Approximately 12 to 24 million eCommerce websites exist online Competition is rife and furious. It’s an ongoing battle to be more competitive - to increase eCommerce sales, remain relevant and make your brand standout in a crowded eCommerce environment.
A pinch of creativity, a dash of wise choices and a strong dose of consistency can do the trick.
And that’s where many eCommerce store owners falter.
Ninety percent of eCommerce businesses fail after about 4 months. The pie chart below shows the top ten reasons for this failure.
The R-I-C-H strategy can help you avoid most of these common reasons for ecommerce failure and will teach you how to be competitive on the eCommerce market.
Smart people can sometimes make some dumb, highly uninformed decisions. Your eCommerce store shouldn’t be based on what you think the market wants. The best way to come up with an eCommerce store idea is to identify gaps in the market and determine how you’ll fill those gaps. This can only be done through extensive research.Beatriz Estay summarizes this fact nicely. She says,
“No matter how stellar you feel your idea is, you’ll want to spend some serious time evaluating market demand and gathering hard facts before you order 2,000 product units or sign any contracts.”
How to Conduct Market Research for eCommerce Success
1. Test the waters using surveys.
Google Surveys enables businesses to find out what their target audience really wants. You design your survey and Google gets the answers for you. It’s a cost-effective way to get meaningful insights instead of spending a lot on traditional market research.
You can supplement the results of a Google Survey with feedback from a social media poll. However, this only works if your brand already has a large number of followers. You can run polls or use posts that ask your followers specific questions. Some companies have even created social media ads that promise a reward to people who complete a survey within a particular time frame.Surveys help you get real results. You shouldn’t embark on an eCommerce project without making informed decisions from survey results.
2. Be competitive and pay attention to your competitors.
The survey gave you some strong results. By all indications, it should be all systems go. Excitement can often result in hasty decisions. Pause for a minute. Do some keyword research to find competitors in your niche. Here are some questions that you should ask:
- What keywords do these brands rank for?
- What is their social media presence like?
- Does their eCommerce website provide a seamless user experience from product page to checkout?
- What does this brand do well?
- Where does this brand need some work?
I- Identify Your Brand’s “It” Factor
ECommerce success comes through identifying what makes your brand truly unique based on the research previously described. This is your brand’s “it” factor. It explains exactly why a customer should buy from you.
You can begin creating your It Factor Statement (IFS) by describing, using as many details as possible, what you realise makes your brand unique from the research you’ve done. Those details should then be condensed into a catchy tagline that simplifies what makes your brand truly unique. A potential customer who reads the tagline should understand why he or she should buy your products.
C- Create a Marketing Plan
A common mistake made by novice eCommerce store owners is to create a hodgepodge marketing strategy. There is no clear focus or evidence of consistency. Nathan Sinnott explains this point well by saying,
“You might have an industry leading eCommerce store backed by outstanding customer service. However, without targeted traffic, you’ll not reach the heights you desire, or possibly not make enough sales to sustain the business.”
There are three Cs that form the foundation of an effective marketing plan:
Clarity: Your marketing messages should be clear and delivered through the right channels
Compulsion: Your message must be compelling enough to convince people to buy.
Consistency: There should be a steady stream of content. Sporadic posts result in missed messages. A content marketing plan is necessary for eCommerce success.
H- Hire a Team
Most eCommerce store owners get into the eCommerce business because they want to be their own boss. Ultimately, this leads to the massive burden of trying to do everything solo. Reality check! You can’t do everything alone especially if you want true eCommerce success.
Interesting: Growing an Integrated eCommerce Business
Freelancers provide a more affordable way to create a team on a budget. They also make it possible to work remotely. You can hire freelancers from anywhere in the world who have experience in marketing, finance or setting up an eCommerce store. SellerPlex offers a team of experts in:
ECommerce store organization
Supply chain management
Finance and Accounting
Amazon account management
Bonus Tip: Know Your Numbers!
The fourth reason for eCommerce failure is running out of cash. Effective financial management is crucial to the success of any business. Your balance sheet and income statement paint a clear picture about how well the business is doing financially. Pay attention to what they’re saying before it’s too late!
Interesting: 5 Ways to Improve eCommerce Business Value
Whether you are an eCommerce newbie or have been in the industry for awhile, the R-I-C-H strategy can help you earn real riches for your business. The truth is that this strategy doesn’t create instant success. It takes time and will require constant evaluation and revision, especially when new competitors enter the scene. Nevertheless, let the R-I-C-H strategy guide you towards creating a sound plan for lasting ecommerce success.