If you want evidence that a small-scale, localized e-commerce site can work, then look no further than Amazon. It has grown from a guy selling books from his garage to the biggest global online retailer of them all, with fingers in the pies of streaming shows and the only worthwhile competition to Spotify. If you have started your own e-commerce site and are feeling disheartened by the tiny sales figures, don’t give up hope, just think about Jeff Bezos and his grand idea.
If you’re a little stuck and your sales figures are causing you to have premature hair loss, then don’t fear: read on to see if you’re doing everything you can do.
The first thing to look at, if you’re having problems, is whether or not you’re selling what people want to be buying. Trying to make your fortune by selling curtain poles online to your local neighbors is probably not going to turn the mega-bucks profit you are hoping for. Make sure you know what people are going to be interested in and focus on that.
If you do settle on a product that people seem to be engaging with and interested in, then next you need to look at the competition. What are they doing? How are they doing it? In what ways can you emulate them? If someone is doing something well that you also want to be doing; copy them. If, however, you are only selling in your city or state and your competition is national, then it might not be the best idea to copy as they will have a different business model.
Half the battle in converting a browser into a buyer is your site. This aspect may be letting you down, so make sure you hire a great web designer as you will need quality. A site that has been created by an amateur is painfully obvious, so don’t let it be yours. By hiring someone who knows what they are doing you will look attractive and professional to prospective clients.
If you had a physical shop, all you would need is a nice sign and maybe an advert in the local paper, but this is 2016 and those things just don’t cut it anymore. Marketing has entered the digital age and you need to, as well. Digital marketing is a term that encompasses many facets of online marketing; however the most useful for you will be SEO (Search Engine Optimization). So, if you sell laptops in Chicago and someone wants to buy one; when they search for ‘laptops in Chicago’, thanks to SEO, your site will be higher up on the Google rankings then if you hadn’t hired people to manage it. This is vital nowadays, as nothing sells unless it’s well-placed on Google. Because SEO companies come in a variety of different forms and specialists, you will want to find the one that is localized to you. If you live in Chicago, for example, then find a Chicago based one. If you live in Philadelphia, then find one based there… and so on.
I hope my little list helped you, but in the end, as long as you have a strong will, fierce determination, and throw in a lot of hard work, your e-commerce site will be knocking Amazon off its perch in no time!