The ultimate goal of any business is to make sales, whether they are in-person sales or ecommerce sales. But even though eCommerce stores enjoy a wide array of options for attracting prospective buyers, that doesn’t guarantee a sale will be made as a result.
eCommerce retail sales are skyrocketing, but not everyone gets to have a slice of that rapidly-growing revenue pie. Once you remove the large pieces taken by Amazon and other industry giants, the smaller stores are left competing for a much narrower market segment.
Because of that, any business that wants to succeed will have to attract prospects that are the most likely ones to make a purchase.
But how can you make that happen? Let’s explore a few of the essential strategies you should consider.
Pursue High-Intent Search Terms
eCommerce SEO is an essential strategy for attracting customers. Paid ads have their place, but SEO can guarantee that you receive a steady stream of highly-targeted prospects to your site consistently. This will most likely happen once you start ranking for the relevant keywords in your niche.
The keyword here is “relevant.” Many novice eCommerce marketers misunderstand this term, which can lead to a lot of frustration when traffic quickly bounces from the site and seems completely disinterested after clicking through.
The reason for that lies in something known as buyer-intent.
People use Google to solve a wide variety of problems. Sometimes, they’re not even problems, just curiosities they want to satisfy.
With that in mind, it’s easy to see that not all search queries are equally viable for eCommerce businesses. Let’s take a basketball sneaker store as an example.
If someone is searching for “low top vs. high top sneakers,” that shows they are interested in the subject in general. It also indicates that they are at the research phase of their potential purchase. They are still unsure about the type of sneaker they should buy.
Send these prospects to a product page, and you won’t likely achieve the desired result. They haven’t yet figured out what they need, and you can’t expect them to figure it out on their own.
Meanwhile, if someone types in “buy LeBron 17 sneakers”, they are not only ready to make a purchase, but they even know the specific sneaker they want. If you get in front of them, offer an incentive like a discount or a special offer. You then have a very decent shot of them making a purchase then and there.
But what does that mean for your SEO strategy?
Well, to put it simply, it means this: SEO is hard, so focus on the keywords that matter.
Before you start implementing SEO strategies, take the time to figure out which keywords are the most likely to result in purchases. Focus most of your attention there.
That doesn’t mean you couldn’t write a kickass article like “Low Top vs. High Top Sneakers: Which One Should You Go With?” and include links to your products. People at a lower stage of awareness just need some guidance before you can sell to them.
Make Your Brand Memorable
One of the hardest things about starting an e-commerce business is figuring out how to position your brand. Most people can put together a website and add some products, but figuring out how to make people buy from you and not your competitors is not simple.
That’s where a comprehensive branding strategy becomes irreplaceable. Most people, or 59%, prefer buying from brands they’re familiar with, and 21% purchase products because they like the brand.
That shows that while products are an essential part of the equation, people want to associate and connect with businesses they like.
While you may be scared at the prospect of developing a brand, it’s actually the most powerful weapon you have. It doesn’t have to be complicated if you know how to approach it.
The majority of your branding decisions will come down to your audience. Making a sale is all about the relationships you can build, so start with your target audience, their values, their interests, their obstacles, and their online browsing habits.
That information will be the building blocks of your brand, guiding your decisions and crystalizing how to approach different aspects of the process.
If you have a younger audience, putting up a formal front will probably not work very well. You’ll need to get with the times, find a conversational voice, and engage prospects on social media sites they frequent.
For older audiences, the opposite can be true. However, don’t make unverified assumptions and talk to your buyers directly whenever possible.
Even though developing a brand can take time, the advantages it offers make it an easy choice. Once you have your branding, it will guide your marketing decisions and make crafting engaging and relevant messages much easier.
Have a Bulletproof Reputation
A whopping 92% of consumers trust non-paid recommendations more than other types of advertising.
Anything a company says, no matter how convincingly, will always be taken with a grain of salt. Most online consumers have been burned at least once before, so they’re especially careful about who they do business with. This is a disadvantage for eCommerce stores that don’t yet have a reputation.
The good news is that those who focus on overdelivering and showcasing the positive experiences reap the biggest rewards in the long term. Every satisfied customer is not only an immediate influx of revenue but also an opportunity to leverage the positive results in the future.
For one thing, you should meticulously collect positive feedback and showcase it on your site. Social proof in the form of testimonials helps alleviate concerns and tells your story through other people.
You should also address any negative experience and implement a policy where you don’t allow even a single customer to walk away unsatisfied.
Then, turn your happy customers into your brand ambassadors. Encourage them to share their experiences with their friends and family, and even incentivize it with discounts or exclusive offers.
Finally, set up a support system that excels above the competition and puts out fires immediately. Things will inevitably go wrong, but if you deal with them effectively, you might turn an unhappy customer into your most loyal fan.
At this point, you should have a pretty good idea of how to attract customers that actually want to buy. Now it’s time to implement these steps.
Each of these steps is relatively simple, but it does take a commitment and a change in your approach. That can be difficult, but the results will always be worth it, especially if you look at it from a long-term strategic perspective.