Running an ecommerce business means your sales are not restricted to national borders. Hence, you have tremendous opportunity to effectively expand the presence of your online store.
The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer. Entrepreneurship is neither a science nor an art. It is a practice.
Here are some clever ways to expand your business without having to spend a lot of money on marketing:
1- Take The Help of Affiliate Marketing
Getting started as a new business is tough and this is the reason you need affiliates to pump up your sales and maintain a regular flow of orders.
Here is how affiliate marketing works:
Under affiliate marketing, the advertiser (that is you), pays the publisher every time a sale is generated. The idea here is to have as many reputed publishers as possible in order to generate a high number of sales.
Follow the below suggestions in order to get started with affiliate marketing:
- Conduct a thorough research before choosing your affiliates.
- Pay your affiliates handsomely because the cost of advertisement is always going to be high as compared to the percentage given to the affiliates. Hence, figure out a percentage you can afford to pay your affiliates for generating a sale.
- Make your customers your affiliates as this will also help in turning them into loyal brand evangelists. Have a look at how Bundle offers the customers a $50 voucher for tagging their friends.
- Take the help of affiliate marketing sites like Commission Junction, Share a Sale and Affiliate Programs to find new affiliates. Once you have chosen your affiliates, don’t wait to get started!
2- Enter New Markets and Expand Your Product Inventory
Do you know why Amazon is hugely successful? Because it sells almost everything and serves to people across Asia, Europe, North America, Oceania and North America. Amazon started off as a bookstore but later got so many products under its inventory that now it is hard for any other company to touch its product base.
Now, the crux here is to continuously add as many products as you can in your e-store and try to expand your business purposefully into other markets.
These are the things you should know before opting for product expansion:
- Identify your target customer group who are most likely to buy your products.
- Prepare a customer persona having information such as age, gender, income, physical location, buying habits, profession etc.
- Conduct a market analysis that will determine the future success of the product.
- Find local partners who can smoothen your company’s expansion. Do not make the mistake of managing all the operations yourself or your resources might get exhausted sooner than you can imagine.
- If you have a good funding then start acquiring new businesses that can add to your existing inventory. This way you will be able to acquire not only the the products but also the customers. A win-win situation for you!
3- Sell Products on Facebook With Facebook Store App
Facebook allows you to sell your products directly on its platform. You can easily import your store on Facebook and start selling on the largest social networking platform.
You can take the help of FB Store app to quickly create an FB store for your brand.
4- Participate in Trade Shows
Trade shows can have a positive impact on your business. Participating in a trade show can help in the following ways:
- Trade shows attract a lot of relevant customers so it is a great opportunity for you to showcase your products and create some brand evangelists.
- You can identify your main competitors and their branding strategy. This will help you to revamp your own marketing strategy accordingly.
- You can easily partner with some good affiliates. Big companies with whom you can run a cross-promotional campaign are easily available in a Trade Show.
- Trade show is a great place to get customer feedback on your product. This will help you to improve the quality of your products leading to more sales and brand loyalty in future.
Here is how you can make the most out of your trade show presence:
- Use platforms like Trade Show News Network to find trade shows that are relevant to your business.
- Your main aim is to make your customers happy. Do not keep a target to generate sales right from the first day. Instead, branding should be your main motive. Gradually, your sales will start to happen.
- Trade Show is a place where you will be selling in person so you need to get your first impression right. Hire people who can talk politely with the prospects and have a lot of patience because trade shows are really tiring.
- Take the help of Shopify POS to accept any form of payment from your customers.
- Have a follow up plan because Trade shows not only help you to generate direct sales but also gives you the chance to get a lot of hot sales leads. If you have an intelligent follow up plan then you can convert all such leads and make them your customers.
5- Promote Your Products on Instagram
Instagram is a photo and video sharing social networking service that has over 800 million people. This is one of the best platforms to generate extra sales and expand the brand presence of your ecommerce store.
Here is how to get started:
- Create a business account on Instagram. This will help you to get a professional looking profile for your brand which is the first necessity to drive sales.
- Create customizable galleries showcasing all your products by using a tool like Yotpo. Moreover, you can turn customer photos into high profile Instagram ads that displays naturally into shopper’s feeds thereby increasing your chances of conversion.
- Use platforms like Inselly to sell your products directly on Instagram. You only need to snap your product pic, add the tag #inselly to it and add details about your item using the platform Inselly.
- Post attractive images showcasing your products directly on Instagram. Keep in mind that the image should be high quality and should be in the dimensions 1080 x 1080 pixels.
- Collaborate with Instagram influencers and ask them to review your product. This is one of the best ways to improve the presence of your online store. A study by Forrester indicates (refer to the below graph) that people are 4.21% more likely to interact with brand posts on Instagram as compared to Facebook. Make sure to choose influencers who have a lot of loyal fan base. You can find Instagram influencers using any of the top influencer marketing platforms.
6- Take The Help of Fulfilment Centers
A fulfillment center is extremely important to expand the presence of your online store. Fulfillment centers are necessary to outsource warehousing and shipping. They make inventory management extremely easier and allows the management to focus on other important business functions. The below image describes the working of the 3rd party fulfillment model:
Startup fulfillment services like ShipBob provides 2 day shipping which means your customers can get products delivered fast just like the retail giants. Moreover, the platform offers distributed inventory serving in all corners of the US and free returns management. When you provide your customers with an improved user experience, people will start liking your brand and become loyal followers.
7- Plan ‘Happy Sale’ Days
Believe it or not but heavy discounts drive heavy sales to ecommerce stores.
You might have done shopping on days like ‘Amazon Prime Day’, ‘Flipkart Big Billion Day Sale’, ‘Myntra’s End of Reason Sale. etc All such names are examples of ‘Happy Sale’ days where the retailer presents their customers with a heavy discount that attracts a lot of new orders and new customers.
Here are some ways to plan your own ‘Happy Sale’ days:
- Offer a 24-Hour or 48-Hour flash sale to leverage the power of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). To speed off the things, add the word “mystery” to your flash sale and see the difference it can make.
- Don’t miss the opportunity to cross sell products because sale days are one of the best ways to improve conversions on products that are hard to sell.
- Prepare a list of festivals celebrated across the world and plan sale days on occasions depending on the target country.
- Take the help of email marketing, SMS marketing and social media to inform the customers about your sale. You need to give ample time to your customers so that they can prepare for the sale.
- Sale days are the best days to run a referral program. Majority of people rely on the opinion of their peers so this tactic can prove to be really useful.
Opportunities to sell via online store are huge but maintaining a successful ecommerce store is not easy especially when you are marketing to millennials. You need to take the full advantage of modern shopping features and provide your customers excellent user experience in order to build your brand. Follow the right strategies as described above so that you can effectively beat your competitors and raise your sales.