One of the perks of owning a small business is you rarely have to go through a middleman to get your product or service to your customers. No worries about finding distributors or retail partners. Of course, to actually get your business in front of those customers, you have to incorporate direct-to-consumer (DTC) marketing in your overall strategy. So how do you set up your e-commerce site for success and increase your sales?
Please note: This is a contributed post, but all opinions are my own. View full disclosure policy.
Prioritize the Right Keywords for SEO
To get the obvious out of the way first, using the right SEO strategy is key. This is how you make sure potential customers can actually find your e-commerce site when they start searching for products or services. Do your keyword research and pay close attention to research tools that can show you related search terms. If you sell hand-knitted blankets, for example, you might find thousands of people searching “how to knit a blanket,” not just where to buy one. You could then add a page to your site that shows your knitting process, or maybe a blog post or two with tutorials, and your site is more likely to reach people looking for knitting tutorials. And maybe they’ll decide they’d much rather buy one of your lovely creations than try to make their own right now and you’ll have a sale.
Be Smart About Using Social Media
Social media is a powerful marketing tool that can be used to reach new audiences and promote your e-commerce store. There are a lot of major platforms out there, like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. But you don’t have to create a business profile on every single platform. As a DTC business, you have to think about where your audience already is and how to make it easy to get your content in front of them. Your awesome pottery business will probably do better on Instagram and TikTok than Twitter. Once you find out which platform(s) make the most sense for your business, it’s time to build a content strategy. Post regularly, budget for ads and boosted posts, and consider taking advantage of social media influencer marketing to reach for even more people.
Experiment and Fine-Tune Your Marketing Strategy
Your marketing strategy drives traffic to your website and increases sales. You can use several different marketing channels to reach potential customers, so it’s important to experiment and find out which ones work best for your business. Once you’ve identified the most effective channels, double down on your efforts and continue to create high-quality content that will capture attention and encourage people to visit your site. If you don’t have a marketing background and you’re worried about not having the time to commit to learning it all yourself, that can be an overwhelming challenge. If you’re working with a smaller budget, you might consider looking for a coach or consultant who offers to create a strategy as part of their service package. There are inexpensive, short-term services available on sites like Fiverr, or you can get a thorough overhaul of your marketing strategy through consultants like 2Visions.org.
Simplify the Buying Process
If you want people to buy from your e-commerce store, then you need to make the buying process as simple and straightforward as possible. That means having a user-friendly website with clear navigation, an intuitive checkout system, and offering multiple payment options. You should also provide plenty of product information so potential buyers know exactly what they’re getting before making a purchase. (Here’s a hint: the descriptions of your products are a great place to add your SEO terms!)
Provide Excellent Customer Service
Finally, it’s important to remember that providing excellent service is essential for encouraging customers to return. So make sure you’re responsive to customer feedback — questions, complaints, and positive reviews. If it’s not practical for you to offer a return policy for products, come up with a plan for how you want to reconcile with disappointed customers.
If you liked this post, share it with your friends!