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5 lesser-known strategies for getting your eCommerce off the ground

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Gearing up for success in the world of eCommerce can be a daunting process. With so many different players vying for attention and most relying on the same basic strategies, standing out from the competition is no easy feat.

But fear not, enterprising entrepreneurs! We've scoured the web to bring you a few new and lesser-known tactics for getting your eCommerce off the ground and into the spotlight. So if you're ready to take your online shop to the next level, read on and take notes.

#1 Improve the interactivity and readability of your website content

You can't expect to get people to your eCommerce site if the content is dull and unreadable and doesn't engage customers. Long-winded blog posts or product descriptions won't cut it in the digital age. You need to focus on creating content that engages readers and encourages them to read and act.

If you want to keep customers engaged and improve their retention of messages, you'll need to go beyond the basics and incorporate interactive elements into your eCommerce website. Integrating videos, quizzes, polls, and surveys not only provides a more enjoyable experience for visitors but also helps to drive conversions.

How can you create interactive content for your website?

If you want to make sure your website content is interactive and engaging, start by evaluating the current format of your website.

If you're already creating content for your eCommerce website, the good news is that adding interactivity isn't difficult. Select visuals or animations that apply to your topic and concisely explain the material. Sprinkle in polls, surveys, and quizzes to get your audience involved. You can also include customer reviews, interactive widgets, or audio and video content on your website. These tweaks can go a long way in maximizing visitors' engagement with your web page and land more conversions in the long run. 

#2 Join forces with influencers

Partnering with influencers is one of the most underrated yet effective strategies to catapult your eCommerce business to the next level. Influencers have already built a loyal following and have the power to sway their fans' purchasing decisions. But it's more than just increasing visibility or pushing a product. Influencers also provide an authentic voice for your brand and help convey your message in a more engaging and relatable way. That’s something a generic advertisement could never do.

Look at how Dunkin' Donuts partnered with TikToker Charli D'Amelio. Her videos of drinking "The Charli" signature drink and eating donuts helped drive hundreds of thousands of sales for the donut giant and a 57% increase in downloads for their app. You can replicate this level of success by finding influencers who share your brand's values and target audience and then partnering with them.

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How can you implement this strategy?

The first step to launching a successful influencer campaign is identifying the right people for your partnership. To do this, you'll need to create an influencer profile that outlines your ideal influencer, including criteria such as their social media reach, demographics, and interests. Once you have this influencer profile established, you can start searching for potential partners.

You can use Google or run hashtag searches on social media platforms to track down potential influencers. Alternatively, you can also use an influencer marketplace like Ainfluencer to find influencers that meet your criteria. You can filter through their roster of influencers and narrow it down by criteria like followers, engagement rate, and even location.

After selecting your ideal influencers, you can get to formalizing the partnership. This will involve negotiating your terms and conditions, hammering out their compensation, outlining their deliverables, and ensuring that the influencer is legally compliant. Once the details are sorted, create content guidelines and map out a timeline. Once the details are ironed out, you can start planning the campaign and strategizing how you'll leverage their reach to get maximum visibility for your brand.

#3 Hire a business coach

When we refer to a business coach, we don't mean the cheesy motivational types you see on late-night infomercials or the clickbait-y thought leaders who promise to reveal the secrets to success. We're talking about professionals who have been there and done that in eCommerce.

These experts can help you master the complexities of the eCommerce space and show you which strategies are really worth your time. You can think of them as your guide to the wilds of eCommerce. Their advice can help you avoid costly mistakes and make sure that your business is headed in the right direction. They can also provide valuable insights and advice about how to optimize your eCommerce for maximum success. Plus, having someone in your corner who understands the nuances of running an online business will give you the confidence to fire on all cylinders.

How can you hire a business coach?

Begin by browsing the internet for experienced business coaches, and then contact them to discuss your goals. Ask questions such as their areas of expertise, the type of services they offer, and what you can expect from working with them. You should also look into their client testimonials, and see what other people have to say. Once you find the right business coach, establish a clear understanding of how they will help you achieve your goals and come up with a plan of action.

But if you're looking for a more efficient way of coaching, you can look into signature coaching programs. For those unaware, a signature coaching program is a framework of steps and strategies that are designed to help the client reach their desired outcome. 

As per Paperbell's definition, these programs are a coach’s “unique ways of solving specific problems.” This means that you don’t have to start from the ground up, and it saves you and your coach’s time. So, if you have a business coach whose ideologies and experience you trust, consider opting for their signature program, if they offer one, over the traditional method. It can help you tackle particular problems of your eCommerce business, like low conversion rates or insufficient traffic.

Whatever subscription model or coaching program you decide to use, make sure you don’t decide to until you find someone who meets your needs and understands what drives your business. You don't want to find yourself stuck with someone whose approach isn't in line with yours. 

#4 Make use of QR codes

You don't need to rely on the same old tactics for getting customers in your virtual door. Why not try something more tech savvy and employ QR codes? These handy little codes will help you bridge the gap between the offline and online worlds, allowing your customers to quickly and easily access your site.

For example, you can affix QR codes on your product packaging, advertisements, or business cards. When customers scan the code, they'll be taken directly to your eCommerce site or a specific page, like a product page or social media account. This makes it even easier for customers to find what you're offering.

You can take inspiration from the likes of L'Oréal, who partnered with Glamour and used QR codes inside taxis to promote their product lines. 

 L'Oréal QR code taxisImage source

They linked their codes to product videos, encouraging customers to explore further and even redirecting them to the store page. You can use similar tactics to get more customers into your virtual store and make it easier for them to learn about your products and services.

How can you implement QR codes?

Generating and using QR codes is actually quite simple. You just need to find a reliable and secure QR code generator that integrates with your existing systems. Shop around and compare the features, payment plans, and security of different QR code generators until you find one that meets your needs. The best generators include an analytics dashboard to give insights into scan activity and offer customization options to make your codes look more like part of your branding.

Once you've chosen a generator, all that's left is to start creating and using your codes. You can add them to your website, product packaging, or online marketing materials to link customers to your content and products. You can also add them to physical locations, like billboards or print campaigns, to entice customers and encourage them to visit your website. 

#5 Keep up with the latest trends and tech 

The landscape of eCommerce is constantly changing. New trends and technologies are emerging, customer preferences are evolving, and competitors are always trying to one-up each other. If you don't keep up with the pace of change, you risk getting left behind. That's why staying abreast of the latest developments and testing emerging trends is essential for any eCommerce business. 

New trends and technology often intimidate people, but these are the very things that can help your business stay ahead of the competition. Take workflow automation tools, for example. Automation tools have become increasingly popular in recent years for a good reason. These tools can streamline workflows, optimize internal processes, and create better customer experiences.

You might think that automation is too advanced for your business, but you'd be surprised at how easy and accessible it is to use. If you take the time to understand it, you'll find that workflow automation tools have the potential to make your eCommerce operations far more efficient. So, while your competitors are stuck doing manual processes, you can be out ahead with a better way of doing things. That's the beauty of staying up to date with the latest trends and tech in eCommerce.

Other trends to watch for include advanced analytics, artificial intelligence applications, and even augmented reality. All of these things have the potential to revolutionize eCommerce. Combine these trends with a composable commerce approach, and you have a recipe for success. Composable commerce, a term introduced by Gartner in June 2020, is a modular digital commerce approach that enables the selection of best-in-breed solutions for each unique business need. This multifaceted methodology offers businesses the agility they need to deliver innovative experiences at speed and scale and to differentiate themselves in the market. 

So, keep your eyes peeled for any relevant trends and technologies that have the potential to benefit your business. Don't hesitate to jump on new opportunities before your competitors do. Doing so can open the door to major improvements in efficiency and customer experiences, giving you a leg up on the competition. 

How can you find new trends?

A great way to stay on top of the latest trends and technologies is by following industry news. Sign up for newsletters, read eCommerce blogs like Divante’s, and follow thought leaders in the industry on social media. Doing this will help you stay in the know and ensure you don't miss out on any important developments that could benefit your business. You can also join online communities in the eCommerce space so that you can stay connected with other thought leaders and get exposed to the latest trends in real time.

Remember, not every trend will be applicable to your business. So, don't just jump on every new thing you hear about. Instead, evaluate whether or not it could help your business, and then decide whether to pursue it. For example, augmented reality, while exciting, could be overkill for a basic eCommerce store. So, weigh the pros and cons of each new trend before investing any time or money into it.

Make your eCommerce business soar 

The tried-and-true tactics of traditional marketing might get your business the initial attention it needs. But, to take your eCommerce business to the next level and build a lasting relationship with customers, you must go the extra mile and dig deeper. The strategies mentioned above are just the tip of the iceberg. Keep exploring, experimenting, and innovating to find the sweet spot that works best for you. 

Published February 14, 2023