From 2018 to 2019, the e-commerce industry for U.S. retailers experienced a 14.3% increase in sales. In 2022, revenue from the e-commerce industry will climb to $875.2 billion, a whopping 51.2% increase from 2018.
Like most entrepreneurs, you likely want a slice of this pie. We get it. There’s a lot of money in the game.
So, if you’re ready to get started building your online empire, keep reading. In this post, we share a few tips on how to grow an online business and some actionable steps you can take today!
Own Your Audience
Assuming that you’ve already taken the necessary steps to open a business online including registering your business, getting the appropriate licenses and permits, and selling your products on your chosen platform, we’ll skip over all of that.
The first step we’ll cover in learning how to grow an online business is taking measures to own your audience.
Let’s say you sell handcraft silk creations on Etsy.
You’ve made about a dozen sales in the first six months of business and business is picking up. Imagine logging onto Etsy one day and learning that Etsy has banned and closed your account. All of the work you’ve put in towards building your online shop and accumulating five-star customer reviews has gone down the toilet.
That’s the nature of selling on third-party platforms. The status of your account and online shop is at the sole discretion of whatever third-party platform you are working with.
By taking steps to own your audience, you reclaim your power as the business owner. Here are three ways to go about this.
Develop Your Own Website
The good thing about selling on third-party platforms like Etsy, eBay, or Amazon is that you don’t have to spend a lot of time finding your audience. Each of these platforms has a large user base; if you’ve optimized your profile right, users are more likely to find you.
The next step to take for you to begin owning your audience is to develop a website that leads your customers away from the third-party platform and onto something you own.
Take time to design and develop your website. Web design lends credibility to your overall site. Besides, 66% of users say they prefer to look at a well-designed website. 38% of users will bounce immediately due to poor design layout.
Leading your customers away from the e-commerce platform and onto your website was only the first step. Now, you want close contact.
The best way to do that is to collect emails from your website users through an opt-in form. When your customers sign up to be a part of this list, you can contact them to let them know whenever you’re running a promotion or sale, or whenever you have a new product out.
Expand to Social Media
Finally, to give even more credibility to your online business, expand to different social media platforms. Doing so allows existing customers to connect with you on another medium. It also allows new customers to find you.
Seven out of ten Americans say they use at least one form of social media. If there’s a surefire way to guarantee greater business for your online store, it’s by joining social media.
Optimize the Customer Experience
If you’ve made a few sales already from starting an online store, congrats! Now, it’s time to optimize the whole process. From the point that your potential customers find you to after they’ve purchased your product, what is the process like?
Anticipating your customers’ needs–especially after they’ve purchased your product–can improve their overall experience with your online shop, making it more likely that they will purchase from you again.
Below are a few ways you can improve and optimize your customers’ experience.
Simplify the Contact Process
Do not assume that once you’ve made the sale, you are in the clear. For any reason including damaged merchandise, confusion about the product, or overall dissatisfaction with your product, your customer may want to reach to you.
Make this process as easy as possible. Include your contact information on your website, your social media accounts, and the third-party platforms you sell on.
As annoying and frustrating as customer complaints and inquiries may be, resolving their issue and making the customer happy is crucial to your online shop’s continued success. Without your customers, you have no business. Treat each one like they are important because they are.
Answer Common Questions
Anticipating and answering any questions that your customers may have either before or after buying your product, is a great way to ensure a better customer experience.
This lets your customers know that you’re doing everything in your power to make their experience buying from you as easy as possible.
For example, let’s say you sell WordPress themes. The average consumer might not know how to use your product and may require additional instructions to install the theme. Knowing what questions your customers may have in the process of using your product and then providing answers to them, will make your customers’ lives easier.
Start a Blog
Besides putting the answers to your customers’ questions on a FAQ page, you can also answer these questions in blog posts.
Not only does blogging help establish you as an expert in the customers’ eyes, but it can also help you to rank on search engines, bringing in new customers who are looking for answers to the same questions.
One tool that is particularly helpful in your content marketing efforts is a domain authority checker.
With this tool, you can perform competitor analysis research and see how strong your competitors’ sites and pages are. This tool also helps you perform domain and page authority research on websites you may want to link to in your blog posts, ensuring that you only point your customers to websites and pages of value.
Check out this link for more info.
Learn How To Grow an Online Business Today
The future of the world is digital. The pandemic proved that. For a business to grow and thrive in the current market, it has to have a digital presence and it must learn to command digital marketing.
Growing a business may not be easy, but our blog is full of resources. Be sure to check out more from our blog to learn more on how to grow an online business.