Friday, 31 August 2012

Marketing Your E-Commerce Business

Here is this week's third and final article on e-commerce: Starting an e-commerce business is easier than ever. Once you've found a good idea for your business, you can get up and running over the course of a weekend. Many popular web hosts now offer one-click installers for popular online store applications, so all you need is the hosting, a domain, and a payment processor. The tricky bit is attracting customers.

Now that it's so easy to start a store, you have to work a lot harder to stand out from the competition. You can't count on the idea of "If you build it, they will come." A solid marketing strategy is essential.

Online Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing

When you start a bricks and mortar store, marketing is still important, but you can start small and still have a chance at surviving. If you're lucky enough to have a store on a busy high street, you can expect to get some passing trade. If your store is a little more out of the way, you can print up some leaflets and deliver them yourself to keep costs down.

Marketing an online store is different. There are a huge number of marketing options, and you'll need to think carefully to decide which ones are best for your business.

If you're selling a virtual product, then you don't need to worry about where your consumer is based. All you need to do is find ways to reach people that are interested in your niche. Adwords, banner advertisements on niche websites, and affiliate programs are a good way to do this.

If you're selling a physical product, then you have shipping costs to worry about. You may want to limit the places that orders can come from so that you can keep shipping costs down. One good way to do this is by running geographically targeted marketing campaigns. For example, you might decide to run a competition aimed only at people from your country. You can gather their email address and phone number, and ask them to opt-in for future marketing. This gives you the freedom to use a business SMS service or some mailing list software to send marketing messages to entrants at a later date.

Bulk SMS marketing and email marketing don't cost a lot of money, and they can convert pretty well. The trick to getting those methods to convert is to make each message valuable. Don't just send "check out our store!" messages. Instead, use your email list to send tutorials and topical news coverage and mention your products in passing. When you send business SMS messages, make sure they're interesting and enticing - for example, send a message to tell people about a big sale, or say "Thanks for being a member of this list for three months, here's a 25% off coupon code".

It can take a few messages for people to respond. Send messages with a steady tempo (once every couple of weeks, for example), and don't spam. Build up a relationship with the members of your list, and eventually they will become regular customers.

About The Author: Wayne Barker writes for Collstream who are experts in bulk SMS marketing and voice broadcasting.

Did you find this article helpful? Please let Wayne and myself know by leaving us your valued comments below.

Related articles:
A Guide To Setting Up Your Own E-Commerce Business
Incorporating SEO Within The Design Of An E-Commerce Website

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  1. Thanks for making such a cool post which is really very well written. Will be referring a lot of friends about this. Keep blogging.

  2. This was very helpful post friend. Some points are just got me thinking and do it differently. Thank you so much.


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