So you’ve made the decision to start an online business, and now you need to grow your following like the socially awkward, often-introverted Jed does in the film People You May Know. You’re in luck, as recent studies indicate that 8 out of 10 consumers shop regularly online, and your ecommerce business could benefit from this fact. Here are some hints for getting your business site and social media accounts up and running so that you can get your ecommerce store moving toward growth and productivity:
- Keep It Simple. Start with a Shopify theme that will make it as easy as possible to launch your business. Utilizing Shopify themes allows you to efficiently launch your site, customize your page, and view how your product will look. Additionally, it will help you keep the important elements of an ecommerce store and your burgeoning brand consistent. You want your ecommerce store to be intuitive so your customers will not struggle to navigate it, as there is nothing that is a greater deterrent to business growth than a site your users do not find “user-friendly.”
- Keep It Consistent. If you have a logo or are looking to design one, consider site themes with some variation of that color or style. Choosing a design that is representative of the color and style most closely aligned with your brand and product will help your consumers identify you more quickly. People are attracted to that which is most familiar, so growing your following means thinking about what will hook your consumers and help them remember who you are, what your business looks like, and what you sell.
- Keep a Connection. Many ecommerce stores have a “contact us” form, allowing customers to ask questions, request information, or make suggestions to which you respond individually. A live chat feature, however, is another way to set your store and your product apart by giving visitors to your site easy and timely access. When potential consumers know they can reach you and see you, it adds a sense of trust and security and increases your level of credibility with your customers, thus increasing the chance of return sales.
- Keep Posting Content. Posting interesting and appropriate content to your site will help generate enthusiasm for your product. Consumers who come to read or post are more likely to purchase, so consider adding a blog, a discussion board, or a product review forum. Increasing the amount of online traffic also means increasing visibility and interest, so posting relevant product information or links to articles has great potential for growing your consumer following.
- Invest in Mobile Capabilities. Consumer use of mobile devices is greater than it has ever been in the past, making a mobile ecommerce platform and plan crucial. As your business grows, you may want to consider mobile sites, responsive sites, real-time notifications, apps, and click-to-call tools. Small business owners are looking at a wide range of automated systems that do everything from monitor and protect your home to providing business protection and notifications, such as Angee. Investing in mobility will provide you with immediate access to your client base.
- Offer Complimentary Products or Services. If you have been able to hit upon a product that customers really like and are purchasing, consider breaking out related items to diversity that product line. By providing your customers a wider selection, you increase the likelihood of repeat sales which is easier than generating a new consumer base. Complimentary goods and services do not have to generate more work for you if you consider those that are closely related and comfortable for your growing business.
- Target Other Markets. If you sell to stay-at-home moms, consider marketing to working mothers. If you are selling to college students, start working on young adults who have just hit the job market. Another way to create other markets is to take a retail-oriented product and sell it wholesale. Although the price you will get for wholesale sales will be lower, you will be able to sell more product and generate a more consistent cash flow for your business. Remember, however, that beginning to sell wholesale means that you will be selling in greater quantity, so be sure you are ready to grow your business and meet the demand required by selling in bulk.
Growing your following for your online business can mean increased income for you and your family, so it’s important to invest resources into your social media marketing strategies. After all, in the highly competitive digital landscape, if your ecommerce shop isn’t highly functional and engaged across multiple social platforms, you virtually don’t exist to huge portions of your potential customer base. With these strategies, you can begin to amass a following that will sustain your business for the long haul.
What are you doing to grow your social media following? Share your strategies in the comments.