There are approximately 12 million – 24 million eCommerce websites available worldwide and more are getting created every day. Opening an online business has become easier than ever before. All you need is a website and an idea of what you will be providing.
Then what is the reason that we only know about a handful of the websites and not about all the 24 million? The only possible answer is that some are very ahead in the eCommerce competition and most of them are not. The eCommerce industry is growing 23% every year and according to a study done by Nasdaq, 95% of all purchases will be through eCommerce by the year 2040.
So with such a growing competitive niche, how can your eCommerce business survive without just being an additional number to the statistics? In this article, we have listed the 12 most important factors that you can work on to stay ahead of the eCommerce competition.
Tips to Stay Ahead of the eCommerce Competition
1. Pick The Best Shopping Cart Platforms
If you are not checking on the kind of shopping carts your eCommerce business is using, then there could be a major issue. The carts we recommend the most are Shopify, WooCommerce, and BigCommerce. These shopping carts are great in terms of SEO, great design, and paid searches even on social. It has everything you need to fuel your business and also has a very helpful support team to back you up when you need help. So, it is great to check them out.
2. Invest Time in Optimizing Your Pages
To stay ahead in the eCommerce competition your web pages are the only link between you and your customers. Your product pages work 24/7 representing your brand, be it the weekends, occasions, or anything. You are required to spend a lot of time optimizing your product pages in terms of SEO and design. What we mean by that is SEO would be a good product title. Your title should not be just appealing to you but more useful in terms of what people usually search online.
A good product description is also important as when customers visit your product page, they need a perfect sales pitch, so we suggest you put some effort into that to outlast the eCommerce competition.
3. Keyword Research
Keyword research is the backbone when we talk about optimization. What keyword you choose puts a lot of impact on your likeliness to appear in a search result. These are important for your title, content, descriptions, etc.
Google has this amazing tool called keywordtool that helps you to find out what keywords are in trend and are mostly looked for.
4. Don’t Underestimate the Product Photography
Your product photos say a lot about your product quality, how professional your brand is, and how serious you are about your work. A captivating product photo can gain a lot of trust from your customer making them compelled to buy something from your website.
90% of the customers feel that product photos are one of the most important factors in making a decision. If your product photo looks dull and unattractive, there is no way that anyone would be interested in exploring your site further. You can learn more about it Challenges of product photography.
Hiring a professional photo editing service provider is massively valuable and also, a product video could be like a cherry on top of your cake to fight eCommerce competition! Make sure that you invest in these two options at some point in your business to describe your products in more detail and make your website look more smooth, polished, and professional.
Also Read – Product Photography Rule
5. Bring Reviews on Your Pages
A study shows that if you have reviews on your product pages, it can improve your conversion rate remarkably up to 400%. What could be a better push in beating eCommerce competition?
Allowing your customers to leave a review also makes them feel valued and heard. This also reveals the empty spaces in your eCommerce business to fill it with improvement.
6. Do Use Schema Markup to stay ahead of the Competition
Schema markup is all about using rich codes and snippets on your website for the search engines to return more refined search results to the users. This can be considered as advanced SEO handling. Every online business that wants to be a competitor in eCommerce competition utilizes it.
Using schema markup can get your product as a search result with an image, a little description, and price in the form of Google rich cards even before the customers visit your website.
This gives you an upper hand over your competitors to appear in the search results organically in a more effective way.
You can look for the schema markup tool as this tool simply asks you to put your website URL and finds out if you have proper schema markup or not along with the tips on how to correct that. However, if you are using any of the shopping carts mentioned above, then they already have a good schema markup for you to build upon.
7. Don’t forget to Optimize Product Feeds
In eCommerce competition, It is important to optimize your product feeds via Google Merchant Center. It is something that will be useful when you will be using Google Shopping and when you are running your ads.
Your chances increase to appear on Google shopping when you optimize your product feeds. You can read more on how to use Google Shopping and how can it boost your sales here.
Linking your website with Google shopping and Google Merchant Center can really ameliorate your brand recognition and put you ahead of the eCommerce competition. You do not want to be not in the game when customers are looking for a product that you can provide by not optimizing your product feeds.
8. Run Google Shopping Ads
Google Shopping is very famous and is now even free in the US. People go to google all the time, they search for a product and click on the ‘Shopping tab’. The results that appear there are all Google Shopping Ads.
Now if you want your products to appear in that tab to give a tough eCommerce competition, which we highly recommend, you should start investing in Google shopping to beat the heat.
Optimize your product ads to gain a better position in the results, be regular, and stay with the trend are the few extra tips we would like you to keep in your mind. You can keep track of which of your products are doing well and which are getting less ROI. You can later turn off the ads that are not performing well and increase the budget on the products that are doing well. This can significantly better your ROI with time. You learn more about How To Use Google Shopping To Sell Products Online.
9. Run Dynamic Retargeting Campaigns
Retargeting is an excellent way to keep a hold of potential customers. This tip leaves no chance of ignoring. If you want to survive the eCommerce competition then this is something ‘have to do’ kind.
You can run a retargeting campaign off your website and your Google shopping ads. Keep a track of the users that looked for your product and start retargeting over the various websites that they go over to after looking for your product. Start showing a pop-up or banner of your product ad over that so it does not leave the mind of your customer and increase your worth in eCommerce competition.
Dynamic retargeting can keep your customer engaged with what is relevant to them until it wears them down to finally make the purchase from your website by clicking on that ad.
10. Make use of Facebook, Instagram Ads
There are more than 3.8 billion people using social media platforms today. You do not want to miss the chance of reaching potential customers right in front of you.
We recommend retargeting over Facebook and Instagram as people are usually free while using such platforms to give purchasing a shot.
Running promotional ads is equally suggested to combat eCommerce competition and reach a wide market base. The ads you run should be so intense and powerful that you get right in front of the person who is perfect for your product. One example of such intense marketing is that if you sell athletic wear for little girls then you would want to target the parents who have daughters between the age you are looking for and whose daughters like athletics and they earn more than $5000 a month which defines the affordability of your product. Those parents are your target. you can learn more Facebook marketing Strategies.
11. Be a part of Social Media Organically
If you do it yourself or you hire someone to take care of that. But you do wanna make sure that you invest in your social media organically to stay ahead in eCommerce competition.
This doesn’t necessarily involve money necessarily but mostly time. Investing organically means that you are consistently posting content, posts, links to stay engaged always on social media to define your existence.
This can really help you compete well in eCommerce competition as you never isolate yourself from the competition and people are constantly staying in touch with your brand.
12. Automate your Email Marketing
If you have understood the importance of eCommerce competition then email marketing is vastly important. Many eCommerce business owners give their all in encouraging the customers to make a purchase but they often fail to get in touch with those customers again.
Think about what can happen to your revenue if every customer who has made a purchase comes back and makes more purchases! Email marketing enables you to market your products and retarget in an automated way.
You can keep an automated campaign at the beginning for the whole year for all the holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas to send your offers or coupons automatically on a set date to a particular list of customers.
You can also use automated emails to send in feedback forms to generate your review content automatically. There are many creative and effective ways to use automated emails to generate more sales and recognition overtime to stay ahead of the eCommerce competition.
There are many email marketing tools available in the market that you can make use of, such as hubspot email marketing tool to initiate a well arranged system.
Also Read – Grow Profit using abandoned cart emails
13. Invest in SMS marketing
SMS is a great way to reach your customers effectively. Most companies run a quick ‘click now’ and ‘checkout today’ campaigns to compel customers to visit their website at that moment to grab the discount or a coupon.
SMS are more effective as there are only 20% of the people who check their emails on a regular basis and that too can have a gap in between. But there are almost 100% of the people who check messages within a very short span.
You can build a limited period offer strategy to encourage more purchases to stand out in growing eCommerce competition. This can be very useful on low-sale days during the end of the month or when you want to clear out your stock.
Mobilemonkey can be a great option to choose for your SMS marketing campaign as it connects with customers on just through SMS but via Facebook messenger as well as Web Chat.
14. Bring the CRM in the Frame
Most small eCommerce business owners do not use CRM and look at the backend and history to fetch out their customer data. Your eCommerce business should have a CRM to keep the complete data of your past customers in one place and to add additional data and customers throughout the business.
You can hire a salesperson or become one to do the follow-ups on feedback purchases, future purchases, and suggestions. You can build a better relationship with the customers and get to know more by asking their birthdate, the number of children, etc. in order to send them offers accordingly.
This can be a huge investment but can bring bigger returns than you are incurring now and give the high neck eCommerce competition.
15. Create Custom Packaging
If you are really looking forward to beating the eCommerce competition, then this last tip can really revitalize your planning with just a small change. We recommend not just sending a simple packet with the product inside. Create a nice looking, attractive package with a referral code inside that your customer can recommend their loved ones or a coupon inside for future purchases to give them a reason to come back.
This really improves your goodwill. If you are someone who sells their product through third party websites like Amazon apart from your own website, then you can send them some offers that they can only claim if they purchase through your website directly.
This helps in generating more traffic to your own website and boosts your brand recognition which is basically the ultimate goal for your eCommerce business and the utmost symbol of being ahead in the eCommerce competition.
It all comes down to consistency. Not necessarily you are required to enact all the tips in one day. You can take baby steps into covering all areas. But whatever you start with, make sure that you do it with consistency and mingle the next step gradually without losing the hold of the previous step.
We hope that these would be helpful for your eCommerce business to grow and stay ahead of the eCommerce competition. We highly recommended to read this article eCommerce Copywriting – The Ultimate Guide to Improve your sale.