will index your business type and location so that when someone searches for a particular product within an area, your business is likely to show up in the results.
A complete listing would show the basic details of your shop, display customer ratings/reviews and most importantly, a button that link directly to your website. This is a great form of direct traffic that you can leverage from without having to pay for any advertising fees.
It also puts your business in the map for that extra online exposure. Thus, I highly recommend that you check out how to use this tool from Google.
(4) Start a Facebook Store
Do you know that there are currently 1.7 billion users on Facebook? It would be crazy not to position your business in front of this crowd.
If you are using well-established platforms like Shopify or BigCommerce, they would come with a feature (most of the time, free of charge) that allows you to integrate an online store on your Facebook business page. The beauty of this is that it requires very little effort to configure and it keeps visitors engaged without taking them away until they make a purchase.
As your social influence grows, you might also want to consider doing Facebook Ads to target specific demographics among the users. You have probably seen sponsored posts on your right hand column, featuring new brand names. That’s what the ads would look like.
Here’s a 5 Series of Live Video Training by my friend Jay, if you are interested to learn how to set up your ad campaign.
(5) Get SSL Certified
Have you seen this type of green padlock icon next to an URL before?
That’s called Secure Sockets Layer which is basically a security certificate that can be applied to your business website to protect personal information that is transacted between a web browser (at the user/customer end) and the web server (your website). It’s particularly useful when people shop from an online store as it gives them more confidence that their contact and credit card numbers will not be misused in anyway.
If you want to learn more about this feature, find out how you can get an SSL certificate for free with SiteRubix.
(6) Create a Business App
Moving away from social networks, there’s one more platform that’s rising in popularity – mobile shopping. For a set of monthly fee, software like BiznessApps and AppMkr enable you to sync your webstore to any mobile devices, sent notifications and allow convenient check-out for your customers. This is an investment to consider if you are targeting the mobile audience.
(7) Create an Affiliate Program
Affiliate program is an efficient way of long term marketing whereby you pay commissions to others to do the promotional work while you continue to improve on the quality of your core products. You can hire affiliate networks such as ShareASale to manage recruitment and payments OR you can create your own using plugins (WordPress)/applications (Shopify) and manage them yourself.
As you can imagined, this revenue model is a bit more complicated so this is something that you might want to venture into when you have more people in your team and have a very established product/reputation in your niche market. However, when implemented correctly, affiliate programs can generate tremendous revenue for your business over many years to come.
Improve The Buyer’s Experience
When you are selling a product, always take a moment to think about the customer’s experience.
- Are you offering enough information about your business?
- Is it easy to buy from your store online?
- Do you offer a good online/offline support when needed?
The techniques that I’ve recommended will fill in these gaps in your business and even if you implement only half of them, you’ll definitely do way better than most of your competitors.
I hope you have found some helpful ideas about how to promote an online store and that you’ll start off with one after reading this article. If you need to know anything else, feel free to leave a comment below, or check out my recommended training platform for more information.
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