We as humans love exploring new avenues and building things. There is an explorer inside all of us. This is why explorers always capture our imagination because we love seeing an adventurer embarking out into the unknown, and we love creating our own path. The modern-day equivalent of explorers is entrepreneurs. There's a famous quote you might have come across, "Entrepreneurs are the new cowboys and space explorers." This is why names like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, and Elon Musk are etched in our history and culture forever.
They created businesses for things we didn't even know would benefit our lives. Branson and Musk are even looking to explore the great beyond capturing our imagination even further. However, A Harvard Business School study found that 75% of venture-backed startups fail. Now, a high fail rate may seem discouraging to you, but we believe you should listen to Teddy Roosevelt, he said:
"The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred with dust and sweat; who strives valiantly, who errs and may fall again and again because there is no effort without error or shortcoming;
but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."
We understand that Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart, which is why we work with dropshipping entrepreneurs and aid in their adventure to make their ventures successful. Launching a successful dropshipping or e-commerce operation might be easy but making it a success requires much effort. Our expertise in the e-commerce sector has helped bring to life many successful e-commerce business ideas. So we thought we should give you some simple ways of building a successful e-commerce business. In the following passages, you will find "easy to do" processes that will take your e-commerce operation to the next level. So without further delay, let's begin!
Building Brand Awareness
As an e-commerce operation, especially as a dropshipper, the first thing you need to do is make sure that you dedicate an ample amount of time and resources to growing your brand and trust factor. Brand awareness is vital for your company as it impacts a host of different things like trust, repeat purchases, and SEO. The more confidence you gain, the higher your sales numbers will grow and vice versa.
Remember, quality always trumps quantity when it comes to brand awareness. Ensure you create high-quality content, utilize innovative influencer partnerships, and partner with other businesses in your industry. As a modern business, you cannot overlook the value paid ads bring to your brand awareness efforts. Also, you need to be very active on all the major social media platforms out there.
You need to be everywhere and flood the internet with great content and really good images. Make sure your Facebook presence is intense, and depending on your product, you determine your efforts on other social platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. It would be best to work on all the channels your target audience frequents and guide them towards your e-commerce store. Remember that the most prominent brands usually fight for the expensive conversion terms. So do your research well and find keywords that bring value without being highly competitive. Also, make sure the customer journey is simple and easy for your website. That will boost your brand awareness.
Utilize The Power Of Email Marketing
Email marketing is not only relevant now but is one of the most significant factors that impact e-commerce business growth. If you want to build a successful e-commerce business, you need to develop a comprehensive email list and get really good at email marketing. Other channels come and go; however, once you have your email list, it is with you forever, so the value it provides is impressive. So don't take this responsibility lightly.
Use email marketing smartly, and you will be able to build a lasting relationship with your customers. We suggest you continually try to add quality leads to your email list. As an e-commerce company, you are at the mercy of tech giants like Facebook and Google. If these companies change their policies, then you could end up significantly worse off. However, with your email list, you will directly interact with your customers through email. No amount of policy change will be able to stop that. One of the most significant factors in building an email list with quality leads is that it aids in your repeat purchase numbers.
The e-commerce sector is a highly competitive landscape and having the option to contact customers to encourage repeat purchases directly is very important for success. Having qualified leads at your disposal also ensures abandoned cart emails are sent out correctly. It will vastly improve your revenue that you lose due to purchases not being completed. Not only that, but it also boosts your upselling opportunities. Use emails to show life behind the scenes, tell stories to make customers feel that they are a part of your family and you are taking them along in your journey.
You may not see an immediate ROI impact, but the long-term benefits are massive.
Try growing your email list through organic efforts as well and sell to your email list more often. Remember, you don't want to be one of those companies with tangled email systems with stale subscriber lists and poor follow-up sequences. For your email marketing efforts, start first by segmenting your list and create personalized messages for your subscribers. Make sure you create workflows that tend to the subscriber's behavior. The people in the email list are all who are interested in your product, so why not use it engage with them personally? Harness the power your email list has, and you will be able to build a successful e-commerce business.
Go To Where Your Audience Is
We touched on this earlier. "Going to where your audience is" means that you need to be at every platform your target audience uses. Facebook is one of the biggest drivers of traffic to e-commerce sites. According to AdWeek, the average return on investment from Facebook Ads in e-commerce is 152%. So why shouldn't you take advantage of this opportunity? Facebook is the biggest referrer for e-commerce orders compared to other social media outlets, so if you are not advertising on it, you are missing out on a large chunk of traffic.
Remember, merely relying on Facebook's algorithm isn't enough. You need to set up your ads using custom audiences, inclusions, and exclusions. Make sure you have Facebook's Pixel wholly set up in your e-commerce store and have the Add to Cart or Purchase options added to your page. Once you have mastered Facebook, then move on to the secondary social channels your audience uses like Twitter, Reddit, Pinterest, Instagram, Quora, and others.
More Testing Mean Better Conversions
You need to be tireless in your efforts to optimize your e-commerce store and your marketing efforts. If you haven't tested more than 50 various changes for one aspect, then the odds are you haven't tested enough. Always look for opportunities to test out new things to ensure you are at the forefront of the ever-changing e-commerce landscape. If you are having trouble meeting your goals, dive deep into your analytics data and determine why people are dropping off. Come to a conclusion about which part of the process is killing your conversions.
Once that is done, you can A/B test different versions of that one element to find what's happening truly. Make it a habit to regularly test out your e-commerce store's distinct features to see what could be improved. Remember, you live in the age of information, so use the data to make smart future decisions and never stop testing for improvements. Things like button placement and color, calls to action, and product photography is at the top of the list of things you should test regularly. You don't need to improve a whole lot. Just tiny increments over a period of time will result in sustainable growth.
As an e-commerce entrepreneur, the first thing you need to do is ensure the purchase and checkout process is as simple and easy as it can be. Fast shipping options and electronic signatures for complex sales are other factors you should consider to test your e-commerce operation. See if you really need the customers to create an account when purchasing the product or if that can be avoided. Testing means CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization), so constantly be testing out new things. If you are having trouble deciding on what to test, then understanding the improvements' parameters will help you. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What could be better?
- What are my competitors doing?
- How does it look on mobile devices?
- How fast is it loading?
- What do my customers/users think?
Find unbiased opinions, and remember that you are not going to find that everyone agrees. So keep testing to see new avenues for improvement. Remember having to redesign a site every few years takes its toll on an e-commerce operation, so make sure you keep improving the site as you go along.
Harness The Power Of Analytics To Optimize Strategy
We've noticed that dropshippers and other e-commerce entrepreneurs who have been able to harness the power of analytics have been able to scale up far quicker than the average business. Knowing whom your target audience is and having the proper attribution system to measure the efficacy of your marketing efforts entirely is vital in the current marketplace. Make sure you have accurate, regularly-updated unit economics for all the products you sell. So you may need to include some overhead cost allocation to your overall costs. Find out which products aren't making any or less money. Once you have the items identified, then remove them from your catalog or lower their prices. You will see an immediate impact once you do this.
There are instances where e-commerce companies saw a rise in profits by 20-40% when they removed 40% of their catalog. So, find out which ones are your bestsellers and which aren't. Another popular way to harness analytics for growth is to do deep, real-time, dynamic buyer segmentations. When someone visits your site, you can track all of the pages they visit, the products they click, and automatically send targeted offers based on their activity. And deep segmentation isn't only limited to your email marketing efforts. You can use the same process across multiple channels, including social ads, Google ads, push messages, and others.
Deep segmentation allows you to create incredibly personalized content that improves your marketing efforts as they drive up conversion rates. As an e-commerce brand, you should also try to understand the up-selling and cross-selling process. These are more cost-effective than acquiring new customers, and they can boost and supplement your customer lifetime value metrics and overall engagement. Adding lifetime value through cross-selling and up-selling can quickly be done if you know what to do. Here are a few ways you can maximize your sales numbers:
- Optimize the uptake of your order bump.
- Optimize the conversion of your upsell sequences.
- Create and sell continuity programs to your customers, like "subscribe and save" offers.
- Consistently send bonding/storytelling emails with soft sells.
Remember, once you have mastered the ascension process and have it optimized and performing well, you will be able to pay more for new customers. With the added revenue, you will be able to advertise more, scale up seamlessly, and outbid your competition on ads.
Develop Highly Accurate Buyer Personas
Understanding your customer on a deeper level is the mantra to building a successful e-commerce business. If you look up "successful e-commerce business ideas" on Google, you will see all the articles and blogs tell you that you need to develop highly-accurate buyer personas. That is because the modern buyer looks for personalization along with quality when making a purchasing decision. Always make sure you are finding ways to communicate with your customers.
When you talk to them more, you will understand what they want more, which will help you create highly accurate buyer personas, and you will be able to make much more effective ads and launch products they love. It will be like you are reading their minds! Remember, there is nothing better than following up with your customer on every stage of the purchase journey, and no, we don't only mean "Please leave us a review!" email. Implement Hotjar polls, test out new products, mine for reviews to find buyer patterns, and do these things regularly to see impactful change. Remember, you need to think from your customer's point of view. So here are a few pointers you can follow:
- What are their pain points?
- Where do they face friction?
- Where do they hang out online?
Simply by knowing the answers to these three questions, you will find insightful data to build perfect buyer personas. You have to be more customer-centric if you want a successful e-commerce business and to be more customer-centric, you need to invest in strategic measurement and analysis work. Run surveys and talk to your customers to determine what they are thinking and what they expect from you. It's as simple as that. So do it!
Be The Best At Customer Service
We cannot stress this enough. Even if you have the best products at the lowest prices, you will fail if your customer service isn't up to the mark. While using Chatbots and engagement automation is a step forward, your customers will usually convert if they talk to real-life staffers. Use engagement automation to push promotional content or invite customers to ask questions. If you want to build a successful brand, then you have to focus on building customer loyalty.
Remember, if you are focusing more on increasing your customers, you are focused on the wrong thing. While you do need more customers, but the number one factor for sustainable growth is customer loyalty, so make sure you focus more on that. Long gone are the days when an e-commerce store could utilize ads to push mediocre products. The modern e-commerce store listens to its customers and improves its products accordingly to meet customer standards, and that feedback will come when you provide impeccable customer service. Try implementing a live chat option in your store and try to keep your response time to 24 hours or less for all emails from customers and wholesalers.
Gain The Upperhand By Using Smart Shipping Options
As you already know, you have to make sure you have repeat customers, and one of the easiest ways to do that is by creating innovative shipping options. Studies show that shipping emails are opened 1.5 times on average, so it is a fantastic way to engage with your customers. Also, remember to integrate free shipping options. Free shipping is a better tool than discounts, even if the deal is more than the cost of shipping. People always prefer free shipping options when it comes to buying things. People know that it is hard to find free shipping on products, so when they see a brand providing free shipping, they will be more or three times more likely to buy a product. You have to remember that shipping is one of the best sales tactics in e-commerce and free shipping is the best of the bunch.
Implement a free shipping threshold and let your customers know that they can obtain this offer by meeting a specific dollar amount and see the magic unfold. You can use free shipping in tandem with kitting. Kits or "bundle offers" allow you to get more products off the shelves and drive sales. If you have cart abandonment issues, then the pricing or shipping isn't desirable for the customer. In the day and age where Amazon reigns supreme online shoppers expect to see free shipping options from their e-commerce stores. So make sure you are meeting the customer's needs when trying to sell products. Utilize percentage-off discounts, dollar-amount discounts, free shipping, or other creative offers to decrease the cart abandonment numbers.
Be Creative & Strategic On Your Website Promotions
Running marketing campaigns willy-nilly will get you so far. You have to be creative and strategic in your approach when creating a promotional campaign for your e-commerce website. Flash sales are great in that regard. Create a flash sale campaign for your website. Blast it on social media using paid ads and see for yourself the value of creative marketing. Yes, you are spending money on marketing, but not only are you getting a customer of your own, but you are also getting a qualified lead that you can convert again for repeat sales, and that's where it adds value. It would help if you tried leveraging deal sites, coupon platforms, and comparison shopping engines. These sites will accelerate your product launch and supercharge coupon distribution efforts and increase your brand awareness.
While using promotions to increase brand awareness and sales is a simple matter. Knowing and utilizing various types of promotions at different times throughout the year and in different frequencies is a different matter altogether. When thinking about running promotions dividing them into different categories helps. One of the first things you should know is that you have to send promotional content several times each week to get inactive leads and previous customers to buy again. The second most important thing is that you need to run promotions with big themes and events to drive massive floods of sales from your entire community. Knowing how to create the perfect offer for your audience is a secret seldom shared by e-commerce businesses. Well, don't worry here are a few parameters you can follow to create the perfect offer to run your promos:
- Make it functional
- Make sure it has a dimensionalized/story (what it looks like in the prospect's life).
- Provide emotional benefit (how will the buyer feel).
- Terms & Condition.
- Guarantees (change the perceived risk).
When you meet these parameters, you will be able to differentiate your offer to the customer from the competition helping your brand stand out more. The idea is to offer more value to your customers than your competition to implement creative and strategic thinking when implementing a promotional offer.
Being Thorough On Your Approach
So there you go. Those are some simple ways on how to improve your e-commerce business and ensure sustainable growth. Having a thorough approach counts on every aspect of building a successful e-commerce business, especially for dropshipping. This is why Dropship USA helps members of the Drop Ship nation by providing them with the perfect selling platform geared towards generating sales. Our thorough approach ensures that you have the best dropshipping website for your niche and is set-up for success for the foreseeable future. If you want to know more about our work, then feel free to contact us, and we will talk about how we can help you create a successful e-commerce operation.
And with that being said, that's all we have for you today. Let us know in the comments below what you are doing to create a successful e-commerce empire. Hit us up on our socials to let us know your thoughts and suggestions on what we should talk about next. We will come back with something new for you soon. Until then, see ya!