The rise of online shopping has led to some business experts predicting the end of retail properties, claiming shopping malls will close down and small businesses will be run into the ground.
This situation seems a little drastic, but it is certainly true that online shopping is becoming increasingly popular. With big time players like Amazon and eBay being the go-to online retailer for most consumers, smaller brick and mortar retailers may not stand a chance in the competition.
Some may fear that eCommerce companies will cause mass unemployment and bankruptcy, but the increased popularity of online shopping doesn’t necessarily have to destroy small businesses.
How to Take Advantage of Online Shopping Growth
Retailers and small business owners need to reinvent themselves in order to keep up with new trends and changes to consumer needs.
If you are thinking of starting a career as a retailer, and have even found a retail property, or pop-up shop location, make sure you create an ecommerce website for your business to ensure that you do not lose out on the lucrative world of online shopping.
1) Knowing the Consumer
There is no doubt about it, the desires and needs of the average consumer have changed. Every good business owner should understand the psyche of their customer. Familiarize yourself with what the online shopper wants, what is important to them and their reasons for preferring online shopping.
Studies have shown that the main reason consumers prefer shopping online is convenience, better prices, variety, and the fact that it is easier to compare prices of products online, find out more here.
So, with this in mind, offer cheaper prices than the high street market, give your consumers lots of different options and make sure your eCommerce site is easy for the user to navigate and make payments online.
It is important to keep up to date with new ways of making payments online, as nowadays there are many prepaid methods common among online shoppers. This product from paysafecard, for example, is growing in popularity and can be used for things such as online gaming, music streaming, internet messaging.
2) Pick A Niche
The niche you choose is obviously important. The online market has become crowded, especially in certain niches, but that doesn’t mean you can’t achieve success in them.
the best advice is to pick a niche that you know a lot about, and one that you’re passionate about. This will be important when you’re fighting to grow your online business, and your passion will shine through.
Just do your research beforehand so you understand how the market is at the moment for the particular niche you’re thinking of doing business in.
3) Create An E-Commerce Website
The next step is to create your E-Commerce website. There are so many platforms on the web that’ll make this process easy for you. They’ll give you all the features you need to successfully run your store, you just need to take the time to customize everything.
I actually wrote an article a while back that highlights the top 10 platforms to start an E-Commerce store with. You can check them out and choose the one that you feel suits your needs the best.
4) Advertise Your Store
There’s no point building and E-Commerce store if you’re unable to get any traffic to it. If people don’t visit your store, you won’t sell anything.
There are so many ways of driving traffic nowadays, some things work for some people, and some things work for others.
The basics of advertising your store is to set up social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram is becoming a big platform for stores at the moment.
Set up business pages on these platforms and run some ads to gain some attention for your store. For free publicity, you can add a blog to your site and write articles about the niche you’re in. These will get picked up by Google eventually, but it will take time and patience, as well as top quality articles.
5) Monetise Your Ecommerce Website
To ensure that your eCommerce website is truly taking advantage of the online shopping market, there are a couple of important actions to take.
First of all, ensure that your website has maximum search engine optimization. In fact, before even considering creating an online store, take the time to understand SEO and why it is important for your business. If possible you may even consider employing an SEO expert to help you.
As well as actually selling physical products, you can also monetize your eCommerce website is with affiliate marketing, which essentially means selling or recommending the product or service of another business on your website, and taking a commission.
Amazon is an affiliate platform that so many people take advantage of in online shopping. Even if you’re selling your own products, you can also be an amazon affiliate and add these products to your store.
By promoting a popular product not only will you increase traffic to your website you will also profit from sales. You can also sell space on your website for other
businesses to advertise.
Top tip: avoid ‘pop up’ advertisements, as consumers find these off putting and generally prefer
banner advertisements. “Ever since the early days of online marketing, pop-up ads have been
annoying, in 2004 pop-ups were the most hated web experience,” says usertesting.com.
There you have it, some great tips on taking advantage of online shopping growth. Now is the best time to get on the back of it. Well actually, it would have been several years ago, but still.
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