A good idea and an online store are not enough to make money. Given how large the eCommerce industry is, it is natural to see various entrepreneurs and well-established businesses do their best to get a larger share of the market.
Even if you were to take a look at niches that might seem uncompetitive, the perspective changes once you do a quick search on Google and go through all the online stores that appear in the results.
From small stores to known brands, there are a plethora of different options, and consumers have plenty to choose from.
Of course, for someone who aspires to start an online store themselves, this competition indicates hardship, and overcoming other enterprises that had a head start could be so hard that you might lose motivation before accomplishing anything.
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Having said that, others managed to start from scratch and create a source of income. And since there are plenty of examples of success, it means that you should be able to do it as well.
Once you have an idea and an online store up and running, you can move to what matters—advertising and driving traffic to the website that will hopefully convert. For that, you will need a strategy and some ideas.
Publish Customer Reviews
Drive social proof and convince shoppers that your goods or services are worth it by providing customer reviews.
In case you are selling your own product, you will need to encourage customers to leave reviews.
And in case you are dropshipping, you can look to import reviews from other stores using import tools. Look at a detailed comparison of Opinew vs Fera and decide which of these two solid plugins suits you the best.
Now, as for those who do not dropshipping, getting customer reviews can become easier by:
- Offering them incentives, such as free shipping or discounts on the next purchase after submitting a review
- Sending follow-up emails asking for a review
- Providing review templates and letting upload video recordings
The fear of missing out is one of the oldest methods to drive more sales. People are programmed in a way that they do not want to miss out on good deals, and FOMO drives the impulse to purchase something before it disappears.
Imagine someone visiting a product’s page and seeing that there are only 5 items left in stock. In addition, there is a message saying that the last purchase was made 10 minutes ago and that there are 3 other people viewing the same product.
It is most likely that this person will not take a risk and add the item to their shopping cart so that they can complete the transaction.
Running discounts for a limited time is another example of FOMO. Announce that there will be a sale on certain goods or services in the next 24 hours, and you are bound to notice a significant increase in website traffic.
Offer Flexible Shipping
Flexible shipping is another aspect of an online business that you can utilize to your advantage. Shoppers who see free shipping next to a product are more likely to buy it. There is a negative psychological effect when you have to consider shipping fees. After all, who wants to pay for shipping and a product at the same time?
It is common to play with prices so that you do not lose profits even if the shipping is free. Compare having to pay 10 dollars for a product and 10 dollars for shipping and having to pay 20 dollars for a product. Naturally, the latter option looks more appealing.
Simplify the Checkout Process
Overcomplicated checkout processes are a hindrance, and they should not exist if you want to make more sales.
One of the primary reasons behind abandoned shopping carts is the time it takes to go through the checkout.
For one, do not force registration when shoppers can complete the transaction as guests. Also, do not ask for random registration details when an email account and a password are often enough.
The less time people have to spend at the checkout, the more likely they are to complete a transaction.
As a side note, do not limit available payment options if possible. Flexibility is also key, and an online store stands to gain more if it provides multiple payment gateways to its customers.
Promote on Multiple Marketing Channels
The last bit of advice is pretty straightforward. Whether you are serious about making a lot of money or creating a side hustle, you should not expect to profit without promoting the store.
Social media, PPC marketing, emails, and cold outreach, influencer marketing, search engine optimization, guest blogging, and other methods have their pros and cons. Test different approaches and see which work and which do not.
Once you get a better idea, you can build your marketing strategy around a couple of methods and focus on those.