5 Ways to Grow and Expand Your E-Commerce Business
To say e-commerce is a “large” industry would be an understatement. According to the folks at eMarketer, it’s the only trillion-dollar industry that’s growing at double digits each year. But maintaining a successful presence in the e-commerce industry isn’t always easy. With so many seasoned brands having established e-commerce sites, it’s often difficult for newcomers to make a name for themselves. Thankfully, there are ways to grow and expand e-commerce stores, rivaling or even trumping the big brands.
Increase Product Inventory
One simple way to grow your e-commerce business is to add new products to your inventory. Conventional wisdom should lead you to believe that more people will visit your store – and buy your products – if you expand your inventory.
Of course, increasing product inventory may lead to some unforeseen technical problems, such as server overload and navigation problems. This is why it’s a good idea to gradually increase your store’s inventory, checking to make sure all of the critical functions remain intact.
Setting up a referral rewards program is an effective, low-cost way to promote an e-commerce store. Basically, it involves rewarding existing customers for sending new customers to your store. You can reward them with either free products, free memberships, or just a special discount off their next purchase. Incentives such as these encourage customers to promote your store, all for a minimal investment on your part.
Follow-Up with Existing Customers
Just because a visitor has already purchased a product on your e-commerce site doesn’t necessarily mean that he or she won’t make a second purchase in the future. On the contrary, you can encourage customers to buy more products by sending them special promotions, discounts and other offers via email. If a customer purchased a new suit jacket, for instance, perhaps they are also interested in buying cufflinks or a matching necktie. Sending the customer a promotional email presenting related products is an effective way to boost sales.
Email is arguably one of the most effective platforms on which to promote e-commerce stores and products. According to Francisco Rosales, 95% of online consumers use email, 91% of whom check their inbox at least once per day. E-commerce store owners can leverage the power of email by sending customers promotional material and product advertisements.
Get on Instagram
It’s a common assumption that Facebook is the leading social media network for digital marketing. While Facebook boasts the largest user base (over 1 billion monthly users), Instagram is particularly effective for e-commerce. This photo-centric social media network has around 200 million monthly users and is currently the fastest growing social site. Because it’s centered around photos and videos, however, e-commerce store owners can use it to present their products. Simply upload photos of your product, add the appropriate #hashtags, and generate a following among your target demographic.