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What to do to make an online store earn?

Online sales has enormous potential, so you have set up an e-shop as well. It has been operating for several months, but the profits … are not as planned. Do you face such a situation and wonder what to do? A lot! See how to proceed to face this challenge!

First things first: don’t expect an instant return on investment from your online store. As in any business niche, e-commerce takes time to develop your business and guide your customers through the marketing funnel. However, if you think it is taking too long and your results have not flickered for a long time, you do need to do something about it. You cannot “add to business” endlessly. So what to do?

Look objectively at your e-shop activity

What aspects are worth taking into account?

The quality of customer service
What was the process of servicing customers who so far decided to use the services of your store? Was everything smooth and without problems? The ordered products reached the addressees on time, and the buyers received the goods as described? Or maybe there are some reservations and complaints? If so, how did you react to them?

There is a lot of competition in the e-commerce world. Today, you win not only with the lowest price, but also with the highest quality of customer service. If there are clashes and negative reviews follow, the chances of staying in business with a good result decrease.

If you notice that the sales process can be improved and streamlined – be sure to implement these changes! The more satisfied the customer with the cooperation, the greater the probability that they will recommend your store to their friends. The power of such recommendations can be very long!

Communication channels used
To increase the visibility of your e-shop, you need to be where your customers are. Is your e-shop present on social media, e.g. on Facebook? If so, is your profile active there? How often do new posts appear on it? Do you answer customer questions? What are you posting? Are there other customer reviews? These elements may be important because activity in social media builds awareness of your brand and creates its image.

Also remember that social media is a great place to promote e-shops. More about it in a moment.

Take a look at how many people visit your e-shop each month. Combine this information with competition data. Why is the number of visits important? Because the number of transactions also depends to a large extent on it. Although it is obvious that not everyone who visits your e-store will automatically become its customer, each visit brings you closer to conversion, and the better the targeted group, the greater the probability.

In addition, the larger the ranges, the more valuable the page becomes in the eyes of Google’s algorithms, and thus – the higher its position in search results.

Take a closer look at your advertising strategy

Advertising is a trade lever – this well-known saying is more than just an empty phrase. It works very well for an e-commerce niche. With a huge number of online stores, you have to advertise. A well-thought-out, coherent and well-implemented campaign is the foundation of success.

So how have you advertised yourself so far? Did you only use free tools, e.g. ran a Facebook shop profile without even investing in advertising on this website? Or maybe you spent a lot of money on marketing, but it did not translate into return on investment?

In the latter situation, there may be many reasons for the failure of the campaign – from the wrong selection of the target group, through an inadequately formulated message, to incorrect setting of campaign parameters. This could happen, for example, if you did all these tasks yourself, and you are not an expert in digital marketing.

In theory, setting up an advertising campaign is simple. Exactly. In theory. In practice, not necessarily. Without a good action plan and its precise implementation, the advertising budget may go away, not even increasing the number of visits to the store, let alone conversions. Therefore, it is extremely important to optimize the campaign, i.e. target it so that it invests funds in groups where it is most profitable.

Does this mean you need to cut your advertising budget and focus on other aspects of your business? On the contrary! Money well spent on marketing will translate into the expected results and will allow you to finally spread your wings.

Effective advertising in e-commerce, which is what?

Marketing in the world of e-commerce can go two ways: outbound and inbound.

Outbound marketing is all tools that focus on actively looking for customers and convincing them to take advantage of the offer. Inbound marketing is based on inbound traffic – that is, conducting activities in such a way that the customers come to the company themselves.

A good strategy for an online store should include tools in the area of both of these strategies – so that you can achieve short-term goals (e.g. quick increase in sales in connection with a promotional campaign) and long-term (i.e. acquiring customers who will come back more than once, and even promote your business). The question is, what exactly to do?

There are tons of advertising tools you can use. One thing is certain: it is worth focusing on direct advertising, PR activities and SEO tools. Let us discuss them one by one.

Online store advertising

There are many advertising tools on the web. And so, e-commerce campaigns can be conducted, for example, using:
– Google Ads, such as product ads – it is worth making sure that products from the store appear in the advertising section in Google search results. Currently, the search engine presents a “carousel” of products above advertising links and from organic results. This is where you want to be!
– banner advertising – advertising banners, presenting, for example, the latest promotional campaigns and discounts, should go to, for example, portals whose content is identical to your offer.
– remarketing advertising – it can take many forms, but the rule is simple: if the customer has already visited your online store, the ads displayed on the banners will directly relate to his visit. For example, he will see specific products he has been browsing with a proposal to reduce their prices. This strategy works very effectively!
– ads in social media – on Facebook, these are ads redirecting to the store, placed in the news feed, as well as in the side panels of the website.

Large online stores also advertise in traditional media – on the radio and even on television. However, you can only afford it if you plan very large ranges and are sure that you can handle them logistically.

Remember: advertising, especially the banner one, is primarily used to achieve short-term sales goals. It is aimed especially at consumers who are already potentially interested in your offer and need an impulse to take action.

Image is important

Take care of it especially in the world of e-commerce. How to do it?

– Run profiles on social media – be where your potential customers are and interact with them. Which social media should you choose? Of course, Facebook is a must, also when you operate in the B2B area. Instagram and LinkedIn can also be useful.
– Join consumer feedback programs – give customers the opportunity to review your store and try to get as many authentic, positive recommendations as possible. Such an opinion may be encouraged by, for example, an additional discount on subsequent purchases.
– Think about working with influencers – especially if you want to sell on a large scale.

Increase your visibility

The reason why an online store may not be profitable may be that… it is invisible to Google’s algorithms. And if it’s not there, it may be harder for the customer to reach it. How to change it?

– optimize the content on the e-shop website – if you use product descriptions from their manufacturer, get rid of them. Such plagiarisms are poorly received by search engine robots and lower your rating. However, unique texts on the home page, as well as those containing categories, subcategories and specific products will strengthen your position;
– think about sponsored articles that will combine SEO and image functions. Thanks to them, you will gain valuable linking and engage customers at the same time,
– make sure that the e-store meets the applicable standards – it is, among others, o responsiveness of the website, as well as the loading time of the start page or smooth operation of the entire store,
– consider running a shop blog – it will serve as a guide for a potential customer, and will also be a great tool for long tail positioning.

Acquire valuable leads

When does a client become a client? Once he knows your brand, trusts it, is aware of your products and the need to purchase them. However, in order for him to be able to go all the way through the marketing funnel, you must first get in touch with him – so that you can stay in it for a long time.

The best way? Acquiring e-shop newsletter recipients. It’s quite a simple task – especially if you offer a 10% discount on purchases for entering your address. It’s worth it!

A long mailing list with the addresses of potentially interested people is a real gold mine. In well-matched e-mails in terms of content and graphics, you can:
– recommend new texts on the company blog,
– inform about current promotions and discounts,
– remind you about the products you offer.

This way you will stay in touch with the client and build a long-term relationship. And what next? Conversion is on the horizon!

There may be more reasons why your store “does not sell” – for example, a terrible website layout, difficulty in making a purchase (generally bad UX), or, for example, poorly selected payment or shipping options. It is worth auditing such a store to gain a holistic knowledge of what can be better in it.

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