Scott Sanfilippo

Three Things Every eCommerce Store Owner Should Consider for 2014

drive-trafficNow that January is behind us, it’s time to take out that scrap of paper we all wrote our New Year’s Resolutions on and see if we followed through with any.

I’ll admit that some of mine didn’t make it past January 5th, and it’s OK if you’re in the same boat.

It will be our little secret!

However, I have three things that I recommend every eCommerce store owner take a bit more seriously this year:

Email Marketing – Many store owners don’t take advantage of this low-cost method to keep in touch with current and potential customers. Email marketing works if you provide your subscribers with compelling offers that make them want to shop at your store. Come up with promotions that are exclusive to your list members such as a free shipping offer, percentage off coupon, a free gift with purchase and other creative things that will get them to click through and make a purchase.

People who subscribe to email newsletters expect to receive deals, so give them what they want, but don’t overload them so they click the unsubscribe button. I recommend mailing your customers at least two times a month, but no industry and customer base is alike. You should experiment with number of sends, day of send and time of send to come up with an optimal schedule that works best for your audience.

Social Media Marketing – By now I hope that you have a Facebook page for your eCommerce store. If you don’t, get cracking! Your customers and “fans” are waiting to connect with you on their favorite social media sites, so take advantage of that and build up a loyal base of followers.

A good social media strategy should be part of every eCommerce store owner’s marketing plan. Take the time to interact with your fans by posting useful, fun content that is likely to be shared, but don’t oversell! I always recommend that for every 3 “fun” things you share in social media, you should post 1 sales/product related post.

Besides Facebook, it’s time for you to take a second look at other social media sites such as Google+, Pinterest, Twitter and for those who do a lot of B2B business, LinkedIn.

I often find that many eCommerce store owners don’t harness the power of social media because they either don’t have the time or are looking for more of an instant return on investment. While people aren’t heading to social media to shop, by having an active presence and keeping your brand name out there, when it is time for them to make a purchase, you’re one of the stores they’re going to visit.

Blogging – I’m a big fan of blogs, if I wasn’t I wouldn’t have one of my own or wouldn’t write articles for this one! Blogs serve multiple purposes, first it provides you the opportunity to show your readers that you’re an expert in the subject matter at hand. Nobody knows the products you sell better than you, so write interesting articles about novel ways to use them, how they can help in everyday situations or how your products can improve someone’s life.

If you provide entertaining, useful content, you’ll pick up readers who come back time and time again to read more. Plus, by establishing yourself as the subject expert, you’ll build confidence with your readers when it comes time to make a purchase!

Second, blogs provide value for your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. By providing content that gets reader’s attention and ends up getting shared on social media sites, you’re helping improve the odds that you’ll gain some organic (free) ranking in the search engines.

Of course, these three things all take time and effort on your part to be effective. Like I said earlier, I highly recommend each store owner take these three forms of marketing a bit more serious this year as I believe they will become more and more important in your overall marketing plan.

If you just don’t have the time to work these efforts into your schedule, have no fear! The Internet marketing experts at Solid Cactus can help by providing you with managed email, social media, and blogging services that can fit your budget and help your marketing goals.

We’re here to answer any questions you may have or give you information on how we can help grow your business! After all, like our tag-line says, we want to be your partner in eCommerce success.

Scott Sanfilippo is co-founder of Solid Cactus and has owned eCommerce stores since starting his first in 1994. Feel free to connect with Scott on Facebook or drop him an email at any time with questions about eCommerce and how you can grow your business – scotts@solidcactus.com.

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